Spain to deliver the first six Leopard tanks to Ukraine next week

First shipment of Leopard tanks to Ukraine from Spain leaves the port of Santander

The first six Leopard tanks of its promised batch will be delivered to Ukraine next week by Spain.

As confirmed this Thursday, March 23, by confirmed by the Defence Minister, Margarita Robles, the first six 2A4 Leopard battle tanks that Spain will send to Ukraine are now fully operational, pending some final tests next week. She explained that it has taken approximately two months of work to get them ready.

Robles made the announcement during her visit to the GDELS-Santa Barbara Sistemas factory in Alcala de Guadaira in Sevilla province. (Seville). This consignment of tanks is scheduled to be shipped at the end of next week the minister added.

“The tanks are in fully operational and safe condition. The final firing tests remain to be completed, and after this, the work will be considered finished,” explained Lieutenant General Fernando de las Hijas, the head of the Army Logistics Support Command (MALE), who accompanied Robles during her visit.

He pointed out, in that record time: “a rigorous, conscientious job has been done, and with a very demanding validation”. The head detailed that a: “complete review and complete disassembly” had been carried out. For this, Santa Barbara had personnel who previously worked in the manufacture of the Leopard 2E version, explained Juan Escriña, CEO of Santa Barbara Sistemas.

These works have been carried out at an estimated cost of €5 million (taxes included), with the company estimating an average cost of €833,333.05 to repair each vehicle.

Along these lines, the repair of the four remaining four Leopards that Spain has promised to send to the Ukrainian Army will mean an additional expense of around €3.3 million. “These other four tanks will arrive at the Sevilla facilities in Santa Barbara next week”, indicated the minister after her visit.

Robles explained that these vehicles had been stored in Zaragoza for a decade and were in a “quite poor condition, which is why repair has been necessary. They have had a total and absolute overhaul, each and every one of the vehicles has been disassembled and rebuilt with absolute precision and safety, because the most important thing besides being repaired is safety”, she stressed.

Escriña specified that what has been done is a: “complete disassembly of the systems, separation into subsystems, and repair and adaptation of each subsystem and return to integration. The result is the vehicles are in fully operational and safe condition”, he insisted.

In addition to finding out how the repair work was progressing, the Defence Minister was also able to speak with some of the Spanish soldiers who have been in Zaragoza training the 55 Ukrainian soldiers who are going to drive these Leopards.

They told her it had been “an advantage” that these students arrived in Spain: “with a racing mentality, because they have a lot to learn”, despite the fact that the Soviet vehicles with which they were familiar are very different, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at