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German Armed Forces reduced to 150 000?


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#561 Panzermann

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 1034 AM

 

No, as stated this is an additional (not yet finalized) order of 30 + 1 Sea Tigers to replace Sea Lynx from 2025, while Sea King is being replaced by 18 Sea Lions, supposedly from this year.

 

The first Sea Lion was delivered yesterday. Though to the Bundeswehr's procurement agency rather than the Marine itself, which hasn't yet the necessary infrastructure in place ...

 

Meanwhile the Luftwaffe has 31 of the 53 German-ordered A400M (with 52 crews) in service, and after all the initial technical trouble, they seem to be quite satisfied, though the maintenance effort per flight hour is still considered too high. The type has qualified as a tanker and is deployed to Jordan in support of operations against the IS; there's even word that aerial refueling of helicopters, long reported problematic due to buffeting issues, will be implemented by 2021. The A400M has also been supplementing the A310 in the MedEvac role since last August, and flown at least 19 missions of this kind this year already.

 

The type is now certified for NVG operations on rough runways, number of aircraft with armor kits has increased, and the long-delayed DASS self-protection suite is finally reported ready and planned to be used operationally from the end of the year. Organizationally, low-level flight training is also progressing. Compared to 3,700 flight hours last year, 6,000 are planned for 2019. FOC is to be reached by 2022, a mere twelve years later than originally planned.

 

From 2028, a detached group from Airlift Wing 62 with 500-600 personnel is to operate from Lechfeld Airbase which is supposed to house a multi-national unit using the 13 surplus aircraft from the German order - though there's no news on progress there. I note that the "Flug Revue" article I got the above from talks of the total of 53 without distinction between Luftwaffe and other service.

 

 

The french A400M have been certified fully for dropping paras recently. The german qualification should also come soon.


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#562 BansheeOne

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 0552 AM

The Bundestag's defense committee has voted to procure an additional 80 Leopards in light of capability gaps expected due to industrial overhaul cycles when Germany next takes the lead of VJTF in 2023. It's not quite clear from reports whether the intention is to have those 80 by 2023, or to pad the system to avoid shortfalls in the future. People are noting that at this point the used Leo market is rather depleted, with remaining examples in need of considerably refurbishment, and an acquisition of this size might need to be newly built. At any rate, the move still needs to pass the budget committee, and survive final harmonization of the 2020 budget.

 

Meanwhile new defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer held a speech at Bundeswehr University Munich on Thursday in which she outlined her ideas of future German defense policy. The focus was on Germany living up to all the talk of taking greater responsibility that has been commonplace for years now, not least due to its own economic interests. It was quickly noted that when former President Horst Köhler first made the public connection between German military engagement and economic interest in 2010, he triggered a shitstorm that made him resign; the fact that there has been no such reaction to AKK alone shows how far we've come in the last decade.

 

There was no real strategic direction in her speech though; she mentioned more engagement in the Sahel and the Indo-Pacific (which has been interpreted as possibly conducting freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea like the US and others do), but not joint defense in Europe which is commonly thought to be a much more immediate challenge before we can get around to lofty ideas of global power projection - though maybe she took that for granted and deliberately focussed on the worldwide stage to make her point.

 

She did of course state more money was needed, however critics noted that she doesn't seem to have stood up to finance minister Olaf Scholz of the SPD when he reportedly had the commitment to the NATO two-percent target for defense spending dropped from the grand coalition's half-term review planned to be released shortly. It was pointed out that wouldn't have happened with her predecessor Ursula von der Leyen, who once went to the unusual step of putting her dissent on the record when the cabinet agreed on a defense budget that fell short of her demands.

 

Her speech comes shortly after her unlucky proposal for a European security zone in Northern Syria, though it was probably prepared longer. Overall she's obviously still trying to find her way, with the question being how much of a mark she will leave at all with the next election - in which she might or might not run for chancellor after her so-far inconvincing reign as national CDU head - being at most two years away, but maybe coming earlier if the coalition should yet fail.


