Rheinmetall has announced that it has secured a contract to deliver Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks (MBTs) and 3-Büffel/Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles (ARVs) to the Czech Republic.
Part of the German Government’s ‘Ringtausch’ equipment exchange initiative, the deal was finalised after negotiations between the company and representatives of the German Ministry of Defence, the Czech authorities, and armed forces.
The ‘Ringtausch’ programme was introduced by the government in coordination with its neighbours, as well as Nato allies.
Through the initiative, Nato members provide Ukrainian armed forces with Soviet-era heavy equipment in exchange for Western weapon systems.
As part of the latest agreement, the Czech armed forces will be equipped with Leopard 2A4 MBTs and Buffalo ARVs.
In exchange, the country’s military will supply ammunition and a service package, including training and spare parts, to Ukraine.
In a statement, Rheinmetall said that work on the vehicles has commenced.
While the ARVs can be mounted on a Leopard 2 chassis, the Leopard 2A4 MBTs that were earlier stationed in the inventories of various user states will be upgraded.
According to the company, the first vehicle is expected to be delivered in December this year, and the contract is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
In August this year, Rheinmetall delivered the first batch of artificial intelligence-based navigation systems to support the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Project Theseus 2.2.
The delivery was part of a contract awarded by the UK MoD to support its initiative to automate supply and delivery to soldiers deployed in tough terrains.