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German Armed Forces reduced to 150 000?


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#1 m4a1

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 1303 PM

BUNDESWEHR MIGHT BE CUT BY 100,000 TROOPS

http://www.defensene...386&c=BUD&s=TOP

The German defense department is considering a cut in troop strength by 40 percent and suspension of compulsory military services in the latest effort to reduce costs within the country's military.

If enacted, troop strength in Germany would shrink from 250,000 personnel to 150,000.
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The newest proposal is coming in anticipation of this weekend's cabinet budget conclave set to begin June 6 in Berlin, according to the newspapers Hamburger Abendblatt, Stuttgarter Nachrichten and Bild, citing sources within the military and the government coalition.

While Finance Secretary Wolfgang Schäuble said the military is targeting savings of more than 1 billion euros ($1.22 billion) annually, suspending compulsory military service would save about 400 million euros.

A spokesman for the defense department would not confirm or deny the reports: "At the moment different scenarios are investigated as a preparation for the cabinet conclave. In this process there are no thoughts prohibited, but there are also no decisions made," said the spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Defense Secretary Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is expected to hold talks with the finance department on June 4 about his position during the budget negotiations.

"The actual task of national defense could not be met any more with a reduced number of personnel of around 150,000, with a consistent level of deployment," said the head of the Deutsche BundeswehrVerband, Col. Ulrich Kirsch. However, members of the political opposition, such as Agnieszka Malczak of Bündnis90/Die Grunen, welcomed such proposals and called compulsory military service outdated.

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Is it a "hard cut" caused by financial crisis, or part of some plan? Perhaps were the conscription suspended, the important procurement programs (foremost Puma) would not have to suffer from cuts dramatically? Anyway, army reduction of 100,000 year-to-year would not be without influence to its combat value. Are there any details of which units would have to be disbanded, reduced? Any reserve system introduced instead of the conscription? By the way, German defence spending, GDP-related is not that high, about 1,3 %?

Sorry for arising more questions than providing information, but I feel the issue is relevant and interesting.

Regards,
Jakub
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#2 Jim Martin

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 1309 PM

Say hello to the return of the Freikorps.
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#3 APF

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 0144 AM

Well, according to my - biased - information right now approx. every third of the young men in germany do serve in the Bundeswehr, with the cuts in size and so on. As the Bundeswehr is still compulsory by our constitution ("Every young man..") there's sort of concern how selecting such a small group out of the population might be legally justifyable. On the other hand putting a larger group through the BW at a given size would mean cutting down on service time, right up to the point of "Thats a gun, thats a bunk, thats a uniform, now get lost!".
For me the main issue long has shifted from "we need a huge army to reject the russian steamroller" to "We need to keep up the compulsatory army to justify the 'Ersatzdienst'" - an el cheapo public workforce of young men who get some 3.75 Euros an hour while subject to military law.
It's fifteen years since I first expressed the opinion that while (then) you had to explain why you can't shoot at someone to join the Ersatzdienst, there will be a time when you'll have to explain why you can shoot at people to be allowed into the BW, else you'll have to take the Ersatzdienst.
Personally I'd like to see a professional army along the lines of the USA instead of todays conscripts. Much less fuzz if they're send somewhere (that'd be included in the contract), and I'm not so sure wethter they'd really thatz more expensive to maintain - after all you could be at least be reasonably sure they won't damage equipment on purpose.
As to a perceived move to the right, "Freicorps" and such, it's a strawman. An army is based on it's offcers and sargents, which are professionals since the BW started some 60 years ago. If our rightists really had wanted to overtake the BW they'd had started with the officers long ago. Prolly didn't find enough of their kind who passed the intelligence test :lol:

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#4 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 1344 PM

Nothing amazing for an army that still uses conscription even if amazingly brief.
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#5 Simon Tan

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 0450 AM

Conscription in the Bundeswehr model is expensive. It is however politically valuable, a place to stash young men who would otherwise join the already underemployed ranks in civvie strasse. A fully professional army has been dreamed of since....oooo...the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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#6 seahawk

