Germany’s choice for a Tornado replacement
July 11, 2018 -- Germany is to make a decision on replacing its 85-strong fleet of ageing Tornado attack aircraft, with four designs competing for the lucrative contract – the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35A Lightning II, F-15E Strike Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The decision will be dictated by NATO’s nuclear deterrence doctrine known as “nuclear sharing” – under this policy, countries provide aircraft and pilots to deliver U.S. nuclear weapons. In the case of Germany, that capability is currently provided by the Tornado.
Certification to carry nuclear weapons is only granted by the U.S. and the Eurofighter is not certified to perform the role. Without a timely replacement, Germany may have to extend the life of some Tornado aircraft at great cost.