The Tiger helicopter is one of nine major German projects that will be reviewed by a civil consortium. (Airbus Helicopters)
BONN — A civil consortium will review nine major defense contracts worth more than €50 billion (US $68.2 billion) and provide recommendations broadly on project management, according to the Defense Ministry.
The consortium is led by auditing and consulting company KPMG. It also includes the management consulting and engineering services company P3 Ingenieurgesellschaft and the full-service law firm Taylor Wessing. The consortium was awarded a €1.37 million contract for the review.
“The consortium brings together expertise in the areas of economic, technical and legal advice,” the ministry stated. KPMG declined to comment on the project or fears uttered in German media of possible conflict of interest, as some of the defense companies involved are among its clients.
The nine projects to be reviewed are the Eurofighter combat aircraft, the A400M transport aircraft, the successor to the halted Eurohawk signals intelligence UAV, the Tiger attack helicopter, the NATO NH90 transport helicopter, the tactical air defense system to succeed the Medium Extended Air Defense System, the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, the F125 class frigate and the armed forces joint radio equipment.
Besides recommendations for the individual defense projects, the civil experts are supposed to offer advice on project management. This could lead to changes in the organization of Bundeswehr armament management.
“The consulting results will serve as a basis for decisions for the respective arms projects, the project management and measures for organizational development,” the ministry stated.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen ordered this review in February. At that time, she had dismissed the responsible state secretary in the ministry, Stéphane Beemelmans, as well as Detlef Selhausen, head of a department. One reason had been delays and cost increases of major projects.
The consulting contract is the result of a public tender. First findings of the investigations are expected by late October, and the relevant committees of the German parliament will be informed together with a first assessment of the ministry. ■