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German industry presses Berlin for Eurofighter Tranche 5 decision

A Luftwaffe Eurofighter at the ILA 2022 exhibition in Berlin. With the previous German government having said it would buy Eurofighter Tranche 5 aircraft to partially replace the Luftwaffe's Tornado fleet, German industry has called on the current government to make good on that commitment. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Representatives of German industry have pressed Berlin to make good on its previously announced plan to buy Eurofighter Tranche 5 combat aircraft.

Commenting after a meeting on the future of the Eurofighter programme hosted by the Defence and Security Department in the Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industries (BDLI eV) on 13 October, several tier 1 suppliers to the German programme publicly called for the government to make good on its commitment to a Tranche 5 buy as part of its wider Tornado replacement plan for the Luftwaffe.

“The clock is ticking. Without a timely decision from the federal government to further develop the Eurofighter, there is a risk of massive technological and economic losses,” BDLI eV – the body that represents German defence aerospace industry – said from its official X (formerly Twitter) account.

“It is time to secure Tranche 5 now!” national radar provider Hensoldt added from its X account, with national engine partner MTU Aero also adding its voice.

These latest calls from German industry follow similar appeals from both Eurofighter and its chief German stakeholder Airbus, both of which have called for clarity from Berlin after the German government announced in March 2022 that it would acquire up to 35 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs to satisfy the Luftwaffe's nuclear mission element of the Tornado replacement requirement, and 15 Eurofighter Elektronischer Kampf (EK) aircraft for the separate but related Luftgestützte Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum (luWES) electronic attack (EA) requirement for NATO.

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