Leopard 2 Challenger 2 news from Abrams and Leclerc. Last Minute GERMANY, Austria, Berlin, France, England, Spain, Russia, Greece headlines and events
Information that Russia is preparing for a comprehensive attack on Ukraine in the spring, having completed preparations for winter, mobilized Ukraine and its Western allies.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pressuring his European allies for weeks to provide heavy armored tanks. NATO countries have announced that they will transfer heavy armored tanks to Ukraine with German approval, after weeks of discussions with fears that the scale of the war will grow and that they will become a party to the war.
This decision is considered significant enough to be a turning point in the war in Ukraine. Because it is noted that the firepower, maneuverability and reinforced armor of these tanks can change the course of the war. The world has been talking about these four tanks for weeks now: the German Leopard 2, the British Challenger 2, the American Abrams M1 and the French Leclerc tank.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on January 4 that light armored tanks AMX-10 RC weighing less than 20 tons will enter the Ukrainian army. With the arrival of these light tanks, Western-made tanks will be used in Ukraine for the first time. According to French Defense Minister Sebastian Lecornu, their deliveries will be completed by mid-March.
AMX-10 RC tanks are armored vehicles that don’t have a lot of firepower and therefore can’t really change the course of the battle. But Macron’s statement greatly revived the discussion, especially in Germany, about the supply of heavy tanks to Kyiv.
“France is already supplying us with light tanks. This is very good. But we still want to buy 250 to 350 heavy tanks,” Zelensky’s defense adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said.
Berlin has so far opposed this request, noting the risk of an escalation of the war. On the other hand, Poland and Finland said they were transferring their German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “even without agreement.” This statement by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki increased pressure on Berlin.
So, what are these high-tech tanks capable of changing the course of war on land, and which countries are able to supply them?
The American, British, or German tanks that Kyiv covets are on a technical level similar to the French Leclerc tanks. All these tanks; Includes a total of 3 or 4 crew members, including commander, driver, one or two turret operators. Approximately 70 kilometers per hour. These tanks, which have an autonomy of up to 500 km at speed, are giant machines weighing about 60 tons. At the same time, their passing abilities are also extremely strong thanks to their tracks, armor, and striking power. They are capable of firing at targets at a distance of several kilometers in all weather conditions, at night, while moving and on the move. However, their maintenance, logistics and use remain highly complex.
The tank that Ukrainians love and want the most is the German Leopard 2. First, the first reason is that many countries in Europe have a large number of Leopard tanks. This equipment, developed by the manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in the late 1970s, has proven its effectiveness in many regions such as Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Syria.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS); 284 in Germany, 56 in Austria, 48 in Denmark, 100 in Finland, 353 in Greece, 48 in Hungary, 120 in Sweden, 327 in Spain, 37 in Portugal, 247 in Poland. There are about 2,000 tanks in operation.
Poland has said it is ready to supply some of its armored vehicles to Kyiv, but this requires Berlin’s approval due to a clause in a purchase agreement it signed with Germany. Berlin issued this permit today.
According to German media reports, Ukraine hopes to receive 80 Leopard 2 tanks. Following Germany, Finnish Defense Minister Mikko Savola said they would donate a limited number of Leopard tanks, given the sensitivity of their own defense needs.
British Challenger 2 tanks could be the first heavy tanks delivered to Ukraine. More than 200 Challengers are in active use in the UK. Before a meeting of Ukraine’s partners in Ramstein, Germany, on January 20, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that they would hand over a dozen Challengers to the Ukrainian defense forces. Known for their “very powerful cannon”, these tanks are equipped with a rifled gun, making them difficult to use as they are not compatible with conventional projectiles used by other NATO members.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, NATO allies have supplied Ukraine with 300 upgraded Russian tanks. However, the British government will be the first country to donate heavy armored tanks to a western country by sending 14 Challenger tanks to Ukraine. Tanks FV4034 Challenger 2 with a height of about 3 meters and a length of 8.3 meters can be a powerful reinforcement for Ukraine. Originally designed to counter Russian armored vehicles, these tanks first entered service in 1998. It came to prominence when it was primarily used in the Iraq War from 2003.
Challengers also weigh 64 tons in battle order and reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. speed capabilities. It can accommodate four soldiers at once and has a “strong, very accurate and very mobile” cannon.
The American Abrams M1 tanks are of great importance in terms of large storage capacity, as they are produced by the thousands. 2600 Abrams M1 tanks, of which about 10 thousand were produced, are still in operation in the United States. Some of them are deployed in NATO countries.
It is about 8 meters long, 3.66 m. Wide Abrams tanks have a powerful attacking ability, equipped with 120 mm M256 guns. Its speed is 72 kilometers per hour. It can reach a height of 55 and weigh between 55 and 67 tons. American tanks manufactured by General Dynamics have been in operation since 1980 and have a crew of 4.
An Abrams tank is no more difficult to drive than a Leopard or Leclerc, but it consumes twice as much turbine as its competitors’ diesel engines, requiring much more procurement logistics.
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was received by President Joe Biden in Washington in December 2022, Biden simply promised to send light tanks, without mentioning Abrams tanks. However, Biden announced today in a German Leopard statement that the United States will also send 31 Abrams tanks shortly thereafter.
The French armed forces have in service 220 Leclerc tanks manufactured by the French company Nexter. These tanks, which could not be exported to foreign countries, were produced in very small numbers, 876 units. The production of Leclerc tanks, which for some time were produced at the Nexter factories in the city of Roan, has been stopped since 2008. Leclerc tanks, which weigh about 57 tons, reach speeds of up to 65 km per hour. up to speed; Width 3.6 meters, length about 8 meters.
As part of the NATO Eagle mission, a French military unit has been training Ukrainian soldiers in Romania since the end of 2022, a few hundred kilometers from Ukraine. Assembled at the Nexter factories in Roanne, the Leclerc has been out of production since 2008. The French army has recently repaired 50 Leclerc tanks.
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