The German Defence Industry – a solid pillar in support of security

It is a distinct honour to address the readers of th

Issue 12 - October 2008

Moreover, technological expertise paired with innovation potential often results in leadership on a systems scale as well as to global success of SMEs with niche products.
Military requirements are the base for forces’ capabilities. Maintaining key areas of defence technology is vital to ensure national security interests. Therefore, the German MOD and the German Defence Industry have agreed on the necessity to maintain a set of defined key defence technological capabilities within the national defence industry.
Innovation potential insures that the German Defence Industry ranks in top positions across the majority of fields in defence and security technology. This supports safeguarding the employment of above 80.000 people in globally operating German companies as well as in supporting and independently operating SMEs. Moreover, it adds considerably to the added value in Germany’s economy.
However, to maintain this status, Germany – as well as other countries – needs to better realize that the economy, prosperity and, moreover, security is increasingly dependant on the secure flow of import and export goods in a global context. This holds true for countries like Germany in particular, since the lack of natural resources requires imports at a high degree as well as the industrial capacities imply an equally high dependence on the export of products.
In this context, Germany is overwhelmingly thankful to Turkey to – in many years – having acquired and introduced military systems of German provenance in the Turkish Armed Forces. On the other hand, there is pride that these systems are and will be of consistent effectiveness and reliability.
The German Defence Industry is well suited to provide the technology necessary for operations in the field, at sea or in the air as well as for safeguarding the lines of trade communication, mainly needed at sea, but also essential on land or in the air.
Terrorisme is dominating the so called asymmetric challenges which need to be countered at all times, which need to be countered effectively!
In addition, piracy at sea is increasing dramatically, developing a dimension which is bound to negatively influence international trade security.
Defence technology must enable forces to deliver adequate operational capabilities needed for the variety of missions ranging from classical warfare to countering assymetric threats.
Today, the defence market is more competitive than ever. This is a tough challenge to defence industries in Germany and elsewhere.
Despite this fact and despite of differing legal frameworks for export in countries with competing defence industries, where strong political support measures are in place, the German Defence Industry has still been able to keep a top position amongst its competitors – be it in land, air, maritime technology including electrics, electronics, communications and weapons technology.
However, in the interest of all Defence Industries, Germany strongly underlines the necessity to create a common framework for export within and outside the European Union. Fair rules and regulations in binding export legislation are needed badly. A level playing field is overdue.
In regard to Turkish-German defence industrial relations, we are looking forward to April 2009, when German companies will be presenting their products in the German Pavilion during IDEF 2009 at the Istanbul Tuyap Fair, Convention and Congress Centre.