British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has hosted his  counterpart from Germany, Ursula Von der Leyen, in London where stronger ties were discussed.

According to the MoD, the pair and their teams met to discuss strengthening defence ties. The German Defence Minister and Gavin Williamson also took the opportunity to meet a group of German junior officers, who have been learning about UK defence at the Ministry of Defence.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“The UK and Germany face the same intensifying threats to our way of life and we work closely together to protect our citizens from harm.

Germany is one of our closest allies and I look forward to even closer cooperation.”

Germany was formally recognised as a ‘tier one’ ally in November 2015’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. However 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.

The ‘Report on the Operational Readiness of the Bundeswehr’s Primary Weapons Systems 2017,’ has been seen by local media and is set to be presented to Germany’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday.

The Defence Ministry’s report comes after the Bundestag’s military commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, complained about “large holes in personnel and equipment” in the Bundeswehr in a separate paper published in mid-February.

Number of weapon systems ready for action:

  • 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

According to local media, the German Defence Ministry said that a higher number of training missions and deployments since Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014 had caused existing equipment to wear down quicker than it had previously.

“It’s a real disaster for the Navy, it’s the first time in history that there will not be any submarine operating for months,” warned the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Parliament, Hans-Peter Bartels, in an interview published on Sunday in the Berlin weekly Bild am Sonntag.

The problem, he explained, has worsened over time due to the German military not replacing out of date equipment.

The German Navy lost its last submarine in October, as the rudder of its last Type 212A was severely damaged in a collision with a rock off the Norwegian coast while the rest of the fleet was out of service. It is also understood that none of the new frigates, the Type 125s, are able to enter into operational service due to defects and a similar situation is faced by auxiliary ships, Berlin and Bonn, which were sent to dry dock for a year and a half of repairs.

In 2015, it was revealed that only 29 of Germany’s 66 Tornado jets are airworthy. Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen then stressed that only six of the operational Tornado jets would be needed for the proposed German mission in Syria.

It gets worse. According to local media, the fuel used by the German Tornado fleet appears to have been mixed with ‘too much bio-diesel’. According to news site Frankfurter Allgemeine, this was noticed during a routine check last Monday:

“The tolerance values ​​are minimally exceeded,” said Colonel Kristof Conrath of the Tactical Air Force Squadron 51. “It’s not that the aircraft would fall from the sky. For safety reasons, all tanks of the aircraft must be flushed.”

It is understood that this breakdown is particularly annoying for the Luftwaffe, as training of new Tornado pilots is already three months behind.

This comes after we reported that The German military is under-equipped to take on its upcoming role as leader of NATO’s Russian-aimed Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. The Bundeswehr is due to take over leadership of NATO’s multinational Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) at the start of next year, but doesn’t have enough tanks, a leaked Defence Ministry document said.

Specifically, the Bundeswehr’s ninth tank brigade in Münster only has nine operational Leopard 2 tanks — even though it promised to have 44 ready for the VJTF — and only three of the promised 14 Marder armored infantry vehicles.

The paper also revealed the reason for this shortfall: a lack of spare parts and the high cost and time needed to maintain the vehicles. It added that it was also lacking night-vision equipment, automatic grenade launchers, winter clothing and body armor.

The German air force is also struggling to cover its NATO duties, the document revealed. The Luftwaffe’s main forces — the Eurofighter and Tornado fighter jets and its CH-53 transport helicopters — are only available for use an average of four months a year — the rest of the time the aircraft are grounded for repairs and rearmament.


  1. So they want to damage us economically, isolate us diplomatically and we make them a tier 1 ally ? Lets sort out BREXIT first, then we can move forward after seeing the true face of our “friends”.

    • Completely agree, this is the stupid way the Elites work, no common sense what so ever. Meanwhile our greatest ally America we cant organise a simple state visit, that ever tom dick and harry gets. We need to drain the swamp in the so called super Foreign office, who has might i add a very nice budget that could be given to the MOD

    • I feel the time has come to include defence into the BREXIT deal? Germany is out with the begging bowl and, that is an opportunity to get some realism into the talks.

