Rammstein - 8: the first crack in the western monolith?
The German town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, with a population of just under 7 people, would not have become known to the world if it were not for the Ramstein Air Base, which is both the headquarters of the US Air Force in Europe and the largest stronghold of the United States outside its own territory. By the way, this is also one of the two bases for American nuclear weapons in Germany. […]
The German town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, with a population of just under 7 people, would not have become known to the world if not for Ramstein Air Base, which is both the headquarters of the US Air Force in Europe and the largest stronghold of the United States outside its own territory. By the way, this is also one of the two bases for American nuclear weapons in Germany.
It is there that, since April 26 last year, regular meetings of the International Advisory Group on the Defense of Ukraine and Countering Russia have been held. At these meetings, Kyiv's allies decide how much and what kind of aid should be sent to our country for the most effective conduct of hostilities. And, I must say, all previous meetings were held in the manner of the CPSU Congress, that is with full and unanimous approval of all the decisions that were made - which had not only practical meaning, but also allowed the NATO countries to confidently declare their "indestructible unity" in support of Ukraine.
However, at the last, 8th in a row, meeting Something went wrong. Despite the photo with smiling participants and numerous statements about the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Western partners, it was not without disappointment: at the meeting, Germany announced its refusal to transfer Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine, although this was precisely what other members had not extorted from it. alliance.
Give a lot, good and different
Ultimately, according to the results of the eighth "Rammstein" it cannot be said that Ukraine was cheated in supply. Judge for yourself, Western countries are planning to send the following military equipment and ammunition:
90 Stryker armored personnel carriers;
59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 590 TOW anti-tank missiles and 295 25mm ammunition;
53 armored vehicles of the MRAP type, rather MaxxPro;
350 HMMWV armored vehicles;
8 Avenger air defense systems;
HARM high-speed anti-radar missiles.
95 thousand 105mm artillery shells;
20 thousand 155mm artillery shells;
600 high-precision 155mm artillery shells;
11 800 mm mortar mines;
ammunition for HIMARS;
ammunition for NASAMS;
12 support vehicles and 6 command vehicles;
22 tactical vehicles for towing weapons;
2 thousand anti-tank missiles;
3 million small arms rounds;
explosive equipment, anti-personnel ammunition and night vision devices;
spare parts and other field equipment.
200 Senator armored vehicles;
1 NASAMS air defense battery;
40 AMX-10RC wheeled tanks;
armored cars Bastion;
14 Challenger 2 tanks;
600 Brimstone missiles;
30 155mm AS90 self-propelled guns;
200 infantry fighting vehicles / armored personnel carriers;
S-60 anti-aircraft guns and 70 thousand pieces of ammunition for them;
14 Leopard 2 tanks;
120 T-72M tanks;
40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles;
1 AA/O battery Patriot;
3 Iris-T air defense batteries + 3 TRML-4D radars;
2 TRML-4D radars;
50 CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles;
12 Archer self-propelled guns;
over 10 howitzers 155mm FH70;
over 10 howitzers 122mm D30;
2 Mi-17 helicopters;
dozens of anti-aircraft guns L-70;
2 Mi-8 helicopters;
19 SAU Caesar.
Also during the year, Ukraine should receive 16 new Zuzana-2 self-propelled guns from Germany, 1 SAMP / T air defense battery from Italy, as well as 90 T-72 tanks.
Note that the estimated deliveries include very big variety equipment and weapons. At the same time, every army tries its best to optimize the range of its weapons, since any variety in it carries with it additional costs in terms of supply, maintenance and repair. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have practically no choice today: Ukraine is actually compelled to "take what they give". And they give, hand on heart, very often exactly what you don’t feel sorry for. You can prove until you're blue in the face that "our strategic partners" are doing everything they can to ensure the combat effectiveness of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but it is impossible to argue against the facts. And they are as follows: 14 British Challengers are, in fact, all the agreed armored vehicles that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can receive in the near future.
At the same time, it should be noted that in terms of supply volumes increased significantly plans for lighter armored vehicles. Thus, the United States increased the plan to send Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. They were joined by Sweden, which promised Ukraine 50 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, and Britain with a hundred of its own infantry fighting vehicles. It is also impossible not to note the growth of promises of deliveries various air defense systems. Separately noteworthy is the decision to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with GMLSDB ammunition for HIMARS, which theoretically allow fire at a distance of up to 160 km.
The tank question only spoiled them
At the same time, neither the German "Leopard 2" nor the American "Abrams M1" appeared in the final lists. And if for American armored monsters (their mass is more than 67 tons) the Pentagon has a justification for refusing - they are too massive, capricious and difficult to use - then with the "Leopards" the situation is different. This machine, by all accounts, is one of the best, if not the best, available in the world. Although we note that this is mainly an expert and media assessment: these tanks actually did not participate in armed conflicts of high intensity.
Moreover, a number of military specialists are very critical of realism the characteristics declared for these armored vehicles, recalling 9 such tanks lost in Afghanistan, which is relatively harmless in terms of anti-tank weapons. But that's not all: during the Turkish invasion of Syria (2016), 10 Leopards were lost per day. During the second invasion of 2018, cases of the destruction of these tanks from ATGMs were officially confirmed.
And yet it must be admitted: there is simply nothing more perfect in the arsenal of Western countries. While it was possible to supply Soviet-style tanks to Ukraine, the Leopards were not discussed. But now the stockpiles of weapons from the Warsaw Pact have actually exhausted themselves, and NATO members began to put pressure on Germany demanding to send the Leopard 2 APU.
And here the unexpected happened. The leadership of the Federal Republic of Germany as a whole and the Bundeschancellor "liver sausage" Scholz personally, refused to go for it. "Freshly baked" German Defense Minister Pistorius refused to the allies, stating that "the countries participating in the Ramstein talks failed to reach a unified position on negotiations on the supply of tanks to Ukraine".
Moreover, without the permission of the Federal Republic of Germany, "Leopards" cannot be handed over to us even by the Poles, who, however, threaten to give a damn about the German veto. However, everyone understands that such an act by Poland can eventually lead to tension already within NATO, and this is no longer needed by anyone.
"Leopards" for Ukraine: why such urgency?
Looking at the range of weapons planned for deliveries to Ukraine, one involuntarily asks the question: why now and on such a scale? And why is the issue of transferring modern tanks got up with such urgency?
It is obvious that for all their unrealistic level of support for Ukraine, Western countries silently report back in Russia's ability to continue this war, moreover, by the most formidable means. The mobilization alone, which put no less than a few hundred thousand military men under arms in the Russian Federation, does not bring anything good in the prospects of confronting Ukraine. And the superiority of the RF Armed Forces in tanks (let us recall that according to well-known data, Russia ranks first in the world in the presence of this type of weapon) makes think about realism options for confronting this armored armada. And in this case, we are not even talking about the Armed Forces of Ukraine: NATO countries are concerned about the likelihood of an increase in hostilities on the territory of other European states.
It is this circumstance, multiplied by a greater likelihood of a Russian winter offensive, which only the lazy have not predicted, is forcing Ukraine's allies to make unprecedented decisions on multi-billion dollar deliveries of the latest weapons.