The budget committee of the German parliament approved the spending, including 10 billion euros for F-35 planes, as well as funds for the purchase of encrypted digital radios and assault rifles, informs the Reuters agency.
These projects are among the first to receive money from a special 100 billion euro fund that Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced in a major policy shift days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The money is intended to restore the German military’s weapons and equipment to NATO standards after decades of wear and tear that followed the end of the Cold War.
About the 100 billion euro fund for the armed forces, Lambrecht said: “It probably won’t be enough to cover the gaps that have appeared in recent years, because we have neglected acquisitions“.
Germany plans to buy a total of 35 F-35 stealth fighter jets, including missiles and other weapons and equipment, with the first eight planes to be delivered in 2026.
The American plane will replace the aging Tornado, the only German plane capable of carrying American nuclear bombs, which are stored in Germany for use in the event of a conflict. The German Air Force has been flying the Tornado since the 1980s, and Berlin plans to phase it out between 2025 and 2030.
Berlin’s decision to buy the F-35 jets, which was announced in March but still needed final parliamentary approval, angered France. Paris fears the deal could undermine the development of a joint Franco-German fighter jet that should be ready in the 2040s.
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