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Training tanks and pilots: first results of Ramstein

Photo: press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

American tanks will soon join the Leopard in Ukraine, and Ukrainian Armed Forces pilots will be able to train on the F-16 in the United States.

On Tuesday, September 19, the 15th meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine began at the German Ramstein base. The meeting is traditionally attended by representatives of 50 countries. In particular, Ukraine is represented by the new Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov.

Abrams tanks and the Ukrainian counteroffensive

Pentagon Chairman Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley gave opening remarks during the meeting.

Austin promised M1 Abrams tanks will be in Ukraine in the coming days, but does not specify when exactly. He also announced that at this meeting the strengthening of the air defense forces of Ukraine will be discussed. We are talking, in particular, about systems like Patriot, IRIS-T, HAWK, NASAMS, SAMP/T.

“In recent months, Russia has continuously attacked Ukraine’s ports and grain infrastructure. These attacks have destroyed at least 280,000 tons of grain. That’s enough to feed 10.5 million people inside of a year. Russia’s attacks continue to threaten global food security and risk unnecessary humanitarian crises across the planet,” Austin said.

It should be noted that Austin did not directly answer the question about plans to transfer cruise missiles to Ukraine, noting that the Ukrainian side is asking for what it considers most necessary for itself.

At the same time, he recalled the need for Ukraine to “receive ammunition to continue the fight, including 155 mm ammunition.”

In addition, Austin added that The United States supports the training of Ukrainian pilots.

“Estonia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland will lead our coalition today. This coalition aims to provide Leopard tanks, training of F-16 pilots, as well as information technology,” said he.

The head of the Pentagon also commented on the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to him, Ukrainian defenders are “confidently moving forward.”

“As we meet here, Ukrainian troops are engaged in a difficult struggle to regain their sovereign territory from entrenched Russian invaders,” he stressed.

In turn, Mark Milley announced the winter counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to him, Ukrainian forces are advancing slowly, but “very purposefully, maintaining manpower.”

“I will say to all the critics that there is still a lot of time until the weather remains suitable for combat operations, there are still many forces ready for combat. And the Ukrainians do not intend to stop at all. They will go until final the goal has been achieved. The Ukrainians have no intention to stop fighting in the winter, “he said.

Help from Europe

Let’s note that the German Defense Minister was not present at the Ramstein format meeting today. Boris Pistorius has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

However, Berlin promised Ukraine to provide new military aid package. These include: 30 thousand 155-mm shells; 3800 155-mm smoke shells DM125; 105 thousand 120 mm shells; 480 M26 (AT2) missiles; 200 MRAP mine clearance systems; 2A1 Dachshunds; Bergepanzer 2 or 3; 50 BEKS; winter clothes; electricity and heat generators; materials for neutralizing explosive substances.

It is also reported that the Czech Republic has agreed with Denmark and the Netherlands that, with their financial support, it will provide Czech weapons to Ukraine. We are mainly talking about additional tanks, howitzers, small arms, infantry fighting vehicles, air defense and electronic warfare systems, and ammunition.

The first subproject is the transfer of 15 modernized T-72 main battle tanks, which will soon be sent to Ukraine.

IT coalition

During the negotiations, Estonia, Luxembourg and Ukraine created an IT coalition that will support the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the cyber sphere.

“The role of information and communication technologies in this war, of course, is more difficult to understand, because the kinetic activity at the front is more visible. However, actions in cyberspace significantly enhance what is happening on the immediate battlefield. It is an honor for Estonia to use the capabilities acquired as an electronic state to support Ukraine,” said Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur.

In addition to Estonia, Luxembourg and Ukraine, at the event dedicated to the launch of the IT coalition, Belgium, Lithuania and Denmark also signed a declaration of intent.

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Source: korrespondent

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