KOBLENZ, Germany --- Chaired by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the ministry’s Armaments Board met at the Federal Office for equipment, information technology and use of the Bundeswehr in Koblenz on 12 March. At the meeting, the ministry’s executive leadership reviewed and discussed the status reports of the 15 major defense projects.
Each project manager informed the Minister on the status, progress, risks and problems of the 15 main armament programs.
The six-hour working session of the Armament Board was preceded by four months of intensive preparation. Since the introduction of the new arms management procedures, each major program prepared detailed status reports listing their risks and problems.
Project status reports will be forwarded to Parliament
The 15 major projects that were discussed in Koblenz have a total cost of about 58 billion euros, or about 70% of all current defense procurement projects. Their average maturity is 13 years.
On average, the completion of the projects takes 4 years longer than planned. In contrast to the partially decades old, original calculations, the average budget of the 15 projects have been exceeded by 29% - equivalent to a total of 12.9 billion euros. The main reason for the price increases are the numerous delays in the status of the projects. and the corresponding price adjustments.
The evaluation of major projects under the newly-introduced risk management approach encompasses more than 500 individual risks, of which more than 100 are classified as serious. All risk-mitigation measures have been initiated in the meantime.
The project status reports form the basis for a comprehensive and transparent report on arms acquisition of the Bundeswehr, and will be submitted to the Bundestag by the middle of next week for its information.
Third Armaments Board
The Armaments Board was originally established by former Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere to regularly inform the management level of the Defence Ministry on the status of military equipment projects. The subsequent report also seeks to increase their transparency towards Parliament.
At present, the third meeting of the Armaments Board was attended by the Minister and by the responsible project managers, Secretaries of State, the Head of the concerned departments and agencies, and the representative for the strategic management of national and international defense activities.
First Meeting after Armaments Agenda
The Armaments Board met for the first time under the chairmanship of the current Minister in October 2014. The Armaments Board evaluates and implements the results of external opinions on the defense and procurement of the Bundeswehr.
At the first Armaments Board in February 2014, von der Leyen did not approve any project reports, and ordered a comprehensive review and inventory of all major armaments programs.