skip to main content

Feature: Germany restructures and rearms Bundeswehr

German Heimatschutz forces receiving special training. (Bundeswehr/Victoria Stark)

Germany's restructuring and rearming of the Bundeswehr, the country's armed forces, is taking shape, financed by the EUR100 billion (USD106.9 billion) Sondervermögen special fund approved after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. However, there is much to be done, and German Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius is calling for another EUR6.5 billion in defence spending as the Sondervermögen is spent.

Debating the annual report of the parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr, currently Eva Högl, in the Bundestag – Germany's parliament – on 24 April 2024 Pistorius said a significant and continuous increase in the defence budget was necessary to give the Bundeswehr more firepower. Otherwise, he warned, the momentum gained after Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a Zeitenwende (turning point) following Russia's invasion of Ukraine would be lost, and the Bundeswehr's re-equipment programme would grind to a halt in 2025. Pistorius said that the Sondervermögen for the Bundeswehr was only the starting point for giving it greater firepower. He called for financial support for the planned equipping and arming of the Bundeswehr in the coming years.

Pistorius noted his agenda includes the restructuring of not only the Bundeswehr, but also the Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (Federal Ministry of Defence: BMVg) and the civilian domain, with a focus on national and alliance defence and a clear division of responsibilities. He expected the new structure to be fully functional within a year, with a new support command, four armed services, and a support domain.

Four branches

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...