Germany will deliver to Ukraine an air defence system capable of shielding a “large city from Russian air raids”, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, rejecting accusations that his government was slow to arm Kyiv.
Berlin will be “sending more weapons” to Ukraine, Scholz told parliament.
“The government has decided that we will send the Iris-T system — the most modern system that Germany currently possesses,” he said.
The system would “enable Ukraine to protect an entire major city from Russian airstrikes.”
Germany will also deliver a tracking radar system capable of detecting enemy rocket artillery, he said.
Under heavy pressure over the last weeks, Scholz’s government has agreed to send heavy weapons including self-propelled howitzers and Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Scholz said in Brussels he had agreed a deal with Greece for Athens to send Soviet-era military vehicles to Ukraine in exchange for more modern armour from Berlin.
Germany has already struck a similar agreement with the Czech Republic to help supply weaponry to Ukraine and is currently negotiating one with Poland.
The goal is to supply Ukraine with vitally needed weapons from old Soviet-era stocks that it can quickly put into battle as it tries to halt Russia’s invasion.
Germany wants to deliver 14 Leopard battle tanks and one Leopard armoured vehicle to Prague in exchange for the Czechs sending T-72 tanks to Ukraine.
No date has yet been set for the delivery, however, and Scholz told parliament that talks were ongoing.