Belgium has sold its Leopard tanks to an arms dealer and cannot buy them back

30.01.2023, Brussels.

Belgium sold its main battle tanks eight years ago, and now would like to buy them back, but cannot. The German newspaper Merkur wrote on January 30.

In 2015, Belgium exchanged its battle tanks for wheeled vehicles. Such vehicles are usually intended only for military transport, they are not suitable for use on the battlefield. The battle tanks went to Belgian private arms dealer Freddy Versluys.

It is reported that Versluys bought dozens of Leopard 1 tanks from the Belgian army. It is currently reported that the government in Brussels is considering the possibility of buying these tanks back. However, this is prevented by the issue of price.

“The offers we have received so far are extremely expensive,” Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder told Belgian TV channel VRT. “They are asking up to 500,000 euros for a tank that we sold for 15,000 euros. And they [tanks – Rossa Primavera News Agency’s commentary] are still in as bad condition as they were then,” added the minister.

However, according to expert estimates, 500,000 euros is a normal current market price. Versluys also claims to have incurred high costs to repair the tanks. “New tracks? 120,000 euros. Did you check the engine? 185,000 euros. New shock absorbers? 36,000 euros. The fire suppression system? 500,000 euros,” he noted.

It will not be possible to deliver the tanks to Ukraine quickly, as they need careful maintenance, which takes time. And, maintenance is strongly recommended, says arms dealer Versluys.

“I wouldn’t advise anyone to just send tanks to Ukraine,” the owner of the tanks told Belgian radio, arguing that the tanks must be reliable.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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