Germany on Wednesday signed a deal to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, US officials said, part of the country’s military overhaul following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The German F-35 programme will ensure the continuation of Germany’s alliance commitments and guarantee NATO’s credible deterrence in the future,” said the US embassy in Berlin in a statement.
The 35 jets, the world’s most advanced warplanes, should be delivered between 2026 and 2029, it said.
Berlin had announced in March the planned purchase of the aircraft made by Lockheed Martin to replace its ageing Tornado fleet.
But the defense ministry in Berlin earlier this month raised concerns about the plan, warning of “delays and additional costs” in the nearly 10 billion euro ($10.5 billion) acquisition, in a letter to parliament’s budget committee.
Wunderbar! Germany Signed on the Dotted Line ✍️
The German Federal Ministry of Defence and @Team_Luftwaffe officially selected the F-35. This decision provides the nation with the capabilities to meet worldwide threats. We’re honored to grow our partnership with Germany.
— F-35 Lightning II (@thef35) December 14, 2022
Germany’s lower house of parliament still decided to press ahead and approve the acquisition on Wednesday.
“The German-US defence partnership has never been stronger and is a central pillar of NATO’s transatlantic partnership,” said the embassy statement.
The cost of the jets is to come from a planned 100 billion euro investment in the armed forces, unveiled following the outbreak of the Ukraine war in a bid to overhaul Germany’s underfunded military.