The Ministry of Defense has received the green light from the Bundestag for projects worth billions to equip the Bundeswehr, including the procurement of the F-35 stealth jet. On Wednesday, the members of the budget committee approved a total of eight so-called 25 million proposals, which had a total volume of around 13 billion euros.
This also includes the decision to purchase a new assault rifle as a successor to the G-36, the procurement of military radio transmission systems, the retrofitting of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and new over-snow vehicles. The budget committee must approve Bundeswehr procurements that exceed 25 million euros. The Defense Committee was also concerned with the templates on Wednesday, but approval was considered certain.
"Making significant advances in the Bundeswehr, closing gaps"
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht welcomed the approval of the Budget Committee. "For us, it's about making significant progress with the Bundeswehr, closing gaps that have arisen because so much has been left undone in recent years," said the SPD politician in Berlin and thanked the committee for the broad approval "also about the traffic light out". This is an important sign that "this turning point is also supported by the breadth of Parliament".
The Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Eberhard Zorn, spoke of a "starting point" for the implementation of the projects from the 100 billion euro special fund for better equipment of the troops. The program was launched by the federal government after the Russian attack on Ukraine and the "Zeitenwende" speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in February. "We had never previously provided such a sum of money with a financing commitment so quickly," said Zorn.
"We are in the supersonic range (...) and it has to continue at exactly that speed," added Ingo Gerhartz, Inspector of the Air Force. The FDP housekeeper Karsten Klein had previously emphasized: "The traffic light shows that we are serious about the turning point and that we are filling it with life."
Greenpeace criticizes the waste of taxpayers' money
The federal government had decided to equip the Air Force with a total of 35 F-35 stealth jets because the current Tornado fleet is outdated. The jet from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin is considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world and is also to be purchased for Germany's so-called nuclear participation - a NATO deterrent concept that gives allies access to US nuclear bombs. According to Gerhartz, pilot and technician training on the F-35 is scheduled to begin in 2026, and the first jets are scheduled to be relocated to Germany in 2027. "And in 2028 we will declare the first operational readiness."
Greenpeace protested against the decision to buy the stealth jets and demanded a no from the SPD and the Greens. "The government wants to waste tens of billions of taxpayers' money just to be able to start using nuclear weapons from German soil in an emergency. Germany is thus participating in the fatal nuclear armament spiral," criticized the organization.