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F-15 Exports / German Air Force In The Cold War  
User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7260 times:

Does anybody know if there was an initial export ban of the F-15?

I'm trying to come to grips with the strange aircraft procurement of the German Air Force during the cold war. The GAF introduced the F-4 in 1974, the same year the F-15 was introduced in the USAF. Seems almost as dumb as buying 900 F-104.

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7952 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7227 times:

To my knowledge, Luftwaffe considered buying F-15s and later opted against them for financial reasons. Perhaps Luftwaffe could only have procurred downscaled F-15s, but there wasn't an export ban.
Iran was considering buying F-15 as well but later opted for the F-14.



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User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2923 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7072 times:

F-4F was delivered without AIM-7 capabilities. Was an F-104 or F-4 with just AIM-9s really that inferior to the F-4?

Also, in a Fulda Gap scenario, the F-4s were going to be carring bombs (and possibly nukes) which the F-15 would not. Possibly more useful there.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7062 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7050 times:

The Phantoms were bought as a gap filler until the Tornados would arrive . at the time the Phantoms were ordered it was thought to use the Tornado also as a fighter. As it turned out the Tornado was not as good as a fighter so the Phantoms were kept and are the longest stop gap ever. When Germany ordered the F 4 they already operated the RF 4, so ordering F 4Fs was the logical solution back then as they already operated that type.

When Germany was looking for a replacement for the F 4F in the 1980s they were also looking at the F 15, I have a book with a F 15 wearing the German cross as it was flown with German crews. Other aircraft Germany looked at were the F-20 Tigershark.

[Edited 2011-06-12 00:02:40]


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4856 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6971 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 2):
Also, in a Fulda Gap scenario, the F-4s were going to be carring bombs (and possibly nukes) which the F-15 would not. Possibly more useful there.

Wasn't that the job of the F-104? As far as I know the German F-4s were always only Air-to-Air. That's why I'm so confused that Germany would choose the 20 years old F-4 over the F-15

Quoting columba (Reply 3):
The Phantoms were bought as a gap filler until the Tornados would arrive . at the time the Phantoms were ordered it was thought to use the Tornado also as a fighter.

Are you sure? The Tornado ADV is a long-range interceptor and made only sense for the specific requirement of the RAF. I've never heard of the Luftwaffe actually trying to acquire ADVs.


User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 101 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6798 times:

The German F-4F originally served in 4 units JG71, and JG74 had an air to air role . JaboG35, and 36 where used air to ground role. The 2 Recce RF-4E units also had a secondary air to ground role for most of the 1980s.
For a long while the F-4F had the only precision strike capablity in the Luftwaffe with the AGM-65 Maverick, the Tornado being 'iron bombs' only.


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6740 times:

Quoting racko (Reply 4):
Are you sure? The Tornado ADV is a long-range interceptor and made only sense for the specific requirement of the RAF. I've never heard of the Luftwaffe actually trying to acquire ADVs.

I've never read that they tried to order the ADV. As best I recall, the F-4F initially had no AIM-7 capability. It had AIM-9s only, plus the internal 20mm nose gun. In fact, I'm not sure the F-4Fs ever did get AIM-7s, but believe they now use the AIM-120.



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User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13194 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6568 times:

In the late 60's/early 70's the Luftwaffe had a problem, the F-104's (selected let's remember in one of the most notoriously corrupt deals ever) had suffered a lot of attrition.
They were not about to add more Starfighters, so the obvious solution was the F-4.
This was in the very early part of the F-15 program.

Though Tornado was considered, remember at this stage, also very early in that program, there were ideas about a lighter, single seater Tornado, perhaps also with a fixed wing.
None of this was definite however, so likely the Luftwaffe wanted to buy something that existed, though doing so would really rule out spending money on these potential Tornado developments, as well as newer US fighters.

Had the F-4's not been brought, it's likely Germany could have joined the F-16 European Consortium in 1975, or perhaps with local industry in mind, become a full partner with Northrop to develop further the YF-17.

As it was, the more immediate needs of the Luftwaffe meant the timings for the alternatives were out.
When they committed to the F-4F, really they ruled themselves out of buying a new fighter until the 1990's.

