Norway will deliver Leopard 2 tanks “as soon as possible” to Ukraine, and they could arrive by the end of March, the country’s Defense Minister, Bjorn Arild Gram, has said.
In an interview with AFP, Gram said the exact number to be sent has not yet been determined, but added: “It’s important that we coordinate closely with our partners, so that this aid makes a real difference for Ukraine.”
Norway has 36 of the heavy tanks and is one of several European countries that promised last week to deliver the tanks long sought by Ukraine in its battle against Russian forces, after Berlin gave its blessing despite fears of retaliation by Moscow.
The Leopard 2 is a German-made battle tank and is considered one of the best combat vehicles in the world. It first entered service in 1979 and has since undergone a number of modernizations.
The vehicle received an improvement in the armor protection of the turret, significant upgrades were made to improve the safety of the crew. A new digital fire control system was also installed.
The tank has improved optics for reconnaissance at long distances, both day and night. In addition, the tank has a 7.62mm machine gun or a platform for a 12.7mm machine gun.
The vehicle has a maximum road speed of 72 kilometers per hour.
There are more than 2,000 of them in Europe and distributed among 13 countries.
“I know that I can defeat this enemy. But I need resources,” Valery Zaluzhny Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told the Economist in Dec. 2022. “I need 300 tanks, 600-700 infantry fighting vehicles, 500 howitzers. Then, I think, it is absolutely realistic to reach the lines on February 23.”
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