Towards a super order of Leopard 2A8 for the German and Czech armies

In April 2023, KNDS surprised the entire microcosm of European armored vehicles, by presenting the Leopard X. This evolution of Leopard Hungarian 2A7HU, notably integrated certain equipment whose indispensable nature was highlighted by the war in Ukraine, such as the APS Hard-Kill Eurotrophy, reinforced passive armor, and a set of modernized sensors and communication systems.

It is true that there was urgency for the German battle tank specialist, who until now controlled more than 70% of the European heavy tank market. Indeed, in recent years, the K2 Black Panther South Korean, and the American M1A2 SEPv3, had managed to establish themselves in the European territory of KNDS, in Poland and Romania, facing a Leopard 2A7+ which struggled to position itself.

Added to this was the growing threat of the KF51 Panther of Rheinmetall, which was the subject of an intense communication and political lobbying campaign in the Bundestag since its presentation at the Eurosatory 2022 trade fair, in particular to get a foothold within the Bundeswehr.

Le Leopard 2A8 helped reverse the trend. Within a few weeks, after its presentation, Norway and the Czech Republic announced they were turning to the new KNDS tank, with Lithuania and the Netherlands preparing to join them. As for the Bundeswehr, it announced, a few days after the revelation of the new tank, an order for 18 armored vehicles, to replace the Leopard 2A6 sent to Ukraine, as well as an option on 105 copies.

Boris Pistorius announces upcoming order of 105 Leopard 2A8 for the Bundeswehr

When it was announced,option on the 105 tanks, combined with the firm order for 18 examples for the Bundeswehr, was to make it possible to create an industrial export buffer, on the basis of the contract signed with KNDS by Berlin.

Leopard X
Towards a super order of Leopard 2A8 for the German and Czech armies 3

Since then, there has been little information regarding the future of this option. Nothing indicated, however, that the Norwegian and Czech orders, or that the discussions with The Hague and Vilnius, could be taken from this contract.

The revelations made this week by Der Spiegel give a clearer vision of the subject. According to the news site, Boris Pistorius, the German Defense Minister, filed a financing request to acquire the 105 armored vehicles, for an amount of €2,4 billion.

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