The Germans are coming!

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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weasel1962

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 05:02

popcorn wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Who is Germany going to fight in the next 2 decades?

Is your house going to burn down in the next 2 decades? I bet you have insurance and buy the best that you can afford to address the risk.
As the saying goes "the only thing more expensive than a first-rate air force is a second-rate one'.


This is where we differ. I would buy the right amount of the right type of insurance (same thing goes for car insurance). I may not buy from an insurance provider who may not pay out when I need it (e.g. F-35 embargo risk).

Today's world is not just military conflict risk but trade wars, budget risks where unbridled unfocussed spending can be sustained. That unfortunately is the result of a successful NATO which has enabled Europeans nations to reduce their military expenditures to record lows.

Ironically, buying F-35s would ideally be the right way to minimise those costs. The theory of comparative advantage means technically the one who can produce it cheapest should build it. However, that theory is not applicable in the military sphere. That is because buying from a foreign party is actually outsourcing the risk.

As can be seen from the Turkey example, it provides the supplier the ability to influence future procurement decisions and actually increases sovereignty risks. The question is really when Germany needs a Typhoon replacement rather than a Tornado replacement. If they need a Tornado replacement today, they'd just build more Typhoons.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 09:05

Honestly, I think Merkel maybe using the issue to get back at Trump over trade. As the Germans are no dummies..... :wink:


Also, now Germany is asking the US how long and how much it will cost to upgrade the Typhoon for the Nuclear Strike Role. Easy, the US says a gazillion and a decade to do so......WOW makes the F-35 look real good!
:doh:
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steve2267

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 13:32

In the face of S-300, S-400, S-500 air defenses, is Typhoon really a credible nuclear delivery option going forward?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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magitsu

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 17:20

Probably not, but you know... have to explore the domestic options due to domestic political reasons.
They would probably prefer that the US would make the decision for them by denying nuke tech transfer to Typhoons.

They've been doing these things which smell like political plays. Like the G36 rifles failing at very high temperature, allowing them to dump more money to Heckler & Koch. But they don't seem to be allowing anyone to buy their old G36s... :devil:
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talkitron

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Unread post18 Sep 2018, 00:01

Here is a long article in German about the F-35 program and all its possible problems. In the end, the article tends more positive and the author seems to endorse Germany buying the F-35 to replace its Tornados. I will put the English translation from Google here.

https://www.offiziere.ch/?p=34118

It is the most expensive military aircraft procurement program in the world: F-35 Lightning II , as the official name, is that of Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force ( USAF ), US Navy ( USN ) and US Marine Corps ( USMC ), as part of the Joint Strike Fighter program, jointly developed 5th-generation stealth caps , the F-16 Falcon , F-18 Hornet , AV-8B Harrier II and A-10 Warthogin the US Air Force. While the 'A' version of the USAF conventionally takes off and lands (CTOL: Conventional Take-Off and Landing), the 'B' is a short-launching and vertically-landing variant specially developed for the USMC and its amphibious attack ships (STOVL Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) while the 'C' version is used by aircraft carriers of the USN (CV: Carrier Variant). By the year 2070, the procurement, operation and maintenance of the approximately 2,400 fighter aircraft will cost approximately $ 1.5 trillion.
The F-35 should become an export hit
In contrast to the stealth air superiority fighter F-22 RaptorThe F-35 was and is intended for export right from the start. Eight other countries are not only buying the F-35, but are also actively involved in the overall project financing and construction of the fighter aircraft: the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Turkey. Israel has a special position in the project because it is the only country that is able to equip the F-35 with its own avionics and software and is responsible for the maintenance itself. After all, Japan and Korea are pure buyer countries. Despite this international cooperation, the project is seven years behind schedule and has so far exceeded $ 163 billion over the original budget. Each fighter jet version 'A' currently costs about $ 95 million, the 'B' and 'C' even around $ 120 million. While at the beginning of the development phase, the planners had still provided an 80% compliance of the components for the 'A', 'B and' C 'variants to reduce maintenance costs, depending on the version, only 27 to 43% remained. Reasons for this were, among other things, the wishes of the USMC for a STOVL capability to replace the obsolete, vertically launching AV-8B fighter jets, as well as the USN for larger, folding wings with more fuel and a reinforced landing gear for use on aircraft carriers. The USAF was initially a bit more frugal: they initially wanted to replace only their F -16 and A-10, where there was still the procurement of a larger number of F-22 planned, which then later for cost reasons could not be realized.

