Friday, June 15, 2012

Leopards without claws - Part II

Read the first part here

Previously we discussed submarine scandal, now we will shed light on the tank ammunition scandal. Again readers are requested to visit the links mentioned below, as my statistics are derived from these sources.

In 2003, after years of the wicked "Akis" the sights of the Greek Defense Ministry tanks fell upon Leopard 2, product of the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW). We must emphasize here that this choice, as well as the choice of submarines of Project 214, was not at all bad.

Leopard 2 in all models is considered, if not the best, then certainly one of the leading military vehicles worldwide. The original agreement with the Greek government provided for the purchase of 500 tanks Leopard 2HEL - the amount by which the value of the contract soared to incredible heights. In the end the then Government of Yiannos Papandoniu as Minister of National Defence has taken the decision to purchase 170 vehicles.

In addition, from Germany, 183 were bought second-hand tanks Leopard 2A4 (250 thousand euros per tank), 82 second-hand Leopard 1A5 (a gift), 12 armored recovery vehicles Buffel (on the chassis of the Leopard 2), 36 armored recovery Machines Standard (Leopard chassis 1), 8 armored vehicle launched bridges Leguan (Leopard chassis 1), 10 armored vehicle launched bridges Biber (Leopard 1 chassis), the system of fire training simulators with four armored turrets, two of the driving simulator, spare parts for maintenance during the first two years, special tools, control systems, etc.

It was envisaged that the national defense industry in Greece will participate in a joint production of machinery for Leopard 2HEL (share in the joint production of 557 million euros). The main factor influencing this decision was considered a high value-added package for Greece because it created 665 new jobs, and among the companies that were involved in the process were top-ranked names like ELBO, EBO, INTRACOM, MILTECH, SONAK, VALPAK, Hellas Tracks and Thallis. Other benefits included:

  • Additional work under the subcontract for the domestic industry, in addition to work on co-production;

  • Provision of equipment and technical data for defense firms work on co-production;

  • Providing military factories for repairs 235 used tanks Leopard 1A5, technical information and equipment for their use, as well as the rest of the art equipment for their maintenance;

  • Construction of hangars for the required number of parking machines purchased, as well as facilities for the storage of equipment;

  • Buildings for residence professional military, which will deal with technology.

At first glance, this seems to be "fair deal", but details later clarified, depreciated weapons cannot make a revolution in the Greek Armed Forces. As recognized in the Vasilakos many times mentioned the interview on channel S???, the company KMW suggested the Greek government to buy 246 tanks Leopard 2HEL, together with ammunition, for $ 2.2 billion. Instead, the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy of the Government of Greece chose to buy 170 tanks for 1.7 billion euros, but without ammunition.

Any sane person knows that when a country buys a gun, it does so not to put it in parades, but in order to improve its geostrategic position. If we assume that the Leopard tanks will be used in real combat conditions, it is possible to hope that "the enemy sees them, scared and ran, and weapons do not have to shoot even once?"

Because of the inflated prices, when the government of "New Democracy" resumed contract negotiations, and KMW offered an additional supply of arms and related products worth 100 million euros.

Another important issue - the problem "attaining claws for the cat family" that is ammunition - just simply "lost" in history with no successful outcome. Endless drama continued, without any transition (because everything is so confusing that it is impossible to avoid the inconsistency). Reported briefly on January 17, 2008 Meimarakis signed an order to purchase 50,000 120-mm armor-piercing tank rounds Rheinmetall DM63 (German production) and 30,000 120-mm tank rounds cumulative fragmentation ATK M830A1 (U.S.) for a series of Leopard 2 tanks. Their value reached 396 million euros. The end, however, was not so fortunate, as mentioned by Vasilakos for unclear reasons, to this day he stated that "can not conclude international agreements with these two countries [Germany and the U.S.], because it contradicts the immutable conditions of the Greek."

As a result, on October 15 2008 Council on Foreign and Defense Policy of the Government of Greece passed a resolution number 13 on the implementation of the program, again announcing an open tender for the supply of tank ammunition. In all likelihood, the theme was "rebooted", in September 2011, it was expected to purchase supplies from the armed forces of Netherlands, which is liquidating its tank fleet: 4,500 armor-piercing rounds DM53A1, which were originally offered at a price of 2,500 euros per unit, in the proposal also includes 4500 training armor-piercing rounds DM48. In addition, negotiations are continuing with the German Rheinmetal to purchase an additional 9000 armor-piercing rounds and 3,000 DM63 high-explosive rounds cumulative DM12A2. The negotiations drag on, as the Germans now evaluate each shell in 5350 euros! Finally, in the near future there will be gratuitous delivery of the U.S. armed forces: 3000 HE-shaped tank rounds M830 from stocks held in Kuwait. Naturally, we can not say for sure exactly when these shells are obtained, if they ever will be obtained!


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