Germany to place order for backfilling howitzers months earlier than planned

FILE PHOTO: Annual Munich Security Conference
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Sunday he expected the contracts for the backfilling of howitzers that Berlin rushed to Ukraine last year to be signed by the end of March, months earlier than originally planned.

"If everything works out, the contracts for the new howitzers will be signed by the end of the coming month," he told German public broadcaster ARD.

Pistorius, who took office in January, did not specify the number of weapons to be reordered, but the German military last year handed over 14 self-propelled howitzers produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to Kyiv.

Pistorius' predecessor had planned to present the order for new howitzers to parliament for approval in mid-2023, according to a defence source.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Tom Sims)