From Bridge Layer to Guided Missile: Bundestag Approves Procurements
(Source: German Armed Forces; issued July 02, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The budget committee of the German Bundestag has approved the purchase of new rockets for the MARS rocket launcher and the modernization of Patriot missiles. It also approved new battlefield bridgelayers, aircraft for signals intelligence and driver vision systems for the fleet of GTK Boxer armored transport vehicles.

The committee released a total of almost one billion euros.

For around 278 million euros, the Bundeswehr will procure another 1,818 unitary guided missiles for the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) with a unitary warhead. These high-precision missiles are fired by the Mars II rocket launcher and can hit point and area targets up to 80 kilometers away with pinpoint accuracy and in any weather condition.

With the planned further procurement of missiles, which are to be delivered in 2023, the German requirements, including those for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) will be fully met.

Also for the VJTF in 2023, 170 guided missiles of the Patriot ground-based air defense system from the Bundeswehr inventory will be upgraded. At a cost of around 213 million euros, the defense against enemy missiles will be improved, and sufficient missiles will be available for the VJTF.

Support of the driver in the Boxer GTK armored transport vehicle

A camera monitoring system to support the driver will be installed in 405 Boxer GTK armored transport vehicles at a cost of about 69 million euros. Due to its seating position, the driver has so far been unable to see the right side of the vehicle. With the new camera monitoring system, the driver will now be able to fully monitor the vehicle so as not to endanger other road users, especially when driving on public roads.

First step in closing a skill gap

The Bundeswehr can purchase three Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft for around EUR 75 million. The Integrated Signal Intelligence System (ISIS) is to be installed in these aircraft. From 2025 onwards, the Bundeswehr will again have the capability for wide-ranging airborne reconnaissance. At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Defense decided to use the commercially-available Global 6000 aircraft as the carrier platform. Since this aircraft is already being flown in the Air Force, synergy effects also result in maintenance, training and the procurement of spare parts.

Beaver is being replaced

At the end of this decade, the Biber bridge-laying system will be completely replaced. The Bundeswehr plans to order 24 additional Iguana armored bridge laying systems for around 330 million euros. The overall package also includes information technology components, navigation systems, training equipment and spare parts.

In a first batch, seven Iguana bridge-layers were ordered in 2016. These have already been used as part of the VJTF 2019, and should also be available for the VJTF 2023. With the Iguana battlefield bridge, troops can overcome obstacles, ditches and rivers up to 24 meters wide, and cross them with their heavy vehicles, up to military load class 80. The Iguana can be quickly relocated. This contributes significantly to the increased mobility of heavy land-based weapon systems of the Bundeswehr and allied nations.

25 million euro programs

The projects approved by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag on July 1 with a total volume of around EUR 1 billion were presented as “EUR 25 million programs.” These include all procurement and development projects of the Bundeswehr with an investment volume of 25 million euros or more, and require the approval of the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag before the contract is concluded.

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