For many Western countries it is “easier to discard” older Leopard 1 tank model not to waste their own stocks of the more modern Leopard 2 tanks, the Financial Times (FT) reports. Germany has approved deliveries of both tank models to Ukraine, but the newspaper says the Leopard 1 is “the worse of the two models”, although the tanks are overhauled before being sent to Kyiv.
The Leopard 1A5 is described as “an older and less advanced version of the Leopard 2.” The FT notes that this tank model has thin armor “which can make it fragile in areas with little cover - such as the flat terrain in eastern and southeastern Ukraine where the most intense fighting is taking place”.
The head of the German unit of the EU training mission, Bundeswehr Lieutenant General Andreas Marlow, said the Leopard 2 could have a “higher combat value”. “The advantage of the Leopard 1A5 is that we can deliver it in triple-digit numbers by this year or next year. Quantity is also important,” the military officer said.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that Germany has provided €22bn worth of support to Ukraine since the start of the military operation.
In particular, in July Berlin announced a military aid package worth almost €700m, including 25 Leopard 1A5 tanks. The Oryx research team claimed that Ukraine lost its first Leopard 2A4 tank during the offensive in June.