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For six years, since the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the planning of the Bundeswehr has been geared towards the task of national and alliance defense. After initially planning with short deadlines, the plans now reach a little further into the future - up to the year 2032.

Germany has taken on obligations in NATO: It has taken on a leading role as a partner nation according to the framework nation concept. It has promised NATO to provide large units with full and modern equipment. These must be able to be networked with other associations through digitization. The increased ability to work closely with the other services/military organizational areas as well as allied forces, including the integration of such forces, is also a goal.

The Army's plan for the next few years (Graphic: Office for Army Development)

The army will develop its skills over the next ten years or so.

According to the "Plan Heer" this should happen step by step and progressively. In order to achieve the target state Army 4.0 by 2032, two movement axes are used. On the upper "axis of attack", the provision of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023 is used as an intermediate goal and at the same time as intermediate step 1 in order to make a fully and modernly equipped mechanized brigade available. In the next step, Division 2027 is to be achieved as intermediate step 2 with three fully digitized mechanized brigades. Both steps involve parts of divisional and even corps troops.

Infantry troops in an operational exercise (Photo: Bundeswehr/Sebastian Wilke)

The lower "attack arrow" is increasingly aimed at the future viability of the army, driven by the will to comprehensive digitization and networking of troops and equipment. Enormous progress for a fully equipped army is to be achieved in all dimensions and abilities. In 2032, three division equivalents with a very different mix of forces and skills should then be available. The design is to be made from the current forces of the army, enriched by additions to the trend reversal personnel and modernized by a number of armaments projects.

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