Self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine: the fist that strikes – Politics

The federal government is moving forward with the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced Friday during a visit to Slijic in Slovakia that Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to the country. The day before, Chancellor Olaf Schultz (Social Democratic Party) had already announced a major exchange of rings, in which the Czech Republic would deliver rapidly deploying Soviet-style weapons to Ukraine in exchange for equipment from Germany.

However, a similar deal with Slovenia shows that such agreements do not automatically mean that tanks, for example, are quickly available to its armed forces in the combat zones of Donbass and southern Ukraine. Because subsequent deliveries from Germany must be clarified in advance. And there are still occasional problems with international coordination, even after the coordination meeting of Western defense ministers at the US base in Ramstein ten days ago.

Also direct delivery from 2000 . howitzer From Germany at first it was not planned. The Netherlands wanted to give Ukraine five systems. Berlin was ready to replenish the neighbors’ stock if the Hague provided more copies for Kiev. But the Dutch did not want this – they saw it as a danger to the defense of the alliance and the country.

The federal government is also arguing against a tax on Bundeswehr shares. At the end of April, Lieutenant-General Kai Rorschneider, head of the Department of the Armed Forces Administration of the Ministry of Defense, said that the German army was suffering from a “recognized lack” of artillery. “We need every gun.” The ministry has now admitted that only 40 self-propelled howitzers are in service.

Howitzers do not come from active forces inventory

Manal 2000 . howitzer The band originally purchased 185 copies. It was introduced around 2000. With an increased focus on foreign missions, the number of weapons was originally planned to be reduced to 89. This stopped after Russia annexed Crimea. The self-propelled howitzer intended for scrapping was reactivated. Today the Bundeswehr has 121 systems, two of which are already in museums.

Lambrecht asserted that he would agree to deliver goods to Ukraine only if it did not weaken the German army. The spokesman now clarified that the weapons did not come from the inventory of active forces, but from the set of systems that are currently being repaired. “The decision will be taken in close consultation based on a proposal and with the express support of the inspector general,” the spokesman added. But the whole picture also includes: artillery forces are also waiting for every gun that returns from repair.

The spokesman did not say when the howitzers could be delivered to Ukraine. Training of Ukrainian soldiers at Idar-Oberstein should begin as early as next week. This usually lasts about 40 days. However, attempts will be made to shorten this and “synchronize” the training and repair processes.

The 2000 . howitzer It is a powerful weapon made in Germany. It belongs to the artillery barrel that supports the troops in battle from a distance. The gun, caliber 155 mm, is mounted on a chain-armored chassis. It can load up to 60 shells. Depending on the type of ammunition, they can fly up to 40 kilometers. The military objective may be to enable the Ukrainian armed forces to keep the Russian attackers at bay thanks to the long range. The fighting in the Donbass is distinguished by the use of artillery and armored units much more than the advance of Russian troops in Kyiv, which Ukraine successfully repelled.

As compensation, the Czechs do not want old tanks, but rather modern ones from Germany

That is why Ukraine should also get more tanks – for this purpose the exchange of rings with the Czech Republic and Slovenia should serve. During the inaugural visit of the Czech Prime Minister Peter Viala to Berlin, it also became clear that the war became the engine of new cooperation in the field of armaments. The principle, Schultz explained at a press conference with Viala, is simple: “The Czech Republic can provide Russian-made weapons that are directly useful to Ukraine. We can help the Czech army provide the necessary force to maintain a force that is commensurate with he-she.”

The Czech Republic is one of the most reliable suppliers of weapons to Ukraine and has already supplied the country with 40 modern Soviet-style main battle tanks. T-72 made available. So now it has to be about heavy weapons. On the other hand, the country lags far behind Germany when it comes to the common goal of the 30 NATO countries to spend 2% of their economic power on defence. Similar to the turning point in Berlin, Villa now wants to dramatically increase spending on armaments and modernize the armed forces.

However, neither the Chancellor nor the Prime Minister wanted to specify which German weapons systems were being planned. Fiala only revealed, “It’s heavy equipment.” The plans appear to be complex and involve multiple weapon systems. “We’ve come a long way and we know exactly what we want to do,” said Fiala, who raised expectations. According to reports, the Czech army is not on board the infantry fighting vehicle twinge Or other interested old models. Instead, the Czechs are flirting with modern equipment: the battle tank tiger 2armored personnel carrier puma Wheeled shields boxerwhich can be used in different roles.

Here, too, the Bundeswehr has no redundant copies. So the question must be when the industry can either deliver it directly to the Czech Republic or replenish the Bundeswehr stock, for example from the maintenance reserve. Slovenia doesn’t want to deal with that either twinge Or a 40-year-old armored personnel carrier Fox settlement like this Mirror Reported with reference to a note from the Federal Ministry of Defense. After that, the government in Ljubljana is basically ready to buy 30 battle tanks of this type T-72 And 35 modern Soviet infantry fighting vehicles BMP1 To Ukraine – but only if Slovenia receives a suitable alternative from Germany – it is meant to talk Fahad-2 main battle tank.

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