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 0119 AM

Not true. Most recruits are taken before joining university or after they have finished learning a job. The unemployed are often neither fit nor suited for the Bundeswehr and so many of them do not serve at all. The only reason we are keeping the conscription is that guys who refuse to join the Bundeswehr for various reasons still work in the social services and are cheap labor in that field. Replacing the guys doing the "Ersatzdienst" would cost more than what could be saved by giving up the conscription.
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#7 nigelfe

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 0446 AM

Yes, my understanding has long been that conscription is actually needed to obtain the concientious objectors who staff all sorts of social and medical establishments, they also do longer that those in the BW. This is because the great tradition of European (including UK) conscription is that conscripts are paid peanuts. Whether the logical alternative, volunteer for a limited number of slots in the BW or be conscripted for social duties, is a runner is a differnt matter. The govt might find it attractive as a cost reduction measure (even more available for social duties) but the unions might not be so happey. Of course it might also run into problems with discrimination law (men not women being conscripted) would be difficult to justify for non-military service.
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#8 Ssnake

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 1608 PM

Well, Merkel is doing what she does best - delaying the decision. "Abandoning conscription? Why not... but not now." :rolleyes:
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#9 Leo Niehorster

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 1939 PM

I can see it now, by 2020:
- one expeditionary battalion
- a few sea patrol boats
- one utility squadron for flying civilian VIP's to Spanish vacation destinations
- and, of course, a larger department of defense
:angry2:
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#10 m4a1

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 0732 AM

Ssnake,
Could you provide me with your view on those matters. I am interested, and you're an expert :)
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#11 Ssnake

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 0803 AM

Could you provide me with your view on those matters. I am interested, and you're an expert :)

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Wouldn't consider myself an "expert" ... just a reserve officer with an open eye for national defense politics. WRT the inner workings of the German government, others of this board are better informed.

Personally, I think the sooner we abandon conscription the better for the Bundeswehr. Nine months and less are a travesty. The only military justification for such a short conscription is, in US terms, a compulsory visit to your local recruiter with a compulsory "try before you buy" period. But even then those recruiters' offices would be lined with leaflets "Not interested in army service? Sign here and do something else instead!"

Any other argument pro conscription has little to do with military requirements but rather local economy (downsizing and concentrating barracks to fewer locations), the unwillingness to let go of cheap labor in the social sector (however, even they are complaining that nine months (six in the future) are nearly worthless for any serious employment), or diffuse angst symptoms that somehow the Bundeswehr might decouple from the rest of the society (which it partly has already simply because civvy street has a poor understanding why the army isn't just "another job", partly because army professionals sometimes have a poor understanding about how their profession is significantly different in habits and terminology from civvy street).

I'm not convinced that abandoning conscription will really, in the long term, result in annual savings of 400 million Euros. The likely result will be immediate savings combined with a plunge in the figures of new soldiers, and then an increase in pay, benefits, and marketing spendings to win the number of soldiers that are needed to sustain the kind of operations that the government would like to perform (and which society is willing to tolerate). It will become harder to win specialists especially, and the Bundeswehr may be forced to accept a higher fraction of scum in rank and file. Still, maintaining an operationally worthless conscription is the by far too costly way of winning qualified personnel, and hardly a justification for compulsory state labor imposed on just the male portion of society.
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#12 BansheeOne

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 0712 AM

We will get some semi-hard facts on where the train is headed on the 23rd, when Defense Minister zu Guttenberg will inform parlamentarians about the plans. However, the grapevine already shows a general picture.

Five models on future force structure were investigated, from the minimum 150,000-man all-professional to a 205,000-man Bundeswehr cutting the maximum amount of 40,000 contract soldiers while retaining conscription in its current form (about to be reduced to a mere six-month term come January 2011). The first has been judged incapable of fulfilling the obligations of German security policy while the last is considered unaffordable under the impending budget cuts forced by the debt cap recently entered into the constitution. The actual result will be somewhere in between.

Zu Guttenberg seems to have settled on a model including at least 156,000 contract soldiers, 7,500 „short-timers“ (in effect conscripts that have agreed to actually serve for a maximum of less than two years like the current „voluntary extended service conscripts“) and a planning margin of 5,000. Total strength will therefore be between 163,500 and 168,500. The draft will be kept on the books, but only those volunteers would actually be inducted. The blue-ribbon commission tasked with developing a streamlined force model has suggested there is a total potential of 15,000-20,000 short-timers to be recruited from society, so higher gross numbers are mentioned too; but for now a Bundeswehr of ca. 165,000 seems the most likely.

