Germany signs contract to buy F-35 jets
Germany on Wednesday signed a deal to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, US officials said, part of the country’s military overhaul following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The German F-35 program will ensure the continuation of Germany’s alliance commitments and guarantee NATO’s credible deterrence in the future,” said the US embassy in Berlin in a statement.
The 35 jets, the world’s most advanced warplanes, should be delivered between 2026 and 2029, it said.
Berlin had announced in March the planned purchase of the aircraft made by Lockheed Martin to replace its ageing Tornado fleet.
But the defence ministry in Berlin earlier this month raised concerns about the plan, warning of “delays and additional costs” in the nearly €10 billion ($10.5 billion) acquisition, in a letter to parliament’s budget committee.
Germany’s lower house of parliament still decided to press ahead and approve the acquisition on Wednesday.
“The German-US defence partnership has never been stronger and is a central pillar of NATO’s transatlantic partnership,” said the embassy statement.
The cost of the jets is to come from a planned €100 billion investment in the armed forces, unveiled following the outbreak of the Ukraine war in a bid to overhaul Germany’s underfunded military.