The Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry criticized the decision of the authorities to buy the American fifth generation fighters F-35 Lightning II

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 21.11.2022, 21:47
The Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry criticized the decision of the authorities to buy the American fifth generation fighters F-35 Lightning II

The German military-industrial complex is concerned about the decision to buy F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. The Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry (BDLI) believes that the deal will have a negative impact on the domestic arms industry.

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In March of this year, Germany announced its decision to purchase F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters due to the looming Russian threat. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the F-35s would replace some of the aging Tornado jets in service with the Luftwaffe since the 1980s. Despite the crisis, Germany is not giving up on the idea of getting the planes.

However, a recent report in the German magazine Wirtschaft points out that the decision to buy the Lighting II will deal a serious blow to the German arms industry. This is due to the lack of the right to maintain or produce parts of the planes domestically.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a plan to modernize the German armed forces. Germany is ready to allocate €100 billion from the 2022 budget for this. It is assumed that most of these funds will be spent on the purchase of fighters F-35 Lightning II from the company Lockheed Martin.

Representatives of the BDLI believe that the Defense Department made a serious mistake by refusing to demand that local manufacturers be allowed to take part in the maintenance, repair and support of American fighters. The same applies to Boeing's CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, which will be purchased to replace the CH-53 Sikorsky.

Wolfgang Schoder, the managing director of Airbus Helicopters, criticized the German government's decision to import weapons from foreign partners, calling it "hasty and rash. He stressed that it threatens the independence of the German defense industry and military technology.

As an example, Switzerland was one of the last countries to announce the purchase of F-35 Lightning II. At the same time, the European country agreed with the United States on maintenance, service and production of parts for the fighters. The offset agreement will allow Swiss defense companies to receive about $3 billion, while the value of the contract for the purchase of the planes was less than $7 billion.

At the same time, BDLI officials acknowledge that German industry involvement could complicate the procurement process. In addition, U.S. manufacturers could take advantage of this to increase the cost of their products. Although, on the other hand, in the total cost of the purchase contracts (in particular, heavy helicopters) only 30% of the funds will go for the purchase. The other 70% will be spent on maintenance for the next 30 years.

It's also worth noting that not all of the €100 billion will go to American companies. A significant part of this sum will go to Airbus Company, which will take up modernization of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighters of the fourth generation, equipping them with new means of electronic warfare.

Source: The Eurasian Times, Welt

Image: BMVG, Tagesshau