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German military SEVERELY UNDERFUDED - (article)


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Despite the fact that the German Army/Bundeswehr recently reactivated some 100 previously mothballed Leopard 2 tanks in reaction to the events in Ukraine, there seems to be many symptoms of a systematic decline in the German armed forces:

National Interest

Is Germany's Military Dying?

It won't be a loss on the battlefield that destroys Berlin's armed forces, but rather massive underfunding.
Germany now spends just 1.2% of GDP on defense, far below the NATO recommended 2%.

Kyle Mizokami
September 1, 2015

Eurofighter Typhoon: Germany was originally buying 180 Eurofighters, but a cancelled purchase in 2014 means only 143 fighters will be acquired. As of October 2014, only 42 of 109 Eurofighters were in flying condition, the rest grounded by lack of spare parts. At the same time, Germany reportedly halved annual flying hours for air crews, fearing that the fuselage would become unstable.

Eurofighter Tornado: The German Navy and Air Force received a total of 357 Tornado aircraft. Their numbers reduced after the Cold War, Germany plans to keep the remainder in service until 2025 or beyond. Like other German weapon systems the Tornados are underfunded and of August 2014, only 38 of 89 were operational.

Leopard II Main Battle Tank: West Germany procured 2,125 Leopard IIs - enough to equip nearly twelve panzer (tank) and panzergrenadier (mechanized infantry) divisions. The end of the Cold War and declining defense budgets caused Germany to shed nearly 90% of its tank force, and today the Bundeswehr has just 225 Leopard II tanks.

Panzergrenadier Battalion: Panzergrenadiers are the Bundeswehr's mechanized infantry. Germany has nine panzer grenadier battalions - each fields 900 men, roughly fifty infantry fighting vehicles and MILAN and Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons.

Last February, Panzergrenadier Battalion 371, based in Marienburg, was participating in a NATO exercise in Norway. News quickly spread that the battalion, part of NATO's Rapid Reaction Force, suffered from a shortage of pistols and night vision goggles. A shortage of MG3 machine guns meant broomsticks were painted black and pressed into service to simulate them. A new report states that the situation was even worse: Panzergrenadier Battalion 371 had to borrow 14,371 pieces of equipment from a total of 56 other Bundeswehr units... and it was still short on equipment.