IISS: Buying both Eurofighter and F-35 could be possible solution for Germany

Douglas Barrie of IISS says Germany needs the F-35 in order to fulfill the nuclear deterrence role under NATO as the Eurofighter is not certified to drop the American B61 thermonuclear weapon.

Typhoon - RIAT 2016 (28245432176)
Tim Felce [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Modifying the Eurofighter for nuclear bombing will not only be expensive, the certification process will drag beyond 2025, when the Luftwaffe wants to start phasing out the Tornado.

To reconcile with the German defense ministry’s demands to buy the Eurofighter, a possible solution is to buy a small fleet of F-35s with a larger number of Eurofighters.

  1. Josephine says:

    The USA has stated that no new nuclear weapon is necessary in Europe as the B61 – when used in conjunction with the F-35 stealth capability – remains effective. This implies two things. Firstly the Tornado nuclear role is obsolete. Secondly, as Germany has never agreed to purchase the F-35, that either the role was also obsolete or that another F-35 force would assume the role.

    A demand that Germany must buy the F-35 would seem extraordinary in light of the removal of over 95% of the other nuclear weapons in theatre. The fact that the range of the F-35 if bought by the GAF and based in Germany would also limit targets to those other NATO nations in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine would also seem to render its role somewhat moot…..


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