European planemaker Airbus has revealed that it had signed a contract to supply 38 new Eurofighters to Germany’s air force.
MPs had already approved the Airbus deal, set to cost almost 5.5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) to see the new fighters delivered between 2025 and 2030.
Berlin said the move was part of a wider plan decided earlier this year to split its choice of replacement for the decades-old Tornado aircraft between 93 of the European-made planes and 45 American F-18 jets.
At the time, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government hoped to show willing after US pressure to live up to NATO commitments on defence spending, while also supporting the European defence industry.
Although Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had hoped for lawmakers to sign-off on the American planes before upcoming elections next autumn, a defence ministry spokesman said MPs would only get their say in the following parliament.
Airbus defence and Space Chief Executive Dirk Hoke said in a statement the Eurofighter planes would have “a service life well beyond 2060” and be compatible with a next-generation European fighter currently in the earliest stages of development, known as FCAS.