Bundeswehr struggles with faulty defense equipment
Germany's military faces almost daily reports on new problems with its hardware: planes and helicopters on the ground, tanks and ships not operational. The list goes on.
Faulty tanks and grounded helicopters
Frustrated soldiers and a defense system struggling to repair its way into a fully functioning military. And a new defense minister who will have to regain confidence from army representatives.
Ageing helicopters have proved a big hurdle for the German military. The Bundeswehr has grounded all its 53 Tiger helicopters, after engineers said technical faults needed attention. Defense services were also forced to recall 22 Sea Lynx anti-submarine helicopters in 2014, confirming newspaper reports of malfunction.
The Eurofighter is the German military's most modern fighter jet. As a result of a manufacturing error, only four of the 128 planes were in action in 2018. A pilot was killed in June 2019 when two Eurofighters collided in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, prompting fresh calls for further restrictions on the plane's use.
Let's replace it... as soon as we make a decision
Tornado fighters have been flying for over 40 years. CDU plans to replace the ageing planes were thrown into question by the center-left SPD in February 2019. But some officials claim flying the Tornado after 2030 could cost Germany around €8 billion ($9 billion) in repair costs.
Not making any tracks
New Puma tanks for the German military came into use in 2018. Only 27 of the 71 Pumas were immediately ready for deployment — which prompted a fresh backlash against then Defense Secretary Ursula von der Leyen.
Glitches at sea
New F125 frigates — but they are't ready yet. German plans to replace the old frigates stalled in 2018, due to there not being enough spare parts to make them seaworthy. Officials also said Germany would have to soon stop signing up to NATO and UN missions in the same year — the country just did not have enough ships spare.
Headache for AKK?
She has not been in the job long, but Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has inherited a huge problem. Old equipment being grounded is now a regular and pressing occurrence. Former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen signed a deal to develop a "Future Combat Air System" in June — which is scheduled to replace Germany's air force by 2040.