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The German Bundestag has decided on three armaments projects. In their first meeting after the summer break, the Bundestag's defense and budget committees discussed three so-called 25 million euro bills. As there were no major objections, the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces (BAAINBw) can conclude the relevant service or procurement contracts.

Anti-ship missile RBS 15 Mk3

The procurement of the anti-ship missile RBS15 Mk3 to equip the K130 corvettes has already been contractually regulated. The anti-ship missiles are being procured in a framework agreement that provides for 160 guided missiles. A first call for 75 of the long-range guided missiles and accessories with a financial volume of 285 million euros was firmly commissioned. In addition, there are necessary information technology components and test material worth a further six million euros. The order value is 285 million euros. The delivery to the Navy is to take place in the period 2022 to 2026, parallel to the planned delivery of the second batch of the K130. The contractor is Diehl.

The Mark 3 version of the heavy anti-ship missile developed jointly with Saab was first delivered in 2011 as the main armament for corvettes of the new K 130 class. Production takes place in cooperation with Saab. Saab's share in the current order is 160 million euros. The subcontract has already been awarded.

As a new generation guided missile with a long range, active radar seeker and a combination of inertial and GPS-based navigation, the Mk3 offers naval forces a significant expansion of their previous capabilities. With RBS15 Mk3 not only ships can be successfully fought at great distances, but now also targets on land.

In addition to Germany and Sweden, numerous other European and international countries use the RBS15 weapon system.

Expansion of digitization

The in-house IT company BWI GmbH and its predecessor companies have been supporting the expansion of the digitalization of the Bundeswehr through long-term contracts since 2006. Above all, changed (additional) tasks make adjustments to the service contracts necessary at short intervals. After the initiated increase in equity from the federal government's economic stimulus program a few weeks ago, the expansion of digitization in the armed forces and, above all, in the health care system of the German armed forces is being pushed forward with the amendment of the service contract. For this purpose, a total of 1.6 billion euros in addition to the previous financial resources are planned for a period of seven years from 2021. This increases the planned annual turnover of BWI GmbH from orders from the German armed forces to 1.2 billion euros.

The new package of tasks will be presented in detail in a later edition of Wehrwirtschaft.

GBU-54 precision armament for the Eurofighter

The ammunition mix of the Eurofighter is supplemented by the GBU-54 precision armament. The all-weather precision weapon for short ranges can fight stationary and moving targets in almost all weather and visibility conditions. The Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) 54 consists of a laser-assisted guidance system LJDAM (Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition) from Boeing, a standard MK-82 bomb body and an FBM21-GER bomb detonator. The steering and control section of the GBU-54 uses the combination of GPS and inertial navigation with a passive laser seeker head. The control range of the 230 kg heavy GBU is given as up to 28 km.

For the Eurofighter, 2,290 steering systems and detonators as well as 910 bombs as well as test material and training aids are to be procured with an order value of 213 million euros. In 2018, Diehl Defense signed a teaming agreement with Boeing for cooperation on possible further purchases of GBU-54, among other things with the aim of supporting the integration of the weapon system into the Eurofighter fighter aircraft.

The Bundeswehr has been using GBU-54 with LJDAM control since 2009 on the Tornado fighter aircraft.

Rating

With 2.1 billion euros, the German Armed Forces are once again financing a considerable share for improving the equipment of the armed forces. Only GBU-54 is relevant for the spearhead of NATO VJTF 2023. There is not much time left before the start of the same commitment, as the training with newly acquired equipment must essentially be completed by the end of 2022 before the workers are qualified. The catalog with unfinished 25 million euro templates in the current year is still very long and does not yet contain all the procurements necessary for VJTF 2023.

Project Financial volume realization
Anti-ship missile RBS 15 Mk3 291 2022-2026
Service contract BWI 1.600 2021-2027
GBU-54 for Eurofighter 213

In view of the foreseeable shortage of funds due to the pandemic in the coming budget year, it is now important to start as many projects as possible this year so that the renewal and addition of equipment to the troops can progress quickly. In the new year, 25 million euro bills must be introduced as early as possible, because due to the federal elections in September 2021, parliament will hardly want to worry about procurements for the Bundeswehr after the summer break.

 

Gerhard Heiming