OSLO: Norway mentioned Friday it would purchase 54 new era Leopard 2 tanks to switch older variations, including it confronted “some of the tough 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.
The precise price of the tanks was not specified. There may be an choice for 18 extra new Leopard 2A7s.
“We discover ourselves … in some of the tough safety conditions since World Warfare II”, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Retailer informed reporters on the Rena navy base.
“We’ve got a severe state of affairs because of the Russian invasion (of Ukraine). I name this a brand new ‘Iron Curtain’”, he mentioned.
Germany authorises producers to ship Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine
Norway had been hesitating between the newest 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 mentioned.
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 could donate a few of these tanks to Ukraine however didn’t specify precisely what number of nor after they can be delivered.
The pinnacle of Norway’s armed forces, Eirik Kristoffersen, has beforehand expressed his opposition to the acquisition of latest tanks, saying he would like to spend the cash on the acquisition of different weapons akin to missiles and long-range shells.