Ozair
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:15 pm

angad84 wrote:
Geo-location and gravity weapons aren't true SEAD/DEAD. Per my information, the software needs tuning to get the ESM and any potential ARM talking.

Respectively, that is 4th gen thinking. In a 5th gen world both the F-22 and F-35 are perfectly capable of locating, identifying and prosecuting a SEAD/DEAD target set. The system doesn't care how it dies, just that it has.

In the case of the F-35, it doesn’t require a high speed ARM when it can move, likely near undetected, close enough to the target where cheaper and more destructive weapons can be employed in a far more precise and discriminate manner.

angad84 wrote:
Didn't know AARGM-ER was being tailored for the F-35, but like I said, given its ESM capability, it only makes sense to give it an ARM capability. US NAVAIR roadmaps indicate an EW capability/maturity gap between F-35 and EA-18G, so whatever they can or plan to slap onto the F-35 will require software mods, testing and cert.

I don’t consider that a valid comparison. The USAF use F-16CJ for the SEAD role and the Tornado ECR is very much in the F-16CJ class and not in the capability class of the EA-18G from an EW perspective. The Tornado essentially uses HARM to prosecute radars but an F-35 will use a suite of sensors and weapons to prosecute the radars, associated TELS and other related systems and do so in threat environment that a Tornado ECR is unlikely to be able to enter.

As for overall EW capability, while integration has been halted for NGJ on the F-35, it will eventually move onto the platform. The budget for NGJ is currently focused on replacing ALQ-99 in service and awarding the low and high band pod contracts.

angad84 wrote:
No F-35 in today's configuration can be a drop-in replacement for the Tornado ECR, although that can probably be achieved with some additional work. To significantly exceed the ECR's complete capability set will probably require a lot of work, and the cost and time implications thereof are unknown.

I disagree. The Italians are replacing their Tornado ECRs with F-35A and the capability of the F-35 sensor suite far exceeds that present in the ECR. If the only thing you consider you need to be a SEAD aircraft is an ARM capability (with associated systems) then the definition you are using for SEAD is outdated.
 
angad84
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:46 pm

Agree to disagree on the ARM issue. LO/VLO is a survivability enhancer, it does not automagically confer blanket survivability, especially against a serious IADS. They're not chasing range extensions on ARM because they're bored, you know.

Fair point on the EW capability, I let my mental comparisons of 'F-35 vs X' run away a bit! Not sure what sort of dedicated jamming (even podded) the ECR has to be honest. I guess it'll boil down to – is the Luftwaffe willing to lose a specific weapons/tactics capability to perform the ECR mission, or would they prefer a more broadly analogous replacement. My guess is the latter, but it'll depend on what inputs go into the decision process (and no, those inputs are not necessarily tactical!).
 
Ozair
Posts: 1983
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:20 am

angad84 wrote:
Agree to disagree on the ARM issue. LO/VLO is a survivability enhancer, it does not automagically confer blanket survivability, especially against a serious IADS. They're not chasing range extensions on ARM because they're bored, you know.

I’d say that range extensions for ARMs make the case for 4th gen investment to be leveraged a while longer as with the continued range expansion of threat systems, both of which 5th gen VLO negates.

angad84 wrote:
Fair point on the EW capability, I let my mental comparisons of 'F-35 vs X' run away a bit! Not sure what sort of dedicated jamming (even podded) the ECR has to be honest. I guess it'll boil down to – is the Luftwaffe willing to lose a specific weapons/tactics capability to perform the ECR mission, or would they prefer a more broadly analogous replacement. My guess is the latter, but it'll depend on what inputs go into the decision process (and no, those inputs are not necessarily tactical!).

