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Finnish Defence Forces to Upgrade Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank Fleet

The Finnish Defence Forces are planning to sign an agreement to upgrade the fire control system of their Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBT). The Ministry of Defence has authorized the upgrade of the vehicles purchased from Germany and the Netherlands.

German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann will complete the upgrade of the main battle tanks.

“The upgrade will incorporate into the Leopard MBT fleet the ability to fire new HE/FRAG projectiles in addition to the ammunition already in place. This will significantly improve the MBTs firepower, utilisation opportunities and ability to provide support to Army troops,” Colonel Rainer Peltoniemi, Inspector of Infantry of the Army Command, said.

The fleet of tanks is scheduled to begin refurbishment in early 2022 and be finished by 2026. The total value of the contract is 10 million euros ($11.2 million).

Partnership with Sweden

The upgrade will provide Finland and Sweden with the ability to use similar types of ammunition. 

“This matter has been prepared in cooperation with Sweden, and the procurement will provide Finland and Sweden with the ability to use identical ammunition, which will improve interoperability,” the official release said.

The Finnish military bought 124 2A4s MBTs from Germany in 2003. Later, 12 tanks were converted into bridge-laying and combat engineering vehicles while 12 others were disassembled for spare parts, leaving 100 tanks in operation. The Scandinavian country bought 15 more Leopard 2A4s to provide spare parts for the existing fleet, bringing the total to 139.

In 2014, it procured 100 used Leopard 2A6NL tanks for approximately 200 million euros ($225.5 million). The Leopard 2A6NL is a Dutch version of the A6 tank, which has also been sold to Portugal, Canada, and Germany.

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