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Three HIMARS missile launchers for Ukraine

Defense Minister Pistorius announced the delivery of three rocket launcher systems to Ukraine during his visit to the USA. He assured his US colleague Austin of Germany's greater military commitment.

Germany will pay for the delivery of three HIMARS rocket artillery systems from the USA to Ukraine. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made the decision public in Washington after talks with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin.

“They come from stocks of the US armed forces and are paid for by us,” he said. The systems cost more than double-digit millions. The HIMARS (“High Mobility Artillery Rocket System”) is a truck chassis-mounted multiple rocket launcher artillery system.

Boris Pistorius and Lloyd Austin in Washington.

Pistorius emphasizes Germany's increased commitment

Before the NATO summit in July, Pistorius wants to use his trip to the USA and Canada to, among other things, correct a critical view of Germany that emerged in previous years and make clear Germany's stronger military commitment.

Pistorius assured Germany's willingness to take on more military responsibility for security in Europe and the world. He declared that Germany was ready to make “more contributions to a fair transatlantic burden-sharing.” He mentioned the achievement of NATO's two percent target, the ongoing deployment of a combat-ready brigade in Lithuania and the air defense initiative in Europe initiated by Germany.

At the same time, Pistorius called on the US government during his meeting with Austin at the Pentagon not to relax in its joint commitment to Europe. Pistorius was received there with full military honors.

Praise from Austin

In a speech at the Pentagon, Austin mentioned what Germany is doing for the defense of Ukraine and in NATO, as well as for security in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.

“Whether deterring Kremlin aggression or strengthening stability in the Indo-Pacific, our two proud democracies are in lockstep,” Austin said, calling Germany a “power for peace and security.” He said: “Germany remains one of our strongest and most reliable partners.”

Billion orders in the USA

The day before, Pistorius visited a helicopter factory owned by the defense company Boeing in Philadelphia. The CH47-F “Chinook” heavy transport helicopter is produced there. Germany has ordered 60 of these in the most modern Block II variant for the Bundeswehr. In the future, they will be the workhorse of the Air Force when it comes to relocating personnel and material. Pistorius was assured that everything was on schedule and delivery could take place by 2027.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Germany has ordered weapons and equipment for the Bundeswehr worth 23 billion euros from the USA. In total there are around 380 contracts with American defense companies.

During a visit by EU Parliament President Metsola, Ukrainian President Zelensky said that Ukraine wanted to take the initiative at the front after Western weapons arrived.

Ukraine wants to regain initiative

With the arrival of Western weapons, Ukraine wants to regain the initiative at the front. The Russian armed forces are currently on the offensive in eastern Ukraine, that is no secret, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj at a press conference with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, in Kiev.

“As soon as the arms deliveries arrive, we will stop their initiative,” Zelensky promised. But his military needs “something powerful” for this. The outdoor press conference in front of the presidential office had to be canceled shortly afterwards due to an air raid alarm.

According to Zelensky, the Russian military is currently preparing a major offensive. For this purpose, forces would be collected in the north and east of the front. Nevertheless, not everything is going as well for the Russians as they believed. “It's not that I want to lift your spirits. That's the reality,” assured the Ukrainian president.

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