I’d say what the German Air Force may miss from a retirement of the Tornado ECR is the recce component more than any SEAD capability. At the moment I’m not aware of any specific visual recce pod work for the F-35 although the Terma Multi-mission pod would be an excellent candidate to house such a system.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:03 am

It would be easier to certify reccelite on the Typhoons than adding the SEAD and nuclear mission to the Typhoon fleet.
 
angad84
Posts: 1949
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:40 pm

Ozair wrote:
angad84 wrote:
Agree to disagree on the ARM issue. LO/VLO is a survivability enhancer, it does not automagically confer blanket survivability, especially against a serious IADS. They're not chasing range extensions on ARM because they're bored, you know.

I’d say that range extensions for ARMs make the case for 4th gen investment to be leveraged a while longer as with the continued range expansion of threat systems, both of which 5th gen VLO negates.

angad84 wrote:
Fair point on the EW capability, I let my mental comparisons of 'F-35 vs X' run away a bit! Not sure what sort of dedicated jamming (even podded) the ECR has to be honest. I guess it'll boil down to – is the Luftwaffe willing to lose a specific weapons/tactics capability to perform the ECR mission, or would they prefer a more broadly analogous replacement. My guess is the latter, but it'll depend on what inputs go into the decision process (and no, those inputs are not necessarily tactical!).

I’d say what the German Air Force may miss from a retirement of the Tornado ECR is the recce component more than any SEAD capability. At the moment I’m not aware of any specific visual recce pod work for the F-35 although the Terma Multi-mission pod would be an excellent candidate to house such a system.

1. Then why are they bothering with AARGM-ER on F-35? ;)

2. Yep, good point. I was told at RIAT last year that the UK plan to replace Tornado with Typhoon involves using a Litening or similar pod, as there are no plans to qualify a dedicated recce pod (I believe it was Raptor on the Tonka?). It was openly acknowledged as a less than ideal solution, but P3E seems a more overall strike oriented update than a 1:1 capability replication of Tornado.
 
Ozair
Posts: 1983
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:44 pm

angad84 wrote:
1. Then why are they bothering with AARGM-ER on F-35? ;)

Noted… I'd guess at two specific reasons. One, an ability to support 4th gen aircraft operating in the battlespace. While the USAF will induct between 60-80 F-35s each year there is still a long time until it become an all 5th gen fighter fleet. An ARM is not useless to a 5th gen platform, but perhaps not the sole or optimal solution it is for 4th gen.

Second, while AARGM was essentially the same body shape as HARM the AARGM-ER changes the body shape significantly, allowing the missile to be internally carried. It most cases that adds an extra string to the set of internal weapons an F-35 can carry and adds additional tactical options. It also allows AARGM-ER to be potentially carried on other 5th gen platforms including F-22, B-21, any new emerging UCAV etc.

AARGM
Image

AARGM-ER
Image

angad84 wrote:
2. Yep, good point. I was told at RIAT last year that the UK plan to replace Tornado with Typhoon involves using a Litening or similar pod, as there are no plans to qualify a dedicated recce pod (I believe it was Raptor on the Tonka?). It was openly acknowledged as a less than ideal solution, but P3E seems a more overall strike oriented update than a 1:1 capability replication of Tornado.

[/quote]
I don't think it will be long until a podded recce system is available for F-35 but I expect it is not a priority right now. Nations are probably focused on replacing fighter fleets and perhaps awaiting 5th gen experience, and hands on understanding of how the F-35 sensor fusion integrates with their respective ISR systems, before they decide on future recce requirements.

The list of current Tornado operators seem to be handling the retirement and change of roles from Tornado to F-35/Eurofighter and given both Italy and the UK have gone the F-35/Eurofighter route it would not be unexpected if the remaining Tornado partner Germany also went that way.
 
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keesje
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:08 pm

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:57 pm

keesje wrote:

Unfortunately there is nothing in there we don't already know. What we can derive from the interview though is that any joint FCAS program between France and Germany is still nothing more than a concept and a political agreement to look at the potential of.
 
vr773
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:14 am

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:

Unfortunately there is nothing in there we don't already know. What we can derive from the interview though is that any joint FCAS program between France and Germany is still nothing more than a concept and a political agreement to look at the potential of.


I understand that it's disappointing to read about alternative approaches when you're on "team F-35" but I think there's a lot we learn from this interview.
It verifies that Airbus is willing to form a cooperation with Dassault. We learn that the industry's expectation is that Germany and France will allow funding to kick off the FCAS development in 2018. We learn that FCAS is intended to replace the capabilities currently provided by Tornado and Eurofighter. And we learn that Hoke proposed a Eurofighter upgrade (and not the current version) to replace the Tornado as a stop-gap measure.
Of course that would require Germany to pull out of nuclear sharing with the United States which in my opinion would make sense and which is something the German population is in favor of.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:29 am

vr773 wrote:
[We learn that FCAS is intended to replace the capabilities currently provided by Tornado and Eurofighter. And we learn that Hoke proposed a Eurofighter upgrade (and not the current version) to replace the Tornado as a stop-gap measure.

Dirk Hoke:
Our proposal is to develop the Eurofighter further so that it can replace the Tornado in the medium term. Such a project would secure thousands of jobs in southern Germany and elsewhere, not only for the major aerospace companies but also for a lot of suppliers as well. [...] Eurofighter production - in Manching and Augsburg, for instance - could continue, and Europe's technological competence in building combat aircraft would be strengthened.

Even if the Eurofighter is chosen as the replacement aircraft, production will run out by mid-2020s. The proposed FCAS would likely not enter final assembly until 2030, serial production commencing even later. Assuming standard F-35s are bought and no further Eurofighters, Germany would remain without any combat aircraft production for at least 5 years, possibly even more than 10. I think that politicians are looking into assembling or at least outfitting the German F-35 in Germany. Otherwise they're risking the loss of the current knowledge. One cannot lay off thousands of workers one day and expect them to come back 10 years later.

I wonder if a combination could be viable:
1) Extend Eurofigher production to 2022-2026
2) Assemble/Work on custom F-35 (in Gemany) between 2023-2030
includes development of adequate pods for the recce & ew role and integration into the airframe
3) Start assembly of FCAS 2028-2032
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:57 am

If you build more EFs, you do not need the F-35s and vice versa and much less do you need a final assembly line for 60 F-35s unless you want to pay as much per frame as Japan.

With service lives of 30+ years there always will be a manufacturing gap. At best you could do a Tranche 4 order of 60-80 frames as Tornado replacements that you take from 2023 to 2030, with the production rate from 2026-2030 reduced to 5 frames per year or something. Then FCAS from 2030/2032 onwards, which could slowly replace the Tranche 1. It is the most efficient solution I can imagine and does reduce some risks in the current fleet. You can retire the Tornado early and you have some reserve if the Typhoons with the manufacturing faults in the airframe need to be retired early if they show cracks.
 
Ozair
Posts: 1983
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:56 am

vr773 wrote:

I understand that it's disappointing to read about alternative approaches when you're on "team F-35"

Well perhaps I need to say this again for probably the 20th time in this thread... I 100% believe that a Eurofighter solution to replace the Tornado is the right option for Germany but Germany isn't sure on that and their future role in NATO Nuclear Sharing isn't clear. If they stay in nuclear sharing then putting a nuke on the Eurofighter is a cost prohibitive exercise, hence an American jet would be required. If an American jet is required, clearly the F-35 is that option.

vr773 wrote:
but I think there's a lot we learn from this interview.

I disagree, hence why I already stated as such. Welcome to the world where not everyone has to agree.

vr773 wrote:
It verifies that Airbus is willing to form a cooperation with Dassault. We learn that the industry's expectation is that Germany and France will allow funding to kick off the FCAS development in 2018. We learn that FCAS is intended to replace the capabilities currently provided by Tornado and Eurofighter. And we learn that Hoke proposed a Eurofighter upgrade (and not the current version) to replace the Tornado as a stop-gap measure.
Of course that would require Germany to pull out of nuclear sharing with the United States which in my opinion would make sense and which is something the German population is in favor of.

