Germany Brings Back Vintage Armoured Vehicles After New Replacements Suffer Mass Break Down

GRAFENWOEHR, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: A railway worker checks Marder light tanks of the Bun
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BERLIN (AP) – Defense officials said Monday that Germany is readying decades-old armored personnel carriers for a key NATO unit after the modern vehicles that should have been deployed suffered a mass breakdown.

Germany is scheduled to take the rotating lead of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, or VJTF, on Jan. 1.

The German army’s 37th Panzergrenadier Brigade had originally earmarked dozens of modern Puma APCs for the force, but during a recent military exercise all 18 Pumas deployed suffered technical failures.

MUNSTER, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 07: German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht stands next to a Puma infantry fighting vehicle as she attends a demonstration of capabilities of the 9th Panzer Training Brigade during a visit to the Bundeswehr Army training grounds on February 07, 2022 in Munster, Germany. Lambrecht confirmed today that Germany will send additional Bundeswehr troops to Lithuania, where it leads a NATO contingent. NATO member countries have been sending troops and military hardware to NATO member countries across eastern Europe as a signal that it is taking the current Russian troop buildup on the Russian and Belarusian borders to Ukraine seriously. The buildup has caused international fears of a possible, imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A Defense Ministry spokesman said the ailing Pumas will now be replaced with much older Marder vehicles.

“We have made commitments toward NATO that we will fulfill with those APCs,” the spokesman, David Helmbold, told reporters in Berlin.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht called the Puma breakdowns “a harsh setback” and ordered a halt to additional purchases of them.

“Our troops need to be able to rely on weapons systems being robust and stable even in combat,” she added.


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