Germany’s F-35 fighter rebuff raises questions for Nato?

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Corsair1963

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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 05:02

Germany’s F-35 fighter rebuff raises questions for Nato partners


Lockheed Martin’s Europe chief warns ‘retrograde step’ imperils defence co-operation

Germany’s decision not to buy the F-35 stealth fighter jet is a “retrograde step” that could hamper the country’s ability to operate at the same level as its Nato partners, according to the European head of Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the aircraft. Jonathan Hoyle, vice-president for Europe at the US defence group, said the German decision in January to exclude the F-35 from further consideration as a replacement for its ageing Tornado fleet had caught a lot of governments “on the hop”. The German defence ministry said at the time it had decided to acquire either more Eurofighters from Airbus, the European group, or Boeing-made F-18s.With the German rhetoric in the past three years having been about stepping up its defence capabilities, the decision not to consider the F-35 had prompted questions among other European governments over “Germany’s position going forward, and therefore what does it mean for Nato”, Mr Hoyle told the Financial Times in an interview.He added that during a recent visit to Nato several ambassadors had expressed “disappointment” at the German decision. They had noted that while many of their countries were investing in fifth-generation fighter jet technology by opting for the F-35, “Germany, which has the biggest defence budget, has just taken this retrograde step and isn’t going to be there”. “So when we go off and collaborate together operationally, if you are flying stealth, fifth-generation jets, you don’t want a fourth-generation jet in the middle of your operations because everyone can see that,” he added. The German decision was seen by many defence observers as a signal by Berlin that it remained committed to pursuing a next-generation Franco-German “future combat air system” (FCAS). Paris had previously voiced fears that a German order to buy the F-35, widely seen as the most advanced aircraft on the shortlist, could have made the FCAS project — due to form the backbone of both countries’ air forces after 2040 — redundant. A key issue for Germany, according to defence analysts, will be how a new fleet can continue to carry and deploy US nuclear weapons stationed at Büchel, in the west of the country, as part of Nato’s “nuclear sharing” arrangement. Any replacement for the Tornado will have to be able to do the same and be certified to do so by the US.

Germany’s position on defence has come under repeated fire from US president Donald Trump, who has criticised the government for not spending enough. Mike Pence, the US vice-president, renewed the criticism at Nato’s 70th anniversary celebrations this month. Despite the setback on the F-35, Mr Hoyle said Lockheed continued to regard Germany as a “big addressable marketplace”. Lockheed has an interest in a number of significant defence programmes in the country, including heavy-lift helicopters, as well as missile defence, where Germany has a lead Nato role. Europe remains a key growth area for Lockheed, added Mr Hoyle, notably Poland, which will become a regional hub for the group. Poland has pledged to spend 2 per cent of its strongly growing gross domestic product each year on defence as part of a 10-year modernisation plan outlined in 2013.

https://www.ft.com/content/4b56e040-699 ... tgOxX-fYIo
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magitsu

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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 05:41

Yeah, at least that 4 gen to 5 gen connectivity issue will happen.

They could save face by getting Growler. Then they would still have a capacity that is in really high demand. But it's possible that they don't want to participate at all. No-one dares to expect actual bombing etc. in ME campaigns from them. Far cry from France.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 08:32

The Typhoons will be nearly obsolete by time the new ones ever enter service.
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krieger22

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Unread post30 Apr 2019, 14:10

Germany’s decision not to buy the F-35 stealth fighter jet is a “retrograde step” that could hamper the country’s ability to operate at the same level as its Nato partners


It already can't? What with the rumors that the Tornadoes are already incompatible with current B61s due to them simply never getting the comms upgrades required...
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mixelflick

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Unread post01 May 2019, 19:42

Just the latest example of politics dictating the wrong aircraft be bought.

Canada with AUS F-18's
The US with proposed new build F-15EX's
The US Navy when they built the SH instead of Tomcat 21
The US Navy, continuing to buy more SH when they should be buying more F-35C's

I suppose you could argue some of those, but that isn't the point. We need more F-35's, and are instead buying more legacy jets that'll be obsolete as soon as they leave the factory floor..
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danomite!

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Unread post01 May 2019, 20:40

Hi all. Long time reader, first time poster.

Does Germany hold a grudge against LM from the F-104 bribery scandal? I realize it's ancient history but would like to know if there are any perceptions that could impact current decisions.
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marsavian

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Unread post01 May 2019, 20:47

The only grudge here is coming from the French who consider the F-35 as an Alien Predator that must be resisted to the death by all true EUropeans ;). The Germans will placate them by buying about 30 Growlers that will also double up as nuclear bombers leaving a large pool of Typhoons and Rafales to be replaced in the future by their primarily French designed stealth fighter NGF/SCAF. It's just naked politics.
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madrat

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Unread post02 May 2019, 02:25

Germany will be the next NATO Belt & Road participant. Their divisive decision is just hints of the near future. Remember, Germany didn't really ask to be NATO...
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Corsair1963

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Unread post02 May 2019, 03:17

madrat wrote:Germany will be the next NATO Belt & Road participant. Their divisive decision is just hints of the near future. Remember, Germany didn't really ask to be NATO...



Doubtful...............Nonetheless, Western Governments usually go back and forth between both Liberal and Conservative Governments in cycles. So, expect somebody more to the Center if not the Right after Angela Merkel. :wink:
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ricnunes

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Unread post02 May 2019, 16:58

marsavian wrote:The only grudge here is coming from the French who consider the F-35 as an Alien Predator that must be resisted to the death by all true EUropeans ;).


Err, you mean a Predalien no? :mrgreen:

Image

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marsavian wrote:The Germans will placate them by buying about 30 Growlers that will also double up as nuclear bombers leaving a large pool of Typhoons and Rafales to be replaced in the future by their primarily French designed stealth fighter NGF/SCAF. It's just naked politics.


Yeah, I would say/agree that's quite a possibility.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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loke

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Unread post02 May 2019, 22:46

Corsair1963 wrote:
madrat wrote:Germany will be the next NATO Belt & Road participant. Their divisive decision is just hints of the near future. Remember, Germany didn't really ask to be NATO...



Doubtful...............Nonetheless, Western Governments usually go back and forth between both Liberal and Conservative Governments in cycles. So, expect somebody more to the Center if not the Right after Angela Merkel. :wink:

I thought Merkel was to the right...?
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ricnunes

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Unread post03 May 2019, 14:02

loke wrote:I thought Merkel was to the right...?


Yes, she is.
Basically the power in Germany as been shared by Merkel's party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) party which is right (or center-right) and the SPD (Social Democrats) party which is left (or center-left).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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laos

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Unread post03 May 2019, 23:12

Against whom do the Germans need the F-35? Russia is their main business partner, not an opponent.
Typhoon will be sufficient for the next 30 years for peacekeeping and air policing missions.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 May 2019, 23:32

laos wrote:Russia is their main business partner

Until they're not
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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fbw

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Unread post03 May 2019, 23:34

laos wrote:Against whom do the Germans need the F-35? Russia is their main business partner, not an opponent.
Typhoon will be sufficient for the next 30 years for peacekeeping and air policing missions.



The US is Germany’s biggest trade partner, Russia isn’t even in the top 10. Total value of trade between Russia and Germany ranks below Hungary.
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