Bowing under economical burden the german Government plans deep cuts in defense spending, dramatically reducing planned procurement of main weapon systems and platforms. Overall the personnel level in military services will be reduced from 185,000 to 65,000, to include only professional service members. Among the hardest hit industry group will be EADS, with its Eurofighter Typhoon, NH90, Tiger helicopters and Euro Hawk drones affected, all programs are managed by EADS subsidiaries.
Among the planned cuts recommended by German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere are reduction of 37 planned orders of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, reducing the number Typhoons to be fielded by the Luftwaffe to 140. The Army will lose 60 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, reducing the total procurement to 350, and the fleet of Tiger combat helicopters will be slashed by half, from 80 to 40. The number of NH90 helicopters to be operated by the services will also drop by 40 to 80 helicopters.
Germany will also reduce the number of unmanned aerial systems from 22 to 16 (the German Air Force currently operates the Heron UAV). The Luftwaffe will also be required to trim the number of ‘Euro Hawk’ High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones by two aircraft, operating the SIGINT unit with only four aircraft.
The group hardest by these cuts is EADS, with its Eurofighter, Eurocopter and Casidian subsidiaries involved in the Typhoon, Tiger, NH-90 and Euro Hawk programs. The leading German armored vehicle manufacturers Germany’s Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) will share the loss over the Puma program reduction while Rheinmetall Defense may also be affected by the drop in UAS orders. International companies affected are Britain’s BAE Systems, and Italy’s Finmeccanica sharing the Eurofighter Typhoon program and U.S. based Northrop Grumman, manufacturing the Euro Hawk system.