The main task of the defense industry is to supply the forces and authorities that are responsible for the internal and external security of Germany and its citizens. The equipment that the industry makes available to these customers includes all kinds of high level defense technologies in the form of hardware, as well as digital products and any combination thereof. The industry is convinced that only equipment that combines the highest level of platform performance with the highest level of digitization (digital convergence) enables police and armed forces to perform their respective tasks properly and thoroughly.
The German security and armaments industry is also involved in arms exports, which, despite the very restrictive German export regulations and practices, are still very unpopular in public opinion. Exports to non-EU or non-NATO countries are only permitted in special cases if the federal government sees a state security or defense interest as the basis for the approval of such an export.
The economic footprint of the defense technology industry in Germany is manageable, as it only has 120,000 direct employees and around 400,000 indirect employees with an estimated annual turnover of around twelve billion euros.
The industry includes world-renowned manufacturers of defense systems such as Airbus Defense & Space, Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Lürssen Shipyards, but also large German defense electronics specialists such as Rohde & Schwarz, Diehl Defense, HENSOLDT, ATLAS ELECTRONICS or Secunet as well as many highly specialized small and medium-sized companies, which make up around 80 percent of the almost 200 companies organized in the Federal Association of the Security and Defense Industry (BDSV).
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