The German Air Force Wants To Know If Its Eurofighters Can Carry U.S. Nuclear Bombs
German officials have reportedly asked their American counterparts about whether it would be possible to turn the Eurofighter Typhoon into a nuclear strike aircraft. The answer to this question could have serious ramifications on Germany’s effort to replace its aging Panavia Tornadocombat jets, which are certified to carry U.S. B61 nuclear bombs during a crisis as part of an inter-NATO agreement, and reinforces previous reports that the European fighter jet is the German Air Force’s preferred option.
In April 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Defense sent a formal letter to U.S. officials asking about whether it would be feasible to configure Typhoons for the nuclear mission, how expensive it would be, and how long the process might take, according to Reuters.
The German Air Force’s ability to fly nuclear strikes has become an increasingly important issue even though the country is not a nuclear power itself. During the Cold War, Germany, as well as other NATO allies, agreed to host American nuclear bombs with the understanding that their aircraft could be called upon to employ them if a major conflict with the Soviet Union broke out.
After the Cold War, this arrangement has persisted and the Germans continue to keep an unspecified number of B61 bombs at Büchel Air Base near the borders with Belgium and Luxembourg. The problem is that the only German aircraft that can carry these weapons are the Tornados, which are in desperate need of replacement.
Availability rates for the Cold War-era swing wing jets have dramatically dropped in recent years. In 2015, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported that only 30 of the approximately 85 remaining aircraft were airworthy at any one time.
The aircraft also lack cockpits that will work with night vision goggles, which limits the jet's ability to perform missions at night. In March 2018, German magazine Der Spiegelalso obtained a report calling into question the security of the Tornado’s data links.
سلاح الجو الألماني يستفسر عن إمكانية نقل صلاحية حمل وإطلاق قنابل نووية امريكيه تكتيكيه من التورنيدو الى التايفون.