Germany’s defense minister warns that her country currently can’t meet its long-term NATO commitments because of a widespread grounding of German military planes and helicopters.
“At the moment, we are below the target numbers announced a year ago on airborne systems we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in cases of emergency,” Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag over the weekend. “The reason is the delays in getting replacement parts” for planes and a recent grounding of German navy helicopters.
Scores of German military aircraft have been grounded, according to confidential reports recently leaked to the German media. Only 42 of 109 Eurofighters are considered airworthy, as are 38 of 89 Tornado fighters. Of Germany’s C-160 military transport planes, only 24 of 43 are in service and a delivery of replacement Airbus transportation planes is behind schedule.
This year, Germany reduced defense spending by more than $1 million, to $41.3 billion, which is far below NATO’s recommended level of 2 percent of the GDP.
Hmmm…I wonder if there is anywhere else that this kind of stuff is going on.