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Media: Ukraine refuses to accept some Leopard 1 tanks from Germany, Denmark due to defects

by Kateryna Denisova May 24, 2024 6:57 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian tank crew receives training on the maintenance of Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks at a military training ground of the Bundeswehr on May 05, 2023 near Klietz, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Ukraine refused to accept some outdated Leopard 1A5 battle tanks from Denmark and Germany due to numerous defects, Danish broadcaster DR reported on May 24, citing Danish Defense Ministry documents.

The defense ministers of Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands promised to send Kyiv at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1A5s from industrial stocks.

The documents said the first tanks were scheduled to be delivered in July 2023. However, the shipment was reportedly delayed because the German defense company KMW faced difficulties in preparing them.

Only 20 tanks had been delivered as of September last year, DR wrote. After receiving and inspecting them, Ukraine found that 18 of the 20 tanks received had minor defects or malfunctions, and two had “more serious defects,” the documents said.

Some tanks were reportedly delivered with guns that could not fire.

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“This means that none of the newly repaired and delivered tanks were ready for combat,” the broadcaster reported.

Ukraine refused to accept any tanks in the fall of 2023, telling Denmark and Germany that it could not use them due to their poor condition.

The Kyiv Independent sent a request for comment to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry but has not received a response at the time of publication.

Denmark’s Defense Ministry confirmed to DR that Berlin decided to accept help from Danish mechanics. As of now, “more than 90 tanks” have been repaired, but not all have been delivered.

Berlin, Ukraine's second-largest military donor after Washington, has handed over another delivery of military aid to Ukraine, the German government said on May 22. The latest tranche included Leopard 1 tanks from Germany and Denmark, dozens of reconnaissance drones, ammunition, and other aid.

Spain announces aid package for Ukraine containing Leopard tanks, Patriot missiles
The new package will contain the second batch of Leopard tanks, 155mm artillery shells, a new shipment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, anti-drone, optronic surveillance and tracking systems, and remote weapon turrets.
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