According to Reuters, the German parliament’s budget committee on Wednesday postponed a decision on a 1-billion-euro ($1.11 billion) funding package for the military, including a deal to lease Israeli-made armed drones.
The committee nonetheless approved 11 billion euros of purchases for the armed forces, including five corvette warships for two billion euros.
The Defence Ministry had warned against delays, saying the purchases were urgently needed to modernize an army weakened by years of spending cuts.
Christine Lambrecht, a lawmaker from the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), had earlier said that the budget committee would delay a decision on the whole funding package as her party needed more time for consultations.
Defence minister Ursula von der Leyen is eager to get the requests approved before a September 24 general election as delays could further hobble a military trying to rebuild after years of post-Cold War cuts and prepare for added responsibilities.
The SPD are junior coalition partners of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU and their Bavaria-based sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
After the postponement, Von der Leyen told ARD television that the procurement of the Israeli drones, favored by the military because they are compatible with models they already own, was still under discussion.