The Bundeswehr is reportedly suffering from shortages in artillery and air defense systems
The German Army lacks weapons and equipment to fully complete its tasks within NATO, including the defense of the bloc’s eastern flank, Der Spiegel magazine and the newspaper Die Welt reported on Tuesday. They cited a confidential report by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to the parliamentary defense committee.
The document said the German military, or Bundeswehr, cannot contribute artillery to the NATO multinational battalion-size unit stationed in Lithuania, as it would be “dependent on acquisition.” It noted problems providing air defense for the unit from 2023 because the US-made MIM-104 Patriot missile systems, which are used by Germany, are currently “tied up” with the bloc’s rapid-response force.
There is also reportedly not enough secure radio equipment, which can only be procured “in the coming years.”
“Due to the delay of important IT projects,” Germany’s digital component within the NATO rapid-response force is also limited and meets “only minimal requirements.”
“Considerable capability deficit” was reported in the Bundeswehr’s air defenses, as well as shortages in some supplies for medical services.
“The gaps in personnel, materiel, infrastructure, spare parts, and ammunition, which were created during the decades of structural underfunding, cannot be closed with the stroke of a pen,” Lambrecht wrote, as quoted by Die Welt.
There have been multiple reports of shortages in the Bundeswehr since Germany began supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons, including howitzers and anti-tank systems, as well as various types of ammunition.
The German edition of news website Business Insider reported last month that the Bundeswehr had ammunition in stock for only one or two days of fighting.
Frank Haun, the head of Europe’s largest tank manufacturer KNDS, told the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday that the German Army has been “squeezed like a lemon” for years. He added that the Ukraine conflict has highlighted its shortages in heavy weapons, such as tanks and artillery systems.
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