German Government Receives Parliamentary Approval for €10 Billion F-35 Purchase

Germany received an approval from the Bundestag’s budget committee to spend €10 billion to buy F-35 stealth fighters, as part of a wider military procurement projects worth €13 billion. The funds will be available for the purchase of F-35s, as well as encrypted digital radios and assault rifles. These projects will be the first to tap funding from the €100 billion special military budget that Chancellor Scholz earmarked days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Germany wants to modernize its military weaponry and equipments after decades of attrition following the end of the Cold War.

German Defense Minister Lambrecht said, speaking of the €100 billion budget: “This will probably not be enough to close the gaps that emerged over the past years because we neglected procurement.”

Germany is expected to purchase 35 F-35 stealth fighters in total, including missiles and other weapons and equipment, with the first eight aircraft to be delivered in 2026.

F-35s will replace Germany’s aging Tornado fleet. Tornados are the only German jet capable of carrying U.S. nuclear bombs, which have been stored in Germany to be used in case of a conflict.

The German air force has been flying the Tornado since the 1980s, and Berlin is planning to phase it out between 2025 and 2030.

Berlin’s decision to buy the F-35 jets, which was announced in March but needed final approval by parliament, has caused some concern for the French government. Paris fears the deal could hamper a joint effort to develop a Franco-German fighter to be ready in the 2040s.

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