Germany - possible F18 purchase?


I really read somewhere the F35 was rejected because it only has 1 x engine and after their experience operating F104 Germany would never operate a fight with 1 x engine again.

While the British, Dutch, Danes, Italians, Poles, Norwegian etc are operating or have ordered the F35 don't see this as an issue especially as the F104 first flew in 1958 and engines have improved incredibly over the last 60 years
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member

I really read somewhere the F35 was rejected because it only has 1 x engine and after their experience operating F104 Germany would never operate a fight with 1 x engine again.

While the British, Dutch, Danes, Italians, Poles, Norwegian etc are operating or have ordered the F35 don't see this as an issue especially as the F104 first flew in 1958 and engines have improved incredibly over the last 60 years
That sounds to me a bit like a typical F-35 hater, coming up with the usual garbage to attack there favourite whipping toy.
Germany is reportedly looking at 30 FA-18F and 15 EA-18G, the Foxtrots for the Nuclear Strike role(using US supplied Weapons) and the Growlers to replace the Tornado ECR in the SEAD role. I don’t believe that the F-35 Has been cleared at this stage for the Nuke role and probably won’t be anytime soon. The Foxtrot is also a 2 Seater and this may be preferable for the strike role.
I think its just about the Foxtrot/Growler combination offering the best solution and has nothing to do with 1 or 2 Engines. Many F-104 users replaced them with another single Engine Fighter, in the F-16, which has proved to be far safer and reliable then the F-104 and has basically destroyed the myth of single engine vulnerability.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Redlands18 I actually think that the reason Germany didn't go with the F-35 many be more to do with cost, both acquisition and whole of life. It's not the most cost effective aircraft to operate, so the Germans would not have seen it as offering best value for money. The Luftwaffe wanted the F-35 but was told by the Defence Ministry that it was not an option. Now I can't remember the sources for that but they were around about a year ago.

The Bundestag has been less than generous with its funding of defence in recent years, so the Defence Ministry has to make every Euro count more.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
@Redlands18 I actually think that the reason Germany didn't go with the F-35 many be more to do with cost, both acquisition and whole of life. It's not the most cost effective aircraft to operate, so the Germans would not have seen it as offering best value for money. The Luftwaffe wanted the F-35 but was told by the Defence Ministry that it was not an option. Now I can't remember the sources for that but they were around about a year ago.

The Bundestag has been less than generous with its funding of defence in recent years, so the Defence Ministry has to make every Euro count more.
There have been multiple reports since about October last year explaining why this is happening. Germany needs to replace the Tornad IDS and ECR. It can't replce them with Typhoon because it's not cleared to carry nuclear arms which Germany is obliged to do under NATO nuclear sharing doctrine, and getting it certified would take longer than they are willing or able to wait. F-35 can't do it yet either, and in any case a purchase would upset German industry and the French vis a vis the planned European 5/6G fighter project.

Solution - do what Australia did for interim cover, though not for exactly the same tasks. Buy F/A-18F to carry the special stores and EF-18G to replace the Tornado ECR. Replace the remaining mud mover Tornado and early Typhoons with new build Typhoons. The Luftwaffe is left supporting just two fast jet airframes.

oldsig

(Edit - this from October 2019)

 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member

I really read somewhere the F35 was rejected because it only has 1 x engine and after their experience operating F104 Germany would never operate a fight with 1 x engine again.

While the British, Dutch, Danes, Italians, Poles, Norwegian etc are operating or have ordered the F35 don't see this as an issue especially as the F104 first flew in 1958 and engines have improved incredibly over the last 60 years

Germany's casualty rate with the F104 was driven by a wide number of circumstances, and can be compared with other F104 operators, such as Italy for instance, which had a far lower accident per flying hour record.

As has been said, I suspect it's more to do with the ECR replacement and the nuclear capability is less of a driver here. Buying more Typhoon is a shot in the arm for the production line and it would leave Germany with a fairly homogeneous fleet. All they have to do now is actually buy enough spares for both to stay in the air.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Superhornet offers a few thing to the germans.

OTS electronic warefare on a much more capable level
OTS 2 seater - It seems the 2 seater typhoon is not that popular these days RAF I think retired all of theirs. I can see for an interceptor a 2 seater is not ideal, while for a ground pounder 2 seaters are useful additions.
OTS compatible with US weapons and systems

Germany could also probably offload SH when ever they wanted to another interested nation. (Spain? Canada? India?)

Retiring the Tornado's sooner will probably save money. The SH is basically instantly available.The specific functions are probably cheaper to implement in the existing SH than trying to make typhoon master of everything..

As pointed out another 90 typhoon order will make all the typhoon partners pretty happy. This clarifies the split and shows a strong commitment to the typhoon program.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
The RAF retired 16 Tranche 1 2-seaters, & used them as spares sources, but AFAIK it kept a few of the newest 2-seaters. One reason was that it had been decided that the training syllabus didn't need extensive 2-seat flying of Typhoons, with improved simulators & new Hawks with cockpits which could emulate Typhoon cockpits.