  2. Of course. We don’t want the richest country in Europe wasting their own money on defence do we when the UK can tax us all and pay for German defence issues. The same country that spends it time now belittling the UK for all it’s worth.

    • Comee on Jason you have little proof that the Germans belittle us, any more than we do them and the French. I never thought I’d support a strong German military, after the unpleasantness in the 20th Century, but it’s better than it being weakened, for all our sakes.

      • If you speak German, perhaps browse the Fora in the online versions of Der Spiegel, Die Welt and FAZ, for example, for an insight into the mostly highly unpleasant and belittling comments by almost all commentators to articles in any way about Brexit and anything to do with the UK in general. The words spite, malice, schadenfreude and envy spring to mind.

      • Germans learned from WW2 more about themselves and human vulnerability than we or the French learned about ourselves. IMO the concept of a European Community based on social democracy ( aka Catholic social teaching) is sound. Sadly the like of Mitterand, who succumbed to the lure of masonism in his later years, and the essentially Naploeonic model of EU governance screwed things up.

    • All good natured ribbing. Don’t underestimate the regard in which BAE and RR engineering is held by the Germans. They also consider us more trustworthy than other nations I could mention. That said they do think we are too reserved and socially slow off the mark.

          • If history could be rewritten, I wonder if a British and German trading pact with the two governments forming an economic trading core, in the early 1950’s, to which other countries could have applied to join, but with reduced powers. How much more stable and collective would have this been, rather than the tin-pot EU we have today is a mute point? B.A.O.R would have still formed and the same for N.A.T.O. I do believe a German/British trading pact could have proved to be a long-term success, and considerably more stable, dynamic, and proactive, than the political molasses we appear to have today. An increased French dominance of the EU is still not out of the question, especially in military matters? I wonder how the German people really feel about such a prospect? There’s nothing wrong with French influence; other than it has a tendency to be weighted in their favour?

  3. Germany spends its money on industry to dominate Europe through alternative means.

    Germany and France have for years stopped a single market in services to protect their own.

    Germany (some might say for good reasons) has relied (freeloaded) off UK & US for European defence and security.

    Why we were so weak when it came to leaving defence and security out of the Brexit negotiations I simply do not understand.

    • All the comments on this article are good but Ian yours is spot on. It highlights how the Germans and French both pretend to be true Europeans. Of course the Germans and French are all for the EU, the Germans get an undervalued currency to support their exports and France gets its agriculture subsidised. The single market is perfect for them but the same approach to services is not in their national interest so is greeted with a predicable no. We unilaterally sell off our gold reserves and reduce are rebate for the greater of good of the EU and we get nothing in return.
      The Germans don’t like spending on their military and France will not give up the fiasco of the Strasbourg parliament all because of their shared history. Of course it is only us Brits and in particular those despicable little Englanders who are still stuck in the WW2 mindset.
      The sad fact is this has been allowed to happen because of our awful leadership and negotiating skills that goes back a very long time. Whilst she did many thing that were wrong a certain Mrs Thatcher got her rebate by upsetting this cosy club and since then we have had nobody with the same dogged and if necessary hard nosed mentality representing the UK. We could do with one of those people right now.

        • Sorry guys just a bit of irony on my part. We seem to live in a time where rather than being able to discuss and respect each other’s views it has become the norm to group those with a different perspective with a derogatory term. Little Englander has been adopted as such to suggest anyone who voted out is some kind of old fart who lives in a 1940s time warp. Hardly a reasoned position when over 17m people voted out.

  4. Excellent. If the EU countries have 10 carriers and support ships plus a land army and supporting aircraft in sufficient numbers to deter any likely opponent without threatening them too much – it does much for the securuty of the UK. In addition we can happily supply much of the kit but the Germans must understand that the days of subsidised defense are over – they must take responsibility financially.

  5. I agree with the sentiment here. Germany is the single primary obstacle between the UK and a friendly and amicable EU exit and yet they want to play happy families when it suits them.

    Do the Germans not see the irony of attacking the UK politically and economically and asking us for defence ties militarily.

