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Fighter jet pilot tells: How many Bundeswehr Eurofighters protect German airspace


A German Air Force fighter jet pilot provides insights. He talks about the operational readiness of the Eurofighters in Germany. And he talks about NATO preparations in the first days of the Ukraine war.

A German Air Force fighter jet pilot provides insights.

He talks about the operational readiness of the Eurofighters in Germany.

And he talks about NATO preparations in the first days of the Ukraine war.

Munich/Neuburg an der Donau - What happens if Germany's airspace appears to be threatened?

Lieutenant Colonel Jürgen Schumann from Tactical Air Force Squadron 71 "Richthofen" spoke in an interview with the Bundeswehr about air policing by the Luftwaffe.

NATO's eastern flank: German Eurofighters secure airspace over the Baltic States

The commodore explained how many Eurofighter fighter jets the Bundeswehr has and how many German Eurofighters are deployed on NATO's eastern flank.

And where the so-called alarm squads are stationed in Germany itself.

As Schumann explained, five German Eurofighters have been stationed in the Baltic States from August 2022 to mid-May.

On behalf of the transatlantic defense alliance, they monitor NATO's eastern flank over the Baltic States from the Ämari military airfield in Estonia.

According to Schumann, at the beginning of the Ukraine war, three German Eurofighters were stationed in Romania. Immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this number was increased to six German fighter jets within a few days - including full armament.

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"So that we were ready for action on day five with all our Eurofighters," explained the Luftwaffe pilot in the Bundeswehr interview, which can be accessed on YouTube.

From day one of the Ukraine war, the NATO partners had made the so-called "Show of Force" with twice four Eurofighters over Romanian airspace.

German airspace: alerts in Bavaria and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

"That means showing clearly: NATO is ready, we are ready at any time and don't mess with us," he said, in German: Don't mess with us.

He did not address the Russian Air Force, but is believed to have meant it.

"You see what kind of weapons we have.

And don't try to get close," the commodore continued, looking at the Russian fighter jets.

He did mention them, however, explaining that Russian fighter jet pilots would often use a route north of the Baltic States to fly into international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

It sometimes happened that "with a small curved movement you show yourself the armament so that you know: That's what it looks like!", he said.


Commander of the German Air Force: Jürgen Schumann.

© Screenshot Youtube@Bundeswehr

And about Germany?

An alarm squad was stationed in southern Germany at Tactical Air Force Squadron 74 in Neuburg an der Donau near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, Schumann said.

His Tactical Air Force Squadron 71 normally works from Wittmund in Lower Saxony, one of the Luftwaffe's four Eurofighter locations.

However, this location is currently closed due to extensive renovation work.

"So we moved our entire formation to Laage, to Tactical Air Force Squadron 73 'Steinhoff'," he said.

Laage is located in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Air Force alarm squads: Usually two Bundeswehr Eurofighters

An "alert squad usually consists of two aircraft that are ready for action and two backup aircraft that are also ready for action," explained the fighter jet pilot.

For example, eight aircraft are currently being kept ready for “the entire German airspace surveillance”.

The Air Force has a total of 138 Eurofighters, he also said, but for maintenance intervals some are "for several weeks or even months at the industry for overhaul".

However, there are always "enough vehicles ready for use", he explained and confirmed: "Yes, we are adequately equipped."


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-02-05

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