Germany has pledged an additional military aid package worth more than €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion), featuring four IRIS T-SLM air defense systems.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during a press conference in Kyiv after talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov.
The aid package includes crucial military equipment, with a focus on enhancing Ukraine's air defense capabilities. Among the items specified in the package are four IRIS T-SLM air defense systems, 20,000 shells of 155mm artillery ammunition, 60 high-quality surveillance drones, and more than 24 drone detection systems.
"I have the honor to announce a new package. Altogether, it is a package worth €1.3 billion, and I am quite sure this will help you and your fight against Russian aggression. We stand with Ukraine reliably," stated Minister Pistorius during the announcement.
This marks the third batch of IRIS-T systems that Germany has offered to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict. The IRIS-T systems are particularly sought after by Ukraine for their effectiveness in countering Russian drones and missiles. The first batch, consisting of three IRIS-T systems, has already been delivered, with a fourth scheduled for delivery this winter. Another batch of four is expected to arrive in 2024.
While the European Union faces challenges in meeting its self-imposed deadline to deliver 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine by March 2024, Minister Pistorius revealed that Germany is contributing an additional 20,000 155mm artillery shells to the previously announced 140,000 for the next year.
"Altogether 160,000 for next year — with the number increasing, I hope, in 2025," added Minister Pistorius.
Responding to queries about Ukraine's desire for the long-range German Taurus missiles, Pistorius remained non-committal, stating that there was no new information. Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, said, "We are still working on it. No decision on Taurus has been made yet."
Germany is the second-largest contributor of military equipment to Ukraine, and Minister Pistorius's visit to Kyiv signifies the nation's continued support. Despite Germany's initial plans to double its 2024 aid plan for Ukraine from €4 billion to €8 billion, the current budget crisis has cast uncertainty on this commitment. The total German funding for Ukraine's defense in 2023 amounts to €5.4 billion, following €2 billion in 2022.