A fleet of Leopard 1 tanks, consisting of three-digit numbers, is set to leave Western Europe and make its way to Kyiv, Ukraine. The tanks are expected to arrive before summer, although the exact timeline is subject to circumstances. Currently, the Leopards are undergoing repairs and preparations to ensure they are equipped to handle the conditions in Ukraine. The plan is for the expected 100 tanks to bolster the ranks of the Ukrainian army, and this aligns with a statement made by the Danish government a week ago. According to rumors, the Ukrainian counter-offensive could occur in the middle of the year instead of the spring.
According to sources, outside of Ukraine, 16 new brigades of Ukrainian soldiers, amounting to about 100,000 individuals, are undergoing training. PMC Wagner’s leader predicts that the Russian army will suffer defeat due to Moscow’s elite not taking any action and instead enjoying their affluent lifestyle and defending their status.
The Leopard 1A5 DK tank, a main battle tank in the Danish Army inventory, is a Danish version of the original German Leopard 1st series tank. Although the Danes left the welded dome, there are still differences between the two versions. Some Danish Leopards are equipped with air conditioning systems, although it is unclear if the tanks planned for delivery to Ukraine will have this feature. The Leopard 1A5 DK boasts large floodlights, a GPS navigation system, a Honda generator, and other features.
If the Danish tanks previously participated in the UNPROFOR/SFOR peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s, the tanks Ukraine receives will likely have similar extras. Around 35 Danish tanks were involved in this peacekeeping mission, which makes it logical that these tanks could be part of the 100 being prepared for delivery. The Leopard 1A5 is equipped with a fire control computer, a laser range finder, and a primary stabilizing gunner sight, while the tank commander’s equipment has been slightly improved over the years.
It is unclear if Ukraine will accept the Danish tanks’ full upgrade in the 1990s, including plows mounted on the front of the chassis. These RAMTA model plows were integrated in 1993 during UNPROFOR/SFOR to help clear minefields in the war in former Yugoslavia. Ukraine will have to decide whether to keep them, keep only a part of them, or remove them. The DK and DK-1 have roof-mounted “quick fittings” for two guns for close defense and a rear-mounted turret mount, among other features.
There is no set timeline for Ukraine’s counter-offensive yet. While some media outlets previously claimed it would begin in the spring, these claims were refuted by the Ukrainian army headquarters. Some sources suggest that the counter-offensive may start in early or mid-summer. The ready 100,000 soldiers in training will only start their operations on the front against Russia once they are well-equipped with Western-supplied platforms, equipment, and small arms. In the next 45 days, at least 17 more Caesar self-propelled howitzers are expected to be delivered to the Ukrainians, with the crews undergoing training in Denmark.