Germany Prioritizes Speed in Military Procurement

Germany’s Ministry of Defense is looking to prioritize speed in military procurement, as Defense Minister Pistorius pushes for overhaul in procedures previously criticized as slow and ineffective. As the war in Ukraine rages on, Pistorius has faced the huge task to bring Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, back up to speed after years of underinvestment since the end of the COld War. The country’s Army Chief Mais had described his troops as “more or less empty handed” on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The time factor has highest priority and is … with immediate effect decisive for providing the troops as quickly as possible with the equipment to be purchased,” Zimmer, the state secretary in charge of procurement, said in a decree signed on Tuesday.

Despite a massive €100 billion special fund set up by the government last year to buy new weapons, progress has been sluggish and arms shipments to Ukraine have depleted stocks even further.

In his decree, Zimmer said procurement needed to become “significantly faster, more effective and less bureaucratic” as Russia’s war on Ukraine forced Germany to raise the state of readiness of its forces as quickly as possible.

He urged procurement officials to opt for faster off-the-shelf solutions instead of the lengthy development of new weapons.

“With a view to time and costs, technical realization risks are, as a basic principle, to be avoided,” Zimmer wrote in the document.

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