Ukraine Now Receives Tanks. Ukraine Moves towards Warships and Submarines

The Western nations agreed to provide tanks to the Russian invaders this week. This prompted the Ukrainian government and other countries to expand their reach, with talks about major military equipment.

(above, clockwise from top left: German Frigate Lübeck (F214), German Leopard-2 Main Battle Tank, German 212A diesel-electric hydrogen fuel cell attack submarine, F-16 fighter jet)

Talk of NATO nations supplying long-range missiles, warships, submarines, and fighter jets is evident, with Ukrainian government figures seemingly tasked with acquiring new equipment wasting absolutely no time to push new ideas immediately after the dam burst on tank supply.

After the United States, Germany and other countries dropped objections about sending offensive armour this week to Ukraine, the shift to tank talk was almost immediate. The conversation, thanks to Ukrainian diplomats trying talk Western powers into more equipment, has taken another step forward.

Reports indicate that talks to acquire long-range missiles for Ukraine are in full swing. “fast-track”. Mykhailo podolyak is the advisor to President Zelensky of Ukraine. He has long been an advocate for west warplanes and was involved in missile negotiations. He said that he wanted to show allies how getting advanced weapons would work. “reduce fatalities… reduce security threats to the European continent, this will keep the war localised”.

Nevertheless, Podolyak criticised some unnamed allied nations as being “conservative”Their attitude towards military aid was because they were worried “changes in the international architecture”In other words: a deviation from the status-quo

But even larger and more sophisticated weapons than long-range missiles, main battle tanks, and jet fighters are apparently on Ukraine’s shopping list. Andrij Melnyk was the headline this week as Deputy Foreign Minister. instantly demanding jetsEven though the ink had yet to dry on the tank deal, the admiral has turned his attention towards naval power.

Speaking of Ukraine’s ambition to kick Russia out of the black sea, the diplomat pointed to Germany’s class of six 212A diesel-electric attack submarines, asking for one of them, and a German frigate, the Lübeck which was taken out of service last month.

The 212A submarine is small and discreet. It uses hydrogen fuel cells for power, while an electric motor allows silent running under water. “Why not to send one to Ukraine?”, Melnyk posited.

This diplomat is also the ex-ukraine ambassador to Germany. He made similar arguments for a German warship. Laid down in the 1980s and decommissioned in December after it completed its final deployment last summer, the frigate Lübeck is therefore presently surplus to requirement but may still be in a position to be re-activated quickly.

Melnyk described the ship as a vessel that was driven by political will “it could be transferred to Ukraine to combat [Russian] submarines & war ships in the Black Sea”, citing the ship’s Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missiles.

The requests for ever more sophisticated weapons of war beg serious questions for Western allies about how involved, exactly, they are willing to get in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The United States had long insisted — right up until the point it flipped and agreed to send them — that its Abrams main battle tanks were too sophisticated to quickly train Ukrainians to drive, fight, and maintain. It is difficult to donate a sub-sea vessel with an innovative energy system and crew. While sending a man-manned submarine to the sea is feasible, this would require a NATO member to commit war.

A typical submarine crew would embody decades of experience and training to effectively use one of the most sophisticated weapons systems in the world, and even for experienced crews in competent navies the complexity of submarine operations has meant a steady drumbeat of subs grounded, damaged, and lost — with deadly consequences — for as long as they’ve been in service.

Underlining the problem, German state politician Martin Habersaat quipped back at Melnyk’s request for one of Germany’s six submarines, asking how many sailors in Ukraine’s navy knew how to operate submarines at all.

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