Sunday, May 5, 2013

Germany Approves Indonesian Purchase of 100 Leopard 2 Tanks and 50 Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Germany has approved the sale of 100 used Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tanks and 50 Marder 1A3 Infantry Fighting vehicles (IFV) to Indonesia. The German National Security Council must approve all large arms sales to other countries.

Indonesia had earlier selected to buy the Leopard 2 tanks from Germany's Rheinmetall over the option of buying them from the Netherlands. Russia had also offered its T-90 tanks to Indonesia.

Indonesia had earlier put the cost of the 100 refurbished Leopard 2A6 tanks, including related equipment, support vehicles and services, at $280 million. Delivery is expected to be complete by 2014.

The purchase are part of the $15 billion, which Indonesia plans to spend to upgrade its army. Currently, Indonesia only has outdated British Scorpion and French AMX13 tanks, which are much smaller and lighter than the heavy Leopard 2 tanks.

The Leopard 2 tank is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon with a crew of 4 and weighs over 60 tons. The tracked Marder IFV is armed with a 20 mm cannon with a crew of 3 and can carry 7 soldiers.

Unlike Indonesia, a decision on whether or not to proceed with the sale of Leopard 2 tanks to Saudi Arabia has been postponed by Germany until after the federal elections in September 2013.

Saudi Arabia is interested in purchasing several hundred new Leopard 2 tanks and other armored vehicles. Qatar has already purchased 62 Leopard 2 tanks and 24 PzH2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers recently.

The first eight Flakpanzer Gepard Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) to Brazil are due for delivery later this year. Brazil ordered 34 used Gepards in April 2013. They are armed with two 35 mm guns for short-range air defense.

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