Germany’s air force is in dire straits and funds are urgently needed to modernise its weaponry and systems, the air force chief of staff said according to local reports.
“The Luftwaffe is at a low point,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, who took over as chief of staff of the air force about a month ago, told 200 industry executives. Gerhartz said his assessment followed visits to various air force sites and discussions with troops that revealed serious deficits in the readiness of aircraft and other equipment.
“Aircraft are grounded due to a lack of spare parts, or they aren’t even on site since they’re off for maintenance by the industry,” he said. According to Reuters, he said a 400-hour inspection of the Eurofighter combat jets now took a total of 14 months, twice as long as planned, and this was unacceptable.
His comments followed recent reports by the defence ministry and the German parliament’s military ombudsman that revealed significant gaps in military equipment and personnel.
Recently, we reported that the vast majority of major weapons systems in the German military are unavailable for training exercises or deployment, according to a new German Defence Ministry report.
‘Report on the Operational Readiness of the Bundeswehr’s Primary Weapons Systems’ was presented to Germany’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday.
Number of weapon systems ready for action according to the report:
- Typhoon jets: 39 of 128
- Tornado jets: 26 of 93
- CH-53 transport helicopters: 16 of 72
- NH-90 transport helicopters: 13 of 58
- Tigre attack helicopters: 12 of 62
- A400M transport aircraft: 3 of 15
- Leopard 2 tanks: 105 of 224
- Frigates: 5 of 13
- Submarines: 0 out of 6