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Deal signed for Norway to make tanks for the first time

12th June 2024 - 10:59 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


RITEK will become a hub for maintenance, repair and upgrading of the Nordic Leopard fleet. (Photo: Forsvaret)

The new tanks will replace the in-service fleet of Leopard 2A4NO which was acquired in 2001. The delivery of the first MBTs has been scheduled for 2026, with the last being handed over in 2031.

Norway’s RITEK and KNDS Deutschland have signed an agreement for the assembly of Leopard 2A8 NOR main battle tanks (MBTs) with the Norwegian Government tagging the deal as the “start of a new industrial venture”.

The agreement was signed on 11 June making RITEK an official subcontractor for Leopard 2 tanks. It followed a decision by the Norwegian government in 2023 to purchase 54 new Leopard 2A8 NOR MBTs.

Norwegian defence minister Bjørn Arild Gram said: “The plan is for RITEK not only to assemble the Norwegian Leopards, but also to become a Nordic hub for maintenance, repair and upgrading of the Nordic Leopard fleet.

“The production line is planned to be maintained after the Norwegian wagons have been produced, so that RITEK can continue to produce MBTs to be exported to other countries.”

Shephard Defence Insight noted that the programme was announced to have a value of no more than NOK19.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) but this figure is thought to include through-life support costs, as well as the initial procurement.

Based on patterns identified in other armoured vehicle procurement programmes, 50% of this figure will be anticipated to go towards through-life support costs, resulting in a procurement cost of $950 million.

Shephard's Eurosatory 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

BAE Systems

Leopard 2A8 (Norway)

Leopard 2A8 (Norway - Option)

Leopard 2A7/A8

The Shephard News Team


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