With this announcement, Germany becomes the ninth country to purchase the fifth-generation F-35 fighter. The agreement includes the purchase of 35 F-35As, ammunitions, spare parts and maintenance support for five years. The Luftwaffe's first F-35A will be delivered in 2026.
On December 14, Lockheed Martin and the Bundeswerhr have both confirmed orders for 35 F-35 fighter jets to Lockheed Martin. The first aircraft is expected to arrive in 2026, but will not be sent to Germany. Indeed, in order to train future German pilots, the Luftwaffe will deploy its first eight F-35s to the United States. The model concerned is the F-35A, with conventional takeoff and landing. The deal also includes ammunitions and spare parts as well as maintenance for the first five years.
As announced in a previous article, Germany's decision to buy the F-35A was pretty much a sure thing following the government's desire to remain in the NATO nuclear sharing agreement. From then on, only the F-35 could replace the Luftwaffe's Tornado IDS fighters in this task, as no other aircraft was qualified for this mission. The German F-35A will be stationed at the Büchel base (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). The latter has just such facilities that can accommodate B-61 nuclear bombs.
This purchase is also a step up for the Luftwaffe as it acquires a fifth-generation fighter. The Bundeswehr is also announcing a willingness to more easily cooperate with foreign air forces as the F-35 is or will soon be present in 12 NATO countries, namely; Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the United States, Greece, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
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