How the delivery of Leopard 2 A4 tanks to the Czech Army should look like

 24. 09. 2022      category: Army of the Czech Republic
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On 18 May, Defence Minister Jana Černochová informed the Czech Government that she and German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht had agreed on the donation of 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks. According to the Ministry of Defence, the two sides will also start negotiations on the possibility of acquiring up to 50 tanks of the most modern version 2 A7+ for the Czech Army in the coming years.

In September, the Czech Republic and Germany finalized legal and technical details regarding the donation of the above-mentioned Leopard tanks to the Czech Army. In Germany, modifications to the first tanks are already underway to meet the needs of the Czech Army and to ensure compatibility, especially of communication and information systems. The first Leopard 2 A4 tanks could be delivered to the Czech Army later this year. Let's take a closer look at the proposed procedure for the delivery of Leopard 2 A4 tanks to the Czech Army.

LEOPARD 2A4_SprungPicture: Leopard 2 A4 | KMW

The delivery of Leopard 2 A4 tanks to the Army of the Czech Republic is to be carried out on the basis of two contracts, namely the Administrative Arrangement between the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic and the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany on the acceptance and use of military equipment received under the German programme "Improvement and strengthening of security, defence and stability of partner countries" and the Agreement on the delivery of tanks between the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic and Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.

The subject of the delivery is 14 Leopard 2 A4 battle tanks, 1 ARV 3 Buffalo recovery tank, logistic support, ammunition and rental of the ARV 3 recovery tank until the delivery of the newly manufactured recovery tank. The 14 Leopard 2A4 battle tanks are tanks that were originally in the arsenal of the Swiss and German armed forces and were purchased by Rheinmetall after their retirement. The ARV 3 Buffalo recovery tank will be a newly manufactured tank that will not be delivered until 2024. Until the arrival of this newly manufactured recovery tank, another ARV 3 recovery tank will be leased to the Czech Republic.

The supply of military equipment will be provided by Rheinmetall on the basis of a Supply Agreement concluded between the Czech Republic (MoD) and this company. Rheinmetall's costs are set at EUR 156 869 311,49 + VAT. These costs + VAT will be paid by the FRG from its budget. The Administrative Arrangement will explicitly state that the Czech party is not obliged to pay for the delivery and that the public budget of the Czech Republic will not be used to pay for the delivery.

After signing the Administrative Arrangement and the Tank Supply Agreement, Rheinmetall will start work on the equipment to be delivered (preparatory work is already underway at Rheinmetall). This work will include not only the refurbishment and repair of the Leopard 2A4 battle tanks, but also the production of the ARV 3 Buffalo recovery tank and other material. The MoD will provide the necessary assistance in accordance with its obligations under the Tank Supply Agreement, in particular supplying the communications equipment to be fitted to the tanks. Additional assistance will also be provided by the German Ministry of Defense, which will provide machine guns for the tanks free of charge.

The Czech Ministry of Defense will also start training of the Czech Armed Forces in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the FRG to man and maintain the tanks. For this purpose, a so-called project arrangement will be concluded between the Czech and the German Ministry of Defense, which will be in the nature of a document that does not create obligations either under international law or under the law of any state.

The delivery of tanks will be carried out in stages. Acceptance of each part of the delivery, if no defects are detected during the inspection, will be confirmed by the MoD by signing an acceptance protocol. Rheinmetall will then send a request to the German Ministry of Defense for reimbursement of the costs associated with the delivery or part of the delivery. The request shall be accompanied by a protocol of acceptance of the delivery or part of the delivery, confirmed by the MoD. 

The Leopard 2A4 battle tanks and the ARV 3 Buffalo recovery tank, as well as other delivered material, will be the property of the Czech Republic. The operation of the delivered equipment in the Czech Armed Forces and the servicing of this equipment will be at the expense of the Czech Republic. Service contracts will be concluded to ensure servicing. The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic expects that the Czech defence industry enterprises will be involved in the servicing.

As the Leopard 2A4 battle tanks have a considerable modernisation potential, the MoD will examine the possibilities of their possible modernisation, especially in connection with the expected acquisition of new tanks to replace the T-72M4 CZ tanks used so far in the Czech Armed Forces.

 Author: Martin Šiška

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