On the eve of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2018, Airbus and Eurofighter GmbH have submitted their offer to the German Ministry of Defence for a replacement of the Bundeswehr’s ageing Tornado combat aircraft, which was developed in the 1960s, and have established the Eurofighter as its ideal successor.
Currently, the German Air Force is planning to phase out the Tornado from 2025 onwards and to transfer capabilities to another weapon system. As the Eurofighter system is already in use by Germany, this system could seamlessly adopt the capabilities of the Tornado aircraft. In addition, increased use of the same type of aircraft would result in considerable cost savings in terms of support services and training costs due to economies of scale, which would also reduce per-hour flying costs within the German Armed Forces.
“The Eurofighter is already the backbone of the German Air Force and is, therefore, the logical option to adopt the capabilities of the Tornado in the medium term,” said Bernhard Brenner, Head of Marketing & Sales at Airbus Defence and Space. “We have an excellent aircraft, its production secures important aircraft construction know-how in Germany and, at the same time, strongly supports European sovereignty in defence. The successful continuation of Eurofighter production could also lead to further cooperation with other European nations such as Switzerland, Belgium and Finland.”
Volker Paltzo, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH CEO, said: “I am confident that Eurofighter Typhoon can provide acost-effective and attractive solution for Germany, which will deliver every capability and perform every mission the German Air Force needs.”
In the medium term, the further development of the Eurofighter will provide the technological basis for the next generation of European combat aircraft. The intent of collaboration was agreed between France and Germany in July 2017 and these aircraft are currently expected to enter into service around 2040.
In the UK, Eurofighter is already increasingly taking over the tasks of the Tornado, as the Royal Air Force has decided to retire its Tornado fleet in 2019.
The Bundeswehr currently operates 130 Eurofighters and 90 Tornados. The German Air Force’s fleet of combat aircraft is used both for missions to secure airspace sovereignty over Germany and in international NATO alliance missions around the world.