The Polish Army has taken delivery of the first batch of Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks (MBTs) from Germany at the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade base in Zagan, Poland.
Comprising 11 tanks, the batch is a part of the intergovernmental deal signed in November 2013, which covers the delivery of 105 surplus German Leopard 2A5 tanks and 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks, as reported by Dziennik Zbrojny.
The €180m contract also covers the transfer of 18 Bergepanzer 2 armoured recovery vehicles, 120 Mercedes DB1017A trucks, 40 U1300L Unimog trucks, 40 Mercedes MB250 light off-road vehicles, as well as other special communication equipment.
The tanks will be used by the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, which so far has been armed with two battalions of PT-91 light tanks.
Manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), the Leopard 2 is a successor to the Leopard 1 MBT, and is designed to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.
Equipped with digital fire-control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilised main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment, various Leopard 2 variants are currently used by the armed forces of Germany and other European and non-European nations.
Approximately 77 A5 and 14 A4 Leopard tanks are scheduled to be delivered to Poland by the end of 2014, followed by the remaining 28 Leopard 2A5s in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Polish Government is planning to modernise 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks currently operated by the army's 10th Brigade, according to Dziennik Zbrojny.
The upgrade will include the addition of a new main gun stabilisation, add-on armour elements, a new auxiliary power unit and the installation of modern observation and sighting equipment, among other elements.
Only Polish Defence Holding, in collaboration with KMW, is believed to have bid on the contract.
Image: A Leopard 2A5 main battle tank of the German Army. Photo: courtesy of Bundeswehr-Fotos.