Armaments Agenda: Trend Reversal Working
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued April 17, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
A German Army Puma infantry combat vehicle. Despite technical issues that have impaired its service introduction, deliveries are due to pick up, and 67 are due to be delivered this year, along with 51 Boxer 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles. (BMVg photo)
BERLIN --- The Armaments agenda is increasingly taking hold. Around 35 billion euros have been released since 2014 by the German Bundestag for investment in the equipment of the Bundeswehr.

The turn-around requires strength. How much power and effort is behind the agenda armor can be illustrated by the numbers 35 and 90: A total of 35 billion euros have been released since 2014 for investment in the equipment and equipment of the Bundeswehr, for 90 major weapons projects, the so-called 25 million submissions by the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg). This term describes all Bundeswehr procurement projects whose total cost exceeds EUR 25 million, and which thus require the separate approval by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag.

Innovation takes time

Weapons technology is high technology, and new technology needs development time. In some cases, product capabilities for the Bundeswehr are completely redeveloped. For armaments projects, however, this means imponderability in the realization of procurement projects for the Bundeswehr. With taxpayers spending a lot of money on a regular basis, it is important to ensure that the desired purpose is achieved and that the product provides the desired capabilities.

In order to bring the required equipment and equipment to the troops faster and more reliably, and to keep it ready for use, numerous changes have been made to the necessary processes and their interfaces. The extensive purchases of recent years and the planned inflows of equipment and equipment are the first fruits of this work. In order to consolidate this modernization, transparent planning must be provided with sufficient funding.

Large projects remain within the framework

Large and extensive projects always involve special challenges. The fact that the Armaments Agenda works with its control mechanisms is demonstrated, for example, by the swift purchases of the C-130J, with which Germany and France want to operate a joint squadron in Evreux, France.

Likewise, the Multinational MRTT Multi Role Transport Tanker Fleet is on schedule. This tanker fleet is to be provided jointly by Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg. Delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for the first half of 2020.

Another example of a successful large procurement project is the H145M helicopter (LUH SOF) for the special forces. The project remained within the time and cost limits and the H145 was able to prevail as a platform in competition for the new rescue helicopter (LUH SAR). The contract for seven helicopters was closed by the Bundeswehr in 2018.

What's next?

All military organizational areas of the Bundeswehr benefit in the current legislative period from the delivery of new equipment and equipment. For example, in 2019, 67 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, 51 wheeled Boxer wheeled armored vehicles, seven A400M transport aircraft and ten NH90 transport helicopters are planned for delivery.

Eurofighter will also be delivering five aircraft, including the last one from the current tranche. With the Sea Lion (NH90 for the Navy), deliveries begin with the planned three aircraft. The Navy will also receive at least one F125 frigate in 2019.

During the legislative period, for example, 33,500 terminals of modern radio systems, 50,000 protective vests, 34,500 new combat helmets and nearly one million combat boots sets will be procured for our soldiers.

And then?

The modernization of the Bundeswehr continues. For the coming months alone, several more 25 million submissions from the Federal Ministry of Defense are planned. A number of these projects are foreseen for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2023 and have a planned budget of around four billion euros.

An important goal: to achieve transparency before the contract is concluded. With a solid foundation before the conclusion of the contract, a procurement decision is made in which the risks are clearly addressed and distributed. This also significantly reduces subsequent disruptions in the course of the armaments project. This gives the Bundeswehr more power at a more reliable price. At the same time, the future viability of the weapon system is ensured.

Findings from previous projects serve the continuous improvement. In projects where existing products can be used, these risks can be further minimized. At the same time, a faster usability in the troop can be achieved.

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