German concern Rheinmetall has bought 50 Leopard-1 tanks from Belgium, some of which are planned to be transferred to Ukraine. This was reported by the Handelsblatt newspaper citing sources.
According to the newspaper, the tanks will be re-equipped, after which 30 of them will be handed over to Ukraine.
Earlier, the Belgian edition of Business AM reported that the first refurbished Leopard-1 tanks bought by an unnamed state had been shipped from Belgium to Ukraine via Germany and Italy.
These tanks were completely decommissioned several years ago. According to the publication, Belgium sold the tanks to OIP Systems at a price of only 15,000 euros apiece, as the Belgian army did not have enough hangars to house the decommissioned vehicles. Since then, they have been stored in a warehouse in the city of Tournai.
Belgium did not transfer the tanks to Ukraine because it was too expensive to put them into operation – OIP Land Systems asked for half a million euros per unit to make them operational.