One focus of the reform is alleged to be trimming the fat at the top, since the number of multi-star commands and MOD bureaucrats has not shrunken much at all while line units kept getting cut. Plans seem to include to scratch one of the two defense state secretary posts and giving the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr more authority, while downgrading the inspectors of the forces (army, air force, navy, central services, medical) out of the ministry. Medical is likely to be integrated with central services.

That way, there would be one civilian and one military branch in the MOD. Elevating the IG like that is slightly controversial; though not as much as some years ago when the first small bits of actual command authority bestowed upon the post triggered all sorts of history-based hysteria about possible re-introduction of a Generalstab. Unsurprisingly, the MOD bureaucracy is fighting back right now, too.

It is dearly hoped that the multitude of higher commands pushing and shoving to lead scarce forces will be eliminated in the current process. It is already indicated that the divsion level as it is now will be abolished in the army and air force. Instead, there will be a total of four two-star joint forces commands, which will also include the current four current territorial commands of the central services. The distinction into „intervention“ and „stabilisation“ forces, meaningless in reality, will go away.

As for equipment, there was a “Priority List On Materiél Investions“ leaked from the MOD last month which contained substantial cuts. The ministry hastened to point out is was only a working paper, and the document itself stressed that all actual decisions where subject to the executive and parliamentary political process. However, it also said it was created before the cabinet order to investigate a cut of up to 40,000 professional soldiers, and depending upon actual reduction in strength there might actually be even more capability cuts. Its most important parts:


Land systems:

- Reduce Leopard 2 to 271, investigate cuts of 2A7 upgrade

- Reduce Puma order to 280

- Preliminarily keep Boxer APC variant at 125, re-appropriate 26 of the second lot of ambulance variant (i.e. total 151?)

- Phase out M113 (noooooooo!!!!)

- Reduce Fuchs to „deployment-relevant“ number including temporarily limited alternative to Boxer

- „Significantly“ reduce Bergepanzer 2 LS ARV to deployment-relevant number

- „Significantly“ reduce Dachs AEV to deployment-relevant number

- Reduce Bv 206 D to deployment-relevant number

- Reduce PzH 2000 to 80

- Reduce MLRS to 24, but upgrade all of them with European Fire Control System for GMLRS

- Preliminarily cancel WaBEP loitering combat drone (Israeli Harop)

- Keep current order for Wiesel 2 mortar system (74 mortar carriers, 36 FCV)

- Reduce airmobile forces permitting loss of capability to simultaneously conduct EvacOps and neutralisation of irregular forces

- Cut number of Wiesel 1 in airmobile forces to 37 with 20 mm AC, 18 with TOW (does not extend to other light infantry formations)

- No further procurement of Mungo

- No procurement of Protected Command and Utility Vehicle Class 4 (Wisent) and Protected Transport Vehicle 9 t except for indispensable functions

- Procure unprotected vehicles only COTS anymore

- Procure 582 „new rifles“ supplementing G 36 (likely 7.62 mm HK 417 as G 27)

- Accelerated procurement of infantry night vision equipment.

- Procure four units of MANTIS C-RAM system (Oerlikon Skyshield)

- Develop New Generation light air defense missile, but preliminarily forego mobile part of SysFla army air defense system

- Phase out Patriot beginning in 2011 already, procure eight units of MEADS; if the latter cannot be realised, investigate integration of SM-3 into Type 124 frigates to take over missile defense mission.



Aircraft:

- Cut resp. Pass on for export tranche 3b of Eurofighter (37) for a total of 140; integration of AESA radar necessary

- Reduce current number of 44 Phantom II to a squadron equivalent of about 23 by mid-2011, phase out after Eurofighter can fully take over air policing ca. end of 2013

- Reduce Tornado from 185 to 85 faster as planned (previously 2017), keep up Nuclear Participation in NATO

- Investigate possible reduction of A400M order (numbers of ca. 45-50 instead of 60 thrown around)

- Immediately reduce number of Transalls by 15 plus X, X being the reduction in A400Ms

- Reduce total order of 122 NH 90 helicopters for army and air force to 80; create „synergies“ by putting rotary wing assets under joint operational control on the UK model

