Luftwaffe/German Air Force News, Discussions & Updates

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The Luftwaffe is preparing for exercise "Rapid Pacific". The lack of quality control at Martin-Baker in the UK that came up yesterday might still throw a wrench into the works though.

Rapid Pacific will take place on August 15th and move a group of 6 Eurofighter, 4 A400M and 3 A330 MRTT from Germany to Singapore in 24 hours with a single layover (and pilot change) in Abu Dhabi.

The flight entails a planned nine air-to-air refuelings enroute, and a minimum 6-week stay for 250 soldiers based out of Singapore until early October. There have been some hints that they plan to pre-shuttle crews to Abu Dhabi separately for the pilot change there instead of e.g. bringing them on one of the MRTTs or A400M; i.e. unlike the similar French Heifara-Wakea deployment it is not so much intended as a rapid reaction drill.

Planned are:
  • participation in Pitch Black 2022 with the RAAF in Australia
  • participation in Kakadu 2022 with the RAN in Australia
  • exercises with the Singaporean Air Force
  • visits of aircraft of the group to Japan and South Korea
The Luftwaffe is somewhat advertising it as a stress test for the MRTT with a planned ca 200 air-to-air refuelings during the overall deployment.

For "some reason" their advertising video (below ... with zero narration) for the exercise at the part for Japan and South Korea includes images of F/A-22s. If not in error (perfectly possible) this may indicate a USAF F/A-22 training stint to either country in September.
One of the Eurofighters of TaktLwG 74 has also been painted up for the occasion, for better pics:


It should be noted that the Luftwaffe is actively operating around the Pacific independent of such planned show pieces. There was a A400M at the Singapore Air Show in February for example, and the below A400M two weeks ago was coming in from Honolulu to San Diego, probably after dropping off some gear or supplies for the German SOF contribution to RIMPAC:
 
Last edited:

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The lack of quality control at Martin-Baker in the US that came up yesterday might still throw a wrench into the works though.
At least according to the press team the cartouches will be switched before Rapid Pacific.

The Luftwaffe has only grounded training flights anyway. All CAPs, QRAs and forward deployments fly as normal.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
F-35 FMS sale to Germany has been cleared on US side. Worth 8.4 billion USD.


The package includes 2 AIM-9X and 2 JASSM-ER as well as about 10 SDB-II per F-35.

It also hides a munitions package for German stocks of AIM-120C8, GBU-24 and GBU-54 (with numbers that sound suspiciously like simply the last orders for each repeated).
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
F-35 FMS sale to Germany has been cleared on US side. Worth 8.4 billion USD.


The package includes 2 AIM-9X and 2 JASSM-ER as well as about 10 SDB-II per F-35.

It also hides a munitions package for German stocks of AIM-120C8, GBU-24 and GBU-54 (with numbers that sound suspiciously like simply the last orders for each repeated).
This F-35 purchase is another blow for Boeing, it's now for sure that Germany will not select the F-18 as a Tornado replacement .

They will maybe only have a chance with India to sell that thing.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This F-35 purchase is another blow for Boeing, it's now for sure that Germany will not select the F-18 as a Tornado replacement .

They will maybe only have a chance with India to sell that thing.
Unless Canada are silly enough to buy it. And I am not categorically stating that they won't. Whilst the F-35 looks the most practical and best option, the current PM and his government are a tad allergic to it.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Unless Canada are silly enough to buy it. And I am not categorically stating that they won't. Whilst the F-35 looks the most practical and best option, the current PM and his government are a tad allergic to it.
Junior has already committed to negotiating with LM for the required 88 jets. Flip flopping once again on this would be suicidal for the Liberal party. The only deviation now for the F-35 is quantity and price.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Junior has already committed to negotiating with LM for the required 88 jets. Flip flopping once again on this would be suicidal for the Liberal party. The only deviation now for the F-35 is quantity and price.
It ain't over until the fat shelia sings and Jnr still has plenty of time to find excuses. Never underestimate a pollie forced to swallow dead rats.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
It ain't over until the fat shelia sings and Jnr still has plenty of time to find excuses. Never underestimate a pollie forced to swallow dead rats.
I am sure he would love to &uck up the acquisition somehow but his control of the Liberal party is now weak due to his failed attempt at gaining a majority mandate during the last election. His own backbenchers will not tolerate any more BS on this file. The RCAF needs new jets and buying the same jets that all our major allies are buying is a no brainer that carries zero political risk.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The Luftwaffe is starting its 13th rotation into Baltic Air Policing since 2004 and the first since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war:


The "image language" in the above video focuses heavily on armament this time. While previous rotations already did fly with a full combat load they take the time to emphasize it this time around.

---

In other news supposedly CH-53G have flown 300 firefighting sorties dropping 1.2 million liters water in the last week:


I say supposedly since that's basically just how often that specific type dropped water - that would be about 25 times per day per helicopter. In the forest fires in Brandenburg there are two Luftwaffe CH-53G deployed alongside three (at one point up to five) Army NH-90 and a single combat engineering vehicle on the ground. In Saxony there's another 3 Army NH90 and 2 Federal Police Super Puma deployed for dropping water.

Brandenburg and Saxony both do not have a local firefighting capability among their state police helicopter fleet; most German states have kits to equip 2-3 of their helicopters with bambi buckets (usually 500-l for EC135 or 800-l for EC145). In Saxony they just ordered three kits a couple weeks ago.

