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We Warned You: German Air Force Chief Ousted for Promoting F-35 Acquisition

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Lt. Gen. Karl Müller, head of the Luftwaffe, is on his way out the door primarily as a result of his vocal stance that Germany should buy the F-35 Lightning II.

Sputnik previously reported that Müller was on thin ice with German political leaders who apparently preferred that Germany's air force replace its Panavia Tornado fleet with more European-built fighter jets.

F-35 - Sputnik International
If German Air Force Chief Says ‘F-35’ One More Time He’s Fired - Report

"Luftwaffe sources tell me, if Germany's air force chief says ‘F-35' once again, he will likely be fired," German defense expert Christian Thiels said in late January, adding that it "seems political leadership is still leaning towards EU-solution."

It's not clear if Müller once again broadcasted his support for the F-35, but Jane's has reported that the general will be dismissed from his position as head of the air force specifically because of his advocacy for the joint strike fighter.

"The Luftwaffe considers the F-35's capability as a benchmark for the selection process for the Tornado replacement, and I think I have expressed myself clearly enough as to what the favorite of the air force is," Müller told reporters in November 2017.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen started her second term March 17. According to local media, Leyen kicked off the term with a major military reshuffle. In addition to sending Müller into retirement, more than half a dozen high-ranking officials across Germany's military leadership are being shown the door at the end of May.

​In December, Defense Ministry officials tried to distance themselves from the general's support for the F-35, stating that the Eurofighter Typhoon was being considered as the "primary" option to replace Germany's Tornado aircraft fleet.

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