Germany announces first delivery of military helicopters to Ukraine

Germany has decided to commence its first-ever shipment of military helicopters to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive six Sea King Mk41 multipurpose helicopters, necessary equipment, and accompanying spare parts, according to a statement issued by the German Defense Ministry on Tuesday, January 23, shortly after the conclusion of another "Ramstein format" meeting.

Furthermore, Ukrainian military personnel will undergo essential training for the operation and maintenance of these helicopters. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius described the Sea King Mk41 as "a proven and reliable helicopter that will assist Ukrainians in many areas, from reconnaissance over the Black Sea to transporting soldiers." Pistorius emphasized, "This is Germany's first delivery of its kind."

The German Defense Ministry data indicates that since the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Germany has provided Ukrainian military aid totaling around six billion euros. Earlier, at the start of 2023, two helicopters of this model had already been transferred to Ukraine.

As detailed on the Bundeswehr website, these helicopters have been in service with the German military since the mid-1970s, with their primary role being search and rescue. "The helicopter has an extensive range – over 1,500 km, is equipped with radar and an infrared camera, and is known for its durability, capable of flying even in the most severe weather conditions." An additional feature is the helicopter's amphibious design, which allows for emergency water landings if necessary.

The Sea King Mk41 helicopters, produced in the USA since 1959, were designed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. They have been in use by the US military since 1961.

Earlier the same day, the 18th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, also known as the "Ramstein format," established under the aegis of the USA, took place. Ukraine's allies assured the country of further military support, including deliveries of long-range weapons, according to a statement made by Ilarion Pavliuk, a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

According to Pavliuk, the promised arsenals can effectively engage the enemy on the front lines and in the rear, also proving useful for destroying logistical hubs. The meeting was conducted online, led by the Ukrainian delegation with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at the helm.

  War in Ukraine, Germany