Friday, December 19, 2008
Leopard 1 Tanks To Be Retired
Chile's 200 Leopard 1 tanks will be removed from active duty once the army's Leopard 2 fleet is fully operational. The older tanks may be placed in reserve, sold to another nation or cannibalized for spare parts, according to a wire service report. Chilean officials reportedly are sensitive about having too large of an armor advantage over neighboring armies. Although 200 is the number of Leopard 1 tanks officially reported, other sources have indicated an additional 70 were purchased. Scores of AMX-30, M-41, Sherman and other old tanks have been put to pasture already. The army's new organization consists of several Leopard 2 battalions, each with 31 tanks. They're to be supported by Marder infantry fighting vehicles, M-109 self-propelled howitzers, M-113 personnel carriers, Gepard air-defense systems and other equipment. Thus, the army is moving closer to its vision of self-contained armor brigades.