In the Berlin traffic light coalition, voices calling for an expansion of German arms deliveries to the Ukraine to demand. In addition to the chair of the Bundestag Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), they include the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth (SPD), and the chair of the European Committee, Anton Hofreiter (Greens).
Hofreiter told the newspapers of Mediengruppe Bayern that Germany would "sooner or later have to" deliver modern, Western battle tanks to Ukraine. There are still Marder armored personnel carriers in Germany, which the Bundeswehr no longer needs; Ukraine wants these tanks and should get them. Roth stated that none of the western allies had so far delivered modern armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks. That is why the federal government should now "get together with its partners in the EU and NATO and clarify what else we can deliver".
The FDP MPs Strack Zimmermann also called on the federal government to give up its restraint. Even the United States had asked Germany to take the lead in Europe and supply tanks. She was referring to a Twitter message from the US Embassy in Berlin, which said the United States called on “all allies and partners to give Ukraine as much support as possible in the fight for its democratic sovereignty”. The decision on the type of aid is “ultimately up to each country itself”.
Spare parts and ammunition are likely to become scarce
According to reports from the Ukraine, some of the howitzers supplied by Germany are being transported west again after their use in the Ukraine in order to be repaired made functional, are ready to be handed over to the Ukraine.
In terms of firepower and range on the battlefield, German main battle tanks would not represent a quantum leap compared to previous deliveries. The Leopard 2 has a 120mm caliber cannon, giving it its maximum combat range armed forces with 5000 meters on. That is fewer than the ten Panzerhaubitz 2000 that Germany has handed over to the Ukraine since June and that were immediately deployed at the front against the Russians. They have a 155 mm barreled weapon system and can engage targets at a distance of up to 40 km, depending on the ammunition used.
The added value of main battle tanks results from the fact that, in contrast to self-propelled howitzers, they can withstand large-caliber fire and fire while moving. For example, they can support advancing infantry directly and effectively.
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It is true that numerous Russian battle tanks may have fallen into the hands of the Ukraine during its rapid advance on the eastern front. Western partners, especially Poland, have already handed over hundreds of main battle tanks that are still from Soviet production. However, both spare parts and ammunition are likely to become scarce for them in the future. As with other heavy weapons systems, the Ukrainians have a growing urgency to increasingly equip their armed forces with Western systems in order to be able to continue the war against Russia.