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Norway to order 54 new army tanks from Germany

2023-02-03T10:01:09Z

A view shows a Leopard II tank as German Defense minister Boris Pistorius visits Leopard II tanks that are due to be supplied to Ukraine at the tank brigade Lipperland of Germany’s army and part of the Bundeswehr, in Augustdorf, Germany, February 1, 2023. REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff

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 neighbours and many key NATO allies,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told a news conference.

“This further strengthens our relationship with Germany,” he added.

The Nordic NATO member, which shares a 196 km (122 miles)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 (064350.KS).

Norway had originally planned to acquire 72 tanks, but in recent months discussed a scaled-down purchase after the country’s chief of defence recommended spending more funds on helicopters, drones and long-range artillery.