Germany has announced it has approved a €5.5bn (A$8.9bn) acquisition of 38 new-build Eurofighter EF-2000 Tranche 4 combat aircraft.
The new jets will replace the Luftwaffe’s early-build Tranche 1 EF-2000s which, despite entering service between 2003 and 2008, are only suitable for air-to-air combat and have been deemed as unsuitable to be upgraded. The Tranche 4 aircraft will feature Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) integrated avionics, and a new E-Scan active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar which will also be integrated with 110 in-service Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 jets.
“This important decision strengthens the capabilities of our air force,” Inspector of the German Air Force, Lt Gen Ingo Gerhartz said in a statement. “By replacing the outdated and maintenance-intensive Tranche 1 aircraft, we are increasing the operational readiness of the Eurofighter fleet and thus our reliability within the [NATO] alliance.”
The EF-2000 order is the first increment of what is planned to be 138 new combat aircraft for the Luftwaffe, including 55 more EF-2000s, 30 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets to replace the Tornado IDS strike aircraft, and 15 Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to replace the Tornado ECR.