The Netherlands reportedly plans to purchase dozens of Leopard 1s
FILE PHOTO: A Leopard 1A5 tank. © The Dutch Defense Ministry
Dutch officials are reportedly making plans to buy dozens more Leopard 1 tanks, as well as Patriot missiles, to help boost Ukraine’s firepower in its ongoing conflict with Russia.
The Netherlands’ Cabinet aims to purchase Leopards from Swiss state-owned manufacturer Ruag, Dutch online media outlet NL Times reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans. The deal will require approval from Switzerland’s government, which has tried to maintain neutrality amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Amsterdam joined with Germany and Denmark in February to buy at least 100 Leopard 1A5 battle tanks for Ukraine from German manufacturers.
Swiss newspaper Targes-Anzeiger reported that the Netherlands seeks to buy 96 Leopard 1s, an older version of the tank, from Ruag.
At the same time, the Netherlands is looking to provide more Patriot missiles or parts to operate them to help boost Ukraine’s air defenses, the NL Times said. The NATO member previously gave Kiev two Patriot launchers and a number of missiles.