Germany may reconsider Tornado replacement options (F-35)

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barrelnut

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Unread post08 Jan 2022, 19:26

Old German F-35 discussion seems to be locked so I'm starting a new thread.

It seems that the new German Government is open to include the F-35 to the list of potential candidates for Tornado replacement:

https://twitter.com/AlexLuck9/status/14 ... 5138215937

New media piece suggests Germany goes back to the future on its Tornado replacement. "Several assignments have been approved, including to clarify again whether F-35 may offer a suitable alternative, and whether Eurofighter may assume EW-role.". #Luftwaffe
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optimist

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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 01:08

The article from the tweet.
armed forces
https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland ... dit.com%2F
Christine Lambrecht prepares to buy fighter jets
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has prepared two controversial armaments projects. With this, the coalition wants to meet NATO requirements.
January 8, 2022, 8:23 a.m.Source: ZEIT ONLINE, dpa, ces 544 comments
Hear article
Bundeswehr: Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD)
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) © Bernd Wüstneck / dpa
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has started preparing two long controversial armaments projects. The SPD politician already spoke to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) about the successor to the tornado, as the news agency dpa learned from government circles in Berlin.

Lambrecht's predecessor in the ministerial office, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU), decided to buy F-18 combat aircraft in the USA as the successor to the Tornado fleet introduced 40 years ago . The US model is intended to enable so-called nuclear participation in US weapons for Germany. A certification of the European model Eurofighter for this seemed associated with more effort or even impossible in the foreseeable future. NATO's nuclear deterrent concept provides that in the event of war allies have access to US nuclear weapons, i.e. must be able to carry the bombs to the target.

After Scholz talked to Lambrecht, several test orders were placed. The aim is to clarify once again whether buying the more modern F-35 aircraft could be an alternative and whether the Eurofighter could be considered for a second task for the Tornado fleet: electronic combat. The necessary steps and time sequences for arming the new Heron TP Bundeswehr drone should also be recorded.

Armed drones agreed in the coalition agreement
The SPD, Greens and FDP decided in their coalition agreement in November to enable drones to be armed . These could help protect soldiers on deployments abroad, it says. The three traffic light partners also agreed to procure "a successor system for the Tornado fighter aircraft at the beginning of the 20th legislative period". "We will accompany the procurement and certification process with a view to Germany's nuclear participation objectively and conscientiously."


Germany's participation in nuclear participation has recently been controversial. In Büchel in the Eifel, 20 thermonuclear B61 gravity bombs of the US armed forces are to be stored, which can be latched under German tornadoes.

The previous deterrent concept stipulates that tornadoes specializing in electronic combat would protect the bombers. According to previous plans, around 30 Super Hornet version F-18s should be procured for nuclear participation. For electronic air combat - disrupting, holding down and fighting enemy air defense positions - 15 F-18s in the Growler version should also be purchased.
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 01:13

I have no idea how Typhies would fair as Growler replacements. I kinda doubt the Germans could simply procure Growler pods to integrate onto their Typhies. So deutsche marks spent to develop a German EW capability could benefit Germany. And acquisition of F-35's would give them a leg up over the French in developing 5th gen techniques & procedures.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 01:35

There are no existing growler pods to spare. I don't know when next gen will be IOC and if it will fit their timeline..
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hythelday

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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 01:54

F-35 will be both the B-61 delivery vehicle as well as premiere EW/SEAD asset. "Eurofighter ECR" will just be a very expensive and protracted smoke screen to make F-35 purchase more acceptable. That, and a nice exercise for German industry and Mil R&D. Overall, not a bad solution to the German Gordian knot.
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Unread post09 Jan 2022, 20:53

Eurofighter ECR may be simply necessary to keep Typhoon relevant past 2030, if it even makes it that long. Typhoon looks pretty but it sure enjoys time in the hangar.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 02:11

hythelday wrote:F-35 will be both the B-61 delivery vehicle as well as premiere EW/SEAD asset. "Eurofighter ECR" will just be a very expensive and protracted smoke screen to make F-35 purchase more acceptable. That, and a nice exercise for German industry and Mil R&D. Overall, not a bad solution to the German Gordian knot.


