Germany to order 15 electronic warfare Eurofighters in addition to F-35s

The plan was announced by the European country’s defense ministry on Monday, but without detailing an order for the Airbus aircraft

In addition to the acquisition of 35 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets amid Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine, the German Defense Ministry indicated on Monday that it should order 15 Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon jets in the ECR (Electronic Combat Role) variant to equip the Luftwaffe.

The two fighters will partially replace the Panavia Tornado military jets. The F-35A will be in charge of the nuclear deterrence mission, while the Typhoon ECR will act in electronic warfare operations.

The German government said it plans to receive the new fighter jets between 2025 and 2030, the year in which the Luftwaffe Tornados will be decommissioned.

Germany’s intention to acquire the Typhoon ECR is good news for Airbus Defense & Space, which will finally be able to formalize the program to develop the new electronic warfare platform. The variant was first announced in 2019, but so far there have been no orders.

Panavia Tornado ECR (Luftwaffe)

Unlike the multi-role Typhoon, of which the Luftwaffe has more than 140 aircraft, the Eurofighter ECR will be operated by two crew members. The configuration previously presented by Airbus predicts that the jet will be equipped with electronic jamming pods from the German company Hensoldt and Spear-EW anti-radar missiles from the European group MBDA. The jet will also be able to carry air-to-air missiles for self-defense.

Details of the agreement, such as price and delivery times for the aircraft, have not yet been released by German authorities and manufacturers.

Airbus considers that the Eurofighter will remain Germany’s main combat aircraft until 2060, despite the entry into service of the F-35. The manufacturer expects more units to be acquired as there are currently 90 Tornados in the Luftwaffe.

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