Previously Rejected, Germany Finally Signs a Contract to Purchase 35 US F-35 Stealth Fighter

Previously Rejected, Germany Finally Signs a Contract to Purchase 35 US F-35 Stealth Fighter
Germany Finally Signs a Contract to Purchase 35 US F-35 Stealth Fighter

Berlin - Germany has officially signed an agreement to buy 35 units of F-35 stealth fighter jets made in the United States (US). Berlin's move is part of a military overhaul following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The contract signing for the purchase of fighter jets which is claimed to be the most advanced in the world took place on Wednesday.

"The German F-35 program will ensure the continuation of Germany's alliance commitments and guarantee credible NATO deterrence in the future," the US Embassy in Berlin said in a statement, as quoted by The Local, Thursday (5/2/2022).

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According to the contract, the 35 fighter jets on order are to be delivered between 2026 and 2029. Berlin had announced in March plans to purchase the aircraft, made by Lockheed Martin, to replace its aging Tornado fighter jet fleet. But the Ministry of Defense in Berlin earlier this month raised concerns about the plans, warning of "delays and additional costs" in the nearly €10 billion acquisition, in a letter to Parliament's budget committee.

The German parliament still decided to go ahead and approved the acquisition of dozens of F-35 fighter jets on Wednesday. "The German-US defense partnership has never been stronger and is a key pillar of NATO's transatlantic partnership," the American embassy statement continued.

The cost of buying the jets stems from a planned €100 billion investment for the armed forces, unveiled after the outbreak of the Ukrainian war in a bid to overhaul Germany's underfunded military. Against the backdrop of Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine, the NATO defense alliance has also revised its planned spending for the coming year, with countries agreeing to a much higher budget.

Read Also: The Purchase of F-35 by the German Government Protested by Local Industry, Why?

According to the NATO alliance, the civilian budget will increase by around 28 percent to €370.8 million in 2023, while the military budget will increase by around 26 percent to €1.96 billion. Welcoming the decision, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the higher budget was an expression of the "greater ambition" of the alliance. "Only together can we offer security to the citizens of the world's more dangerous NATO countries," he said.

Currently, NATO's civil and defense budget amounts to around €1.8 billion. According to alliance documents, the US alone spent $822 billion (€769 billion) on its defense budget last year, while Germany spent €55.6 billion on its military -- and will spend more than €100 billion. These two countries will be NATO's largest budget contributors in the coming year, each contributing 16.3 percent of the total budget.

Read Also: Russian Nuclear Weapons Are The Reason Germany Needs US F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets

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