US Government [Public Domain]
US Government [Public Domain]


The German Air Force wishes the F-35 as a replacement for Tornado
late last year , the former inspector of the Air Force Karl Müllner pleaded indirectly for the F-35 as a replacement for the outdated 85 German Tornado multipurpose fighter aircraft. The Luftwaffe, according to Müllner, needed a fighter aircraft that could fight enemy targets from a distance with low radar signature. For a complete new development, it was already too late. The Ministry of Defense, in contrast, declared that it preferred a further developed Eurofighter Typhoon as a replacement for the Tornado and is probably only subordinate to the procurement of the F-35, F-15 or F / A-18 ("'F-35' for the Bundeswehr ?: Air Force names requirements for 'Tornado' successor , Spiegel Online, 08.11.2017). General Müllner was prematurely retired on 29.5.2018 . Procurement is politically and militarily delicate, if only because the German tornados are intended for so-called " nuclear participation ". While the US fighters all have a clearance to drop the corresponding B-61Nuclear bombs own (F-15, F-18) or soon will have (F-35 presumably from 2020), the Eurofighter, apart from the still to be created technical conditions, would get a corresponding release from the US government in the first place. For this, the US would demand insight into the technical specifications and documents of the Eurofighter, which is unlikely to be fair to the European project partners for competitive reasons alone.
Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000 (reg 30 + 68) of the German Air Force (German Air Force, Tactical Air Force Squadron 74) at ILA Berlin Air Show 2016 (photo: Julian Herzog [GFDL or CC BY 4.0].
Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000 (reg 30 + 68) of the German Air Force (German Air Force, Tactical Air Force Squadron 74) at ILA Berlin Air Show 2016 (photo: Julian Herzog [GFDL or CC BY 4.0].


Is the F-35 the right aircraft for the German Air Force?
But would the F-35A, which experts like to mockingly call a "flying computer", really be a suitable successor to the Tornado of the Luftwaffe? Should not the Ministry of Defense rely on a modified "Eurofighter" Eurofighter or better still buy the proven F-18 Super Hornet ? Of course, in an armaments project of this size, the critics speak out immediately. In the F-35, the opinions ignite mainly on the attempt of the manufacturer Lockheed Martinto develop not only a fighter jet for three different forces and their specific requirements, but also a variety of older types of aircraft for the purposes air superiority (F-15), multipurpose (F-16), close air support (A-10), as whiz ( AV-8B) as well as bomber and electronic warfare (F / A-18). A project that had to be doomed from the start because of its complexity, but now too big and too expensive to really fail? It is unusual that the manufacturer Lockheed Martin was granted when placing the order, even in the test and testing phase to produce a variety of "pre-production models" (so-called " Concurrency") And to deliver these to the US armed forces (as of July 2018: 305+ pieces), instead of the production after the series maturity of a smaller number of prototypes to include (" fly before you buy ").
Pentagon Internal Audit Review on F-35 Sobering
The US Department of Defense (DOT & E) Director of Operational Test & Evaluation oversees compliance with the contracted technical and security requirements for all types of weapons systems Evaluations on the progress and current status of the F-35 project by the Joint Program Office ( JPO ) development department for the fiscal years 2016 and 2017are - to put it mildly - very sobering: in the current test report 2017, the DOT & E states that the operational suitability of the F-35 lags behind the requirements and does not yet meet the expectations of the armed forces. In some cases, deployments could only be flown through technically unforeseen workarounds. The sourcing program is currently delivering F-35 with the skills that are needed to tackle current threats. The countrywide availability rate of the F-35 fleet has remained at an unacceptable 50% since October 2014, although more and more machines have been put into service since then. The technical reliability of the delivered aircraft is also stagnating,

JSF maintainer (photo: Chrissy Cuttita / US Air Force [Public domain])
JSF maintainer (photo: Chrissy Cuttita / US Air Force [Public domain])

