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Germany sees continued issues with readiness of submarines, aircraft

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By Reuters
Germany sees continued issues with readiness of submarines, aircraft
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen leaves a submarine during her visit of the naval forces of German army "Bundeswehr" in Eckernfoerde, Schleswig-Holstein, July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer (GERMANY - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)   -   Copyright  Fabian Bimmer(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – The readiness of Germany’s weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018 overall, but its submarines, heavy-lift helicopters and Tornado fighter jets faced continued challenges, the German Defence Ministry told lawmakers on Monday.

For instance, Germany had zero submarines that were ready for operations for five months in the first half of 2018, although three of its six submarines were now ready for action, the top uniformed officer in the German military told lawmakers in a letter accompanying the ministry’s annual readiness report.

He said there had been no improvement in the low readiness of the air force’s ageing CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and its Tornado fighter jets, which face a shortage of spare parts, obsolescence of other parts, and long maintenance times.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Tassilo Hummel)