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  1. #1
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    Limited Number of Weapons In German Military Ready for Action: Report

    (Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; posted Feb 27, 2018)

    German lawmakers are set to hear about how Germany's military, the Bundeswehr, has access to less than 50 percent of many major weapons systems. The findings are the latest to underscore problems in the armed forces.

    Many primary weapons systems in the Bundeswehr are not available for training exercises or deployment, according to a new Defense Ministry study.

    The "Report on the Operational Readiness of the Bundeswehr's Primary Weapons Systems 2017," which has been seen by the Reuters news agency and the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland media group, is set to be presented to Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, on Wednesday.

    Number of weapon systems ready for action:
    -- Eurofighter jet airplanes: 39 of 128
    -- Tornado jet airplanes: 26 of 93
    -- CH-53 transport helicopters: 16 of 72
    -- NH-90 transport helicopters: 13 of 58
    -- Tiger helicopters: 12 of 62
    -- A400M transport planes: 3 of 15
    -- Leopard 2 tanks: 105 of 224
    -- Navy frigates: 5 of 13

    “Ukraine effect”

    The Defense Ministry said a higher number of training missions and deployments since Russia's intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014 had caused existing equipment to wear down quicker than it had previously.

    The report also did not calculate readiness for each type of weapons system based on the total number of weapons. Instead, it referenced the total number minus weapons under long-term maintenance, modernization or testing.

    This calculation resulted in a total of 81 deployable Eurofighters rather than 128, leading to a higher ratio of airplanes available for deployment.

    Some improvement

    The report found however that the readiness for most weapon types had improved. Around 550 more weapons were available in 2017 for deployment compared to 2014.

    Readiness for weapons used in active foreign missions was also higher than average, the Ministry said.

    Based on these figures, it said that Germany could fulfill its obligations to the NATO alliance, including the rapid deployment force Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

    Defense Minister defends record

    Defense Minister von der Leyen of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) defended the Bundeswehr's progress in an interview with the Bavarian daily newspaper Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday.

    "We cannot make up for the years of reductions and cuts over 25 years," she said, adding that the Bundeswehr's €200 billion ($250 billion) modernization program had been "a long and arduous path," but that the government would remain committed to it.

    Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to set aside €10 billion for the Bundeswehr in a coalition deal, which is still pending approval. The pact also accords the military "priority" along with international development if more money becomes available in the federal budget in the future.

    Greens see red

    The budgetary and defense spokesman for the Greens, Tobias Lindner, accused Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen of failing to remedy a serious problem.

    "A lot of engagements and training exercises understandably put strain on the Bundeswehr, but the military must react proactively and not just look on helplessly at how its equipment breaks down," he said.

    The Defense Ministry's report comes after the Bundestag's military commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, complained about "large holes in personnel and equipment" in the Bundeswehr in a separate paper published in mid-February.

    -ends-
    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...dy%3A-mod.html

    By comparison we have excellent avaiability.
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  2. #2
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    A lot of things have combined to make the situation what it is today, naturally there is the massive cut over almost 30 years (Berlin wall came down in 1989) and the increase in overseas deployments. The cuts were not just capital cuts but more importantly in the area of spares and maintenance. The lack of spare is one of the keys elements in keeping the high tech equipment available. This has been exacerbate by the drip drip funding of new equipment, the NH90 is classic, to save money in 2013 they cut their order from 112 to 82, but as this meant that the R&D was over fewer machines, they actually ended up paying a little more for less aircraft. If they wanted to save they should have taken the 112 and given us the 30 for free!

    Added to this is the Germans not so long ago decided to go from a conscript army to fully professional, although conscription is not abolished just not used anymore at present. This meant the way they did maintenance changed drastically. Where before a small core of experienced techies support large numbers of conscripts the entire work load had to be taken up by the small core of experienced people. And this number just was not enough.

    Lastly is the increase in operational usage, there is still a large German army contingents in Afghanistan, in Mali, in Kosovo and the in Baltics. The first two of which puts a lot of wear on the equipment. The navy has been maintaining a presence off Lebanon and Somalia for a number of years as well as its normal NATO commitments. Hence the low availability of frigates.

    But the biggest item has been the lack of money, German tried to get as much "Peace Dividend" as possible and has seen that 1% does not make the grade, hence why they too have committed to raising their spend to the magic 2% GDP, as has almost every other EU member!

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