Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The German government is planning funding of more than EUR 11 Bn for military support to Ukraine, according to a joint statement by Ukraine and Germany that Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued together during the latter’s visit to Berlin on 14 May 2023.

The money is to be spent in 2023 as well as in the following years.

Shortly before the Ukrainian president arrived in Berlin, the German government had also approved a new arms package to support Ukraine in its fight against invading Russian forces. The package has a financial scope of EUR 2.7 Bn and includes, among other things:

  • artillery ammunition,
  • missiles for air defence systems already delivered,
  • four IRIS-T SLM surface-to-air missile (SAM) fire units,
  • 12 IRIS-T SLS SAM launchers,
  • 30 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks,
  • 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles,
  • 18 wheeled self-propelled howitzers (SPHs),
  • over 100 other armoured combat vehicles,
  • over 200 reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles.

However, the 18 wheeled SPHs are not new; a German Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokeswoman clarified to ESD that these are the Boxer 8×8-based RCH 155 SPHs already slated for delivery to Ukraine by Germany since December. Analysts estimate that these are unlikely to be delivered before 2025.

The latest announced arms package from Germany to Ukraine includes 30 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks. These were phased out of German service around 20 years ago. (Photo: Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

The exact types of the “more than 100 armoured combat vehicles” was not detailed by the German MoD when asked, nor was it detailed as to what else the EUR 2.7 Bn package contains besides the systems listed above.

However, the MoD emphasised in its press release that all the systems listed, as well as many others not explicitly mentioned, are to come from industry and not from the Bundeswehr’s active inventory.

According to a tweet by the German ambassador to the United States, Emily Haber, the German package also includes 15 additional Gepard anti-aircraft tanks

With the approval of this arms pact for Ukraine, Germany’s total military support for Ukraine is increasing noticeably. By February 2023 Germany’s pledged support comprised EUR 3.6 Bn, according to the current status of the Institute for the World Economy’s Ukraine Support Tracker. At that time Germany was the third largest donor country of military goods to Ukraine. Ahead of it were the United Kingdom with EUR 6.6 Bn and the United States with EUR 43.2 Bn in pledged military equipment, according to the Institute’s statistics.

Chancellor Scholz stressed to Zelensky that Germany would not let up in its support for Ukraine. “I have said it many times and I repeat it here today: we will support you as long as it will be necessary,” the chancellor said in the two leaders’ joint press conference. The Ukrainian president replied, “The Ukrainian people will always be grateful to the German people for this.”

Ole Henckel