Nothing there is new. We know the only option for a future European fighter jet for Germany is a tie up between Airbus and Dassault. We know Dassault and Airbus want this to happen soon. We know Airbus propose to replace Eurofighter and Tornado capabilities with FCAS. We know Nuclear sharing is an issue in Germany right now. All of this has been in the last 3-5 pages of this thread.

mxaxai wrote:
Even if the Eurofighter is chosen as the replacement aircraft, production will run out by mid-2020s. The proposed FCAS would likely not enter final assembly until 2030, serial production commencing even later.

There doesn't appear to be any way that production of an upgraded Eurofighter will last until FCAS is ready. We know FCAS is targeted for an entry into service in approx 2040 and replace current Eurofighters by 2045.

If Germany pursues an upgraded Eurofighter then the alternatives are to gap the production line for a short period of time until the upgrades were ready or simply order more Eurofighters today and upgrade them to a newer standard later.

Realistically, what an upgraded Eurofighter will have is much of the upgrades already planned for other Eurofighter partners that wouldn't be coming to German jets anyway, such as AESA radar, conformal tanks, actually equipped their aircraft with the IRST, perhaps adding a terrain following radar mode, maybe adding some additional weapons and an outside chance of upgrading the engine. I don't see much else they will or can do beyond that.


mxaxai wrote:
Assuming standard F-35s are bought and no further Eurofighters, Germany would remain without any combat aircraft production for at least 5 years, possibly even more than 10. I think that politicians are looking into assembling or at least outfitting the German F-35 in Germany. Otherwise they're risking the loss of the current knowledge.

As others have suggested it would be expensive to locally assemble the F-35s so if value for money is needed that isn't the best procurement method. A better option would be to buy them off the shelf cheap as they can, operate them for 20 years and replace them with FCAS when that arrives. In the timeframe we are talking a German F-35 would be US$85 million or so each fly away.

mxaxai wrote:
One cannot lay off thousands of workers one day and expect them to come back 10 years later.

Germany and France would need to sort out where FCAS was being built before you kept those thousands of jobs. Dassault is already offering some of that work to Belgium being mindful Dassault will want local french manufacture as well. The good news is Germany has an active and established aerospace manufacturing industry so a future production line for an airbus military jet could hive workers from a civilian production line to assist.

mxaxai wrote:
I wonder if a combination could be viable:
1) Extend Eurofigher production to 2022-2026
2) Assemble/Work on custom F-35 (in Gemany) between 2023-2030
includes development of adequate pods for the recce & ew role and integration into the airframe
3) Start assembly of FCAS 2028-2032

Not sure why you need F-35s in there if you extend Eurofighter production?

FCAS is not happening until 2040 so as already stated above the timeframes don't really gel for a continuation of production.

Airbus first revealed details of its FCAS work for the German Bundeswehr in mid-2016, at which time it was being pitched as a potential successor to the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fleet. However, given the compressed timelines involved in that particular effort (the service needs to field a replacement in 2025 in time for a 2030 out-of-service date), the FCAS in general and the New Fighter in particular is now being seen more as a potential replacement for the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is due to be retired from German service in about 2045.

http://www.janes.com/article/75550/airb ... er-concept

Realistically, Rafale and Eurofighter both required close to 20 years to develop to the point they were functional, F-35 and F-22 were similar and from what we can see of J-20 and Su-57 they are also looking at those dev timelines. Even starting today, which won't happen with no German Government, the time it will take Germany/France/others to dev a new jet is long and the money for such needs to flow, probably at the expense of upgrades to Eurofighters/Rafales.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:22 pm

Ozair wrote:
Realistically, what an upgraded Eurofighter will have is much of the upgrades already planned for other Eurofighter partners that wouldn't be coming to German jets anyway, such as AESA radar, [...] IRIS-T

