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Denmark confirms that 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks for Ukraine will be ready in the spring.

| 2023

According to a statement released by the Danish Ministry of Defense on March 11, 2023, Denmark has confirmed its collaboration with Germany and the Netherlands to donate 100 Leopard 1 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine. Our sources indicate that the version of Leopard 1 tanks that will be supplied to Ukraine will be the Leopard 1A5.
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Danish army Leopard 1A5DK Main Battle Tank MBT. (Picture source Aalborg Defence and Garrison Museum / Denmark)

Following a visit to the German company FFG (Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH), Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen and State Secretary from the German Ministry of Defence, Thomas Hitschler, Troels Lund Poulse confirms that the German company FFG works to refurbish Leopard 1A5 tanks that were previously in service with the Danish army.

In early February 2023, Denmark, together with the Netherlands and Germany, launched a project to refurbish a large number of Leopard 1A5 tanks. The first goal of the project is to deliver two tank battalions to Ukraine as quickly as possible, which corresponds to approximately 80 tanks. The first tanks are expected to be ready during the spring and will be used to train Ukrainian forces.

As part of the project, Denmark will provide training to Ukrainian soldiers on how to operate the Leopard 1A5 tanks, as well as supply spare parts and an ammunition package.

Citing information reported by the Army Recognition editorial team the German company FFG has a stock of 100 Leopard 1A5 that was purchased in 2010 from the Danish government. Denmark ordered 120 German-made Leopard 1A3s in June 1974, the first of which were delivered in March 1976 and the last in November 1978. Denmark modernized the Leopard 1A3 to the 1A5 configuration and named Leopard 1A5DK.

Leopard 1A5DK is a variant of the Leopard 1 main battle tank that was modernized and upgraded by the Danish Army. The upgrade included the installation of a new diesel engine, an improved gun stabilization system, a new fire control system, upgraded armor, and the integration of modern electronic systems. The Leopard 1A5DK was first introduced in the late 1990s and was used by the Danish Army until it was replaced by the Leopard 2A5 in the mid-2000s.

The Leopard 1A5 is armed with a 105mm L7A3 rifled gun, which is capable of firing various types of ammunition such as APDS (Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot), HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank), and HESH (High-Explosive Squash Head). The second armament of the tanks includes one coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola. The tank has a crew of four, including the commander, driver, gunner, and loader.

The Leopard 1A5 main battle tank has composite armor made of layers of steel and non-metallic materials such as ceramic and plastic. The thickness and composition of the armor vary depending on the specific version of the tank and the location on the vehicle.

The frontal armor of the Leopard 1A5 is approximately 120mm thick and is designed to withstand hits from most types of small arms and light weapons. The turret has additional armor protection and is designed to withstand hits from high-explosive and armor-piercing ammunition.

While the armor of the Leopard 1A5 was considered state-of-the-art when it was first introduced in the 1970s, it is no longer sufficient to protect against modern anti-tank weapons such as tandem-warhead rockets and missiles. Therefore, upgrades to the tank's armor and other systems have been implemented in various modernization programs, such as the Leopard 1A5DK upgrade carried out by the Danish Army.

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