In Europe, it has become clear that especially in the area of land systems, the dominance of German houses is undeniable. Despite the purely political choices of countries such as Poland, which have driven contracts towards the US and given the opportunity for South Korea's dynamic entry, Norway's recent choice to choose the Leopard 2A7 over the rival K2 Black Panther shows that it will not be disturbed especially "balance".
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KMW's Leopard 2A7 demonstrator at Eurosatory 2022. The Leo 2A7 is becoming a "star" in the European defense landscape (Picture source: Army Recognition)
The case of Norway is typical. The prime minister himself called the German chancellor to inform him of the decision. Officially, the Minister of Defense attributed the choice to the increased importance that close defense cooperation between European countries has acquired, due to the existing security situation. He noted that the choice aimed at standardization with the arsenal of neighboring and allied countries. If these bear political significance, the information that the Koreans offered their chariot at a very competitive price (about half) shows that the Norwegians disregarded economics in the face of the much greater political benefit.
The German government, for its part, despite the initial announcement of the €100 billion defense plan, has not yet awarded any major contracts. In Germany, information is being circulated that a closer look at things and an evaluation of developments and prospects, leads to estimates for thoughts of investments in the equipment of a much larger scale, even in the order of €300 billion, in order to gain the lost ground, to create conditions increasing production capacity and making choices of strategic importance.
In this context, although decisions such as the supply of American F-35 fighters have progressed more quickly, the procedures for awarding contracts to German companies are being reviewed. Reliable information suggests that Berlin is looking to place a massive order for 500 Leopard 2A7 tanks, with an option for an additional 200! Perhaps a lesson was learned in South Korea's ability to respond immediately to urgent buyer requests for numbers of tanks and self-propelled guns as an "interim solution".
The tank and armored sector in general is of particular interest to Greece because there is a serious industrial base from past cooperation with the Germans in the supply of Leopard 2 HEL tanks. Over the last several months as KMW prepares for the new era it appears to be ushering in its tank sales, there have been serious discussions about Greek companies and the role they can play.
Both KMW and Rheinmetall can rightly feel justified in their intention to reach an agreement with Greece to settle old procurement backlogs, combined with a major joint investment. The industrial unit that is proposed to be created is expected to have the form of a "One-Stop Shop", in the sense that in the first phase, it will operate as a production line of armored KF41 Lynx and Leopard 2 tanks, with the prospect of future development into a "mega factory", which will cover all types of rolling stock.