Funding for the items like protective gear and NVGs will be provided from the government’s €100 billon special arms fund, a seismic uplift in defence spending aimed at ending decades of peacetime underfunding and acquiring new military equipment at pace to deter Russian aggression.
Germany is embarking on a rapidly accelerated procurement process to equip “each and every” solider from its armed forces with personnel equipment like protective gear, night vision goggles, and rucksacks inside the next three years, according to a German defence official.
The process could have taken nearly double that time, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added real-world urgency to the task. Funding for the items will be provided from the government’s €100 billion ($107 billion USD) special arms fund, a seismic uplift in defence spending aimed at ending decades of peacetime underfunding and acquiring new military equipment at pace to deter Russian aggression.
The personnel equipment decision was revealed by the official this week at the International Armoured Vehicles conference in London, prior to Berlin announcing, after much controversy and delay, that it had finally agreed to send 14 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks to Ukraine.
For the German military, “we have plans to procure equipment that would have taken us until around 2028 or 2029 but finally everybody will get it [sooner],” said the official, who is not being identified in line with conference rules. “We are talking about protective gear, helmets, night vision goggles, rucksacks, stuff like that. We shifted it forward, with the aim to equip each and every soldier in the German armed forces in the next three years.”
Elsewhere, Germany has agreed to provide NATO with a first operational land division in 2025 to support the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), while long-term targets of providing a modern mechanised division by 2027 and a further two divisions, to the alliance by 2031, both remain.
“We are talking about 30,000 army personnel as opposed to 6,000 [to support the new land division plan],” noted the official. “These are units that will have to go into battle, with what they have at their disposal, on a permanent basis.”
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