German military endures radical gear insufficiency

(MENAFN) A recent report from Bild has shed light on critical shortages within the German military, revealing deficiencies in essential equipment such as uniforms, bulletproof vests, and helmets. Citing a Defense Ministry document, Bild highlighted the severe impact of these shortages on the combat capabilities of troops, underscoring the urgency of addressing the issue.

The revelation comes despite German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ambitious military overhaul plan, initiated in response to the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. With a commitment to allocate EUR100 billion (USD107.35 billion) towards bolstering the Bundeswehr's ranks and modernizing its hardware, expectations were high for significant improvements. However, a report by the parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr, Eva Hoegl, in March 2024 painted a bleak picture, indicating little progress over the past two years.

According to Bild's report, the shortfall in critical equipment is alarming. Out of 72,200 combat uniforms ordered last year, only 58,850 were delivered, representing an 18.5 percent deficit. Similarly, the shortage of bulletproof vests is dire, with only 81,000 items supplied out of 105,000 ordered. The situation with helmets and backpacks mirrors this shortfall.

Furthermore, the Bundeswehr's deficiencies extend to specialized equipment like image-intensifying goggles, with some batches reportedly diverted to the Israeli army due to shortages. While the Defense Ministry has provided explanations for the procurement challenges, including supplier bankruptcies and high levels of sick leave among suppliers, critics argue that these excuses only serve to mask the underlying issues.

An unnamed German officer quoted by Bild suggests that procurement problems are often sugarcoated with plausible explanations, delaying necessary action to address the shortages. The revelation underscores the pressing need for swift and effective measures to rectify the equipment deficit within the German military, ensuring the readiness and effectiveness of troops in fulfilling their duties.



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