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Fierce German tank battle reaches court

Two of the country’s defense contractors are embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to the Leopard 2

German tank manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has filed an injunction against defense company Rheinmetall, seeking to restrain the rival firm from making “misleading” statements about the Leopard tank.

According to a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) newspaper on Monday, the lawsuit follows Rheinmetall chief executive Armin Papperger’s recent interview with NZZ, in which he claimed that his company controlled the rights to some of the older Leopard 2 models, and had roughly 1,000 such vehicles in stock.

KMW has disputed Papperger’s statement as “untrue, misleading and infringing on their rights,” a spokeswoman for a district court in Munich told NZZ, adding that the company has asked the court to restrain Rheinmetall from making such claims in the future.


The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank (MBT) designed and first produced by the Munich-based KMW in the late 1970s. The company builds the chassis, while Rheinmetall produces the tank’s cannon.

The case hearing will reportedly take place on May 2 in the Munich Regional Court.

Leopard 2 tanks are included in the military support provided by the West to Kiev. The Ukrainian military reportedly received 18 such tanks from Germany in March, having previously taken delivery of 14 Leopard 2s from Poland. The German government announced in January, after months of hesitation, that it would send the armor to Ukraine, and would authorize other European countries to donate their own reserves of the vehicles.

READ MORE: German tanks arrive in Ukraine – Spiegel


Germany provided more than €2 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine in 2022, including anti-aircraft weaponry, multiple rocket launchers, the IRIS-T air-defense system, and self-propelled howitzers.

Berlin announced last month it would send an additional €12 billion ($13 billion) in military support to Ukraine.

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April 26, 2023 at 02:31PM


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