There could be yet another F-35 nation in Europe, with Austria reportedly eyeing the Lockheed Martin fighter, according to a report from Janes.
The country is considering the F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for the Austrian Air Force post-2030, to replace its fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons, the publication reported, citing undisclosed sources. The Typhoons are scheduled for upgrades to take them through to the early 2030s, Janes said.
Austria published a $15.5 billion defense budget for the period through to 2027 on October 7, 2022, and Janes reported that it had been told that the Austrian Ministry of Defence has asked the armament directorate to collect information on the possible purchase of the fifth-generation fighter.
Lockheed Martin predicted in June 2022 that over 550 F-35s will be operating in Europe by 2035, up from 128 in June 2022.
The latest country to decide on the fighter is Czechia, following others such as Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Poland.