German government agrees to arms package worth billions for Ukraine

German government agrees to arms package worth billions for Ukraine

Germany is one of Ukraine’s most important supporters. Further arms deliveries worth €2.7 billion are to come.

The German government has promised Ukraine more arms deliveries worth 2.7 billion euros ahead of a possible visit to Germany by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Among other things, 20 more Marder armored vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks and 4 Iris-T-SLM anti-aircraft systems will be supplied, as the Defense Ministry announced on Saturday in Berlin.

According to the ministry, it is about the delivery of more weapons by Germany. This would nearly double German arms aid to Ukraine since the start of the war in February 2022: Since the start of the war, the German government has approved arms deliveries worth €2.75 billion. Germany is therefore one of Ukraine’s most important supporters – both militarily and financially.

“Germany will provide any help”

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said of the new weapons package: “With this valuable contribution of urgently needed military material, we are showing once again that Germany is serious about its support.” Everyone wanted an immediate end to Russia’s terrible and illegal war against the Ukrainian people. “Unfortunately, this is not yet foreseeable. So Germany will provide all the help it can – as long as it takes – as long as it takes,” added Pistorius.

It was initially unclear on Saturday whether Chancellor Olaf Scholz would be able to host Selenskij in Berlin at the weekend. On Sunday afternoon in Aachen, Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people will be honored with the Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity. Scholz will deliver the eulogy – even if Selenskij can’t be there. Other speakers include EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

30 more Leopard main battle tanks

According to the Ministry of Defense, the new package of measures follows previous German support priorities. It contains, among other things, material from the areas of artillery, air defense, armored fighting vehicles and engineering skills. Among other things, it includes 18 wheeled howitzers, artillery ammunition, guided missiles for air defense systems, 4 IRIS-T SLM fire units for air defense and 12 IRIS-T SLS launchers.

The package also includes 30 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks and 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, over 100 armored fighting vehicles and over 200 reconnaissance drones. “All this and much more comes from industrial stocks or industrial production,” the ministry said. The implementation of the measures decided by the government has already begun.

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Ukraine had already received 18 modern Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks with ammunition from Germany in late March. On 25 January, after a long period of domestic political wrangling, Germany announced the goal of “quickly setting up two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine”. In Ukraine, they are usually equipped with 31 tanks each. The main participants in the initiative are Poland, Norway, Canada and Spain.

In addition, Germany has so far delivered 40 Marder armored vehicles with ammunition from the Bundeswehr and industrial stocks, as well as 34 anti-aircraft tanks, including about 6,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition. There are also two Wisent armored recovery vehicles and two Wisent armored mine clearance vehicles.

So far, Germany has supplied Ukraine with two Iris-T SLM air defense systems. The system developed by the Diehl armaments group and other partners aims to help, among other things, protect the capital Kiev from Russian air strikes.

In April, Germany also delivered the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine to better defend against Russian air attacks. The Bundeswehr also took up training soldiers on an express program. Patriot (“Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target”) is one of the most modern air defense systems in the world. This can be used to counter enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

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