A military expert shares his opinion with Pravda. Ru about recent supplies of Western arms to the West.
German arms for Ukraine
The German government intends to supply the following arms systems to Kyiv:
- 30 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns,
- IRIS-T air defense system,
- three Mars MLRS,
- 22 trucks,
- 80 pickups.
The story of German SPAAGs equipped with 35 mm Oerlikon GDF automatic cannons chambered for a 35×228 mm unitary projectile is curious for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Germany was going to supply them as early as in April of this year although to no avail, because ammunition for this weapon is made in Switzerland.
The condition of Gerard systems is also a question. The fact is that all 50 Gepard units to be sent to the east still need to be reactivated. All of them have been kept in long-term storage, as there was no sales market for them. In fact, the Germans have been trying to sell their arms to third countries for three decades in a row, but no one expressed interest. The brainchild of the German defense industry could only be kept in warehouses.
It appears that Germany seems to be resisting the escalation of the conflict as much as possible. In particular, Berlin forbade Spain from supplying Leopard 2A4 tanks. Anti-aircraft Gepards are not suitable for offensive operations.
What does Poland supply to Ukraine?
Warsaw behaves differently.
Allegedly, about 230 Polish PT-91 Twardy tanks have already arrived in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the special operation, Kyiv has recieved at least 200 units of former Soviet armored vehicles left by the countries of the so-called “Visegrad Four”. Meanwhile, as of the end of July, Ukraine has lost more than 4,140 tanks and other types of armoured vehicles. In the beginning of the special operation, it was announced that Ukraine had 3,200 armoured vehicles.
The Polish tank is a profound modernization of the licensed version of the Soviet T-72 Ural tank. The combat vehicle modified by the Poles has:
- a new fire control system (Polish-made fire monitoring system 4M Drava),
- anti-laser system for setting up an aerosol curtain of the Russian Shtora class.
- active one- or two-layer armor,
- NATO radio communication system.
Military experts believe that this tank could be good on the battlefield some time back in the late 1980s — about 40 years ago that is.
However, all these innovations, invented by the Polish Center for Research and Design of Mechanisms and the Military Institute of Armament and Technology, do not put the PT-91 Twardy tank even close to a T-90, let alone the Armata tank. Similarly to the American Abrams, Twardy is made of heavy steel, therefore it is incapable of maneuvering quickly. Polish military specialists do not even compare this tank to Russia’s T-72B3M, which is slightly older.
Years ago, they started developing a new combat vehicle called Gorilla. Such a poetic name. As Polish engineers assumed, the new creation would have everything that the Twardy tank lacked: protection against electromagnetic radiation, ceramic tiles, etc.
The project sounds great, but the Gorilla has never been put in production. Warsaw lacks both funds and technical capabilities to create its own armored miracle, let alone the fact that Washington is not interested in it at all.
Curiously, in addition to outdated Twardy tanks, Warsaw 247 modern German Leopard 2 tanks. However, Poland does not run to supply them to Ukraine.
France is more generous
The French are ready to supply six more CAESAR self-propelled guns to Ukraine — a self-propelled analogue of the towed gun TRF1. The President of France promised to supply those systems during his memorable visit to Kyiv.
The range of the 155 mm howitzer is 42 kilometers. Fire control is carried out automatically with the use of SIGMA 30 sighting group and the French NAVSTAR satellite system. Deployment takes four minutes. The system transforms into the travel position in about two minutes. The gun has an ammunition load of 18 active-rocket projectiles with automatic feeding to the loading tray. The use of a piston instead of the wedge gate simplifies the operation of the howitzer.
This is a indeed a formidable weapon that the French supply to:
- Czech Republic,
- Saudi Arabia,
- and Vietnam.
The French have no more than 76 pieces of this expensive guns. Twelve CAESAR is the maximum that Paris can supply to Kyiv. Six of them have been supplied, and six others still remain a promise. The market price for one such gun is at least seven million.
Why do the French supply their priceless CAESAR systems to Ukraine at all? Do they want to harm Russia? The only explanation is as practical as it can be. The French want to test their systems in real combat action and see how they work. Ukraine is the best choice for this.
The new NATO military doctrine adopted at the Madrid Conference appears to be stillborn. NATO allies do not seem to be able to agree among themselves. They have a long way to go before they can say for sure that NATO will contain both Russia and China.
See for yourself. Annalena Baerbock, the head of the German Foreign Ministry, warned that if Canada does not return the turbine to Gazprom, Berlin will cut military assistance to Kyiv completely, Globe and Mail said.
Hungarian President Viktor Orban went even further. On the air of Kossuth Radio, he said that regarding the conflict in Ukraine, NATO’s military strategy was not working at all. Such a statement made during the fifth month into the special operation sounds like a final verdict.
There is an ancient truth in geopolitics: those who lose the initiative never retain their original position.
NATO and the United States will not be able to return to the pre-war status quo. The bloc is facing disintegration and chaos. Russia will be the main beneficiary of the process.
Even if we apply the simple rule of mirror symmetry, it will take at least a quarter of a century for the West to rise from the ashes.