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#563 Panzermann

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 1811 PM

Because Panzerleute grow on trees... And with just a few Leopards it is not done. There is still the requirment for IFV and artillery. engineers etc. to from an armoured brigade.


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#564 BansheeOne

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 0309 AM

AIUI, though the number seems high to me the 80 additional Leoparsds aren't meant to establish additional units - at least immediately - but as a technical reserve to make up for availability gaps due to planned industrial maintenance cycles. Of course that problem probably doesn't apply only to MBTs. At any rate, no funds were dedicated specifically to this in the budget committee's final clearing session this week. Some additional money was included in the defense budget, but the major positions were 100 million Euro for more ammunition (as previous plans to increase stocks seem to have been considered insufficient) and 34 million to prepare for VJTF 2023.

 

It seems AKK's mention of mission in Africa and Asia in her recent speech had a specific background after all. There is talk of granting a French request for greater participation in fighting terrorism in Mali with up to 500 troops, including the training of local special forces; and indeed to deploy a frigate to the Pacific. Interestingly the latter is reportedly an initiative of the foreign ministry for a change, related to Germany's current seat in the UNSC and chair of the North Korea sanctions committee. This would come under the header of embargo enforcement, but could include the odd cruise through the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. I guess they could hop around ports in South Korea and Japan. Allegedly the chancellor's office is not behind this though because, of course, it doesn't want to put additional strain on relations with China.


Edited by BansheeOne, 16 November 2019 - 0310 AM.

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#565 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 0638 AM

I like this Defence minister, she seems a smart cookie.

https://www.politico...nato-criticism/


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#566 BansheeOne

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 0800 AM

The readiness numbers for equipment have been now put under the GEHEIM stamp, because reasons. They used to be openly published and when you piece together each news about this helo not flying or that submarine not diving or that aeroplane grounded,  you have a good idea anyway.


Of course media got hold of the 2019 numbers regardless, reporting the following average for the year:

Tornado: 93 on the books (including those in industry maintenance), 57 available (to the force), 20 deployable (combat-ready).

A400M: 31 on the books, 19 available, eight deployable.

CH-53: 71 on the books, 48 available, 18 deployable.

NH90: 75 on the books, 44 available, nine deployable.

Tiger: 53 on the books, 36 available, twelve deployable.

Puma: 284 on the books, 191 available, 67 deployable.

Leopard: 245 on the books, 183 available, 101 deployable.
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#567 lucklucky

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 1157 AM

 

Leopard: 245 on the books, 183 available, 101 deployable.

 

Are there more available and deployable than in the books?


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#568 BansheeOne

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 1344 PM

Each number is a subset of the previous one.
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#569 rohala

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 0231 AM

What are the definitions of "available" and "deployable"?


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#570 bd1

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 1404 PM

What are the definitions of "available" and "deployable"?

´´tja....´´   and ´´jawohl!´´


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#571 JWB

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 1512 PM

What are the definitions of "available" and "deployable"?

Available probably means it can operate from the base it is stationed to.

Deployable probably means it can operate from a base in some other location.

The real difference being the amount of support equipment and crew that can travel with the aircraft.


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#572 BansheeOne

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Posted 28 November 2019 - 0448 AM

There seem to be various factors for nominal "deployability", like technical deadlines, budgeted operating hours, and availability of spares and ordnance. See when the number of combat-ready Eurofighters was down to a dozen because no replacements for cheap, but specifically certified gaskets for the cooling circuits of its ECM pods could be procured due to a reorganization of the maker; and further limited to four because only 20 usable (again, due to technical deadlines) AMRAAMs were left in stock because they had not been serviced in anticipation of Meteor introduction, which was delayed, and nominal warload is four per plane.

Then there's stuff like this:

The first Sea Lion was delivered yesterday. Though to the Bundeswehr's procurement agency rather than the Marine itself, which hasn't yet the necessary infrastructure in place ...


It has now emerged the Bundeswehr will not yet operate the Sea Lion because important bits of the technical documentation for personnel to refer to are still missing. Airbus has promised to rectify this Soon™.

