On Wednesday, May 18, Defense Minister Jana Černochová informed the Government of the Czech Republic that she had agreed with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on the donation of 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks. At the same time, both sides will begin to discuss the possibility of purchasing up to 50 tanks of the most modern version of the 2 A7+ for the Army of the Czech Republic in the coming years.
“Germany has long been our key economic partner. However, this has not been the case in the field of defence for a long time, and we want to change that, not only in the area of tank troops, but in bilateral cooperation in general. I believe that thanks to this, our army will be stronger and our country safer,” said Minister Černochová.
A donation should be made later this year, by which the German side appreciates how intensively the Czech Republic has supported Ukraine with donations of military equipment since the beginning of the Russian invasion. The basis of this gift will be 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks, of which 14 combat and one recovery. The delivery, which will be provided by the German defence industry, will also include spare parts and ammunition.
In order for the donation to be realized, it is necessary to conclude a contract that is already being worked on. The assumption is that it will be possible to proceed with the signature during the summer. The first Leopard 2 A4 will be delivered within six months of signing, with the others to follow shortly thereafter. In addition, the Ministry of Defense expects that the donated tanks will be upgraded to version 2 A7+ in the future.
This year, the training of Czech soldiers in Germany will also begin, followed by more intensive combined training of Czech and German tankers on Czech territory. This approach will ensure a faster transition to the new platform and promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
At the same time, the Defense Department will begin negotiations for the purchase of additional Leopard tanks in the most modern version of the 2 A7+. The goal is to purchase up to 50 pieces in various modifications in the coming years.
“Leopard tanks are in service with many NATO allies and our close neighbours, such as Hungary and Poland. This rearmament will also contribute to the creation of a heavy brigade in line with our alliance commitments,” the defence minister explained.
The purchase of new tanks and modernization will be carried out in cooperation with the German government, whose army plans to purchase and modernize its own Leopard 2 tanks. This approach will ensure comparable prices and efficient spending. At the same time, it is an opportunity to ensure the maximum involvement of the Czech defence industry, not only in the supply and modernization for the Czech army, but also for much larger supplies for the German army.