The German military is facing severe shortages of ammunition, the Bundestag’s commissioner for the armed forces, Eva Hoegl, warned on Sunday. She also highlighted the lack of certain basic personal equipment needed by the army.
In an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Hoegl revealed that it would cost the Bundeswehr €20 billion to refill its ammo stocks.
The MP called for the military’s ammo depots to be fully replenished during the current legislative session, claiming that the government had dragged its feet on the topic for years.
“Without munitions, it’s all nothing,” Hoegl concluded.
She also pointed out the sorry state of affairs when it comes to the basic equipment needed by German troops. She cited a case when the nation’s military personnel deployed in Lithuania had to take part in drills without bulletproof vests.
Moreover, according to Hoegl, “with sick, parental and education leaves, many units reach the staffing level of only 60% of what they have on paper.”
The commissioner warned that “without sufficient personnel the best of weapons are of little use.” She predicted that unless the Bundeswehr’s ranks swell significantly, Berlin will have to prioritize and cut corners in its deployments. Hence, with the focus being on national defense, Germany would have to curtail its participation in international missions, Hoegl noted.
In October, Business Insider reported that the German military only had ammunition for one or two days of warfare, citing defense industry and parliamentary sources.
While the problem has existed for years, it was further exacerbated when Germany began providing weapons to Ukraine, the outlet claimed.
However, Berlin still supplied the first unit of its state-of-the-art IRIS-T air defense systems to Kiev last month. Three more units, made up of a command vehicle, a radar vehicle, and a truck-mounted launcher, are expected to arrive in Ukraine in 2023.
Meanwhile, Germany’s own military has yet to receive the ground-based IRIS-T system, a fact that has compelled some politicians to raise concern that the country is arming Ukraine at the expense of its own defense capabilities.