Ukrainian soldiers already training on Leopard 1A5 tanks donated by Denmark
On May 5, 2023, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen had the opportunity to meet some of the Ukrainians currently being trained to operate the 100 Leopard 1A5 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) being donated by Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany.
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Ukrainian soldiers train to use the Leopard 1A5 donated by Denmark. (Picture source MilitaryLand.net)
On March 12, 2023, the Danish Ministry of Defense issued a statement announcing the donation of 100 Leopard 1A5 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine. The inventory of Danish Leopard 1A5 tanks was stored with the German company FFG (Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH).
"This is a significant and important donation to Ukraine. From my visit to Ukraine a few weeks ago, I know that Ukrainians are looking forward to receiving the tanks, and the training activity is another major step towards sending them to Ukraine," says Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.
The Danish minister of defense visited the training activity with his German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, and the two ministers had the chance to speak with Ukrainians, as well as Danish and German instructors. The training activity is part of the joint donation with Germany and the Netherlands, which was announced back in February.
"This is a donation that the Ukrainians have requested and that fits well with their existing equipment. My Ukrainian colleague Oleksii Reznikov has confirmed this to me on several occasions. Our collaboration on the donation of such a large number of Leopard 1 tanks aligns well with other countries' delivery of tanks to Ukraine, and our joint project underscores the importance of cooperation between nations and industry. It is absolutely crucial for the continued support to Ukraine," says Troels Lund Poulsen.
In addition to training and education on the tanks, spare parts, and an ammunition package are included. Some of the 100 Leopard 1A5 MBTs are being refurbished by Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft, but the first ones are already being used for training Ukrainians.
The Leopard 1A5DK was used by the Danish military from the late 1990s until it was retired from service in 2017. (Picture source MilitaryLand.net)
The initial goal of the project is still to deliver Leopard 1A5 tanks to two battalions - equivalent to about 80 tanks - over the coming months. Furthermore, Denmark and the Netherlands announced in April that they will donate 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks, which are expected to be handed over to Ukraine in early 2024.
The Leopard 1A5DK is a variant of the Leopard 1 main battle tank that was developed for the Danish military. It is an upgraded version of the Leopard 1A5, which was originally developed by the German company Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s.
The Leopard 1A5DK features a number of modifications and improvements over the original Leopard 1A5. These include upgraded armor protection, improved suspension and tracks, and a new fire control system. The tank is also equipped with a 105mm gun that is capable of firing a variety of ammunition types.
The Leopard 1A5DK was used by the Danish military from the late 1990s until it was retired from service in 2017. During its service life, the tank was deployed on a number of peacekeeping missions and other military operations around the world, including in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq.