Bundeswehr is in need of battle-ready tanks to man NATO’s speedy deployment drive, German media report
Germany would hardly be prepared to meet its NATO commitments within the occasion of an emergency requiring a direct navy response, broadcaster ZDF has reported. Berlin was scheduled to type the core of the navy bloc’s Very Excessive Readiness Joint Process Pressure (VJTF) this yr. But, the navy unit accountable lacks battle-ready tanks for the mission, the broadcaster mentioned on Monday, citing inside paperwork.
The VJTF is anticipated to be the primary to satisfy an adversary in case NATO is attacked. The 8,000-strong drive have to be able to ship its troops to the entrance inside two to seven days, however the Bundeswehr Tank Battalion 393 is hardly as much as the duty, ZDF reported.
The unit, based mostly within the central German state of Thuringia, is the one one within the German Military geared up with the state-of-the-art Leopard 2A7V important battle tank. Nonetheless, not sufficient of them are combat-ready.
Not less than 30 out of the unit’s 44 heavy gear tanks have to be battle-ready at any time by way of the yr to satisfy the VJTF necessities. In January, the unit had solely 17 tanks prepared for motion, based on the interior paperwork seen by ZDF. In February, this quantity elevated to twenty, nonetheless beneath the VJTF requirements.
Estimates by Bundeswehr seen by ZDF present that the battalion won’t be prepared for the VJTF mission this yr, because the variety of combat-ready tanks in its possession is unlikely to exceed 23 at any time.
The German navy has already prolonged the interval for obligatory tank upkeep from 12 to 24 months to be able to improve the variety of combat-ready panzers within the 393rd Battalion. In any other case, 11 extra tanks would have been deemed unfit for service, ZDF reported.
In accordance with the broadcaster, the unit must “borrow” tanks from one other battalion based mostly within the southern state of Bavaria. Nonetheless, that unit had its personal points with tank availability, and its armor didn’t bear an official VJTF certification.
The problem was blamed on a upkeep plant owned by the German protection trade large KMW. Inner paperwork confirmed that the upkeep backlog was mentioned throughout a top-level “disaster assembly” in mid-February.
Formally, Berlin nonetheless maintains that it is able to fulfill its NATO obligations. German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius did admit a “backlog of upkeep and repairs” throughout his go to to Lithuania this week, however insisted that the difficulty “will now be resolved.”
“There isn’t any doubt that the mission might be completed,” he advised journalists, referring to the VJTF.
The information comes as Germany prepares to ship 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev as a part of one other Western navy support package deal.