The Norwegian armies give up more Leopard 2 to harden their anti-aircraft defense

The Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Armed Forces, General Lars Lervik, announced that Norway would not exercise the option for 18 additional tanks provided for in the order for 54 Leopard 2A8 recently passed, in order to free up the necessary credits to strengthen the anti-aircraft defense capabilities of the country's royal armies. This arbitration seems influenced by feedback from the war in Ukraine.

In February 2023, Oslo announced the victory of the German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and his tank Leopard X to replace its Leopard 2A4NO, at the end of a very close competition between the German tank and the K2 Black Panther south korean.

Norway renounces option on 18 Leopard 2A8 to strengthen its anti-aircraft defenses

This order then covered 54 new tanks for 19,7 billion Norwegian crowns (€1,7 billion), with an option, then considered very likely, for 18 additional armored vehicles.

A few weeks later, after the Leopard 2A8 was publicly presented by KMW, Norway announced that it would purchase this new version, all in all relatively close to the Leopard 2A7+ initially selected, in terms of capacities, equipment, performance, but also price.

In fact, the announcement made by General Lars Lervik, chief of staff of the Norwegian army, to the specialized American information site Breakingdefense.com, will certainly cause some disappointment in Munich.

Leopard 2A7 K2 Black Panther Norway
Le Leopard 2A7 (left) and the K2 Black Panther (right) matched each other during testing in Norway.

Indeed, the Norwegian military indicated that Oslo would not exercise the option provided for by the order of 54 Leopard 2A8, in order to finance the strengthening of the anti-aircraft defense of its armies.

This announcement may appear surprising at first glance. However, it is much less so, given the low endowment of the Norwegian armies in this area. In fact, to date, they only have one NASAMS III battery, for a country of more than 300 km², more than half that of France.

Arbitration consistent with the defensive posture of the Norwegian armies against Russia

In addition, the war in Ukraine has shown the essential role of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses in protecting critical infrastructure, but also in denying the skies to adversary aircraft, whether Russian or Ukrainian, much more effectively than was previously the case. do air superiority fighters.

This same war in Ukraine also showed that, if it was essential to have heavy tanks in the combined arms context, the advantage today is explicitly given to defense, while armored maneuver seems, for its part, largely contained once the adversary was able to entrench himself and deploy his artillery effectively.

Norwegian armies nasams
The Norwegian armies currently only have one NASAMS battery for a country of 330 km².

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