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Joint Leopard tank workshop plan stalled due to disputes between Germany and Poland

The German army’s Leopard 1A5 at the 2015 military day in Uffenheim, Germany. File photo: Rainer Lippert/Wikimedia Commons
Joint Leopard tank workshop plan stalled due to disputes between Germany and Poland
According to Der Spiegel, there is an ongoing dispute between Berlin and Warsaw over the establishment of a joint workshop for the maintenance of Leopard tanks. The workshop is intended to ensure that the weapons systems delivered to Ukraine, which are damaged or worn out in combat, can be quickly repaired and maintained. The German Minister, Pistorius, had estimated the cost of the so-called maintenance hub to be around 150 million euros.

However, two months after the initial meeting in Ramstein, the German-Polish tank project has not made any progress. Instead, Berlin and Warsaw are stubbornly negotiating the details of how the joint venture will be structured. Although a draft contract has been available for a few days, it has not been signed due to various contentious points.

The plan was for the two German tank manufacturers, Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), to form a working group. Together with the state-owned Polish arms manufacturer PGZ, a joint tank workshop was to be set up at the Polish locations in Gliwice and Poznan. The costs for the maintenance of the Leopards would have been covered by the German government.

However, industry insiders say that the project has so far been slowed down by Poland. For example, the Polish company PGZ has presented very idiosyncratic ideas for the costs of working on the tanks, with insiders speaking of “moon prices.” For instance, PGZ wants to charge more than 100,000 euros for the so-called “initial diagnosis” of the tanks, while in Germany, only about 12,000 euros are usual for this diagnosis. In addition, PGZ does not want to take any warranty for the repairs, which is also completely unusual.

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