The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) multi-national battalion in Lithuania will receive Leopard 2 tanks in addition to the German military servicemen.
"Indeed, the decision was made to dispatch tanks, but we cannot say what their numerical strength will be. The number will be determined proceeding from the needs. The tanks will also be engaged in military exercises. "The main aim is to demonstrate their presence," German Defense Ministry representative Thomas Frueh was quoted as saying by TASS on Thursday.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said earlier that Germany was planning to dispatch 400 to 600 military servicemen to Lithuania. All in all, the strength of the NATO battalion will be about 1,000 servicemen. Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway and Croatia are also expected to send their armed forces personnel to Lithuania.
The Leopard 2 is the main battle tank of the German Bundeswehr. They have been in service since 1977, and at the present time, the German army is supplied with the updated version - the Leopard2A7+, which is better protected, has a ‘digital turret’ and equipment that integrates tanks into a single automated environment.
The tanks are equipped with the Rheinmetall 120mm gun and a remotely controlled combat module of auxiliary armament.
Last year, the German Defense Ministry made the decision to buy 100 more Leopard 2s, bringing their number to 328 tanks in the German army.