Saturday, March 25, 2023

How Switzerland almost sold their Leopard tanks

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96 decommissioned tanks

How Switzerland almost sold their Leopard tanks

Switzerland is debating the use of its Leopard tanks because of the Ukraine war. Once upon a time, Switzerland almost shed them. A courageous action by a tank officer changed Ueli Maurer’s plans.

Published: 13 minutes ago


About eight years ago, Switzerland would have sold almost 100 Leo 2 tanks – as part of a clearing plan.

Switzerland has what Ukraine longs for. Almost 100 mothballed Leopard 2 tanks not currently deployed in Switzerland. But neutrality and the War Material Act prohibit Switzerland from exporting weapons to countries at war.

Actually, the Leopard 2 tanks should have been sold long ago. At least if it had gone according to the plan of the responsible federal councillors. In 2005, then Defense Minister Samuel Schmid (76, BDP) presented his far-reaching restructuring of the army to the Federal Council. His plan at the time: more than half of the 380 Leopard tanks were to be cleaned out. At that time there was talk of a reduction to up to 120 pieces.

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