21:53 GMT +316 October 2018
Listen Live
    German army tank type Leopard stands at the parking position at the training area in Grafenwoehr, near Eschenbach, southern Germany. (File)

    German Army Lacks Combat Ready Tanks for NATO Ops – Reports

    © AFP 2018 / CHRISTOF STACHE
    Europe
    Get short URL
    314

    In recent times, Germany's military has been making headlines with its equipment shortages and poor performance, however, next year, the country is going to take on the leading role in NATO's rapid deployment force "Speerspitze".

    The German Bundeswehr lacks tanks to fulfill its obligations to NATO as the ninth tank brigade stationed in Münster, which according to army's plan should be engaged in NATO's new force, now has only nine combat-capable of the required 44 Leopard-2 tanks and three of the 14 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, newspaper Die Welt reports, citing a secret document of the country's Defense Ministry.

    READ MORE: Toothless Panzers: Hundreds of Bundeswehr Military Vehicles Kaput

    According to the media outlet, in early 2019 the Bundeswehr is due to assume a decisive role in creating the alliance's rapid deployment force unit "Speerspitze." T-Online says that this operational group is able to be deployed in crisis areas within a few days and is aimed at "deterrence of Russia, with the help of the German tanks as well."

    The reason for the shortage, according to Die Welt, is a lack of spare parts and high maintenance costs. The German army will try to cover the "existing deficit of capabilities with elements from other strategic units."

    The report emerged after on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged the new government in Germany to increase defense spendings in order to attain the alliance's 2 percent of the GDP goal. Expectations of the Bundeswehr's readiness to invest in NATO are growing, whereas numerous publications in the media mention Germany's defective tanks, helicopters and submarines. There were even reports that equipment shortages have forced the German military use broomsticks instead of machine guns during NATO exercises. In early 2018, media reported that Germany's new Puma infantry combat vehicles are already outdated, while funds for modernization are running low.

    READ MORE: Invincible? Not Quite: Why German Leopard Tanks Are So Vulnerable

    In January, it was reported that  Angela Merkel's government approved a record breaking €25 billion ($30.9 billion) worth of weapons sales since taking power in 2014, angering political rivals as well as the German public, according to the ARD public broadcaster.

    The Leopard 2 is the Bundeswehr's battle tank which was developed in the 1970s. In November, Focus magazine reported that whereas the Bundeswehr had 244 Leopard-2 tanks in service, only 95 of them are in full combat readiness. Meanwhile, 53 tanks were reportedly being upgraded, seven were at test sites, and multiple others could not be repaired due to the lack of spare parts.

    Related:

    Germany's 'Hate Speech' Law May Evolve Into Wide Censorship - Watchdog
    German SPD Leader Schulz Leaves the Party and Merkel's Coalition Deal in Crisis
    Top-5 Political Satire Pieces at Germany's Rose Monday Carnival (PHOTOS)
    Four Anti-Semitic Crimes Per Day Took Place in Germany in 2017 - Report
    German Coalition Deal Shows No Lessons Learned From Past 'Severe' Mistakes - AfD
    German Official Warns Against Navy's Engagement in NATO, EU Sea Ops
    Scandal in German College: Chimney-Sweeps Taught Nazi Slogans, Songs - Reports
    Trying Too Hard: Dozens of Germans Die Every Year While Masturbating
    Nord Stream 2: Why US, Germany Likely to Turn Their Backs on Ukraine
    France, Germany Urge for Bitcoin Regulation in Letter to G20 Colleagues
    Tags:
    shortage, tanks, Leopard 2, German Bundeswehr, NATO, Germany
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment