Germany’s parliament officially approved the purchase of 35 Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth fighters on Wednesday. With this, funds for the acquisition of the aircraft were secured, paving the way for the signing of the agreement.
The F-35 will replace the old Panavia Tornado mainly in the role of delivering nuclear weapons. Germany does not have such weapons, but needs to be able to deploy them due to its membership in NATO.
The first F-35 fighters will be delivered by Lockheed in 2026, but eight of them will remain in the United States for pilot training and maintenance crews. Only in 2027, the aircraft will be sent to Germany.
The country is the 17th customer of the F-35, a 5th generation fighter that has attracted many interested parties after a development phase full of unforeseen events and problems.
The F-35A version is the most popular and cheapest, as it operates only from land bases. The F-35C naval variant and the F-35B, short landing or vertical, were developed for the US Navy and Marines, but were also adopted by other forces.
Lockheed Martin has won most bids for new fighters in recent years. One of the reasons given is the fact that the F-35 is a modular aircraft, capable of being easily updated, compared to its competitors such as the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing F-18 and Saab Gripen.