In her first international telephone conference of the new year, Defence Minister Lambrecht talked with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin today, discussing, among other things, the current war situation in Ukraine and how to coordinate further military support for Ukraine’s defensive war, specifically regarding infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and the Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system, in preparation of the upcoming meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group on 20 January 2023.
“Jointly, and in close coordination with our American Allies, we are taking the next step in our support of Ukraine and its courageous defence against Russia’s brutal war of aggression.
Today, I talked to my American counterpart, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, about further stepping up Germany’s comprehensive air defence support by providing a Patriot fire unit including an ammunition package. Such systems are already in use to protect NATO’s eastern flank in Slovakia, and will soon be in Poland. We will now deliver a Patriot fire unit in addition to the GEPARD self-propelled armoured air defence gun system and the state-of-the-art IRIS-TInfra-Red Imaging System – Tail/Thrust Vector controlled SLM air defence system provided by Germany and already in use in Ukraine. Particularly in major urban centres, the civilian population will be better protected against the relentless Russian air strikes. This will reinforce the Patriot package that will be provided to Ukraine by the United States.
I have also discussed with my US counterpart our common US-German initiative to deliver Western-built IFVs to Ukraine. While the United States will provide Bradley fighting vehicles, Germany will deliver up to 40 MARDER IFVs from industry and respectively Bundeswehr stocks. Ammunition for the IFVs will initially be provided from Bundeswehr stocks. This will also complement the planned delivery of armoured reconnaissance vehicles by our French Allies. In combination with the approximately 100 Soviet-built main battle tanks and IFVs that we have provided together with our Allies through backfilling arrangements, these joint efforts will considerably strengthen the robustness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Germany will also provide the necessary training as well as supply spare parts and maintenance (in coordination with industry), both for the Patriot fire unit and for the MARDER vehicles. Together with our Allies, we continue to support Ukraine in unity, solidarity and close coordination. We are stronger together.”
Current status of military support for Ukraine: