Germany drafts Ä9bn defence savings plan

German defence ministry experts have drawn up a list of potential
in weapons and equipment worth Ä9.3bn in the long-term,
according to newspaper reports.

German daily Bild reported the
number of A400M military transport aircraft would be reduced and 15
Transall transport planes taken out of service immediately.

Under the proposal, Germany would buy only 80 NH-90 helicopters instead
of the planned 122 and halve the number of new Tiger attack helicopters
to 40.

Bild and business daily Handelsblatt reported the plan
included buying 37 fewer Eurofighter combat jets than originally
planned.

Handelsblatt said the 23-page document recommended
placing no orders for EADS's Talarion UAV and instead ordering Saateg AA
Male drones, in what would be a further blow for the French-German
company.

Bild said the plan recommended Defence Minister
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg reduce the number of Tornados in the air
force to 85 from 185 as quickly as possible, the newspaper said.

The German navy should take eight frigates, 10 speedboats and 21 Sea
King helicopters out of service in the medium to longer-term and order
only three instead of four new class 125 frigates, Bild reported the
savings plan as saying.

The US-European MEADS missile
development programme would not be affected, the paper said.

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