In Parliament the Leopard 2A4 and KF41 Lynx programs

From Savvas D. Vlassis

With the briefing of the Special Standing Committee on Equipment Programs & Contracts of the Parliament for the Leopard 2A4 tank and KF41 Lynx Armored Combat Vehicle programs, the Greek-German planning for an agreement on an out-of-court solution to past cases is progressing.

The absence of the Minister of Health Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos on Wednesday, October 26 in Thessaloniki for the city’s big celebration, had initially led to the prospect of this specific discussion for Monday, but possibly to take place on Tuesday. MPs will be briefed in detail on the subject of the planned agreements, based on operational requirements of the Army General Staff.

As DOUREIOS IPPOS has reported, the program of the Armored Cavalry Division (GES/DIT) has been limited – more precise information is reported at approximately €570 million – which covers only a partial upgrade of 123 out of a total of 183 Leopard 2A4 tanks. The program includes an option for a future partial upgrade of the remaining 60 tanks. The program of the Infantry Division (GES/DPZ) concerns the procurement of 205 KF 41 Lynx Armored Fighting Vehicles and is worth approximately €2.2 billion, due to the inclusion of provision for Continuous Support (FOS).

The programs are promoted in the context of a government decision to turn the legal dispute over past cases, which is at risk of harming the Greek State, into an opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation. As revealed last year by the TRUSS KNIGHT, the two German companies KMW and Rheinmetall proposed an out-of-court solution and a serious industrial investment in Greece with the creation of 300-500 jobs in the first phase, combining the interest of the Greek Army to meet tank needs and armored vehicles.

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The decision is subject to baseless criticism, with the argument of non-transparent procedures followed by the government. In fact, the government is ending an entire era of non-transparent practices that brought the Greek State before this legal dispute, while on the record, the criticism of the absence of a competitive process is misplaced. In this case, the case concerns the Greek State with specific foreign private companies and with them exclusively any negotiations regarding the proposals they make are carried out.

It is a similar situation to the case of Turkey, which is in negotiations with the US Lockheed Martin, after it was expelled from the F-35 program for political reasons, to find a way to return the $1.4 billion investment they have already done on the Turkish side, which is why it is discussing the supply of F-16s from the same company.

In any case, the national interests are served in many ways, since the operational requirements of the Greek Army are fully covered and the ramifications at the political, economic and industrial level are very serious. As for the political ramifications for the country, the visit of Chancellor Soltz is expected next Thursday, for which a positive atmosphere has been prepared also due to the specific Greek-German agreement, which will be sealed with an intergovernmental agreement.

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