Spain delivers 6 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine and four would follow

On April 22, 2023, during an interview with the German Daily News program "Tagesschau", the Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares announced that Spain has committed to delivering six of the ten promised Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine in the coming days and a second batch of four tanks would follow.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Leopard 2A4 tank at the GDELS-SBS factory in Spain, March 2023. (Picture source Spain MoD)

The tanks being supplied to Ukraine are of the older Leopard 2A4 model. "We will support Ukraine as long as they need it," Albares stated, referring to the ongoing Russian offensive. This support includes humanitarian aid, accepting refugees, and supplying defensive weapons aimed at self-defense and the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In recent weeks, 55 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in Spain as crew members and technicians on Leopard battle tanks. Spain currently possesses a total of 347 Leopard tanks, with 108 being the older 2A4 variant and 239 belonging to the newer Leopard 2A6 model, known as the 2E in Spain. However, Spain has no plans to deliver the newer, more powerful tanks to Ukraine, as they are needed for the country's own defense.

As stated by the minister, Spain intends to deliver six out of the ten promised Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine in the coming days. The remaining four tanks, currently undergoing restoration at the Santa Bárbara Sistemas defense plant in Alcalá de Guadeira (Seville), are anticipated to arrive later.

Reports indicate that the restoration of the initial six Leopard 2A4 tanks in Spain took approximately six weeks. By the end of March, these tanks were taken to a testing range for trials and firing exercises. The refurbishment process for the second batch of four Leopard 2A4s is expected to take longer due to their technical condition.

The Leopard 2A4, a main battle tank developed by German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), was introduced in the mid-1980s as an upgraded version of the earlier Leopard 2 tank, which succeeded the Leopard 1. Boasting several enhancements and upgrades, the Leopard 2A4 is equipped with a third-generation composite armor for increased protection against various threats, such as kinetic energy penetrators and shaped charges. It also features a modern fire control system, integrating a laser rangefinder, thermal imaging system, and ballistics computer to improve accuracy and target engagement capabilities.

Powered by a 1,500 horsepower MTU MB 873 diesel engine, the Leopard 2A4 can reach a top speed of approximately 72 km/h (45 mph) and has a range of around 550 km (342 miles). Its main armament is a 120mm smoothbore gun capable of firing various ammunition types, including armor-piercing, high-explosive, and anti-tank rounds. The tank also has two 7.62mm machine guns as secondary armament.

Spain acquired 108 Leopard 2A4 tanks in the 1990s, along with the more advanced Leopard 2A6 variant. Designated as the Leopard 2E by the Spanish military, these tanks form part of their armored forces. In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Spain has pledged to deliver a portion of their Leopard 2A4 tanks to support the Ukrainian military.