Spain decides to send the Leopard tanks of the Spanish Army to the Ukrainian troops

The Government of Spain has decided, after long days of reflection, to donate a limited part of the Leopard tanks of the Spanish Army to the Ukrainian troops. The initiative of Germany to send its armored vehicles, after months of debate and strong pressure from the allies, finally encourages Spain to take the same measure.

The armored vehicles of the Armed Forces will be part of a large donation that NATO is going to make to help Zelenski’s troops face the counteroffensive that he plans for the beginning of spring.

As EL ESPAÑOL has been able to confirm, the details are already being outlined about which will be the battle tanks that have been decided to donate to the Ukrainian army. As confirmed to this newspaper by sources from the Army, as much is being said, despite everything, less than a dozen Leopards contributed by our troops.

The news was also confirmed this morning by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. “It would not be understood that we were in another place. Spain is where it has to be. With Germany, France, Italy or Portugal. The position is to be with our allies and partners: help Ukraine. It is a decision that is part of our collaboration within of NATO”. This decision is not expected to go through the Congress of Deputies.

As EL ESPAÑOL has revealed, the Ukrainian soldiers would need a training of “several weeks” by the Spanish Armed Forces or with the Army simulators before facing the invasion of Russia.

This is confirmed by sources from the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Army, who are perfectly familiar with the handling of this combat technology. “Less than four weeks, impossible,” they say. “Even months”, points out another expert source on the matter.

And even so, they insist, it would not be a sufficient period of time to be able to fully control this state-of-the-art mechanized unit. Ukrainian troops would need lengthy practice sessions to learn to handle the Leopards under any circumstances.

Events have precipitated in the last hours. The announcement that Germany will send its Leopard 2 to Ukraine, after months of debate and strong pressure from the allies, has caused all eyes to turn to the following countries with the largest fleet of these armored vehicles: Greece and Spain.

“Cannibalization”

Our Armed Forces have 347 Leopard units: 108 of the 2A4 model purchased from Germany in 2006 and 219 of the 2E manufactured by the firm Santa Bárbara Sistemas. A sufficient figure to select a certain number of armored vehicles to send to the Ukrainian troops.

[Defensa plantea reparar 40 Leopard averiados con piezas de otros para poder enviarlos a Ucrania]

As EL ESPAÑOL advanced, the formula is being sought to avoid dismantling the armored units that depend on these vehicles. If the shipments take place, the premise that will be tried to guarantee is that the Army troops maintain the greatest possible operability.

Defense has even studied the possibility of rebuild those in better condition, making use of elements of the old versions of the Leopard, which had been kept in warehouses of the Zaragoza detachment.

This process is known in the Armed Forces as cannibalize: disassemble the serviceable elements of the battle tanks that are irretrievable and assemble them to save the greatest possible number of units. This tune-up operation could also take weeks or months.

[Biden cambia de postura y se inclina por enviar “un importante número” de tanques Abrams a Ucrania]

The Leopard is one of the most important armored vehicles of the European powers and NATO. They are faster than the Russian T-72s. They reach 70 kilometers per hour. They are very light, up to 10 tons less than the Kremlin’s armored vehicles. In turn, they have the same autonomy as the Abrams of the United States, since they have a range of 340 kilometers.

Spain currently maintains some of its most cutting-edge Leopard vehicles in Latvia, as part of the NATO mission that began in 2016. It is the ideal place to deploy its full potential, where Spanish troops learn to handle it in all its possibilities.

One of the best tools for training with Leopard tanks are the simulators that Indra manufactures for the Armed Forces. The Spanish ground troops have these machines for the training of the soldier who manages the firing tower. It also serves to emulate driving it, and to train aiming and shooting. It is also used to develop leadership in the classroom and for management simulations and analysis.

Russia-Ukraine War

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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