The German government has announced that it will provide Ukraine with six Sea King Mk41 military helicopters as support in its war against Russia.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made the announcement during the 18th meeting of the Ramstein Contact Group on the Defense of Ukraine.
He said the decommissioned multi-purpose helicopters will be handed over to the Ukrainian Armed Forces “in the coming months.”
This is the first time Berlin will send much-needed military helicopters to Kyiv since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
In addition to the rotary-wing aircraft, Germany will deliver spare parts and train Ukrainian pilots.
First commissioned in the mid-1970s, the Sea King Mk41 served as a “workhorse of naval aviation” for the German Navy.
It was designed to transport troops and cargo and carry out rescue missions at sea.
With an operational range of 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), the helicopter can conduct operations in adverse weather and combat strikes with its heavy machine guns.
In Ukraine, the Sea King is expected to bolster the reconnaissance and transport capabilities of Kyiv’s forces.
“The Sea King is a proven and robust helicopter that will help the Ukrainians in many areas: from reconnaissance over the Black Sea to transporting soldiers. It is the first German delivery of its kind,” Pistorius said.
Commitment to Ukraine
Germany is one of the major contributors of weapons and equipment to Ukraine, alongside the US and the UK.
It has delivered 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in military aid to the war-torn nation since 2022.
Earlier this month, Berlin donated three Gepard anti-aircraft guns and thousands of artillery shells.
It also pledged to double its military aid to Kyiv in 2024 to up to 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion).