Germany to deliver two new Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine

A shot of a Patriot missile battery firing an interceptor in a US Army test. The Patriot missile defense system is a ground-based interceptor able to eliminate airborne threats. photo: US Army

The German government said in a weekly update on June 21 that it had delivered a Patriot air defense system with missiles to Ukraine.

Although the number of missiles is not specified, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said earlier in June that his country would “immediately” provide Ukraine with 64 guided missiles for Patriot systems.

Apart from that, Germany has provided Ukraine with 24,500 artillery projectiles, 155mm precision-guided ammunition, 152 border protection vehicles, as well as 25 truck tractor trains and 20 semi-trailers, according to the update.

On June 19, Denmark’s Defense Ministry announced another package of military aid for Ukraine worth around $3.2 billion to be delivered in the period from 2023 through 2028.

The new package will include weapons, military equipment, emergency equipment, and training support.

On June 15, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also revealed that a number of countries had pledged new military aid packages to Ukraine at the 13th Ramstein-format summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) in Brussels.

The German leader also has faced calls from Ukraine and some lawmakers at home to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but so far has said that it would not go it alone with such a move and that no other country has supplied similar Western equipment. Thursday’s statement made no mention of those tanks.

The head of the German parliament’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, said it was “a big relief that the government and particularly the chancellery are finally clearing the way” for the delivery of APCs to Ukraine.

“It comes very late but not too late,” said Strack-Zimmermann, a member of the Free Democrats — one of three parties in Scholz’s governing coalition — who has long pressed for the delivery of more types of weapons.

The German package will include 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 25 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, five Bergepanzer 2 tank recovery vehicles, as well as two launch units for the Patriot air defense system. Berlin will also deliver more ammunition, including 20,000 rounds of artillery shells, and anti-drone and anti-mine systems.

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