December 15th, the German Parliament approved on the 14th that the Ministry of Defense spent 10 billion euros (about 10.6 billion U.S. dollars) to purchase F-35 fighter jets manufactured by the US military enterprise Lockheed Martin.
The Budget Committee of the German Parliament approved a total of 8 arms procurement projects of the Ministry of Defense on the same day, with a total amount of about 13 billion euros (13.85 billion U.S. dollars), most of which were used to purchase F-35 fighter jets.
On October 19, 2019, at the Houston Air Show in the United States, the US military’s F-35 fighter jets performed a flight demonstration. Published by Xinhua News Agency (photo by Song Qiong)
According to Reuters, Germany plans to purchase 35 F-35 fighter jets, the first batch of 8 of which is scheduled to be delivered in 2026, to replace the only “Tornado” fighter jet in Germany’s existing fighter fleet that can mount tactical nuclear weapons deployed by the United States in Germany.
The German Air Force has used the Tornado fighter jets since the 1980s, and the government intends to phase them out between 2025 and 2030.
The German government announced plans to purchase F-35 fighter jets in March, which caused dissatisfaction in France. The French government has been actively promoting the joint research and development of a new generation of European fighter jets with Germany, which is planned to be completed in the 1940s. Now the French are worried that this project may be affected by Germany’s choice to order F-35 fighters.
After Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the establishment of a special defense fund of 100 billion euros to modernize and upgrade German weapons and equipment that had been worn out for decades after the end of the Cold War. The military procurement project approved by parliament on the 14th will use the special funds for the first time.
However, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the funding “may not be sufficient to close the gap that has arisen over the past years because we have neglected procurement.”