Norway to buy 54 new generation Leopard tanks

Norway stated Friday it is going to purchase 54 new era Leopard 2 tanks to exchange older variations, including it confronted “one of the crucial troublesome safety conditions since World Warfare II”.

Deliberate for a number of years, the order will allow Oslo to resume its fleet of 36 ageing Leopard 2A4 tanks, a few of that are to be donated to Ukraine.

The Leopard 2A7 order with German defence producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is a part of a 19.7 billion kroner ($1.96 billion) defence allocation already adopted by parliament.

‘Critical scenario’

The precise price of the tanks was not specified. There’s an possibility for 18 extra new Leopard 2A7s. 

“We discover ourselves … in one of the crucial troublesome safety conditions since World Warfare II”, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Retailer informed reporters on the Rena army base.

“We’ve got a critical scenario because of the Russian invasion (of Ukraine). I name this a brand new ‘Iron Curtain’”, he stated.

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Norway had been hesitating between the most recent era Leopard tank and the South Korean K2 Black Panther.

The selection of Leopards will allow the Scandinavian nation to align itself with its Nordic neighbours — together with Sweden and Finland that are vying to affix Norway in NATO — and Germany, the federal government stated.

Norway deliveries

The primary deliveries are anticipated as of 2026 and can run till 2031.

Solely 36 of the 52 Leopards Norway purchased from the Netherlands in 2001 are nonetheless in service.

Oslo introduced in late January that it might donate a few of these tanks to Ukraine however didn’t specify precisely what number of nor after they could be delivered.

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The pinnacle of Norway’s armed forces, Eirik Kristoffersen, has beforehand expressed his opposition to the acquisition of recent tanks, saying he would favor to spend the cash on the acquisition of different weapons corresponding to missiles and long-range shells.