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Report: German Army Suffering Vital Equipment Shortages

26 May 2024 02:31

Islam Times - The German military does not have enough uniforms, bulletproof vests, or helmets for its personnel, Bild reported, citing a Defense Ministry document. According to the report, the ministry acknowledges that the items are crucial for troops’ combat capabilities.

Following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz unveiled an ambitious military overhaul plan, aimed at swelling the Bundeswehr’s ranks and upgrading its hardware and equipment.

Despite the government’s pledge to earmark some €100 billion ($107.35 billion) to this end, an annual report by the parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr, Eva Hoegl, indicated in March 2024 that no significant improvements had been accomplished in the two years since.

Citing the Defense Ministry document, Bild reported on Friday that out of 72,200 combat uniforms ordered last year, only 58,850 were actually delivered, amounting to an 18.5% deficit.

The shortfall is even worse when it comes to bulletproof vests, with 81,000 items supplied, despite 105,000 being ordered, the outlet said. It added that the situation with helmets and backpacks is the same.

Meanwhile, the Bundeswehr is also low on special image-intensifying goggles, with a batch being delivered to the Israeli army instead.

The Defense Ministry furnished lawmakers with an array of excuses and explanations, including a supplier going bankrupt and an unusually high number of sick leaves by another, according to Bild.

The media outlet quoted an unnamed German officer as claiming, however, that any procurement problems are typically “sugarcoated with well-sounding explanations for as long as possible".

In a separate report in March, Bundeswehr parliamentary commissioner Hoegl warned that the military faced a “lack of material from large equipment to spare parts”, with the situation exacerbated by Germany’s donation of military hardware to Ukraine.

The official concluded that the Bundeswehr “still has too little of everything” and “substantial improvements are still a long way off”. She also sounded the alarm over the fact that the German armed forces are “aging and shrinking”, and that the dropout rate is “still very high".

Against this backdrop, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius revealed in April that the German top brass “have considered that compulsory military service will be reintroduced” – more than a decade after it was abolished in 2011.

Story Code: 1137620

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