Meanwhile, this is interesting. Looks like a cheap way to calm the quarrel about NATO spending. Trump can now say he made Germany "pay as much as the US", while the much bigger issue of the two-percent GDP target seems an increasingly less exploitable popular domestic item per the recent Pew/Körber survey posted over on the "Because Germany" thread. The question is whether Germany will get anything out of it, as contributions usually inform share of command positions etc.

Germany to match US contribution to NATO budget

3 hours ago

From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance.

Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget by 33 million ($36 million) to match what the US contributes, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

A week before their 70th anniversary summit in London, the 29 NATO member states agreed to changes in how the military alliance's costs are covered.

Starting in 2021, the share of the NATO budget covered by Germany will increase from 14.8% to 16.35%, while the share covered by the US will decrease from 22.1% to 16.35%.

The alliance's budget will be used to invest in infrastructure as well to finance NATO's headquarters in Brussels, among other projects.

Each member state's financial contribution is proportional to its GDP, with the exception of the US, which is capped. A contribution proportional to GDP would have the US covering around half of the organization's budget.

In 2019, the US contributed nearly 470 million to NATO's budget of 2.12 billion. The German contribution amounted to 313 million.

The new agreement means that Germany's annual contribution to the NATO budget will increase by about 33 million, while the US will save around 120 million.

NATO officials hope that the new agreement will alleviate some of the tension around the topic of NATO financing. US President Donald Trump has complained that the US covers more than its fair share of the costs for NATO. He has demanded that other member states make good on their pledges to increase their NATO contribution to 2% of GDP by 2024, a goal that Germany will not reach.

Merkel on Wednesday vowed to reach the 2% mark by the "early 2030s."



https://www.dw.com/e...dget/a-51446211

FT_19.11.25_korber7.png

Edited by BansheeOne, 28 November 2019 - 0624 AM.

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#573 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 1901 PM

I guess in a perfect world NATO would be concerned more with capabilities than actual expenditures. I mean, Trump wouldn't care if Germany built 500 new Leopards and drove them into the Baltic as long as it meant they were spending more money; a US president who actually cared about this stuff would spend more time complaining about low availability rates etc. 


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#574 JasonJ

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 1937 PM

Debate points having to be made within 30-60 seconds centered on availability rates to an audience that can't tell the difference between a tank from an IFV or SPG probably won't be effective.
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#575 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 0532 AM

A Boxer 30 mm fire support vehicle, likely with Lance rather than Puma turret, is planned to take over the role of Wiesel in the heavy companies of the five (maybe six in the future) Jäger battalions, and probably the Boxer-equipped one of the three Gebirgsjäger battalions. A computer-based exercise on its use was recently conducted at Training Center Infantry already.

Airborne and "light" mountain troops will continue to use Wiesel for now, which was just announced to be improved for use until 2030, including Eurospike for the missile variant. It will eventually be replaced by a new light weapons carrier.
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#576 Nobu

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 1521 PM

Meanwhile, this is interesting. Looks like a cheap way to calm the quarrel about NATO spending. Trump can now say he made Germany "pay as much as the US", while the much bigger issue of the two-percent GDP target seems an increasingly less exploitable popular domestic item per the recent Pew/Körber survey posted over on the "Because Germany" thread. 

 

Interesting, with implications for Japanese policy to address Donald's infatuation with chiseling Japan and Japanese to pay more, which will inevitably arise.


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#577 BansheeOne

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Posted Yesterday, 06:20 AM

I don't make too much of the below frankly. As the article notes, it's more about the conservative fetish of civic duty, school of the nation etc. rather than military needs; while there is some professional contingency thought about the latter, it plays little role in political discussion. There is also no current partner for a majority on this; though if you read the whole thing, note that it wrongly claims a constitutional amendment would be needed to reintroduce conscription.

 

In fact it was merely suspended by a simple change of the relevant law, and could be reactivated the same way. The constitution would only need to be changed if you wanted to extend the draft to women - though if the issue ever got real attention, demands to that effect would be likely.

