Wednesday 19 July 2023

Zeitenwende In Facts And Figures - A List Of German Arms Acquisitions

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
In a special address to the Bundestag on the 27th of February 2022, Chancellor Olaf Scholz referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a Zeitenwende (meaning: turning point) in the history of Europe. In his speech, Scholz reaffirmed Germany's commitment to spending 2% of its GDP on defence in 2024. Additionally, the German government set up a €100 billion fund for immediate investments in its military. Nonetheless, those expecting the return to an army boasting thousands of tanks and hundreds of combat aircraft are likely to find their expectations unfulfilled. Considering the serious weakening of Russia's Armed Forces and the significant military investments made by frontline NATO member states like Poland and Romania, it is debatable whether the acquisition of hundreds of additional tanks would be the best approach to strengthen NATO's deterrence in the first place. Instead, investments into weapons systems that other EU states lack, and bolstering the strength of other NATO member states (and Ukraine) through equipment donations, offer an alternative path for Germany to get the most bang for its euro.

This article attempts to list ongoing equipment acquisitions by the German Army, Air Force and Navy. This list focuses on heavy weaponry and doesn't include ATGMs, MANPADS, radars, mini-UAVs, trucks and ammunition. When deemed appropriate, the future quantity of the equipment category is given. This number includes both future equipment acquisitions as well as equipment already in service. This list is updated as new acquisitions are reported.

Army - Heer

Tanks (Future Quantity: 328)

  • Tyskland 18 Leopard 2A8s [To be delivered between 2026 and 2027] (To supplement 310 Leopard 2A6(Ms)/A7s)
  • Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) Programme [To enter service from the mid-2030s onwards] (To eventually replace the Leopard 2)

Infantry Fighting Vehicles (Future Quantity: ~600)

Armoured Fighting Vehicles


Specialist Armoured Vehicles

Light Strike Vehicles

Artillery And Multiple Rocket Launchers (Future Quantity: 228 SPGs And ~80 MRLs)

  • Tyskland 22(+6 As Option) 155mm PzH 2000s SPGs [To be delivered from 2025 onwards] (To supplement 86 PzH 2000s already in service)
  • Tyskland Mid-Life Update Of 86 PzH 2000s With New Electronics, Climate Control System, Night Vision, Roof Armour And An Improved Munition Loading System [To be completed by 2028/2029]
  • Tyskland Programme To Acquire 120 Wheeled SPGs [Planned Acquisition] [Candidates: RCH-155 and ATI]
  • Tyskland Programme To Acquire New MLRS [Planned Acquisition] [Candidates: Euro PULS and Euro HIMARS] (Will replace 35 MARS II MLRS. To be equipped with 500km-ranged JFS-M GLCMs)

Air Defence Systems (Future Quantity: 30 SPAAGs And 32 SAM Launchers)

Electronic Warfare Systems

  • Missing flag.png Programme To Acquire Long-Range Electronic Warfare Systems [Planned Acquisition]

Armoured Engineering Vehicles


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Tyskland 45 Luna NG Surveillance UAVs [To be delivered by the mid-2020s] (Will supplement 20 Luna NGs already in service. Will eventually replace the LUNA and KZO)



Air Force - Luftwaffe

Fighter Aircraft (Future Quantity: ~185)

  • 38 Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 4s [To be delivered in the late 2020s] (Will replace 31 Eurofighter Tranche 1s)
  • 35 F-35As [To be delivered from 2026 onwards] (Will replace 68 Tornado IDS'. Carrier of B61-12 nuclear bombs)
  • Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Programme [To enter service from ~2040 onwards] (To eventually replace the Eurofighter Typhoon)


SEAD Aircraft (Future Quantity: 15)

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (Future Quantity: 21)

  • 5 Heron TPs [Conversion Ongoing] (Based in Israel)
  • 21 Eurodrones [To be delivered from the early 2030s onwards] (To replace the 5 Heron TPs)

Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) And ISR Aircraft (Future Quantity: 3)

Transport And Tanker Aircraft (Future Quantity: 50 (Excluding VIP Aircraft))


Transport Helicopters (Future Quantity: 75)

Reconnaissance Satellites (Future Quantity: 3)


Air Defence Systems (Future Quantity: 1 Arrow 3 ABM System, 11 Patriot Batteries, 6 IRIS-T SLM Systems)

Navy - Deutsche Marine

 Frigates (Future Quantity: 15)

Corvettes (Future Quantity: 6)


Small Arsenal Ships (Future Quantity: Up To 18)


Attack Submarines (Future Quantity: 6 To 9)

Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Future Quantity: Up To 6)


Signal And Electronic Intelligence Ships (Future Quantity: 3)

  • 3 Type 424-Class' [Will be delivered from 2027 onwards] (Will replace 3 Oste-class SIGINT/ELINT ships)

Combat Support Ships (Future Quantity: 12)


Minehunters (Quantity: Up To 12)

  • 6 Programme To Acquire Up To 12 Minehunters [To be delivered from the late 2020s onwards] (Will replace 2 Ensdorf-class and 10 Frankenthal-class minehunters. Will be equipped with unmanned USVs for mine-clearing)

Fast Assault Craft (Future Quantity: 15)

  • Missing flag.png Programme To Acquire 15 Fast Assault Craft [Planned Acquisition] [Candidates: CB90 and Watercat M18 AMC]

Maritime Patrol And Reconnaissance Aircraft (Future Quantity: 8)


Unmanned Maritime Patrol And Reconnaissance Aircraft (Future Quantity: 6)


Helicopters (Future Quantity: 49)

  • European Union 31 NHI NH90 Sea Tigers [To be delivered from 2025 onwards] (Will replace 21 Westland Lynx Mk.88s)

Unmanned Helicopters

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