Germany to send Ukraine six 'Sea King' helicopters for air defence

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in Vilnius
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will send six helicopters to Ukraine out of Germany's military inventory to be delivered from the second quarter of this year, its defence minister Boris Pistorius announced on Tuesday, the first delivery of its kind from Germany.

The helicopters, called "Sea King" helicopters, should help Ukraine with everything from surveillance of the Black Sea to transporting soldiers, Pistorius said.

The minister was speaking at a meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, where over 50 states and organisations plan capabilities on Ukraine's frontline. Germany and France have led the coalition for air defence together since November.

"For the protection of the Ukrainian people and infrastructure, air defence continues to be the number 1 priority. We also need more speed with arms production," Pistorius said.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Writing by Victoria Waldersee)