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Bundeswehr Restructuring

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  • #91
    The CIR command, itself established in April, officially had its 13,500 soldiers - and an unnamed number of civilian contractors - assigned yesterday.


    • #92
      Originally posted by kato View Post
      Out of 30 projects in the overall list the budget committee passed 23 today; notable ones among the seven postponed items are the Heron-TP armed drones and the spare A400M engines, the Spike LR integration on Puma subproject, the Leopard 2 ammunition and the MoTaKo communications platform demonstrators. The government will probably try for these again next wednesday with some modifications to the bills.
      Out of the above all except Heron-TP was signed off on the 30th.
      • For Puma TSWA was also signed off, i.e. the independent multiple grenade launcher meant for short-range organic indirect fire (current iteration: 16x 40mm HE, 6x 76mm LTL CS) that will be mounted on the back.
      • The Leopard ammunition deal is for 5,000 rounds DM11 airburst HE at €9,000 per round.
      • The A400M package also includes money for operating the last 13 A400M (out of 53) that the Luftwaffe originally wanted to sell.
      • GMLRS (Unitary) procurement is for 600 missiles + modification of a further 18 MARS from depots to MARS II / GMLRS configuration (for 56 in active troops total).

      Heron-TP was pretty much struck from the list by the SPD. They want unarmed drones and (now) more attack helicopters instead.


      • #93
        Upcoming procurement projects beyond the ones publically known that didn't make it in before the election:
        • new heavy transport helicopter; either CH-53K or CH-47F replacing current CH-53G/GA/GS models. Likely to be Chinooks. 3.84B EUR assigned for "small model" with 10,000 flight hours and 41 helicopters; military wants "larger model" with 17,000 flight hours and 60 helicopters (effectively a one-to-one replacement for 64 CH-53). Decision on numbers this month. Tender will follow, procurement expected 2020 for delivery 2022.
        • upcoming next year: functional description within tendering process for a Wiesel airmobile weapons platform replacement. Needs helos to be decided first.
        • VTOL UAVs for K130 corvettes. Effectively only ones in the running are Schiebel's S-100 CamCopter and Saab/ESG's V-200 Skeldar. CamCopter was originally meant to be procured a few years ago for that but the tendering process was cancelled when Schiebel couldn't make it run on F44 (JP5). They've since equipped it with a different engine and are using the RAN as their labrat for it right now.


        • #94
          Originally posted by kato View Post
          The Bundeswehr will buy back 95 Leopard 2 A4 tanks from the industry and have 68 of them upgraded to Leopard 2 A7V standard. The current 20 Leopard 2 A7 as well as the 16 Dutch Leopard 2 A6M will also be brought to A7V standard
          Contract has been handed out to Rheinmetall. The modernization itself for 108 tanks is only 114 million. The 68 A4 to be upgraded will receive a new 120mm/L55A1 gun, which is apparently modified to fire higher-pressure KE rounds (for better performance).


          • #95
            Leopard 2 A7V upgrade:
            • 68 A4 from depots, 20 A7 in service and 18 A6NL will be upgraded
            • timeline: 2 A7 upgraded by end of 2019 as series prototypes, then 18 A6NL followed by 68 A4 in 2020, finally remaining 18 A7.
            • since overall the upgrade is considered minor the version number isn't raised; once all A7 are upgraded to A7V standard the V (for "verbessert" - "improved") will also be dropped.
            • the "similarity" of the designation with the first German tank appearing exactly a hundred years ago "has been noted", at least according to articles from project managers in the procurement agency.
            • primary system changes:
              • will upgrade drive train, suspension and tracks to support maximum combat weight of 70 tons (metric) - drive train of all previous versions is still original version from original introduction.
              • modify drive train to increase sprint acceleration to those of original Leopard 2 again despite higher weight, will come at cost of slightly lower top speed
            • external changes:
              • will add armour to glacis "known from other upgrades" - read: MEXAS-H as in A5DK and Strv122
              • will allow installation of add-on armour modules on entire vehicle
              • small modifications to Barracuda optical camouflage system to adapt for external changes
            • internal changes:
              • adds IR sight for driver (forward and aft)
              • new monitors for commander
              • new digital system for main gun stabilization
              • replacement of gunner sight with a new 3rd generation IR system and new laser rangefinder
              • replacement of the cooling system of A7 with a new one that will also replace the NBC overpressure system; space for NBC overpressure system will be reused for additional cooling system for the hull/driver (the A7 system only cools the turret compartment)
              • small physical changes to ammunition bunker to optimize DM11 usage (new HE rounds, heavier than previous rounds)
              • full overhaul of all engines

            A number of concepts for the upgrade have been pushed back to the next version:
            • upgrading engine to 1200 kW (from 1100 kW)
            • remote weapons station
            • autonomous target tracking
            • hard-kill active protection system
            since "despite this being portrayed differently none of the off-the-shelf available systems offer sufficient TRL for integration yet".
            Last edited by kato; 03 Nov 17,, 22:30.


