Germany to procure Israeli Heron TP UAV for the Bundeswehr
Germany has decided to start the procurement process for Israeli-built Heron TP UAV for its armed forces, the Bundeswehr, defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.
„Our chief of defence has decided that we will go into negotiation with the Israelis with the aim of leasing the Heron TP as a recconaissance drone to protect our soldiers“, von der Leyen told reporters in Berlin. „We are talking about an UAV that can be armed. This will be the standard in the future, because this is important for the protection of our soldiers on deployment“, she added.
With Tuesday’s decision, the German MoD rejected a proposal by U.S. UAV manufacturer General Atomics to procure its Predator unmanned aircraft. weiterlesen
German Armed forces to scrap G36 Assault Rifle, will procure new system
The German Armed Foces will replace its standard weapon, the G36 assault rifle, with a new system. Procuring of a new assault rifle could begin as early as 2019, under secretary for procurement Katrin Suder told the Bundestag’s defence committee on Tuesday. The decision comes after months of heated debate over the shortfalls of the G36, manufactured by the German company Heckler&Koch. According to the Ministry of Defence, the rifle lacks precision when overheating after hundreds of rounds in a battle situation, but also when subject to temperature change in hot climate.
The precision problems had been discovered as early as 2012, but only after several years of testing defence minister Ursula von der Leyen decreed in March that the G36, of which the Bundeswehr had procured approximately 170,000 units, „in its current construction status will have no future in the Bundeswehr“. Hoewever, before Tuesday’s decision the ministry also had considered the option to upgrade the weapons in its arsenal. Instead, the armed forces will procure „a new generation of assault rifles“, Suder told lawmakers. Requirements for the new standard assault rifle, to be defined until mid-November, „are going far beyond an upgrade of the G36“, which has been in service for almost 20 years. weiterlesen
The German Armed Forces weekly deployment summaries: Now on file here
Since February 2011, the Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces, have published a weekly summary of the deployment of German soldiers, from Afghanistan to Kosovo to Somalia. Nothing classified in there, but it comes pretty handy when you want to look up German troop strength in Afghanistan in August 2013 or deployed vessels in anti-piracy operations off Africa in September 2011.
However, as the Bundeswehr’s (and the MoD’s) content managing system is, uh, a bit special, you will find recent summaries, but not older ones (and the links you might have saved or find on Wikipedia won’t work anymore). So, I’ve uploaded all Unterichtungen der Öffentlichkeit (information to the public), archived in pdf format here.
It’s all in German, of course, but it might help when you know where to look.
(Caveat: You will find information only on deployments which require parliamentary approval. So e.g. deployments inside NATO territory, like Luftwaffe Eurofighters in the Baltic Air Policing mission, will not be mentioned there.)
(Photo: German soldier with the EU Training mission in Mali supervising AK47 training – EUTM Mali)
France joins NATO Air defense
Six years after returning into the military structure of NATO, France on June 10 also joined the Alliance’s integrated air defense system.
The press release from NATO Air Command, Ramstein:
After thorough preparation and planning, jointly and effectively coordinated between the French and NATO Headquarters, France agreed to declare its assets eligible for NATO Air Policing duties over the French airspace and neighboring countries as of 01 June 2015. After a short period of time, necessary to update and implement the required operational and tactical baseline documentation, French airspace has been included in the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) as of 10 June, essential to NATO’s air and missile defence policy and the cornerstone to the Alliance’s collective defence. weiterlesen
Berlin OK’s delivery of Infantry Fighting Vehicles to Iraq
Germany has approved the delivery of 280 Russian-designed Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) BMP-1 to Iraq. The IFV’s had been obtained by the Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces, after German unification in 1990. The armaments director in the German defense ministry, LtGen Benedikt Zimmer, signed a letter to a Czech company authorising the sale to Iraq. The letter has been obtained by Augen geradeaus!.
After taking over the Nationale Volksarmee, the armed forces of East Germany, the Bundeswehr overhauled the fighting vehicles. A number of those was given to Sweden und subsequently sold to a Czech company. As usual, Germany as the country of origin always had a say in proliferation of the BMP’s.
After the company in Prague had requested approval of a sale of 280 BMP-1 to Iraq in 2013 and again in 2014, the German government decided in March to approve the delivery. According to the German letter of acceptance, the Iraqi government as the sole recipient is obliged to use the IFVs only for national defense, crisis management or UN peace missions. Any further proliferation needs renewed approval by Germany.
(Header picture: BMP-1 of the East German army on parade in 1988 – Bundesarchiv/CC-BY-SA license)