Cyprus has been driven to a search of second-hand Leopard 2A4 battle tanks for immediate purchase after the Turkish forces have been reinforced by tanks of the same type.
On December 9, 2018, the newspaper SIMERINI had revealed the transfer of 42 Leopard 2A4 troops to the occupied areas, but according to doureios.com the number is higher.
In the face of this new threat, from the upgrading of the uccupation Turkish forces, through the development of 120 mm guns, the General Staff of the National Guard recommended an immediate “response” and the Cypriot government is re-examining the prospect of the solution proposed in the spring of 2017, by the European Defense Agency (EDA) through the Leopard 2 Battle Master’s Optimization Plan (OMBT-Leo 2).
OMBT-Leo 2 provides that EDA Member States already using this type of MBT can offer a number of tanks to other Member States interested in upgrading their armored forces. Greece is one of the countries with a significant number of Leopard 2A4 tanks and together with Spain they are considered the only two countries that can act as “Providers”.
On the Greek side, following the suggestion of the Army General Staff, it has been announced that it can provide up to a battalion of 41 Leopard 2A4 MBTs on the grounds that the amount to be secured will provide resources for the implementation of a program of upgrading of other tanks of the type that the Greek Army possesses.
At the last meeting of EDA Member States to examine the course of OMBT-Leo 2 last February, Cyprus officially submitted the operational requirement for a battalion of 41 Leopard 2A4 tanks. The “problem” is that Spain has informed that it can sell up to 19 tanks, so the only alternative source is Greece.
It should be noted that the leadership of the Ministry of National Economy has received “keen” interest from friendly countries like Romania for the Leopard 2A4. It is self-evident, however, that in the case of Cyprus, absolute priority is given for national reasons. From a political point of view, it is estimated that after the Turkish initiative to deploy Leopard 2A4s in the occupied areas, no objections from the German government are expected to be tabled for such support to the Republic of Cyprus.
Today the Greek Army has 170 Leopard 2 HEL and 183 Leopard 2A4.