The remaining purchases, such as tank ammunition and new fighter jets, will likely come from manufacturers in the United States, France, and Britain. Tusa points to European missile maker MBDA as a company that could get more business. Its Meteor air-to-air missile was already tested by Germany last year.
He believes the focus will also be on maintaining the equipment Germany already has and retooling it to prepare for active use.
“They have to go back to their maintenance contractors and say, you know we were happy to only have six of these helicopters available? We actually need twenty-six available,” Tusa says.
Currently, the German army has 701 aircraft, six submarines, 1,340 tanks and personnel carriers and approximately 54,000 soldiers.
Berlin’s decision to increase spending after years of ambivalence sends a “clear signal”, argues Thomis.
“It is very clear that Germany recognizes that defence, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, is more important than ever. Both in terms of practical goals as the threat emerges, but also to send a signal clear that the country is ready to defend itself. And I’m pretty sure that other European countries will think along the same lines,” he said.
“All of this clearly shows how disruptive the events of the past few weeks have been.”
Berlin’s military spending stagnated for a while and even fell as a share of GDP during Merkel’s third term as chancellor, before both increased in 2019 under international pressure.
Its long lack of aggressiveness in expanding its military budget is not only the result of its past, according to Tusa, but also for economic reasons.
“During the Cold War, German defense spending was quite high because they realized they couldn’t rely on everyone,” he says. “But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they cut everything off.”
“At the end of the day, they just wanted to spend more on social programs. It was a choice.”
As Russian missiles devastate Ukrainian cities, Germany is now taking a very different path.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-18 14:20:28