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Likely delays in arms supply to Ukraine revealed

Kiev may be disappointed with the supply of heavy weapons promised to it by Germany, since Berlin will have to overcome various hurdles before delivering many of the items, resulting in likely delays, the German version of Business Insider reported.

The offer of the IRIS-T SL air defense system, touted by Chancellor Olaf Scholz as one of the most advanced in the German arsenal, reportedly came as a surprise to his own defense ministry. It said it had none in its stockpile, so Ukraine would have to get them directly from the producer, Diehl.

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According to BI sources, the proposed delivery would require Germany to snub Egypt, which ordered several IRIS-T SLs and will have to let Ukraine jump the line. Regardless, Ukraine will only be able to get them by the end of the year at best.

The German arms package for Ukraine also includes a three-way deal with Greece, which is to get German Marder infantry fighting vehicles in exchange for delivering Soviet-made versions to Ukraine.

The Greeks were reportedly surprised by Scholz’s announcement of the scheme. The Soviet vehicles are in use on islands and their replacement with more modern German hardware may be perceived as an escalation by Turkey, BI said.

Athens also wants to have the entire order of 50 Marders delivered before relinquishing their old machines to Ukraine, the report said. The shipments from Germany may take as long as till winter.

The proposed arrangement also reportedly pulled the rug from under the producer of the armor, the German arms giant Rheinmetall, which hoped it could sell the Marders directly to Ukraine.

Germany also wants to supply Kiev with several MARS IIs – the European version of the US-made M270 MLRS. But according to BI, the goal to have the multiple rocket launchers shipped by the end of June may prove to be unrealistic.

The outlet’s sources said that less than half of the 40 launchers operated by the German military are currently in working condition. And even if the Bundeswehr was willing to part with some of them, their software would need to be upgraded first.

The European launchers use an Airbus-designed fire control system that’s not compatible with some types of rockets used by non-European versions. A reverse conversion will be required to allow Ukrainians to fire ammunition supplied by the US and the UK. But the process of upgrading the software may take months, the outlet said.

BI assessed that most of the weapons promised to Ukraine by Germany will not be coming anytime soon, with the exception of Flakpanzer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. It said 15 of those could arrive by mid-July and 15 more by the end of August.

However, they will come with just 59,000 rounds, BI said. Each system has two guns with a combined rate of fire of 1,100 rpm and normally carries 680 total rounds.

Officials in Kiev repeatedly berated Germany and Chancellor Scholtz personally for what they call insufficient military support of their country against Russia. The disdain apparently was fueled by last month’s announcement that Berlin was planning to invest 100 billion euros into rearming and enlarging its military.

© 2022, paradox. All rights reserved.

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