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Germany's Eurofighter jet costs to double to 60 billion euros: auditors

The logo of Airbus Group is seen at the entrance of a news conference to announce the Airbus Group 2013 annual results in Toulouse February
The logo of Airbus Group is seen at the entrance of a news conference to announce the Airbus Group 2013 annual results in Toulouse February

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German defense ministry has no overview of the costs it is incurring for Airbus Group's Eurofighter jets and will spend twice as much as it originally planned on the country's most expensive defense project, federal auditors said.

The German Federal Court of Auditors, which oversees the government's financial management, said in a report the costs for the Eurofighter jets over their life cycle would climb to around 60 billion euros ($83 billion) from an originally planned 30 billion, despite the number of jets having been reduced.

The auditors said operating expenses, especially maintenance costs, had increased particularly strongly.

They also said the budget of 11.8 billion euros the defense ministry had calculated in 1997 for the purchase of 180 Eurofighter jets would only be enough to buy 140 of the planes.

($1 = 0.7237 Euros)

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Stephen Brown and Mark Potter)

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