German Military Initiatives

From the November 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

  • Major investment in military communication, reconnaissance and surveillance technology (including a $24.8 million contract awarded to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. to provide the Bundeswehr with a secure message-handling system), investment in the Alliance Ground Surveillance system and the acquisition of a space-based all-weather radar system for global surveillance and reconnaissance imaging.
  • Procurement and upgrading of state-of-the-art helicopters, transport aircraft and 3,800 protected command, special purpose and transport vehicles.
  • The planned acquisition of 180 Eurofighter jets ($22 billion), the costliest arms deal in Bundeswehr history.
  • Development and acquisition of “infantrymen of the future” equipment and enough equipment packages for 80,000 operations personnel.
  • Successful completion of sea trials in August by air-defense and command frigate sachsen. This marks “one of the most advanced armament developments in Germany’s history” (Defense Systems Daily, August 27). Three of these vessels are commissioned for employment in the German Navy by 2005.
  • Procurement of four type-212A submarines, the most advanced non-nuclear subs in the world.
  • Construction (set for completion in 2005) of a second command-and-control complex outside Potsdam that will allow Germany’s military operations command to better operate as headquarters for any EU-led operation.
  • Germany’s ThyssenKrupp purchase of the world’s largest conventional submarine maker, Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, in May. This “marks the beginning of what could form the core of a European warship heavyweight” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 21).
  • Germany’s elite force KSK (special forces command) to be increased and integrated with nato’s rapid reaction force in 2005.
  • German efforts to secure a permanent seat in the UN Security Council—a position held by only five other nations in the world—which would grant Germany vetoing power.