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LM continues to push F-35 to Germany

26 November 2019
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While Lockheed Martin's previous promotional material for the F-35 in Germany has been overt and forthright, as seen in this poster displayed at BSC 2018, its official elimination from the competition earlier this year has meant that its promotional material at this year's event is more generic and less Luftwaffe-focused. Source: Lockheed Martin via IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

Lockheed Martin continues to promote its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to Germany, despite the country's government excluding the aircraft from the list of options for its Tornado replacement programme earlier in the year.

Speaking at the Berlin Security Conference (BSC) on 26 November, the company's Country Director for Germany International Business Development, Alexander Walford, said that the move to exclude the F-35A in January was "a political decision", and that Lockheed Martin continues to highlight the capabilities of its aircraft with a view to the Luftwaffe adopting it as a Tornado replacement platform.

"[The German government] hasn't said specifically what the reason was for the F-35's exclusion, [but] it was political. We respect their decision, but we still believe in the interoperability and survivability advantages that the F-35 brings," Walford said.

In excluding the F-35A as one of the potential replacement platforms for its fleet of Panavia Tornado aircraft, the Bundeswehr is now only looking at the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (the Super Hornet is being offered in conjunction with the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft).

With the Luftwaffe looking to retire its 90 Tornado Interdiction and Strike (IDS)/Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft with 85 new platforms from 2030, and needing the replacement to enter service in about 2025, a request for proposals (RFP) for an aircraft to perform 10 current Tornado missions and two additional but undisclosed missions was issued in early 2018.

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