Breaking Defense
November 17, 2022

With Slovakian deal, Germany expands three-way ‘Ringtausch’ dance to arm Ukraine
Under the Ringtausch program, Germany has sent newer equipment to Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, with those countries shifting older gear to Ukraine

The Germans have a specific word for an exchange between at least three parties: “Ringtausch.” So it makes sense that is what the German government has named its procedure to gift modern military equipment to former Soviet-bloc countries who, in turn, gift their Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine.

…Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht stated…”With the delivery of the Leopard package, Germany stands by its word!”

Germany has moved 109 land vehicles from excess inventory through agreements with Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. In turn, those countries have shifted some 138 armored vehicles to Ukraine.

The most recent Ringtauch agreement…will see the armed forces of the Slovak Republic get 15 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks which are already in the process of being overhauled….

Slovakia will also get ammunition and logistical support for the tanks, as well as a training package.

The first vehicle is scheduled to be shipped in December and the remaining 14 will all have been delivered by the end of 2023. In exchange, Slovakia will hand over 30 Soviet-era BVP-1infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine….

Greece…Athens will get a total of 40 Marder tracked infantry fighting vehicles from Germany, 20 of which have already been delivered and are already positioned at Evros on the Greco-Turkish border….

In return Greece is sending 40 BMP-1 tanks to Ukraine. Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou met with her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Nov. 3 who thanked her for the first batch of BMP-1 tanks that have arrived.

Czech Republic: The Czechs will receive 14 Leopard 2 A4 battle tanks and a Büffel armored recovery vehicle. In exchange it will deliver about 40 Soviet-era T72 tanks to Ukraine; the first of the German tanks is scheduled for delivery before the end of the year. Prague has already gifted weapons and ammunition worth more than €50m to Ukraine since Feb. 24 when Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

Slovenia: In late September Lambrecht and her Slovenian counterpart Marjan Šarec signed a letter of intent, according to which Slovenia would supply 28 upgraded M-55S main battle tanks to Ukraine and in return will get 40 MAN KAT-1 15-ton military trucks and five water tankers….[T]he M-55S tanks, which were in the Slovenian Army reserves, have been “successfully handed over to Ukraine” after traveling by train through Poland. The upgraded M-55S is the first tank upgraded to NATO standards in Slovenia. Ljubljana should receive that first of its 15-ton trucks before the end of the year.

Warsaw, which has already delivered some 200 tanks to Ukraine, apparently was “dissatisfied” with the German offers and backed out of a potential deal.

***

Poland is buying not only 250 M1A2 System Enhancement Program version 3 Abrams tanks from the United States but also 1,000 South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks, all modern weaponry compared to the older options being presented by Germany.

Advertisement