Germany and Denmark Joint Tank and Military Package to Ukraine, Defected Tanks Refused Last Fall

Germany’s government said on May 22nd that they had completed another transfer of military equipment and supplies to Ukraine, notably sending more Leopard tanks, which were sent jointly with Denmark. Berlin has become the second-largest military donor to Ukraine, despite a slow start in the initial stages of the Russian invasion when the war broke out in early 2022. Reuters reported on May 21st that an unnamed source claims Germany plans to increase its spending in Ukraine by an additional 3.8 billion euros ($4.13b); this comes after the German parliament already approved 7.6 billion euros ($8.2b) in February. For comparison, the defense budget for the entire military is set at 71 billion euros ($76.5b).

In the fall of 2023, according to Danish outlet DR, citing documents from the Danish Defense Ministry, Ukraine refused to accept a shipment of outdated Leopard 1A5 tanks from Denmark and Germany due to defects or malfunctions. Reportedly, after inspection, 18 of the 20 tanks had issues, with two having “more serious defects,” according to the documents. The inability to fire the main barrel was among the problems in some tanks, reportedly. Following the incident, Denmark’s Defense Ministry confirmed that Germany by May 2024 had sent more than 90 tanks to be repaired in Denmark and that some had been delivered to Ukraine but not all.

Contents of May 22nd Package:

  • 10 Leopard 1A5 tanks, ammunition for Leopard 2 tanks;
  • 8,500 rounds of 155 mm ammunition;
  • 1.8 million rounds of small arms ammunition;
  • 20 Vector reconnaissance drones with spare parts;
  • 34 RQ-35 Heidrun reconnaissance drones;
  • Four Wisent 1 demining tanks;
  • A Dachs armored engineer vehicle;
  • A Beaver bridge-laying tank with spare parts;
  • A Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicle with spare parts;
  • 111 CR 308 rifles, 80 HLR 338 precision rifles, 540 MK 556 assault knives;
  • 16 Zetros tankers, 400 LED lamps, and two mine plows.