LONDON — The German government is now formally acknowledging planned cuts it wants to make it its defense procurement program to go along with a broader reform of the armed forces, including scrapping its involvement in the -led (Meads) program.
With the Pentagon already having signaled it would not continue with the tri-national missile defense effort beyond the development phase, the German government now says it will pass entirely on Meads. It will also reduce its Patriot inventory to 14 systems from 29.
The cuts also include a reduction of, with the current procurement to be limited to 140 units, 37 less than initially planned.
The German government also is making good on its threat to curtail helicopter procurements. For instance, 42transport helicopters will be cut from the procurement plan, capping the buy at 80 rotorcraft. Additionally, 40 Tiger attack helicopters will be cut, effectively halving the procurement objective.
But the fleet of existing aircraft also is being reduced. The Tornado fleet will be reduced to 85 aircraft from 185, and 20 Transalls will also be retired to leave a fleet of 60.
The unmanned Euro Hawk, recently unveiled publically in Germany before the first prototype is delivered to the air force next year, would apparently be exempted, with five still to be acquired.
Germany also has reduced itsbuy. Initially the government shaved seven aircraft from its plan to buy 60 airlifters, but parliament has told the military to shed 13 more aircraft and operate only 40 A400Ms. No further adjustments were made in the latest planning move, however.
The German government says it is making the adjustments to free up money now locked into legacy programs for current needs.
Defense minister Thomas de Maiziere met with industry officials this week to discuss the issue. Following the meeting, he said, “The goal of these measures is not to cut spending, but to enable new contracts to be awarded.” More discussions with industry over the cuts are planned next month.