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Repair workshop in Poland receives first Leopard tanks from Ukraine

The joint German-Polish repair workshop was finally opened in Gliwice, delayed by disputes. Germany reportedly even pulled out of the deal.
Gliwice tank repair factory
A factory to repair Leopard tanks has been opened in Poland’s Gliwice. Photo: Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak
Repair workshop in Poland receives first Leopard tanks from Ukraine

A joint German-Polish service and repair center for Leopard 2 tanks received by Ukraine has started operating in Gliwice, Poland, at the Bumar-Labedy plant.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the news on Twitter. 

According to him, “the first two Leopard tanks have already arrived from Ukraine to the plant.”

The opening for the repair facility was delayed; initially, it was planned for the end of May. However, disputes erupted between the German and Polish sides. 

Der Spiegel reported on 2 July that 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, the signing of the contract was delayed due to reportedly unrealistic prices charged by Poland. 

On 12 July, Handelsblatt reported, citing “persons familiar with the matter,” that Germany is pulling out of the deal due to Poles’ “exaggerated” price expectations. However, the German Defense Ministry said at the time that the final decision had not yet been made and that talks with the Polish side were still ongoing. 

Alternatively, the battle tanks could now be overhauled in Ukraine itself, Handelsblatt reported, by cooperating with the Ukrainian defence company Ukroboronprom (now overhauled into Ukrainian Defense Industries). Rheinmetall has already signed contracts with Ukroboronprom for the maintenance and production of tanks, Handelsblatt said. 

A similar repair facility is being set up in Romania. There apart from repairing Leopard 2 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles, Fuchs armored personnel carriers, and military trucks, the logistics center by Rheinmetall AG will provide service for British Challenger 2 tanks, which it modernizes together with BAE Systems, and other armored vehicles and road freight transport used by Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Moreover, the newly built center will serve the combat vehicles of NATO members stationed in Romania.

Ukraine’s armed forces have been bolstered by western main battle tanks; however, maintenance and repairs are a must, as the equipment gets quickly worn out during Ukraine’s ongoing offensive to recapture territories held by Russia. The opening of these centers on Ukraine’s western borders is expected to help solve logistical problems and bolster Ukraine’s capabilities.

German armsmaker finishes building repair facility in Romania to help Ukraine, N-TV says

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