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Germany Lacks Combat-Ready Tanks to Lead NATO Vanguard: Media Reports

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Moscow, March 7 – The German newspaper ZDF reported today, Monday, quoting an internal document of the German army, that Germany does not have enough tanks for the NATO rapid reaction force.
The newspaper said, quoting a closed report: “The German army can hardly fulfill its obligations to NATO with regard to the international high-readiness task force Spearhead … Internal documents of the Bundeswehr indicate tangible problems in the combat readiness of the high-readiness group’s tank forces.” by the states armed forces.
According to the publication, Thuringia’s 393rd tank battalion, which belongs to the NATO rapid reaction force, is obliged to keep 30 out of 44 tanks in combat readiness in case of an emergency. The newspaper got a closed report from the 37th motorized infantry brigade, according to which there were 20 combat-ready tanks in the battalion in February, and according to the forecast of the readiness factor in July there will be only 14 tanks. The document indicates that another tank battalion has been temporarily filled.
According to the newspaper, if it were not for bureaucratic tricks, there would be fewer combat vehicles in the battalion.

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The Bundeswehr did not comment on the combat readiness of the tanks, but said that it would continue to carry out its tasks within the framework of NATO’s obligations.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius admitted earlier that the German army is not able to protect Germany in the event of martial law, due to its weak material base and insufficient number of personnel. According to Pistorius, Germany needs to invest more in modernizing the army. Also, the German newspaper Welt reported that the shortage of tanks for NATO arose in the 9th Tank Brigade in Münster, which had only nine combat-ready tanks out of the 44 ordered Leopard-2 tanks and three of the 14 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. The reason for this situation is the lack of spare parts and the high cost of maintenance. In addition, the German army will lack night vision devices, grenade launchers, support vehicles, winter uniforms and body armor.

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