Rheinmetall: Export of the Leopard 2 battle tank

The widely used Leopard 2 battle tank is armed with Rheinmetall’s 120mm smoothbore gun. Rheinmetall also makes a comprehensive range of ammunition for the Leopard 2, and supplies the tank’s fire control technology and C4I systems.[1]

The Leopard 2 is deployed by more nations than any other main battle tank. These include nations like Saudi Arabia which ordered 200 2A7+ model Leopard tanks. Opposition parties to the German Parliament criticise the deal with Saudi Arabia, emphasising that it not only violates the principles of the German foreign export policy on weapons but that it could also exacerbate the crisis in the Middle East. Critics referred to an incident in February 2011 when the Arab democracy movement reached the smaller neighbouring country Bahrain, prompting Saudi Arabia to immediately send armoured troops to violently quell the demonstrations.

In late 2012, the Indonesian foreign ministry announced that the country’s armed forces would purchase 103 Leopard and 50 Marder tanks from Germany. The orders were placed with Rheinmetall and the deal is thought to be worth some € 210 million. Human rights organizations expressed strong concern over the human rights situation in Indonesia – particularly in the region of West Papua fearing that the German tanks could be used by the Indonesian State against its civilians.[2]

[1] http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/systems_and_products/weapons_and_ammunition/index.php


[2] http://www.dw.de/indonesia-tank-deal-raises-moralquestions/a-16357173

Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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