Germany’s Armed Forces are most likely to stay underequipped for the next decade or so, the German Defense Chief has admitted. Meanwhile, the units are stuck with sharing gear and vehicles.
At least nine brigades in the German Armed Forces, known as Bundeswehr, lack the necessary equipment and arms, the military Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said, adding that they are expected to be “fully equipped” no sooner than in 13 years – by 2031. The lack of spare parts for the military equipment also remains one of the major concerns.
At the same time, he was pretty confident that Germany would be able to maintain its status of one of the NATO leading military forces through all these years by redistributing the existing equipment between its units.
“The negative side of this [strategy] is, of course, that we would not have enough equipment for the units that have [lent] theirs,” he said, noting he expects the Bundeswehr to “make some progress” both in terms of equipment and personnel by middle of 2019 without providing details about the plans.
The German military has been continuously struggling with a series of problems plaguing their equipment for quite some time. It has recently been a steady source of news about planes that can’t fly, tanks that break down and vessels that are unfit for maritime operations. In November 2018, it was reported that the bulk of its new military equipment delivered to the troops in 2017 is not fit for service.
A month earlier, the German media said that one in three tanks is not ready for combat. In autumn 2017, Germany was literally left without its entire submarine fleet as all of them were either on maintenance or in dire need of repairs.
However, the Bundeswehr’s problems are not limited to just equipment failures. The lack of personnel the German military is facing has apparently become so severe that Zorn recently openly suggested recruiting people from other EU nations to fill the gaps in the Bundeswehr’s ranks. Earlier, the military tried to solve this problem by luring German teenagers into the army. Even though they did achieve quite significant results, it was apparently not enough to satisfy the needs of the Bundeswehr.