Germany is considering buying the U.S F-35 Lightning II fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin to replace its aging Tornado jets.
According to a Reuters report, a German defense source told that the final decision has not been taken.
According to information from the news agency “Reuters”, the chances of the F-35 have just increased.
“The F-35 is back in the running,” Reuters quoted an insider as saying. The federal government initially did not comment, the US government declined to comment.
The Air Force needs a bridging solution to nuclear sharing until the European fighter FCAS goes into series production. Most recently, a preliminary decision for the Boeing F-18 had emerged in Berlin – Boeing had offered to involve German companies in the billion-euro contract.
“German industrial partners will play an important role in providing support equipment, logistics and overall maintenance, components, local maintenance programs, training, and other relevant repair and overhaul solutions to Germany’s Super Hornet and Growler fleet,” the group said.
Germany needs to replace its ageing Tornado jets swiftly to remain part of NATO’s nuclear sharing agreement, something the new government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to do.
The Tornado is the only German jet capable of carrying U.S. nuclear bombs, stored in Germany, in case of a conflict. But the air force has been flying the jet since the 1980s, and Berlin is planning to phase it out between 2025 and 2030.
Germany’s new coalition said it will purchase a replacement early in its four-year term in office. Without this move, Berlin would drop out of nuclear sharing when the last Tornado retires around 2030