WARSAW, Poland — While numerous allies are working on delivering their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the Czech Republic is advancing plans to acquire new Leopard 2A7+ tanks. The country’s land forces are testing the first of the 14 used 2A4s the nation is to obtain from Germany.
Last year, the Czech Republic donated its Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine to support the nation’s combat against the ongoing Russian invasion. Under its so-called “Ringtausch” program, Berlin has decided to supply a batch of Leopard 2A4s to Prague to enable the Czech Army to preserve its combat capacities and replace outdated Soviet weapons with Western gear.
The Czech Armed Forces say the Leopard 2A4 swap will make Prague ready for the acquisition of new Leopards, as suggested by Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová. Last May, the politician said the nation could buy up to 50 tanks in the 2A7+ version from Germany.
“The 2A4 Leopards will prepare us for the most modern Leopard in the 2A7 version,” the Czech Armed Forces said in a tweet.
Under the plan, the remaining 13 Leopard 2A4s are to be delivered to the Czech military base in Přáslavice, in the country’s eastern part, until the end of this year. They will be operated by the 7th Mechanized Brigade, according to data from the Czech ministry.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 5, Canada’s National Defence Minister Anita Anand tweeted the “first Canadian Leopard 2 main battle tank that we’ve donated to Ukraine has now arrived in Poland. Alongside our allies, we’ll soon be training the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the use of this equipment.”
In addition to Canada and Germany, other countries who have declared their willingness to supply their used Leopard tanks to Ukraine include Denmark, Finland, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.