Russian Drones Monitor Ukrainian Tank Training in Germany

Surveillance Challenges for German Military

Russian drones have been reportedly used to spy on Ukrainian troops training with Leopard battle tanks in , posing significant surveillance challenges for the German armed forces.

Despite being a recurring issue for over a year, German forces have yet to intercept any of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or apprehend their operators, reports The Telegraph.

This situation has sparked criticism from German lawmakers, who find the inability to address the problem of drone incursions “unacceptable.”

Details of the Surveillance Operations

Marcus Faber, the defence policy spokesperson for the Free Democratic Party, part of Germany's ruling coalition, has expressed concerns over drones regularly seen over the Klietz military training area.

This specific site is where the Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany, conducts training for Ukrainian forces on operating Leopard 1 tanks.

According to Faber, the organized nature of these drone appearances strongly suggests Russian involvement.

Ukrainian Military Training in Germany

Since the onset of 's full-scale invasion, Germany has trained at least 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

The training encompasses basic infantry skills and extends to advanced military equipment like US Patriot air defence systems and Leopard tanks.

The training is part of Germany's commitment to supporting in its defense against Russian aggression.

Initial Response and Current Challenges

General Carsten Breuer, previously a commander of Germany's homeland defence, noticed suspicious drone activities in October 2022.

In response, he initiated a training program for military officers to use HP 47 jammers, aiming to down unidentified UAVs.

However, with his subsequent to chief of defence, the anti-drone initiative lost momentum.

Only in November of the following year was a drone task force established under Brigadier General Wolfgang Jordan's command.

Growing Pressure on Defence Minister Boris Pistorius

The continued drone surveillance has intensified pressure on Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, with political parties in the ruling coalition calling for decisive action.

Andreas Schwarz from Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats and Sebastian Schäfer from the Greens have both emphasized the urgent need for an effective drone strategy.

Issues with Leopard Tanks Supplied to Ukraine

In a related development, most of the 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks donated by Germany to Ukraine are currently undergoing repairs abroad due to mechanical issues.

The majority of these tanks are taken to a Lithuanian facility for maintenance, primarily for wear and tear rather than combat damage.

The repair process is hindered by a shortage of spare parts and the lack of expertise within Ukraine to conduct repairs near the battlefield.

Calls for Greater Support from Tank Manufacturers

Rheinmetall and KMW, the manufacturers of the Leopard tanks, have been urged to expedite the supply of spare parts and possibly deploy trained mechanics to Ukraine for onsite repairs.

This call for direct support reflects the urgency to keep these vital military assets operational as Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russian aggression.

Image is for illustration purposes only.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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