In its report, the DOT & E has a total of 301 major (software) errors in areas such as targeting, weapons integration, survivability, mission planning , cyber security, ALIS softwareand maintainability determined. Of these, at least 88 are in the "processing", the remaining 213 errors remain unresolved. These serious defects do not allow the confirmation of the conditional or basic operational readiness by DOT & E necessary for the start of mass production of the F-35. Nevertheless, in order to continue the construction of other, not fully operational F-35, the JPO now wants to officially complete the development phase and move into a "continuous capability development and delivery phase". However, in its 2017 report, the internal audit reports serious concerns about this approach. Probably because, because of simultaneous development, Prototype testing and pre-production a considerable number of F-35 with different equipment exist. The already mentioned start-up test for the start of series production will probably not be possible until the end of 2019. By then, however, more than 600 aircraft have been built and delivered. These must all be retrofitted later, which in turn will trigger significant costs. The USAF had therefore seriously considered 108 delivered, fully paid F-35A pre-series models not even to update (so-called "Concurrency Orphans"), which has now been rejected, however. These must all be retrofitted later, which in turn will trigger significant costs. The USAF had therefore seriously considered 108 delivered, fully paid F-35A pre-series models not even to update (so-called "Concurrency Orphans"), which has now been rejected, however. These must all be retrofitted later, which in turn will trigger significant costs. The USAF had therefore seriously considered 108 delivered, fully paid F-35A pre-series models not even to update (so-called "Concurrency Orphans"), which has now been rejected, however.
Software is the "Achilles heel" of the F-35
The capabilities of the F-35 are determined on the one hand by their technical equipment and built-in electronics (including 31 IBM PowerPC processors with 75,000 MIPSOn the other hand, the underlying software for control and operation is an essential capability feature. Individual stages of development are summarized in blocks, which can also have subdivisions depending on the partial force. Block 1 describes "first-hour" aircraft built for training and testing purposes, while Block 2 already provided basic weapon functions, while Block 3F represents the current software release. The internal programming of the F-35 includes more than 8 million lines of software code, more than four times as many as the F-22. Taking into account the rule of thumb that even with sensitive armament jobs per 1,000 lines of code, a programming error occurs, it's no surprise that for the current, as a conditionally declarable version of the Block 3F R6 software is now the 31st update, which will follow even more. The Block 3F software was initially too unreliable, even for the first test flights. Even with the current version 3F R6.32 programming errors are still being discovered and eliminated.

The mission systems software blocks being developed for the program, the percentage of test points completed by block, and the build-up to full warfighting capability with Block 3F (Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office [Public domain]).
The mission systems software is completed by block, and the build-up to full theatrical capability with Block 3F (Source: US Government Accountability Office [Public Domain]).

Much more serious, however, is the lack of mission-relevant mission files (MDL). They contain extensive information about, for example, potential targets, enemy fighters, and other potential threats, such as anti-aircraft positions, with their electronic and / or infrared signatures, which must be loaded into the F-35 on-board computer each time before each mission and updated after each deployment. Without this MDL, the F-35 can neither find its goals nor escape potential threats. Your stealth ability depends largely on the MDL to calculate optimal flight paths away from enemy air defense and interceptors. For each area of ​​application, a separate MDL with mission-specific information must be created. In total, at least six such MDLs are needed for worldwide deployment and completion of the testing and testing phase. At least the first MDL for the upcoming series maturity tests in the US should be completed later this year. Only one location in the US is currently able to program the MDL for all F-35s: the US Reprogramming Laboratory (USRL) at theEglin Air Force Basein Florida. However, this "lab" alone requires 15 months for an MDL, so theoretically the preparation of the required six MDL would take seven and a half years. This does not include the required updates of already created MDL by the new information obtained after each use of an F-35 on existing or additional targets and threats, to which the USRL so far is not able, because it is with inadequate software and outdated or incomplete hardware works. In order to be able to thoroughly test the created MDL, the USRL also requires special electronics, so-called threat emitters, which generate identical signals as the expected enemy interceptors, radar positions and anti-aircraft missiles in the potential combat zone.

