BERLIN --- Pentagon officials briefed German military on the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet this week but Berlin said no procurement decisions have been taken.
Germany, which is looking to replace its aging Tornado fighter jets, is due to decide in mid-2018 about whether to start a new fighter development programme or buy an existing fighter.
A German Defence Ministry spokesman said the decision will hinge largely on assessments of how long the Tornados can stay in use.
"The F-35 is one of many options we are exploring," the spokesman said.
Any move to buy a U.S. warplane could run into political resistance in Germany, which has strong labour unions, and given a big push by Europe to develop its own military equipment.
The German Air Force asked the U.S. military in May for a classified briefing on the F-35 fighter jet as part of an "in-depth evaluation of market available solutions."
Germany's interest in the F-35 took some European defence industry officials by surprise, given a big push by European aerospace giant Airbus and other European defence companies to develop a next-generation European fighter. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.