After France announced it would supply Ukraine with light tanks, Germany has announced it will supply Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and one Patriot missile defense system, the German government has announced.
While Germany is increasing its support for Kyiv, the U.S. will also supply Ukraine with Bradley light infantry fighting vehicles and Patriot systems as planned.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to the weapon supplies in a phone call on Thursday evening.
“President Biden and Chancellor Scholz expressed their joint determination to provide Ukraine with the necessary financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support for as long as necessary,” a statement from the German government read.
Both allied governments also want to organize training for Ukrainian soldiers on the respective weapons systems.
It is not yet known whether the Marder will be procured from Bundeswehr stocks or from the arms industry. According to the Die Welt newspaper, the Bundeswehr assumes that Germany will supply 40 to 50 Marder vehicles to Ukraine. If the aim is to deliver functioning systems quickly, this would be possible if the vehicles are delivered from the armed forces’ stocks. However, it is understood a final decision has not yet been made.
Last year, the Rheinmetall armament company said that it had 100 used Marders in its inventory, but stated they needed to be reconditioned. Forty of them will be delivered to Greece as part of a “ring swap,” with Athens handing Ukraine its Soviet BMP-1 armored personnel carriers in return.
The Marder was designed during the Cold War but remains in service within the Bundeswehr. Recently, its role has been upgraded because examples of the successor model “Puma” failed due to breakdowns. The Marder is not considered a main battle tank, but it is equipped with automatic cannon and anti-tank missiles, which can engage enemy infantry, light tanks, and armored vehicles.
The German-U.S. agreement is the result of coordination that has been underway between the two governments since Dec. 10. According to insiders, Washington will supply about 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The package is to be unveiled Friday, two U.S. government officials explained.
On Wednesday, France announced its intention to supply AMX-10 RC armored reconnaissance vehicles to Ukraine. As a result, Germany’s SPD party also changed its position on the supply of tanks. The Greens and FDP had been calling for their provision for some time.