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Germany to provide 45 more Gepard anti-aircraft guns by end of 2023, an official says

by Asami Terajima June 25, 2023 10:38 AM 2 min read
German anti-aircraft gun tank Gepard photographed at the Putlos military training area in Schleswig-Holstein on Aug. 25. 2022. (Photo: Marcus Brandt/dpa via Getty Images)
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Germany will supply Ukraine with 45 more Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns by the end of the year, with 15 of them expected to arrive in the coming weeks, German Brigadier General Christian Freuding said in an interview published on June 25.

Speaking to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Freuding, who heads German Defense Ministry's Ukraine Situation Center, said that Ukraine still needs more air defense even if its allies are "doing everything" to provide what they can.  

Freuding also said in the interview that Germany is to send two more IRIS-T SLM air defense systems as well by the end of the year, and another four in 2024.

The Gepards are to be provided in cooperation with the U.S., according to Freuding.

The expected Gepards' delivery is coordinated by a Florida-based company Global Military Products. The Pentagon announced earlier in June that Global Military Products received a $118.3 million contract to purchase and deliver the German-made weapons.

Berlin has already delivered 34 Gepards, including about 6,000 rounds of ammunition, since the start of Russia's full-scale war. The most recent delivery took place in early March.

The Gepards have helped Ukraine defend itself against Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones targeting Ukrainian cities and their critical infrastructure, the German Embassy in Ukraine said last November.

The German official's announcement of expected arm deliveries, particularly in the air defense sector, comes as Russian forces continue to bombard cities, such as Kyiv, located far from the front line.

In the words of Freuding, it is "the perfidy of the Russian strategy" to attack Ukraine's population centers, so it concentrates its air and anti-aircraft defenses around the cities rather than the battlefield – where Ukraine is launching a much-awaited counteroffensive.

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Visually, the scene was a familiar one. Russian armored vehicles emblazoned with the Z logo in the central streets of a once peaceful city, masked soldiers standing at key intersections, and confrontational conversations with bemused local civilians. But this wasn’t a Ukrainian city in the first da…

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