In the context of the confrontation between NATO and Russia, the European members of the alliance, with the multilateral support of the United States, increase the combat readiness of their own armed forces and seek to improve mutual coordination in the military sphere. Germany is no exception. Although the Ukrainian crisis did not become a pretext for modernizing the army here, systematic work to increase the combat capability of the Bundeswehr is being carried out more intensively; at the same time, it is modified in accordance with the geopolitical situation, taking into account the fact that in the expansion of the German Rapid Reaction Force is assigned the role of a responsible coordinator.
The entire period after the unification of Germany, military construction was aimed at transforming the Bundeswehr from the "strike force" of NATO, opposing the Warsaw Pact, into an army capable of sending troops to participate in peacekeeping operations. Based on the fact that to perform such tasks a large army was not required, in the majority of NATO countries the general military duty was abolished. However, in Germany, with the refusal of conscription, hesitated: the main protagonists in politics (Christian Democrats) insisted that the maintenance of the conscription provided the link between the army and society, and the military indicated that the conscripts provided 40% of personnel recruitment. The appeal was maintained, but the service life of recruits was reduced, and for 2010, the young Germans were called for only six months. Since it is impossible to prepare a soldier for the performance of combat missions in six months, the army was actually divided into more and less combat-ready units. According to the European Defense Agency, in 2011 the number of military personnel capable of taking part in hostilities amounted to 7 in Germany thousands of people, and in those who abolished the call of France and Great Britain - respectively 30 and 22 thousands.
At the same time, in German society the appeal was perceived as an anachronism, which further reduced the prestige of military service. As a result, a principled decision was made at the highest level to carry out the reform, which would provide, at first glance, mutually exclusive goals: increasing combat effectiveness with the continued reduction of the defense budget and the transition to a voluntary recruitment principle. The number of personnel was reduced from 240 to 185 thousand people. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, some retired generals openly regretted the refusal of conscription. Hans-Peter Bartels (head of the parliamentary defense committee, member of the SPD) said that the refusal of the conscription was too hasty (which is strange if we consider that the Social Democrats in the early 2000s demanded that the conscription be canceled), but half a year is completely meaningless. Be that as it may, the current German Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen intends to maintain the voluntary principle of recruiting the army; however, legally the call is not canceled, but suspended. This means that it can be restored without formal procrastination.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen enjoys personal public relations, and in leadership style demonstrates disregard for the specifics of the Armed Forces.
By the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, the reform, launched bravely by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who served as Minister of Defense in 2009-2011, without any special political decisions, was modestly called “re-organization” (Neuausrichtung). By definition, the reorganization must ensure that the Bundeswehr fulfills the function of an “integral tool of security policy”. After the start of reform, two ministers of defense changed; in the current office, the ministry is headed by Ursula von der Lyayen, whose appointment caused bewilderment in society, not to mention the Bundeswehr inclined to conservatism - a woman had never before led the Armed Forces. Lyayen is keen on public relations of his own person (which reminds Guttenberg), and in leadership style he demonstrates disregard for the pronounced specificity of the Armed Forces. This fundamentally distinguishes the current minister from her predecessor, Thomas de Maiziere (Minister of Defense in 2011-2013). Perhaps family tradition left an imprint on his style: the minister’s father, General Ulrich de Mezieres, was one of the organizers of the German army in the post-war period. On the contrary, von der Lyayen is prone to solving problems by purely technocratic methods. For example, personnel problems, including recruiting volunteers, are supposed to be solved by turning the Bundeswehr into “the most attractive employer in Germany”, and failures with the fulfillment of the defense order by optimizing the relationship between the customer and the arms supplier. Some experts caution that such an approach threatens to turn von der Layen itself into a “part of the problem.” Such a warning seems quite reasonable if one takes into account that the majority of the ministers of defense did not part with their post in good faith. The aforementioned zu Guttenberg was forced to leave the post and even left politics after a scandal because of accusations of plagiarism when writing a dissertation. From 17, the ministers of defense of the Federal Republic of Germany to the chancellors predicted many (from Franz-Josef Strauss to zu Guttenberg), but only Helmut Schmidt succeeded. Ambitious plans are often attributed to Lyayen. The more reason she has to achieve popularity among the military. It is quite natural that the first initiative of Lyayen was a project aimed at increasing the attractiveness of military service.
INCREASE ATTRACTIVENESS OF MILITARY SERVICE
The personnel problem was the starting point of the reform begun under Guttenberg. But, despite the cuts, she did not solve the problem of lack of personnel, but delivered it in a new way. Now, on the one hand, it is necessary to ensure a constant influx of volunteers, and on the other hand, to eliminate the shortage of qualified personnel in a number of specialties and prevent the withdrawal of specialists in demand from the Armed Forces. Army service is still not considered prestigious. According to surveys, 2 / 3 Germans would dissuade relatives and friends from the military profession, although 8 people from 10 have a positive view of personnel military. “If we need a strong, efficient, flexible Bundeswehr, then nothing remains but to take care of the attractiveness of the service,” said Leyen.
The personnel problem became the starting point of the reform of the Bundeswehr.
The project to increase the attractiveness of the service covers a wide range of measures that are legally formalized by a special law on increasing the attractiveness of the Bundeswehr, which entered into force on April 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the law, for the first time in its entirety history Bundeswehr, for the main composition of the introduced normalized working day, i.e. military personnel are equated to civil servants and will have a fixed working week duration in 41 hours, as provided for in the EU Directive on working time 2003 / 88 / EG. In cases where the 41-hour week is not possible (for example, for participants in foreign missions, seafarers, in dealing with natural disasters, etc.), employees will receive monetary compensation.
In terms of remuneration, it is planned to introduce personal allowances, pay increases for the period of participation in exercises, etc. Increased pay will affect 22 thousand military and 500 civil servants. From 1 in November 2015, the monthly allowance for military personnel will be increased by 60 euros (at the beginning of 2015, it ranged from 777 to 1146 euros). Social guarantees are expanded, for example, conditions of retirement to the achievement of retirement age by professional military men are improving, contract servicemen are increasing severance pay. In 2015-2017 The Ministry of Defense proposes to spend on additional material incentives for military personnel 764,2 million euros, to improve the infrastructure (mainly we are talking about the repair of domestic premises) - 750 million euros.
The initial weakness of the law is that the emphasis is on material incentives, but because of the specific nature of military service, material incentives cannot guarantee a complete solution to the problem. In addition, the majority of military personnel are satisfied with the level of wages. For example, among volunteers, payment is satisfied with 83%. On the other hand, to attract qualified personnel (and in the Bundeswehr they complain about the lack of logistics specialists, engineers and medical workers), it is logical to use material incentives. The positive reaction of the military to the initiative of the new minister is also natural. Now, in the appraisals of its activities, the appeal prevails not to impose responsibility on Leyen for the mistakes of predecessors.
Also taken measures of a purely advertising nature, aimed at attracting youth to the military service. The distribution of advertising booklets has begun, a recruitment center has been opened in Berlin, a platform where people can get information of interest directly from servicemen and have an interview. The Bundeswehr took part in the largest youth vocational guidance fair, traditionally held in Dortmund. In the summer of this year, the Bundeswehr Day will be held for the first time, during which several barracks will be open to the public and shows of modern military equipment will be organized. For a successful advertising campaign introduced a special award. In the future, the Bundeswehr Day will be held annually.
The fact that the campaign is reaching its goal can be judged by the numbers of volunteers. In 2013, 8,3 thousands of volunteers came to the Armed Forces, and in 2014 there were already 10,2 thousands, which is slightly less than the last call - 12 thousands of conscripts. The minister believes that, ideally, every year 60 thousands of young people should apply to recruiting centers so that the Armed Forces will be able to select thousands of volunteers by competition 15-20. These are clearly overstated expectations: after all, the task is not simply to attract as many volunteers as possible. So far, only 25% of them intend to remain in the army and sign a contract. According to a recent survey, 2 / 3 volunteers doubt the meaningfulness of their service. This is partly due to the fact that the seats are created only for 5 thousand recruits, and the rest simply have nowhere to "attach." In general, we can conclude that reality does not justify the expectations of young people heated by advertising. According to surveys, less than a third of volunteers are satisfied with their service, and only a quarter think they have learned something useful.