Retiring any type saves money, but does it save as much as introducing a new type costs?
 

Goknub

Member
A 2 seater is also important if Germany wants to go down the whole Loyal Wingman route. A single pilot is going to be overloaded flying both his own machine and fighting a pack of drones. It really needs that dedicated person and the only real options are Boeing-made. Either F/A18F or F15E.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member

Seems it's confirmed that German AF (Luftwaffe) will order 93 Eurofighters and 45 Superhornet. It's not clear how many of the 45 Shornet will be wired as Growler.

I suspect that since the additional order of Eurofighters replacing Tornado IDS, then perhaps all Shornet can be wired as Growler to replace ECR. Before the German Mindef already stated they prefer Eurofighters as replacement for Tornado IDS. Thus the main reason for Shornet is for replacing ECR duties.
 
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oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro

Seems it's confirmed that German AF (Luftwaffe) will order 93 Eurofighters and 45 Superhornet. It's not clear how many of the 45 Shornet will be wired as Growler.

I suspect that since the additional order of Eurofighters replacing Tornado IDS, then perhaps all Shornet can be wired as Growler to replace ECR. Before the German Mindef already stated they prefer Eurofighters as replacement for Tornado IDS. Thus the main reason for Shornet is for replacing ECR duties.
There's a lot more to the differences between Supers and Growlers than extra wiring, as the RAAF discovered. As a trivial example, they're visibly different externally due to the need for fairings for the Growler sensors and internally to mount them. The RAAF, having intended to repurpose the second 12 (Growler wired) Super Hornets found that the cost of bringing them to Growler standard was going to be greater than buying new build aircraft. Or at least put that about to help convince the politicians to fund 12 actual Growlers as well. It didn't hurt that by then they'd won the argument about the utility of having both "now"

My guess is that the Luftwaffe will have a mix, with proper Growlers in ECR roles, and Supers in strike roles

oldsig
 

swerve

Super Moderator
I wonder why the Super Hornet was chosen over the F-15E. Because of a lack of an ECR F-15? So Growler was chosen for ECR, & that mandated F-18E for nuclear because of commonality with F-18G?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I wonder why the Super Hornet was chosen over the F-15E. Because of a lack of an ECR F-15? So Growler was chosen for ECR, & that mandated F-18E for nuclear because of commonality with F-18G?
Most likely. Since the USAF never replaced their wild weasels (IIRC), the only fast jet platform available has been the Growler after the USN retired the Prowler. The F-15E would be a great platform, but no one's willing to pay the coin to develop and prototype a Growler equivalent.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Clearly an F-15E conversion for ECR has to be awfully expensive for the USAF to humble themselves into utilizing a USN jet.;)
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Clearly an F-15E conversion for ECR has to be awfully expensive for the USAF to humble themselves into utilizing a USN jet.;)
Hell will freeze over and the US will acknowledge HM the Queen as their lawful sovereign before that happens :cool:

I get the impression that out of the US military, USAF is the most political and most insecure. I could be wrong.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Hell will freeze over and the US will acknowledge HM the Queen as their lawful sovereign before that happens :cool:

I get the impression that out of the US military, USAF is the most political and most insecure. I could be wrong.
Sorry Cobber but HM the Queen of the USA had Hell freeze over twice.
1963 when the USAF ordered the F-4 Phantom, and again in 1965 when the USAF ordered the A-7 Corsair. Both USN Jets
 

Brucedog

Member
390th Electronic Combat Squadron USAF operate the EA-18G. I guess they had to choke it down instead of having to rely on the damn Navy to provide the support.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
390th Electronic Combat Squadron USAF operate the EA-18G. I guess they had to choke it down instead of having to rely on the damn Navy to provide the support.
The 390th is based at NAS Whidby Island and works with the USN but has no Aircraft of its own.
 
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Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Most likely. Since the USAF never replaced their wild weasels (IIRC), the only fast jet platform available has been the Growler after the USN retired the Prowler. The F-15E would be a great platform, but no one's willing to pay the coin to develop and prototype a Growler equivalent.
You are both right and wrong. The 'Wild Weasel' designation was a USAF designation given to aircraft armed and tasked with SEAD missions, the last dedicated aircraft design/variant being the F-4G 'Wild Weasel' variant based off the F-4E Phantom II. Presently the USAF assigns SEAD/DEAD missions to appropriately armed and kitted later block F-16's, now that the F-16 is much more of a multi-role aircraft and able to take anti-radiation missiles, etc.

With that in mind, the role of the Prowlers and now Growler is more complementary to that of the Wild Weasel missions. It had also been my understanding that the role of the Luffwaffe's Tornado ECR was also SEAD missions, rather than EA and jamming. If that is accurate, then Germany might just be better off funding for more multi-role functionality for the Typhoon.
 
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