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German army plans upgraded weapons

Published on 30/03/2004

30 March 2004

BERLIN – Germany’s military will be armed with upgraded weapons systems and downsized by over 30,000 troops in a reply to new global threats, Defence Minister Peter Struck said Tuesday.

“We are procuring (modern systems) needed by the armed forces and cancelling what is no longer needed,” said Struck at a news briefing.

Struck said the Bundeswehr – Germany’s combined armed forces – would be cut to 250,000 troops from the present 280,000 by 2010.

A range of new equipment is planned for the leaner Bundeswehr to give it global reach, the minister said. But he admitted that not all the financing had been approved.

“I will do my best with the finance minster,” said Struck.

Included among major planned acquisitions are:

– 152 NH-90 helicopters

– 80 Tiger helicopters with air-to-ground anti-tank missiles

– Eurofighter jets

– 60 A400M jets for heavy airlifting

– A satellite command and control system

– 790 Puma and other armoured vehicles

– A new air defence system

Almost 10,000 German troops are currently serving in Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Horn of Africa.

But Struck noted Berlin’s deployment limits had been reached.

“There will be no additional soldiers in Afghanistan,” he noted. Germany currently has about 2,000 troops in the country.

Struck said the revamped Bundeswehr would better be able to play a role in international missions with allied countries.

Prior to the early 1990s, German troops were blocked from serving outside of the NATO area by the constitution.




Subject: German news