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Germany to send self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine

May 6, 2022

Germany will start training Ukrainian soldiers on how to use the long-range artillery next week before it sends seven Panzerhaubitzen 2000 artillery systems to Ukraine.

Panzerhaubitze 2000
With normal munitions, the howitzer can fire up to 30 kilometers, but this can be expanded to 40 with advanced munitionsImage: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

Germany will supply Ukraine with seven self-propelled armored howitzers, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht announced on Saturday.

The Panzerhaubitzen 2000 artillery system is a track-mounted vehicle with a cannon that can fire shells up to 40 kilometers (25 miles), according to the German military.

Germany will also offer training on how to use the heavy artillery.

Lambrecht made the announcement during a trip to Slovakia to meet with German soldiers who have been deployed in the eastern European country that shares a small border with Ukraine.

Germany to send seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine

Bundeswehr to stay fully equipped

The German Defense Ministry did not give a time frame for the delivery of the howitzers, but the training of Ukrainian soldiers is set to begin next week.

The seven artillery pieces will not be taken out of those that have been made available for the German Bundeswehr but rather from a separate pool that includes pieces that have been set aside for repairs.

The heavy weapons will be delivered following maintenance over the next few weeks, Lambrecht and her chief of defense, General Eberhard Zorn, told reporters in Slovakia.

The German mass-market newspaper Bild reported on Thursday reported that these artillery pieces should be ready by the end of June.

Lambrecht has repeatedly insisted that Germany would not give up heavy weapons needed by the Bundeswehr.

Germany to send weapons to Ukraine

Germany has more than 100 of these howitzers, of which only 40 are currently ready for deployment, Bild reported.

Berlin changes course

The delivery of German howitzers marks another shift in Berlin's policy towards arming Ukraine.

The German government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly come under fire, especially from its partners in Kyiv, for not doing enough to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

The first U-turn saw Berlin go back on its tradition of not sending weapons into regions involved in conflict, but until recently, it had been reluctant to send heavy weaponry.

The German artillery will expand the handful of howitzers that have also been pledged by the Netherlands.

The German and Dutch militaries are set to cooperate in the training of some 20 Ukrainian soldiers — already with some artillery experience — who will be trained starting next week in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, German news program Tagesschau reported.

Lambrecht said the German howitzers will only be sent once the Ukrainian soldiers know how to use them.

ab/sms (dpa, AFP)