Another major weakness of the F-35 project is the Autonomic Logistics Information System ( ALIS ), owned and operated by Lookheed Martin, a worldwide manufacturer. It is a complex computer system consisting of 65 individual programs with 16 million lines of software code, which continuously collects and analyzes aircraft data. It is used, among other things, for operational planning, threat analyzes, maintenance diagnostics and planning, and for the ordering of spare parts. All F-35s, including non-US partner countries or buyers, need to update their mission files along with ALIS profiles before and after each flight. For this purpose, the data are read from each F-35, then after the Internet to the ALIS mainframe afterFort Worth in Texas, who then forwards them to the USRL and Lockheed Martin. From there, the updated mainframe data will be sent back to all F-35s, also overseas. If the Internet connection from the USA to Europe, for example, is interrupted by hacker attacks on network nodes or sabotage of the submarine cables , then the ALIS 'rejected' F-35s remain in the UK, Italy and in Turkey until further notice (Giovanni de Briganti, " US Software Stranglehold Threatens F-35 Foreign Operations", Defense-Aerospace.com, 04.11.2015). Because data transmission via satellite is hardly possible because of the high data volume of only a single F-35 squadron, as tests on board the aircraft carrier USS Washington in August 2016 showed. It took two whole days, partly due to tactical "silence", limited bandwidth and bad satellite connections to send a 200 MB ALIS file. It remains to be seen how these transmission problems will be resolved in the future when deploying entire squadrons of F-35 'B' / 'C' models on aircraft and amphibious attack vectors. The DOT & E called on the USN extent to further investigations.

Portable maintenance device loaded with joint technical data and plugged into F-35 (photo: Maj. Karen Roganov / US Air Force [Public domain]).
Portable maintenance device loaded with joint technical data and plugged into F-35 (photo: Maj. Karen Roganov / US Air Force [Public domain]).

However, the DOT & E points out further ALIS deficiencies in its audit report. After the last update of the software had the USMC base YumaIn Arizona in June 2017, the flight operations complete with all stationed there F-35 completely because, among other things, the engine data was not recorded properly. In addition, ALIS continuously issues incorrect values ​​about the need for repair or repair of components, which then lead to aircraft shutdowns, orders for spare parts and time-consuming but pointless technician assignments. Manual workarounds and interventions by ALIS administrators, now part of the maintenance routine of the mechanics, are required for operations that should have taken place automatically. In previous reports, the DOT & E also criticized the inadequate cyber security of the software and hardware against hacker attacks affecting both the ALIS and the F-35 itself. These well-known weaknesses were not eliminated in the 2017 reporting year. Now the auditor recommends that in view of current cyber threats, ALIS for test flights for the permitted period of up to 30 days better off completely off, but in principle does not correspond to the above-described, necessary interaction of ALIS and the F-35 to effective (combat) To fly stakes. Probably for these reasons too, Israel has contractually waived the right, as already mentioned, to maintain its necessary interaction of ALIS and the F-35 to fly effective (combat) missions. Probably for these reasons too, Israel has contractually waived the right, as already mentioned, to maintain its necessary interaction of ALIS and the F-35 to fly effective (combat) missions. Probably for these reasons too, Israel has contractually waived the right, as already mentioned, to maintain itsF-35I Adir himself to take over. There is a legitimate concern about not being able to deploy an F-35 in the middle of a conflict because ALIS has been compromised by cyberattacks. So, whether Israel stays out of the global network with ALIS or installs its own maintenance software is understandably secret.
ALIS is not only exposed to cyber threats on the Internet, it also transmits even in the opinion of some JSF partner countries too much operational data after each flight of an F-35 to the US Army and the non-state manufacturer Lockheed-Martin and thus violates the sovereignty of the Project participating countries. For example, Italy, Norway and Australia have decided to restrict the volume of sensitive data to be transferred to the US via ALIS in the future on the software side. In addition, Italy and Norway are building a common software laboratory in the US for programming country-specific mission files. However, the ALIS network also grants the US active control over the F-35s deployed in its partner countries through the distribution of updates and patches of the internal and external F-35 software. In the future, ALIS could also be used by the USA as a "Trojan Horse" in order to record malicious software in the F-35, which may have become disliked partner countries, and paralyze it on the software side.

