Qatar is reportedly in discussions with Germany to purchase 200 Leopard-2 tanks at a cost of roughly $2.5 billion. In an email interview, Christian Mölling, an associate in the international security division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), discussed Germany’s arms industry.
WPR: What is the current state of Germany's arms industry?
Christian Mölling: German defense companies produce world-class products in the areas of armored vehicles and tanks as well as submarines and to some extent surface ships and electronics. There is no purely German company left in the aerospace sector, since they have been integrated into the multinational company EADS. The industry does not play a major role as a national economic factor as its contribution to German GDP is estimated at about 1 percent, employing only 60,000-80,000 people.