The Bundeswehr continues to run out of ammunition. Although large quantities have been delivered to Ukraine from already tiny supplies of the armed forces, there are hardly any repeat orders, according to the opposition. Housekeepers and defense politicians from the CDU and CSU complained on Tuesday of a "standstill" in ammunition procurement. Half a year after a so-called "ammunition summit" in the Chancellery, nothing happened.
Political correspondent in Berlin
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The meeting was, according to the rapporteur for the army budget Jens Lehmann (CDU), "a nice coffee drink without consequences". The defense policy spokesman of the parliamentary group, Florian Hahn (CSU), demanded that Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (both SPD) "must now really make this a top priority. Every additional day of delay weakens our Bundeswehr and our defense capability."
In recent months, the Bundeswehr has delivered millions of artillery shells, tank ammunition, rockets as well as hand grenades, bazookas, cartridges for rifles and pistols to Ukraine. Among other things, Patriot missiles, Iris-T rockets, ammunition for Mars II multiple rocket launchers, about 25,500 rounds of artillery ammunition, 100,000 hand grenades, 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition, about 8000 "Matador" bazookas with ammunition, 84,000 rounds of 40-millimeter ammunition and large quantities of ammunition for Leopard tanks from ongoing German production, or stocks of the Bundeswehr, were delivered.
As can be seen from a small parliamentary question from the opposition, there are no lists of needs and financing plans for replacement and new procurements in the Ministry of Defence. According to the ministry, there is also "no centrally responsible organizational/work unit that is responsible for the overall issue of ammunition. Depending on the type of ammunition, there are distributed responsibilities for this." Hahn called for this to be changed and to entrust the issue of ammunition to an officer or a working unit.
At the time of the Cold War, the Bundeswehr had ammunition for 2000 days of fighting for an army with around 90 battle tanks alone. Later, this was reduced to 30 days. For today's stock, which, among other things, still includes around 200 active Leopard 2s, the stocks range from one to three days of fighting, according to varying data. The trend is shrinking. The German government refuses to provide precise information on this with reference to national security. According to CDU budget and defense politician Ingo Gädechens, new orders were not or hardly placed. The ammunition factories, on the other hand, are fully utilized for a longer period of time with orders from other alliance countries. A proposal from Defense Minister Pistorius is expected "in the near future".