BERLIN (Reuters) - The German Defence Ministry estimates it will cost nearly 9 billion euros to replace obsolescent parts and keep its ageing fleet of 93 Tornado fighter jets flying until 2030, according to a classified document provided to German lawmakers this week.
The steep cost estimate includes 5.64 billion euros to maintain the warplanes, which first entered service in 1983, 1.62 billion euros to design replacements for obsolete parts, and 1.58 billion euros to procure them, according to the document, which was viewed by Reuters.
Germany in January decided to pick either the Eurofighter or Boeing Co's F/A-18E/F fighter jet to replace its Tornado fleet in coming years, dropping Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter from a tender worth billions of euros..
But neither the F/A-18 nor the Eurofighter are currently certified to carry U.S. nuclear weapons, as required under Germany's obligations to NATO, leaving Germany dependent on its Tornado fleet until it gets new planes.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by Thomas Escritt)
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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2019 00:05:37 IST