A draft document from the Defense Ministry on 'military aviation strategy' said it was still unclear whether the new jet would be manned or unmanned. It said it was also possible that the jet would be designed for both options and then be flown with or without a pilot depending on the type of deployment.
In 1983, Italy, Germany, France, the UK and Spain launched the "Future European Fighter Aircraft" (FEFA) programme. In 1985, France officially withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, which was to become the Dassault Rafale. The maiden flight of the Eurofighter prototype took place in 1994.
Germany built Tornado bombers from 1979-1998 The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany.
The new German aircraft would likely be optimized to defeat a wider range of frequencies than current stealth aircraft like the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor or F-35—given that it would enter service in the 2030s. The threat environment in the 2030s is likely to feature an array of networked low frequency radars operating in the UHF and VHF-bands that could detect and track current stealth aircraft. Indeed, such systems are already starting to proliferate today.