The billion-euro program to upgrade the Bundeswehr can start. After the Bundestag, the Bundesrat also decided on the necessary amendment to the Basic Law on Friday. This allows loans of 100 billion euros to be taken out, bypassing the debt brake, in order to better equip the armed forces.

The states voted with the required two-thirds majority for the amendment to the Basic Law. They then also passed the law for the establishment of the special fund, from which the financing is to take place.

A new Article 87a is included in the Basic Law. He regulates the borrowing for the special fund without the debt brake. The money will be used to buy new planes, helicopters, ships, tanks and ammunition in the coming years. But it is also about equipment such as night vision devices and radios.

Some armament projects have already been initiated: These include the planned purchase of F-35 stealth aircraft and the procurement of 60 CH-47F heavy transport helicopters for the air transport of soldiers and material.

The Bundeswehr is finally getting the equipment it deserves, said Bavaria’s Federal and Europe Minister Florian Herrmann (CSU) as the only speaker at the Bundesrat meeting. “Today is a good day for the Bundeswehr and for the security of our country. We are taking a big step towards a powerful Bundeswehr that we can rely on, even given the changed threat situation.”

The German government is reacting to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Years of savings in the Bundeswehr and its focus on foreign missions have led to the fact that the troops today have significant deficits in national and alliance defense. Tanks, planes and ships are partly outdated or not ready for use. This is also painfully evident when it comes to the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. According to the official statement, the Bundeswehr has hardly anything that it can do without and which it can relinquish.

The Bundeswehr is now to become a fully operational army. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced the massive build-up a few days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The additional investments should also ensure that Germany meets NATO’s two percent target, i.e. invests at least two percent of its economic output in defense, at least on average for several years.