The Bundeswehr's ammunition depots have been empty for some time. Even after the Russian attack on Ukraine, hardly anything is ordered. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces now wants to change that and is calling for a joint approach with industry.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl, has called for a fixed timetable for the new procurement of ammunition in the double-digit billion range for the next few years. It is understandable that the industry is demanding binding commitments if it is to increase production capacities now, said the SPD politician. "We now need a timetable, a coordinated approach with binding agreements with the armaments industry, when which ammunition can be produced, where and in what period of time. That's the order now, preferably coordinated at European level."
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht is facing growing criticism because of the Bundeswehr's ammunition crisis and the lack of artillery shells and rockets. The empty depots have been known for a long time. However, the opposition and the traffic light coalition are becoming increasingly incomprehensible that in the nine months since the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, little has been ordered.
In a letter of reply, Christian Lindner's Ministry of Finance had pointed out considerable deficits in the procurement system for the Bundeswehr. According to the Ministry of Finance, the industry complained at a summit meeting that the Ministry of Defense had complicated, sometimes non-transparent and inconsistent requirements planning. An attempt had recently been made to procure ammunition "from existing expenditure residues". However, the Federal Ministry of Finance referred to increased defense budgets and the 100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr.
"We can't tell them there's a funding commitment for six months, but we don't know yet whether the Bundestag can give it next year. The industry needs to be able to plan. And that's why I think a lot about signing contracts over several years "Hogl said. And: "On the part of the industry, it has to be honest on the table, in which time frame they can build up which capacities and which ammunition they can then produce."
According to her impression, military aid for Ukraine has broad support in the Bundeswehr, but the consequences are noticeable. "We now have a worse material situation than before February 24, because a lot has been handed over, but nothing has yet been replaced. That worries the troops. There are enormous expectations that something will change," said Högl about the current armament status of the armed forces . "The fact that weapon systems were handed over to Ukraine was right and important, but they are lacking in training and practice. Now the systems that are still there must be repaired quickly and spare parts must be delivered quickly so that they can soon be used by the troops again To be available."