German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall buys 50 Leopard-1 tanks from Belgium for shipment to Ukraine

The German defense concern Rheinmetall has bought 50 Leopard-1 tanks from Belgium, reports the newspaper Handelsblatt, citing its sources.

Rheinmetall reportedly purchased Leopard 1 tanks from Belgium to re-equip them and ship about 30 of them to Ukraine.

According to the newspaper, Rheinmetall initially wanted to buy Leopard tanks from the Swiss defense company Ruag. However, Switzerland did not issue an export license in accordance with its neutrality law, and Rheinmetall had to look for alternative sources of supply.

Earlier, the Belgian news website Business AM reported that an unknown country bought 50 Leopard-1 tanks for shipment to Ukraine. These tanks were decommissioned by the Belgian army. 50 of these tanks were in the warehouse of OIP Land Systems in the city of Tournai.

The Ukrainian news website Defense Express called these tanks "golden" because of their cost.

In 2014, the Belgian government wrote off its Leopards-1 tanks and sold them for 10-15 thousand euros each to OIP Land Systems, and when it wanted to buy them back for shipment to Ukraine, it received a price tag of 500 thousand euros per tank.

According to the Reuters news agency, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivin Dedonder complained that the price was "extremely high." According to her, it is "unreasonable" to buy non-working tanks at such a cosmic price.

Negotiations with OIP Land Systems led to the fact that the head of this company, Freddie Versluys, said: the price of the Leopard-1 after repair could generally be about a million euros. And as a result, by February of this year, there was an impression that the negotiations would remain in a standstill.

  War in Ukraine, Belgium, Germany