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Germany decides to buy F-35, in major reversal of announced plans

Messerschmitt

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Germany decides to buy F-35, in major reversal of announced plans

The decision amounts to a massive reversal for Germany, which eliminated the F-35 as an option for its Tornado replacement in 2019.​


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Airmen from the 388th Fighter Wing prepare to launch out an F-35A from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 14, 2022. (U.S. Air Force/Capt. Kip Sumner)

WASHINGTON: In a major reversal seemingly driven by the crisis in Ukraine, the German defense ministry announced this morning that it will buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace a portion of its aging Panavia Tornado fighters.

The decision is a major win for F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin, as Germany had ruled the F-35 out of the Tornado replacement contest in 2019. Instead, defense officials had floated the idea of replacing the Tornado with a mix of Eurofighter Typhoons and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, the latter of which would be outfitted with equipment making it capable of carrying B61 nuclear bombs.

However, the F-35 has come out on top, with Defense Minister Christine Lambrech announcing this morning that Germany would purchase the F-35 for the nuclear sharing mission, replacing its nuclear-capable Tornados by 2030.


“The F-35 offers a unique potential for cooperation with our NATO allies and other partners in Europe,” Lambrech said during the news conference this morning, according to German news outlet Deutsche Welle.

As part of a NATO nuclear sharing agreement, Germany has historically kept a portion of its Tornado fleet as “dual capable aircraft” capable of launching both conventional munitions as well as dropping nuclear bombs. Reuters reported that Germany will buy up to 35 JSFs to fill this role.

Lambrech added that Germany would continue to develop the Eurofighter for the electronic warfare role “so that important key technology remains in Germany and in Europe.” It will also continue to develop its sixth-generation Future Combat Air System with France, she said.

Justin Bronk, a technology research fellow at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, said that Germany’s decision is “very logical”, as a fourth-generation aircraft like the Super Hornet would not be able to penetrate into the airspace of a peer adversary like Russia to drop B61s as the stealthy F-35 can.

However, he noted that the decision is also significant for geopolitical reasons.

“It is indicative of the depths of the political earthquake that has been prompted in Germany by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Bronk said.

Previously, “Berlin had not only taken a strong political stance against F-35 and sacked the former head of the Luftwaffe for publicly supporting its acquisition, but had also previously refused to engage with practical discussions of any kind around the operational delivery of the DCA [dual capable aircraft] mission,” he said. “This is a clear sign that all that has now changed.”

The news was cause for celebration for Lockheed Martin, as the F-35 has now won every fighter contest it had entered, with Germany previously standing alone as the sole holdout.

“We are proud of the confidence the German Federal Ministry of Defense and Luftwaffe officials have shown in choosing the F-35,” the company said in a statement. “Lockheed Martin values our strong partnership and history with the German Air Force and looks forward to continuing that partnership.”

Source: BREAKING DEFENSE

^ The Luftwaffe will get 35 F-35 fighter jets and 15 additional Eurofighter jets.
 

Ali_Baba

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About bloody time - thankfully they did not waste time trying to convert the typhoon to do that role of buy the bug for it. Best to focus on 6th gen with their cash - alongside more AWACs/Tanks/UCAVs etc ... Germany is seriously behind in their military capability ..
 

NotSure

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This is a huge mistake in many, many ways. Instead of going the sovereign way, our corrupt transatlantic apparatshiks choosed the way to sponser the american MIC. With our money. Surprise, surprise.

And i am not even talking about making germany to a top priority target for russian nuclear strikes with this complete retarded "nukleare Teilhabe" without a sense. This is the definition of an usefull idiot, but on the geopolitcal scale. Germany is going full retard, and not the first time ...
 

dBSPL

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Germany struggled for too long not to be a part of the F-35 project. Unfortunately, Russia-US tension has had and will have many side effects for Germany.
 

Beny Karachun

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This is a huge mistake in many, many ways. Instead of going the sovereign way, our corrupt transatlantic apparatshiks choosed the way to sponser the american MIC. With our money. Surprise, surprise.

And i am not even talking about making germany to a top priority target for russian nuclear strikes with this complete retarded "nukleare Teilhabe" without a sense. This is the definition of an usefull idiot, but on the geopolitcal scale. Germany is going full retard, and not the first time ...
F-35 is just superior to pretty much any other known jet, even the F-22, in air superiority and stealthy strike missions.
 

nahtanbob

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so the plot worked for usa pushed russia to war and start milking the rich europe 😅

it is amazing no one takes responsibility for their actions. it is always America's or West's fault

This is a huge mistake in many, many ways. Instead of going the sovereign way, our corrupt transatlantic apparatshiks choosed the way to sponser the american MIC. With our money. Surprise, surprise.

And i am not even talking about making germany to a top priority target for russian nuclear strikes with this complete retarded "nukleare Teilhabe" without a sense. This is the definition of an usefull idiot, but on the geopolitcal scale. Germany is going full retard, and not the first time ...

100 f-35s is $10 billion. Germany spends more on refugees from 3rd world countries
 

aviator_fan

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And America gets to make money from the Ukraine war. Is that why they sacrificed Ukraine?
For the conspiracy theorists, Finland and Switzerland (neither parts of of NATO) decided on F-35 way before the Ukarine invasion. No 'plot' had to work to land a measly order of 35 F-35s.
The countries feel that despite its 2-3x per hour flying cost, limited payload in stealth mode, and half the radius of 4G, the whole 'sensor fusion, stealth' must be a differentiator for the non-NATO countries. This is a surprise given how Lockheed had to politically manipulate the Government to assure its work, including making sure there was a component supplier in every major congressional district. You don't go to such great lengths IF you have the best platform but they did.
Ultimately, what is strange about Germany is the rapid fire decision without a full evaluation. Switzerland/Finland took years to arrive at the decision. Germany must feel that if its good enough for every NATO country and some non-NATO western oriented countries, they should bypass the 2 year evaluation and go on faith that interoperability alone is a good enough reason to get it and they can easily afford it.
 

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