Czech Republic wants to piggyback on German Leopard 2A8 tank buy

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WARSAW, Poland — Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová has announced her country is advancing negotiations with Germany to carry out a joint acquisition of Leopard 2A8 tanks, and is also nearing the completion of talks to buy C-390 Millenium transport aircraft and F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

Teaming up with Berlin to purchase new tanks is expected to ensure “better conditions from the manufacturer, especially in terms of the price, delivery time,” the minister told local news site CZDefence.cz in an interview.

“The negotiations are ongoing at the moment, and we anticipate that there should be clarity over the course of the next year,” Černochová said.

In 2022, the Czech Republic donated its Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine to support the country’s combat against Russia’s ongoing invasion. Under its so-called “Ringtausch” program, Berlin transferred a batch of Leopard 2A4s to Prague to allow the Czech military to maintain its combat capabilities.

Last July, the Czech Ministry said in a statement that Prague is considering to buy “up to 77 Leopard 2A8 tanks.”

Discussing her nation’s military acquisition priorities for next year, Černochová said the ministry plans to sign a deal to buy two C-390 Millenium aircraft from Embraer in 2024 after talks were kicked off earlier this year.

In addition, a contract for the purchase of 24 F-35s for the Czech Air Force is to be concluded “in a matter of weeks,” according to the minister.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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