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Armed forces reform will be pursued systematically


Struck says reform of armed forces will be pursued systematically

Germany's Defense Minister Peter Struck outlined his plan to reform the German armed forces at a press conference held on December 5. It did not include a phaseout the draft system. Struck said experience other countries have had with professional armies clearly showed the need for the draft.

It is the unchanged aim of the armed forces reform plan to bring the mission, tasks, and equipment of the armed forces in line with defense budget capacities. Defense Minister Peter Struck presented his reform plan at a press conference held on December 5. In this connection he introduced Werner Engelhardt as government commissioner for economic and industrial affairs. The commissioner's task will be to continue to develop strategic partnerships between industry and the armed forces and to promote cooperation with the small business sector. It will also be to develop plans for the consolidation and strategic orientation of the German defense industry in the European context.

Not a reform of the reform

Struck reported on measures taken to revise the armed forces reform plan and associated cost-cutting measures. "This is not a reform of the reform. We are making adjustments, we are correcting our course," Stuck said. He emphasized that the ceiling established for the defense budget in the past legislative term would be maintained. There will be 24.4 billion euros available for the defense budget each year between 2003 and 2006. There will be an additional 1.15 billion euros allocated over the same period for the fight against terrorism. Cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and cooperation with industry are to continue to be strengthened. The country's defense policy guidelines are currently being revised. This revision process is to be completed in the spring of 2003.

Initial decisions on military procurement will create room for maneuver and secure the financing of ongoing projects as well as the creation of new development and procurement projects. Struck had the following to say with regard to individual projects:

EUROFIGHTER 2000

Procurement will go forward as planned with the required weaponry.

IRIS-T The procurement figure was reduced from 1,812 to 1,250 missiles. The IRIS-T is a standard weapon system for the Eurofighter 2000 as well as for the Tornado. A decision on procurement is to be made in the spring of 2003.

METEOR (Eurofighter 2000 weapon system)

A decision is to be taken, if possible before the end of this year, on developing this weapon together with five other nations. The projected procurement figure was reduced from 1,488 to 600 missiles.

AIRBUS A 400M

Procurement of the Airbus A 400M is certain. The order volume will probably be reduced from 73 to 60 planes. This is conscionable, since it will not be necessary to have both evacuation capabilities and normal air transport capabilities available at the same time. Negotiations have been conducted on this with our partners. Struck said he assumed there would not be an increase in the price per unit. This and a reduction by Portugal (three) will reduce the overall number of planes procured by the partner countries involved from 196 to 180.

TRANSALL

The insufficient electronic defenses on Transall transport planes are to be improved. Use of the Transall includes flights to mission areas such as Kabul.

TORPEDO DM 2 A 4

Financing is secure for starting production of the torpedo to equip new submarines of the 212 class.

NH 90 (transport helicopter)

CSAR (combat search and rescue) systems are being developed with a view to improving the ability to rescue pilots and crew who have been shot down or forced to make emergency landings (e.g. in-flight refueling and radio data transfer systems).

"IGEL" armored personnel carrier

Financing is in place for procurement of the armored personnel carrier that is slated to succeed the Marder. This vehicle will enable combat troops to carry out their mission better than in the past, particularly when exposed to danger from landmines.

In a second step tasks and capabilities are to be assessed with a view to synchronizing operational and investment planning with financial planning. This will be based on the following guidelines:

Old equipment that is expensive to operate is to be taken out of service ahead of schedule

There is to be a focus on procuring equipment that would be required in the most probable mission scenarios

Solutions are to be sought based on multinational cooperation

Operations are to be made more cost-efficient

Optional strategies are to be assessed

The following optional strategies are to be pursued and planning for them completed by next spring:

Procurement figures for helicopters (TIGER, NH90) and the options of retirement from service or extension of service life for the BELL UH-1D and the CH 53 are to be assessed from a joint armed forces standpoint.

The types and numbers of fighter aircraft needed (TORNADOs and PHANTOM F4Fs) are to be assessed.

The HAWK and ROLAND missile systems are to be assessed with regard to cost-effectiveness.

Ships and boats are to be taken out of service more rapidly than in the past. Defense Minister Struck could well imagine closing temporary capability gaps by cooperating with other countries.

Our sea reconnaissance capability (Breguet Atlantic) will be maintained. Here again multinational cooperation is to be sought.

Procurement figures and schedules for the GTK armored transport vehicle for use by the army as well as alternative procurements are to be assessed.

Armed forces command-and-control structures are to be further concentrated and reduced in size. Stationing effects not resulting from changed planning are to be subjected to careful assessment.


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