Airbus offers the Tranche 5 Eurofighter to the Luftwaffe

In answer to Boeing’s offer to the Luftwaffe (GAF, German Air Force) of the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, Airbus offers the Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon Tranche 5 as a replacement for the Tornado IDS and Tornado ECR.

On 16 April 2020, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer emailed her US counterpart Mark Esper, informing him of her decision to buy thirty Super Hornets and fifteen Growlers in addition to new Eurofighter Typhoons. The German parliament still has to approve this intended acquisition.

On 9 December 2020, the head of Airbus' combat aircraft business development, Wolfgang Gammel, confirmed that the EF2000 Tranche 5 will be offered to the Luftwaffe as the service looks to replace ninety Tornado Interdiction and Strike (IDS) and Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft with 85 new aircraft from 2030.

The Tranche 5 will be equipped with Active Electronic Scanned Area (AESA) radar and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) equipment included in the latest Tranche 4 EF2000s under contract for Germany (Project Quadriga) and Spain (Project Halcon), and add some or all of the upgrades being developed for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) package.

The LTE package was first unveiled at the Paris Airshow in June 2019, and aims to take the aircraft’s capabilities out to beyond the performance enhancement packages that are being rolled out across the partner countries of Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. An initial nineteen-month study contract for the aircraft and nine months for the Eurojet EJ200 powerplant were launched at that event. The technology areas being explored for the LTE include mission system architecture, defensive aids, the HMI, operational flexibility, and engine performance.

On 5 November 2020, an order for 38 new Tranche 4s was confirmed. Total value of this order is 5,4 billion euros. The new Typhoons will not be added to the current fleet, but they will replace the oldest Tranche 1 aircraft.

According to our database, the Luftwaffe has 108 active Tornado IDS/ECR in their inventory in use with three squadrons; TLG33 at Büchel, TLG51 at Schleswig and WTD61 at Ingolstadt/Manching.

A large number of Tornados have been scrapped over the years, but we are still looking for recent notes for some Tornados. If you have updates, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

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Photo: Dietmar Fenners (Scramble Magazine Archive)

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