Together, Germany and the Netherlands will deliver six more Panzerhaubitze 2000 models to Ukraine. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and her Dutch counterpart Kasja Ollongren said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.
This means that Ukraine will now receive a total of 18 weapons systems – a large enough number for a complete artillery battalion.
“These three, which we are now handing over from Germany – I’m already going to the absolute limit of what is responsible. But it is responsible because Ukraine must now be supported,” said Lambrecht.
Referring to the ongoing Russian attacks, Ollongren said: “Ukraine really needs to know that we can help them.”
So far, Germany had delivered seven of the self-propelled howitzers, the Netherlands five. The Ukrainian army is increasingly coming under pressure, especially in the east of the country, mainly because of the material superiority of the attackers.
Lambrecht had already announced in the Bundestag that after the delivery of the twelve German-Dutch self-propelled howitzers, further weapon systems would follow. She named the Mars II multiple rocket launcher, of which Germany and Great Britain each wanted to supply three systems and the USA four.
The training of Ukrainians on the rocket launcher should begin in June.
The Panzerhaubitze 2000 is the Bundeswehr’s most modern artillery piece. It looks like a giant battle tank and can hit targets 40 kilometers away.
The Bundeswehr currently has such guns stationed in Lithuania to protect NATO’s eastern flank. The Bundeswehr recently trained Ukrainian soldiers at the artillery school in Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate. The training is now complete.