            • #96
              Artillery in the Bundeswehr is being rebranded "CIFS" - Common Indirect Fire System. CIFS is the army component of STF, Joint Tactical Fire Support, as any sort of non-organic support fire is currently called .

              For CIFS it's planned to considerably extend the range envelope of artillery units - by introducing 155mm Vulcano with a 70 km guided range by 2027 and extending the range of GMLRS Unitary out to 150 km by 2025 (with current missiles as a stockpile still matched to Vulcano range envelope). Longterm the Bundeswehr has begun a R&D initiative to extend the range of GMLRS Unitary out to 300 km to provide a tactic-strategic layer.

              Meanwhile a possible new future structure for the Bundeswehr is now slowly taking shape, after first being leaked - and by that i mean cam shots of computer screens... - to the press last year. It basically involves separating brigades (the seven current plus one new) into two standard-readiness heavy full divisions integrated with other partner nations (who'd field their fourth brigade) and one high-readiness light reduced division that - to me - seems tailored mostly to serve as a purely "national" ready intervention force; in particular since there's now talks about two additional brigades after 2032 which looking at the structure would probably be to bring this third division to the same strength. As part of this new structure mostly artillery is being vastly extended - not just upgraded as above, but also brought back in numbers.


              • #97
                Currently listening to an audio recording of a damn interesting panel from the Berlin Security Conference in which all six Inspector Generals - Navy, Cyber, Air Force, Joint Support, Medical, Army - each do a 10-minute speech on the state of their sector of the military, current challenges and their future plans. Moderation by the chairman of the parliamentary defense committee.

                Nothing really new or special said, but rather unusual to have them all together like this.

                Somewhat oddly a) the boss of MBDA was also sitting with them and b) the Inspector Generals for Navy and Medical held their speeches in English.


                Pretty funny in places, such as the exchange between the Air Force and Army generals on helicopters ("well, we're not the only ones who operates helicopters - the Army does too" - "hah!" - "but we have the bigger helicopters" - "bah!" - "... because we took them away from the army" - "hrrrrm").

                Another example - first question from the audience: NATO nuclear sharing, challenges in the view of Russia and F-35... while the guy asked the question you could hear two of the generals with their mike not off already whispering to each other "can't answer that one, either way, anyway". And then he ended that question with "this question isn't for Mr Müllner [Air Force] but for Mr Gottschild [MBDA]". Was good for a laugh from everyone on stage, someone pointing out that "the name of the politician on here is Hellmich [defense committee] and not Gottschild [MBDA]" - and Air Force General Müllner commenting that "hah, now i don't have to take that question into those circles that actually talk about that".
                Last edited by kato; 28 Nov 17,, 23:22.


                • #98
                  Given a longterm need for up to 200 more IFVs than the current Puma numbers can provide, the Army has had Rheinmetall integrate MELLS (Spike-LR) on Marder 1A5 to replace Milan. About 35 Marder 1A5 are being equipped with it right now (launchers were delivered in December), integration on 1A5A1 and 1A3 models is under evaluation.

                  The upgrade factually doubles the anti-tank range of Marder and provides it with a modern fire&forget system.

                  Marder 1A5 are upgraded versions of the 1971 Marder IFV, with its combat weight raised to 37.5t (MLC 42), mostly due to add-on armor and EFP mine protection. The Bundeswehr has 74 units overall upgraded in 2005, forming two battalions. A third battalion is equipped with 35 Marder 1A5A1, which is a 2010 upgrade of the 1A5 updated for Afghanistan with multispectral camouflage, IED jammers and new air conditioning. Beyond those 109, the Bundeswehr retains another 763 Marder 1A3 in depots and units not yet transitioned to Puma.


                  • #99

                    Any word on which way the Bundeswehr is leaning on the rifle replacement program? I'm assuming HK 416 or 433 are preferred choices over the Steyr RS-556, and SIG MCX due to local production considerations.

                    The HK 433 is supposedly a bit cheaper and more reliable, while the HK 416 would provide commonality with the French and the associated logistical advantages that entails.
                    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 20 Mar 18,, 21:39.


                    • It's down to HK vs HK (unless there's an unknown other bidder). SIG withdrew in November, Rheinmetall-Steyr-Mannlicher decided not to submit a final bid by mid-February this year.


                      • During a test firing of a missile at a proving ground the Bundeswehr has managed to set an entire dried-out peat bog on fire. The missile used was apparently a helicopter-launched air-to-surface missile, probably a PARS3 missile (could have been a Hellfire or Brimstone too...). The fire itself was not unplanned for - however out of two tracked firefighting vehicles of the proving grounds' firefighting group (can't go into the bog with wheeled stuff) one had a mechanical failure in the field and the other was in maintenance at the time.

