(Bloomberg) -- Germany has earmarked €10 billion ($10.5 billion) to buy 35 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets, according to a government document seen by Bloomberg, reflecting Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s pledge to boost defense spending.
The money will come from a debt-financed €100 billion special fund that Scholz announced shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. Deliveries under the plan are scheduled to take place between 2026 and 2029. The cost includes items such as air-to-ground missiles and grounds infrastructure, according to the German document.
Scholz pledged in a speech to parliament after Russia’s attack that Germany would invest “more than” 2% of gross domestic product annually in defense, aided by the special fund.
Bottlenecks at defense companies and other procurement problems have hampered the spending drive. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht recently revised the target to 2% of GDP and said Berlin would reach it “on average in the next five years.”
Germany’s failure to reach the 2% target agreed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been a source of friction with the US, particularly under former President Donald Trump.
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