    I was once a great fan of Germany but since Germany threw Greece to the dogs, unilaterally undermined Anglo-French attempts to build a coherent EU foreign policy response to Russian aggression in the Ukraine and invited a million “refugees” to march through half a dozen sovereign nations’ territories on the way to Berlin the blinkers have come off. I am so glad we are leaving the EU, more so now than after the referendum. Given Germany’s behaviour, the arrogance and outright lies of Juncker and the lack of good faith coming from the EU regarding Brexit. I feel vindicated in my vote.
    I was once one of those rate breeds, a reluctant leaver. I am reluctant no more.

  6. Slightly worrying that Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is tipped for one of the top NATO posts, after the job she has done on the German military

    • Probably trying to sell us the Boxer, Challenger 2 upgrade and asking if they can “borrow” some Typhoons (possibly with pilots and support included), SMH.

      • Win-win. Extend the Typhoon production jobs at Wharton, create jobs in Germany and get a decent UK army wheeled APC while stuffing the French Vehicule Blindé. What’s not to like?

  7. There is a very easy response to this:
    Dear Mrs Merkel
    Please instruct your minions Juncker, Tusk and Barnier to stop being arses and generally making life difficult for the UK both in our domestic politics (which is none of your business) and in EU negotiations.
    Their latest effort published today in the full fanfare of a Press Conference risks peace in Ireland and is utterly despicable. You seek to re-position an internal UK border and to annex Northern Ireland and we have to ask why? Is this payback to the Irish Prime Minister who has been a patsy for EU politics in Ireland and you think this may be a first step to Unification? Think again carefully Mrs Merkel. You should remember which army and people it was that suffered 30 years of bombs and murder at the hands of the IRA and they never won. Not sure we saw too many German soldiers helping out in Belfast either

    So we are happy to co-operate and protect your country (as we have free gratis and for nothing for 70 odd years) but there is a price: A full Free Trade Deal with zero Tariffs and full Services access to the EU Internal Market. No FTD then no more UK military on European soil. EVER! Oh and please tell your best mate Macron he can go swing for heavy air lift support as well.

    Your choice Mrs Merkel

    Yours sincerely
    Annoyed of Suffolk

    • Yeah none of that is going to happen…Ever and the army is leaving European soil anyway while the Americans aren’t and won’t regardless whether or not the German military ups it’s game so they won’t be too bothered

      • to be fair most of the problems with the brexit negotiations, appear to be coming from the fact that our policiticans don’t appear to know what they want. The EU isnt being overly unreasonable so far.

        • I think most of the problems, apart from the EU side, are actually the magnificent opposition in Parliament, along with Tory rebels. They, instead of supporting the government and getting on with carrying out the wishes of the majority in the biggest vote in the UK’s history are intent on using party politics and hampering the government at every step, such as now threatening to defeat the government in a Customs Union vote.

          The referendum vote was for Brexit, not some crap where the UK leaves in name only. The voting slip made that quite clear, so did the government with their propaganda campaign with leaflets sent to every household saying what leaving means.

          I also think one problem is the PM has both remainers and leavers in her cabinet with both fighting the other and the result is the usual compromise botched job we are in danger of ending up with.

          Teresa May should be outside No 10 talking to the world live telling people exactly what HM opposition are doing and naming and shaming those who are subverting democracy as we speak.

          Instead, like the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation, we get silence.

        • Steve – This EU mantra of ‘more clarity’ and ‘we don’t know what the UK wants’ is utter bullcrap and you know it.
          Our position has been laid out very clearly by the PM in two major speeches in Europe, the Article 50 letter, 14 position papers, a White Paper and numerous press conferences. We want a Free Trade Deal with no tariffs and access for our Services industries to the EU Internal Market given we are already perfectly aligned in Law and Regulation matters. More importantly we do NOT want FoM, SM, CU or CoJ.

