Ukrainian tankers trained in Germany and Spain will arrive with the Leopards at the front by the end of March

The crews of Ukrainian tankers and mechanics have almost completed their training at military bases in Germany and Spain and will soon be at the front with 24 Leopard 2 tanks.

In Germany, the Ukrainians were trained at the bases in Münster and Bergen (five and six weeks respectively), in Spanish Zaragoza, 40 crew members and 15 mechanics were trained for four weeks. As a representative of the Bundeswehr said, in Germany they trained 12-14 hours a day, six days a week, reports CNN.

In combat conditions, the tankers ultimately showed a “super record”, hitting 82-85% of the targets, said a representative of the Munster-based Bundeswehr. In Bergen, a German instructor also told reporters (quoted by Reuters): “Hit more than 80% is an excellent result after such a short training session.”

During the training, the Ukrainians had to wean themselves from some habits acquired while driving Soviet-made tanks. They, like the Russians, move backwards slowly, while the Leopards can do so quickly by continuing to fire and there is no need to deploy them, making them more vulnerable to enemy attacks, Colonel Michael Zack explained.

The Ukrainians are now “very well prepared to resume hostilities,” Captain Contreras, a Spanish instructor, told reporters.

Returning to the front, tankers will soon receive the equipment they have learned to use. All 18 Leopard 2 tanks of the latest A6 model promised by Germany will arrive in Ukraine by the end of March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said last week.

In addition, Spain promised to supply six Leopard 2 tanks from the earlier A4 model; after ongoing repairs, they will be ready in late March or early April, Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on February 22. The next day, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the number of tanks could be increased to 10.

Another 30 Leopard 2 tanks were to be transferred to Ukraine by other NATO countries, including Poland and Portugal.

Combat in Leopard 2 is like driving a Mercedes, say Ukrainian tankers. One of them, who was trained in Bergen, told Reuters: “According to my friend in Ukrainian intelligence, the Russians are very nervous about the arrival of modern Leopard 2s. Let them be nervous.”


Add a Comment