Norway Scraps Leopard 2 Acquisition to Focus on Air Defense: Army Official

Norway will not push through with its planned acquisition of 18 additional Leopard 2 main battle tanks to give way to sophisticated air defense systems, a top army official has revealed.

Lars Lervik, the Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Army, told Breaking Defense that the country’s previous order of 54 tanks from Germany would be enough to create a heavy mechanized brigade.

He also assured that scrapping the plan will not impact Oslo’s ability to meet NATO requirements.

Norway is expected to receive the Leopard 2 tanks under order by mid-2027.

Apart from unspecified air defense systems, the Nordic nation wants a long-range fires tender issued as soon as possible to bolster its military’s firepower.

Oslo also eyes investments in additional K9 self-propelled howitzers and K10 ammunition resupply vehicles.

“What we’re seeing now is that the current war in Ukraine illustrates that we need to be capable of staying in the fight for a longer duration and that requires volume,” Lervik told the outlet.

Ammunition Problems

Norway’s decision comes as many countries scramble to replenish ammunition stockpiles diminished by sending aid to war-torn Ukraine.

Lervik claimed that Europe is currently in an ammunition shortage crisis and that there are “no quick fixes.”

“[The amount of time] it will take to both re-balance the ammunition we have donated, but also to reach the sufficient level of readiness for the future remains of issue,” he said.

To address the issue, Norway considered letting its stocks of key munitions drop below their required levels to keep up the flow of weaponry to Kyiv.

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