The F-35I Adir (escorted by a F-16I Sufa) on his debut flight in Israel, December 2016 (photo: Major Ofer / Israeli Air Force [CC BY 4.0])
The F-35I Adir (escorted by a F-16I Sufa) on his debut flight in Israel, December 2016 (photo: Major Ofer / Israeli Air Force [CC BY 4.0])


The Targeting and Weapon Systems are Restricted
The Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) is a targeting system based on the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, which was previously developed for the F-16 . In order to preserve the stealth capabilities, an external container was dispensed with, and the EOTS on the bow of the F-35 was integrated into the lower fuselage in a sapphire crystal pulpit. It provides via the connection to the central computer with the help of a video camera, an infrared search / tracking system ( FLIR) and a range / target illumination laser, the target acquisition coordinates required for the on-board weapons during air and ground combat. The data thus obtained is transmitted to the pilot directly on the visor of his helmet. A head-up display ( HUD - windscreen projector), there is no longer in the cockpit of the F-35. According to the 2016 DOT & E report, the test pilots agreed that the integrated EOTS was less powerful than that of older 4th generation jets in an external container. Enemies could not be detected and identified at a tactically reasonable distance, targets can not be permanently laser-marked during the attack phase. Environmental influences, such as high humidity, would force the pilots to fly closer to potential targets than would actually be warranted. This would take the F-35's surprise effect, unnecessarily alert potential enemies, slow down the fire process and expose the F-35 to additional threats in the target area. The 2017 DOT & E report further states that that movable ground targets can not be adequately captured with the EOTS. The pilots would have to balance out technical deficiencies of the EOTS when sighting using "rule of thumb", which is neither effective nor allowed under real combat conditions. Due to the electronics used so far, these deficits of the EOTS can no longer be solved by software improvements alone. Not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin manufacturer announced in September 2015 that it would be ready for the upcoming Block 4 models of the F-35. " Due to the electronics used so far, these deficits of the EOTS can no longer be solved by software improvements alone. Not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin manufacturer announced in September 2015 that it would be ready for the upcoming Block 4 models of the F-35. " Due to the electronics used so far, these deficits of the EOTS can no longer be solved by software improvements alone. Not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin manufacturer announced in September 2015 that it would be ready for the upcoming Block 4 models of the F-35. "Advanced EOTS "with improved technology has announced that, however, can only be installed from 2020.
Electro-optical target sensor (EOTS) on a mock-up of the F-35. Photo taken at RIAT 2007 (Source: Dammit, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Netherlands license)
Electro-optical target sensor (EOTS) on a mock-up of the F-35. Photo taken at RIAT 2007 (Source: Dammit , Wikimedia Commons , Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Netherlands license )

The weapon systems do not look much better. The F-35A is equipped with an internal, four-barreled 25mm Gatling gun for its intended air support roller . The weapons tests in 2017 turned out to be firing too far and too far to the right. There were also inaccuracies in the guns carried in separate weapons containers of the 'B' and 'C' models, though not as blatantly as in the 'A' version. The bugs have not been fixed in any version so far.

For the AIM-120 long-range air-to-space missile (beyond the visual horizon), weapon testing revealed problems with the F-35's technical integration and indicators, all of which are confidential. However, the published weapons test protocol shows that test firing of the AIM-120 AMRAAM either completely or partially failed or the evaluation of the results still lasts, whatever that means.

Weapons bay of a mock-up of the F-35. PPhoto taken at RIAT 2007 (Source: Dammit, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Netherlands license)
Weapons bay of a mock-up of the F-35. Photo taken at RIAT 2007 (Source: Dammit , Wikimedia Commons , Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Netherlands license )

In the air / ground weapons tests, shortcomings have been identified in connection with the EOTS, which prevent the complete and successful passage of the so-called "control loop" consisting of finding, fixing, tracking, aiming, firing and judging, thus making it difficult to use weapons when not even impossible. For example, in the case of precision-guided bombs ( JDAM ) , the F-35 pilots were able to check the transmitted, but not the target data actually stored in the bomb. However, combat zone combat rules usually require the pilot to confirm to the Air Force Officer ( FAC ) on the ground prior to firing the weapon the correct target data stored in the precision weapon.

