Newly minted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz succeeded Angela Merkel in late 2021, after a campaign where he was “conspicuously silent” on NATO nuclear deterrent plans.
Germany is not a nuclear-capable nation, despite having the facilities to produce warheads, but is included in NATO’s weapon sharing agreements.
Under the Scholz administration, the country has ramped up defence spending amid the crisis in Ukraine.
He pledged to raise defence spending to two percent of Germany’s GDP and increased the annual defence budget from €50.3 billion to nearly €70 million.
As part of this push, German defence minister Christine Lambrecht announced the government would replace its Tornado bomber jets with US-made F-35A Lightning II aircraft.
While she didn’t mention nuclear production, Ms Lambrecht said these planes could deliver nuclear warheads.
The German Chancellor has demonstrated a readiness to defend his country from potential aggression, meaning his forces would be well equipped to respond to active warmongering in Western Europe and beyond.