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German howitzers soon to be ready for use in Ukraine – minister

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2022
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The training of Ukrainian troops on German howitzers will soon be completed, paving the way for the use of the weapons in the war in Ukraine, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has pleaded for the West to send more and better artillery as the country runs out of ammunition for its existing Soviet-era arsenal, which is dwarfed by Russia’s.

Western countries have promised NATO-standard weapons but deploying them is taking time.Advertisement · Scroll to continue

“The training on the Panzerhaubitze 2000 will soon be completed so that it can be used in battle in Ukraine,” Lambrecht told reporters during a visit to a military base in the western German town of Rheinbach.

The Panzerhaubitze 2000 is one of the most powerful artillery weapons in Bundeswehr inventories and can hit targets at a distance of 40 km (25 miles).

Germany pledged in May to supply Kyiv with seven self-propelled howitzers, adding to five such artillery systems the Netherlands have promised.

But Berlin has also faced accusations from Ukraine that it is dragging its feet and taking too much time to deliver heavy weapons as the conflict has shifted into a punishing war of attrition.

Lambrecht gave no details on when the howitzers would be sent to Ukraine.

“The first howitzers will be delivered (to Ukraine) when the training has been completed and it is responsible (to supply them),” she said, adding she would make neither the date nor transport routes public for security reasons.

Kyiv needs 1,000 howitzers, 500 tanks and 1,000 drones among other heavy weapons, Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Monday.

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