Winds of Austerity

The German government is considering drastically clipping fighter and airlift recapitalization as well as remotely piloted aircraft procurement under continuing austerity plans. Under a proposal put forth by German defense minister Thomas de Maiziere, Eurofighter procurement would be trimmed from 177 to 140 aircraft, reported News Daily. And, the Luftwaffe’s procurement of A400M airlifters would plummet from 53 to 40, reported Defense Update. Ironically, Germany may face fines amounting to billions of euro in order to amend its contracts for these airplanes. Since both Eurofighter and the A400M are multi-national projects, the production share for German industry is pegged to order size—making readjustment a touchy subject between European partners. Germany’s order for six Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Eurohawk signals intelligence RPAs also will likely diminish, dropping to four, according to the reports.