Spain will send immediately after Easter to Ukraine the first six Leopard 2A4 battle tanks that it has promised to the Kiev government to face the Russian invasion, according to government sources.
The six tanks have already been rehabilitated at the Santa Bárbara Sistemas factory in Alcalá de Guadaíra (Seville) and this week they are carrying out firing exercises at the Cerro Muriano (Córdoba) maneuver range.
After receiving their combat certification, they will be transferred by sea to Poland, where they will be handed over to the Ukrainian authorities.
They will not be the first: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed Monday that his country has already supplied 18 Leopard 2A6s to the Ukrainian army, while Poland and Norway have delivered 14 and eight Leopard 2A4s, respectively, in recent weeks.
The four additional Leopard 2A4s that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced before his counterpart Volodímir Zelenski during his second visit to Kiev, in February, are scheduled to arrive at the Santa Bárbara plant this week.
Like the first six, they come from the Logistics Support Group 41, in the Zaragoza neighborhood of Casetas, where they had been stored for a decade.
The sources consulted acknowledge, however, that the first tanks that were sent were the best preserved, for which reason only 2,500 hours of work were needed to set them up;
while the latter required some 3,000.
It is taken for granted that the cost of the rehabilitation of this second batch will be higher than the first (4.1 million in total, 683,300 euros per unit) and probably also the time required for it, about six weeks.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles, who on the 23rd visited the Sevillian plant of the US multinational General Dynamics Land Systems, where she checked the condition of the tanks and thanked its 249 employees for having set them up "in record time", will appear this Wednesday before the plenary session of Congress to report on military support for Ukraine.
Last hour of the war in Ukraine
Robles' appearance occurs after Congress approved a PP motion that demanded that the Government report monthly on the situation in Ukraine and the commitments assumed by Spain.
The PSOE voted against, but its coalition partner Unidas Podemos voted in favor, as did investiture allies such as ERC, Bildu or Más País, so this demand was approved.
Congress also supported military and financial aid to the Zelenski government, although in this case the PSOE voted in favor and Unidas Podemos voted against.
The votes took place on March 9, only 48 after the coalition government suffered its biggest tear on the subject of the reform of the law of
only yes is yes
Although sending the Leopards is the most visible part of the military support for Kiev, it is not the only one: at the last meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine, on the 15th, Robles promised to supply another 20 armored infantry transports, TOA M-113, in addition to the 20 already delivered.
Defense concluded on the 14th at the San Gregorio National Training Center (Zaragoza) the training of 55 tankers in the handling of the Leopard A4, which is equivalent to 10 complete crews and 15 maintenance technicians, within the framework of a training that more than 850 Ukrainian soldiers have already completed in Spain.
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