Germany has been careful about choosing sides. They weren’t ready to give up getting fuel from Russia because it would cripple their economy. However, they are also a part of NATO, which means that they will fight to protect other NATO nations should Russia decide to move against Poland or some of the Baltic nations that surround Ukraine.
Now, Germany has purchased a few fighter jets from the U.S. It begs the question…what are they up to?
Well, Germany is not one to go into anything unprepared. They’ll fight if and when they need to – and it looks like they may have to fight sooner rather than later. After all, Putin is practically bringing the fight to its doorstep.
The country has chosen to boost its defense spending – and it appears they have done so in the nick of time. They’re buying 35 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets along with 15 Eurofighter Typhoons. It’s quite an impressive purchase, and it shows that they are building its air forces.
The majority of this purchase will be to replace their aging fleet of Tornado interdiction/strike aircraft – and many dates back to the 1980s. According to the country’s defense department, the F-35s will provide air superiority and strike capabilities. Meanwhile, Typhoons can be utilized for specialized missions, including escort and electronic attacks.
Will the jets be ready right away? No. In the past, Germany has said that they want all of the aircraft to be operational between 2025 and 2030. Obviously, if some can be ready sooner rather than later, it will only help the country to be ready in the event that NATO taps them.
Christine Lambrecht, the German Defense Minister, has explained that the F-35, in particular, offers “a unique potential to cooperate with our NATO allies and partners in Europe.”
Quite a few other members of NATO have embraced the F-35 because of its capabilities, including not only the U.S. but also Italy, the Netherlands, the U.K., Poland, Norway, Belgium, and Denmark.
Germany has acted quickly to procure new jets since they announced that they would be increasing their spending by $112 billion. Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has said that they would be surpassing the NATO goal for member nations to spend at least two percent of their GDP on defense. For years, they failed this target even though they have consistently been one of the wealthiest NATO members.
Seeing the invasion of Ukraine has helped to prompt the spending as Germany is aware that it has not been regularly investing in its defense.
Germany has stated that in addition to the purchase of F-35s and Typhoons, they also plan to pursue an investment into a Future Combat Air System fighter, which will be developed jointly with a few other European nations.
This investment is great to see – and it shows that Germany is committed to being a good NATO ally.
It also highlights the importance of updating an aging fleet. The U.S. has an aging fleet that dates back to the 1980s on some bases, too. The Democrats love to complain about allowing the Department of Defense to spend the money necessary to update its fleet. However, it’s what is needed to be battle-ready – especially when it’s easy to see what can happen in the span of just months. No one expected that Russia would invade Ukraine – and we’re slowly headed toward WWIII.
Perhaps the Democrats will take note of what Germany has done so that we can invest in some new fighter jets, too. After all, we never know when an enemy nation will decide to bring the fight to our doorstep.