The decision to order thirty-five US F-35s was a disappointment for the workforce of Airbus Defence and Space. The fact that there are now efforts to buy more F-35s, while at the same time not allowing the Eurofighter, developed with European partners and built in Germany, to go ahead, is a slap in the face. There is an American equipment trend in the German Air Force, whether naval reconnaissance aircraft, transport helicopters and combat aircraft, all recently procured American products.
“In contrast to the procurement of the F-35, the Eurofighter developments strengthen the independent equipment of Air Forces in Europe. Availability and operational capability can be guaranteed independently. And the future of the military aviation industry in Germany with its highly qualified employees would be secured. Germany needs a clear strategy and a roadmap,” Thomas Pretzl declared.
IG Metall calls for a technology roadmap for Germany’s Zeitenwende
Jürgen Bühl, Head of Sector Policy Coordination at the German Metalworkers’ Union (IG Metall) Executive Board, noted that the employees in the defence industry are doing outstanding work: “For the future of the sector, for the job-security, the course must therefore be set now. We demand a clear industrial policy line from the Federal Government, a technology roadmap for military aviation and the upkeep of final assembly lines through fixed units per year. Zeitenwende also means setting up cooperation between the Bundeswehr and industry in a new and, above all, better way and ensuring planning security for both sides and for the employees.”
Airbus in positive spotlight ahead of NATO Vilnius Summit
Shortly before the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Thomas Pretzl also addressed the importance of the Eurofighters for large-scale operations (Rapid Pacific, Air Defender) as well as the air surveillance of NATO’s Eastern Flank: “We are proud of the capabilities and readiness of our aircraft, which strengthen the mission and role of the German and allied air forces and guarantee reliability for the fighter pilots. By doing so, Germany and the Eurofighter nations are making NATO’s airspace safer, especially in times of a vicious war of aggression in Europe.”
Stefan Römelt, Head of Site Airbus Manching, added: “With our new Eurodrone and FCAS (Future Combat Air System) programmes, we will open a new chapter in manned and unmanned military aviation here at the Manching site, underlining our technological leadership in Europe for the future. We are growing strongly, we are recruiting a lot and we are striving to further push our position as an attractive employer in the region. We are very proud that after a painful interruption in production, German Quadriga Eurofighters are finally being final assembled in Manching again. Now the seamless production transition to the fifth Eurofighter tranche must be secured.”