Luftwaffe/German Air Force News, Discussions & Updates

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Given the financial pain caused by the pandemic, the funds required for increasing the Typhoon’s functionality are pretty much nonexistent. I doubt the UK or Italy would be interested. The Typhoon- Superhornet-Growler package is the least expensive and politically viable solution that meets NATO requirements.
 
Casting the financial crisis aside . Would it be possible to use the conformal fuel tanks to house a EW package rather than fuel. And again maybe just the centre line station rigged to operate a jamming pod.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Casting the financial crisis aside . Would it be possible to use the conformal fuel tanks to house a EW package rather than fuel. And again maybe just the centre line station rigged to operate a jamming pod.
Well if you lose the conformal fuel tanks, means you lose 2 - 3 hard points so kind of defeats the purpose. If the Luftwaffe are getting Growlers, then it's definitely better to go with the full package, rather than trying to jury rig something. A Growler capability in the Luftwaffe gives NATO one great asset, plus it also will be required for the nuke strike package.
 

MarcH

Member
The current proposal looks like this:

38 EF tranche 4 (EF tranche 1 replacement)
50 EF tranche 5 to replace Tornadoes in conventional a2g missions
15 optional EF ECR for SEAD/DEAD

30 F-18F for nuclear strike
15 EA-18G for escort jamming

I read several times the Growlers replace the Tornado ECR in the electronic attack role. Issue is, there is no EA role for ECR Tornadoes. They are equipped with sensors to precisely locate search radars and apply a kinetic solution to the problem. Their jamming capabilities are restricted to self defence.

The Growlers were made necessary by the rejection of the F-35. To have an at least somewhat credible nuclear deterrence with legacy airframes escort jammers are a necessity. And there is only one aircraft for this role market-ready today. That's why the (already B-61 certified) F-15E isn't considered anymore. F-18 AND F-15 would have been a logistical nightmare. Now the plan is to have basically two versions of the same aircraft perform the DCA mission and escort jamming. As a bonus both have virtually identical performance. Not an ideal solution but at least an off the shelf one.

Timeframe:
Only the order for the first 38 EF is expected soonish. Everything else would be decided by the next legislation. It wouldn't be that outlandish to see the F-18 purchase axed and the whole nuclear sharing along with it.

SEAD/DEAD:
The EF ECR development ist supposed to be covered by a separate contract. Maybe it's just the integration of AARGM. Everything else necessary to perform the SEAD/DEAD mission should be part of the Preatorian DASS upgrade.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
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?

Does tend to underline my comments earlier about the priority for the nuclear role - the E is available out of the box with B61 and 63 capability and has deep strike credentials. Okay, it's more expensive I believe but it's already nuke qualified which would cost anyway.

So, yeah, I'd go with the idea that ECR is more of a "must have" than then the nuclear role and that's why the Growlers are on the table.

There's still a substantial chance that the buy could get canned in favour of an all Tiffy lineup as that feeds more money to the Unions and the Eurofighter line.
 

Terran

Active Member
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.
Here is the Rub.
Over and over the main selling point being the use of Nuclear B61 bombs. Although F18 models A-D can, models E-G were never qualified for the B61. Super Hornet like Typhoon and Rafael never qualified. F35 is, F15E and F16 are.
The Super Hornet is substantially different from the legacy model. So much so the selling based on the Nuclear role would basically demand running it through the qualification as a new bird. Pitching based on the Nuclear role is counting chickens before they hatch.
If that’s the case then might as well run one of the Euro birds though, Or if the aim is to buy the qualification then you have to go for Lightning, Eagle or Viper.
 

south

Active Member
Here is the Rub.
Over and over the main selling point being the use of Nuclear B61 bombs. Although F18 models A-D can, models E-G were never qualified for the B61. Super Hornet like Typhoon and Rafael never qualified. F35 is, F15E and F16 are.
The Super Hornet is substantially different from the legacy model. So much so the selling based on the Nuclear role would basically demand running it through the qualification as a new bird. Pitching based on the Nuclear role is counting chickens before they hatch.
If that’s the case then might as well run one of the Euro birds though, Or if the aim is to buy the qualification then you have to go for Lightning, Eagle or Viper.
As you’ve stated, it’s clearly a conditional buy on the promise of Superhornet getting Nuclear capability. Germany are obviously not concerned about this aspect. It also gets access to Growler; and a fleet size that is more supportable.

Lastly, the F-35 is not yet nuclear capable. It’s widely reported this will come atBlock 4, which to my mind makes little difference - e.g as far as Germany is concerned the integration work must be performed for either SH or F-35.
 

MarcH

Member
Here is the Rub.
Over and over the main selling point being the use of Nuclear B61 bombs. Although F18 models A-D can, models E-G were never qualified for the B61. Super Hornet like Typhoon and Rafael never qualified. F35 is, F15E and F16 are.
The Super Hornet is substantially different from the legacy model. So much so the selling based on the Nuclear role would basically demand running it through the qualification as a new bird. Pitching based on the Nuclear role is counting chickens before they hatch.
If that’s the case then might as well run one of the Euro birds though, Or if the aim is to buy the qualification then you have to go for Lightning, Eagle or Viper.
It is a lot cheaper and less time consuming to integrate the B-61 than to develop an EA version of the mentioned aircraft. Of course Airbus offered just that. They knew what was going on. Eurofigher ECR proposal Also, they claimed B-61 integration would be no problem.

