Welt: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz delays delivery of 11 IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to Kyiv
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz allegedly delays the delivery of 11 IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to Kyiv, which the Ukrainian authorities are going to purchase directly from a German manufacturer. This was reported by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, citing its own sources.
The publication notes that a request from Kyiv was sent back in early July. Although the German Ministry of Economy gave a positive opinion, the final export permit must be issued by the Federal Chancellery. For three weeks, no decision on this issue was made, writes Welt.
In addition, according to the newspaper, Kyiv requested “financial support” for the purchase of these systems, the cost of which is €1.5 billion. At the same time, when concluding a contract this year, the German authorities will be able to supply only one such system. It will take up to five years to fulfill the contract in full.
IRIS-T SLM self-propelled anti-aircraft missile systems have been developed since 2007, the system was successfully tested for the first time in 2014. Launch range IRIS-T— up to 40 km, and the ceiling— up to 20km. Both independent work and duty as part of a layered air defense system are possible.
The complex uses missiles of the class «air— air» IRIS-T. They are equipped with an infrared homing head and a solid-propellant engine capable of accelerating the missile to a speed of Mach 3.
The discussion by the German government of the transfer of IRIS-T SLM systems to Ukraine, citing sources, was reported by Bild back in middle of May. In Berlin, it was assumed that the systems could be deployed in Kyiv in November this year, the newspaper pointed out.
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Before the start of the Russian military operation, Germany refused to transfer weapons to Ukraine, but then changed its position. On February 26, Berlin decided to transfer 1,000 Panzerfaust anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger missiles to Kyiv. The German authorities also approved the transfer of 400 anti-tank guns produced in the country from the Netherlands and nine D-30 howitzers and ammunition from Estonia.
In mid-April, Scholz announced that the Bundeswehr had exhausted the limit on the supply of weapons to Ukraine from reserves. Nevertheless, already on April 28, the Bundestag approved the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
On June 11, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, said that Kyiv would receive seven self-propelled howitzers by June 22, and self-propelled anti-aircraft guns “Gepard” it is planned to deliver in two tranches: 15— until the end of July, another 15— until the end of August.
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