Yes, the F-35 was the only viable option in the first place. So, shouldn't be a surprise that the new German Government. Is reevaluating the selection of the Super Hornet for the role.
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sunstersun

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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 18:46

Bring back that Luftwaffe general who was canned for simply asking for common sense.
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durahawk

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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 19:15

sunstersun wrote:Bring back that Luftwaffe general who was canned for simply asking for common sense.


My hope is that they finally got the cost estimate from Boeing for B61 certification after seeing the news that the F-35 are already certified and realized that they are imbeciles.

It's like everyone knew B61 certification costs were going to be massively expensive except for them. The US Navy is not going to pay for it.

It looks like the Super Hornet was quietly removed from the NNSA B61-12 fact sheet.
https://fas.org/blogs/security/2021/12/fa-18_removed-from-fact-sheet/
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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 22:36

Germany reconsiders the F-35 to replace the Tornado

Clement Charpentreau



The new German coalition government is reportedly considering the Lockheed Martin F-35A as a possible replacement for the nuclear-capable Panavia Tornado.

The Panavia Tornado strike aircraft, which entered service in the 1970s, is the designated aircraft of the Luftwaffe to carry the 20 US-made B61 nuclear bombs stockpiled in Germany as part of NATO nuclear sharing. However, since 2017, the German Air Force has been looking for an apt successor for the aging Tornado, which is now even too old to participate in NATO missions.

The Eurofighter Typhoon was initially considered but, according to the United States, its certification would have required from three to five years. That schedule would be untimely, as the German Tornados are set to retire by 2025, 2030 at the latest.

The Lockheed Martin F-35A was also ruled out as its acquisition could have made the Future Air Combat System (FCAS), which Germany agreed to jointly develop with France and Spain, redundant.

In April 2020, Germany settled for 30 F/A-18 Super Hornets, which have the capacity to carry B61 bombs. Additionally, 15 of the variant for electronic warfare, the EA-18G Growler, would also be ordered, as well as 90 Eurofighter Typhoons to renew the fighter fleet.

In November 2020, the Eurofighter order was confirmed. But the Super Hornet procurement was postponed until after the German federal election of October 2021, as the stockpiling of nuclear weapons in the country was a source of debate during the campaign.

In November 2021, the newly-formed German coalition renewed the country's commitment to be part of NATO’s nuclear deterrence capabilities. But in the meantime, the F/A-18F had be removed from the National Nuclear Security Administration from the list of aircraft to be certified to carry the B-61 nuclear bomb.

Questioned by the Federation of American Scientists over the change, the US Department of Defense simply answered that “there is not a requirement for the F/A-18F to be certified to carry the B61-12".

Consequently, the F-35A appears to be up for consideration once again. Following a discussion between Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on the replacement of the Tornado, several proofs of concept were launched.

The studies should “clarify whether the purchase of more modern F-35 planes is likely to be an alternative and whether the Eurofighter can be considered to resume the electronic warfare missions of the Tornado,” the German Press Agency (dpa) reported.

In 2019, Airbus unveiled the ECR SEAD (for Electronic Combat Role - Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) version of the Eurofighter Typhoon. Thanks to several dedicated pods, the fighter can take on an electronic warfare role.

The nuclear certification for the F-35A is underway. In October 2021, the United States Air Force completed a first weapon system demonstration by dropping B61-12 Joint Test Assemblies (JTAs) from two F-35A jets.

France and Spain have begrudged Germany for withdrawing from several European programs (1, 2) in favor of a US solution over the past few months. However, as the contracts structuring the FCAS program were signed in September 2021, the acquisition of the F-35A should not threaten the development of the European fighter as much as it would have in 2020.


https://www.aerotime.aero/29911-germany ... -qvrxI4ZZw
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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 22:59

New German government revisits Tornado replacement options
By Sebastian Sprenger

WASHINGTON – Germany is once again weighing its options for replacing the country’s aging Tornado aircraft fleet, which could put the F-35 back on the table.

The plan, first reported by German press agency DPA over the weekend, follows a pledge in the coalition government agreement late last year.

The review would re-open a recommendation made by then-Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in early 2019 for phasing out Germany’s nearly 90 Tornados by the end of the decade. It ditched an F-35 option, fearing purchasing that fighter jet would upset the Franco-German defense alliance with the Future Combat Air System at its core.

