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Germany Requests Classified Briefing on F-35 for Procurement Purposes

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posted on May, 17 2017 @ 10:33 AM
Germany has been looking at replacing at least some of its current fighters between 2025 and 2035. I had thought they were interested in procuring a European solution, a follow-on to the Typhoon. However, Germany just requested a classified briefing on the F-35. That would strongly imply they are thinking the aircraft might be procurable.

In a way, it makes sense. No other 5th gen contenders are available in the West in the time frame requested and based on the experience with the F-22, it may be the 6th gen (at least the initial bird) will not be exportable. Also, it makes sense since the F-35 is becoming the West's standard 5th gen fighter and that would reduce logistics costs, never mind development costs.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 10:38 AM
More and more countries are showing interest in the F-35 as it proves better and better in exercises and development is getting better.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 11:28 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

After all that money spent, it better be worth it.
edit on 17-5-2017 by 4N0M4LY because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 11:38 AM
Nah, that just the German Air Force doing window shopping imho. I don't see them getting it past the parlament. That would require some serious lobbying.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 11:46 AM
a reply to: moebius

At this point, if they try to develop a clean sheet aircraft, as they've talked about, they're looking at 20 years until it's operational. They're better off going straight to a 6th gen platform almost. Buying something that exists, and magnifies their capabilities buys them years to work on their own aircraft.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 12:05 PM
a reply to: anzha

Yes, please! Away with the eurofighters... we´re bound to the USA military-wise either way, so why not!

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 01:15 PM
Not surprising to say the least, this is just the next step in long term procurement plans.
The Inspekteur der Luftwaffe (Chief of the Air Force) talked about this and there was a comprehensive non classified paper on it as well.
The Luftwaffe is persuing a family of systems approach called Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) atm. Basically it includes a 5th Gen Weapon System called NextGenWS which may or may not be unmmaned or optionally manned and an Advanced Command Fighter (=F-35) with a strike capability and the ability to contro UAVs.
The concept is intented to replace the Tornado within the next two decades, the Eurofighter wont be replaced anytime soon (before the turn of the century).

So what will actually happen? Germany will round up some European Allies and direct Airbus Military, Bae Systems, Dassault or three of them to build another LO UCAV at some point within the next decade. With much luck this effort will result in some form of meaningfull operational capability until 2040. This is the NextGenWS part of the FCAS approach. Get money to European defense companies because buying American doesnt help the local defense economy in Bayern and Baden-Württemberg (i'm not joking, this is basically how german military procurement has worked since there was a German military).
Unfortunately for them they cant do the same with a 5th gen fighter aircraft. They would in a heartbeat if they could (and maybe the politicians are just crazy enough to try) but designing and building an actual combat capable 5th gen aircraft is impossible for even the entirety of Europe. They dont have the neccessary funding, the cutting edge technoloy, Knowledge and experience , the political will and time for such a project. Its F-35 or bust for all European Air Forces.
And since Germany has to replace the Tornado at some point - the Luftwaffe takes the neccessary steps and prays for a favorable political climate in the next decade. Which is not entirely impossible, but i'd put my money on an unified European Air Force instead.
edit on 17-5-2017 by mightmight because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 01:33 PM
Used to be U.S. needed German technology for procurement. Until they procured most of their scientists and engineers.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 02:14 PM
Its not as if they have a choice in the matter IMHO.

I'm unaware of any active European 5th generation fighter programs or studies. So unless they are willing to wait or develop a 5th or 6th Generation the F-35 is the only shot they have unless they want to look to (and wait for) the J-20 or the PAK-FA

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 02:49 PM
a reply to: FredT

J-20 has entered service:

However, the Chinese have signaled they will not sell the J-20 so long as the US doesn't sell the F-22 or any other bleeding edge fair superiority fighter. The FC-31 is for sale, but not the J-20.

And would you want to trust the Russians with providing your new air force?

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 04:01 PM
a reply to: anzha

I forgot my facetious tag LOL Yes I doubt that China will be exporting the J-20 as they do not need the sale to generate $$$ as in years past and will want to prioritize their needs first and Yes I would not trust the russians at all.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: mightmight
I sign in on the UCAV part especially. As for MIC, I only know Airbus, Rheinmetall, Thyssen-Krupp and maybe Diehl from the top of my head. All of them have their headquarters more up the north, afaik.

When you talk about BaWü and Bayern ("bavaria" for the english members), I can´t think of a big one but many different part suppliers. Oh Eurocopter is based in Donauwörth and near Ulm. Can you name some if you happen to know?

I´d also put money on a united airforce for Europe. It´s been prepared in law and authority structures already so that for example a French general could give commands to a German unit for example, if deployed together in a EU-mission. It only makes sense to cover not only sea and land, but also the airforce when it comes to that. On the hardware side, we (I mean Germany) could not come up with a fighter programm alone financially, politically.

It may be a risk to use american F-35 in terms of reliance on a good partnership with the USA, but let´s be honest here again, they have us by the balls (Germany).

Personally, I´d like to have the F-35 around, in our airforce. The mileage is not a big issue, as Germany is 19x smaller than the USA. We have the support structure anyways because of the many US bases.

The question for me is, how neatly will it integrate with our systems, because that´s a key factor for the F-35. I don´t even mind the risk that our allies will plant their own little doors they are deeply integrated in our systems but again, they (USA) have us by the balls, anyways.

posted on May, 17 2017 @ 11:53 PM
a reply to: verschickter
I mentioned the two states mostly because of politics involved. The dominant political parties are keen on strengthening the local defense economy. Especially the CSU in Bavaria.
Its somewhat different now with the Greens in power in Baden-Würrttemberg, but this will change again when Kretschmann retires, not relevant for long term trends.

As you probably know, the CDU/CSU generally support the military (more than the left wing parties) but they like high paying industrial jobs even more.
So naturally they are in favor of military procurements as long as german / european companies in Germany profit. The capabilitys of the desired product and the actual need of the military are far less important. And it nevers hurts two invent the wheel a second time. Cant be perfect unless its designed by German engineers...
'Arms policy equals industrial policy' sums it up pretty well.

Thats how they frequently end up with military procurement desasters, especially in the aviation sector... A400M, NH90, Tiger...

As far as distribution of defense companies goes you can take a look at this map:
The north is dominated by the maritime industry. There is lots of defense industry in the west too, but those regions densely populated and (at least historically) dominiated by heavy industry.
The map in general is shaped by the Cold War of course, there is no meaningfull defense industry beyond the Fulda Gap and in the Northern German Plaines since those regions would bear the brunt of a soviet general offensive back in the day.

posted on May, 18 2017 @ 08:47 PM
Anyone know France's next gen plans?

I wonder if UK will develop its own replacement for Typhoon and Tornado, FOAS is still knocking around I think.

posted on May, 19 2017 @ 03:32 AM
a reply to: Forensick
I think NEURON is ticking over slowly...

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