Teresa Diaz |
Madrid (EFE).- Spain has 347 Leopard battle tanks, of which 108 are the 2A4 model that our country bought from Germany in the 1990s and which is the oldest currently in operation, and 239 of the called 2E, the Spanish version and one of the most modern.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced to EFE on Wednesday Spain’s willingness to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and to train them in their use, but always in coordination with the allies.
How are the Leopards available to Spain?
Of the 239 model 2E tanks manufactured in Spain, 219 are battle tanks and the rest are school tanks, sources in the sector have informed EFE.
These armored vehicles are located in various bases, mainly in the Guadarrama Brigade (El Goloso) and the Guzmán El Bueno Brigade (Cerro Muriano-Córdoba), although these armored vehicles are also available in the Extremadura Mechanized Brigade (Badajoz) and the Aragón Brigade (Zaragoza). .
Of the 108 A4s that are operational, 54 are in the Alcántara 10th Cavalry Regiment (Melilla) and in the Montesa Cavalry Regiment (Ceuta).
The rest have been deactivated for a decade and stored in the Logistics Support Group No. 41 in Casetas (Zaragoza).
In addition, Spain contributes several Leopard E2s to the NATO mission in Latvia, being the first time that our country has deployed this type of capability abroad.
Those stored in Zaragoza. The best option?
Although the decision is political, sources have told EFE that sending those who are in Ceuta and Melilla would mean unguarding that area when the main threat for our country continues to be in the south.
The sources consulted point out that Spain will not send “the best it has”, that is, the E2, due to the problem that replacing them would entail.
To the economic cost we would have to add the manufacturing difficulties, so the highest possibility is that it is the German A4 and, of these, the best option would be to donate some of those that are stored in Zaragoza.
In the month of June, this possibility was already considered, although the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, assured then that after carrying out a preliminary study on their condition, it was found that they were in an “absolutely regrettable situation” and that they could be a “risk for the people”.
Updating them is viable
However, updating them and putting them back into operation is viable, although it would have a cost that the defense industry does not dare to evaluate since it will depend on the situation they are in.
Some of them have been “cannibalized”, that is, parts have been removed to replace some defective ones in the cars that are in operation.
In Spain there are several companies that could be in charge of updating these armored vehicles, but the Army itself could also do it, or even third countries, as has happened with the tanks sent by Morocco to Ukraine, which have been updated in the Czech Republic. .
Between 6 and 8 million euros
Although its price will depend a lot on whether it is bought new or second-hand and on the systems it incorporates, sources in the sector have estimated the cost of a tank between 6 and 8 million euros.
The price of the Spanish Leopard 2E increased over forecasts since for its manufacture in the 2000s, elements that were on the market were not purchased, but rather Spanish systems that required investment in R&D&I.