Ukrainian weapon switcheroos is washing away Soviet weapons from Europe

Washington-Some Eastern European countries Soviet era kit To help Ukraine protect itself from Russia’s attacks, new weapons and their allies, which these countries stand in return from the United States, can shape the weapons of the continent over the years to come.

Tactics to backfill donated tanks PolandAir defense gear Slovakia Or armored truck SloveniaFor example, it aims to strengthen Ukraine’s resistance while providing European Union member states with a way out of direct conflict. Many of the undisclosed deals add a new impetus to Europe’s already volatile military procurement patterns, which clash with the long plans for blocks on jointly developed weapons.

“When it comes to new equipment, Eastern European partners focus primarily on the United States,” said Matthias Wachter, chief defense analyst at the German trade group BDI. “Germany and France are unfortunately disqualified in the eyes of many Eastern Europeans because of their reluctance to support Ukraine.”

For example, Poland will receive an undisclosed number of Challenger 2 tanks from the United Kingdom. To backfill the supply of T-72 tanks To Ukraine. This is a deal worth about $ 5 billion and is an addition to plans to buy 250 Abrams tanks from the United States.

As a result, Poland, once interested in participating in the development efforts of the German and French Eurotanks, will be at the same height as modern tanks over the next few decades, Wachter said.

Washington has been working for many years to get the countries of the former Warsaw Pact to replace Soviet-era equipment with NATO-compatible kits. $ 713 million aid tranche announced on MondayIs targeted at Ukraine and its neighbors and aims to do just that.

The new package will allow the United States to strategically benefit — freeing partners and allies from Russian equipment to improve interoperability and reject Moscow money — and economically abroad. Thanks to the subsidies for American weapons.

Aid includes Soviet-era ammunition, rockets, and artillery that Ukraine currently uses in combat, but according to a U.S. government summary obtained by Defense News, the Biden administration is long-term for Ukraine and its neighbors. We also anticipate using a lot of Western equipment.

The summary checked dozens of categories of Ukrainian military needs that could be met by the United States or other NATO allies, from night-vision devices to multiple launch rocket systems.

The package, announced on Monday, included more than $ 300 million divided into more than 12 countries in Central and Eastern Europe for equipment, training, or both, beyond Ukraine. .. The State Department-managed foreign military financing, billed as a backfill supply of weapons the country is sending to Ukraine, is also intended to “strengthen the military integration of partners with NATO,” the summary read.

NATO applicants GeorgiaThe $ 35 million portion of the “Brigade Combat Equipment Set”, counter drone technology, and Advanced field artillery tactical data systemThis is a joint and simultaneous command and control fire support system.

On April 27, 2022, Ukrainian military personnel attached a machine gun to a tank during repairs after fighting Russian troops in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.  (Evgeniy Maloletka / AP)

On April 27, 2022, Ukrainian military personnel attached a machine gun to a tank during repairs after fighting Russian troops in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. (Evgeniy Maloletka / AP)

An additional $ 23 million will be sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina. European recapitalization incentive program, The US State Department launched in 2018 to speed up the process of removing the Allies from Russian equipment.Money will buy two more medium helicopters Four UH-1H helicopters delivered in 2021 Through the program.

The package provides:

The State Department has recently fulfilled its obligation to notify Congress to raise funds, but not all details have been finalized, according to U.S. government officials who are not allowed to talk about record issues. is not.

“We have been working for years, especially among NATO allies, to get rid of the rest of the Warsaw Pact materials they have, because they are members of NATO and their mutual. Because of operability and what we want. Eliminate the possibility of Russian leverage if they depend on Russia. [for equipment]”The official said.

The announcement of aid came as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hold First meeting of defense leaders from more than 40 countries To better coordinate efforts to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia, which invaded its neighbors on February 24. Austin was at the center of US efforts to drive European countries to send old equipment to Ukraine in exchange for Western equipment.

This latest aid package contains so-called non-standard ammunition ready for Ukraine, but it is unclear if Kyiv will eventually turn to NATO compatible equipment.

“I don’t think Ukraine has decided on that, and while they are fighting for their lives, you can’t really expect them to make the decision now,” a Pentagon spokesman. John Kirby said on Wednesday.

The United States provides equipment to backfill the Allies. This is because some devices endanger their country’s security by sending them.[s] We also talked with these allies and partners about what their needs will be in the future, “Kirby said.

As used by the Pentagon Enhanced dialogue With the American defense industry Research this is ability Kirby to meet the needs of the U.S. military, its allies, Ukraine, Austin to leaders gathered to assess the “health and vitality” of their own defense industry base in the light of the new reality of Europe. I asked.

“No matter what happens here, no matter what the end of this war, the security situation in Europe has changed. It’s not” unchanged “or” unchanged, “Kirby said.