Germany wants to equip its air force with United States-built F-35 stealth fighter jets, government sources have told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
The aircraft from U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin are to be procured as the successor model to the Tornado fleet introduced more than 40 years ago, the sources said Monday.
The F-35 is considered the world’s most modern combat aircraft. Due to a special shape and outer coating, the machine is difficult for enemy radar to detect.
The sources said the German armed forces plan to buy up to 35 of the stealth jets.
The Berlin government appears to have rethought and dismissed earlier concerns that the purchase of the F-35 aircraft could counteract joint plans with France to build a joint European combat aircraft (Future Combat Air System).
In the case of the F-35, it was recently pointed out that NATO partners in Europe also use the jet and that “synergy effects” are possible in operation.
The current government had set out to replace the Tornado aircraft in the coalition agreement drawn up after the federal elections in September.
Dogged by reports of outdated and depleted equipment for years, the German military is currently in the process of updating its equipment.
Last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a massive boost in defense spending that he said will bring the nation’s investments above the key 2% commitment of GDP, as the Ukraine conflict forces Berlin to rethink its foreign policy.
Scholz said the German army would receive €100 billion euros ($113 billion) for investments and armament projects from the federal budget.
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