It is expected that at the meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine (Rammstein) the issue of the supply of German Leopard 2 tanks by Germany and other countries will be resolved, and the supply of many armored combat vehicles will be announced. However, before the meeting, many states have already announced new arms deliveries to Ukraine, the size and range of which is impressive.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced the transfer to Ukraine of 155-mm Archer B howitzers (Swedish media unofficially talk about 12 units, and in the future – about 24), 50 units of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and NLAW anti-tank systems. The total cost of the assistance package is $419 million. The quality of the weapons provided is the highest: the Archer self-propelled guns and CV90 combat vehicles are considered among the best of their kind.
The Swedish press speaks of a small number of qualified instructors and training centers in the country capable of training the Ukrainian military, which could potentially limit the amount of weapons transferred.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced the delivery of 200 Senator armored vehicles to Ukraine. The $90 million shipment is part of the $500 million allocated by Canada for military assistance to Ukraine. In addition, it was previously announced the delivery of the NASAMS air defense system.
Armored car Senator
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed consideration of the issue of transferring Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but a decision has not yet been made on them.
In addition to the earlier decision to send 14 Challenger 2 tanks, AS90 self-propelled guns, FV430 Mk3 Bulldog armored personnel carriers and other weapons to Ukraine, the Minister of Defense of the United Kingdom, Ben Wallace, announced the provision of 600 air-to-surface or surface-to-surface Brimstone missiles launched from aircraft, helicopters and ground installations. The Brimstone II has an aircraft-launched range of over 60 km, a 6.3 kg HEAT round with a tandem warhead targeting several advanced targeting systems.
Danish Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen announced that 19 French-made Caesar self-propelled guns were sent to Ukraine. The 155-mm self-propelled artillery mount has already proven itself in battles against Russian invaders. Denmark handed over everything it had to Caesar. Some of them are not in the best technical condition, but Ukraine insisted on the transfer.
Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania
The Baltic countries, who know from their own experience what Russian occupation is, provide Ukraine with the most assistance as a percentage of their own GDP.
On January 19, Latvia handed over 2 Mi-17 helicopters, a batch of Stinger MANPADS, UAVs and machine guns. The country also takes an active part in the training of the Ukrainian military. This week Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece visited Ukraine.
Thank you @oleksiireznikov for the meeting in Kyiv. Latvia is a strong ally of Ukraine. We will continue to support 🇺🇦 military with weapons and training. New military donation from 🇱🇻are on the way, including drones, Stingers, mashine guns with ammunition as well as helicopters pic.twitter.com/o4OwLs0lyn
— Ināra Mūrniece (@IMurniece) January 18, 2023
Gather your dream team and lead them towards a common goal.
Estonia has provided more than 20 FH70 and D30 howitzers in 155 mm and 122 mm calibers, respectively. The largest aid package from Estonia is estimated at €113 million. Thus, Estonia’s military assistance to Ukraine will increase to €370 million, which is just over 1% of Estonia’s GDP, the press service of the government said.
Anti-aircraft gun L70
Lithuania donated dozens of L-70 anti-aircraft guns and two Mi-8 helicopters, Stinger air defense systems and anti-drone equipment. Earlier, President Gitanas Nauseda visited Kyiv. Lithuanian assistance is estimated at €125 million.
The new Polish package consists of S-60 anti-aircraft guns with 70,000 rounds of ammunition. This is a relatively old but effective weapon in the fight against threats from the sky.
Anti-aircraft gun S-60
Because of the time difference, the US was the last to unveil the new military aid package. Armaments worth $2.5 billion include:
8 Avenger air defense systems 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 590 TOW anti-tank missiles 53 armored personnel carriers (MRAP) 350 armored vehicles 350 12 ammunition transporters 22 weapons towing vehicles 6 command and control vehicles Huge amount of artillery, rocket and small arms ammunition
Also, the United States and Israel decided to transfer ammunition to Ukraine from American warehouses in Israel. According to the press, part of the aid is already in Europe. Aid to Ukraine will also come from American warehouses in South Korea.
All provided assistance packages include a large amount of ammunition, support equipment, spare parts. The United States provided the largest range and quantity.
Rammstein and beyond: further military aid
On January 19, defense ministers and representatives of Estonia, Great Britain, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Slovakia met to discuss further assistance to Ukraine and signed a joint statement. In it, representatives of 9 countries once again condemned Russia’s aggression, attacks on the civilian population and infrastructure, which are war crimes. The countries pledged to continue to provide comprehensive assistance, helping Ukraine not only to defend itself, but also to liberate territories, and to coordinate among themselves in this matter. Each state has made specific commitments:
Denmark will continue to provide military assistance and train the military The Czech Republic will continue to provide military assistance, as well as the creation and repair of military equipment for Ukraine at its enterprises, for which it will increase production capacity Estonia will continue to train personnel and provide all possible military assistance Latvia will continue to train soldiers, supply weapons, ammunition and spare parts Lithuania will continue the supply of weapons and financing their purchase on the international market together with the UK Poland will continue the supply, including 155-mm KRAB howitzers and various ammunition, as well as the training of engineering, medical and other personnel Slovakia will continue military supplies and efforts to unlock supplies from various countries, including heavy weapons and tanks. Britain will coordinate the countries’ joint provision of military assistance, train 20,000 Ukrainian troops in 2023 and continue deliveries. The Netherlands will supply the Patriot complex and will take part in financing the purchase of tanks for Ukraine
In addition, France is considering the supply of Leclerc tanks, and the United States is working with 9 countries in Latin America to start supplying Ukraine with their existing Soviet weapons and ammunition.
Finland has already announced today a new $400 million military aid package to Ukraine, the largest since the beginning of the war. It will contain ammunition and heavy equipment, the range of weapons has not been disclosed.
Tank Leopard 2A5
The situation with the supply of German Leopard 2 tanks is not easy due to political opposition in Germany, but many countries are determined in this matter and are putting pressure on it. Poland spoke most sharply – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country was ready to supply tanks even without the consent of Germany, but he really hopes for him. The United States has been in intense negotiations over the past few days. The German concern Rheinmetall announced the possibility of supplying more than 100 Leopard 1, Leopard 2 and Challenger 1 battle tanks if the German government agrees.
At the upcoming meeting of the Contact Group on the Defense of Ukraine, the issue will most likely be resolved. According to Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anushauskas, some countries will definitely transfer Leopard tanks, and Ukraine will receive hundreds more units of heavy armored vehicles.
Sources: US Department of Defense, GOV.UK, Cornucopia, Military, Delfi, Sky News, DW, The Guardian, ERR and others.