The invasion of Ukraine meant the end of the European post-war order and heralds a turning point in security policy for Germany and all European countries. As the human tragedy of war touches HENSOLDT as a company but also our employees on an individual level, we started to help the Ukranian people in different ways, both military and civil.
The large-scale attack by Russia on the 24th of February 2022 on its western neighbour Ukraine has a huge impact on the whole world in many different aspects. Especially the European attitude towards military and defence has changed significantly. This is especially the case in Germany, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed the so-called "Zeitenwende" – the turn of times.
In addition to the delivery of armaments to Ukraine, German Chancellor Scholz has announced a special fund for the armed forces of €100 billion as well as an increase in the defence budget to over 2% of GDP from 2022 onwards in order to increase the operational readiness of the Bundeswehr, with the aim of having an efficient, state-of-the-art, future-oriented military.
Clear positioning from the start
The shock of the Russian invasion was huge. Not only for the direct victims, but also the rest of Europe. HENSOLDT as a company quickly shook off this shock and publicly advocated the support of the attacked nation also in a military way – a question that has been controversionally discussed especially in our home country Germany.
But the positioning was clear:
We must help Ukraine to be able to defend itself against the Russian attack. However, it is not enough to just supply the equipment itself. Our support must also include training, logistics, ammunition, maintenance, etc. Thomas Müller
As HENSOLDT still had to wait about how to equip Ukraine with advanced defence technologies, our employees showed impressive self-initiative to help the people in the country under attack:
For example, our employees Rico and Markus (picture below) read that many aid stations had refused to accept further donations due to lack of space. Out of this the idea took shape: bringing the aid supplies to the crisis region by themselves. A couple of days later, they set off in a van to the Polish-Ukrainian border to bring relief goods from a privately organized donation campaign directly to where they were most urgently needed. The impressive result of their engagement: 2860 kilometers, 34 hours and one ton of delivered relief supplies.
To support such individual activities, HENSOLDT made a total sum of 100,000 euros available for employee engagement in Ukraine aid. In this way, our colleagues could retrieve funds up to 2,500 euros for a project in which they are involved themselves. Among the organizations, associations and initiatives supported this way have been among others asylum helper groups, relief convoys and charity runs.
“The variety of requests and projects shows the corners and ends where help is needed everywhere. It makes me proud that so many colleagues are volunteering for Ukraine Aid."
Life saving air defence
But HENSOLDT has also been able to help the East-European country with technology in the military area to defend its people. After approval of the German government, HENSOLDT is supplying four of its high-performance TRML-4D radars in record time as part of Diehl Defence's IRIS-T SLM air defence system, which is designed to strengthen Ukraine's defence capability. The first of these radars has already been delivered in October, with three more to follow within the coming months.
“The situation in Ukraine requires quick and decisive action. Due to a serial production line and the commitment of our employees, we are able to deliver such systems to protect the population in the shortest possible time", claims HENSOLDT CEO Thomas Müller.
TRML-4D uses the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology with multiple digitally shaped beams. It is capable of detecting, tracking and classifying various types of aerial targets, with a focus on small, fast and low-flying and/or manoeuvring cruise missiles and aircraft, as well as hovering helicopters. It ensures the rapid detection and tracking of some 1,500 targets in a radius of up to 250 km.
And the air defence systems works very well: According to Ukrainians like Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal or ex-boxer Wladimir Klitschko, the German IRIS-T SLM system including HENSOLDT´s TRML-4D could already defang various Russian missiles and so saving lifes every day in use!
Due to this effective use, HENSOLDT has been awarded to supply two additional TRML-4D radars to strengthen Ukraine's air defence - and make a contribution to end this human tragedy as fast as possible.