Thursday, November 30, 2017

Armed forces of EU countries facing reduced, outdated military equipment

European armies are losing their strength, most of their military equipment are outdated and almost half of them are not available, a new report revealed on Thursday.

The report titled -- Building the European Armed Forces of the Future: More European, More Connected and More Capable -- was a joint work by the Munich Security Conference (MSC), McKinsey & Company and the Hertie School of Governance.

"Europe’s armed forces are faced with reduced and outdated equipment, including materiel stock shortages, as well as a general availability crisis. These challenges are exacerbated by undertrained military personnel,” the report said.

The EU countries had powerful air forces 25 years ago with 5,418 military planes and helicopters, but this has reduced to 2,486 today, largely due to cuts in defense budgets, operational malfunctions or delays in new projects.

Outdated Tornado jets and the CH-53G transport helicopters were still in use, going far beyond their planned operating life of about 30 years, it said.

"In some states, up to half of helicopters or infantry fighting vehicles are not deployable,” the report noted, adding that the armies were also overwhelmed by contributions made to various international security and peacekeeping missions.

Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, has warned that the Europeans had long relied on the U.S. on defense matters but Washington had started reducing its involvement in European security.

"We are almost 500 million Europeans and still largely depend on 330 million Americans for protection and for diplomatic initiatives that are essential for European security,” he said.
Story here. 

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