Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) believes that the Bundeswehr needs more money. He gets support from the Union – but with one condition. “Pistorius’ statement that the regular defense budget must be increased is definitely to be welcomed,” said Mathias Middelberg, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group deputy responsible for finances in the Bundestag, in the Tagesspiegel.
“That coincides with our criticism of the current traffic light budget planning. After that, the budget of the Ministry of Defense will not increase, but will be frozen at around 50 billion euros a year until 2026 , complained Middelberg.
According to Middelberg, the Union’s condition for higher defense spending is: “However, new debts cannot always be incurred for new tasks. If the traffic light wants to increase certain expenses, it also has to save elsewhere.”
The 51 billion euros in the individual plan 14 will not be enough.
Armin Pappergerhead of the Rheinmetall armaments group
Pistorius had previously said in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” that the money in the Bundeswehr special fund and the budget for the coming years were not sufficient. The loan-financed special fund with a volume of 100 billion euros is there to “reduce the bow wave in the procurement of new systems,” said Pistorius.
The consequences: “With every new system, we also have new maintenance costs.” These then have to be financed from the current budget.
The head of the armaments group Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, calls for an increase in the defense budget before an industry meeting with Pistorius, regardless of the 100 billion euro special fund. “We need decisions about the budget,” said the manager of the Reuters news agency.
“The 51 billion euros in the individual plan 14 will not be enough to be able to procure everything. And the 100 billion have already been budgeted and some of them have already been used up by inflation.”
Truck and ammunition not delivered in 2022 due to lack of funds
The “Individual Plan 14” is the defense budget in the federal budget. Trucks and ammunition could not have been delivered last year because there was no more money in the budget.
“If we want to be successful, and not just with the 100 billion package, we have to have a sustainable individual plan 14 over the next ten years today,” said Papperger. After taking office a few days ago, Pistorius announced very rapid talks with the industry.
Papperger said Rheinmetall had done its homework and expanded capacity. Around 2,000 employees were hired last year.
The manager went on to say that Rheinmetall was considering operating another powder plant in Saxony to meet the growing need for ammunition and was calling for state investment in this area. “This is a specialty chemicals plant that will cost between 700 and 800 million euros.” This is an investment that the industry cannot bear alone. “This is a national security investment that is needed. And here, of course, you need the federal government.”
“In Germany we have the largest capacity in the world for tank ammunition – we can produce 240,000 rounds of tank ammunition a year. That’s more than the whole world needs,” said Papperger. Production could be hampered by the powder bottleneck.
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