We get a glimpse of a small portion of Germany’s war machine in a quiet suburb near Hamburg.
Vincorion’s plant produces parts for weapons, including the highly-demanded Leopard II tank.
As one of our staff performs delicate electrical work, we watch as he or she looks through magnifying glasses.
A gearbox is being lowered into the air from the opposite side of the room before it goes for testing.
Chances are that the factory has worked on a part of your Leopard 2 or Puma tank order.
However, while President Vladimir Putin has stated he’s increasing his arms production they warn Germany that he hasn’t been doing so.
Dr Stefan Stenzel is the chief executive at Vincorion. He said, “It is worrying that Germany is donating fourteen Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and has not ordered one.”
Germany is the largest military donor to Ukraine.
It has pledged to send the Leopards and lifted restrictions on allies, so that they can also do so.
The German chancellor, who urged all partners to send their tanks now at the Munich Security Conference declared that “we are putting an Ende to the neglect of [German armed forces] the Bundeswehr.”
In a historic turn of events, Germany announced last year a EUR100bn ($PS88bn), special fund to support its military.
Critics claim that only a small portion of the cash was spent on the war in Ukraine, and that the already exhausted armed forces are in a worse situation 12 months later.
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Dr. Stenzel says, “We are bleeding out” and that “with all our donations to Ukraine’s army and without any reordering sofar the German army is becoming weaker on an everyday basis.”
Even if Germany ordered Leopard 2 tanks immediately, Dr Stenzel estimates that it could take as long as 24 months to deliver them.
Bluntly, he explained that it means that Germany’s weapon stocks are not being used quickly enough to fill the gaps.
“How serious can this be?” “How serious is this?” I ask.
He replies, “Very serious.” He replied, “As long the conflict remains in Ukraine, there will be time. But who can control it?”
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The German military has always been underfunded since the end of Cold War. The army chief, hours after Russia invaded Ukraine described the Bundeswehr’s financial situation as “more or lesser empty handed”.
Boris Pistorius, the defense minister, has pledged to continue supporting Ukraine and increase investment in the Armed Forces. He also wants more money for arms.
Critics point to a lack urgency because of the slow and bureaucratic procurement process.
A spokesperson from the German Ministry of Defence denied that the country was undermining their ability to defend themselves if war in Ukraine escalates.
“Germany’s defense is deeply embedded in the transatlantic collective defense structures of NATO. They stated that Germany does not need to defend itself, but collective defense matters.
Problem is, the conflict is draining supplies to allies as well, especially ammunition.
“I believe this is a problem and the German Ministry of Defence has clearly wronged this,” stated Dr Barbara Kunz (senior researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, University of Hamburg).
“NATO’s armed force or NATO’s military power is the strength and weakness of its member countries.” NATO will be weak if its member states lack the necessary military forces.
Dr. Stenzel says there is only one way to solve the problem: Orders, orders and orders.