Rheinmetall from Germany is ready to supply 50 Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine

According to information published by the German newspaper website "Handelsblatt" on April 11, 2022, the German company Rheinmetall is ready to supply 50 Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine.
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German-made Leopard 1A5 main battle tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Citing the information from "Handelsblatt", the German defense company Rheinmetall could deliver the first Leopard 1 in the next few weeks but needs the green light from the German Government. Ukrainian soldiers must be trained but could be able to use the tanks in a short period.

In recent days, the United States and European countries have increased support for Ukraine following the invasion of the country by Russian troops. Just last Wednesday, President Joe Biden authorized an additional $100 million in security assistance to support Ukraine. Included in that were additional Javelin anti-armor systems for Ukrainian forces. This most recent package was the sixth drawdown of equipment from DOD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021. 

Along with the $300 million in military assistance announced in April, the total U.S. security assistance commitment to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion has been more than $1.7 billion. 

On April 9, 2022, the United Kingdom, has also announced new military assistance to Ukraine with the delivery of 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, to support Ukraine in this crucial phase while Russia’s illegal assault continues. This is in addition to the £100 million worth of high-grade military equipment announced on April 8, 2022, including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles, and high-tech loitering munitions for precision strikes.

On April 10, 2022, Army Recognition reported that the German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) offered to Ukraine the purchase of 100 PzH 2000 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers.

According to military sources, the German army still has a large stock of Leopard 1A5s which have been withdrawn from service in 2007 and replaced by the Leopard 2 MBTs.

The design of Leopard 1 is conventional for a main battle tank with the driver seated at the front of the hull, the turret in the middle, and the powerpack at the rear. The tank has a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner and loader. The Leopard had well-sloped, electrically welded, rolled homogeneous armor (RHA).

The main armament of the Leopard 1 consists of one 105 mm L7A3 rifled tank gun which consists of a single-piece barrel with a screwed-on breech-ring and a bore evacuator. It can fire all the NATO standard 105 mm rounds of ammunition and a total of 60 rounds are carried inside the tanks with 42 ammunition stored in the hull and 18 in the turret. the second armament of the Leopard 1 includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Another 7.62mm machine is mounted at the commander's or loader's station.

The Leopard 1A5 is powered by an MTU MB 838 Ca M-500, 10-cylinder multi-fuel engine developing 830 hp at 2,200 rpm coupled to a ZF 4 HP 250 transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. the tank can run ta a maximum road speed of 65 km:h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.

The Leopard 1A5 MBT was the latest upgraded variant in the Leopard 1 family. the tank is fitted with a new modern fire control system and a fully effective night/bad-weather vision system. The Leopard 1A5 tank could also be fitted with bolt-on polycarbonate (Lexan) armor panels, which have increased the effectiveness of the armor. The first modified tank was delivered in early 1987.