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Doc72

Luftwaffe to buy Super Hornets and additional Typhoons?

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The German air force has been looking for a Tornado replacement for some time and now it looks as if a decision has been made:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/bundeswehr-deutschland-will-eurofighter-und-f-18-beschaffen-16697183.html

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/kramp-karrenbauer-ueber-tornardo-nachfolger-bis-ostern-entscheiden-16699549.html

 

At the moment, it looks as if Germany is to buy 45 Super Hornets and 78-90 additional Typhoons (known as Eurofighter over here). The split purchase is explained by the fact that the Tornado serves in four roles in the Luftwaffe: Nuclear strike, SEAD, ground attack and reconnaissance. And as always, political and economic factors also play a role.

The nuclear strike role depends on B61 bombs which are US controlled (Germany is no nuclear power). Most likely for political reasons, the integration of the B61 into the Eurofighter is difficult. This is why the American Super Hornet is chosen (30 F-18E or F?).

For the SEAD role to replace the Tornado ECR it seems that 15 EA-18G Growler are to be ordered. I guess this was cheaper and faster than the development of a dedicated Typhoon variant.

The additional 78-90 Typhoons (quiet a huge number! We will see...) will serve for ground attack and recce as well as to replace older Typhoons.

 

The selection of the Super Hornet over the F-35 might sound surprising. My guess is that a purchase of the F-35 would call into question the development of the FCAS by France, Germany and Spain. The older and more conventional Super Hornet might be less threatening to the European industry. In addition, the Super Hornet by now is a proven, off-the-shelf product. This has certainly its advantages. The last time the Luftwaffe purchased a proven, if no longer cutting-edge-technology plane was the F-4F which represented only a half-generation step over the F-104. The Phantom certainly served the Luftwaffe well and much longer than expected.

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Very interesting, I wasn't even aware that the Luftwaffe were looking at Super Hornets. 

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Unfortunately it's a political decision. Luftwaffe officials tried to get the F-35, but the Airbus lobby convinced the government to spend more money on that gap stop solution. 

Now they want to develop a new fighter (F-35 generation) together with the French with 2040 as scheduled first flight.

Well, if you consider that the Typhoon/Eurofighter was named Jäger 90 over here...for the timeframe it was scheduled to be in full service...and we now have 2020 and it's still not fully serviceable here, it will be a lot of fun to see when that new piece of high tech sh... will fly and how much more tax money it will cost.

 

Back when Germany bought the F-104 and F-4 they could make a deal to build the airframes under license, they were able to do depot inspection... 

Now all the companies like MBB, Dornier,... are all AIRBUS and there's no chance for such a deal. So in the end it will always be a Scarebus product...regardless what the Bundeswehr ask for.

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By the way...another funny Luftwaffen fact that not many now.

 

The Luftwaffe bought 6 C-130J!?!? Three will be KC's. And the first is scheduled for delivery in 2021.

Well, after all the chorus of praise they finally recognized that the wonderful A400M can't do all the stuff Airbus is telling. And that was predicated a long time ago by Luftwaffe officials...and again ignored by the ones in charge.

So now we'll have a French/German wing stationed in France. 

 

https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/erste-c-130j-fuer-einen-aussergewoehnlichen-verband-21370

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4 minutes ago, coneheadff said:

By the way...another funny Luftwaffen fact that not many now.

 

The Luftwaffe bought 6 C-130J!?!? Three will be KC's. And the first is scheduled for delivery in 2021.

Well, after all the chorus of praise they finally recognized that the wonderful A400M can't do all the stuff Airbus is telling. And that was predicated a long time ago by Luftwaffe officials...and again ignored by the ones in charge.

So now we'll have a French/German wing stationed in France. 

 

https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/erste-c-130j-fuer-einen-aussergewoehnlichen-verband-21370

Didn't know that either :lol:

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The A400M cannot be looked upon as a C130 replacement - even though some individuals and countries try to convince themselves it is. Logical choices being made by the Germans! 

