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Germany discuss the f-35 Acquisition plan

Germany discuss the f-35 Acquisition plan

Germany has restarted to discuss how to replace its Luftwaffe’s ageing Tornado fleet. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Electronic Combat Role (ECR) are the most probable options. This question marks a dramatic shift in defence policy as F-35 and Eurofighter ECR returned to the discussion table. 

  It was reported on 8 January that the country’s new Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht had told Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the F-35 and Eurofighter ECR were again being considered replacements for the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado Interdiction and Strike/Electronic Combat Reconnaissance aircraft.

“The aim is to clarify again whether buying the more modern F-35 aircraft could be an alternative, and whether the Eurofighter [Electronic Combat Role (ECR)] could [also] be considered for a second task for the Tornado fleet [of] electronic combat,” Lambrecht was reported by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur to have told Scholz.

Germany discuss the f-35 Acquisition plan

Three years ago, Germany had decided not to go for the F-35 option. The then Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen decided in January 2019 that both the already introduced Eurofighter and the US aircraft F / A-18 could be successors to the Tornado. The F-35 was thus expressly off the table. Leyen did not conclude. Her successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer made a final decision.

The role of the Tornado as a carrier for atomic bombs, the so-called nuclear participation, is the politically most difficult point for the succession decision. However, for the Air Force, replacing the old aircraft’s other uses, especially electronic warfare, is just as important and even a little more urgent in terms of time.

The Air Force urgently hopes for a quick decision and then quickly procuring a machine for electronic attack, electronic warfare - and relies on that Growler.