Prague, Czech Republic – Germany has moved to donate 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
The German and Czech government have also initiated talks for Prague to purchase up to 50 of the more modern Leopard 2A7+ tanks, the German army’s next-generation model first unveiled in 2010, from its European ally.
Defence Minister Jana Černochová said the deal, which heralds a new era of more intensive Czech-German cooperation in the field of defence, could be finalised in the coming years.
The purchase could cost 15 to 20 billion Kc, according to local media.
The Czech Army will likely receive the 15 donated tanks during the second half of the year, Czech Defence Ministry spokesman Jakub Fajnor declared, and undertake their modernisation.
The Czech Republic was one of the first countries to send tanks and other heavy military equipment to Ukraine, with the latest donation by Germany seen by some as a way to compensate for the T-72 tanks Prague sent to the Kyiv government.
Czech personnel will start their training to operate the German tanks this year, in both Germany and the Czech Republic.
Several NATO armies, including neighbouring Poland, Austria and Hungary, already operate the Leopard tanks, which are designed and produced by German conglomerate Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).