The German military has ordered 18 new Leopard 2 tanks to replace those that were sent to Ukraine earlier this year, a leading defense company said on Friday.
Kraus-Maffei Wegmann said that a contract for the purchase of Leopard 2A8 tanks was signed with the federal office for military equipment. It did not provide financial details, but the German parliament’s budget committee on Wednesday approved a grant of about $563 million.
The company says deliveries of the new tanks are expected to begin in 2025 and the deal includes options for another 105 Leopard 2A8 tanks.
Kraus-Maffei Wegmann will also produce 12 new self-propelled howitzers for the German army as part of a selection agreed in March, the company said.
The German defense minister pushed to buy new tanks as quickly as possible after the German government in late January agreed to provide 14 Leopard 2A6 battle tanks to Ukraine.
A few weeks later, that number increased to 18 as Berlin and other countries scrambled to assemble two battalions of Leopard 2 tanks for Kiev.
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have also agreed to supply Ukraine with refurbished Leopard 1 tanks, an older model that the German military has not used for two decades.