News / World

Germany plans NATO deals for military planes, subs

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, center, motions toward U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, prior to a group photo of the Enhanced Forward Presence members at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence is an allied, forward deployed defense and deterrence posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern member states. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, center, motions toward U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, prior to a group photo of the Enhanced Forward Presence members at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence is an allied, forward deployed defense and deterrence posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure NATO's Eastern member states. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

BRUSSELS — Germany has signed a series of agreements with its NATO partners to jointly buy transport aircraft and submarines and develop new weapons.

Details of the agreements seen by The Associated Press Thursday show Germany aims to buy eight Airbus A330 transport planes along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg if Norway and Belgium also sign up.

NATO allies have long struggled to find enough transport planes to deploy troops and equipment.

Germany and Norway plan to buy six submarines together and replace their aging missile systems.

Berlin will also work together with France to set up a smaller air transport unit aimed at supporting special operations and for helping German nationals in trouble abroad.

It comes as the United States presses its NATO allies to increase defence spending.