After a phone call, Berlin threw Kyiv an anti-aircraft ‘life belt’

Subscribe to Google News

Kyiv’s appeals to Ukraine’s Western partners for additional anti-aircraft systems are resonating in Berlin. Ukraine’s military requires more support in the form of Patriot, IRIS-T, or NASAMS systems, to counteract the persistent and unchallenged Russian missile strikes that are causing a crisis in Ukraine. 

Photo by US Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Debbie Lockhart

Following a constructive phone call between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Bundeswehr [Germany’s military] decided to relinquish a Patriot anti-aircraft system from its inventory to aid Ukraine immediately. 

Both leaders shared their thoughts publicly on Twitter. Scholz reiterated “Germany’s support for Ukraine,” while Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Scholz for providing both the Patriot system and the necessary accompanying missiles.

Photo credit: Snapshot

Taurus is still taboo

However, the Patriot’s promised delivery, often likened to “passing through the eye of a needle”, still leaves the issue of Taurus cruise missiles unresolved and potentially controversial. Scholz is firm in his dismissal of Kyiv’s requests, refusing to supply these weapons. Furthermore, the German Bundestag has twice voted “negatively”, rejecting Ukraine’s demands.

Scholz has also swiftly reassured the public that he would not sell Taurus missiles to a third country – like Great Britain – for onward transmittal to Ukraine. This stance provides a glimmer of hope for the Ukrainian military, who declared at the beginning of the year, We will get the Taurus, even if Berlin doesn’t approve.” 

Photo credit: Twitter

In the meantime, Berlin has formally stopped production of the Taurus cruise missiles. The rationale behind this decision was disclosed by the manufacturer, which announced that there were no further government orders to proceed with production. According to German sources, Germany has approximately 600 of these precision weapons in stock, although not all are currently operational. The latest reports reveal that despite the pause in production, Berlin is steadfast in its commitment to modernize the operationally-ready Taurus missiles within the Bundeswehr’s inventory.

Ukrainian air defense is suffering

Ukraine’s air defense is currently at a pivotal point. If in 2023 it managed to intercept a portion of Russian missile attacks and counter Russian warplanes, this is no longer the case from the start of 2024. In recent months, the Russian military has successfully obliterated Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile systems, which include the Patriot and S-300

Video screenshot

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba states that his country needs a maximum of two dozen anti-aircraft systems such as the Patriot. However, this isn’t the only shortfall in the Ukrainian military. There’s a significant depletion in artillery ammunition, and the aid promised by Biden amounting to several tens of billions of dollars has been blocked by the Republican Party in the USA.

The situation has become so critical that even Ukrainian President Zelensky is prepared not to merely accept aid, but to purchase weapons, possibly through an American loan. This development was reported by sources referenced by the German publication, Der Spiegel. Long denied by Ukraine, this loan appears to have shaped the foreign policy stance of US Presidential candidate Donald Trump seeking his second term. Indeed, Trump has frequently insisted that Ukraine should pay for the weapons that the US supplies to it. 

German weapons in Ukraine

Photo credit: Twitter

Despite facing frequent criticism in 2022 and 2023 for supposedly not supplying enough weapons to Ukraine, Germany is, in fact, a major supplier of systems needed by the Ukrainian military. The latest Patriot deal is just the tip of the iceberg.

Germany has delivered Leopard 2А6 and 1А5 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft tanks, MARS II multiple rocket launch systems, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers, the IRIS-T SLM air defense system, Biber bridge-laying and armored recovery vehicles, Vector reconnaissance drones, and Rocket launchers such as the ‘Stinger’ and ‘Panzerfaust 3’ to Ukraine. The delivery also includes ammunition, military medicines, and other military consumables. 

The most recent significant Russian attack against Ukraine underscored the dearth of interceptors and air defense systems in the Ukrainian military. The largest thermal power plant near Kyiv was practically obliterated, having been hit by several rockets. On that same day, Russian aviation managed to launch at least six Kinzhal missiles, which Ukraine claimed to have intercepted and shot down with the Patriot. Russia has also deployed the Kh-69 air-launched missile, which has begun to cause serious concern among Ukrainians, mainly due to its supposed launch range of 400 km, far exceeding the previous assumption of 300 km.

***

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical principles.

anti-aircraft life beltberlin life beltberlin phone callberlin threw life beltDefense NewsEuropean Defence NewsGerman Defence Newskyiv life beltkyiv phone callLand systemsmilitary procurementUkrainian defence news