An equally serious chronic problem of the Bundeswehr is the inappropriate fulfillment of defense orders. In 2014, von der Lyayen authorized an independent audit by KPMG, P3 and Taylor Wessing for the largest defense orders: for the production of Puma infantry fighting vehicles, A400M transport aircraft, Eurofighter fighter jets, NH90 transport helicopters, Tiger attack helicopters, F125 frigates, tactical system fighters, F2 fighters, tactical system. , tracking and reconnaissance systems SLWUA, as well as SVFuA radio equipment. These orders cover 3 / 57 of all weapon costs, their total cost is about XNUMX billion euros. In the final report, the auditors came to a very trivial general conclusion about the unsatisfactory state of order execution: failure to meet deadlines, higher prices, and poor quality of the finished equipment.
It is good that in Germany they no longer make armored vehicles with a chess-like arrangement of ice rinks, otherwise the Bundeswehr repairmen would hardly fit into the 41-hour working week.
The maximum delivery delay period is close to 10 years. Thus, an agreement from 1998 with EUROCOPTER (currently Airbus Helicopters) provided for the supply of 2011 80 UH Tiger helicopters to the end of 2014, but at the end of 36 only 2000 was delivered. The order from 134 provided for the supply of 90 transport helicopters NH2013, and by the end of 106, 400 vehicles were delivered. The first A2014M transport aircraft was delivered in December 2014, four years late. At the same time, in 60, the military expected to receive two planes, and in accordance with even earlier plans, five. The entire German order is reduced from 53 to 40 aircraft, with the Luftwaffe keeping only the XNUMX of them.
There are problems not only in aviation: So, deliveries of Puma infantry fighting vehicles (manufacturers Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall), designed to replace the obsolete Marder infantry fighting vehicles, are nine years late. The press cited data on the rise in price of this project by 666 million euros, so that the entire supply of 350 cars will cost 3,7 billion euros. According to the agreement concluded in 2004, the cost of one BMP was 6,5 million euros, but by February 2014, according to the Ministry of Defense, it had already grown to 9,9 million euros.
In general, from the 93 orders of the Bundeswehr worth more than 25 million euros went up 50: the delivery will have to pay 59,6 billion euros, which is 8% (or 4,3 billion euros) higher than contractual amounts.
Products at the time of delivery not only turns out to be more expensive than stipulated in the contract, but also does not satisfy the customer’s expectations. For example, Puma BMPs only after 2018 will be supplied with the SPIKE-LR (MELLS) ATGM. None of the supplied NH90 helicopters complies with the contractual configuration, and the military hope to achieve it only in 2021. When accepting the first Airbus 400M, 875 defects were found.
The reasons for the increase in the cost of products are known: the contractor’s lowering the cost of the order at the stage of concluding a contract, as well as the financial coverage of commercial risks by the customer. Thus, at the stage of concluding an agreement, both parties deliberately, in order to obtain financing, underestimate the cost of the order. The penalties provided for late delivery are not so large as to increase the contractor’s executive discipline. The report lists 140 problems and risks and proposes 180 measures, the implementation of which, according to auditors, will make it possible to fundamentally improve the situation in two years.
One of the proposed measures - tightening the requirements for the contractor by the Ministry of Defense - has already been applied in practice: the Ministry of Defense has suspended acceptance of Typhoon fighters until the settlement of the financial aspects of the order. The manufacturer of the aircraft - the company Eurofighter (BAE Systems) acknowledged that due to the defects of the skin, the number of flight hours of fighters is reduced by half. The Ministry apparently hopes that it will thus be able to reduce the cost of one fighter, which, according to press reports, currently amounts to 134 million euros.
While large orders were being checked, the Ministry of Defense set its sights on an audit of the G36 assault rifles, which have been in service since 1997. The expert commission for checking them began work in the summer of 2014. At the end of March 2015, without waiting for the announcement of the results of the check, Leyen announced that that due to problems with the accuracy of shooting at high temperatures, the use of the rifle in peacekeeping missions will be limited, and in the future the Bundeswehr will completely abandon them. In response to the damaging allegations, the manufacturer Heckler & Koch threatened to contact the Federal Criminal Police Office to verify the findings of the expert committee.
