It was announced today that Norway is ordering 54 Leo 2A7, with an option of 18 more.
Quite a lot of noise around this process in Norway. K2 and Leo 2 were shortlisted and went through a thorough evaluation process, including testing in winter conditions in Norway. The process looked quite solid, and a decision was expected before Christmas last year. Then, all of a sudden, the Norwegian Defence Chief communicated to the government that he recommended Norway to postpone the purchase and instead buy HIMARS (or similar), more air defence, and helicopters. This came as big surprise to the government, and I think they were a bit upset, to receive this advice just before they were ready to announce a winner, after a long evaluation process.
Anyway, it seems like a compromise. We are getting only 54 not 70-80 (which was what was expected). Also, they highlighted that Leo 2 was chosen in part because it's German and in part because our neighbors Denmark, Finland and Sweden all have Leo's. I am guessing the K2 "won" the technical competition, but lost the "political" battle. (Interestingly Norway evaluated PHZ2000 against K9 and chose the K9, as did Finland Norway orders K9 howitzers in latest win for South Korean arms industry (defensenews.com)
I am disappointed by the whole thing. Norway is one of the richest countries in the world. I simply cannot understand why we cannot do like e.g., Germany and declare an extra "emergency defence budget" and go ahead and order MBTs, helicopters, and more SAMs instead of prioritizing one thing over another. The world is becoming more and more unstable, we need all of the above, and it takes a long time to get everything in place, so the sooner we start the better. Also, 54 MBTs is not a lot. We should have ordered at least 80 MBTs.
Delivery is expected to start in 2026. Price: 19.6 billion NOK (USD 1.93 billion.).
Leopard 2A7 and K2 Black Panther compete to become Norway's next MBT (janes.com)
Norge kjøper 54 Leopard-stridsvogner fra Tyskland - VG