Germany has initiated building of a factory by defense contractor Rheinmetall to produce fuselage sections for the US-made F-35 fighter jet near the municipality of Weeze in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), NRW Premier Hendrik Wust said on Tuesday.
“Our soldiers need the best weapons. The planned ultra-modern plant in Weeze has not only an economic but also a defense dimension,” the official, who laid the foundation stone for the factory’s construction, stated.
In July, Rheinmetall clarified that the construction of the plant was the result of agreements with US arms companies Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. The plant, which is expected to be completed in two years, will produce at least 400 F-35A fuselage sections for the air forces of Germany and other nations. The components will further be sent to assembly lines in the United States.
In 2022, the German government announced the purchase of 35 F-35 fighters to replace its aging Tornado fleet by 2027.