The Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed an agreement for the acquisition of additional Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) and related military equipment.
Signed by Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizière, during a meeting in Poznan, Germany, the agreement requires Germany to transfer materiel, along with related management services to Poland.
The agreement specifically includes a total of 105 Leopard 2A5 MBTs, 14 Leopard 1A4 MBTs, 18 Bergepanzer 2 armoured recovery vehicles (ARVs), as well as 200 trucks and peripheral material.
Speaking during the contract signing ceremony, de Maizière said the German battle tanks were manufactured to fight the Cold War, against the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact, including Poland.
"Now these Leopard battle tanks serve our joint work and connection in NATO," de Maizière said.
The contract signing was "a further building block to the very close and be continued cooperation between the armed forces of our two countries," according to de Maizière.
Siemoniak was quoted by Defense News as saying ”the version which we are acquiring will remain operational for many years to come, without the need to be modernised.”
Valued at €180m, the agreement also covers related military equipment, including transportation vehicles, machine guns, as well as training and radio location systems, as reported by the news agency.
The Polish Army already operates 105 Leopard 2A4 tanks, which were acquired under a contract signed with Germany in late January 2002.
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 operational with the armed forces of Germany and other European and non-European nations.
Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to take place from 2014 to 2015.
Image: Leopard 2 main battle tank of the Polish Army. Photo: courtesy of Raf24.