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Mon 15 Jul 2013 09:15 AM

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Qatar eyes 118 Leopard tanks from Germany

The equipment is made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall

Qatar eyes 118 Leopard tanks from Germany
(Image for illustrative purposes)

Qatar aims to buy 118 more Leopard tanks from Germany before the soccer World Cup championships in 2022 for several billion euros, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

It also plans to buy 16 tank howitzers, Bild am Sonntag reported citing government sources in Qatar.

The equipment is made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Spokesmen were not immediately available for comment in Qatar or at Krauss-Maffei or Rheinmetall.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government approved the purchase of 62 Leopard tanks and 24 howitzers in the spring.

Arms exports are a sensitive issue in Germany given the country's Nazi past and the role arms makers like Krupp played in fuelling wars in previous centuries.

Peer Steinbrueck, Merkel's opposition Social Democrat (SPD) challenger in September's election, has attacked her government for letting arms exports surge and said he would end that if his centre-left alliance wins.

After World War Two, West German and united German governments placed tight restrictions on arms exports, especially to regions where there were armed conflicts or which had poor human rights records.

Neil 6 years ago

Is Qatar expecting a a land assault..? That is a lot of fire power for a small country with one border...

onefineday 6 years ago

It could be to ensure the building work for the World Cup is completed on time by the workers!

procan 6 years ago

Getting all the expats out of Qatar could be a problem. 200,000 Qatar..... 2,ooo,ooo expats. Yea they will need tanks. Perhaps there iran brothers will help out ?