 

Date 28.11.2019

 

Author Ben Knight

 

Conscription in Germany: Merkel's party mulls return of military service

 

Should highschool graduates spend a year doing national service? The new leader of the Christian Democrats has floated the idea. Other European countries have reintroduced conscription, for a variety of reasons.

 

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, still the current favorite to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, has cautiously come out in favor of opening the debate on reintroducing national military service.

 

"Something is in danger of being lost without which a society cannot continue forever," the leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) told the Funke Media Group. "For me the community within the population is the priority."

 

She added that she had heard much support for the idea of national service in her "listening tour" of grassroots CDU branches that followed her election as the new party leader. "I share many of these thoughts, and I think it's very important that we should discuss an obligatory national service in Germany," she said.

 

The issue is being addressed in CDU headquarters in Berlin on Thursday, with invited experts invited to a "workshop talk" on whether a one-year period of national service should be re-introduced for high school graduates.

 

A new, old army

 

Germany suspended military conscription in 2011, partly in an attempt to "professionalize" the armed forces, but has occasionally struggled to make a military career attractive enough to keep Bundeswehr recruitment numbers up among young people.

 

But Kramp-Karrenbauer notably steered her remarks towards the apparent social benefits of national service.

 

"For me it is a deeply civic thought to want to give something back to your country and your society," she said, before bringing up the options of serving in a care home or the fire brigade as an alternative to joining the army.

 

Fear of Putin, or fear of social fragmentation?

 

That is notably different to the tone of the conscription debate in other European countries.

 

[...]

 

https://www.dw.com/e...vice/a-51456280


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#578 bd1

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Posted Today, 05:56 AM

however, as the baltics example shows that the moment conscription ended, the manpower quality of the latvian (and AFAIK lithuanian ) soldiers fell quickly.don´t know if it´s the same in germany .

 

also over here  the militarised border guard, rescue and police units (now discontinued) provided continous inflow of rather high-quality professionals from former servicemen , who decided to join/stay for various reasons. nowadays they must be hired from general pool in competition with other professions , and fire/rescue services are being hit the worst.

 

also, frankly with the current fragmentation of society into more and more various groups some sort of unifiying experience is not that bad. however, IF germany will restore national service, it must be some sort of sensible activity, nothing kills it´s reputation faster than some made-up activities. if the are in military, make it 6-9 months of basic infantry, not folding towels or standing gate duty. if in rescue, get them in even the most basic life-saver - in a major emergency/terrorist attack/flood/meteorite strike they will be needed. during cold war era AFAIK german rescue services were something to look up to. can current hamburg fire force handle some big emergency at the harbor for example, without any reinforcements?


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#579 BansheeOne

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Posted Today, 08:47 AM

Well, I'm old enough to be of the "kids today could use some military experience" ilk myself. I have to add that from German sources, the bit about amending the constitution appears to be further pursuant to the intention of creating a general duty beyond the military realm and substitute service for same. Which leads straight to a major problem in that it's likely to run headlong into international and European law banning forced labor, military conscription being the only exception as a possibly vital element of national security.

 

I've dealt with this all of my political "career". First of all, military service, or at least national security, needs to be the base of all such schemes. You cannot just oblige people to spend a year of their life on some undetermined character-building civic service with a free choice between all sorts of stuff including caring for the old and infirm, helping out in underdeveloped countries, or saving the rain forest.

 

What would probably work is a model we developed early in the millenium, based on a wide interpretation of homeland defense including against terrorist attacks, where you could have served in the military, police, firefighters, THW or any other first-responder organization. That was really not terribly original, since it was just giving equal emphasis to options that existed under the original system of conscription. People could actually be drafted into the Federal Border Guard long before it became today's Federal Police, and folks who enlisted as volunteers with first responder organizations for a certain length (I want to say seven years) were exempt.

