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German Armed Forces reduced to 150 000?


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Well, that's just a news clip about a recruiting program. If you want the official agitprop, you need to see the "Die Rekrutinnen" web series on the Bundeswehr's own YouTube channel. ;)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unsurprisingly for anybody who has followed the slow growth of troop strength in particular - since previous defense minister Ursula von der Leyen announced a "trend change" for personnel in 2017, recruiting efforts have succeded in increasing the number of active troops only from about 177,000 to 183,000, about 2,000 per year - a current report of the MoD to the Bundestag's defense committee warns that even more than limited financial mid-term planning, a lack of personnel is threatening implementation of capabilities announced to NATO for 2031. Even if the current target of 203,000 by 2025 was met, actual requirements look to be higher.

 

Just saw a report that 183,000 had been exceeded at last year's end. For scale:

 

December 2015: 177,100

 

December 2016: 177,600

 

December 2017: 179,600

 

December 2018: 181,300

 

December 2019: 183,700

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it's clear that the German government has focused at least a little on the more immediate concerns about the state of its armed forces. This is mainly evidenced by last may's announcement of an increase in defence spending, but it seems that there is some effort to spend the money well, rather than pissing it all away on new development weapon systems. there is an effort as noted above to improve manning, but also equipment readiness which as we've noted in the past has been dreadful, and also some signs of improving weapon stocks.

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Invitation to tender for the Bundeswehr's future Heavy Transport Helicopter is finally out with half a year delay for initial failure to apportion money in the defense budget.

 

Boeing and Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky issued their tenders for the CH-47F and CH-53K respectively on 13 January. Final offers to be made at the end of the year, to be decided on in early 2021, with deliveries envisioned from 2024.

Edited by BansheeOne
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It seems AKK's mention of mission in Africa and Asia in her recent speech had a specific background after all. There is talk of granting a French request for greater participation in fighting terrorism in Mali with up to 500 troops, including the training of local special forces; and indeed to deploy a frigate to the Pacific. Interestingly the latter is reportedly an initiative of the foreign ministry for a change, related to Germany's current seat in the UNSC and chair of the North Korea sanctions committee. This would come under the header of embargo enforcement, but could include the odd cruise through the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. I guess they could hop around ports in South Korea and Japan. Allegedly the chancellor's office is not behind this though because, of course, it doesn't want to put additional strain on relations with China.

 

Well, Type 124 frigate Hamburg will deploy in mid-May for this year's French-hosted Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and bilateral DEFRAM exercise off Réunion held in late June, then continue towards Australia and make various port calls around the Indian Ocean from there on a total turn of five months. No mention of the Pacific though.

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The defense budget is now planned to be higher in the next years than originally projected, if Corona doesn't eat it all up - the Bundestag authorized an unprecedented add-on to the national budget yesterday, suspending the constitutional debt cap to borrow an additional 156 billion Euro. The measures also include buying more medical equipment for the Bundeswehr at a cost of 150 million, but the defense plans separately call for 45.6 billion for each of the next three years, about 0.6 more than this year. Original numbers were 44.26, 44.29 and 44.16 for 2021-2023 respectively. Critics had long complained about the mild mid-term reductions envisioned by the ministry of finances.

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Well, there's always a silver lining - if the economic impact of Corona hits as hard as predicted, even we might exceed the two-percent GDP target next year ...

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Former commanding general of the Deployed Forces Command Rainer Glatz and former Bundestag defense ombudsman Hans-Peter Bartels wrote a short paper for the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP) think tank (German) suggesting ways for the Bundeswehr to get more bang for the buck, contending that under the current organization, increasing defense spending mostly means more money gets burned inefficiently. Main points:

- Less brass, more troops by amalgamating some or all of the additional interservice branches that have been created over the last decades (joint force base, medical service, cyber and information space) and reducing commands overall.

- Give procurement decisions back to the individual services rather than the central Federal Agency for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr.

- However, bring back the MoD's planning staff abolished in 2012, and equip the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr better to fulfill his tasks as military advisor of the government and administrative superior of all troops.

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On 8/1/2019 at 12:56 PM, BansheeOne said:

The replacement of the Marine's worn-out Sea Lynxes will be an ASW variant of the NH90 called Sea Tiger, supplementing the Sea Lion transport/SAR variant already succeding the Sea Kings. I guess commonality (and probably NIH) won out. There are of course also concerns - NH90 is too big for the hangar of the Type 123 frigates which will still be in service when it is planned to come in (I guess they will have to wear out the remaining Lynxes), and the hangar doors on Type 124 will have to be enlarged. OTOH, the order is for 30 Sea Tigers plus one testbed to replace the 22 Sea Lynxes, which is commendable in and of itself as an increase of capabilities.

The Bundestag's budget committe signed off on the order of 31 Sea Tigers worth 2.3 billion Euro. Another 400 million for contracts about equipment will be due at a later time.

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