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German Air Force ‘In dire straits’ says Chief of Staff

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  • German Air Force ‘In dire straits’ says Chief of Staff

    And I thought we had it bad...
    Germany’s air force is in dire straits and funds are urgently needed to modernise its weaponry and systems, the air force chief of staff said according to local reports.
    “The Luftwaffe is at a low point,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, who took over as chief of staff of the air force about a month ago, told 200 industry executives. Gerhartz said his assessment followed visits to various air force sites and discussions with troops that revealed serious deficits in the readiness of aircraft and other equipment.
    “Aircraft are grounded due to a lack of spare parts, or they aren’t even on site since they’re off for maintenance by the industry,” he said. According to Reuters, he said a 400-hour inspection of the Eurofighter combat jets now took a total of 14 months, twice as long as planned, and this was unacceptable.
    His comments followed recent reports by the defence ministry and the German parliament’s military ombudsman that revealed significant gaps in military equipment and personnel.
    Recently, we reported that the vast majority of major weapons systems in the German military are unavailable for training exercises or deployment, according to a new German Defence Ministry report.
    ‘Report on the Operational Readiness of the Bundeswehr’s Primary Weapons Systems’ was presented to Germany’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday.
    Number of weapon systems ready for action according to the report:
    Typhoon jets: 39 of 128
    Tornado jets: 26 of 93
    CH-53 transport helicopters: 16 of 72
    NH-90 transport helicopters: 13 of 58
    Tigre attack helicopters: 12 of 62
    A400M transport aircraft: 3 of 15
    Leopard 2 tanks: 105 of 224
    Frigates: 5 of 13
    Submarines: 0 out of 6

  • #2
    They had a bad week, with a SAM misfire, ship damaged and 2 injuries


    • #3
      Lucky the RAM didn't cook off too. And this is why crews wear anti flash gear during live firing.


      • #4
        no surprise to anyone i'm afraid - German defence capability and readiness has been in freefall for over a decade, you may recall that Germany was due to take command of, and be the framework/lead nation for, the NATO Very High Readiness JTF, a Bde sized formation, in 2019 - Germany has been placed in the invidious position of telling NATO that it was not in a material position to undertake this commitment, and that consequently while it will probably still be 'German lead' for the sake of diplomacy, Germany won't be the lead nation, and won't be providing much of the framework.

        personally its a tale i've heard all over Europe - i work in a NATO HQ, i travel to eastern and central Europe and work with, and speak to, senior Officers, politicians, and civil servants from every NATO country (bar Turkey and Greece..) half a dozen times a year, theres not one who doesn't come with a tale of exasperation at German military capability holidays and disengagement, the term 'disarmament by obsolescence' has become very public code for Germany - indeed during a large NATO excerise in the Baltics this year i watched, and listened to, a senior French officer, a very senior French Officer (someone occupying one of the top 6 posts in the French military), very publicly describe the German military as 'barely functioning', and saying that 'NATO has a German sized hole in it'. he was less diplomatic in front of the Prime Minister of Estonia...

        the next time some siren voice tells you that defence cooperation/operations with Ze Fazerland are the way forward, just remember that if the French are prepared to say that they are a waste of skin and less reliable than cheap insurance, then you may find such cooperation/operations less than satisfying.


        • #5
          This at a time when Trump is telling NATO that they need to start spending more on the organisation.


          • #6
            Originally posted by na grohmit� View Post
            This at a time when Trump is telling NATO that they need to start spending more on the organisation.
            i'm afraid this has been coming for 15 years, Trump might be the one speaking the words but its a speech written by every US President and Defence Secretary from Clinton onwards - they are simply sick to the back teeth of watching European states lecture them about why they must stay in Europe while those same European states spend less and less every year. for all the fanfare the Germans are making about raising the defence budget and doubling it by 2025, they are still cutting it, they haven't reached the bottom of their spending curve yet...

            if the US is still involved - seriously - in Europe by 2020 i'll be stunned. Trump might be a brattish toddler who can be baited by a 12yo on Twitter, but he has a (rare) point - Germany particularly has been happily taking the piss for decades, and the toddler is about to throw his toys out of the pram.