Citing German reporting, Reuters related on Sunday that the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar plans to buy a total of 180 Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Germany. An original buy of 62 Leopard 2s was announced in April 2013; the recent disclosure indicates Qatar will buy 118 more.
The total purchase would enlarge Qatar’s tank inventory by a factor of six. The inventory currently consists of 30 French-built AMX-30s. The Leopard 2 (Qatar is buying the 2A7+) is a modernized 61-ton tank suitable for heavy armor warfare (comparable to the U.S. M-1 series); the older AMX-30 is a lighter, 40-ton tank, less capable in the field and with some features optimized for urban warfare. The 14 July report references the World Cup in 2022 – which Qatar will host – and seems to imply that the tank purchase is related to World Cup preparations. But replacing 30 AMX-30s with 180 Leopard 2 MBTs is not what you would do Continue reading “Why is Qatar buying 180 main battle tanks?”