BERLIN — Germany plans to buy more than 100 Australian-made combat vehicles as it moves ahead with plans to modernize its armed forces, the government said Thursday.
German and Australian officials signed an agreement to cooperate on the procurement of the new combat reconnaissance vehicles, based on the Boxer family of armored fighting vehicles and equipped with a 30mm gun. The aim is for deliveries to start in 2025, the German Defence Ministry said.
The value of the agreement was not readily available. However, the ministry said the money will come from a special €100 billion (U.S. $108 billion) fund for the modernization of the military that Germany approved after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
The new vehicles will replace the German Army’s Wiesel 2 armored vehicles, the Defence Ministry said. Germany’s military is widely acknowledged to be suffering from years of neglect and in particular from aging, poorly functioning equipment.
The German government has faced criticism for making a slow start to spending the special fund, but has said that €30 billion was already committed to contracts.
In December, German lawmakers gave the go-ahead for a series of procurement projects including the purchase of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets.