Damaged all German tanks for the elite NATO unit

Damaged all German tanks for the elite NATO unit

The ‘Puma’ presents numerous anomalies that prevent its use. / wikipedia

A general denounces the deficiencies of the new and modern combat tank ‘Puma’

Not a single tank from the German unit that will be the core of NATO’s immediate intervention force next year is operational. The general in charge of the 10th tank division of the Bundeswehr, the federal Army, has denounced that the eighteen modern battle tanks ‘Puma’ of his elite company are all damaged after several days of maneuvers.

They broke down one by one until there was not a single operational one left, reports Major General Rupert von Butler in a letter of several pages to his superiors at the Federal Ministry of Defense to which ‘Der Spiegel’ has had access and which has caused a great commotion in Berlin by confirming the poor condition of the German military material.

The affected unit is the 37th Tank Brigade, which in 2023 should join NATO’s new rapid reaction force, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The general emphasizes that these are total failures and writes in his message that the last two operational ‘Puma’ “failed yesterday during firing maneuvers after an hour and a half and with defects in the turrets.” ç

The senior officer’s report highlights that it is the state-of-the-art tank electronics that cause the greatest problems and underlines that in one of the damaged tanks there was a cable fire in the driver’s cabin. He adds that the troops are used to breakdowns in the new ‘Puma’, but that “these had not occurred so frequently until now.”

inoperative brigade

Rupert von Butler further points out that the exercises took place in northern Germany on level ground and that the tanks were not required to perform at their best. The senior officer also warns that the 37th brigade will not be operational again for three or four months.

Eberhard Zorn, the highest officer of the German Army as inspector general, affirmed that everything possible will be done for this unit to recover its capacity for action as soon as possible and that, together with specialists from the military industry, the failures of the tank will be thoroughly investigated. of combat. “The objective is to make the ‘Puma’ operational,” Zorn told a local agency, to which he assured that this country “will comply with its commitments to NATO as of January 1.”

The modern and innovative battle tank ‘Puma’ was declared fit for combat last year. Developed and manufactured by the German arms industries Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, it has given nothing but trouble since joining the Armed Forces.

“You can imagine how the troops value the reliability of the ‘Puma'”, the general himself affected by the breakdowns points out in his message, who affirms that “the operational disposition of the vehicle is, despite the meticulous preparations, a lottery” and “nothing it has to do with the usual reliability of German all-terrain vehicles.”

Rupert von Butler questions even the agreed acquisition of new units of the “Puma” tank, because “the results are far behind expectations” and advises provisionally resorting to the “veteran and reliable” tank ‘Marder’, which is being withdrawn from service.

The major general’s letter has fallen like a bomb on the ministry due to its international consequences, says ‘Der Spiegel’, which highlights that the complainant himself is criticized for sending copies to various instances, which has facilitated their leaking to the press at a time when the head of Defense, the Social Democrat Christine Lambrecht, is criticized for her management and the slowness in modernizing and reforming the Bundeswehr.

From the federal Army it is assured that Germany will be able to fulfill its commitments before NATO even without the ‘Puma’, since it will be able to resort to the ‘Marder’ as an alternative solution.


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