Germany Set to Buy 35 F-35 Fighters

The aircraft will replace Germany’s aging fleet of Panavia Tornado fighters, according to officials.

Germany’s purchase of 35 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II fighters is estimated to cost 13 billion euros. [Courtesy: Lockheed Martin]

Germany will buy nearly three dozen Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II fighters as part of efforts to modernize its aging fighter fleet, German defense officials announced this week.

"The deal is sealed," the German Embassy said Wednesday. "Germany will buy the F-35 fighter jets from the U.S.! The German parliament's budget committee today approved the procurement of 35 of these state-of-the-art aircraft that will replace the Tornado fleet in 2026." 

The Panavia Tornado fighter, which is also flown by militaries in Italy and Britain, first entered Germany's fleet in late 1981.

The purchase enhances Germany's interoperability with NATO, according to Lockheed Martin, which estimates that by the 2030s, there will be more than 550 F-35s coordinating from more than 10 countries in Europe.

"Germany’s participation ensures the F-35’s European alliance continues to strengthen and grow through interoperability with NATO and ally nations.” Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, said in a statement. 

The F-35 purchase, which is estimated to cost 13 billion euros, will be paid from a 100 billion euro fund established by German defense officials for special military procurement after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Reuters reported.

In addition to the nearly three dozen fighters, the purchase agreement also includes engines, role-specific mission equipment, spare and replacement parts, technical and logistic support, training, and armament, Lockheed Martin said.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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