Saturday, January 21, 2012
Colombia Looks to Buy Leopard 1 Tanks from Chile
La Segunda reported. Colombia has inquired into buying 60 tanks and sent technical teams to evaluate the equipment in October and December. Undersecretary of Defense Oscar Izurieta downplayed the possible deal, but confirmed Colombia is interested in acquiring some Leopards. There's more than just a transfer of tanks: Colombia has asked Chile for assistance in equipping and maintaining armored forces, La Segunda noted. As a quid pro quo, Chile's Army asked its Colombian counterparts for training on helicopter warfare in day and night conditions -- something in which Colombia has extensive experience after its long war against FARC. Chile plans to retire most if not all its Leopard 1V tanks, having equipped its front-line battalions with the more capable Leopard 2.Chile acquired the Leopard 1V tanks from surplus inventories in Holland and Germany. Most arrived in 1999. Reports that Chile would sell some Leopard 1V tanks to Ecuador never materialized.