This dispute testifies to the contradictions that have arisen between the German military department and the defense industry. Industrialists were also displeased with the offer of audit companies to abandon German suppliers. Moreover, it was proposed to purchase weapons of those types that Germany is actively exporting: submarines, small weapon, armored vehicles. Läyen advocates the specialization of the German defense industry. In her view, it is worthwhile to purchase primarily cryptographic equipment and intelligence tools from their own manufacturers. The idea of abandoning German industry products is rejected by Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. At the same time, it is Social Democrat Gabriel who advocates tightening the rules for arms exports, which is not in the interests of the national defense industry. According to the latest SIPRI report, Germany has already lost ground to China, ranking in fourth place in 2014 in terms of arms exports. CDU security experts call for supplies of German weapons, including Tanksto the Baltic countries.
Even before the start of the audit campaigns, at the beginning of her work as minister, Ursula von der Lyayen changed the officials responsible for defense orders. 18 December 2013 was fired Rüdiger Wolf, Secretary of State for Arms and Budget, who held this post from 2008. Since January 1 2014 was dismissed Head of Armaments Department of the Ministry of Defense, Head of the Information Technology project Detlef Zelhausen. In February, 2014 lost the post of State Secretary Stefan Beelesman, who was accused of concealing from the Bundestag the fact of transferring 55 million euros in payment for fighter supplies. Beelesman was also implicated in the 2013 scandal with droneless aircraft, but then de Maisiere did not dismiss him.
After these high-profile layoffs, the minister placed the entire responsibility for arming the Bundeswehr on the inspector general (a post corresponding to the chief of the General Staff). In July, 2014, Secretary of State for Defense Orders, Läijen appointed Catherine Zoder. The new state secretary intends to achieve compliance with the supply of contracts in terms of time and price. The scale of the work to be done can be judged by the total number of contracts concluded: only in 2013 were 7700 signed. Under the leadership of Zuder, the Arms 4.0 program was developed in a short time, including six directions. The principle of transparency is proclaimed, focus on key technologies, the choice of priorities and the development of cooperation with partners in other countries. Obviously, due to the fact that the most difficult situation has arisen with aviation, two separate areas have been identified: “airplanes” and “helicopters”. In connection with the emergence of new threats, a separate project “Future Security Technologies” was adopted, which is headed personally by Kathrin Zoder, a physicist by training. It is planned to develop the concept of the "Bundeswehr 2040 - the answer to new challenges." Increased transparency will be expressed in improving the awareness of members of the Bundestag - in December 2014, Mr. Zuder has already participated in a meeting of the parliamentary defense committee. The information on the meeting is not disclosed, it is only known that the Secretary of State called on parliamentarians for patience, and the co-rapporteurs (inspectors of the Ground Forces Lieutenant-General Bruno Kasdorf, Air Force Karl Muller and the Navy Vice-Admiral Andreas Krause) confirmed this initial thesis by citing data on combat readiness certain types of equipment. The work of the minister and his team is vigorously supported by the Christian Democrats.
The press is skeptical about the very ambitious plans of the new Secretary of State, because, on the one hand, the defense order belongs to the category of "eternal problems", and on the other, similar difficulties exist in other countries. In addition, attempts to invite civilian specialists for their decisions (in this case, Zuder) were made in Germany and earlier, but were not successful.
TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT OF THE ARMY
One of the 2014 will be the close attention of politicians and the media to the technical equipment of the Bundeswehr. The above-mentioned report of audit companies on the state of defense orders leads to the conclusion of the accumulated significant problems with armaments. This conclusion was confirmed by the hearings in the parliamentary defense committee, which are now held twice a year. Although the reports are not open, nevertheless, the media published fragmentary data on defective military equipment obtained through their channels. It was reported, for example, that 180 of the newest BTR Boxer armed with 110, 89 fighters Tornado - 38, X-NUMX transport helicopters CH-83-53 (according to other sources, and at all seven) Transall-16 transport aircraft - 56 and etc.
