Switzerland’s statement came after Germany asked Switzerland to sell its old Leopard 2A4 tanks to the German corporation Rheinmetall.

By maintaining its policy of neutrality, Switzerland opposes the transfer of Swiss-made weapons to Ukraine, Swiss President Alain Berset said on March 7, 2023, referring to proposals export weapons and military equipment to Ukraine. Switzerland’s statement came after Germany asked Switzerland to sell its old Leopard 2A4 tanks to the German corporation Rheinmetall. Germany pledged that the number of tanks purchased from Switzerland would not be used to aid Ukraine, but to make up for the shortfall in the armies of NATO member countries and the European Union (EU).

Despite pressure from Ukraine and its Western allies, Switzerland has so far refused to allow countries to re-export their weapons to Ukraine. However, if the Leopard 2A4 tank is purchased by Germany for use, perhaps Switzerland will agree. It is expected that the Swiss parliament will retire all Leopard 2A4 tanks in storage, before they can be sold back to Rheinmetall. Switzerland ordered a total of 380 Leopard 2A4 tanks, of which 35 were produced by German companies, the rest were built domestically.

Switzerland currently has 134 modernized Leopard 2A4 tanks, with 96 in long-term storage and can be restored to combat capabilities when necessary. The Leopard 2A4 is the most popular version of the Leopard 2 family – developed by the Krauss-Maffei Corporation in the early 1970s for the West German Army.

The tank has a few improvements in suspension, automatic aiming system and fire support system. The turret and tank hull are welded. The combined armor of the third generation is used in the design of the armored hull and turret. The fighting compartment of the tank is sheathed from the inside with a Kevlar heel, which should stop secondary fragments in case of armor penetration.

The 2A4 version is fitted with a three-man turret armed with a 120mm, L44 smoothbore gun operated with the Stabilized Control System. The fire control system enables the MBTs to maintain accuracy even while on the move. Further enhancements include the use of more lethal and versatile kinetic energy and multipurpose ammunition. The tank is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp, for a top road speed of 72km/h and up to 60 km/h in cross-country terrain.

Although Leopard 2A4 has been around for a long time, until now it is still considered a powerful main battle tank, meeting modern combat requirements. Leopard 2A4 tanks can be upgraded to the more modern 2A5, 2A6, and even A7 versions.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here