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Germany delivers more guns to Ukraine

The RCH-155 from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann

The RCH-155 from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann

Source: KMW

Two months ago, Ukraine asked Berlin for the green light for the delivery of 18 howitzers. After much hesitation, the federal government is now releasing the weapons. The Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk speaks of a “major contribution” – and hopes for further steps.

NAfter weeks of hesitation, the German government has agreed to Ukraine’s request for additional artillery weapons. As follows from documents obtained by WELT AM SONNTAG, Kyiv asked for the delivery of howitzers as early as mid-July. Specifically, it is about 18 copies of the RCH-155 weapon system worth 216 million euros, which Kyiv wants to order from the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) armaments company. This emerges from a letter from the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov to his German colleague Christine Lambrecht (SPD).

As the Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk said on Friday, the federal government approved the export and financing of the weapons. “This will make a major contribution to massively strengthening the effectiveness of the Ukrainian army,” said Melnyk. “I hope that the federal government will continue to follow this path consistently.” Specifically, Ukraine hopes that the federal government “also makes further commitments” as part of an existing KMW offer of a total of 100 self-propelled howitzers, the ambassador added.

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Just last week, Scholz justified his rejection of the delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine with a “division of labor” between Germany and the United States in military support for Ukraine. Instead, Germany could “place an emphasis on air defense and artillery,” said the Chancellor.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister sent the request to Lambrecht on July 14. From Ukrainian government circles it was said that the request for the RCH-155 howitzers had been discussed several times in the federal government, but no decision had been made. There was no official answer for weeks, but this has now happened.

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According to the manufacturer’s offer, which also includes training and spare parts, the first examples of the RCH-155 would be ready for delivery after 30 months at the earliest. According to Ukrainian information, KMW only wanted to start production when there was a clear signal from the federal government that the weapons could be exported to Ukraine.

With the RCH-155, the gun of a Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) is mounted on the base of the eight-wheeled military vehicle Boxer. The ammunition also corresponds to that of the PzH 2000. Germany has already delivered ten examples of this self-propelled howitzer to the Ukraine.

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Ukrainian politician Rustem Umerow at the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin

On Thursday, Lambrecht had already announced that it would deliver two more Mars multiple rocket launchers, including 200 rockets, to Ukraine. At the end of August, she refused exactly that, on the grounds that “the limits of what we can give from the Bundeswehr” had been reached.

The German government regularly argues that Germany can no longer supply Ukraine with weapons from army stocks because they are needed to defend NATO territory. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear just over a week ago that he made no distinction between Ukraine and NATO territory. He urged member states to dig even deeper into their stocks to deliver much-needed equipment to Kyiv.

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