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Bundeswehr: stealth planes for Germany – politics

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After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government launched its first billions worth of weapons project. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) said on Monday that she was now acquiring American fighter jets of the type F-35 will start. Machines from the manufacturer Lockheed Martin are among the most modern combat aircraft currently available on the market. They have stealth abilities and a high level of digitization. The planes are said to be decrepit. twister– Replace Luftwaffe fighter jets, which are due to be retired by 2030 at the latest.

we are talking about 35 F-35Jets to buy. They are also technically capable of attacking US nuclear bombs. With the purchase, Germany could continue its contribution to NATO’s nuclear deterrent concept. Until now, Germany has provided the twister-Fighter aircraft this contribution to the so-called “nuclear exchange”.

Minister Lambrecht said on Monday that the Bundeswehr was taking a “good and important step” with this acquisition project. His decision coincides with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) plan to make €100 billion available to the Bundeswehr through a special fund this year for urgently needed procurement projects. The traffic light government draws the conclusion from the Russian-initiated war in the Ukraine that the Bundeswehr must modernize rapidly.

With the decision of F-35 the government is creating facts in a dispute that has been going on for years. Under the previous two black-red governments, the decision was for the twister-the succession, for which a total of 15,000 million euros had been planned, has been repeatedly delayed. For a long time, much of the SPD was of the opinion that the concept of nuclear involvement had been rendered obsolete in this way. The demands went so far that even the last American nuclear bombs stationed in Germany had to be removed. Therefore, a new fighter aircraft would no longer be needed, which remains an option as a transport system.

In reality, the Europeans wanted to develop a new combat aircraft together.

Although the Union supported the concept of nuclear sharing, it did not want to buy the latest generation of aircraft from the Americans. the F-35 but it is such a thing. The background: In 2017, then Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to develop a new fighter jet in Europe. There was always a fear in Paris that Germany would lose its ambitions once the Luftwaffe had a modern nuclear bomber at its disposal. The predecessor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) had planned a less powerful US model as a compromise solution. In the coalition agreement, the stoplight partners agreed to quickly make a decision on the twister-Meet a successor, but without assuming a clear commitment.

On Monday, Lambrecht highlighted the “unique potential for cooperation with NATO allies and other partners in Europe” as an argument in favor of F-35 outside. At the same time, he assured that Germany still intends to work on a European fighter aircraft system. This project, the “Future Combat Air System” (FCAS), is scheduled to be completed in the 2040s. The first billion have already been approved for development.

The head of the Air Force, Ingo Gerhartz, described the decision of the F-35 as “no alternative”. Referring to the Russian attack on Ukraine, he added that there could be only one response to this aggression: unity within NATO and credible deterrence. the F-35 to be the most modern combat aircraft in the world. In this way, NATO airspace could be secured and the alliance defended, “if necessary”.

With the American model, Lambrecht only wants that part of the Twister-Replace the fleet destined for nuclear sharing. A part of the approximately 90 tornadoes the Luftwaffe also uses it for electronic warfare. The goal is to disrupt enemy positions with electronic signals and cripple them. For this task, the Bundeswehr wants euro fighter-Update jets, there is talk of 15 jets. The government wants to make sure that core competence in building domestic fighter jets is not lost.

Ultimately, parliament decides on such large procurement projects. There is Union agreement: “Okay, now quick F-35 Reach. By doing so, we are strengthening the transatlantic axis and enabling Germany’s contribution to nuclear involvement,” said Henning Otte, CDU defense expert from the SZ. Now the other branches of the armed forces, especially the army, must also be taken into account. account in modernization.

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