Belgium to double military aid to Ukraine
Belgium will double its military aid to Ukraine and is preparing an aid package of about 90 million euros. The new package includes anti-aircraft weapons, anti-tank weapons, ammunition and assault rifles from FN Herstal.
Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder has indicated Belgium will upscale its military aid to Kiev. The aid, which will be on the table of the Council of Ministers on Friday, is expected to total about €90 million, L’ echo writes. This is almost as much as Ukraine has already received in military equipment since the Russian aggression. This new effort is in line with the commitments made by the Minister and the Chief of Defence (CHOD), Admiral Michel Hofman, during the meeting of Ukraine's allies last week in Ramstein.
A large part of the new delivery will come from Defence depots, but Belgium will also purchase Scar assault rifles from manufacturer FN Herstal, owned by the Walloon Region. The Scar, an acronym for "Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle", is a modular rifle available in two calibres that is also used by several foreign armies, including US special forces and some French units. "They will not be taken from the Belgian army's equipment, but purchased by Belgium from FN Herstal," Admiral Hofman confirmed.
Defence will also add firing posts for French Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles, but without the missiles, as the army has been using up all its stocks for years. Several other countries, including France and Norway, have delivered such missiles to Kiev.
On the other hand, Belgium will not send heavy tanks, which were withdrawn from its arsenal in 2014 and resold to Belgian companies at a very low price (10,000 to 15,000 euros each). The Defence Department has certainly examined the possibility of buying back its old Leopard I tanks, which are of German design, but this avenue faces several obstacles, including their modernisation and the price that the company OIP would ask to sell them.
Defence minister Ludivine Dedonder and King Philippe - Filip of Belgium pictured during a ceremony to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Commando Training Center and the Para Training Center and the 70th anniversary of the Para-Commando Regiment of Belgian defence in Marche-Les-Dames, Tuesday 18 October 2022. © BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY