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German army starts training Czech army soldiers on Leopard 2A4 MBT.

| 2022

The German army (Bundeswehr) has published a picture on its website showing that Czech tankers are doing their first rounds with the Leopard 2A4 tank which they are getting in replacement of the T-72M1s the Czech Republic gave to Ukraine.
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Tank drivers from the Czech Republic are trained in Munster on the Leopard 2A4. The Czech Republic will receive 40 main battle tanks from Germany in a ring exchange for the T-72s handed over to Ukraine (Picture source: Bundeswehr)

The Czech Republic will receive 14 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the Bundeswehr as part of the ring exchange with Germany in December 2022. 40 T-72 main battle tanks have been delivered to Ukraine by the Czech Republic for this purpose. At the driver training center in Munster, eight tank drivers from the Czech Republic were allowed to do the first laps with their new work equipment: both in difficult terrain and on roads. Back home, the Czech soldiers should pass on their findings to their comrades.

According to information published by the Czech "CTK" news website on May 20, 2022, the Czech Minister of Defense Jana Černochová confirmed the donation by Germany of 14 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and 1 armored recovery vehicle (Bergepanzer Elefant) based on Leopard 2 chassis in exchange for the supply of Czech army T-72M1 MBTs to Ukraine. The delivery of the Leopard 2A4 to the Czech Republic will also include spare parts and ammunition.

Citing information from the press department of the Czech Ministry of Defense, the donation of these Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) was agreed upon with the German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht on May 17. The training of the Czech soldiers to use the Leopard 2A4 tanks is ongoing in Munster.

Munster Training Area (in German: Truppenübungsplatz Munster) is a military training area on the Lüneburg Heath. It comprises two separate areas with different purposes: Munster North (Munster-Nord) (size: 102 square kilometers (39 sq mi)) and Munster South (Munster-Süd) (size: 74 square kilometers (29 sq mi)). The two areas are separated geographically by the town of Munster and several barracks. When the military training area was established, a camp (Lager) was built about 1.5 kilometers (0.93 mi) from the town center which became known as Munsterlager. Between Munster North and South there is a road corridor to the nearby training area of Bergen-Hohne over which exercising troops can transfer from one area to the other.

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German army Leopard 2A4 main battle tank. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

T-72M1 donated to Ukraine

According to information dating back to 2021, the Czech army operated 30 T-72 CZ and 89 T-72 in store, including T-72A and T-72M1 MBTs. 

The T-72A is the second generation of Soviet-made main battle tank MBT in the T-72 family. The first version of the T-72 entered production in 1970. The main armament of the T-72A consists of one 125 mm 2A46 gun. The second armament of the T-72A includes one 7.62 mm caliber PKT machine gun mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and has 250 rounds of ready-use ammunition and a new design of 12.7 mm caliber NSV machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola.

The T-72M is the export version of the T-72A and has a different armor protection level, carries a different amount of ammunition, and has a different type of NBC system. There are four evenly spaced ribs on the upper glacis plate. The T-72M1 is a modernized T-72M and has an additional layer of 16 mm armor plate on the glacis plate and combination armor in the turret with pelletized filler agent. There are two ribs on the upper glacis plate.

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T-72M1 of the Czech army, as donated to Ukraine (Picture source: Army Recognition)

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