Germany designates $10.5bln to buy F-35 fighter jets: Bloomberg
Despite serious concerns, Germany is determined to set aside €10 billion in order to buy 35 F-35A fighter jets that would be delivered between 2026 and 2029.
Germany has designated €10 billion ($10.5 billion) to buy 35 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets, a government document showed, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
According to Bloomberg, the money will come from a debt-financed €100 billion special fund that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced shortly after the start of the Ukraine war in February. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2026 and 2029.
The document indicated that the cost includes items such as air-to-ground missiles and ground infrastructure.
It is noteworthy that following the start of the war in Ukraine, Scholz pledged in a speech to parliament that Berlin would invest more than 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) annually in defense. However, gridlocks at defense companies and other procurement problems have delayed the spending drive, according to Bloomberg.
Germany's Defense Ministry had expressed serious worry regarding the intended purchase of US-manufactured F-35 fighter jets.
Work needed at airfields intended to house the F-35s, in this case, the Buechel air base, advancing security requirements, and potential problems with approving flight operations in Germany are risk factors the ministry is considering.
According to AFP, there is concern about whether upgrading the Buechel air base can be done by 2026 - the target time.
Scholz confirmed his willingness last week to go through the contract for the F-35s, deemed the world's most modern combat aircraft, and have the deal finalized before the end of 2022.