February 08, 2019

German F-35 decision sacrifices NATO capability for Franco-German industrial cooperation

While the German decision last week to remove the Lockheed Martin F-35 from consideration as a replacement for 90 aging Tornado fighters solidifies Franco-German industrial cooperation, it could come at the expense of making Germany’s Luftwaffe a less capable air force until at least 2040, when a new advanced Franco-German fighter becomes available.

The decision also places German domestic political considerations ahead of Germany’s leadership role in NATO. This would be understandable for a nation that does not perceive a significant military threat from Russia, but it is disturbing for those who emphasize the need to maximize NATO’s deterrent posture in the East. The decision should be reconsidered.

Read the full article in Defense News.

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