Germany is preparing the largest military aid package to Ukraine so far in the amount of almost 2.7 billion euros. It will include Marder infantry fighting vehicles, Leopard 1 tanks, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, IRIS-T SLM air defense systems with ammunition and other types of heavy equipment, said the German Defense Ministry.
According to Der Spiegel, this package was agreed recently during secret negotiations between the ministries and the Federal Chancellery. The emphasis is on strengthening the ground forces of Ukraine with armored vehicles and increasing the effectiveness of Ukrainian air defense.
Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, Andriy Yermak, expressed gratitude to Berlin for the announced assistance. "Thanks to the allies. We are working," he wrote on Telegram.
The package, according to the Der Spiegel, is timed to coincide with the presentation of the International Charlemagne Prize to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Aachen on May 14. It is possible that Zelensky will personally arrive at the ceremony to receive the award.
The new list of German weapons for Ukraine is very long. Ukraine will receive another 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard-1 tanks, 18 wheeled howitzers promised at the end of 2022, four IRIS-T SLM air defense systems, 12 IRIS-T SLS launchers and hundreds of guided missiles for these systems.
IRIS-T is one of the world's most advanced air defense systems. In recent months, two such systems, already delivered to Ukraine, have intercepted many Russian missiles and drones, Der Spiegel notes.
According to the newspaper, Germany will also assist Ukraine in detecting enemy positions - up to 200 reconnaissance drones will be transferred to Kyiv. In addition, Ukraine will receive 100 armored personnel carriers to transport Ukrainian servicemen and 100 logistics support vehicles.