Bundeswehr Faces Critical Equipment Shortages Amid Assuming NATO Spearhead Role

On December 28th, 2022, NATO announced that Germany would assume control of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) from France. The leadership of the unit rotates annually. However, the lead unit assumes overall command and usually contributes a majority of the forces. Germany’s contribution as the lead unit will include: Panzergrenadierbrigade 37, Panzerbataillon 393, Artillerielehrbataillon 345, Versorgungsbataillon 131 and Transporthubschrauberregiment 30. Germany will also lead the Special Forces Command for the VJTF for the first time. The overall composition of the VJTF will be: 11,500 thousand troops from Belgium, Czechia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and Slovenia.

“Germany is an important Ally and we thank Germany for leading the VJTF in 2023”, said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “As Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine continues to threaten peace and security in Europe, there must be no doubt about NATO’s resolve to protect and defend every inch of Allied territory. The VJTF is NATO’s first responder and a key part of our collective defense. Germany’s leadership is a strong display of its commitment and capabilities,” Ms Lungescu said.

However, the German Armed Forces Commissioner has raised the alarm over the lack of proper equipment for their troops. Eva Högl told press that there is a lack of “personal equipment such as helmets, backpacks, protective vests and small and large equipment – from radios, ammunition to tanks.” While Germany has pledged 100M EUR to modernize its forces, supplies since supplying materials to Ukraine. “We have a worse material situation than before February 24, because a lot has been handed over to support Ukraine, but nothing has yet been replaced.”

According to the German government, below reads the total military support sent to Ukraine:

“Delivered military support to Ukraine as of 22DEC22:

(Changes compared to the previous week in bold)

  • 13 armoured recovery vehicles(before: 12)
  • 78 border protection vehicles* (before: 65)
  • 35 ambulances* (before: 34)
  • 6 lift trucks* (before: 4)
  • Iris-T SLM missiles*
  • 60,000 rounds ammunition 40mm* (before: 30,000)*
  • 18,500 projectiles 155mm (before:13,500)
  • 18 load-handling trucks 8×8
  • 50 MRAP vehicles DINGO
  • 12 tank transporter tractor M1070 Oshkosh*
  • 3 bridge-laying tanks BEAVER*
  • 10 unmanned surface vessels*
  • 14,000 sleeping bags
  • Mi-24 spare parts*
  • ammunition for multiple rocket launchers MARS II
  • spare parts for heavy machine gun M2
  • 30 MG3 for armoured recovery vehicles
  • 116 mobile heating systems*
  • 28 anti-drone sensors and jammers
  • 20 frequency range extensions for anti-drone devices*
  • 18 reconnaissance drones*
  • 17 heavy and medium bridge systems*
  • 5 multiple rocket launchers MARS II with ammunition
  • 14 self-propelled howitzers Panzerhaubitze 2000 (joint project with the Netherlands)
  • air defence system Iris-T SLM*
  • 200 tents
  • 195 generators
  • 116.000 winter jackets
  • 80.000 winter trousers
  • 240.000 winter hats
  • 100,000 first aid kits*
  • 405,000 pre-packaged military Meals Ready
  • 30 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns GEPARD including circa 6.000 rounds of ammunition*
  • 67 fridges for medical material
  • counter battery radar system COBRA*
  • 4,000 rounds practice ammunitions for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns
  • 54 M113 armoured personnel carriers (systems of Denmark, upgrades financed by Germany)*
  • 53,000 rounds ammunitions for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns
  • 20 laser target designators*
  • 3,000 anti-tank weapons Panzerfaust 3 with 900 firing devices
  • 14,900 anti-tank mines
  • 500 Man Portable Air Defense Systems STINGER
  • 2,700 Man Portable Air Defense Systems STRELA
  • 22 million rounds of ammunition for fire arms
  • 50 bunker buster missiles
  • 100 machine gun MG3 with 500 spare barrels and breechblocks
  • 100,000 hand grenades
  • 5,300 explosive charges
  • 100,000 m detonating cord and 100.000 detonators
  • 350,000 detonators
  • 10 anti-drone guns*
  • 100 auto-injector devices
  • 28,000 combat helmets
  • 15 palettes military clothing
  • 280 vehicles (trucks, minibuses, all-terrain vehicles)
  • 6 palettes material for explosive ordnance disposal
  • 125 binoculars
  • 1,200 hospital beds
  • 18 palettes medical material, 60 surgical lights
  • protective clothing, surgical masks
  • 600 safety glasses
  • 1 radio frequency system
  • 3,000 field telephones with 5.000 cable reels and carrying straps
  • 1 field hospital (joint project with Estonia)*
  • 353 night vision goggles
  • 4 electronic anti-drone devices*
  • 165 field glasses
  • medical material (inter alia back packs, compression bandages)
  • 38 laser range finders
  • Diesel and gasoline (ongoing deliveries)*
  • 10 tons AdBlue*
  • 500 medical gauzes
  • MiG-29 spare parts*
  • 30 protected vehicles*
  • 65 pick-up trucks*
  • 7,944 man-portable anti-tank weapons RGW 90 Matador*
  • 6 mobile decontamination vehicles HEP 70 including decontamination material
  • 10 HMMWV (8x ground radar capability, 2x jamming/anti drone capability)*
  • 7 radio jammers*
  • 8 mobile ground surveillance radars and thermal imaging cameras*
  • 4 mobile and protected mine clearing systems*
  • 8 electronic anti-drone devices*
  • 1 high frequency unit with equipment*

Military support to Ukraine in planning/in execution

(due to security concerns, the Federal Government abstains from providing details on transportation modalities and dates until after handover)

  • 26 change charger truck system
  • 50 field heater
  • 18 wheeled self-propelled howitzers RCH 155*
  • 100 anti-drone sensors and jammers*
  • 2 hangar tents*
  • 7 load-handling trucks 8×6*
  • 7 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns GEPARD*
  • 14 tracked and remote controlled infantry vehicles for support tasks*
  • 10 mobile and protected mine clearing systems*
  • Iris-T SLM missiles*
  • 42 mine clearing tanks*
  • 3 mobile, remote controlled and protected mine clearing systems*
  • 5 mobile reconnaissance systems (on vehicles)
  • 435 border protection vehicles*
  • 1,100 projectiles 155mm*
  • 156,000 rounds ammunition 40mm*
  • 5 armoured engineer vehicles
  • 17 load-handling trucks 8×8
  • 3 heavy and medium bridge systems*
  • 16 self-propelled howitzer Zuzana 2* (joint project with Denmark and Norway)
  • 1 ambulances*
  • 90 heavy duty trailer trucks*
  • 3 air defence system IRIS-T SLM*
  • 12 communications electronic scanner/jammer systems*
  • field hospital (role 2)*
  • 20 rocket launchers 70mm on pick-up trucks with 2.000 rockets*
  • 20 frequency range extensions for anti-drone devices*
  • armoured recovery vehicles*
  • 14 truck tractor trains and 14 semi-trailers*
  • 2 tractors and 4 trailers*
  • 22 reconnaissance drones*
  • 10 protected vehicles*
  • vehicle decontamination system
  • 5,032 man-portable anti-tank weapons
  • 200 trucks*
  • 13 bridge-laying tanks BEAVER*

The total value of individual licenses issued by the Federal Government for the export of military goods in the period from January 1, 2022 to December 19, 2022 amounts to 2.255.473.391 Euro.”

It is important to remember that NATO’s primary adversary in Europe is the Russian Federation. So, even though Germany is facing immediate supply issues, exacerbated by sending materials to Ukraine, those materails are still being used to degrade the primary adversary.

 

 

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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