As Federal Defense Minister, Christine Lambrecht has had to take a lot of criticism. In an interview with “Welt am Sonntag” she explains what she wants to improve in her department. When asked about her future, she answers vaguely.

After about a year in office, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht sees room for improvements in her ministry. Your employees did a great job, says the SPD politician in the “Welt am Sonntag”.

“But I believe that we in the entire Bundeswehr must learn to live the turning point even more strongly.” This includes strengthening personal responsibility, sometimes going unconventional paths and not always immediately explaining why something is not working.

“We have to get even better there.” Overall, however, the minister had the feeling that things had arrived, that things could not go on as before. “And I also experience many motivated people in our business area who want to change something.”

A good deal of progress has already been made on procurement issues, for example. After the debacle surrounding the recent failure of the series production of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle developed in Germany, which still has serious defects, Lambrecht said she didn’t want any special German solutions.

“I want solutions that are right for the Bundeswehr.” She is convinced that the future of German armaments lies in joint projects and not in purely national developments.

That is why they also want to develop the next-generation combat aircraft at European level. In order to replace the 2000 self-propelled howitzers sent to Ukraine, talks are being held with the industry. “It’s clear that we need a replacement.”

According to Lambrecht, the question is whether to buy exactly these systems again – or better ones. “If further development leads to everything becoming more and more vulnerable, then I tend to rely on the tried and tested.”

The head of department also spoke to the “Welt am Sonntag” about ammunition – Lambrecht had repeatedly emphasized in the past that there was a lack of it.

“We are investing more in ammunition this year than we have in the last 20 years. We’ll top that in 2023,” she said. According to the minister, there is also an order plan for this.

At the same time, she acknowledged that there was a lack of ammunition depots. “The Bundeswehr lacks infrastructure everywhere,” says Lambrecht. Warehouses have been reactivated, but new capacities must also be built up.

In addition to the special fund of 100 billion euros, more funds are also needed in the Bundeswehr budget, said Lambrecht. Your “expensive operation” – like society as a whole – is affected by the sharp rise in prices.

The interview with “Welt am Sonntag” was not just about weapons and ammunition, but also about the criticism that the minister had to take again and again.

What does it do to her to be pilloried like no other member of government? “I took on an office that I knew would be a tough one to drill through,” said Lambrecht.

“That’s one of the reasons why I accepted this challenge.” When asked whether she would still be Federal Minister of Defense in a year, Lambrecht answered rather evasively.

“My goal is to have the Bundeswehr ready for cold starts by the end of this legislative period – significantly better equipped, appropriately staffed and much faster in procurement than before,” she said. She will face this task with all her might.