Germany has ruled out the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as an option to replace its Tornado fleet.
German officials have stressed that no decisions have been made with regards to the remaining competitors, the FA-18 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, had warned the German government against the purchase of the F-35.
“As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 member nation, cooperation on all combat aircraft issues with France will die,” Hoke said in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag which can be found here.
The local news site says that the Bundeswehr is looking for a successor model for the Tornado fighter-bomber. One candidate was the F-35 but that did not “suit the CEO of the Airbus armaments division”.
According to the German business daily Handelsblatt, the government wants to stick to NATO’s nuclear weapon obligations despite plans to replace the Tornado jets that now fulfill these functions.
The Luftwaffe has about 45 Tornado jets designed to carry American nuclear bombs in the event of a crisis, at a key air base in Büchel, while the country’s other aircraft are incapable of fulfilling this task.
The US-made F-18 has already been certified for these missions.