Spat over the F-35 bubbles up in Germany | World Defense

Spat over the F-35 bubbles up in Germany

Khafee

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Spat over the F-35 bubbles up in Germany
By: Sebastian Sprenger  
06 hours ago
12 Dec 2017

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An F-35 Lightning II pilot takes off July 17, 2017, from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. (Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota/U.S. Air Force)

COLOGNE, Germany ― German Defence Ministry leaders have distanced themselves from their Air Force chief, Lt. Gen. Karl Muellner, over his appetite for the F-35, as at least one lawmaker suspects intrigue seeping into the debate.

Deputy Defence Minister Ralf Brauksiepe clarified Monday that the government views the Eurofighter as the “primary” option for replacing the country’s fleet of Tornado jets in 2025. The U.S.-made F-15E, the F/A-18E/F and the F-35 are considered only as “secondary” choices, he wrote in a letter.

The missive, first reported by Reuters on Monday and independently obtained by Defense News, comes after Muellner said last month he prefers the stealthy F-35 because of its advertised capability to attack targets from so far away that pilots can stay out of the danger of combat.

A review of all aircraft options would be made in a “wholistic context,” Brauksiepe added, a likely nod to the expectation that political and cost considerations could end up trumping operational capabilities.

Brauksiepe’s response is consistent with previous statements by ministry officials, often made privately, who have cringed at Muellner’s outspoken support for the Lockheed Martin-made F-35. Exactly how much sway the Air Force will have in a final decision remains to be seen.
An air service spokesman declined to comment.

Those here opposed to choosing the F-35 argue that the advent of that aircraft in Germany could endanger German-French plans for an entirely new plane, announced to much fanfare in July. Leaders from both countries consider that project an important part of the vision for greater military prowess of the European Union.

Brauksiepe’s letter states that the German government is “firmly determined to move forward” with the Berlin-Paris cooperation. “Initial activities have already begun.”

Meanwhile, the Green Party’s Franziska Brantner, whose Dec. 4 inquiry prompted Brauksiepe’s written response, said in a statement to Defense News that the government should take a stronger position against the F-35 idea.

“The ministry apparently does not have its own top personnel under control,” she said. Instead of clearly rebuking Muellner for pressing ahead with plans in opposition to the German-French collaboration, she said, officials offered only a rebuttal that is “soft as wax.”

Brantner called it “scandalous” that copies of Brauksiepe’s letter, which she said ministry officials should have sent only to her office as the parliamentarian posing the question, were given to the press before she had a chance to review it.

The move, she contended, suggests that there are behind-the-scenes stakeholders involved who are eager to “create facts” in Germany’s armaments policy.
Defense officials are expected to request formal bids from vendors for a Tornado-replacement program next year. Given the effort’s envisioned scope, the price tag could lie in the billions of dollars.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/12/12/spat-over-the-f-35-bubbles-up-in-germany/
 

Lieutenant

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The F-35 has lost its reputation in the market. First it was an oxygen related issue and then takeoff problem and list keeps ongoing. The US itself consider the F-35 as a secondary option why would any sane country opt for it as a primary one!

The Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as “critical to correct” in Block 3F, but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections in 3FR6.​
 

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Germany favors Eurofighter as it seeks to replace Tornado
by Sabine Siebold
DECEMBER 11, 2017

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German Defence Ministry said on Monday that the European fighter jet was the leading candidate to replace its Tornado jets, which it wants to start phasing out in 2025.

The ministry’s position appears to contradict that of the German air force, whose chief indicated last month that he preferred Lockheed Martin’s F-35, which meets the military’s requirements of stealth and long-distance operational capabilities.

In a letter to a Greens lawmaker who had inquired about the deliberations, the ministry said the F-35 and Boeing’s F-15 and F-18 fighters were secondary options.
“The indicated view of the inspector of the air force that the F-35 Lightning II is an especially suitable successor to the Tornado system is not the position of the federal government,” Deputy Defence Minister Ralf Brauksiepe wrote in the letter.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a joint project between British defense group BAE, France’s Airbus and Italy’s Finmeccanica.

The ministry’s preference for the Typhoon is no surprise; France and Germany said earlier this year they would work together to develop a new European fighter, as they expand cooperation on defense and security

Many German allies in Europe, including Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, Italy, Turkey and Denmark have selected the F-35 and some have received initial deliveries. Belgium is expected to make a decision next year.

The contract to replace Germany’s 85 Tornado jets, which go out of service around 2030, could be worth billions of euros.

A new fighter purchase would have to be approved by parliament in the next two years and a contract signed by 2020 or 2021 to ensure deliveries by 2025. No final decision is likely before a new government is formed, following elections this past September.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will open talks on Wednesday with the Social Democrats (SPD) on renewing their alliance, which has ruled Germany since 2013. She turned to the SPD after efforts to form a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats failed.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-as-it-seeks-to-replace-tornado-idUSKBN1E52EK
 

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Germany’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contradicted the country’s air force chief in declaring that the Panavia Tornado should be replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon rather than the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Reuters reported on 11 December that the MoD’s stated position is that additional Typhoons should replace the Tornados from 2025, with the Boeing F-15 Eagle and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet being the preferred alternatives.
The declaration, which was reportedly made in a letter to a German lawmaker, is in direct contradiction to views expressed by the chief of the Luftwaffe, Lieutenant General Karl Muellner, who in early November said it is his preference that the F-35 be the replacement platform.
“The indicated view of the [chief] of the air force that the F-35 Lightning II is an especially suitable successor to the Tornado system is not the position of the federal government,” Deputy Defence Minister Ralf Brauksiepe was quoted by Reuters as saying in the letter.
Speaking at the IQPC International Fighter conference in Berlin, Lt Gen Muellner said the F-35 would enable Germany to fulfil three primary goals for its Tornado replacement, in that it already satisfies the Luftwaffe’s military requirements; it would strengthen European co-operation through interoperability with other customer nations; and it would help to balance Germany’s trade surplus with the United States.
The Luftwaffe service chief has said that he wants to replace the Tornado with the F-35, seen here in German markings at the recent Berlin Security Conference. (IHS Markit / Gareth Jennings)
The general noted that the Tornado’s successor must have the full spectrum of offensive counter air and air interdiction; suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD); close air support (CAS); tactical reconnaissance; electronic warfare (EW); and the nuclear deterrent mission. It must also meet future threats and be survivable in a contested environment through the employment of low observability (stealth) technologies, as well as standoff sensors and weapons. “The Luftwaffe considers the F-35’s capability as the benchmark for the selection process for the Tornado replacement, and I think I have expressed myself clearly enough as to what the favourite of the air force is,” he said.

http://www.janes.com/article/76326/...al&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
 
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