German defense procurement chief sees boom in equipment orders, Table Media reports
PHOTO CAPTION: A German soldier with the Bundeswehr’s KSK special operations force holds a Heckler und Koch G95/HK416 assault rifle during a training exercise in Calw, Germany, October 24, 2022 (Reuters photo)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's orders for new military equipment should see a sharp increase this year, after long-standing criticism that procedures for the purchase of weapons and equipment were ineffective and taking far too long, its procurement chief was quoted saying on Monday.
Germany has been working on accelerating its arms procurement and ramping up ammunition supplies in the long term after a year of arms donations to Ukraine depleted German military stocks.
Progress in plugging the gaps has, however, been sluggish despite a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) special fund set up by the government last year to pay for new weapons.
In an attempt to solve the problem, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius in March replaced the head of the country's military procurement agency, naming Annette Lehnigk-Emden as a renowned expert expected to tackle problems in a dynamic and targeted manner.
"As things stand today, two-thirds of the special fund will be contractually bound by the end of the year," Lehnigk-Emden was quoted as saying on Monday by Table Media news website, adding she expected the rest of money to be contractually allocated in the first quarter next year.
Lehnigk-Emden said her agency will submit 91 procurement proposals to the parliaments budget committee, a record figure, as military orders of more than 25 million euros must be approved individually by parliament.
($1 = 0.9341 euros)
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by David Holmes)