 

Another model was similar to what France is now doing, which we termed "extended compulsory education"; kids in Germany are after all required by law to attend school until age 18 (including vocational schools in parallel to job training if going into the work market from age 15-16), so it would be easy to add a month or so where everybody is exposed to the options of military or civilian security service hands-on. You could even integrate it into the curriculum; there are already mandatory work internships in 9th grade IIRC. This was mostly aimed at making up for conscription's volunteer-generating function by internal recruiting.

 

There are several rather specifically German issues. One is the obsession with justice and equality, which means a compulsory service would need to apply to a sufficiently broad part of each class so not too many people are unfairly burdened or favored. That means selective service models like in Scandinavia, where you pick only the required number of the fittest, recommended early by a blue-ribbon committee under former President Richard von Weizsäcker, are right out.

 

Lack of Wehrgerechtigkeit is in fact mostly what led to the death of conscription; with a shrinking need for draftees, less and less people were inducted (in part by applying stricter fitness standards combined with declining fitness standards in society - but an increasing part of each class wasn't even examined anymore). Substitute service had long since become a choice rather than the exception based upon conscious objection anyway. Including women in the draft, another justice issue from the view of their male classmates, would increase the problem.

 

Attempts to compensate led to subsequent reductions of terms from twelve to ten to nine months, in a period where the focus went to foreign deployments for which draftees could only be used on a voluntary basis. Eventually it was felt that they were just tying up ressources in training, equipment etc. while providing no worthwhile service. Even with the change back to alliance defense, the question is how short you can make service terms to still get useful soldiers.

 

We discussed Swiss-type militia models with very short basic training terms and the rest of the obligation to be served in regular fiurther training, but there were economic worries. Employers don't like their staff getting off work for reserve service ever so often, and Germany is short on workforce anyway - which is a reason why professional military service is so incompetitive with the high-paying civilian sector in the first place. A lot is (post-Cold War) cultural of course, with little respect for military or even civilian first responder volunteers despite lip service. Even volunteer firefighters often find their employer pissed if they get called out too often.

 

This social/political issues collide with the sheer size of the German frame. We're finding it hard to recruit enough volunteers for a force suitable to our population and economic strength, but a "just" military conscription system producing useful soldiers would result in a force likely in excess of the 370,000 limit of the Two-plus-Four Treaty, and probably more expensive than we are prepared to pay for. So a cultural change is needed more than all else, and while there are some slow indications for this, it will need an extended period of a seriously perceived threat for substantial development - something our Eastern neighbors have over us, of course.


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#580 bd1

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Posted Today, 01:18 PM

as a nice comparison what to do with national servicemen, finland in its NBC defence unit opened a 3 hectar gas attack training center. servicemen going through their national service are going to be exposed to  sarin cut down to 10%  and mustard gas down to 50% (probably in well-controlled conditions), in order to have a more real experience instead of the ´usual´ tear gas. in view of salisbury attacks and tokyo subways, probably a necessary thing in the future

 

 

 

​​

Attempts to compensate led to subsequent reductions of terms from twelve to ten to nine months, in a period where the focus went to foreign deployments for which draftees could only be used on a voluntary basis. Eventually it was felt that they were just tying up ressources in training, equipment etc. while providing no worthwhile service. Even with the change back to alliance defense, the question is how short you can make service terms to still get useful soldiers.

the finnish solution (what estonia copied) is to put one class all in , all out , basicly producing a reserve infantry batallion in one go. nine months later you have one unit, guys who have all lived, trained  and worked together for 9 months (11 for JNCO and drivers), who all can go into reserve together and are thus ready to be mobilised as one unit again. 

obvious plusses are that it´s really cheap system, and has remarkably less friction than other reserve systems in know of.

minuses - JNCO´s are preselected by testing of the conscript classes , units are fully-capable only at the end of training cycle, real military power being the reserve units.

 

besides i´m not  sure germany could really explain well training 50 light infantry batallions a year. could be used to troll brexiteers of course  :)​ 

 

however, civil-defence, and other emergency units will be needed in the future in case of .....   and i´m pretty sure current capabilities are not enough nowhere in europe. whatever way it will be presented or legalised. and, as i just wrote this path provides a constant inflow of capable young men into these services, even if by accident


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