The Russian war in Ukraine has very belatedly sent one lead NATO country into a defense spending spree. Before the Feb.24 invasion, Germany wouldn't so much as let its weapons be transferred to Kiev via allies - wanting to present a sense of neutrality with Moscow - but now with all prior reluctance apparently abandoned, Berlin is poised to rapidly beef up its advanced fighter jet capability: "Germany plans to buy up to 35 US-made F-35 fighter jets and 15 Eurofighter jets, a parliamentary source said Monday, as part of a major push to modernize the armed forces in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Bloomberg reports Monday.
The Lockheed-produced jets look to be acquired in the "dozens" - taking up a big chunk of Germany's proposed defense budget which will be north of 50 billion euros this year, acknowledged as a "record high". This as Germany has agreed to boost defense spending above 2% of gross domestic product - something which NATO had previously been frequently lectured on by Trump.
In making the announcement, Berlin officials specifically cited the need for the necessary level of deterrence against Russia and Vladimir Putin. AFP recalls, "In a landmark speech late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to invest an extra 100 billion euros ($112 billion) in the nation's chronically underfunded Bundeswehr armed forces."
The report underscores that "The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe's top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II."
Germany's air force commander Ingo Gerhartz said: "There can be only one answer to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's aggression," He added: "Unity in NATO and a credible deterrent. This in particular means there is no alternative but to choose the F-35."
The stealth jet is indented to replace Luftwaffe's fleet Tornado jets, which are capable of carrying and delivering US nuclear bombs currently placed in Germany as part of NATO's atomic arsenal.
Late last month during the opening days of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed that "Putin wants to establish a Russian empire…the question is…whether we can summon the strength to set boundaries to warmongers like Putin."
Germany to buy US F-35 stealth fighters, capable of carrying nuclear bombs. At present, the Tornado is the only German jet capable of carrying US nuclear bombs, stored in Germany, in case of a conflict (#NATO conflict with #Russia)— Elijah J. Magnier 🇪🇺 (@ejmalrai) March 14, 2022
Previously Bloomberg described that "Scholz had been widely criticized by opponents and allies alike in recent weeks for what they perceived as dithering and weakness in the face of Russia’s mounting aggression toward Ukraine."