"DAS" warning system is technically outdated and struggling with production errors
A distributed Aperture System consisting of six infrared cameras distributed on the front fuselage is used to monitor the airspace around the F-35"(DAS) inserted (in the picture below, a DAS camera can be seen directly in front of the cockpit on the bow). It provides the pilot with situational awareness day and night day and night by means of a spherical all-round view, even when looking down through the fuselage of the F-35, with the help of an additional navigation in complete darkness on the helmet mounted night vision camera is possible. In addition, the DAS detects / fights enemy anti-aircraft / radar positions, approaching enemy aircraft, gives the pilot a close friend / foe distinction in the air and independently initiates defense measures against detected threats (infrared decoy, chaff, electronic interference / defense ).

Damaged glass covers on the DAS cameras in 2017 were one of the reasons why F-35 fighter jets were repeatedly deemed non-operational by the USAF, while at least the USN and USMC considered them capable of flight. During night landings, however, it was also found that in combination with the night vision camera on the helmet in complete darkness (new moon, no starlight due to heavy cloud cover, no civilization light) the pilots lost situational awareness due to the poor image / resolution quality of the installed infrared cameras that safe flying or landing was no longer possible for the pilots by means of the DAS / helmet camera transmitted to the helmet visor external view.

F-35A front profile in flight. Photo: MSgt John Nimmo Sr. [Public Domain]) The doors are opened to expose the aerial refueling inlet valve.
F-35A front profile in flight. Photo: MSgt John Nimmo Sr. [Public Domain]) The doors are opened to expose the aerial refueling inlet valve.

Several further problems are manifested in the F-35: Besides qualitative defects in the production itself (faulty DAS glass covers, technically inadequate night vision camera, tires that wear too fast, lack of corrosion protection, mechanically labile tank probe), Due to the overlong testing phase and pre-series production, the currently installed DAS has been in use for more than 10 years and is now considered technically obsolete, similar to the EOTS mentioned above. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced in June 2018 , from 2023 for the lot 15 a much improved, more powerful and cheaper DAS of the company Raytheonto obstruct. However, since serial production is expected to be launched by then, the F-35 will be deployed in significantly different hardware and software configurations for the US flying forces from the 2020s, including the installation of the improved EOTS or DAS. Whether or not the new electronic components can be seamlessly integrated into the F-35 without additional technical and software-specific problems should be at least doubtful in view of the errors that have occurred so far. In any case, replacement of old and new generation electronic components will be very difficult, but probably not possible, due to the different software versions within the F-35 fleet.
VSI Helmet-mounted display system for the F-35 [Public domain]
VSI Helmet-mounted display system for the F-35 [Public domain]