          You would think that would be ‘clear’ but of course it is not ‘clarity’ the EU demand it is ‘unbending obedience’. A perfect example is their latest effort at interfering in the Domestic Constitutional arrangements of the UK regarding Northern Ireland and where any internal border should be. The EU just do not ‘get it’ that we are done with them having ANY control or interference in our affairs. Trouble is that is how they operate…..

          What people are missing is that Labour are now operating to the EU’s wishes and are intent on weakening our position with the EU and in the process looking to make party political gain out of something that was entirely non political let alone partisan. If people want to look for danger look no further than one J Corbyn MP. The day after Corbyn made his U Turn speech Starmer was quietly in Brussels meeting Barnier. Trouble is Farage saw him on the train and at the EU …. ooops!

  8. We certainly live in interesting times. The EU are a belligerent and forgetfully lot.
    We are leaving get over it.
    You have 2 options remain our friends and allies as we leave, like we would like you to. Yes this does mean a comprehensive free trade deal and not some bullshit whereby we have to remain in the eurozone or abide by EU laws, the jurisdiction of the EU courts etc etc before we can get a free trade deal
    Option 2 no free trade deal, we leave EU and then withdraw militarily from Europe leaving the entirety of their own defence to the EU. How long until Putin kicks in their doors then? Yes I do think Brexit could lead to the end of NATO as it currently stands unless the EU comes to a deal that is not what they are currently trying to do, belittle the UK and state we owe them.
    Really…I was under the impression the whole of the EU would be speaking German and saluting the swastika if it was not for the UK being a beacon of freedom and fighting to free you. Then once freed from tyranny we then defended you for the last 70 years. I think the UK government should give the EU a bill for £2 trillion and see what they say.
    The EU need to tread very carefully, they like us only have one chance to keep decent cordial relationships with the UK, the option of security and military cooperation should very much factor into the divorce proceedings.

    • I surrender to no-one in my enduring interest in WW1 & WW2! (And my gratitude and respect to the generations in Britain who fought in those wars).
      But it really would be refreshing to stop viewing our European friends through the distorted prism of two war worlds; it was 70 years ago – we need to move on!
      Young Germans need have no guilt complex for events in the past, and owe the current generation of Britons nothing.
      We’re a great country, and despite the muddle that is Brexit – can still have a great future. But please, let’s stop beating-up young Europeans about WW2!

  9. If Germany, Europe’s wealthiest country spends less on defence than the U.K. then why do we need to waste so much on weapons of war?

    • Germany after WW2 lives in a fantasy world where they think everything can be solved via diplomacy. They have little interest in military interventions, so they badly fund their military. Which leaves us in a situation where we need to rely on the US to protect Europe because our own members are too weak. Which makes us an easy target, especially when the US is getting pissed off with the situation.

      • Ben they don’t live in a fantasy world. They’re very clever they ‘allow’ us to defend them ‘thanks british army’ and use the money they save to bend us over and rear end us economically. What’s fantasy about that ?

  10. The Germans are sitting idly by while the EU is trying to split up our country in the Brexit ‘negotiations’, yet apparently want to defend us if the shit hits the fan.

    I would have thought that one does not automatically follow the other. We are being played as mugs. No European defence unless they stop trying to destroy us and do a decent trade deal. And they can quit the passive-aggressive statements and pompous tone, too.

  11. Threats from us or the EU will not work but as someone who reluctantly voted to leave I now feel totally convinced it was the right choice. The EU is a quasi superstate with a clear political agenda and has long since given up being an economic group whose aim was to enhance the wealth of its member states and populations.
    That it is prepared for some of its remaining citizens to be worse off by erecting trade barriers tells its own story. That it is also trying by any means to undo the referendum result is very predictable and follows in a long line of various EU countries not voting the correct way and being coerced into a second vote. The EU has a problem with real democracy and as its morphs into a nation the detachment of it leaders from its populous will just get bigger. We are negotiating with unaccountable mainly failed national politicians who have a vested interest in this process not being either easy or without pain.

    • The bigger problem for us in the UK is that our own political institutions are clearly Europhile and are working 24/7 to either completely scupper BREXIT or reduce it to something meaningless. Scrap the House of Lords and vote out those working to against the will of the people.

