Espreso. Global

Germany to provide Ukraine with equipment to strengthen air defense

5 October, 2023 Thursday
12:51

Germany will supply Ukraine with Gepard, IRIS-T, and SurveilSpire systems in order to help protect grain supplies from potential Russian attacks

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photo: gettyimages

According to Bloomberg, Germany will send one additional IRIS-T air defense system and more than 12 Gepard anti-aircraft guns. They are to protect cargoes traveling to Romania along the country's southern coast.

The weapons are to arrive in Ukraine by the end of this year, and the IRIS-T system will be handed over after production.

Protecting Ukrainian grain from Russian strikes

Ukraine is trying to increase supplies across the Danube and overland via so-called "solidarity routes" after Russia unilaterally terminated the grain deal.

"Ukraine will use these systems, for example, to better protect its grain ports," German MP Marcus Faber said. 

At the same time, Defense Express emphasizes that the equipment is a significant contribution to Ukraine's air defense in general. Such supplies make it possible to implement a systematic comprehensive strengthening of the protection of Ukrainian skies.

Such deliveries allow Ukraine to systematically and comprehensively strengthen its air defense

Bloomberg did not specify which version of Diehl's IRIS-T was at issue, despite the fact that Ukraine acquired two versions of this SAM. The first is the IRIS-T SLM, a medium-range system capable of destroying targets at ranges of up to 40 kilometers.

The second is the IRIS-T SLS, often known as RBS-98 after its original operator, Sweden. This is a short-range system with a maximum range of 10 kilometers. Ukraine receives all versions on long-term contracts.

Surveillance systems to detect Russian drones

Furthermore, the German government has funded additional SurveilSpire automated intelligence systems, according to Rheinmetall, which is working with the system's Estonian developer, DefSecIntel. Although SurveilSpire was designed to monitor the ground and surface situation, its role in Ukraine has now moved to search for enemy UAVs. 

The system combines sophisticated cameras and thermal imagers installed on the tower with its own drones that patrol the region automatically. The entire complex is designed for maximum autonomy, which is why it is powered by solar panels.

The number of SurveilSpire systems ordered for Ukraine is unknown, but the contract value is in the millions of euros.

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