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November 3, 2015 11:47 am

I remember watching a demonstration on that range in Munster Ortze back in about 81/82 when posted to 32 AER in Dennis Barracks.
TD: Thanks for the “trip down memory lane”

November 3, 2015 12:09 pm

Good display – anything they can do there that we can’t (and should be able to)?

Thought the Leopard underwater driving was impressive, even though the commander nearly hit his head on a tree when driving off

November 3, 2015 12:46 pm

Well. Points that struck me:

There is just as much variety in the Bundeswehr’s fleet as in the British Army; perhaps we would have assumed the German MOD equivalent (BMVg) would have been more efficient in demanding commonality.

Setting aside the deep wading option with tall funnel, the Leo2 running through the middle of the three wading routes was up to its turret top and appeared to have no wading preparation at all other than closing hatches. That is an impressive feat.

Puma is an interesting thing, although much bigger than it appears. The Lance turret is unusual but interesting, although its armour arrangement might not be ideal, compromised by the external mantlet.

The bridge layer was clever – the ability to create a double span bridge without swinging the sections vertical would be a real help on wooded banks.

Fuchs I’m sure was supposed to swim, and yet in the demonstration they were only permitted to wade – perhaps they are now too heavily loaded with appliqué or mission kit to float?

While the vehicles are clearly well made and competent, the designs are conservative. It appears much of the Bundeswehr’s modernisation effort has been directed at the electronics – surveillance masts, remote Puma turret, lots of Fuchs vehicles with EW type stuff on top. If that is their focus, clearly funded and to a large degree deployable, in a NATO or EU defence force context maybe the UK shouldn’t prioritise its funds into ISTAR.

November 3, 2015 6:45 pm

Fuchs hasn’t been amphibious for a long time already.

The German MoD (BMVg) completely lost all vehicle standardization in the frenzy to provide armoured lorries for the occupation in Afghanistan. The they attempted to regain standardization by defining some new classes and having ADDITIONAL vehicles developed. There was no money for quantity production of most types, so now we have the 70’s Fuchs, the Afghanistan panic vehicles (Dingo, Dingo 2 and others) and are IIRC still trying to procure a new generation in addition to this.

November 3, 2015 8:12 pm
Reply to  Chris

That bridgelayer is an antique based on Leopard 1 and is pretty much contemporary with our old Chieftain AVLB. it is much inferior to BR90 and the no 10 tank bridge. There is a more modern German system based on Leo 2.

November 3, 2015 8:50 pm

Ref Leo 2 deep wading, the engine would have been on turret breathing, note the open commanders hatch with some sort of screen in front of it I have no doubt some very careful checking went on before they tried that!

November 3, 2015 9:15 pm

In February 2014, the Defence Minister went to visit his soldiers participating in the training of the Malian army alongside French forces since the Serval operation began in December 2012 against the jihadists in the north. His coming was not granted. Like other European capitals, Berlin has long been reluctant to support the intervention decided by François Hollande with UN approval. Similarly Sangaris to support the operation in Central Africa.

It is true that the Germans do not show a special interest in Africa. The continent is considered a preserve of France. More generally, Merkel governments have revived the tradition that existed prior to reunification, the tradition of some military restraint.

It’s about this that the Minister of Foreign, Guido Westerwelle, had decided in March 2011 to abstain in the Security Council on international intervention against the Gaddafi regime, together with the Russia and China. He had not been disowned by Angela Merkel.

Germany seems to go back to the period following reunification in 1990 when all the parameters of the German and European security policy were messed up. Until then, the role of the Bundeswehr was fully integrated into NATO. During the Cold War, It was responsible for the defense in cases of advanced surge of Soviet tanks on the plains of Central Europe. It was the condition set by the Allies in 1950 to allow, even encourage, German rearmament after the fall of the Third Reich.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, territorial defense mission lost much of its relevance. The threat to the security of Europe had not Moscow but the various ethnic or religious mini-conflicts on the outskirts of the Old Continent. The western allies were no longer align millions of conscripts to defend the country in danger, but soldiers have professionals able to perform under international mandate, recovery or peacekeeping missions.

It took two decades for the Bundeswehr becomes a conscript army to a professional troupe. But political limits to its engagement in external theaters remain. In Mali as in Central Africa, the government needs the agreement of Parliament to increase German military presence of tens of units.

Another example : the German freighters bringing a French army logistical support to the Central African Republic stopped in a neighboring state as they had no permission to land the Bundestag in Bangui, capital of a country at war …

These limits are not about to disappear. It’s fine all this mechanics, but if you need of nothing you are served.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
November 4, 2015 2:46 am

I must admit, I have no problem with the limitations the German Constitution places upon the use of the German armed forces, especially with the changes taking place in eastern Europe. If Germany takes on the mantel of the defence of NATO in Europe and is willing to fund this commitment it would not be a bad thing.

Regarding the equipment on show it is interesting to see the number of new platforms introduced over the last decade. Yes they, like us had to rapidly purchase protected transport vehicles for use in Afghanistan, but the majority of the new platforms are as we would say part of the core. Whilst the Germans have introduced the Fennek, Puma, Boxer, Mungo great name!) as well as developing new variants of existing platforms and updating existing ones. We have introduce the Panther, along with the small numbers of the Terrier, Trojan and Titan engineering vehicles.

The Germans were able to use a large number of their core fleet vehicles on operations, far more than we could, for example they have the Boxer we have the Mastiff. The former has proven itself on operations and has a bright future, the latter is a dead end which we bought in large numbers because nothing we had could do the job.

The German procurement system is far from perfect but al least they actually deliver the kit asked of it rather than sitting around a table staring at a crystal ball, trying to work out what we will need 20 year from now. I am all from trying to future proof a platform and build in growth potential, but surely it is better to get something in the hands of the soldiers sooner and then add on the bells and whistles.

Why is it that many NATO countries can develop a capability requirement and meet it either in house or from outside in a fraction of the time it takes us to even get a demonstrator moving under its own power? In addition to taking on the conclusions of the recent reports into procurement, the MOD should also study how other countries do business.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
November 4, 2015 2:59 am

Yes many German designs appear conservative but they work , are very reliable and have superb manufacturer support, I cannot confirm whether they meet international emissions standards though.