Germany to buy F-35 stealth fighter jets

1st major procurement project for modernization of German military after Russia's attack on Ukraine..

Germany to buy F-35 stealth fighter jets

The German government wants to equip their air force with F-35 stealth jets in a modernization program worth billions, the German Press Agency (dpa) cited government circles as saying in Berlin on Monday.

The Lockheed Martin combat jets are to be procured as the successor model to the Tornado fleet introduced more than 40 years ago.

The F-35 is considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world and is also purchased for the so-called nuclear participation of Germany, a NATO deterrent concept in which allies have access to US nuclear bombs.

The purchase of up to 35 stealth jets is part of the plan, according to the dpa report.

The Tornado, which has been used up until now, can only be kept operational with increasing effort.

This will be the first major procurement project for the modernization of the German military after Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Germany is also planning to buy 15 more Eurofighters. However, the manufacturer Airbus has to technically equip these in the next few years, a task which is considered extremely demanding.

Previously, the Defense Ministry's plans included purchasing the US F-18 aircraft, which has yet to be certified for use with nuclear weapons.

After talks between Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and Chancellor Olaf Scholz in January, a broader inspection order was issued and the F-35 was also considered. The F35 is already certified for nuclear weapons and equipped with limited electronic warfare.

Earlier concerns of the German government that the purchase of the F-35 could counteract the joint plans with France to build a European "combat aircraft of the future" (FCAS/ Future Combat Air System) have now receded into the background.

NATO partners in Europe also use F-35 and "synergy effects" are possible in operation.