- No procurement of MH 90 navy variant for now, instead upgrade Sea King fleet to fly until 2025

- Reduce Tiger attack helicopter order from 80 to 40

- Significantly reduce BO 105 and UH-1D to minimum number required to train and keep on flight status future NH 90 and Tiger crews

- Forego planned CSAR capability for less demanding „Extended Personnel Recovery“ based upon existing CH-53

- Significantly reduce number of ready-to-use Taurus cruise missiles, investigate ways to quickly re-activate inactivated missiles for use

- Delay integration of Taurus with Eurofighter, investigate use of other carrier platforms including A400M

- Reduce Meteor AAM order commencing in 2011 from 603 to 150

- Reduce GBU-48 order for Eurofighter from 704 to 175

- Transfer anti-ship role from Tornado to Orion MPA including re-winging of the latter; will have to use LGB when Kormoran 2 AShM reaches end of certification in 2012

- Phase out wet-film recce pods for Tornado, limit procurement of digital Recce Lite pod to currently planned number of eight

- Cancel development of EADS Talarion MALE AGV; immediately procure system based upon Heron 1 currently leased from Israel (might be Heron TP/Eitan), but reduce planned number from 22 to 16 systems

- Procure total of five EuroHawk SIGINT UAVs, permitting 15 month gap after phase-out of Breguet Atlantic; will eventually also take over role of the navy's three ELINT vessels, not to be replaced

- Reduce participation in NATO AGS Core from six to four Global Hawk systems

- Procure initial equipment of army and navy with VTOL UAV (likely Schiebel S-100 Camcopter)

- Develop successor system to current SAR Lupe radar recon satellite system with reduced capabilities vis-a-vis original plans; secure access to optical sat imagery by financial contribution to French CSO system.


Ships:

- Possibly replace the eight Type 122 frigates by only three instead of four F 125 (newer reports indicate this is off the table)

- Decommission last six Type 206A submarines (already taken out of readiness), re-assign crews for rotation on Type 212As; procurement of fifth and six U 212A looks safe

- Decommission last ten Type 143A fast-attack craft as soon as possible, re-assign crews to rotation/new crews of incoming corvettes

- Procure six if possible OTS corvettes (MEKO 100 is likely) beginning in 2015 at the latest

- Decommission all five Type 352 minehunting drone control vessels and eight Seehund drones when Type 130 corvette reaches operational readiness, re-assign crews for rotation on MJ 332s and 333s; equip MJ 332 for control of remaining ten Seehunde

- Decomission two Type 332 patrol boats of Navy Protection Forces, rebuild other two as diver deployment boats to replace old Langeoog

- Delay procurement of Joint Support Ship for amphibious operations (again)

- Third Type 702 AOR not mentioned and seems safe; lately even mention of two new fleet tankers to replace old single-hull vessels which are no longer allowed to come into many international ports.


The overall picture that emerges will likely resemble the following:


The Heer wants six identically-structured, infantry-strong brigades which can deal with the whole spectrum of operations (but are based upon the current Stabilisation Brigades) and rotate through deployments. The plan is to raise six new infantry battalions, though this might turn out to be partly a shell game. In addition, they want to keep the current capabilities for Special and EvacOps, combat against irregular forces and the German participation in the French-German Brigade.

Those six brigades will probably look big and diverse, having one each of a

- Panzer battalion (total of six as before, but maybe companies reduced back to 13 instead of 14 tanks considering the need for training and technical reserve?)

- Panzergrenadier battalion (down from eight)

- Jäger battalion

- RSTA battalion

- Pionier battalion

- Signal battalion

- Logistics battalion

but no organic artillery. As the remaining PzH 2000 and MLRS only allow for eight or nine batteries overall, most (excluding the mixed battalion of the French-German Brigade?) will probably migrate to the Army Troops Brigade to join NBC. There are also rumors that the army is getting out of air defense completely and MANTIS will be pushed over to the air force; I was surprised the priority list stuck to SysFla LFK NG. OTOH, formations will apparently have organic medical units again, since deployments have highlighted the need for joint training.

