German Federal Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced a decision to procure 45 heads-up displays (HUD) for its Tornado aircraft in a release from 13 June 2024, at a cost of €66m ($70m), to be delivered by 2027.

The order is enough to equip roughly half of the relevant aircraft, as Germany maintains a fleet of 93 PA-200 Tornado fighters, according to GlobalData’s ‘Germany Armed Forces Equipment Inventory 2023’ report.

Reports from Bloomberg earlier in the week suggested that the order of HUD equipment would amount to €40m, well below the announced figure from the German MoD. 

The Tornado aircraft entered into service with the German Air Force in 1982, and the manufacturer, Panavia Aircraft (BAE Systems, EADS, Alenia), ceased production in 1998. Operational in five different forms, the Tornado was purchased by Germany as a GR 1 interdictor strike (IDS) variant. 

In this service is operated as a low-level, high speed reconnaissance aircraft, with an optimised electro-optical suite comprised of three internally mounted infrared sensors linked to a vide recording system. The tornado provided real-time reconnaissance with facilities for in-flight review, post flight analysis, and instant ground access to recorded imagery. 

The purchase of new equipment for the German Airforce is one of a series of procurement projects Germany is initiating as a a part of modernisation efforts. Funds for the HUDs will come from the regular defence budget as well as the Bundeswehr special fund.

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As part of the same announcement, Germany stated that it will spend almost €105m ($112m) on 7.62mm and 9mm ammunition to replace stock already delivered to Ukraine. In addition to being supported by funds from the regular defence budget and the Bundeswehr special fund, this purchase will also be financed by seal 60 of the General Financial Administration, intended for income and expenses that either cannot be assigned to a single department, or that affect the federal government as a whole.