Defense Minister Jana Cernochova informed the government of the transfer agreement made with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht last week.
The countries will also begin negotiations to purchase up to 50 of Germany’s most recent Leopard 2 A7+ tanks for the Czech Army.
“Germany has long been our key economic partner. However, this has not been the case in the field of defense for a long time, and we want to change that … I believe that thanks to this, our army will be stronger and our country safer,” Cernochova said.
The donation will be provided by the German defense industry and include 14 combat-ready Leopard 2 A4 tanks, one replacement tank, spare parts, and ammunition.
The Czech Ministry of Defense expects the tanks to be upgraded to 2 A7+ later on.
Timeline for Delivery
Delivery of the tanks, parts, and ammunition is planned for later this year, though a contract to finalize the deal is currently being concluded.
“The assumption is that it will be possible to proceed with the signature during the summer,” according to the Czech Ministry of Defense. “The first Leopard 2 A4 will be delivered within six months of signing, with the others to follow shortly thereafter.”
Czech soldiers will begin training on the platform this year in Germany, followed by a period of more intensive training in the Czech Republic.
The Leopard 2 A4 Tank
Manufactured by Kraus Maffei-Wegmann, the Leopard 2 A4 main battle tank is one of a series of upgrades on the original Leopard 2, first manufactured in West Germany in the 1970s.
The tank is nearly 11 meters (36 feet) long, 4 meters (13 feet) wide, and has a height of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet).
The platform includes a 120 mm smoothbore cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun.
With a top speed of 70 kilometers (43 miles) per hour powered by a 1,500 horsepower engine, the A4 has a maximum range of 450 kilometers (280 miles) and was developed with customer input from militaries deployed in the Balkans and Afghanistan, Kraus Maffei-Wegmann states on its website.
Refinements include protection against IEDs, mines, anti-tank weapons, and incendiary weapons, along with enhanced mobility in rough terrain.
The Leopard 2 A4 is deployed in 10 countries including NATO allies and partners.