Germany drafts 9bn euro defence savings plan-press


German defence ministry experts have drawn up a list of potential savings in weapons and equipment worth 9.3 billion euros in the long-term, a newspaper reports in Berlin today. German daily Bild reported the number of A400M military transport aircraft would be reduced and 15 Transall transport planes taken out of service immediately.

Under the proposal, Germany would buy only 80 NH-90 helicopters instead of the planned 122 and halve the number of new Tiger attack helicopters to 40, Reuters reports. Bild and business daily Handelsblatt reported the plan included buying 37 fewer Eurofighter combat jets than originally planned, reports Reuters.

Handelsblatt said the 23-page document recommended placing no orders for EADS’s Talarion UAV and instead ordering Saateg AA Male drones, in what would be a further blow for the French-German company. Bild said the plan recommended Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg reduce the number of Tornados in the air force to 85 from 185 as quickly as possible, the newspaper said.

The German navy should take eight frigates, 10 fast attack craft and 21 Sea King helicopters out of service in the medium to longer-term and order only three instead of four new class 125 frigates, Bild reported the savings plan as saying.

The US-European MEADS missile development program would not be affected, the paper said.