Switzerland announced that it had received a request from Germany to re-buy German-made Leopard 2 combat tanks, which were produced in the 80s.
Renato Kalbermatten, a spokesman for the Swiss Ministry of Defense, said: “The Ministry of Defense has received a request to do so, and these tanks are supposed to replace the tanks that Germany and other European Union countries delivered to Ukraine”.
The Swiss Ministry of Defense said: “From the army’s point of view, it will be possible in principle to dispense with a limited number of combat tanks, which will be outside the scope of the full equipment needs of the six mechanized battalions,” noting that the condition for achieving this is that Parliament decides to remove these out of service tanks.
In the lower chamber of the Swiss parliament, the Council of States, such a deal was viewed with skepticism.
At the beginning of last February, the Security Policy Committee voted (8 votes to 2) against a parliamentary initiative that stipulated the removal of up to 30 tanks out of 96 Panzer 87 Leopard tanks from service in the Swiss army and their return to Germany.
The Swiss Ministry of Defense didn’t mention the number of tanks that Germany wants to buy.
Switzerland has 230 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 134 are in service, and 96 have been decommissioned, yet they haven’t been removed from service.
According to Swiss law, only decommissioned materiel can be sold, and parliament decides whether or not decommissioned materiel.