Conflicts & War

Germany planning long-term howitzer ammo supply to Ukraine

Berlin, Jun 26 (EFE).- The German government is working on a plan to ensure a long-term supply of hundreds of thousands of shells for self-propelled howitzers to the Ukrainian forces in the war against Russia, a media report said Monday.

The German ministry of defense has signed an agreement with the domestic defense manufacturer Rheinmetall for the delivery of up to 333,000 rounds of 155-mm ammunition by 2029, German media outlet Der Spiegel reported.

Germany will use these rapid-fire howitzers to fill up its own stockpiles, and also to supply a significant part of them to Ukraine in the long term.

Last week, the defense ministry submitted a framework agreement with Rheinmetall to the budget committee of the Bundestag or the parliament’s lower house for approval, Der Spiegel said on Monday, citing confidential documents.

According to the report, an initial package of 20,000 rounds for the Ukrainian armed forces has already been agreed on for the following two years, with the cost of 60 million euros ($65.5 million) to be paid by Germany.

After receiving the first shipment, Kyiv will also be able to order further packages of howitzer ammunition in consultation with the German government.

The long-term contract indicates that no-one in Berlin expects a quick end to the fighting in Ukraine, Spiegel said.

According to the agreement, the German armed forces will also receive a first tranche of 20,000 rounds of ammunition as early as 2023, and will be able to order more batches as per their requirement up to 2029.

The German defense ministry had recently admitted that it currently has only about 20,000 artillery ammunition shells, which is far below the NATO requirements for stockpiling.

In the agreement, the defense ministry and Rheinmetall were unable to agree on “specific delivery periods or prices” for future packages, due to the global demand for ammunition.

Instead, a separate quote must be negotiated for each new package.

Germany has so far supplied around 25,000 rounds of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, with another tranche of the same size expected to arrive at the frontlines in the coming weeks.

Experts estimate that Ukrainian forces fire between 200,000 and 300,000 artillery shells per month in the war against Russia. EFE


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