After much hesitation, the US made a decision: to supply Ukraine with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers. From government trips it is now said that Germany wants to follow the example of the United States.
Germany also wants to deliver four multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine to support it in the war against Russia. According to government circles, the MARS II rocket launchers should come from Bundeswehr stocks and be made available by the end of June if possible. The USA should therefore take over the training on the weapon system.
The Medium Artillery Rocket System (MARS) can fire missiles with different modes of action - such as guided missiles with a GPS system or mine-ejecting missiles to block sections of terrain. According to the manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the rocket launchers hit targets between 10 and 40 kilometers away, depending on the ammunition. The launch batteries with a combat load of 12 rockets are mounted on tracked vehicles that can travel at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.
After initial hesitation, the United States wants to deliver HIMARS multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine. However, US President Joe Biden called on Kyiv not to use these weapons for attacks on Russian territory. The Kremlin immediately condemned the announcement of the US arms delivery.
In the Bundestag, Chancellor Olaf Scholz initially announced the delivery of the modern Iris-T-SLM air defense system from the Diehl armaments group and a locating radar. In his speech, he also referred to the delivery of multiple rocket launchers by the USA and referred to ongoing talks with Washington. He did not yet talk about specific German deliveries, but pointed out that Germany would make a contribution within the scope of its possibilities.
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the delivery of modern multiple rocket launchers from the United States will also serve to strengthen the government's negotiating position in Kyiv. "I would say that at the moment it's not so much about deterring Russia, because it committed and continues the aggression," said Blinken at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington.
They want to make sure that Ukraine can defend itself. In addition, it must be guaranteed that the Ukrainians have the strongest possible hand at the negotiating table, said Blinken - because it is likely that this war will end at the negotiating table. Stoltenberg emphasized that wars are unpredictable. "But what we do know is that almost all wars eventually end at the negotiating table," he said.
What happens then depends, of course, entirely on the situation on the battlefield. "And then I have faith and confidence in the political leadership in Ukraine that they are able to make the difficult decisions about negotiations and decide what they are willing to do when the negotiations will eventually start."