German Bundeswehr Puma

Concerns Raised About German Military Capabilities

A German Ministry of Defence report says only 39% of newly delivered equipment is fit for purpose.

German Bundeswehr Puma

A German Bundeswehr Puma being fired (Picture: US Army Reserve).

Questions have been raised about Germany's military capabilities in an official report issued by the country's Defence Ministry.

According to the report, only 39% of newly delivered equipment is fit for purpose.

It says that 59 of the 97 new systems handed over to military units in 2017 have failed to work properly.

The new 43-tonne Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle was meant to be the pride of the German Army and is considered to be one of the world's best-protected vehicles of its kind.

Instead, much of Germany's 71-strong Puma fleet languishes in workshops and only 27 have been declared combat-ready.

Similar problems have beset Germany's A400M transport plane, which also boasts state-of-the-art technology.

Four of the nation's eight A400Ms are grounded, as well as five out of seven Tiger attack helicopters and four out of seven NH-90 transport helicopters.

German Air Force A400M flying over Air Force Memorial
A German A400M during a ceremony in the United States (Picture: US Air Force).

Many Eurofighter jets also remain parked in their hangars.

Thousands of German troops are in Norway for Exercise Trident Juncture, one of NATO's biggest exercises in recent times, along with British personnel.

It's been reported that to equip the troops in Norway, commanders have had to plunder units across Germany.

Speaking in Norway, Germany's Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen has admitted shortcomings.

“We are aware of inadequacies” she has said, describing the situation.

According to von der Leyen, software problems with German Eurofighter jets have now been corrected.

“Today, for example, [the planes] are all ready for duty," she has said.

However, she has also acknowledged that weapons systems are important and must be available to train and qualify personnel.