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At a meeting on 24 May, the Czech government authorised Defence Minister Jana Černochová to negotiate the possibility of joining the Federal Republic of Germany’s planned purchase of Leopard 2 tanks in the 2A8 variant, according to the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“This opens up the possibility for the Czech Army to acquire a high-quality ground platform, which is also established in a number of European armies and compatible with other NATO armies. In addition, the Czech side expects a significant price reduction, shorter delivery times and adequate logistical support from the joint approach with Germany,” the release said.

The Czech Republic plans to acquire around 70 tanks and expects deliveries to be completed within the decade. The Czech MoD will now officially contact a representative of the German MoD with a request to start negotiating the conditions under which the Czech Republic could participate in Germany’s planned purchase. The Czech Republic assumes that a larger order will lead to savings due to the greater number of tanks to be procured, as well as shortening delivery times and ensuring sufficient logistical support. In this vein, the Czech MoD stated: “KMW, which manufactures the Leopard tanks, would be able to increase its production capacity due to the size of the delivery, which would lead to faster production and thus shorter delivery times.”

Another advantage of joint procurement is to ensure maximum interoperability within NATO. The tanks of the individual countries involved in the joint procurement would differ practically only in the communication technology used by each country, and otherwise they would be identical. According to the Czech MoD, this would facilitate joint exercises, maintenance and repair of the equipment.