Germany to replace bombers with US-made F-35s
Germany announced on Monday that it will replace its fleet of Tornado bombers with U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets.
“The F-35 gives us a unique potential to cooperate with our NATO allies and other partners in Europe,” Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said, as translated by Germany’s mission to NATO.
Berlin is looking to replace its fleet of Tornados by 2030, according to the mission.
Germany’s current Tornado fighter jets have been in use since the 1980s and are jointly designed by Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to a statement from Germany’s defense ministry.
With the acquisition of the F-35 jets, manufactured by Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, Germany’s mission to NATO said the country will still be able to participate in nuclear sharing.
Germany does not have nuclear weapons, but under NATO’s nuclear sharing agreement, it hosts U.S.-owned nuclear weapons that it is supposed to carry in the event of a conflict. According to Reuters, it is believed that the U.S. has stored around 20 nuclear bombs at the German air base Beuchel.
In addition to the fighter jets, Germany will also update its Eurofighter jets so that they have the capability of electronic warfare.
“With the F-35 and the further development of the Eurofighter for electronic warfare, [the Air Force] is very-well prepared for the future,” German Air Force Chief Ingo Gerhartz said.
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