A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense told CNN that the German army has 320 Leopard 2 main battle tanks, but did not disclose the number of tanks that would be ready for battle.
The Leopard 2, all of the A5, A6 and A7 series, are in various conditions, in repair condition and ready for deployment, a spokesperson explained.
He said the German army no longer owns the Leopard 1, an older series of main battle tanks. Likewise, it also does not store older Leopard 2 models such as the A4.
Meanwhile, arms maker Rheinmetall said last week it has 139 Leopards in stock, but only 29 of those Leopard 2s will be combat-ready this spring. These 29 have already in theory been ceded to third countries as part of a tank swap.
According to the company, the rest of the stocks must be prepared over a longer period of time.
A Rheinmetall spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that the rest of the inventory — 88 Leopard 1 cars — a few could be delivered in about nine months, and the rest in a year.
Another German arms maker, FFG, has 99 Leopards in stock, but only of the older Leopard 1 series, a company spokesperson told CNN.
Even if a tank is ready and repaired, it needs ammo and spare parts to be able to deploy.
a bit of contextPoland has officially asked Germany for permission to transfer Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Until now, Germany has resisted calls from Poland, the United States and other NATO countries to move the cars to Ukraine or to allow other countries to send some Panthers to Kyiv.
But German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said earlier that his country would make a decision on the tanks “very soon.”
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