Procurement of Military Goods
The defense budget for the Federal Republic of Germany, also known as Section 14, sets the financial framework for the Federal Minister of Defense’s division.
For companies which have a business relationship with the German Armed Forces, the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) is the contact partner for contract awarding.
Based on Article 87b of the German Constitution, BWB’s work covers the complete requirements of the Armed Forces as far as military equipment is concerned: From satellite systems to battle tanks and frigates, to cartridges for small arms weapons or multifunctional combat clothing, the Koblenz authorities are responsible for the management of all arms programs and providing the armed forces with approximately 1.8 million different products or articles. Projects in the Information Management and Information Technology departments which are supervised by the German Armed Forces' IT office represent an exception to this. Construction programs are also not the responsibility of the Koblenz authority, but instead belong to the area of responsibility of the Federal State planning departments.
From an organizational point of view, the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement is a civil authority subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) Arms department, responsible for (almost) all military procurement contracts for the Armed Forces. Projects in the areas of information management and information technology represent an exception, as these belong to the area of responsibility of the Federal Office for Information Management and Information Technology of the Armed Forces (IT-AmtBw).
Under direction of the BWB (President/Vice President with the directly assigned key departments of central controlling and internal revision), the BWB is divided into four project departments which support what is known as the project area. This was set up in 2005 to manage the transformation process and the high technical requirements which network centric warfare (NetOpFü) poses with regard to equipment and materials. The project departments represent the spectrum of military tasks in the Armed Forces, and thereby also the diversity of their requirements. In addition, there are a further three service departments which are responsible for the central administration and the economic and technical tasks of the BWB as well as strategic purchasing for the Armed Forces.
With the political changes of the early 1990s, the challenges increased, not only with respect to the equipment to be procured, but also for the BWB employees. Whether in the Balkans, the Horn of Africa, the Hindu Kush or in other deployment locations far from home – the Armed Forces’ equipment and material must be operational in the most varied conditions without any problems. After all, it is exceptionally important that the users, that is the soldiers, can depend on the functionality and the reliability of the technology – especially when the conditions under which they have to carry out their duties are anything but optimal. As well as the need for high resilience in the most varied climate areas, it must be possible to link the Armed Forces' complex systems with those of alliance partners to a large extent.
In other words: It is a highly complex spectrum of tasks for which the employees of the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement develop solutions together with the industrial system partners, such as the Rheinmetall Group in Düsseldorf and its Defence division.