  12. The problem I have with all of this – is that the Europeans want their cake, eat it and get the UK to pay the bill (see what I did there Mr Barnier)

    They all break EU rules and other agreements when it suits them, but make out the UK is a bad citizen when we do something or try to hold our ground.

    It is bullying and we should let them get on with it.

  13. Very interesting. Ursula von der Leyen comes from old German nobility. She and Frau Merkel, daughter of an east German pastor make a fascinating girlpower team. She is new to the job and I see it as encouraging that she is visiting her UK opposite number early on. Brexit and national stereotypes aside the Germans have significant practical defence issues both politically and financially. The UK is in a position to help them and help ourselves at the same time.
    Just throwing ideas out: can we help them with servicability and availability of their current Typhoon fleet? How about they choose Typhoon to replace the Tornados and in exchange we buy some Boxers? Surely the Germans must realise that the Franco German agreement to produce a European 5th generation aircraft means Germany will end up paying for a French Rafale replacement. Merkel is not that stupid. Why not invite them into the Taranis project in exchange for German support of BAE leadership? Then there’s Type 26 and Type 31. If we can put historic prejudices aside there are a lot of job opportunities here for both countries.

      • Forgive and forget and you create jobs in Wharton, German leverage on Belgium to buy Typhoon, knock out the F-16, F-18 and Rafale production lines, get a good deal on Boxers and Brexit negotiations. Alternatively go into an indignant huff and cut off your nose to spite your face. Your choice, well actually Theresa May’s. Von def Leyen has been sent here by Merkel to do business.

          • Thx. Agree with your later posts that Tornado and Typhoon are overall successful projects. The working relationships forged between Wharton and Munich are a real asset we should leverage them. I see von der Leyen’s visit as prompt and positive outcome of May’s Munich security speech.

  14. I am going to quote Sun Tzu…

    1. Use alliances and strategic control points in the industry to “shape” your opponents and make them conform to your will:
    “Shaping you competition” means changing the rules of contest and making the competition conform to your desires and your actions. It means taking control of the situation away from your competitor and putting it in your own hands. One way of doing so is through the skilful use of alliances. By building a strong web of alliances, the moves of your competitors can be limited. Also, by controlling key strategic points in your industry, you will be able to call the tune to which your competitors dance.

    2. Avoid your competitor’s strength, and attack their weakness:
    The Western approach to warfare has spilled over into business competition, leading many companies to launch head-on, direct attacks against their competitor’s strongest point. This approach to business strategy leads to battles of attrition, which end up being very costly for everyone involved. Instead, you should focus on the competition’s weakness, which maximizes your gains while minimizing the use of resources. This, by definition, increases profits.

    The quotes above can be used to define military, economic or political strategies. But it is really easy to see how both Germany and France have used these principles to shape the rest of Europe to their country’s benefit! Germany did not become the richest nation in Europe, by being nice to its neighbours, business is war after all. Since the cold war it has drastically reduced its funding to the military due to perceived lack of a threat, using the savings to bolster industry and state projects. They have turned their military in to a joke in the process and perhaps need fining or removing from NATO.

    You can now see why they are pushing to develop the European army, as this will mean each EU country provides funding, probably a lot less than the NATO 2% commitment, therefore reducing the amount that they alone will provide – so long as European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Systems (KMD) defence industries provide the equipment.

    I do support the withdraw from the EU as they have bullied our country for years. Perhaps we should threaten them with a reparations bill for WW2 and withdrawing from mainland Europe as part of the Brexit bargaining, but I don’t think our current politicians have the balls?

  15. The U.K. really needs to work on getting Five Eyes expanded from an intelligence sharing alliance to a full on military alliance with a NATO style ‘an attack on one is an attack on all’ principle. Then we know that even if the EU undermines NATO, the USA will have our back.
    In fact, we can then consider whether we should defend the EU. If the EU isn’t prepared to trade with us on equal terms, why should we be prepared to sacrifice our servicemen to defend it?
    Defence should be our trump card in Brexit negotiations.

