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The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 05:30
by neptune
Pentagon officials brief Germany on F-35 fighter jet

Andrea Shalal, July 11, 2017

BERLIN (Reuters) - Pentagon officials briefed German military on the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet this week but Berlin said no procurement decisions have been taken. Germany, which is looking to replace its aging Tornado fighter jets, is due to decide in mid-2018 about whether to start a new fighter development program or buy an existing fighter.
A German Defense Ministry spokesman said the decision will hinge largely on assessments of how long the Tornados can stay in use. "The F-35 is one of many options we are exploring," the spokesman said. Any move to buy a U.S. warplane could run into political resistance in Germany, which has strong labor unions, and given a big push by Europe to develop its own military equipment. The German Air Force asked the U.S. military in May for a classified briefing on the F-35 fighter jet as part of an "in-depth evaluation of market available solutions." Germany's interest in the F-35 took some European defense industry officials by surprise, given a big push by European aerospace giant Airbus and other European defense companies to develop a next-generation European fighter.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germ ... SKBN19W16N

Lockheed, which is already building the F-35 fighter for several other NATO allies - the United States, Britain, Italy, Turkey, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark - also plans to provide the German defense ministry with information about opportunities for German industry to participate in the F-35 program, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. This week's briefings took place in Bonn, Germany, on Monday and Tuesday and involved a German one-star general, as well as working groups looking at specific weapons requirements and capabilities, according to another source briefed on the matter. "This meeting is consistent with the standard Foreign Military Sales process where we explain the path to F-35 acquisition and provide a top-level F-35 capabilities brief," F-35 program office spokesman Joe DellaVedova said. The German military plans to send Washington a formal "letter of request" for information about the F-35 and Boeing Co's F-15 and F/A-18E/F fighter jets later this summer, the ministry spokesman said. It will also gather information from Airbus about its work on a next-generation weapons system, he added. Experts also see the F-35 as the leading contender in a Belgian fighter competition that includes the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Aviation Rafale. Sweden's SAAB and Boeing have withdrawn from that tender.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 06:54
by sunstersun
I'd be a lot more confident in this if relations with Germany weren't so god damn frosty.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 07:58
by krorvik
It would sure be nice to be able to dial in another F-35 user in Europe - the advantages to common infrastructure (as stated quite clearly by Belgium too) are too big to ignore.

As for German unions - they are an integral part of German worklife. Fortunately - they are note the ones making large policy decisions on defense equipment there, or in any other country with similar systems. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 19:04
by talkitron
krorvik wrote:As for German unions - they are an integral part of German worklife. Fortunately - they are note the ones making large policy decisions on defense equipment there, or in any other country with similar systems. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that.


The focus on labor unions is narrow but the reference to unions stands in for all interest groups who would benefit from domestic design and production of a fighter aircraft. There would be a whole hierarchy of German subcontractors with relationships to Airbus who could work on a fighter program.

Merkel has an 88% chance of being the next chancellor according to the betting-aggregation site below (based on >$240KUS in bets). I have no idea of her relationship to these interest groups. Still, if the goal is to get to 2% defense spending, spending that money to please domestic interest groups rather on real military capability might be seen as smart politics. Still, the monetary cost of developing and producing an F-35 class fighter is huge and the Germans might get sticker shock and just buy F-35s.

https://electionbettingodds.com

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 09:24
by krorvik
Yep, that would be their greatest concern I think. A quick look at the price tag for developing the F-35 should, at least, sober them up a bit...

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 14:32
by bigjku
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-franc ... 9Y1FJ?il=0

No they aren't buying F-35. They will likely do Eurofighter 2.0 and get the same results they got not buying F-15's. Europe will build an F-35/22 hybrid about 3 years before the US is onto the next thing.

In all honesty none of this matters at all until they get the right engine program in place. There are years and billions to be spent just get get to where the US is on combat engines. Let alone to where adaptive cycle engines are about to take the US.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 14:43
by ricnunes
bigjku wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-germany-defence-idUSKBN19Y1FJ?il=0

No they aren't buying F-35. They will likely do Eurofighter 2.0 and get the same results they got not buying F-15's. Europe will build an F-35/22 hybrid about 3 years before the US is onto the next thing.