It's weird that Germany spent 340 mio. € on the Captor E (AESA) radar but didn't actually order it. Never noticed that.
Note that the IRIS-T is in service, the patrol group for the baltic states was equipped with AMRAAM and IRIS-T missiles. The Meteor is coming soon as well. I agree that they could spend more on upgrading the existing fleet with all the ready but unused equipment.
Ozair wrote:
As others have suggested it would be expensive to locally assemble the F-35s so if value for money is needed that isn't the best procurement method. A better option would be to buy them off the shelf cheap as they can, operate them for 20 years and replace them with FCAS when that arrives. In the timeframe we are talking a German F-35 would be US$85 million or so each fly away.

There is more to it than just the price. For example, building something in-country means that about 40% of the money spent is directly returned through taxes on salaries. Money spent outside of the country is mostly lost. Aerospace workers, even in the assembly lines, are not low-skilled employees. Once the people are gone, the knowledge and experience vanishes as well. Rebuilding that needs a lot of time and money.
Ozair wrote:
Germany and France would need to sort out where FCAS was being built before you kept those thousands of jobs. Dassault is already offering some of that work to Belgium being mindful Dassault will want local french manufacture as well. The good news is Germany has an active and established aerospace manufacturing industry so a future production line for an airbus military jet could hive workers from a civilian production line to assist.

I am sure that production will be split once more. Regarding civil aviation, it's not as if Airbus was just waiting for new workers. And even if they move over, a lot of work will move geographically as well. Especially Bavaria is at risk of losing much. For comparison, note how spread out F-35 production is: https://www.f35.com/about/economic-impact-map
Lockheed certainly didn't spread it over the entire world out of the goodness of their heart, nor was it absolutely necessary for the airplane itself. Military projects are never about "value for money" but 90% politics.
Ozair wrote:
Not sure why you need F-35s in there if you extend Eurofighter production?
FCAS is not happening until 2040 so as already stated above the timeframes don't really gel for a continuation of production.

Maybe to bridge the gap between the end of Eurofighter production and start of FCAS production? I don't see how they can stretch EF production until the start of FCAS assembly.
Ozair wrote:
Realistically, Rafale and Eurofighter both required close to 20 years to develop to the point they were functional.
Realistically, it's a question of how much money are you willing to spend in what time. The FCAS could certainly fly as a prototype by 2030 if given the funds.
 
salttee
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:33 pm

mxaxai wrote:
The FCAS could certainly fly as a prototype by 2030 if given the funds.

Assuming that they can decide what they want to build before 2029.
 
Ozair
Posts: 1983
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:56 pm

mxaxai wrote:
It's weird that Germany spent 340 mio. € on the Captor E (AESA) radar but didn't actually order it. Never noticed that.
Note that the IRIS-T is in service, the patrol group for the baltic states was equipped with AMRAAM and IRIS-T missiles. The Meteor is coming soon as well. I agree that they could spend more on upgrading the existing fleet with all the ready but unused equipment.

No I meant to say IRST, that is the PIRATE IRST used by Eurofighter customers. It was one of the options Germany never inducted into their Eurofighters.

mxaxai wrote:
There is more to it than just the price. For example, building something in-country means that about 40% of the money spent is directly returned through taxes on salaries. Money spent outside of the country is mostly lost. Aerospace workers, even in the assembly lines, are not low-skilled employees. Once the people are gone, the knowledge and experience vanishes as well. Rebuilding that needs a lot of time and money.

