Germany is repurchasing 100 used Leopard 2 tanks, boosting its battlefield fleet to 328 of the armored behemoths, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in Berlin on Friday, according to dpa.
The 100 are former Germany Army machines that had been sold as surplus to the original manufacturers and are on sale at the dealers.
Spokesman Jens Flosdorff said they would cost 22 million Euros (23.28 million dollars) 'as is,' plus the cost of modernizing them starting in 2017.
“These will be repurchased from the industry. These are battle tanks in various states of armament, some of them old. They will be progressively modernized and improved from 2017,” he said.
The 55-ton tracked Leopard 2 is like a mobile fortress with a 120-millimetre main gun.
The Leopard 2 is a Main Battle Tank (MBT) developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army.
Various versions have served in the Armed Forces of Germany and twelve other European countries, as well as several non-European nations. More than 3,480 Leopard 2s have been manufactured.
The Leopard 2 first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force.
There are two main development batches of the tank, the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armor, and the "improved" batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armor together with other improvements.
All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilized main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on).
The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.