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Guttenberg rushes to re-equip Bundeswehr

The Local · 15 Apr 2010, 07:51

Published: 15 Apr 2010 07:51 GMT+02:00

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In response to the deteriorating security situation in northern Afghanistan, where German soldiers are stationed, the Defence Ministry has this week signed an expedited order for 60 Eagle IV vehicles from the Swiss manufacturer Mowag, the Financial Times Deutschland reported.

Soldiers had reportedly claimed before the Good Friday ambush that they were short on armoured vehicles – and the latest revelation signals a growing sense of urgency at the Defence Ministry about the need for new hardware.

An order for a further 90 Eagle IVs is planned for 2011.

The Good Friday Taliban ambush, in which three German soldiers were killed, sparked a furious debate about the equipping of the Bundeswehr troops.

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg announced at the beginning of the week that he wanted to provide the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan with 150 to 200 new vehicles this year. This was followed by his announcement during a snap visit to Afghanistan that the soldiers would also receive “as soon as possible” two new PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers, which fire heavy artillery up to 40 kilometres.

At present, Germany has about 975 armoured vehicles of varying models and makes on the ground in Afghanistan. Troops had long complained they needed more, the FTD reported.

The Defence Ministry now believes that, owing to the growing threat of ambushes and booby traps, about 600 of the existing armoured vehicles need to be replaced as soon as possible, the paper said.

The boost to armoured vehicles is also urgent simply because the number of German troops stationed in Afghanistan is set to rise from 4,500 to 5,350.

Story continues below…

The Ministry estimates the cost of the 60 Eagle IVs and accessories to total €61.5 million.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:14 April 15, 2010 by auniquecorn
They don´t need better or more equipment, They need to train the soldiers more than 3 months before their sent into a war zone.
12:34 April 15, 2010 by Frenemy
...ain't that the truth!
15:04 April 15, 2010 by Alofat
They do get more than 3 months training, thank you very much. But please do talk more out of your ass, it's kinda funny.
17:53 April 15, 2010 by Frenemy
all volunteer!! (its the only way to go)
20:21 April 15, 2010 by whizzbizz
Get out of Afghanistan!
22:48 April 15, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, again, pilotless aircraft, or drones, should be the force used to solve the insurgency problem. Hopefully someone within NATO will soon realize this.
13:04 April 16, 2010 by Frenemy
its not that simple...
16:52 April 16, 2010 by Todtleben
Am Ende Steht der Sieg! Wir sind mit ihnen Deutsche kameraden!
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