High Tempo At Trendwende: Tailwind for Bundeswehr modernization
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued June 27, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Improvements and upgrades to the German Army’s Puma infantry fighting vehicle, seen here on a training range, will absorb over €700m of the additional €1 billion in extra spending authorized Thursday by the Bundestag’s Budget Committee. (Bundeswehr photo)
The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has released more than a billion euros this week for various armament projects. These include MARS II guided artillery rockets for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) by 2023; improvements to the Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle, notably to improve cooperation with dismounted forces are also to be realized by 2023; investment in the new SARah satellite reconnaissance system; modernization of the Patriot air defense system, and procurement of a new version of the Luna reconnaissance drone. In addition, three new aircraft are to be bought for flight readiness.

Satellite reconnaissance for Bundeswehr

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has today released 116 million euros for changes in the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SARah) radar satellite reconnaissance system. Among other things, the additional funds will be used for cyber security for satellites, other security technologies and new crypto requirements of the Federal Office for Information Technology Protection.

SARah is a satellite system with two reflector satellites, a phased array satellite, a ground station in Germany and antennas in Germany and Sweden. The system can provide, by day and night and under adverse weather conditions, world-wide imagery data. Among other things, SARah can provide information for early crisis detection, crisis management and humanitarian aid, as well as in assessing proliferation activities, verification of arms control and disarmament agreements, and last but not least, the deployment of armed forces and the fight against terrorism.

-- Smooth transition
The SARah reconnaissance system will replace in 2022 the radar-based and previously used SAR-Lupe satellite system. The amending agreement now approved by the Budget Committee is a so-called “25 million bill” submitted by the Federal Ministry of Defense.

Medium-range aircraft for the Ministry of Defense
At the end of this year, three Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft are to be purchased. A total of around 240 million euros are earmarked to reinforce the medium-range during the flight readiness.

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag today approved the purchase of three Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft for the German Defence Ministry, with a total budget of up to 240 million euros. The aircraft should be ready by the end of 2019.

-- Already in use by the end of the year
With these brand-new aircraft, the medium-range aviation capabilities of the Federal Ministry of Defense are strengthened. The aircraft should be able to begin service by the end of 2019. The new aircraft will also be equipped with a self-protection system and extended communication options. The Bombardier Global 6000 can fly to distances of up to 11,000 km.

-- Diverse tasks
The range of missions for the aircraft is broad and goes beyond the transport of persons from the political and parliamentary sphere. The Global 6000 are also available for the military air transport of casualties and sick as well as for crisis management. In addition to the aircraft themselves, the 240 million euro budget includes the associated protection systems, communication equipment, training services for personnel and spare parts.

-- Lower expense
The aircraft model adapts with great synergy effects in the existing fleet of the aviation readiness of the BMVg Federal Ministry of Defense. As a result, the effort in operation, for example, in training, logistics and maintenance and repair, the aircraft is minimized. With a highly unified fleet of Global 5000 and Global 6000 mid-range aircraft, the BMVg Federal Ministry of Defense's aviation readiness will be more flexible and more responsive to unpredictable events.

Since the aircraft are not used solely by the German Armed Forces and the Federal Ministry of Defense, but are available for the transport of government members, the purchase is financed through section 60 of the federal budget. Under this section, all incoming and outgoing expenses are not allocated to a single department or concern the federal government as a whole.

Modernization: Procurement of components for Patriot

Investments secure the ground-based airspace defense capabilities. The Bundeswehr is procuring components for the Patriot weapon system for around 120 million euros.

Today, the Budget Committee has approved a “25 million bill” submitted by the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg Federal Ministry of Defense) with a total financing volume of around 120 million euros.

-- Still suitable even after 2030
The Patriot weapon system will serve for ground-based air defense until at least 2030. Now it is being prepared for the coming years. With the bill now approved by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag, around 120 million euros will be invested in preserving Patriot’s operational readiness. With this, the air defense capabilities of the weapon system can be maintained.

Specifically, 14 digital radar processors, six modern operator stations for the command posts and spare parts are to be purchased. Technical support will also be provided to retrofit the Patriot with new equipment. The modernized systems should arrive with the troops by 2022.

-- Proven system
The Patriots are used for air defense and can also intercept short-range ballistic missiles. As a result, for example, they can protect buildings or small areas. From the end of 2012 to the end of 2015, German Patriot systems were stationed in Turkey. Their use on Operation Active Fence Turkey protected three bordering Turkish cities from possible air attacks during the Syrian civil war.

By the end of the 20s, a new tactical air defense system is to be introduced. It will provide comprehensive protection against all airborne threats in future missions, representing a significant leap in capability over today's systems. Until then, the modernized Patriot system will continue to serve and provide adequate protection.

