On 11 September, Handelsblatt (2023) reported that Germany was moving away from the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a Franco-German joint venture for the development of a next-generation main battle tank (MBT). On 22 September, however, a new meeting between the French and German MoDs rebuilt hope for the project, although postponing its delivery up to 2045 (Kayali et al., 2023).
This Info Flash outlines the critical security aid that has reached Kyiv from the European members of the NATO alliance. Ukraine has welcomed this aid from its European counterparts, but the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has continuously pressed European leaders to allow the transfer of their main battle tanks (MBTs) to help push back Russian forces. This request has ignited debates among policymakers and analysts about whether MBTs would make a difference for Ukraine on the battlefield and whether states should grant Zelensky’s request for tanks. As a result, the policies of European NATO members regarding MBT transfers have been mixed since February 2022. Some European NATO members quickly supplied Ukraine with MBTs, while others have only recently given the green light to transfer MBT units.
This Info Flash is aimed at outlining the current motions in the extremely sensible relationship between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine. The current developments are very much centred on Germany and Poland’s cooperation that is becoming more and more expressive with some of the particular military aid that these countries plan to send to Ukraine. Poland and Germany have determined that Ukraine deserves more profound military help and support from the EU and its members states (Radford, 2023). However, this hot topic about the Leopard tanks is debatable and controversial because of its urgency, and equally because of its importance in terms of its effects on EU-Russia relations.
With the live coverage of the war in Ukraine from media all around the world, it is easy to run into photos or videos of Russian tanks. In Ukraine, Russia’s main battle tank (MBT) is the T-72, but they also deployed some T-80s and some T-90s. By carefully looking at these units, it can be noticed that Russian, but also Ukrainian tanks are equipped with small blocks all around their armour. These blocks are an additional defensive armour, which serves the purpose to protect the tank and its crew from anti-tank weapons. This additional armour is called Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).
Amidst the war between Ukraine and Russia, Poland obtained 116 Abrams Tanks after sealing the deal with the United States, which constitutes the supplier.