Germany has committed to the provision of a further ten Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks (MBT), three Gepard anti-aircraft vehicles, 15 protected transport vehicles, up to 20 protected medical vehicles, and an additional Patriot air defence system to Ukraine.

The announcement was made just prior to the meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contract Group (UDCG) on 11 October, with the German commitments coming from existing Bundeswehr stocks. The equipment, which is expected to be delivered over the coming weeks, is part of a “winter package” to help sustain Ukraine as it continues its fight against Russia.

In addition, Germany will deliver further IRIS-T systems in October: a third IRIS-T SLM with medium-range guided missiles and a second IRIS-T SLS for short range, also with guided missiles, stated a 10 October release from the country’s Federal Ministry of Defence, or BMV for short. The value of the package was around €1bn ($1.1bn).

“With this new ‘winter package’, we are further increasing the operational readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces in the coming months,” said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

A series of 155mm artillery ammunition contracts have also been announced in recent weeks by German industry, intended to help keep Ukrainian guns supplied.

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By GlobalData

In February this year, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark have collaborated to refurbish and supply 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks to Ukraine.

The Leopard 1A5 MBT is the predecessor to the Leopard 2 MBT utilised by a number of European militaries. Leopard 2 MBTs have also been provided to Ukraine, but in fewer numbers than the more numerous reserves of 1A5 versions.

Winter shift looks to prioritise artillery and 155mm

As Ukraine begins to prepare for the deteriorating weather conditions of winter, which will likely bring its ongoing counter-offensive to a halt, the military equipment support focus is also transitioning to the provision of the artillery and ammunition needed to hold the line until Spring.

Attending his first UDCG meeting in person on 11 October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky called for sustained support of his country, in a week where news headlines had shifted from the European warzone to a potentially new, bloody conflict in the Middle East.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said during an 11 October UDCG press briefing that the US would be able to meet the support requirements of both Ukraine and Israel.

Austin said that commitments from other members of the UDCG included additional Caesar 155mm howitzers from France, as well as “155mm artillery guns” from the UK.

The UK on 11 October announced its latest package to include new air defence systems, among other equipment, but made no mention of 155mm artillery guns in its latest round of provisions to Ukraine. The UK had earlier this year committed to the provision of 24 AS90 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine as part of a wider heavy armour package being sent to Ukrainian forces.

When contacted, the UK MoD told Army Technology that no AS90 platforms were included in the newly announced package.

The AS90 self-propelled gun is a staple of the British Army, having been in service since 1992 and seeing active service in the 2003 Iraq war. Of an original 179 delivered to the UK by manufacturer, it is thought that just 89 remain in service.