Next generation Luna program begins

The Bundeswehr intends to acquire another nine Luna reconnaissance systems for around 130 million euros. The Luna Next Generation will replace the Bundeswehr’s small unmanned aircraft for target location.

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag today released about 130 million euros for the purchase of nine reconnaissance systems of the type Luna Next Generation / Bundeswehr (Luna NG / B). So far, three of these tactical systems and a training system have already been ordered by the Bundeswehr. The first system should enter service by the end of 2019. This begins the mission-oriented equipment of the troop with the unmanned aerial vehicles.

-- More than just an aircraft
The Luna NG / B is an unmanned medium-range airborne reconnaissance vehicle. With a radius of about 100 kilometers, the Luna improves the retrieval of tactical information. Good reconnaissance results contribute significantly to the success of military operations. The Luna NG / B replaces the small aircraft targeting that are currently used for this purpose.

A Luna NG / B system includes five unmanned aerial vehicles with electro-optical and infrared sensors, two ground control stations and associated communications in protected functional containers, two telemetry antennas on trailers, workshop equipment integrated into a protected container and a spare parts package.

Each system in the standard configuration includes two take-off and landing devices. The technical documentation and training aids are also included in the scope of delivery of a system.

-- Continuous improvement
In its basic configuration, the Luna NG / B aircraft is launched by catapult. The landing takes place with a parachute or with a safety net. But there is not always enough space for a safety net or the landing by parachute available. Therefore, the manufacturer has developed a system for vertical takeoffs and landings for the aircraft type.

In order for the Luna NG / B to gai this new capability, the system still has to pass extensive testing by the Bundeswehr. This capability will then be integrated into the Lunas at no extra cost.

Firepower and networking: Puma infantry fighting vehicle will be improved

For a total of about 730 million euros, the armored infantry vehicle Puma will be greatly improved. As a result, the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023 will gain a large capability increase. Networking of vehicle and crew increases combat power.

For investment in the armoured infantry (Panzergrenadiertruppe) and the armored infantry fighting vehicle Puma, the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has today released a total of more than 700 million euros. Four years after its introduction, the Puma is to undergo extensive improvements, including improved networking between the vehicle and the crew. Improved and extended Puma and Panzergrenadier capabilities for the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023 will be the result.

-- Better visibility
If you see better, you aim better and meet sooner. Therefore, the armored infantry vehicles Puma also receive visibility improvements. Additional camera systems will be installed on the vehicle, and the systems will become color-capable. Overall, the field of view is increased. This also applies under tactical conditions when the hatches are closed.

The mobility of the vehicle will increase, and the transported Panzergrenadiers will have a better view of the environment and possible opponents; especially, the immediate proximity of the vehicle will then be fully observed.

-- Networking brings added value
Networking in action between the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and the dismounted Panzergrenadier rifle squad will be achieved with the extended "Infantryman of the Future" (IdZ-ES) system.

For the first time, the crew and the dismounted squad will receive an equal, comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the situation. Even the exchange of large amounts of data is possible. This networking enables faster action, increases protection and mobility, a decisive advantage in combat. Both the components IdZ-ES and the Puma will be improved.

-- Higher firepower
In the Puma, the weapon system "multi-role light guided missile system" is scaffolded. Hardware and software components of the infantryman of the future will be adapted and a uniform management information system will be established. Modern radios complete the upgrade.

Altogether, 41 Puma infantry fighting vehicles and ten so-called IdZ-ES soldier systems will be upgraded early on. For the Panzer Grenadiers armored infantry, with their Pumas deployed in the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023, this means a significant qualitative improvement of their abilities.

Rockets for the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023

The VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023 will buy 900 guided missiles. The Budget Committee has released about 150 million euros for this purpose.

The Budget Committee of the German Bundestag has today provided € 148 million for the purchase of 900 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System) guided missiles with unitary warheads. The missiles will be delivered by 2022 and will be available for the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023. The delivery complements a procurement from the year 2017, which will be delivered this year.

The GPS-guided GMLRS Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System primarily targets point and individual targets at distances between 15 and 75 kilometers. Because of its high-accuracy, in all weather conditions, collateral damage can be avoided. The unitary warhead penetrates into the target and then explodes. The missile can also be used against area targets. The guided missiles are regularly inspected to ensure operational readiness. These artillery rockets have a shelf life of up to 25 years.

The procurement of the GMLRS Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System with unitary warhead is a so-called “25 million bill” submitted by the Federal Ministry of Defense. These projects, with a financial cost of at least 25 million euros, require the separate approval of the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag. All of these projects are already earmarked and approved in the federal budget.

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