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Europe Becomes the World’s Main Tank Market And the Arena of Fierce Struggle Between the USA, Germany And Korea

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Illustrative photo from open sources
Illustrative photo from open sources

More than 1,800 heavy armored vehicles have been ordered so far, and more are expected

The exit from the lethargic dream of Europe's collective security has already been marked by a sharp increase in the defense budgets of the states and a gradual increase in defense orders, which had been put on hold for many years. Moreover, a real full-scale war finally closed the question that had been relevant a few years ago: whether there is a place for tanks on today's battlefield. And the contracts for tanks supply became the answer to this question.

Of course, Poland takes the first place, which announced the most ambitious plans to have a huge tank park in service, which seems to have been calculated according to the most pessimistic forecasts of the Cold War. In particular, the country ordered 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks and another 116 units in the M1A1 FEP version, in addition to 180 Korean K2’s and another 820of their localized K2PL versions.

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Europe Becomes the World’s Main Tank Market And the Arena of Fierce Struggle Between the USA, Germany And Korea, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The K2 tank / Illustrative photo from open sources

That is, overall, only Poland alone ordered 546 tanks, and together with the production of its own, it can bring their total number to 1,366 new vehicles, which, together with approximately 240 Leopard 2 in various versions, will form an armored fist of 1.6 thousand tanks.

Italy, for example, is thinking about purchasing the Leopard 2A7+. The Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, Pietro Serino, sees the need for 125 vehicles, although some Italian publications write about the intention to purchase 250 Leopard 2A7+. Most likely, under the first scenario, additional vehicles will be purchased while keeping the own Italian Ariete tank in service, according to the other scenario, the Leopard 2A7+ will simply replace them.

Europe Becomes the World’s Main Tank Market And the Arena of Fierce Struggle Between the USA, Germany And Korea, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Leopard 2A7 / Illustrative photo from open sources

Next, Defense Express mentions another future operator of the Leopard 2A7: Norway, which has ordered 54 vehicles with the possibility of expanding the number to 72. Also, the Czech Republic that expresses the desire to order 50 vehicles in this type in addition to the 14 obtained by circular deliveries of the Leopard 2A4.

At the same time, Romania ordered 54 Abrams tanks. Lithuania has to make its difficult choice, which has also announced the desire to have 54 tanks in service and to form a mechanized division from the existing brigades.

Europe Becomes the World’s Main Tank Market And the Arena of Fierce Struggle Between the USA, Germany And Korea, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Abrams M1A2 / Illustrative photo from open sources

Overall, if we take only new vehicles, without taking into account the modernization of the existing armored fleet, these are about 337-474 tanks that Lithuania, Romania, Norway and Italy plan to purchase. But to this process it is necessary to add large-scale programs for modernization of existing vehicles, for example, Greece plans to modernize 183 Leopard 2A4 to the A7 level.

At the same time, slightly different processes are taking place in countries far from russia. For example, the United Kingdom is modernizing own armored fleet, but this is conducted with a reduction in the total number of vehicles to 148 units of the Challenger 3. A similar program with modernization, but also a reduction in the number, is taking place in France with the Leclerc.

Europe Becomes the World’s Main Tank Market And the Arena of Fierce Struggle Between the USA, Germany And Korea, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Challenger 3 / Illustrative photo from open sources

Moreover, a number of European countries will most likely place their orders for tanks in the coming years. It is quite possible to expect this decision from the other Baltic countries, as well as Bulgaria and Slovakia. The modernization the Leopard 2 tanks in Finland and Sweden is also expected. That is, with a high degree of probability, existing orders is only the beginning. For example, the Netherlands can remember how they once had 455 Leopard 2’s in service at once.

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