Field experience with the F-35 paint a completely different picture
supervisory and control authorities in general, but also some of the harshest critics in particular, must be held against, from the green table "to make judgments based on extensive test protocols, without even with the Subject of their examination or criticism to have gained their own experience. Major Morten Hanche of the Norwegian Air Force, Head of the F-35 Testing / Evaluation Division there, has posted in 2016 several interesting blog posts about his experiences as a former F-16 and now current F-35 pilot who lack the usual, either overly positive or negative excitement (see under "Bibliography"). Based on his own experience with the F-35A, he finds the mostly negative interpretations of the DOT & E reports by the media to be exaggerated because they assume entirely unrealistic expectations. For him, a lack of perfection in the F-35 is not a disaster. He believes that compromises must always be made in the development and testing of such a highly complex aircraft as the F-35. For almost every error that occurs, there is either a workaround under operating conditions or you learn to live with it in everyday missionary life. The F-35 works well, even if it does not (yet) meet all specifications. He himself was impressed with the F-35, especially in the areas of speed, service height, range and maneuverability, because these features could not be improved in the future, unlike other shortcomings, simply by software updates. Compared to the F / A-18 Hornet you have the feeling of "flying with four engines". Also, he could confirm the stealth capabilities of the F-35, which unlike the F-16 was not to be located from a distance. A comparison with mature 4th generation fighters is not appropriate, because they already have a 40-year development and improvement phase behind them in order to even reach the current level of performance, a "maturity period" that the F-35 would lack so far. The F-16 was consistently plagued by errors and deficiencies when it was introduced in the 1970s, yet it can be considered one of the most successful fighter aircraft. Even today, the more modern F-16 of the Norwegian Air Force would struggle with deficiencies in avionics, software and logistics, which can not be resolved because their cause so far could not be determined or known problems due to the lack of cost / benefit ratio I do not eliminate want. In fact, the F-35 exceeds the expectations placed on it in action and also has a high probability of
Lt. Col. Christine Mau, 33rd Operations Group Deputy Commander, puts on her first flight in the F-35A on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 5, 2015. Mau, who previously flew F-15E Strike Eagles, F-35 pilot in the program (photo: Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson / US Air Force)
Lt. Col. Christine Mau, 33rd Operations Group Deputy Commander, puts on her first flight in the F-35A on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 5, 2015. Mau, who previously flew F-15E Strike Eagles, F-35 pilot in the program (photo: Staff Sgt. Marleah Robertson / US Air Force)

Is the F-35 the right aircraft for the Luftwaffe?
Every major armament project in military aircraft has so far faced technical problems, long delays, significant budget overruns, and harsh criticism of the public, be they F-15, F-16, F / A-18 on American or Tornado, A-400, or Eurofighter on the European side. So it should not come as a surprise that such a highly complex weapon system as the F-35 could not do otherwise. When the F / A-18 was introduced to the USN, it lacked the range and payload of the A-7 Corsair and the acceleration and climb rate of the F-4 Phantom, Today, the F / A-18 is the backbone of the USN. If one reads in the last report of the DOT & E from 2017 sometimes "between the lines", even with a very pessimistic prognosis it can be assumed that by 2025 at the latest the F-35 has not only reached final production maturity, but - thanks to the exchange of whole (electronic) assemblies and other software updates - should have left a large part of their technical problems behind. Then the US has a 21st Century fighter jet that has made digital and networked warfare not just a buzzword, but a reality. Also with regard to the increased use of (lethal) autonomous weapons systems(LAWS) in conjunction with manned fighter jets, the F-35 is the ideal deployment platform for steering and monitoring. Of course, it is not invisible ("stealthy"), but it is probably harder to stealthy for the integrated Russian air defense than an F / A-18 or a modernized Eurofighter. And of course you will have to compromise with the F-35 as a multi-purpose combat aircraft in the individual tasks close air support, superiority and attack, but that is actually nothing really new since the tornado. Eventually, the price of the F-35 will have dropped below $ 80 million by 2025, which is certainly not a "bargain", but much cheaper than the current $ 95 million. Since many European NATO countries have also bought or want to buy the F-35,

As always with large armaments projects, there is no simple "yes" or "no" when procuring such an expensive, technically complex weapon system. Germany's decision on this issue will not want to offend either the US or France in terms of foreign and military policy, since they are both important allies within NATO and the EU. France had already announced that it was planning to complete the planning of the future European fighter plane immediately when buying the F-35 through Germany. On the other hand, the planned German-French fighter jet of 5./6. The generation would presumably be far too late to reach operational readiness to replace the Luftwaffe tornadoes in time by 2025. The US in turn could postpone a release of the Eurofighter nuclear participation to 7-10 years, S-400 / S-500 has not grown. The same problem exists in the Tornado but probably now synonymous. So best of all right to renounce nuclear participation with the US and build a common fighter jet with France, which would then carry French nuclear bombs for Germany to the finish? A variant that is rather unlikely in view of the European or German dependence on the US atomic screen for a credible nuclear deterrent in Europe.

