UAV ‘Attacks’ German Military Base Training Ukrainian Troops On Leopard Main Battle Tanks : BILD Report

With burgeoning German military assistance to Ukraine, which involves extensive training modules, a German publication recently claimed that the country’s military bases where this training is conducted have been attacked by unidentified Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

According to a report published in Bild, these drones are spotted flying overhead military installations almost every week. The German military has been aware of this issue for over a year. 

The report stated that a German commander gave military police officers urgent instructions in October 2022 to undergo anti-drone gadget training. On top of that, the German Armed Forces formed a task force in mid-November 2023 to combat unlawful drone flights.

However, currently, there is no information on the operational status of this task force. Bild observed that the drones are often seen over training grounds where the Ukrainian military troops receive instruction. 

Members of Germany’s Defense Committee and Free Democratic Party Marcus Faber said, “Drones are regularly spotted over the Klietz military training area, where the Bundeswehr (German military) trains Ukrainians (on Leopard 1 tank).” 

Last year, the consortium of Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands announced they would transfer the Leopard-1A5 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine. However, the transfer of these tanks also requires the training of Ukrainian tank operators. According to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius’ previous announcement, these tank operators have been trained in Germany since April last year,

These training grounds have, thus, garnered a third party’s interest. Although it hasn’t been verified, Faber and the German military suspect that Russia may be responsible for the drone flights. A German military officer brought attention to the situation as early as October 2022, while other German parliamentarians voiced concern over the government’s lack of action. 

Nicholas Drummond on X: "Leopard 1A5 being prepared by KMW for Ukraine. Although an older MBT its 105 mm gun remains a potent weapon that will defeat most Russian tanks, as well
Leopard 1A5 is being prepared by KMW for Ukraine (via Platform X)

The Russian military has cutting-edge drones in its arsenal that are frequently used for carrying out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations against its adversaries. If Russia is indeed spying on Ukrainian training grounds, it would likely be to collect crucial information on the operation of these Western tanks that have already been fielded on the frontline.

Andreas Schwarz of Germany’s Social Democratic Party said, “We must not allow Russia to spy on military training areas with drones.” On the other hand, Faber said that the Bundeswehr requires more advanced jamming technology and has “a huge amount of catching up to do when it comes to drones.”

Germany Is Training Thousands Of Ukrainian Troops

In October last year, the European Union gave the Ukrainian military a two-year authorization to train in Poland, Germany, and other EU members. Programs for commander training, logistical training, and training in radioactive, bacterial, and chemical protection are all part of the role.

Germany, for one, has not only emerged as one of the biggest providers of military aid to Ukraine but also cemented its position as the country that trains several Ukrainian soldiers to prepare them for conflict against Russia using cutting-edge Western-grade weaponry.

In 2023, about 260 training sessions were conducted on German land by German and multinational units, training over 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The expertise provided ranges from mine defense and urban warfare to the Patriot Phased Array Tracking Radar and the Intercept on Target missile defense system.

Established on November 15th, 2022, a complex structure, EUMAM UA European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine (European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine), was quickly established to arrange all Ukrainian soldiers’ training in Germany. 

The military forces of various European countries and the Bundeswehr supply the training units, according to information published on the official website of the Bundeswehr. 

“Training on weapons systems such as the LEOPARD A1 tank, the MARDER armored personnel carrier, the PATRIOT missile defense system, or the PANZERHAUBITZE 2000 requires the highest level of expertise from the trainers.

“The Bundeswehr and trainers provided these from several European nations. In addition, there are training courses such as an Assault Sapper Section Course ASSC (assault pioneers), rifleman or wooded and urban combat. Less high-tech content is taught there,” says the website.

According to the Bundeswehr, infantry abilities are paramount. A diverse selection of trainers is necessary to accommodate the large spectrum of training. The numerous support employees, including translators, chefs, military police, ambulance services, etc., are added to this. About 16 persons are needed for every 10 Ukrainians receiving training.

“EUMAM European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine will be continued in 2024 and support Ukraine in its fight against the enemy. The experience gained in 2023 will be considered, and the training will be increasingly adapted to Ukraine’s needs.

“As next year’s requirements will also have to be adapted to unknown factors such as weapons deliveries and the course of the war, flexibility will remain the key to successful training. No matter how difficult it is to adapt the training, all European nations agree that we will continue, no matter how long it takes!”