Saturday, September 22, 2007
Leopard IIs to Begin Arriving by Year-End
The first of 136 Leopard II tanks bought from Germany will arrive in Chile by the end of the year. Some repair and maintenance equipment will arrive ahead of them. The second-hand tanks replace a similar number of Leopard 1, M-50 Super Sherman, AMX-30 and M-41 tanks. The Super Shermans are an updated version of the venerable U.S. World War II tank. They were purchased from Israel in the 1980s and fitted with the Hyper Velocity Medium Support (HVMS) 60mm gun, developed by an Israeli company, plus a fire-control system. Of the 136 new tanks, 93 will be put into combat units, forming three battalions. The rest will be used for training and spares. The army also operates six battalions of Leopard I tanks.