German air force plans major Asia-Pacific tour in 2024


The German air force is gearing up for a strategic exercise tour across the Asia-Pacific region in 2024, accompanied by aircraft from France and Spain, the partners in the trinational Future Combat Air System, as reported by defense officials.

This multi-week deployment scheduled for the coming summer will include at least one German navy ship. The rationale behind Berlin’s decision lies in the belief that Germany should play a role in stabilizing the economically significant Asia-Pacific region, especially as China seeks to expand its influence. The government’s strategy also considers the idea that German engagement in distant regions can help relieve the United States of some responsibilities, allowing American forces to maintain their focus on Europe.

The previous deployment aimed to demonstrate that a fleet of aircraft, including six Eurofighters, four A400M multirole aircraft, and three A330 tankers, could reach Singapore within 24 hours and engage in various training activities. The upcoming schedule includes participation in the Pitch Black exercise in Australia in late July, a potential stop in Indonesia or Malaysia, and the conclusion of the deployment in India—a country that defense and foreign policy leaders in Berlin view as a crucial anchor in the region.

In India, the European contingent aims to take part in the country’s international Tarang Shakti exercise, if timing permits, or engage in “local flying” activities outside of that drill.