Cases of technical problems, especially emergencies related to the international image of the Bundeswehr, were also widely covered. Thus, due to the failure of the C-160 Transall cargo plane, a solemn ceremony of handing military supplies to the Kurds in Erbil, where Lyayen arrived specifically for this purpose, fell through. In Afghanistan, the military transport Airbus 310 did not take on board the military waiting to be sent home, for which they had to send a government aircraft fleet. Not on the first attempt, it was possible to deliver a shipment of medicines to Liberia — the aircraft dedicated for this purpose made an emergency landing on the Canary Islands. Finally, the Bundeswehr refused to participate in NATO exercises because of the malfunction of eight of the nine helicopters of the KSK special forces. All the examples cited relate to aviation, which, according to the assurances of the Air Force inspector, Lieutenant-General Karl Mülner, works at the limit.
In December, the first tanks of the Leopard 2014A2 entered into service with the Bundeswehr.
It seems to us that such information cannot serve as a sufficient basis for concluding on the low degree of technical combat readiness of the Bundeswehr as a whole. Criteria for assessing the degree of readiness in these messages are not clarified. Most likely, the equipment that is not completely satisfactory to them, if necessary, can be involved in the performance of combat missions and successfully cope with those. In addition, those units of equipment that are not fully equipped or have not reached the planned level of capabilities are sometimes referred to as non-capable. Moreover, not all press reports are credible: in particular, it was mentioned that two of the four submarines available at that moment in kriegsmarine were faulty, but the minister mentioned in one of her speeches that two submarines were laid up because their crews are not manned.
Obviously, with great reason you should not trust the press, but the head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense, Jens Flosdorf, who claims that “in the normal case, the Bundeswehr is well-armed”. We add that the rumors about the low combat capability of the Bundeswehr represent a way of putting pressure on public opinion in Germany itself - unnecessarily pacifist, if we measure it against the confrontational mood of the NATO leadership and individual members of the alliance, and above all - Poland. In this series, in our opinion, stands the statement by Lyayen that the Bundeswehr is not able to fully fulfill its obligations in the framework of the alliance. Obviously, this statement is deliberately generalizing in nature, while in reality it was a question of the state of the Air Force. Specifically, it was reported that, in an emergency, the Bundeswehr could not provide the Eurofighter 60 fighter jets, as prescribed in the section on the NATO Air Defense Systems Planning process on the 2014. Moreover, Leyen herself actually disavowed the media campaign, drawing a deplorable state of the Bundeswehr weapons. In an interview, she said that thanks to this campaign, the general public was convinced of the need to build up the defense budget. It remains to be assumed that the “leaks” of data from secret reports were deliberately organized. Opinion polls show that the population was susceptible to this campaign - already half of the Germans believe that the defense budget should be increased. Member of the parliamentary defense committee Hennig Otte (CDU) at a recent expert meeting mentioned that it is planned to spend € 14 billion on rearmament.
According to the available fragmentary information, even with a low level of budget financing, the Bundeswehr weapons are constantly being upgraded. Here are some specific examples:
• Weapon. There has been progress in solving the problem with the G36 rifle, the main one for the Bundeswehr. In 2012, the drawbacks revealed when using the G36 in Afghanistan, in particular, barrel overheating, were actively discussed. In mid-2014, the Ministry of Defense initiated a quality control of the rifle, at the same time, according to the media, refusing to further purchase this model. “We need to prevent the ministry from investing another 34 million euros in weapons that probably do not meet the needs of the Armed Forces,” an anonymous informed source quoted the press. As a result, in October 2014, a contract was signed (albeit without final approval) for the supply of new G38 (HK416) rifles developed by the same company Henckler & Koch. The Henckler & Koch P9A1 pistol was adopted by the naval special forces (Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine).
• Armored vehicles. In December, the 2014 tank tank battalion of the 203 tank brigade received the first Leopard tank, upgraded to the 21A2 version (manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann). While 7 machines of this modification have been ordered, in the future, the Bundeswehr command intends to find means for upgrading to the 20A2 version of all MBT Leopard 7A2, which, according to various sources, in the aircraft are from 6 to 200.