However, the EA-18G exists, while the EA-Typhoon is just a powerpoint. Given past experiences there is a strong preference for an off-the-shelf solution. Similar story with B-61-12 integration. A lot more paperwork involved to get the Typhoon qualified.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Here is the Rub.
Over and over the main selling point being the use of Nuclear B61 bombs. Although F18 models A-D can, models E-G were never qualified for the B61. Super Hornet like Typhoon and Rafael never qualified. F35 is, F15E and F16 are.
The Super Hornet is substantially different from the legacy model. So much so the selling based on the Nuclear role would basically demand running it through the qualification as a new bird. Pitching based on the Nuclear role is counting chickens before they hatch.
If that’s the case then might as well run one of the Euro birds though, Or if the aim is to buy the qualification then you have to go for Lightning, Eagle or Viper.
The issue was never whether or not the F/A18-F was nuclear capable, the issue was that making any *new* Euro aircraft nuclear capable was a lot more difficult politically and technically. It involves more handover of US intellectual property than the US would easily approve


oldsig

(edit: typo)
 

Mochachu

New Member
It seems unlikely Germany will buy Super Hornet. Considering the economic conundrum, there be political pressure to Make In Germany. And that means more Typhoons.
 

Mochachu

New Member
Yet again the Nuclear mission issue requires qualifying with the B61.
Plenty of NATO countries don't have planes that can carry nukes. Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania for example. Germany is not required to have a plane that can carry nukes. Plus, it's not like Germany has nukes anyway.
 
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MarcH

Member
Currently older B-61 versions are withdrawn from service and rebuilt into B-61-12. Even if service life of the Tornado would be prolonged (at considerable costs) then there would still be no aircraft to carry the new bombs in 3-5 years.
That's the timeframe. The SH is officially sold as a stop-gap. The last "stop gap" from St. Louis lasted 40 years in Luftwaffe service.
 

Terran

Active Member
Plenty of NATO countries don't have planes that can carry nukes. Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania for example. Germany is not required to have a plane that can carry nukes. Plus, it's not like Germany has nukes anyway.
Yes Germany is not nuclear armed but the US stores B61 in Germany.
Germany is a partner in the Nuclear Sharing Agreement of NATO.
Those are Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and The Netherlands. Those nations have and maintain B61 rated aircraft in the form of F16 or Tornado.
Farthermore of your list a good number are F16 users. F16 is rated on B61 weapons.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Yet again the Nuclear mission issue requires qualifying with the B61.
Plenty of NATO countries don't have planes that can carry nukes. Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania for example. Germany is not required to have a plane that can carry nukes. Plus, it's not like Germany has nukes anyway.
Germany has a requirement to carry the B-61 nuclear bomb. It is part of the NATO war plan. The US provides the nuclear weapons.
 

MarcH

Member
Plenty of NATO countries don't have planes that can carry nukes. Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania for example. Germany is not required to have a plane that can carry nukes. Plus, it's not like Germany has nukes anyway.
Germany is a partner in the nuclear sharing programme of NATO. The other nations are: Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey. All of them are purchasing the F-35 for the DCA role.
And so far there is no political intent to give up this capability. There was however a political decision not to purchase F-35.

The Tornado is getting more and more expensive to run. A replacement is a necessity. That is the only reason an US aircraft is even considered. The F-18F / EA-18G combination can replace the Tornado in all current roles. Replicating the Growlers capabilites and integrating the B-61-12 into the Eurofighter within the given timeframe ist unrealistic. Luckily for Boeing, noone in political circles in Germany wanted to touch the Tornado replacement until recently, when the federal audit office presented the bill for extending the Tornadoes servicelife for another 10 years.
 

Terran

Active Member
In other words as long as Germany remains part of the agreement they have to have a number of B61 series compatible Multi role fighters. The Tornado was the last one made in Europe. Typhoon isn’t.
Panther (F35) Block 4 would have meet that requirement for a replacement but France applied pressure to block that. (I think they dreamed to sell Rafale which is also not B61).
Yet were merely satisfied in locking Germany on the Joint 6th gen program and out of F35.
Of course that won’t be around in time to replace Tornado and likely wouldn’t be B61 rated either.
So unless the French decided to offer there own tactical nuclear weapons for NATO Sharing... The Germans have to buy something.
With Panther out of the picture That only leaves a two options in current production Advanced Eagles, and Vipers.
Boeing however has pushed the Rino Hornet which has never been rated on it either.
It’s like buying a new Computer because it would be compatible with your software... Eventually... If you Buy it says the maker they will make it compatible for you.
 

Mochachu

New Member
There's no way Germany is phasing out Tornado anytime soon. Canada is still flying CF-18 and won't be buying any new jet for years to come. Germany can simply save money by grounding its Tornado fleet until Airbus integrates B61 on Typhoon or simply wait until European 6th gen becomes available by the 2030s.

With COVID rampant in the US it is unlikely US factories will be making any plane for years to come anyway. So I don't see Germany going for Super Hornet considering Germany hasn't flown any US jet for decades.
 

Terran

Active Member
They can’t integrate B61 on Typhoon without it being paid for. That would come from German coffers. Airbus can’t do it without turning over technical data to the US.
Grounding Tornado wouldn’t help anything. The Franco German sixths gen isn’t an option yet either as France would have to be sold on integration of B61 or convinced to offer there own which isn’t realistic.
 
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