BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany on Wednesday gave the green light to the purchase of F-35 fighter jets made by U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin as part of a series of defense acquisitions from an amount of 13 billion euros, announced the Minister of Defense, Christine Lambrecht.
The expenditure was approved by the Budget Committee of the Bundestag. It is divided between 10 billion euros for the F-35 and 3 billion for the purchase of encrypted radios and assault rifles.
These acquisitions will be financed by a special fund of 100 billion euros intended to modernize the German army, the creation of which was announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February.
In total, Berlin will buy 35 F-35 fighter jets, equipped with missiles and other weapons and equipment. The first eight devices are to be delivered in 2026.
The American F-35 will replace the aging Tornado fleet, the only German aircraft capable of carrying American nuclear bombs.
The German Air Force has used the Tornado since the 1980s and Berlin plans to phase them out between 2025 and 2030.
The German decision to opt for the F-35, announced in March but which required the approval of Parliament, provoked the anger of France at the time, which is counting on the SCAF project for a combat aircraft of the European future. , for which an industrial agreement was announced at the beginning of December.
(Report Sabine Siebold and Holger Hansen, written by Rachel More; French version Diana Mandiá and Jean-Stéphane Brosse)
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