• Aviation. Despite problems with NH90, in March 2015, the Bundestag Budget Committee approved the conclusion of a framework agreement for 8,5 billion euros with the supplier of helicopters Airbus Helicopters for the delivery of the next batch of these helicopters. It is expected that as a result, the Bundeswehr will receive another 80 transport helicopters NH90, as well as 57 combat helicopters Tiger (the initial order made before the reform was concluded for 122 and 80 units, respectively). It has been agreed that 22 NH90 will be used by multinational forces, and based in Germany. The allocation of 1,4 billion euros to the purchase of Sea Lion 18 helicopters (the German designation of the marine version NH90) has been approved. In the medium term, being in service with Sea Lynx will be replaced by NH90 Sea Lion. In November, 2014 successfully tested the first copy of a light multi-purpose helicopter Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2, intended mainly for participation in special forces operations. The contract for the supply of 15 machines of this type worth 194 million euros was signed in July 2011, and must be completed before the end of 2015. Deliveries are made without delay.
The start of deliveries of the Puma BMP is nine years late.
Particular attention is attracted by the prospect of producing UAVs. In 2013, the Euro Hawk project was stopped when it turned out that the costs were twice as high as the costs of the project. In addition, there was a discussion in the society about whether the use of armed UAVs intended for strikes against ground targets by Germany is ethical. Unlike Meziere, Lyayen definitely favors the production of armed drones. According to press reports, the Triton project that replaced Euro Hawk is classified as secret, which gives reason to doubt the readiness of the military department to ensure the transparency of its work. There is an official confirmation that, as of the end of 2014, the program adopted in 2012 was in effect, suggesting equipping the Bundeswehr with 2025 of 16 with unmanned aerial vehicles (with and without weapons). For the contingent stationed in Afghanistan, the leasing of the Israeli Heron UAVs was extended for another year, until April 2016. In early April, 2015 reported that Germany, France and Italy reached an agreement on the joint production of new-generation UAVs, which will begin to enter service in 2020 (at least, not later than 2025). This project testifies to efforts to enhance cooperation in the defense sphere, and mostly with European partners.
In connection with the growing confrontation between NATO and Russia, the issue of the incomplete recruitment of military units with tanks and heavy equipment has become topical. Currently, the bundling level is 70-75%. To rectify the situation, the Minister of Defense ordered to suspend the write-off of obsolete modifications of the Leopard 2 tank and buy 100 of previously decommissioned tanks, spending 22 million euros on this. According to the plan approved in 2011, the number of tanks in service should have been 225 units; according to new plans - 328 (while in 1990, the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany consisted of 2,1 thousand MBT).
From the point of view of finalizing the technology, it is important that the Bundeswehr take part in peacekeeping missions. In 2014, the Bundestag issued a mandate to extend all foreign missions and to join two new ones. It is the experience gained in the course of these operations that put on the agenda the question of the quality of the G36 rifle. In Afghanistan, it turned out that Boxer armored personnel carriers should be additionally equipped to be suitable for supporting infantry units. German-made Tiger helicopters were worse than French ones, etc.
In the context of confrontation on the European continent, Germany pays close attention to increasing the combat capability of the army. The adopted concept of increasing the attractiveness of military service includes both the improvement of the social conditions of military personnel and promotional activities. In 2014, we were able to recruit thousands of volunteers for service over 10, from which it can be concluded that the younger generation was freed from guilt for the crimes committed by the Germans during World War II, and the ideas of pacifism are losing their former popularity. The question of the return to the call has not yet been raised, but legally the appeal has not been canceled, but only suspended.
Over the past year, under the slogan of increasing transparency in the media, some data have appeared on the state of combat effectiveness of the Bundeswehr, which were previously not subject to public coverage. This information is fragmentary and creates the impression of low combat capability of the German Armed Forces. This impression seems to us to be inconsistent with reality and capable of leading to unjustified illusions. The army is systematically updating and upgrading its weapons and military equipment fleet, and the personnel, participating in foreign missions, accumulate combat experience. The quality of the new equipment is also checked there. At the political level, efforts are being made to strengthen the interaction between the defense industry of Germany and other EU countries, primarily France.