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Germany plans to spend 2% of GDP on defence starting in 2024

German defence spending, 2020–27. (Janes)

The German government on 5 July approved a EUR51.8 billion (USD56.8 billion) draft defence budget, as well as the multi-year financial plan up to 2027 and the 2024 plan for the Zeitwende special fund. This would meet NATO's target for members to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence starting in 2024, representing an increase of EUR1.7 billion from 2023 and EUR7.3 billion more than the previous financial plan, the German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) said in a press release announcing the budget increase on 5 July. The approval also confirmed Germany's strategy of investing about one-fifth of the nominal EUR100 billion Zeitenwende special fund approved after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said that his ministry, together with the Federal Ministry of Finance, had assured that the Bundeswehr continues to be modernised and properly equipped, initially funded by the Zeitwende special fund. He noted that parliamentary approval of funding of “a high number” of projects costing over EUR25 million had provided the conditions for their rapid implementation. “However, after the special fund is exhausted, we will urgently need a significant increase in the regular defence budget,” he said.

The BMVg said the budget increases take into account operating the Bundeswehr as well as preserving and developing its capabilities. It plans to invest EUR19.2 billion of the special fund in 2024 in projects including the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, Type 424 intelligence gathering vessels, F126 frigates, K130 corvettes, F-35 and Eurofighter combat aircraft, ground-based air defence with IRIS-T SLM (Surface-Launched Medium-Range) systems, the NH90 helicopter, Digitisation of Land-Based Operations (D-LBO), satellite communications, and ammunition.

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