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38 minutes ago, coneheadff said:

Unfortunately it's a political decision. Luftwaffe officials tried to get the F-35, but the Airbus lobby convinced the government to spend more money on that gap stop solution. 

Now they want to develop a new fighter (F-35 generation) together with the French with 2040 as scheduled first flight.

Well, if you consider that the Typhoon/Eurofighter was named Jäger 90 over here...for the timeframe it was scheduled to be in full service...and we now have 2020 and it's still not fully serviceable here, it will be a lot of fun to see when that new piece of high tech sh... will fly and how much more tax money it will cost.

 

Back when Germany bought the F-104 and F-4 they could make a deal to build the airframes under license, they were able to do depot inspection... 

Now all the companies like MBB, Dornier,... are all AIRBUS and there's no chance for such a deal. So in the end it will always be a Scarebus product...regardless what the Bundeswehr ask for.

Well, it's a compromise. Airbus doesn't get the whole cake, although they were spared the F-35 and the FCAS is still on the table. The Super Hornet-purchase would also be a signal to Airbus that they don't enjoy a monopoly.

Another point is, that is brings us further away from commonality among EU air forces. Germany would likely be the only Super Hornet-user on this side of the pond (well, I think the Swiss are also considerung the Super Bug, but they are neither EU nor NATO),

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13 hours ago, Doc72 said:

Another point is, that is brings us further away from commonality among EU air forces. Germany would likely be the only Super Hornet-user on this side of the pond (well, I think the Swiss are also considering the Super Bug, but they are neither EU nor NATO),

Unfortunately just two months ago the Polish Air Force has ordered the F-35 as the replacement for the Su-22, rejecting the Super Hornet option with the reason mentioned - no other European NATO member uses that bird.

If the German project appeared half a year ago maybe they (and we) won't be the ONLY user of F-18F/EA-18G on this continent. 

Pity...

Cheers

Michael

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58 minutes ago, KRK4m said:

Unfortunately just two months ago the Polish Air Force has ordered the F-35 as the replacement for the Su-22, rejecting the Super Hornet option with the reason mentioned - no other European NATO member uses that bird.

If the German project appeared half a year ago maybe they (and we) won't be the ONLY user of F-18F/EA-18G on this continent. 

Pity...

Cheers

Michael

The problem is a long known problem, but they refused to tackle it as the Bundeswehr is not the favorite issue of our country...and our last couple of defense secretaries were/are a joke

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15 hours ago, coneheadff said:

Well, if you consider that the Typhoon/Eurofighter was named Jäger 90 over here...for the timeframe it was scheduled to be in full service...and we now have 2020 and it's still not fully serviceable here

I'm not particularly up-to-date on modern equipment (Cold War stuff is more my style), what's the Typhoon still missing? I don't think we hear anything about it being lacking over here in the UK, although admittedly that could just be because the media aren't interested...

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Posted (edited)

Great news in my opinion. Luftwaffe and Germany will be well served for many years with Super Hornets, Typhoons, A400M, C130J, A330 MRTT and A350 (I know, Airbus haters will see red now 😁).

 

Will be interesting to see what the new "Schwere Transporthubschrauber" (Heavy Transport Helicopter) will be? Both the CH-53K and H-47 Chinook could be a good  choice.

Edited by desert falcon

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My understanding is that the Super Hornet is not currently nuclear certified, but it would (in theory, at least) take much less time and money to certify the aircraft for the B-61 than the Eurofighter.

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2 hours ago, ChocolateCrisps said:

I'm not particularly up-to-date on modern equipment (Cold War stuff is more my style), what's the Typhoon still missing? I don't think we hear anything about it being lacking over here in the UK, although admittedly that could just be because the media aren't interested...

Well, according to our great defense ministry at the end of February only TEN Typhoons were available!?!? 

 

https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/report-mainz/bundeswehr-ruestungsprojekte-105.html

Unfortunately the article is in German.

 

Don't know why Germany is having that much trouble with the "logistics and spare parts".

And it's even more ridiculous if you consider that other countries are using their Typhoons in war zones!?

