- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

BRUSSELS (AP) - 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 defense spending.

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