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Germany

Luftwaffe To Retire 500 War Planes

Defense Minister Peter Struck has announced that Germany's Luftwaffe will be reducing its number of aircraft, primarily Tornado fighter planes, from 746 to 262 by 2015. The decision comes days after Struck unveiled his plans for cuts to the armed forces, and the minister has been quick to stress that the Luftwaffe will still include the 180 Eurofighter combat aircraft Germany has ordered from EADS, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Alenia at a cost of some €18 billion. Despite the recently announced military shake-up, Struck insists Germany "will be sticking to the contract we've signed." The Eurofighter, one of the most expensive projects in military history, is a joint collaboration between four European nations – the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. The defense minister has made it clear that Germany won't attempt to alter the existing contract without involving its partners, pointing out that a unilateral decision would entail considerable financial penalties.