Switzerland sells 42 surplus Leopard 2 Battle Tanks (Pz 87 Leo) to the manufacturer. The battle tanks supplied without armament and further components will be converted to protected special vehicles.
Following the reduction of military strengths in connection with Armed Forces 95 and Armed Forces XXI, various weapon systems were decommissioned, mothballed, sold, or disposed of. The Leopard 2 Battle Tank (Pz 87 Leo) is one of many systems which are no longer needed in the originally procured quantity. Part of the Pz 87 Leo fleet was therefore mothballed at various storage sites.
Since in its Armed Forces Report the Federal council defined the basic data for a smaller defence force, the way was cleared for the sale of the Pz 87 Leo no longer needed, or parts thereof.
From the units of the Pz 87 Leo fleet of the Swiss Armed Forces, which are not foreseen for the quality maintenance program and not among the vehicles designated as spare material, 42 vehicles are now sold to the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which will use these vehicles as basis (chassis) for support vehicles.
Takeover of the vehicles destined for Rheinmetall will begin still this year. Rheinmetall Landsysteme is part of the consortium in the Federal Republic of Germany which produced the Leopard 2 Battle Tank.
The Pz 87 Leo delivered to Rheinmetall Landsysteme are not sold in fully equipped condition. Among others, the following assemblies are removed: armament, radio-and inter-phone systems. The components which are not supplied are used as spare parts by the Swiss Armed Forces.
armasuisse, the Competence Center for the procurement of complex systems, was tasked by the Head DDPS with the performance of the contract and the sale of the surplus equipment. Sales of surplus armaments are subject to the War Material Ordinance, and to approval by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in Bern, and are in compliance with the Federal Council decision of 10 March 2006. The parties agreed not to disclose the terms of sale.
Background on Pz 87 Leo
The Pz 87 Leo (Leopard 2) was procured for the mechanised units of the Swiss Armed Forces with Armament Program 84 (AP 84).
Of the 380 Pz 87 Leo originally deployed with the forces between 1987 and 1993, 134 combat vehicles were subjected to a quality [enhancement] program with Armament Program 06. The battle tanks, which have reached the first half of their planned service life, are adapted to the changed requirements with the necessary maintenance work.
Of the Pz 87 Leo decommissioned in connection with the reduction, twelve vehicles were converted to armoured engineer and mine clearing vehicles. This special tank, which is used in combination with the Pz 87 Leo, is based on the tank chassis with corresponding new superstructures and additional equipment for the engineer service and for mine clearing.