Germany authorizes production of 100 howitzers for Ukraine

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BERLIN — The German government has approved a request by defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to produce 100 howitzers for the Ukrainian army — although it will likely take many months before the first artillery units arrive in the war-torn country.

Berlin’s readiness to sell such a large quantity of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzer marks a significant increase in military support for Ukraine. Germany has already delivered nine Panzerhaubitze 2000 from its army stocks to the country, and Ukrainian officials have said that the state-of-the-art weapons have already made a valuable contribution to their fight against Russia’s invasion.

A spokesperson for Krauss-Maffei Wegmann confirmed that Kyiv had ordered 100 Panzerhaubitze 2000 from the company for a total price of €1.7 billion, and that the German Economy Ministry — which is in charge of arms control — had given the necessary authorization to start the manufacturing of the artillery units on July 13.

German media Spiegel first reported on the sale of the howitzers.

The defense company spokesperson did not want to comment on how long it would take to produce the howitzers, but it will likely take many months before the first units can leave the factory.

Crucially, the German government will have to issue additional permission to export the howitzers to Ukraine once they have been produced, meaning the final delivery of the weapons is not yet fully guaranteed.

However, the fact that the government approved the production of the artillery units indicates that Berlin expects the war in Ukraine to last for a long time.

A spokesperson for the German Economy Ministry declined to comment.