Russia Is Freaked: Germany Wants More Stealth F-35s and Eurofighters

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter NATO

Russia Is Freaked: Germany Wants More Stealth F-35s and Eurofighters

Germany's Luftwaffe is set to become one of Europe's most formidable air forces with significant upgrades to its fleet. The addition of 20 Eurofighter Typhoons and an expanded order of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs enhances its defense capabilities.

 

Summary and Key Points: Germany's Luftwaffe is set to become one of Europe's most formidable air forces with significant upgrades to its fleet.

Eurofighter Typhoon

 

-The addition of 20 Eurofighter Typhoons and an expanded order of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs enhances its defense capabilities.

-The new F-35s will replace the aging Tornado fleet and will be equipped to carry U.S. nuclear weapons stored in Germany.

-These upgrades are part of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's "Zeitenwende" policy, which aims to modernize Germany's military with a 100 billion euro investment and meet NATO's defense spending goals.

Germany Bolsters Luftwaffe with New Eurofighter Typhoons and F-35s

The German Luftwaffe is well on track to become one of the most powerful air forces on the European continent. 

According to reports last week, Germany will bolster its air force with the addition of 20 Eurofighter Typhoons to complement the 138 currently in service. That deal, valued at approximately 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), would enhance Germany's defense capabilities while keeping production lines at Airbus active.

It isn’t just Typhoons heading to Germany. Berlin is also increasing its order of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs. Germany first inked a 10 billion euro deal in 2022, shortly after Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, to acquire 35 of the fifth-generation stealth fighters and other equipment. The first of those aircraft are now scheduled to arrive in 2026.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Germany is likely to expand the F-35 purchase by an additional eight aircraft. The order will enable the Luftwaffe to retire its aging Eurofighter Tornado, which it has operated since the 1980s. Berlin determined the F-35 was the only aircraft able to replace the Tornado, which is now capable of carrying U.S. nuclear weapons stored in Germany.

The Luftwaffe's F-35s will be based in western Germany near Buechel. They could begin to be equipped to carry nuclear ordnance in 2027.

The F-35 – A Nuclear Bomber

Earlier this month, the Royal Netherlands Air Force announced that its Lockheed Martin F-35As have begun to take on NATO's nuclear mission for the first time. The conventional takeoff and landing variant of the fifth-generation multirole combat aircraft has joined Dutch service to replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon in the nuclear deterrence role.

The F-35A was designed as a "dual-capable" aircraft – which means it can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons. It attained operational certification to carry the B61-12 thermonuclear gravity bomb this March, becoming the first fifth-generation aircraft with nuclear capabilities.

The B61-12, an air-launched nuclear gravity bomb, can be carried internally on the F-35.

Part of the Policy of Zeitenwende

The increased defense spending is part of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's more assertive foreign policy dubbed "Zeitenwende," which called for increased defense spending. Once a military powerhouse in Europe, after the end of the Cold War Germany let its armed forces atrophy.

F-35

Now Berlin has pledged to spend up to 100 billion euros to modernize its military and reach the NATO goal that calls for alliance members to spend at least 2% of national gross domestic product on defense.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu 

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].

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