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Germany ‘undecided' on Eurofighter Tranche 5 buy

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, an official told Janes that this plan is now ‘undecided'. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Germany has not yet determined if it will proceed with its previously announced plan to buy Eurofighter Tranche 5 combat aircraft.

Speaking to Janes under the Chatham House Rule, an official said that the plan announced by the previous German government in March 2020 to acquire additional newbuild Eurofighters as part of its wider Luftwaffe recapitalisation efforts was not a done deal.

“This Tranche 5 buy is undecided rather than uncontracted,” he said earlier in November.

The official's comment came after weeks of intense lobbying by Eurofighter, Airbus, and the Defence and Security Department in the Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industries (BDLI eV) to secure the order for as many as 35 aircraft that remain outstanding from the Tornado replacement plan for the Luftwaffe that covers 85 new aircraft.

In March 2022 the present German government said 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, as well as 15 Eurofighter Elektronischer Kampf (EK) aircraft. These Eurofighter EKs had been earmarked for the separate but related Luftgestützte Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum (luWES) electronic attack (EA) requirement for NATO, but the same official told Janes that luWES has now been “put on hold” while the Luftwaffe prioritises the entry into service of the F-35A.

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