03/02/2023 – The government has decided to acquire 54 tanks of the Leopard 2 type from German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. An option has been entered for the purchase of a further 18 vehicles. The first new tanks are expected to be delivered in 2026. This is a clear strengthening of Norwegian defence capability and national preparedness.
Nett-tv Press conference on strengthening the Armed Forces – New tanks are of great importance to the Armed Forces and are a significant strengthening of the Army. In today’s security situation, close defence cooperation in Europe is becoming increasingly important. By purchasing German tanks, we ensure that Norway has the same type of tanks as our Nordic neighbors and close allies. We are also forging closer security policy ties with Germany, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
– Ensuring everyone’s safety through good national preparedness is one of the most important tasks we have as political leaders. The government prioritizes defence and preparedness. Securing Norway new tanks is an important part of this preparedness work. This investment increases our combat power on land, and will be a significant strengthening of the Norwegian Army. Such an agreement also offers great opportunities for the Norwegian defence industry and Norwegian workplaces through industrial cooperation, says Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Today’s tanks were bought used in 2001 and are ready for replacement.
The Army has assessed two good candidates, and the tests show that both are very good, modern tanks that meet all the requirements set for a new and modern tank capacity. Other important factors in this tank choice have also been considered, such as industrial conditions, bilateral cooperation conditions, logistical and after-supply conditions. Based on an overall assessment of all these conditions, the government has come to the conclusion that the German alternative with Leopard 2 is the best for Norway.
– Tanks are the Army’s main combat system both in Norway and with our most important allies. Tanks are also central to fulfilling our obligations in NATO. By upgrading our own defence with modern equipment, we contribute to making NATO stronger, which is very important in today’s serious security policy situation. We have highly skilled personnel who operate today’s tanks, and we are happy to announce that we have now chosen to buy new modern tanks, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram.
– Germany is one of our main cooperation countries in the area of defence and security policy. A procurement and industrial cooperation with Germany builds on and reinforces an already established strategic materiel and industrial cooperation, says the Minister of Defence.
The government primarily wants to buy 54 tanks, but is open to being able to acquire a further 18 tanks. It is planned to phase in the vehicles in the 2026-2031 timeframe. The acquisition is within the cost limit of NOK 19.7 billion set by the Storting. The cost framework covers more than the actual purchase of the tanks. Negotiated price is commercially confidential information.
– We are also working on a further investment in other capacities for the land force, such as long-range precision fire. What gives the best operational ability, the chief of defence must first make assessments of in his specialist military council, which will be presented in the spring of 2023, says the defence minister.
- During the Storting’s consideration of Inst. 50 S (2017–2018) to Prop. 2 S (2017–2018), it was decided that the Army will also in the future have a modern tank capacity as an important element in the mechanized structure.
- This was continued through the Storting’s consideration of the Inst. 87 S (2020–2021) to Prop. 14 S (2020–2021), Long-term plan for the defence sector.
- The adopted long-term plan for the defence sector calls for a mechanized brigade with four battalions which, among other things, will be equipped with new tanks.
- The project was approved for implementation by the Storting’s consideration of Inst. 7 S (2021–2022), cf. Prop. 1 S (2021–2022).
- In the Storting, the cost frame was set at 19.7 billion 2023 kroner.
Source Norwegian Ministry of Defence
Unofficial translation by >EDR On-Line
Photo courtesy Norwegian MoD