In all honesty none of this matters at all until they get the right engine program in place. There are years and billions to be spent just get get to where the US is on combat engines. Let alone to where adaptive cycle engines are about to take the US.


LoL! By 2060 (not a typo, two thousand and sixty) France/Germany should have their future fighter aircraft which will have similar capabilities as the F-35 but it a timeframe where the F-35 will probably starting to get replaced by something else. :roll:

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 17:31
by talkitron
ricnunes wrote:LoL! By 2060 (not a typo, two thousand and sixty) France/Germany should have their future fighter aircraft which will have similar capabilities as the F-35 but it a timeframe where the F-35 will probably starting to get replaced by something else. :roll:


Yeah, the Eurofighter Typhoon is just now getting ground attack capabilities like the F-15E had in 1989 and the air-to-air performance is competitive to the F-15E with equal munitions. So the Eurofighter took 30 years to equal the F-15E. The US should screw Israeli objections and aggressively export the F-35 to the Persian Gulf states to cut down on the financial viability of the Turkish, South Korean/Indonesian, Japanese, and now French/German fighter projects. Just like the Rafale and Typhoon added little to the F-15E in terms of military capability, these other projects will add little military capability to the F-35.

Maybe the UK will chip in some money for Penetrating Counter Air?

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 18:59
by durahawk
talkitron wrote:
ricnunes wrote:LoL! By 2060 (not a typo, two thousand and sixty) France/Germany should have their future fighter aircraft which will have similar capabilities as the F-35 but it a timeframe where the F-35 will probably starting to get replaced by something else. :roll:


Yeah, the Eurofighter Typhoon is just now getting ground attack capabilities like the F-15E had in 1989 and the air-to-air performance is competitive to the F-15E with equal munitions. So the Eurofighter took 30 years to equal the F-15E. The US should screw Israeli objections and aggressively export the F-35 to the Persian Gulf states to cut down on the financial viability of the Turkish, South Korean/Indonesian, Japanese, and now French/German fighter projects. Just like the Rafale and Typhoon added little to the F-15E in terms of military capability, these other projects will add little military capability to the F-35.

Maybe the UK will chip in some money for Penetrating Counter Air?


You guys are looking at it all wrong. The prime objective for the Typhoon project was to create a large scale pan-European Government funded workshare stimulus program. Creating an effective combat aircraft in line with western peers was merely a secondary objective. True, an egregious amount of capital was spent, but since most of it stayed within the EU, objective accomplished!

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 19:17
by Tiger05
bigjku wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-germany-defence-idUSKBN19Y1FJ?il=0

No they aren't buying F-35. They will likely do Eurofighter 2.0 and get the same results they got not buying F-15's. Europe will build an F-35/22 hybrid about 3 years before the US is onto the next thing.


They were looking at the F-35 to replace the Tornado in the 2020s. This new program is to replace Eurofighters/Rafales in the longer term (2030s-2040s). I dont exclude the possibility that they will still procure the F-35 and at the same time pursue that new fighter development but we will see.

Btw why should Germany have bought F-15s??

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 19:28
by bigjku
Tiger05 wrote:
bigjku wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-germany-defence-idUSKBN19Y1FJ?il=0

No they aren't buying F-35. They will likely do Eurofighter 2.0 and get the same results they got not buying F-15's. Europe will build an F-35/22 hybrid about 3 years before the US is onto the next thing.


They were looking at the F-35 to replace the Tornado in the 2020s. This new program is to replace Eurofighters/Rafales in the longer term (2030s-2040s). I dont exclude the possibility that they will still procure the F-35 and at the same time pursue that new fighter development but we will see.

Btw why should Germany have bought F-15s??


To replace their F-4's frankly.

The main concept is that the Eurofighter has no real reason to exist. We are getting some percentage improvement over the F-15 for a huge investment. The program as someone else stated is basically at its core a jobs program. It is what it is. Nothing against it but as an aircraft it really doesn't bring a lot new to the table that couldn't have been bought off the shelf. Any improvements on the F-15 are in the margins.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 19:38
by botsing
bigjku wrote:The main concept is that the Eurofighter has no real reason to exist. We are getting some percentage improvement over the F-15 for a huge investment. The program as someone else stated is basically at its core a jobs program.

