BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – With billions in arms programs at the EU and national levels, the EU is seeking to become a globally operating military power. At its summit last week, the EU agreed not only to enhance cooperation among the member armed forces to facilitate their combat deployment – for example in Africa – but to also rapidly establish a “defense fund” planning to reallocate funds from civilian to military use. In a few years, Brussels will already be allocating €1.5 billion annually for both research and development of new military technology. The German government is also increasing its military spending and decided last week to allocate nearly ten billion euros for arms projects, including warships, tanker aircraft, satellites, and optimizing existing weaponry for current wars. In addition, billions are being earmarked for completely new projects. Lucrative for the arms industry, they include the Multi-role Combat Ship MKS 180, and a new fighter jet, capable of competing with the US F-35 and being integrated with guided missiles, drones and other weaponry.
BERLIN (Own report) – The German Defense Minister announced new multi-billion Euro armament projects, aimed at Germany’s and the EU’s greater independence from the USA. Ursula von der Leyen announced yesterday that the Bundeswehr would purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System “MEADS” to replace the “Patriot” air defense system. Whereas the “Patriot” system had to be imported entirely from the United States, a consortium with significant German participation will manufacture MEADS. It is estimated to cost about four billion Euros, with another four billion having been already invested. With MEADS, Germany would achieve more “autonomy in security policy,” according to a CSU party military policy specialist. The German Navy will also receive four MKS 180 multi-role warships worth around four billion Euros, better suited for waging distant wars more effectively and over more extended periods. Other armament projects, such as a German-French battle tank, serve the consolidation of the EU’s arms industries or – as with the “Euro-drone” – are aimed at achieving more independence from the US arms industry. The A 400M Airbus airlifter crash in early May is seen by observers in the context of these efforts to achieve autonomy.