The replacement "takes time," admitted Pistorius. However, the procurement issues should be clarified quickly so that "the orders go out and production begins," said the minister, who found out about the performance of the Leopard tanks from Tank Battalion 203 in Augustdorf and exchanged views with soldiers.
With a view to procurement, Pistorius emphasized that since the Russian attack on Ukraine, more than ever "the Bundeswehr's ability to defend itself as part of an alliance and national defense has been at stake." The minister pointed out that he had already held talks with the defense industry on Tuesday.
The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard tanks in Munster, Lower Saxony, will begin "at very short notice," Pistorius said. It is a briefing in the most important skills, not a full-fledged education. In addition to the 14 tanks that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) promised Ukraine last week, five more tanks are to be kept in reserve, Pistorius said. These should be used, for example, if a tank breaks down during the training phase.