Portugal is set to send three Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine in March, according to the country's Ministry of National Defense. The decision comes as part of ongoing contacts with NATO member states and other partners, intended to bolster Kyiv's defensive capabilities against a potential full-scale Russian invasion.

"Portugal is ready to send three Leopard 2 A6 Combat Tanks to Ukraine next March. This decision was taken within the framework of ongoing contacts with Allies and Partners." the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa also confirmed these plans during a speech to parliament on Wednesday. He said Lisbon would be delivering the three restored combat vehicles next month, while noting that it won't threaten the national military potential of Portugal in regards to equipping it with arms.

Admiral Antonio Silva Ribeiro, Commander of Portuguese armed forces, had earlier stated that his country owns 37 Leopard tanks; however most are currently considered unserviceable and in need of repair. In light of this, the government has been collaborating with Germany for spare parts to finish restoring these vehicles - although not all need repairs - before sending them off.

Leopard 2A6 of the Portuguese Armed ForcesLeopard 2A6 of the Portuguese Armed Forces

The Leopard 2A6 main battle tank is a further development of the 2A5. The Leopard 2A6 is protected by composite armor of new generation and has external modular armor. Furthermore add-on armor, including explosive reactive armor blocks can be fitted. Interior of the tank is lined to prevent spalling.

The Leopard 2A6 tank is armed with the Rheinmetall 120 mm/L55 smoothbore gun, which is longer version of the L44, used on the Leopard 2A5. It has better fire accuracy and longer range, comparing with the 2A5 tank.

The Leopard 2A6 and its variants are currently in service with Germany, Canada, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Sources: Defesa Nacional, Reuters 1, 2

Максим Тропко
Maksim Tropko
34 years (15 years driving)