Usually forest fires in Germany are perfectly manageable from the ground. In these particular cases now airborne firefighting is required since in Saxony the fire is in remote mountains along the Czech border with no other access and in Brandenburg it's affecting a forest that's basically full of WW2 UXO remains that are currently repeatedly going off.
 
Last edited:

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
In the forest fires in Brandenburg there are two Luftwaffe CH-53G deployed alongside three (at one point up to five) Army NH-90 and a single combat engineering vehicle on the ground. In Saxony there's another 3 Army NH90 and 2 Federal Police Super Puma deployed for dropping water.
Sort of a P.S.:

Due to the Bundeswehr helicopters being in use in Saxony and Brandenburg there are none available for the current fire at an ammunitions dump in Berlin's Grunewald forest park.

At Grunewald due to about 30 tons of ammunitions being in the directly affected fire zone there's a 1-km exclusion zone drawn up similar to Brandenburg, in this case also affecting railway routes and a highway though. Assistance in this case is so far focused on the EOD effort as the area can not be accessed without heavy armor. The exclusion zone also includes the air space above btw, so it's not like you could really drop any water by helo either.

The Bundeswehr has so far deployed a BPz armoured recovery vehicle, a Dachs combat engineering vehicle, a Fuchs (1A8) APC and a Teodor medium EOD UGV to Grunewald. The Teodor actually had to abandon an attempt to get in there due to detonations close to the vehicle.

Berlin state police has two SW4 (TH170) barricade-clearing APCs on site. A private contractor from Saxony-Anhalt has brought in a Marder-IFV-based armoured firefighting vehicle and a T-55T armoured recovery vehicle. They've now brought in three firefighting UGVs from a contractor in Northrhine-Westfalia (similar to the ones that were used at the Notre Dame fire in Paris). Since water supply infrastructure in the area is somewhat problematic storage sites for about 300 m³ of water have been erected nearby and filled from the Havel river using a firefighting boat for pumping the water over about 3 km distance.

This morning a specialist from Berlin police was driven into the ammo dump in the BPz to check the situation on-site - where according to measurements the ground in some spots reaches peaks of up to 700°C temperature and there are two WW2 250 kg bombs that have already dropped from the gantries they were stored in and are being critically heated.

Firefighters have reached up to 500m from the ammunitions dump so far, mostly using protected police watercannon vehicles for which the Bundeswehr tanks cut about 5 km (!) of access lanes in the forest and which have so far spread out about 1.8 million liters of water to cool down the forest. In total 42 hectares of Grunewald have burned down, most of that is under control in the sense of not spreading out further.

Reuters report on the fire:
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Rapid Pacific will take place on August 15th and move a group of 6 Eurofighter, 4 A400M and 3 A330 MRTT from Germany to Singapore in 24 hours with a single layover (and pilot change) in Abu Dhabi.
Mission was accomplished in 20 hours, 22 minutes and 3 seconds (for the first aircraft touchdown).

Only five Eurofighters made it to Singapore though. One was pulled aside in Abu Dhabi with a hydraulics failure, another was fixed on site there and could continue with the other aircraft. They're sending a repair crew and spare parts to Abu Dhabi to deploy the sixth Eurofighter to Darwin in time for Pitch Black.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The sixth Eurofighter was repaired in Abu Dhabi and arrived in Singapore yesterday.

It was apparently "escorted" by an A400M and landed right before it - not sure if this was one of the four that are deploying for Pitch Black, or the one that had brought the repair crew and spare parts to Abu Dhabi.

The German fighters are parked right next to French Rafales at Changi.

The Luftwaffe A321LR #15+10 is also in Singapore right now. The aircraft was only handed over to the Luftwaffe in June, the second of the type (#15+11) was handed over last week.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
1) The Luftwaffe has formally taken over its second A350-900 passenger aircraft, the first one with the VIP cabin planned for all three aircraft.

The three aircraft, 10+01 "Konrad Adenauer" (now delivered), 10+02 "Theodor Heuss" (cabin under overhaul right now) and 10+03 "Kurt Schuhmacher" (still needs cabin overhaul), are effectively the German counterpart of Air Force One - although they are available for the whole government, not just the chancellor. The three aircraft for a cost of 1.2 billion Euro replace two twenty-year-old A340-300, with the third aircraft serving as a reserve to always keep two available. Unlike Air Force One in the US these aircraft also do see a whole lot of use, with the two A340 averaging 45 flight hours per week each for their 21-22 year careers.

10+03 "Kurt Schuhmacher" has been operational since 2020 with a standard cabin, and was mostly used to train crews (in global-ranging flights), as well as serving as a general passenger transport aircraft for both the Bundeswehr and the government.

---

2) The Bundeswehr A319-OH large observation aircraft was formally certified for Open Skies missions last week.

The aircraft has been in operation for 3 years already. The certification is about verifying whether the observation technology installed conforms to that laid down for the Open Skies treaty, primarily to ensure that data collected can only be used within the observation mission, resolution of sensors is restricted to that laid down in the treaty and so on.

The aircraft is planned to perform 20 observation missions per year, including on behalf of other Open Skies partner nations.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
P.S. on the A319-OH:

The aircraft is sort of special in that it is operated by the Joint Support Service (SKB) - not the Luftwaffe.

Here's a tweet for that:

In parallel with the German A319 a Romanian An-30 was certified at the same time at Cologne Airport. The certification of both aircraft was conducted by a team of 47 engineers from 21 Open Skies partner countries. Besides direct inspection of installed technology the process also involved "many" test flights at various altitudes over the course of a week to inspect actual performance.
 
Top