US Government [Public Domain]
US Government [Public Domain]

Then better to follow the example of the British, Danes, Norwegians, Dutch and Italians in Europe and buy a technically (not yet mature) F-35, which also comes with high follow-up costs for maintenance and flight operations therefore? Or perhaps rather a "Solomonic solution", in which Germany procures the American F / A-18 Super Hornet for an estimated transitional period of about 15 to 20 years until the planned production / operational readiness of the planned German-French combat aircraft? No simple political decision that the Ministry of Defense will have to make in the near future.
The F-35 is probably not a catastrophic military disaster, even if it can not yet meet all the expectations put into it. It is expensive, but it is a (almost) ready-to-use stealth multi-purpose fighter aircraft of the 5th generation, which should have left behind its "teething troubles" by 2025 and could then provide the Luftwaffe with considerable military added value. For my part, I must confess that my heart in this armaments issue is more transatlantic for the F-35 than pan-European for a modified Eurofighter or the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

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marsavian

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Unread post13 Nov 2018, 00:36

Apparently in the latest German defense budget funds have been allocated to replace the 33 Tranche 1 Typhoons over the next ten years with new Tranche 3 models which will keep the production line open to 2029. IMO this now puts less economic pressure on the Luftwaffe to pick the Typhoon for the specific Tornado replacement perhaps seriously opening up the field for the F-35 again.

https://mobile.twitter.com/WachterBDI/s ... 04385?s=20
https://augengeradeaus.net/2018/11/aufg ... oeglichen/
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mixelflick

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Unread post13 Nov 2018, 15:33

And this my friends, is the saddest passage in that long, long story...

"When the F / A-18 was introduced to the USN, it lacked the range and payload of the A-7 Corsair and the acceleration and climb rate of the F-4 Phantom, Today, the F / A-18 is the backbone of the USN."
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geforcerfx

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Unread post13 Nov 2018, 18:55

mixelflick wrote:And this my friends, is the saddest passage in that long, long story...

"When the F / A-18 was introduced to the USN, it lacked the range and payload of the A-7 Corsair and the acceleration and climb rate of the F-4 Phantom, Today, the F / A-18 is the backbone of the USN."

Again with this :bang:

The F/A-18 had no need for the speed and climb rate of the F-4, which was built as a interceptor and evolved into a lackluster fighter/bomber. The F-18 was built as a advanced fighter bomber, and since the Navy was gaining fighters they were willing to make the trade on range at the mid weight strike platform. They got the same range as the F-4 for strike, but got even more advanced features than the A-7 for strike, and they could escort themselves. The F-14 was the fleet interceptor the A-6 was the long range strike, the hornet fit just fine. The Hornets on ship today are a completely different breed, operating in a completely different threat environment (who needs high speed intercept when you can see the enemy from 500 miles out), and that environment has dictated what is most important specs wise(strike). The weapons and sensors in the fleet for both air and surface are light years ahead and have allowed the fleet to drop down to less aircraft types and keep most of there capability. Bad funding decisions, delays in programs (F-35), congressional mandates(zumwalt) have lead to the shortfall in Navair's capabilities, not the hornet.
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sferrin

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Unread post13 Nov 2018, 19:03

geforcerfx wrote:
mixelflick wrote:And this my friends, is the saddest passage in that long, long story...

"When the F / A-18 was introduced to the USN, it lacked the range and payload of the A-7 Corsair and the acceleration and climb rate of the F-4 Phantom, Today, the F / A-18 is the backbone of the USN."

Again with this :bang:

The F/A-18 had no need for the speed and climb rate of the F-4, which was built as a interceptor and evolved into a lackluster fighter/bomber.


You do realize the F-4 set the standard for years right?
"There I was. . ."
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lbk000

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Unread post13 Nov 2018, 20:11

Faffing off about superlatives is a vice of us spectators. The real use of "best" is in making the best out of what you got on hand.

The Israelis certainly cared not about the lack of sophisticated, precision A-G capabilities when mounting the Osirak reactor raid.
For the Navy, the F-4 was adequate for its time, and the FA-18 was likewise adequate in its turn.
"Good enough" is all you need to win. So, big deal.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post14 Nov 2018, 02:54

sferrin wrote:You do realize the F-4 set the standard for years right?


True, but it lagged considerably in strike features compared to the A-6, A-7, F-111. The F/A-18 set the 4th gen standard for multi-role, everything else played catch up for a decade.
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