BERLIN --- The German military has asked potential bidders in a high-stakes competition to replace its ageing Tornado fighter jets about accelerating deliveries of new warplanes before an initial target date of 2025, sources familiar with the matter said.
The defence ministry posed the question in early August in a follow-up to its initial request for information from Europe’s Airbus and Lockheed Martin and Boeing, both from the United States, the sources said.
The ministry had no comment on the latest twist in a tender that could be worth billions of euros. One of the sources said the request signalled concerns about the growing cost of servicing the current fleet of 85 operational Tornado jets.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen says she favours a European solution - the Eurofighter Typhoon built by Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo SpA -- but Lockheed and Boeing still hope for a chance to bid for the work. (end of excerpt)
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