Austria looks to F-35 as Eurofighter replacement

Austria looks F35 Eurofighter replacement
USAF F-35A fifth-gen combat aircraft.

Austria is considering introducing the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet after 2030.

According to Janes, the armament-directorate of the Austrian Ministry of Defense has been tasked with gathering information to assess the possible acquisition of the F-35 in the next decade.

Vienna has been trying for some time to replace the Eurofighter jets in service with the Austrian Air Force as it is struggling to bear the operating costs of the aircraft. Austria remained the only nation to operate exclusively Tranche 1 Typhoons as it never managed to allocate funds to upgrade the fleet.

However, the F-35 may be out of reach for Vienna as it currently has much higher acquisition costs and costs per flight hour than the Eurofighter.

The nation's interest in Lockheed Martin's modern jet is somewhat understandable as it is currently the most advanced fighter on the market and has been acquired by nearly every military force in Europe. It is already operational in Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark while Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland and Finland will receive it within the next few years. In addition, Greece and the Czech Republic have already started negotiations with Lockheed Martin.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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