On the morning of Monday, August 7, the first Leopard 1 tanks purchased by an unnamed country were shipped from Belgium to Ukraine.
This was reported by the Belgian edition of Business AM, citing sources.
50 tanks were completely decommissioned by the Belgian army several years ago. Under the pressure of additional savings, the army leadership decided to decommission all heavy-tracked vehicles and replace them with lighter armored wheeled vehicles.
However, the tanks were never included in the list of equipment supplied by Belgium to Ukraine: according to Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder, they are too expensive to be put into service.
"Work has been done to patch them up again, but the company is now asking for up to 500 thousand euros per vehicle. I understand that the work is not free, but the margin is exaggerated," she said earlier this year.
It is worth noting that Belgium sold the tanks to OIP Systems for only 15 thousand euros each, which is the price of old iron. The army did not have enough hangars to accommodate the decommissioned equipment, so they sold it at dumping prices.
However, an unnamed country decided to buy Leopard 1. After a thorough reconstruction, the first vehicles are on their way to Ukraine via Germany and Italy. On the way, they will be equipped with new weapons systems.
Author - Olena Madiak, 08/08/2023