It’s not often that Europe’s largest economy turns to the United States for military hardware. This time, it seems Germany’s military may have run out of patience with its homegrown alternative.
The German air force plans to buy four to six of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J transport planes, also known as Hercules, a defence ministry spokesman confirmed Wednesday. That’s in addition to 53 A400M aircraft it has already ordered – but failed to receive on time – from the European consortium Airbus.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen first revealed the decision during a visit with her French counterpart Tuesday in Paris, where she signed a deal to have the planes stationed in France. It comes after months of speculation over whether the German defense ministry, which wants to phase out its over 40-year-old Transall transporters by 2021, would buy the Hercules plane from the U.S.-listed firm.