14 March, 2022

Germany look to buy up to 35 F-35 fighter jets

Photo Lockheed Martin

News agency Reuters has reported that Germany is all set to buy up to 35 Lockheed Martin F35 fighter jets to replace its ageing Tornado aircraft, according to two government sources.

A German defence source told Reuters in early February that Germany was leaning toward purchasing the F35, which will be a blow for Boeing, who believed its F18 was favoured by former German defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to replace the Tornado.

The decision could also upset France. Paris has watched Germany's deliberations over the F-18 or more advanced F-35, concerned a deal could undermine the development of a joint Franco-German fighter jet that is supposed to be ready in the 2040s.  Chancellor Olaf Scholz two weeks ago backed the ongoing joint programme with Paris.  At the time, Scholz also announced that the Eurofighter jet, built by Franco-German Airbus, would be developed further to be capable of electronic warfare, a role the Tornado also fulfils.

Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke & Sabine Siebold.

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