Agree that there is more than price but I am not a fan of spending money in country just so you can get the tax back. In most of those cases I think a Government is better placed to find the cheapest price available and then use the savings to invest directly into their own country.

mxaxai wrote:
I am sure that production will be split once more. Regarding civil aviation, it's not as if Airbus was just waiting for new workers. And even if they move over, a lot of work will move geographically as well. Especially Bavaria is at risk of losing much. For comparison, note how spread out F-35 production is: https://www.f35.com/about/economic-impact-map
Lockheed certainly didn't spread it over the entire world out of the goodness of their heart, nor was it absolutely necessary for the airplane itself. Military projects are never about "value for money" but 90% politics.
That is just the domestic map, shouldn’t be a surprise because in the US it helps immensely to have broad state support. But production is different to manufacturing. The F-35 is produced/assembled in the US in one place, the manufacturing of all the components occurs globally.

mxaxai wrote:
Maybe to bridge the gap between the end of Eurofighter production and start of FCAS production? I don't see how they can stretch EF production until the start of FCAS assembly.

I just don’t see how that happens with the current timeframes.

mxaxai wrote:
Realistically, it's a question of how much money are you willing to spend in what time. The FCAS could certainly fly as a prototype by 2030 if given the funds.

Could they? If we said Airbus and Eurofighter today said they would undertake a joint program and started work it would be 2 years before the requirements for the aircraft were bedded down. Another 18 months for the industrial agreements to occur. Some lead dev work would need to be undertaken but they are going to have to develop a host of technologies they currently don’t use if they plan an aircraft based on what Airbus has proposed. The dev work has to occur based on the funding provisioned, not on the schedule that Airbus/Dassault wants it to go. Based on the above I think 2030 is very optimistic.

That is before we have the conflict that occurred last time they tried to do this and went their separate ways. What happens to the German Air Force if three or five years from now France pulls out of FCAS because they don’t have the engine choice, or the airframe won’t be built to land on a carrier as per French requirements, or it is bigger than France wants it to be, or Germany is not happy with the industrial workshare?
 
Planeflyer
Posts: 737
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Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:40 am

I wonder what German pilot would say to all of you who want him to carry out a deep strike in contested airspace w EF?

I’ll bet dimes to $’s 99% of the pilots tasked w such missions would select an F35?

All this talk of FCAS is proof of one thing; 5 th gen is brilliant if and only if it is European.
 
vr773
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:10 am

Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:33 pm

Ozair wrote:
I disagree, hence why I already stated as such. Welcome to the world where not everyone has to agree.

When you write "nothing here that we didn't already know" you appear as speaking for everyone. This has the potential to discourage others from posting valuable information and it doesn't serve the interest of a vibrant discussion culture in my opinion. I for one found the interview very interesting.

Ozair wrote:
Realistically, Rafale and Eurofighter both required close to 20 years to develop to the point they were functional, F-35 and F-22 were similar and from what we can see of J-20 and Su-57 they are also looking at those dev timelines. Even starting today, which won't happen with no German Government, the time it will take Germany/France/others to dev a new jet is long and the money for such needs to flow, probably at the expense of upgrades to Eurofighters/Rafales.

Germany does have a government but it's true that the current interim government would not want to make any large-scale strategic decisions until there is a parliament-backed government in place again. However, that doesn't mean that Germany and France aren't currently working on strengthening their cooperation in the area of military technology development. In my opinion the money is less of a problem than involving other EU nations in a joint German/Franco military development and procurement strategy. It's essentially the same issue that the two countries will be facing when they'll try to harmonize the corporate tax system in the EU.
 
vr773
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:10 am

Re: Germany Considers Tornado Replacement

Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:46 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
I wonder what German pilot would say to all of you who want him to carry out a deep strike in contested airspace w EF?

I’ll bet dimes to $’s 99% of the pilots tasked w such missions would select an F35?

All this talk of FCAS is proof of one thing; 5 th gen is brilliant if and only if it is European.


Assume FCAS is "6th gen" and assume that detection technology surpasses "5th gen" stealth technology in the next 10 years. Shouldn't then all countries operating the F-35 immediately switch to FCAS?

What I'm also wondering is: Why would a German pilot need to do that? How exactly does the scenario "deep strike in contested air space" look like?

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