                        The bog has by now been burning underground - up to a depth of 1 meter - for two weeks over an area of 8 km² - about 2000 acre - with the smoke plume over a hundred kilometers long and highly visible even from space. You can smell it throughout the entirety of North Germany up to hundreds of km away. One nearby village of 1,000 has been prepared for evacuation.

                        720 firefighters as well as Bundeswehr engineers are trying to fight the underground fire by inundating the ground with as much water as possible, currently about 1,200 tons of water per hour, as well as cutting fire trenches around the area which are filled with water as well. It's estimated that even if this is entirely successful it will take one or two weeks for the fire to extinguish. The operations are complicated by the fact that the bog has been used as an army training area since 1876 and there's suspected UXO throughout it. In addition heavy winds in recent days tend to fan the flames, reigniting fires on the surface and adding flying sparks to the danger.

                        Videos (audio and subtitles in German):


                        • The Bundeswehr is going for a three-way split on replacing its Tornados:
                          • 30 F/A-18E/F intended for B-61 nuclear deployment (two squadrons)
                          • 15 EA-18G Growler for electronic warfare (one squadron)
                          • 45 new Eurofighters replacing the second Tornado wing.
                          • 45 new Eurofighters replacing Tranche 1 models with an Eurofighter wing.

                          Planned for 2025. Official decision before the end of this month.


                          • Don't think i ever posted this here:

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                            This is a "potential long-term planning structure" for the German Army for 2031. Potential as in inofficial, sorta published in 2018 based on leaks of plans from 2017, but "for some reason" pretty much every development and tidbit declassified fits nicely in there. What's known is that there are progressive expansion plans for 2023, 2027, 2031 and "beyond 2032".

                            Yes, it's not using standard NATO symbology, and switching it out seemed a bit too tedious for me.

                            It basically proposes reestablishing two full-sized mechanized divisions with permanent assignment of six German and two foreign mechanized brigades, along with two plug-in slots for possible expansion. In addition a "light" brigade would provide primarily a rapid-reaction force in the form of an airborne brigade, a second brigade with the helicopters for it, a mechanized brigade and another plug-in slot. What's known about "beyond 2032" is that there could be two further brigades established for a total of ten combat brigades in the Army.

                            The main point about it in comparison to today would be in fielding basically an additional full mechanized brigade, reestablish brigade-level artillery and expand division commands with sufficient support troops (signals and logistics). In addition it would formalize the already existant "plug-in" concept of foreign brigades - e.g. 43rd (NL) Mech Bde - and expand it to include up to five brigades.

                            Candidates to fill such "plug-ins" would be e.g.:
                            - 43rd (NL) Mechanized Brigade (part of 1st (GE) Armored Division)
                            - 11th (NL) Airmobile Brigade (part of (GE) Rapid Forces Division)
                            - 4th (CZ) Rapid Deployment Brigade ("affiliated" with 10th (GE) Armored Division and (GE) Rapid Forces Division since 2017)
                            - 81st (RO) Mechanized Brigade ("affiliated" with 10th (GE) Armored Division and (GE) Rapid Forces Division since 2017)
                            - (GE/FR) Infantry Brigade (formally part of both 10th (GE) Armored Division and 1st (FR) Armored Division)


                            • I take it your gebirgsjaegers are in the independent PZ GR BDE?
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain


                              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                                I take it your gebirgsjaegers are in the independent PZ GR BDE?
                                Nah, they're the "GbJg" symbols - and no, that's not German nomenclature either, it should be GebJg. Eighth brigade slot from the left.

                                The only unit suspiciously absent is the Franco-German Brigade - and it's assets are exactly what with some shifting of forces would make up that extra new brigade in the Rapid Forces Division to the right.

                                The color coding sorta reflects it. The red bordered battalions are units that exist but are not hooked up in that position at the moment. Dashed-border units, both red and black, do not exist at the moment (mostly artillery).

                                For the symbols for combat forces:
                                • Pz = Armor (Leopard 2)
                                • PzGren = tracked mechanized infantry (Puma)
                                • Jg = wheeled mechanized infantry (Boxer)
                                • GbJg = mountain infantry [note: one of them in Boxer as "heavy infantry", not differentiated; others in Bv-206S at the moment]
                                • FSchJg = paratroopers (helo-portable MRAPs)
                                • Aufkl = reconnaissance (Fenneks and UAVs)

                                Those battalions equipped with Boxers (including one mountain infantry) are planned to receive new fire support vehicles by 2027, a full company each. Currently basically looks like what we sold Australia for heavy recce vehicles, i.e. Boxer with a 30mm + Spike-LR turret.
                                Nore that there are 15 battalions for tracked mechanized infantry. This assumes a massive additional buy ("2nd batch") of Pumas. Some of these are currently equipped with modernized Marder (1A5A1 version etc), some are reserve without assigned vehicles (for depot stocks).
                                Last edited by kato; 20 Jul 20,, 19:16.