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23 minutes ago, coneheadff said:

Well, according to our great defense ministry at the end of February only TEN Typhoons were available!?!?

Yikes - serviceability that poor is almost impressive in it's own right! I ran the article through Google translate - looks like it doesn't say anything more about why logistics are so poor. That is rather scary though - if they're unable to adequately support operations with their existing fleet, why are they ordering more Typhoons plus two new types (Super Hornet and Growler)?!! Surely that's just going to make the problem worse?

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Posted (edited)

If this sale does actually happen, it'll be interesting to see Super Hornets/Growlers in Luftwaffe colors. Then, think of the costs involved. An entire new infrastructure and supply/support base will have to be established. Personnel will probably have to be sent to the US for training, to include aircrew and maintenance and support types. Then, will periodic maintenance and overhauls/upgrades be done in Germany or will the aircraft be returned to the US for that?

Edited by Slater

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18 hours ago, Doc72 said:

Well, it's a compromise. Airbus doesn't get the whole cake, although they were spared the F-35 and the FCAS is still on the table. The Super Hornet-purchase would also be a signal to Airbus that they don't enjoy a monopoly.

Another point is, that is brings us further away from commonality among EU air forces. Germany would likely be the only Super Hornet-user on this side of the pond (well, I think the Swiss are also considerung the Super Bug, but they are neither EU nor NATO),

The Finns are also looking at the Super Hornet as part of the competition to replace their current Hornets but as you correctly say about the Swiss, they are neither EU or NATO.

 

For political and economic reasons I'd rather Germany buy more Eurofighters but for interest's sake I'd like to see Super Hornets flying in Luftwaffe markings but that probably isn't viewed as a valid reason by the defence ministry. 

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Posted (edited)

Presumably, any purchase by Germany would be of the "Block III" variant, with conformal tanks and a host of other upgrades.

 

In terms of overall performance though, I would think that the Eurofighter would be much superior.

Edited by Slater

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1 hour ago, Slater said:

If this sale does actually happen, it'll be interesting to see Super Hornets/Growlers in Luftwaffe colors. Then, think of the costs involved. An entire new infrastructure and supply/support base will have to be established. Personnel will probably have to be sent to the US for training, to include aircrew and maintenance and support types. Then, will periodic maintenance and overhauls/upgrades be done in Germany or will the aircraft be returned to the US for that?

That's exactly what I'm saying...Billions for a stop-gap solution.

I can't imagine the US will allow the aircraft to be overhauled in an Airbus facility. And as the Bundeswehr has outsourced every thing they could "to save money" that will be interesting to see how they will manage that.

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If the nuclear mission wasn't a consideration, would the Luftwaffe still need the Growlers?

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Yeah, but think of the decal options 😁

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10 minutes ago, Slater said:

If the nuclear mission wasn't a consideration, would the Luftwaffe still need the Growlers?

Hard to say. With the Tornado ECR the Luftwaffe has a capability which is otherwise rare in Europe. Italy operates the ECR, too, but otherwise there are no dedicated SEAD assets. This is most likely a core capability which Germany doesn't want to lose.

Of course, a tiny fleet of 15 Growlers would be not vey economic to operate. So pairing the nuclear role and the SEAD role makes sense.

Without the nuclear role, I see no principal problem in developing a "Eurofighter ECR" as a Tornado ECR replacement apart from time and money. But that might be the problem. Maybe with the F-35 there would be no need for a dedicated SEAD (I don't know), but the F-35 would be hard to swallow for Airbus.

And again, there are political considerations: Germany is benefitting a lot from US military protection, so buying American stuff is and has always been a way to pay for this.

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2 minutes ago, Alan P said:

Yeah, but think of the decal options 😁

Let's face it: It will be grey after all... whether with stars, roundels or crosses, who cares! 🥺

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Doc72 said:

Let's face it: It will be grey after all... whether with stars, roundels or crosses, who cares! 🥺

Sad, but true 😔

Edited by coneheadff

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One wonders if they would be delivered in standard US Navy grey or if the Luftwaffe would specify a different shade.

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