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German Air Force

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The German Air Force (also referred to as the Luftwaffe) is the aerial warfare branch of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces of Germany. With a strength of 41,600 personnell, it is the fourth largest air force within the European Union, after the air forces of France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Although its budget has been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War in 1989/90, the Luftwaffe is still among the best-equipped air forces of the world. Like the other branches of the Bundeswehr, it is fully integrated into the structures of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The German Air Force was founded in 1956 during the era of the Cold War as the aerial warfare branch of the armed forces of then West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, it integrated parts of the air force of the former German Democratic Republic, which itself had been founded in 1956 as part of the National People's Army. There is no organizational continuity between the current Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr and the former Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht, which was completely disbanded in 1945/46 after World War II. The term Luftwaffe that is used for both the historic and the current German air force is the German-language generic designation of any air force, thus not establishing a link between the two forces.

List of Aircraft[edit]

Combat Aircraft[edit]

  • Panavia Tornado x 144 (Multirole Fighter)
  • Eurofighter Typhoon x 250 (Strike Aircraft)

Transport Aircraft[edit]

  • Airbus A130 MRTT x 10 (Aerial Tanker)
  • Airbus A319CJ x 2 (VIP Transport)
  • Airbus A321 x 2 (VIP Transport)
  • Airbus A330 MRTT x 12 (Aerial Tanker)
  • Airbus A340 x 4 (VIP Transport)
  • Airbus A400M Atlas x 60 (Tactical Airlifter)
  • Bombardier Global Express 5000 x 4 (VIP Transport)
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules x 6 (Tactical Transport)
  • Transall C-160 x 34 (Transport Aircraft)


  • Eurocopter EC145 x 16 (Special Forces Transport)
  • Eurocopter AS532 Cougar x 4 (VIP Transport)
  • VFW-Fokker/Sikorsky CH-53G Sea Stallion x 42 (Heavy Lift Transport Helicopter)


    • Northrop Grumman RQ-4B EuroHawk x 6 (SIGNIT Operations)
    • Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton x 0 (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) - 18 on order
    • IAI Heron x 4 (Reconnaissance)

Training Aircraft[edit]

  • Beechcraft T-6 Texan II x 70 (Trainer Aircraft)
  • Grob G120 x 8 (Trainer Aircraft)
  • Northrop T-38 Talon x 36 (Advanced Trainer)
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