seahawk wrote:steman wrote:The Tornado is compatible with US atomic weapons and it´s been so since the beginning. So is the SEAD role. These are not the discriminating factors that will make the F-35 the only option for the Luftwaffe.
They are, because with the Tornado the partner nations were all user of US atomic weapons. Be it through owning some themselves or been given access to them in case of war. So the integration of the necessary equipment and the testing were part of the development and part of a huge combined purchase.
Today it is different. First the theoretical production run of a partnership with France and Sweden would hardly reach 300 (I personally would rather guess less than 200 for all 3 nations combined) frames combined, while the Germans would need to get US approval for the atomic weapons integration and would need to pay for it, while maybe needing 80 (or more like 50) frames. And in addition to needing US approval the French and Swedes would also need to agree to Germany using the design for that role. When it comes to SEAD it is not much different. Neither Sweden nor France have a suitable weapons system. The US has.
I am not a fan of the F-35, but for German needs when it comes to replacing the remaining Tonkas, it is an obvious choice.
I understand and I agree with you. I´m just concerned that Europe is losing the know how necessary to develop indigenous advanced military programs and will have to rely even more on the US to maintain a credible defense. This was ok during cold war times but in my opinion this is just dangerous now.
At least they should start working on a Typhoon replacement and try and involve UK, Italy, Spain and possibly even France. It will be then possible to make it a fully multi role platform capable of replacing air defence as well as attack aircrafts in all partner nations. But they have to start soon because it´s going to take at least 20 years to make it fly operationally. The technical capability is still mostly there. It´s the political will that is lacking.