A spokesman for the company announced last week that German armaments group Rheinmetall had bought 49 used Leopard 1 tanks from a Belgian arms dealer for use in Ukraine. At least 30 of these tanks are said to be part of a military aid package announced by Defense Minister Oscar Pistorius during a NATO summit in Lithuania last month.
Freddy Versluis, CEO of private defense company OIP Land Systems, announced the sale of the tanks on Tuesday. He told various media that the tanks were acquired by an undisclosed European state at an undisclosed cost.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper earlier this year, he said the older vehicles were in poor condition and needed new engines, shock absorbers, fire control systems and radar stations, among other things. For this reason, only 30 of the 49 tanks are to be commissioned, as “Merkur Online” reports.
Although neither Rheinmetall nor Versluis wanted to disclose the final price, Versluis wrote on LinkedIn that “we asked for fair market value and someone was more than happy to take them”.
Built by Krauss-Maffei in West Germany, the Leopard-1 entered service in 1965 and was gradually phased out from the 1990s.