One of the current two airborne brigades is likely to be re-roled into the above, the other will probably merge with 1st Airmobile Brigade on the model of the British 16 Air Assault Brigade with rotary wing assets supplied by a „Joint Helicopter Command“; but at least it will have three instead of two line battalions, going by the Wiesel numbers from the priority list. The KSK is reported to come under direct control of Special Operations Command along with the navy's Kampfschwimmer.

The Mountain Brigade will probably stay due to its specialisation on fighting in restricted terrain. The French-German Brigade is already getting an additional mixed Jäger/Recon battalion, to be permanently based near Strasbourg in France for the first time. This would make for a total of 14 light infantry battalions, up from nine (counting Jägerregiment 1 as the re-inforced battalion it really is) – two of which would be converted from Panzergrenadiers. Not quite the six new battalions planned. Also, the priority list is curiously silent of the Wiesels that would be needed for their Heavy Companies.


The Luftwaffe appears to be the hardest hit of the traditional forces by personnel reductions, probably owing to the reality of current missions. 140 Eurofighters will equip a total of three wings (minus one), one of which will be JaboG 31; there are however demands that all EF wings should eventually be dual role AtA/AtG. JaboG 32 runs the 35 HARM-equipped ECR Tornados along with some IDS and will probably stay.

I'm not so sure about JaboG 33 which has the Nuclear Participation role. This is not a popular issue and only lukewarmly defended by a few Atlanticists in the Conservatives, and even fewer in the Social Democrats. The current official line seems to amount to „eventually Tornado will be replaced by Eurofighter which is not certified for nuclear weapons, and then we're shot of this troublesome stuff anyway“. I foresee this being high on the list when the search for additional possibilities to save a buck starts, German influence in NATO's nuclear planning be damned.

Another likely candidate is MEADS. Raytheon has been making the rounds through MP offices advertising an upgrade of Patriot to 90 percent of MEADS' capabilities, for far less money and with the same German industrial partners. Needless to say, they encountered great sympathy. It was another surprise for me the MOD considers missile defense so important they think of SM-3 integration into F 124 as a backup plan.

AG 51 is set to become a pure UAV unit if they lose the anti-shipping role; the priority list doesn't say the mere eight remaining recce pods have to be carried by Recce Tornados.


The Marine comes off best in comparison, either by being the smallest force already with not much personnel to cut anymore, or owing to the realisation that an export-oriented economy like Germany's is dependant on free SLOCs. It's questionable whether 10-11 frigates and 11 corvettes will justify keeping two squadrons each; the remaining minehunters will rather surely be concentrated in one squadron. The navy still hopes to get back up to eight submarines, but I don't think this very likely in the mid-term. An amphibious capability, ghosting around in varios guises since the early 90s, will probably never materialise. At least the reduction in hulls will allow to dispense with the grossly overaged supply units.

OTOH the acquistion of new navy helicopters is now officially so FUBARed they have to keep the tired old Sea Kings flying unto 2025. Eurocopter dropped the ball on the MH 90 even more resoundingly than on the NH variant, and the S-92 apparently doesn't look too attractive due to the CH-148's own problems with its introduction in Canada. At least we're not following the Dutch model and get rid of the Orion MPA fleet we took over from them – even if it appears they'll have to take over ant-shipping with LGBs for lack of usable AShMs.

Again, all this subject to actual executive and parliamentary decisions in the next months. For one thing the Conservatives, being the last party adhering to general consription, have trouble with the "voluntary draftees" thing that is basically a Social Democratic concept they ridiculed only two years ago.
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#13 Soren Ras

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 0353 AM

We will get some semi-hard facts on where the train is headed on the 23rd, when Defense Minister zu Guttenberg will inform parlamentarians about the plans. However, the grapevine already shows a general picture.


Whoa! That was a lot of pretty detailed information for a general picture.

But thanks for a great post. It will be very interesting to see where things are headed.

