Bhe members of the Budget Committee in the Bundestag are dissatisfied with the possible risks associated with the planned purchase of the F-35 stealth jet. The newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that there should be a “crisis meeting” with the responsible committee members this Monday. The trigger is a secret template in which the Ministry of Defense warns of significant risks in the business.
It is unclear whether the Bundeswehr will have the airfield in Büchel (Rhineland-Palatinate) converted in time for the F-35 jets by 2026. “Therefore, delays and additional costs until the start of flight operations cannot be ruled out,” the newspaper quoted from the template. In addition, there is a risk that national approval for flight operations may not be granted in a timely manner.
The SPD politician Andreas Schwarz, chief reporter in the committee for the defense budget, told the “Bild am Sonntag”: “It is unacceptable that Parliament is only now learning about the problems. I expect the Ministry to provide comprehensive information on how it intends to get the risks under control. Attempts are being made here to get rid of responsibility.”
The federal government has announced that it intends to equip the Luftwaffe with F-35 stealth jets. The machines from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin are to be procured as the successor model to the Tornado fleet introduced more than 40 years ago. The F-35 is considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world and is also bought for Germany’s so-called nuclear participation – this is a NATO deterrent concept in which allies have access to US nuclear bombs. According to unconfirmed information, the last of these weapons in Germany are in special bunkers in Büchel.