I would say it is a job and technology investment/program for Europe. I would not be surprised with the economics involved if this actually has a profit on the grander scale (jobs, R&D and education).

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 21:02
by Tiger05
talkitron wrote:
ricnunes wrote:LoL! By 2060 (not a typo, two thousand and sixty) France/Germany should have their future fighter aircraft which will have similar capabilities as the F-35 but it a timeframe where the F-35 will probably starting to get replaced by something else. :roll:


Yeah, the Eurofighter Typhoon is just now getting ground attack capabilities like the F-15E had in 1989 and the air-to-air performance is competitive to the F-15E with equal munitions. So the Eurofighter took 30 years to equal the F-15E. The US should screw Israeli objections and aggressively export the F-35 to the Persian Gulf states to cut down on the financial viability of the Turkish, South Korean/Indonesian, Japanese, and now French/German fighter projects. Just like the Rafale and Typhoon added little to the F-15E in terms of military capability, these other projects will add little military capability to the F-35.


Why even compare the Typhoon to the F-15E? One was conceived as a pure interceptor with A2G capabilities added later as an afterthought while the other is a mud-mover. Apples and oranges really.

bigjku wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:
bigjku wrote:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-germany-defence-idUSKBN19Y1FJ?il=0

No they aren't buying F-35. They will likely do Eurofighter 2.0 and get the same results they got not buying F-15's. Europe will build an F-35/22 hybrid about 3 years before the US is onto the next thing.


They were looking at the F-35 to replace the Tornado in the 2020s. This new program is to replace Eurofighters/Rafales in the longer term (2030s-2040s). I dont exclude the possibility that they will still procure the F-35 and at the same time pursue that new fighter development but we will see.

Btw why should Germany have bought F-15s??


To replace their F-4's frankly.

The main concept is that the Eurofighter has no real reason to exist. We are getting some percentage improvement over the F-15 for a huge investment. The program as someone else stated is basically at its core a jobs program. It is what it is. Nothing against it but as an aircraft it really doesn't bring a lot new to the table that couldn't have been bought off the shelf. Any improvements on the F-15 are in the margins.


Thats a very US-centric point of view there... Europeans have their own aerospace industry. Its understable that they tend to favor a "home-made" solution as much as possible. Nothing wrong with that. Buying F-15s off-the shelf from the US would have provided next to no benefits for European aerospace companies, not to mention no R&D work as well thus making them lag behind, etc.

And i think you guys are being too harsh on the Typhoon. Yes, the program was a mess (largely due to the end of the Cold War which caused a lot of delays) but the aircraft itself turned out to be a fine jet. Pilots love it. I disagree that it is barely an improvement over the F-15. It has phenomenal pure 'raw' performances and climb rate, is more technology advanced, has more advanced sensors (IRST, sensor fusion...) and weapons (Meteor), has more growth potential, etc. FWIW the jet performed very well against F-15C/E during joint exercices.

OTOH i admit that the latest Eagle versions (F-15SG/SA, etc) are very impressive but keep in mind that they werent an option when the Typhoon was designed in the late 1980s/early 90s. F-15C was already out of production at that time and the F-15E was just coming online. Hindsight is 20/20.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 21:09
by bigjku
Europe is caught between two chairs. You don't spend enough to support a really cutting edge military industry buy you don't want to buy everything overseas either. You can't even really agree to buy the same things from Europe. At the present budgets Europe can do one of two things.

One field a credible force by minimizing R&D expenses.

Two support the industrial complex but have large capability gaps that go unfilled.

Because of a diminished threat Europe has been able to do number 2 and rely on the US to provide SEAD or tankers or whatever it is that Europe is missing.

Re: The Germans are coming!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 21:16
by SpudmanWP
Why even compare the Typhoon to the F-15E? One was conceived as a pure interceptor with A2G capabilities added later as an afterthought while the other is a mud-mover. Apples and oranges really.


Calling the F-15E a "mud-mover" is like calling the F-11 and dogfighter.