Germany orders anti-aircraft tank ammunition for Ukraine
Dgermany has for them Ukraine ordered new ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tanks. The contracts with the manufacturers have been signed, announced Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) on Tuesday at the sidelines of a meeting of the international contact group for arms deliveries to Ukraine. “This means that we will now immediately resume our own production at Rheinmetall for cheetah ammunition. It will start immediately.”
According to the Ministry of Defense, the contracts were signed by Germany on behalf of Ukraine. An appointment by Germany itself would therefore have required the participation of the Bundestag and would have taken too much time.
For Ukraine, it is currently a matter of not losing airspace to the Russian Air Force and not having to accept more bombing and attacks on critical infrastructure, explained Pistorius. Hopefully it’s not too late for the topic to pick up speed now.
According to Pistorius, the contracts for the cheetah ammunition are intended to ensure Ukraine’s independence and faster delivery. “This is of central importance for cheetah anti-aircraft defenses in Ukraine,” he said. Despite his age, he is doing “outstanding service, especially in drone defense” and is highly valued by the Ukrainian soldiers.
According to the Defense Ministry, Germany has delivered 32 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine since the summer, with five more to follow by the end of February. However, the ammunition for this is scarce, also because Switzerland is blocking the transfer of cheetah ammunition with reference to its neutrality. A new defense company factory Rheinmetall for the production of this ammunition is currently being built in Unterlüß in Lower Saxony in the Celle district of Lower Saxony. According to information from December, production should begin in June.
Rheinmetall would then be able to deliver the first batch of cheetah ammunition as early as July, the spokesman said at the time. According to reports, this is up to 300,000 rounds.