On Friday, the esteemed Minister of Defense of Spain, Mrs. Margarita Robles, made an official declaration regarding the delivery of six Leopard 2A4s to Ukraine. During the signing of the FCAS contract in Madrid, Mrs. Robles revealed that the shipment had successfully arrived at a Polish port, and that the tanks would shortly be transported by rail to the Ukrainian border. The Minister of Defense conveyed this information at a ceremony attended by the Ministers of Defense of France and Germany, Mr. Sebastien Lecorneux and Mr. Boris Pistorius, respectively.
Mrs. Robles expressed her gratitude to the coalition for their outstanding coordination efforts in providing Ukraine with various versions of the Leopard MBTs. With the arrival of this shipment at the front, the defense minister deemed it a crucial step forward. The tanks were transported to Poland via a vessel chartered by the Ministry of Defense, alongside a second shipment of armored transport vehicles called TOA, which Spain had generously donated. The vessel set sail from the port of Santander last week, following the same route that had been used earlier in February for the delivery of the first TOA.
Fine-tuned Leopards Tanks
Between February and early March, the Leopard tanks underwent a speedy and meticulous fine-tuning process at the Santa Bárbara Sistemas facilities in Alcalá de Guadaíra, Seville. In late March, the Army conducted shooting and firing tests at Cerro Muriano in Córdoba, which also included a thorough inspection of the tanks’ major components such as the undercarriage, engines, turret, shock absorbers, barrel, and firing mechanism. Any minor defects detected during the field tests that could not be fixed on-site were then rectified at the Santa Bárbara Sistemas facilities before the final shipment to Ukraine.
Spain is gearing up to offer an additional four Leopard 2A4 tanks as a donation. However, the Minister of Defense mentioned that these tanks were in a comparatively worse condition. They are presently undergoing fine-tuning at the Santa Bárbara Sistemas plant, with the Spanish Ministry of Defense estimating that the adjustments will be completed within two months. The ten tanks, including these four, were previously stationed at the army’s facilities in Casetas, located near Zaragoza. These facilities have housed around fifty decommissioned Leopard 2A4s in varying states of preservation for the past ten years.