The Russian invasion of Ukraine has underscored the fragility of peace in Europe, challenging Germany to effectively support Ukraine’s defence while simultaneously bolstering the Bundeswehr’s national and alliance defence capabilities. The establishment of the Bundeswehr’s special funds in 2023 has been a pivotal step in financing these significant investments.
All procurement projects exceeding EUR 25 million require parliamentary approval. This year, the German Defence Ministry successfully launched 55 such proposals, a record number. Approximately two-thirds of the special funds have already been contractually committed to major procurement projects like additional Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, more Puma armored infantry fighting vehicles, CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and the Arrow 3 air and missile defence system.
These 55 proposals, with a combined volume of nearly EUR 47 billion, significantly contribute to the transformation of Germany’s defence landscape. Notably, 20 of these projects, amounting to around EUR 24 billion, are financed through the special funds, accounting for over half of the total approved expenditure.
The investments extend beyond traditional armament projects, focusing also on initiatives critical for the technical operational readiness of the forces. Examples include the acquisition of the Warnow shipyard and upgrading infrastructure for the F-35 fighter jet, demonstrating a commitment to logistics and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, efforts to expedite processes and approximately 60,000 direct procurements under EUR 5,000 each have marked a significant stride in investments below the EUR 25 million threshold.
Overall, 2023 has been a pivotal year in strengthening the defence and alliance capabilities of the Bundeswehr, reflecting a substantial commitment to the nation’s and Europe’s security landscape.