    • The EU are ready to trade on equal terms.They will never let us access to their single market from the outside looking in though.
      We could be out of the EU and in the customs union and / or the single market but never be out of everything but enjoying the same terms in trade just because. If there was a political will we could walk tomorrow and negotiate a trade deal starting on Brexit day. I’d be happy with that as it would give some time for business to prepare for what’s coming. However, we simply cannot afford to walk.

      Defence is never going to be a card in the Brexit negotiations because contrary to what some rabid English rags state Britain is viewed as friends, neighbours and allies on the continent. The hostile act in the equation is committed by the UK: by overturning the status quo and cutting economic ties with it is closest partners through leaving the EU it is only playing in the interest of Russia who are very keen on seeing economic decline and political confusion on the continent.

      The reality is that if there is a Brexit there will be an even smaller military as well.

      • David I like your comments they spell many of the hard facts we are about to learn but I think we have forgotten in the UK that our friends and allies in Europe and elsewhere are of course our are main economic competitors and therefore rivals. The hostile act was inevitable given the development of the EU in ways that many in the U.K. dislike. They have been aided and abetted by our politicians who have used every trick in the book to avoid an honest discussion about this direction of travel. This built up a resentment that one day was going to explode and it did. My rather syndical view is with our loss of industry and revenue from North Sea oil some cheap labour and increase in population has been used to mask deep seated problems with an illusion of growth (for a few). I think we are in for a bumpy economic ride but neither you or I can predict the future so medium term we will adapt as Europe’s including our share of world trade gets ever smaller. The bigger picture is we in the West are being overtaken by the East and the EU just like dear old Mr Trump are at heart protectionist doomed to fail.

        • Unfortunately my time does not allow me to answer in length today but thank you for your thoughtful reply and perspective.

          I have no doubts that all this posturing will eventually lead to compromise on both sides and that total catastrophe will be averted. There is simply no possibility for the UK to suddenly cut itself off from its most important market. Neither is one for the EU to let one of its richest and most influential members isolate itself.

          I do not necessarily have a problem with existing outside of the EU but we could have done it quietly, slowly distancing the country from the political ideas that the EU represents and readjusting the economy. Every time I think about Brexit happening with a service based gig economy I weep for the loss of UK manufacturing and heavy industries. There are also entire industries with severe skill shortages because of the lack of investment or vision in the education system.

          I am not quite sure if the East will actually ever overtake us in anything but total economy size which will be inevitable ( you could also be looking at eastern europe and see constant growth yet the region is still only hoping to catch up with western europe on many levels ) at this point looking at the sheer population size of the region but that does not mean that we are falling behind. We are simply on a different level – purchasing power, GNI, per capita GDP and industrial output, R & D are all areas where we ( as the West ) are still world leaders and will be for some time in the future. We are being challenged, yes, but we are not beaten and I think that looking at trends is always a dangerous way to predict the future.

  16. Paul you cannot invite the Germans into our defence procurement projects.
    Look at the recent history
    Tornado delayed and German orders reduced
    A400M delayed, over budget and German orders very much reduced
    Typhoon delayed and over budget German orders reduced

    • Agree about the history. It would be something of an act of faith. That said the fundamental drivers for multinational european projects remain. R&D costs cannot be supported by a single nation. We need the economies of scale. If we don’t want to become completely dependent on the US for all weapons we need to make europrojects work. F-35 is a done deal. I would be astounded if Germany went into a 2 nation partnership with France for a 5th gen fighter. That would be pouring money down the drain. Fact is the UK is a world leader in aerospace and the Germans know it. Increased partnering with Germany could be our best bet to avoid dominance of a French led Airbus.

      • I completely agree with you and I think the UK government should do everything in their power to preserve the aerospace industry. I believe at least enough Typhoon orders should be in the pipeline to keep manufacturing going at all costs. Brexit or no brexit I am convinced that the UK will inevitably play a key role in a future European defence cooperation.

