Spain is peparing to supply ASPIDE anti-aircraft missiles and Leopard battle tanks, along with training in their use to the Ukrainian military.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense (MoD) has agreed to give Ukraine a battery of MBDA-made ASPIDE anti-aircraft missiles, which the Spanish Army has replaced with another more advanced system.
The shipment of the missiles is pending negotiations through a NATO cell in Stuttgart (Germany) that is in charge of coordinating military aid to Ukraine, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
The Spanish Government is also willing to deliver to Ukraine the Leopard A4 combat tanks that have been mothballed for a decade at the logistics base of the Spanish Army in Zaragoza. These tanks are part of the batch of 108 second-hand units that Germany sold to Spain in 1995, as a prelude to the Leopard manufacturing contract in Spain.
Some 40 of the mothballed Leopard could be fired-up and delivered to the Ukrainian Army, but they warn that this would require subjecting them to a fine-tuning by an industry, the newspaper said quoting MoD sources.
The training to Ukrainian servicemen in handling the tanks, would initially take place in Latvia, where the Spanish Army has deployed a contingent of 500 soldiers with six Leopard 2E tanks, within the framework of NATO's Enhanced Advanced Presence (EFP) operation. In a second phase, the training of the Ukrainian tankers would be done in Spanish territory.
This program would equip Ukraine with powerful combat tanks to face up to the Russian T-90.