Officials instead favored buying a roughly equal number of Eurofighters and new-generation Boeing F-18s. The latter would fly electronic-attack missions and serve as a bomb carrier under Germany’s NATO nuclear-sharing commitments, the thinking went.

The German defense ministry on Monday declined to say whether the F-35 is now expressly back under consideration. Conversations between Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and Chancellor Olaf Scholz about Tornado replacement options, reported by DPA as having happened last Thursday, are considered “internal,” a spokeswoman told Defense News.

Officials pointed to a Dec. 19 Lambrecht interview in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, where she was quoted as favoring a “European” plane for the nuclear-sharing mission while at the same time leaving open the possibility that the requisite U.S. certifications may not happen in time, or at all.

“I will consider all options,” Lambrecht said.

Germany’s Tornado replacement debate is a recurring exercise for the country’s defense intelligentsia. For the nuclear mission, it is now believed Washington would likely only allow a U.S. aircraft, although even the degrees of atomic readiness among the F-35 and the F-18 are disputed.

Against that backdrop, the nuclear mission is controversial to begin with, treated as a necessary evil by the new government in the formulation of a defense and security agenda that also includes nonproliferation goals.

For the electronic-attack mission, the German defense industry, led by Airbus Defence and Space, had lobbied against an F-18 Growler choice ever since Von der Leyen’s recommendation, arguing the Eurofighter could be developed to at least a similar level of capability.

Meanwhile, introducing the F-35 back into the mix of German considerations, even the talk of it, could lead French officials to question Berlin’s commitment to the Future Combat Air System. That, in turn, risks not only toppling the sixth-generation aircraft program but the European Union’s defense-industrial ambitions as a whole.

The question is if FCAS could co-exist with a German F-35 acquisition, especially given that the DPA report suggests those planes would primarily work doomsday stand-by duty.

German industry should not be expected to actively support any U.S. aircraft in the Tornado-replacement decision, Reinhard Brandl, a member of the opposition Christian Social Union and the parliamentary defense committee, told Defense News in an interview. At the same time, he noted it’s primarily the electronic-attack portfolio that German companies are most keen on guarding against American products.

And the French-German cooperation on FCAS is far from going swimmingly at the moment, according to Brandl, who blamed France’s Dassault for refusing to sign an industry contract for the aircraft portion of the program.

“Dassault is not ready to accept Airbus as a partner on equal terms,” he told Defense News. “They are saying, ‘We’ll do FCAS, but only by our rules.’”

With Dassault’s export order books for its Rafale fighter full, the company may see less reason to agree on an FCAS fighter and focus on upgrades for its own jet instead, Brandl argued. In that sense, German talk of of an F-35 buy may serve as a fall-back option, he added.

A Dassault spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a question about the status of the industry contract.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... t-options/
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Unread post10 Jan 2022, 23:06

Actually, the F-35 doesn't compete with the FCAS in the case of Germany. Why? Because it will be 2040 before the FCAS even starts to enter service. Then it would take years maybe even decades to just replace the older Typhoons. So, by the time they completed that. It would be time to replace the F-35's anyways...(2050)

You can make the same case for Spain.......

Sorry, buying the F-35 won't impact the future of the FCAS Program.
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ricnunes

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Unread post11 Jan 2022, 00:57

Corsair1963 wrote:“Dassault is not ready to accept Airbus as a partner on equal terms,” he told Defense News. “They are saying, ‘We’ll do FCAS, but only by our rules.’”


FCAS:
Eurofighter 2.0 - The Saga Returns :mrgreen: :doh:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post11 Jan 2022, 02:16

ricnunes wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:“Dassault is not ready to accept Airbus as a partner on equal terms,” he told Defense News. “They are saying, ‘We’ll do FCAS, but only by our rules.’”


FCAS:
Eurofighter 2.0 - The Saga Returns :mrgreen: :doh:


Let's hope the FCAS and Tempest Programs merge. :|
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sunstersun

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Unread post11 Jan 2022, 05:14

Like the F-35 is a threat to the FCAS in the sense the Germans might just pick up and leave as a result.

This also makes FCAS deadlines less threatening, which I guess is a bad thing if you really want FCAS to succeed.

idk just trying to picture it from a European/German/French perspective.

Anyways for actual combat, cost and efficiency it's no question. Maybe we can stop the Luftwaffe vs Polish AF memes lol.
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