Ukrainian tank crews are mastering the Leopard 2A4 in Spain – Technology Org
Multiple countries are donating their Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. They will become crucial assets in Ukraine’s efforts to liberate its occupied territories. However, before these Leopard 2 tanks can be pushed into service and go roaming on the battlefield, Ukrainian tank crews need to master them.
The Leopard 2 main battle tank will become the first Western-made tank of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The defenders of Ukraine have been using Western artillery for some time, as well as some armored fighting vehicles and transporters, but tanks were not quick to come.
Ukraine already received the first Leopard 2 tanks from Poland, but many more are expected from Germany, Norway, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Portugal and probably some other countries. But, of course, training takes some time.
Ukrainian tankmen have never used Western tanks, let alone the fearsome Leopard 2. However, those crews that were trained on older soviet-style tanks can learn the intricacies of the Leopard 2 platform in around 4 weeks of intense training. Spain, together with Germany and Poland, is providing training for Ukrainian tankers to master the Leopard 2A4, which is the most common version of the Leopard 2.
The first Ukrainian tank crews were trained in Toledo from February 16 to March 13. In total 40 crew members and 15 maintenance specialists were trained at this time. This is pretty much enough for all the Leopard 2A4 tanks that Spain is donating for the defense of Ukraine (4 men per tank, 10 tanks in total from Spain).
Interestingly, all of these people who went through training in Toledo already had real combat experience, which made the training at least a little bit easier and smoother experience.
While finishing training so quickly is impressive, the job is not done yet. Spain took these tanks from storage and prepared them, raising their effectiveness level to combat readiness. However, now there is a logistics task – Spain is quite far away from Ukraine.
There is no doubt that tanks on their way to Ukraine will be closely observed by curious Russian eyes. On the other hand, Poland already delivered the first Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and that operation was a success.
Ukraine is hopeful that the first Leopard 2A4 tank battalions in the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be formed quicker than expected. These hopes are not unfounded – a lot of training has been done, tanks are being brought out from storage, logistics are being taken care of. It may still take a month or two, but soon enough Ukraine will be operating over a hundred of the Leopard 2 tanks.