--
Soren
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#14 zakk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 0445 AM

I can see it now, by 2020:
- one expeditionary battalion
- a few sea patrol boats
- one utility squadron for flying civilian VIP's to Spanish vacation destinations
- and, of course, a larger department of defense
:angry2:

Heh, you just described the Norwegian military by 2010. :mellow:

(Except that the civilian VIP's are not flown to Spain, but to UN meetings everywhere. So that our Beloved Great Leader His Sosialdemocratic Majesty The PM and The Highnesses The Great Members Of Government can give some more money to even more obscure projects, so that they will be employed by the UN when they are kicked out of office in 3 years time...)
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#15 zakk

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 0537 AM

- Reduce Leopard 2 to 271, investigate cuts of 2A7 upgrade


:( Ok, I just realized that most half-assed countries everywhere will have more tanks in their inventories than Germany.
Egypt wil have 14 (!) times more tanks than Germany. (Just in case you guys plan to form a new Afrika Korps the next few years.) Heck, even a country like Jordan, which has only sand and camels to export, will have 4 times more tanks than what used to be Panzer Heaven... Sad, just sad.

- Transfer anti-ship role from Tornado to Orion MPA including re-winging of the latter; will have to use LGB when Kormoran 2 AShM reaches end of certification in 2012

Ok, from Mach 2 aircrafts carrying Mach 0.9 missile to propeller aircraft dropping bombs. By 2020 you probably will be down to Fokker Eindeckers with MG14s to hunt those ships...
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#16 BansheeOne

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 1439 PM

At this point, not much would surprise me.

According to latest rumors, several variants for a future army structure are going to be presented to the Chancellor on Friday and parliamentarians on Monday. The one supposed to be the Defense Minister's favorite is alleged to be quite a bit more evolved/devolved than what I posted above and look like about this:

- Four two-star force commands, one of which likely for airmobile forces

- brigade level abolished except for French-German Brigade :blink:

- four Panzer battalions of 58 (!) tanks each, total number of Leopards remaining 232

- six Panzergrenadier battalions of 44, total number of Puma planned 264 (no reserve?)

- ten Jäger battalions, two of which in French-German Brigade and only assigned to force commands if required; all except mixed Jäger/Recon Battalion 291 with heavy company equipped with Wiesel, total number of Wiesel 2 mortar system planned 122; total number of Boxer planned 452

- two Gebirgsjäger battalions, down from three

- Airmobile Jägerregiment similar to now

- one Fallschirmjäger regiment of six line and one heavy plus various support companies, down from four battalions :blink:

- one attack, two light transport, two (?) heavy transport helicopter regiments/wings (including Luftwaffe units?)

- one artillery regiment, one battalion (likely in French-German Brigade as before)

- three RSTA regiments

- three Pionier regiments

- three logistics regiments.

Overall, that would be 17 light infantry battalion equivalents, up from nine. Though we see a move away from specialist (mountain/airborne) towards general purpose infantry.

We also see Divisionskampfgruppen heavy on infantry and based in large part on regimental building blocks. Welcome back to WW II. For real.

Still, everything unconfirmed and subject to further sudden mutation at this point.

Edited by BansheeOne, 18 August 2010 - 1448 PM.

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#17 Marek Tucan

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 0126 AM

I can see it now, by 2020:
- one expeditionary battalion
- a few sea patrol boats
- one utility squadron for flying civilian VIP's to Spanish vacation destinations
- and, of course, a larger department of defense
:angry2:

Geez, didn't know you were able to get UltraSecret™ Czech Army structure, just that we do not have the patrol boats, must have been a misinformation intentionally placed there :P
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#18 Red Ant

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 1253 PM

Maybe German politicians feel that a massive force reduction is the surest way to ensure good relations between Germany and the U.S. in the future? Instead of having to tell the U.S. that nuh nuh, no way are we going to join you in your current military adventure, we could just be like "Oh gee, yeah we'd LOVE to come but you see, unfortunately we haven't got an army." :glare:
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#19 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 1602 PM

Frankly, it's hard to get too bummed out about it -- it doesn't make a lot of military sense (vs. the economic reasons cited earlier in this thread) for Germany to have a large army if they don't plan to do too much with it. The Red Hordes aren't coming by any time soon.

If they paired those reductions with a large purchase of transport aircraft, _then_ I'd be excited...
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#20 seahawk

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 0108 AM

Maybe German politicians feel that a massive force reduction is the surest way to ensure good relations between Germany and the U.S. in the future? Instead of having to tell the U.S. that nuh nuh, no way are we going to join you in your current military adventure, we could just be like "Oh gee, yeah we'd LOVE to come but you see, unfortunately we haven't got an army." :glare:


Would make too much sense.
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