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Eurofighter pitched as Luftwaffe Tornado successor

Photo: A Luftwaffe Eurofighter and Tornado in formation. Dr Andreas Zeitler/Airbus


Airbus and Eurofighter GmbH have submitted an offer to the German Ministry of Defence for the replacement of the Luftwaffe’s Tornado IDS/ECR combat aircraft. In a statement from Airbus on the eve of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2018, the company describes the Eurofighter EF2000 as the “ideal successor” to the variable-geometry Tornado. 

The Luftwaffe plans to retire the Tornado from 2025 onwards and “transfer capabilities to another weapon system”. Since the Eurofighter is already operated by Germany, the jet “could seamlessly adopt the capabilities of the Tornado aircraft”. Purchasing an additional batch of EF2000s would also yield considerable cost savings in terms of support services and training costs, Airbus contends. This would be manifested in a reduction in per-hour flying costs.

“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, added: “I am confident that Eurofighter Typhoon can provide a cost effective and attractive solution for Germany, which will deliver every capability and perform every mission the German Air Force needs.” 

In the same statement, Airbus also indicated that Eurofighter would provide the “technological basis for the next generation of European combat aircraft” – the eventual successor to the EF2000. In July last year, France and Germany agreed to collaborate on a new combat aircraft, expected to enter service around 2040. 

The German armed forces currently operates 130 Eurofighters and around 90 Tornados.

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