Saudi Arabia wants to buy more tanks from Germany: paper

Discussion in 'Land Forces' started by Zebra, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sunday, 17 June 2012
    By Reuters
    Berlin

    [​IMG]
    [Germany’s Chancellery and the foreign and defense ministries have opposed an arms deal that include supplying Saudi Arabia with at least with 300 Leopard battle tanks. (File Photo)]


    Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 to 800 Leopard battle tanks from Germany, at least twice the number previously expected, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

    A deal for around 300 tanks was about to be signed, Bild am Sonntag newspaper said in a report sent to Reuters ahead of publication.

    The newspaper said that while there was opposition to the deal in Germany’s Chancellery, Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry, there was support for it within the Economy Ministry.

    “The Saudi order could secure the future of German tank-makers Krauss-Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall, which urgently need new markets because of the restructuring of the German army,” said Bild am Sonntag.

    A German government spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Last year, Germany denied reports that it had agreed to export 270 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia. Exports of military equipment cannot be officially acknowledged as they are confidential and disclosure is punishable by a fine or jail.

    Opposition lawmakers heaped pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government after reports it had cut a secret deal to sell the tanks, saying it contravened the country’s export guidelines for military hardware.

    Arms exports are a sensitive issue in Germany given its Nazi past as well as the role arms makers like Krupp played in feeding 19th and 20th century wars with exports to both sides of conflicts.

    Germany has refrained from exporting heavy weapons to Gulf States in the past, given its close relationship with Israel and more recently because of the so-called Arab Spring.
    Citing industry sources, Bild am Sonntag said Saudi Arabia wanted to sign the deal by July 20, when the Ramadan festival starts.

    Spanish firm General Dynamic/Santa Barbara would produce the tanks under license by the German firms, the newspaper said.

    Saudi Arabia wants to buy more tanks from Germany: paper
     
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  3. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. methos

    methos Regular Member

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    Estimated price for the tanks is 10 billion € (12.6 billion $).
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Saudi Arabia is splashing around money on arms purchase like no tommorow. First the US, then UK and now ze Germans.

    It looks more like their part to lift up the economy as I don't understand how they would be a requirement for such a massive arms buildup even if they were war gaming an invasion from Iraq with both Iraqi and Iranian forces as some were saying.
     
  6. Damian

    Damian Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Don't be so quick with this deal. Chancellor, most of goverment, oposition, non goverment organizations even some members of KMW directorate are against this deal.

    There are even attempts to charge KMW directorate in German courts, and there was some incidents with threatening members of KMW directorate.

    In the end Saudis might not buy tanks from Germans, and do two things, not spend this money, or spend it elsewhere, in US for example that is currently during realization of big contract to modernize ~373 M1A2's to M1A2S version so it is not entirely immposible that in the end Saudis will spend money elsewhere.
     
  7. methos

    methos Regular Member

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    Chancellor is pro-deal (but would prefer it to be delayed until the next elections) and only one member of the KMW directorate. Don't forget that the export was already approved once, but public critism did lead to a reevaluation. If something happens in interior or exterior politics which will lead the media to focus on it (and not on the tank deal), then it could be happen that the deal will be approved without any large critics.

    They were already threatened prior the deal... they always get threatened by radical-pacifists.
     
  8. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    How ironic. Germany (and Japan) being pacifist to the point where they don't even sell weapons to others.

    But they were so desperate to sell the Typhoon to a country that almost went to war twice in the same decade.
     

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