German defence ‘SCANDAL’ report finds just one third of new military weapons actually work | World | News


Die Linke MP Matthias Hohn has heavily criticised the government for their handling of the situation, after figures found just 39 percent of the equipment is fully functional, way off the 70 percent target.

He said: “It is a scandal if Ms Von der Leyen allows this billion-dollar botch by the arms industry at the taxpayer’s expenses.”

He added: “Brand new military equipment directly from the production lines of the defence industry doesn’t work. It is unacceptable to accept equipment and pay for it when it doesn’t work.”

The famous Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft is what concerns the German military the most.

The 43-ton Puma is thought to be one of the world’s best-protected IFVs and the report found only 27 of the 71 IFV are ready for combat.

The A400M is described by Airbus as “the most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available, combining 21st century state-of-the-art technologies to fulfil the current and upcoming Armed Forces’ needs”.

Of the eight new A400M just half are fully operational, just two of the seven Eurocopter Tiger combat helicopters and four of seven NH Industries’ NH90 transport helicopters are ready for the frontline.

The Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen admitted there were “shortcomings”.

She said: “We know that there are certain shortcomings.”

Parliamentary state secretary Peter Tauber defended the government, as he said: “We are still seeing the industry in the duty to fulfil the stipulated services as quickly as possible.”

This is not the first controversy to surround the defence department, in late September it was reported that the German Navy’s newest frigate, which should have been commissioned in 2014, will not launch until 2019.

In November 2017, a report also found less than half of the Bundeswehr’s tank fleet were ready for combat, only 95 out of 244 Leopard 2 main battle tanks were fit for battle.

In 2017 Germany spent over $44 billion on defence making it the ninth-largest spender overall.

The budget set aside for 2019 is $51.2 billion, a rise of $4.7 billion more than in 2018.

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