OSLO — Norway will order 54 new German-made Leopard 2 tanks for its army from the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Group, and will get an option to buy a further 18 tanks at a later time, the government said on Friday.
“We ensure that we have the same tanks as our Nordic neighbors and many key NATO allies,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told a news conference.
“This further strengthens our relationship with Germany,” he added.
The Nordic NATO member, which shares a 196-kilometer (122-mile) Arctic border with Russia, had planned to choose either German-made Leopard 2 A7 tanks or the rival Korean-produced K2 Black Panther, made by Hyundai Rotem.
Norway had originally planned to acquire 72 tanks, but in recent months discussed a scaled-down purchase after the country’s chief of defense recommended spending more funds on helicopters, drones and long-range artillery.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik.
This article has been fact-checked by Arctic Today and Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with the support of the EMIF managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
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