Enlarge image

Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf: Appeal inadmissible

Photo: Marius Becker / dpa

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has approved the procurement practice for equipping the Bundeswehr with digital radios. The major order, which is expected to have a volume of around one billion euros, was awarded to the Munich-based company Rohde & Schwarz. The French Thales Group had come away empty-handed and had lodged a complaint against the direct award.

The appeal has now been dismissed as inadmissible by the Higher Regional Court. The Public Procurement Senate, chaired by Judge Christine Maimann, had already expressed formal concerns during the oral hearing. However, the substance of the complaint has also been dealt with, she said.

The court wanted to announce the reasoning in the course of the day. However, the specific modalities are classified as secret. How many devices are involved and whether the rumored order volume of around one billion euros is correct already falls under secrecy, as those involved in the lawsuit said.

Bundeswehr rejects problems with installation

However, it is assumed that the Bundeswehr intends to equip tens of thousands of vehicles, from tanks to off-road vehicles, with digital radios. Rohde & Schwarz has been supplying equipment since January. As the newspaper Die Welt had reported, there were said to have been major problems with the installation of the devices. However, Lieutenant General Michael Vetter rejected this on the sidelines of the hearing. The dimensions were tested and specified for 200 different vehicle types.

The digitalization of radio communications in the Bundeswehr is part of the so-called special fund of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr, with which the government is responding to Russia's attack on Ukraine. A double-digit billion sum is planned for digital networking with several projects.

Due to the war in Ukraine, the German government had changed its approach and dispensed with a lengthy award procedure – and awarded the contract directly. Previously, the Federal Cartel Office's Public Procurement Senate had already rejected the challenge as unfounded. The decision is therefore final.