Germany Becomes Latest Country to Join the F-35 Lightning II Global Team

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron lowers landing gear upon arrival at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, Dec. 15, 2021. The arrival of the 5th-generation aircraft at the Liberty Wing has been planned since 2015, marking its placement within the United Kingdom a critical component for training and combat readiness due to airspace and F-35 program partnership.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Koby I. Saunders)


F-35 continues to be the choice of air forces across Europe

The German Ministry of Defense announced that it is procuring 35 Lockheed Martin 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II aircraft. 

“Congratulations to Germany on procuring the F-35A. Germany is the ninth foreign military sales country to join the program,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with them to deliver the F-35 Air System to meet their national defense requirements.”

The agreement includes a comprehensive package of engines, role-specific mission equipment, spare and replacement parts, technical and logistic support, training and armament.

“It is an honor to formally welcome Germany to the F-35 Lightning II Program. Germany’s participation ensures the F-35’s European alliance continues to strengthen and grow through interoperability with NATO and ally nations,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “The F-35 is the most advanced, survivable, best value fighter giving pilots the critical advantage against any adversary, enabling them to execute their mission and safely return home.”

Lockheed Martin has been a committed partner to the Bundeswehr for more than 50 years, and the F-35 opens another chapter of supporting Germany’s interests for national and European security. By the 2030s, it is expected that over 550 F-35s will work together from more than 10 European countries, including two full U.S. F-35 squadrons at RAF Lakenheath.

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II’s assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron conduct a flyover upon arrival at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Dec. 15, 2021. The Liberty Wing was selected to host the first F-35 squadrons in Europe based on numerous factors, to include existing infrastructure, history with supporting fighter operations and the combined training opportunities the UK has to offer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Olivia Gibson)

As a cornerstone for interoperability with NATO, the F-35 is the only 5th Generation fighter available today to strengthen Germany’s operational capability with allies. Connectivity has become increasingly more important as the battlespace continues to evolve, and the F-35 is positioned to play a critical role in that change and contribute to 21st Century Security missions.

To date, the F-35 operates from 26 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 875 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,845 pilots and 13,350 maintainers trained on the aircraft. 

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