Bundeswehr Continues to Invest in Its Own Capabilities
(Source: German Ministry of Defense; issued May 28, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The Bundeswehr will invest heavily in logistical capabilities and training to the tune of around 520 million euros: A new framework agreement for up to 4,000 trucks with a WLS interchangeable loader system with a load class of 15 tons can now be signed. The training of Eurofighter pilots will also be improved if the simulators at Laage air base are expanded and their cockpits upgraded to eliminate obsolescence.

The stronger focus on national and alliance defense also increases the need for protected and unprotected mobility. The WLS truck loader system are intended to cover this requirement. They enable the transport of supplies and thus the logistical support of the troops without requiring any other handling equipment such as cranes or forklifts. The vehicle simply places the interchangeable platform with the container or the palletized supply goods on it and is then immediately ready to accept another interchangeable platform with a load. Material handling is becoming faster, the supply chain is becoming more efficient and sustainable.

Ready for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023

By the end of 2022, troops are expected to receive up to 75 protected and 90 unprotected WLS trucks with the ZLK loader system and a 15 tonne load. The vehicles are intended for the rapid reaction force of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023. In total, 230 fixed and 310 unprotected vehicles are to be procured for around EUR 360 million, using the firm order provided for when the contract is concluded.

Comprehensive equipment

All vehicles are prepared for the equipment with modern communication and command equipment as well as with a remote-control light weapon station. The protected truck / truck WLS alternate loader system has an armored cab to protect the crew from the effects of enemy weapons and improvised booby traps. The framework contract is concluded for a term of seven years. Up to 4,000 trucks WLS alternating loader system ZLK load class 15 tons can be procured under the contract.

Improved training in the simulator

With four full-mission simulators (FMS), Eurofighter pilots at Laage air base, the central training facility for the Eurofighter weapon system, will be able to practice tactical operations with up to four aircraft. For this purpose, two new FMS will be procured, the existing simulators will be modernized and the previous cockpit trainer (simplified simulator) will be upgraded to a full mission simulator. The Eurofighter deployment concept envisages a formation of four aircraft, also known as a swarm, as a basic combat unit.

This measure represents an important contribution to the training and maintenance of the operational readiness of the flight crews of the Eurofighter weapon system. In future, these four "high-quality simulators" will be able to take over parts of the training syllabus, and provide complex training that would otherwise have to be achieved through actual, and cost-intensive, flight hours.

In the remaining three Eurofighter bases, a cockpit trainer and a Full Mission Simulator are available for training and proficiency sustainment. The simulators at all Eurofighter locations will be comprehensively modernized at a cost of about 160 million euros in order to ensure that the training of the Eurofighter pilots in the future is as realistic as possible across the entire spectrum of capabilities of the weapon system.

25 million euro templates

The projects discussed on Wednesday by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag with a total volume of around 520 million euros were presented under the “25 million euro” regulation, which requires the committee’s authorization for all Bundeswehr projects requiring an investment volume of 25 million euros or more before the contract is concluded.


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