The only other alternative at the time might have been to become a partner with Lockheed with their ideas for the radical F-104 development, with had a larger wing mounted in the upper fuselage, perhaps with Italy.
As it turned out however, it came to nothing and Italy's own F-104 development would be restricted to the F-104S, again this was also likely about timing, the Luftwaffe wanted a new aircraft in the early 1970's and would not wait around.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12138 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6552 times:

Don't forget in the very late 1960s to mid 1970s F-4s were sold around the world. They were bought as new builds or transfers from the USAF or USN to Israel, Greece, Spain, UK, Japan, Iran, and South Korea, as well as Germany. Australia also 'borrowed USAF F-4Ds in the early 1970s while waiting for their F-111Cs to be delivered. IIRC Egypt began getting F-4Es in 1979.

Int the 1970s the F-4 was the world's premeir fighter, and was know as "the worlds largest distributer of MIG parts".

Close to 5,200 F-4s, of all models were built, most by MD, some others built under licenses.


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7567 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

I recall talking to a Luftwaffe F4F pilot during the early 1980's at Greenham (?). He did not view lack of AIM-7's as any great loss.

iirc the 'hit rate' of the early AIM's was about 20%.


User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7062 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6313 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Had the F-4's not been brought, it's likely Germany could have joined the F-16 European Consortium in 1975, or perhaps with local industry in mind, become a full partner with Northrop to develop further the YF-17.

Doubtful one result of the Starfighter tragedy was that the Luftwaffe has a strict two engine policy. Therefore the F 16 or the F 20 never had a chance with Germany.

Quoting racko (Reply 4):
Are you sure? The Tornado ADV is a long-range interceptor and made only sense for the specific requirement of the RAF. I've never heard of the Luftwaffe actually trying to acquire ADVs.

I am sure but don´t know if Germany considered the ADV. The Tornado was planned as a real "multi-role" aircraft whem it turned out the Tornado would not become a great fighter - see also GDB´s post - it was decided to buy a stop gap aircraft until a "real" fighter would be available. Keep in mind the Eurofighter was once called "Fighter 90" and not "Fighter 2006+"



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13194 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6197 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
Don't forget in the very late 1960s to mid 1970s F-4s were sold around the world. They were bought as new builds or transfers from the USAF or USN to Israel, Greece, Spain, UK, Japan, Iran, and South Korea, as well as Germany. Australia also 'borrowed USAF F-4Ds in the early 1970s while waiting for their F-111Cs to be delivered. IIRC Egypt began getting F-4Es in 1979.

Int the 1970s the F-4 was the world's premeir fighter, and was know as "the worlds largest distributer of MIG parts".

The very first aviation book I read as a kid, a 1974-ish work of the story of air power, one of the glossy Salamander publications of the time, had a sentence I've never forgotten on the F-4, every air force that can afford it, has brought it' .

Patriotic as one wants to be towards the home industry, the UK was right to buy the F-4.
(Helped by the fact that the supersonic VSTOL P.1154 was not going to be a practical proposition - sensibly they went with a do-able VSTOL called the Harrier).


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5987 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 11):
Patriotic as one wants to be towards the home industry, the UK was right to buy the F-4.

What did the UK actually use the F4s for? I lived next to Leuchars for a while and clearly all the intercept missions were done by Lightnings - you could tell because for an intercept they took off in full afterburner, so even down in St Andrews there were no doubting what was happening!


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13194 posts, RR: 77
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5958 times:

Initially, the F-4M's were used to replace Hunters and Canberra's in the strike/attack/recce role in the UK and RAF Germany.
Though some surplus F-4K's formed an AD unit (43 Sqn) at Leuchars from 1969.

From 1974, as the Jaguar entered service in the strike/attack/recce roles, they released F-4M's to replace most of the Lightnings in the AD role.
The increasing Soviet conventional attack aircraft capabilities meant an upgrade to UK AD capability was badly needed, the F-4 with it's long range, loiter, powerful look down radar and heavy weapon load fitted the bill.
Once the last conventional RN carrier retired in 1978, it's F-4's went to the RAF too.

Two further units operated F-4M's in the AD role in RAF Germany.

By 1977/78, the RAF F-4's had completely transferred to the AD role, until final retirement in 1992.


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