    • Mr J Bell, Interesting comments – but I feel you’re being a bit hard on our German friends.
      I think they’ve been very good industrial partners in Panavia and Eurofighter, and I understand the BAE team at Warton has forged good long-term relations with their counter-parts in Munich. They’ve certainly always been better team players than Dassault!
      As for the Typhoon delays in 1992, you need to cut the Germans a wee bit of slack – they had a funding crisis, following reunification between West and East. In any event, that
      coincided with technical issues in the flight control system. The first Typhoon flight wasn’t until 1994.
      As for reducing orders; well every country’s done that! The UK was supposed to buy 230 Typhoons, but it now looks at though it will buy no more than 160.
      German orders for combat aircraft is comparable with the UK –
      Tornado: UK – about 390, Germany – about 360
      Typhoon: UK – 160, Germany – 143
      Atlas: UK – 22, Germany – 53 (down from 60)
      Like David, in the short-term, I hope for some more Typhoon orders to keep the production line at Warton open, and in the medium term, a new 5th generation jet in development with European partners in France, Germany and Italy. I don’t believe we can remain a major player in combat jets supplying only the back-end of the F-35, and with the Americans keeping all the “juicy bits” in their own factories!

  17. What the heck is wrong with German politicians? Six submarines and none operational, only a fraction of combat a/c operational. They need to spend some money on maintenance.

  18. I agree with the general sentiment by other posters, the UK government completely missed a perfect opportunity by attaching security relations to economic (i.e. deal negotiations). EU won by detaching the issue. Thus EU nations, France and Germany, win by gaining ever more leverage on deal negotiations, while getting UK security ties / guarantees free of charge.

    As a result present UK-EU deal details are not preferable to the UK at all. They are frankly terrible. As a non-UK person, the current deal details will destroy any ability of the UK to implement competitive policy post-Brexit. Data shows the UK is the single EU nation that benefits least from the single market. You read that right, the least benefit. And when it comes to various competitive areas, such as regs, NTB’s, and taxes, the UK needs full independence / flexibility if it wants to implement structural reforms in the economy for example, something that needs to actually occur across all of Europe as Europe has such dire projections (a continent in rapid decline). The current deal details, the UK cannot do this and therefore it should be prepared to join the ride.

    The worse part of all this is that the UK government has deliberately done this. Deal making behind closed doors, obviously being very different to how it’s presented in the media. Which is why we know from leaked recordings etc, that the UK government behind closed doors wants to tie the UK to an EU army. It wants to tie the UK to the EU, and to ‘leave’ in name only. This is going to have big repercussions moving forward, 1) once you realise tying yourself to an economic time-bomb of a Union with noncompetitive incompetent ideologues running it, oblivious and aware to how many risks and failings Europe as a whole is currently already in, and will become ever increasingly entangled in this century. And 2) if the UK electorate were to ever swing against it (i.e. say, if they were to majority deemed a betrayed by UK-EU deal-making once ever more slowly becomes public information, distrust of politicians and populism could rise dramatically, the election of a incompetent PM with radical ideas always a likely possibility (never to be discounted so easily), whom can cause more harm to a nation via policy-making than any war can.

    Based on events from Brexit vote to present, I consider the UK more or less a failed state, with a failed future, no different to the rest of Europe. The UK government has done nothing to suggest otherwise, that this isn’t it’s path, thus I am left unimpressed and not expecting anything amazing from the UK. I wish the UK will surprise me and prove me wrong moving forward, but I’ll like to see some action, and not simple talk (i.e. the same old modern day European mantra, all talk no action). That is EU foreign policy, Europe as a whole, in a nut-shell. They can talk like they’re still world leaders, they talk big, as if it was still the 18th or 19th century, but it isn’t the 18th or 19th century, and they do not act. It’s all talk. Just look at the EU / Germany on Iran, all talk about apposing US sanctions, all talk about having a special vehicle to facilitate trade to continue, all talk that isn’t reality. They cannot get it to work, they cannot avoid US sanctions, they have zero power. It’s an absolute joke. But hey, it makes good media / news for a headline, or a 1 minute news story that people will forget a week later, and will never follow up to see the outcome.


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