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lennyhamburg
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Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:40 pm

Hey everyone,

according to media reports, the German Air Force is currently struggling to fulfill the NATO requirements, being at the edge of an operational meltdown. According to the SPIEGEL, only 42 of 109 Eurofighter are ready for use, even though 60 fighters are needed to meet the NATO Defence Planning Process. Also the airlift wing is (bluntly spoken) on the rocks, since only 20-25 of 57 C-160 Transall and even less helicopters are available. It took alone three of them to carry the promised ammunition/weapons to Iraq, since two of them literally fall into pieces somewhere along the way. It's no secret that even the constantly under-equipped UN mission to Mali flatly refused to use German C-160s, since they could neither cope with heat nor dust and are not allowed to take-off during night time.

Any thoughts on that? Media exaggeration or severe breakdown?

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/auslan...piegel-derzeit-nicht-a-994079.html (German only)
http://www.dw.de/german-military-str...nds-with-aging-aircraft/a-17956441 (English)
 
solarflyer22
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:08 am

I've felt for some time Germany was in trouble and the lack of orders for Eurofighters was an issue for me. Their Air Force is too small and they seem to have lost their edge a bit. A couple of ANetters from Germany blasted me saying 100 fighter planes was enough for Germany. Its totally ridiculous if you ask me. If they aren't spending 4-5% of GDP on arms, they need to be. I've seen the logistics by USAF first hand so I have some strategic knowledge.

If were Germany, I want 200 Eurofighters with 80% availability and 100 F-35Cs, for 300 front line fighters. For a population of 80 million and its role in NATO and need to protect eastern Europe, this is very reasonable. Ideally you'd have even more F-35s. I would be embarrassed flying C-160s. I'm not kidding. They should have ordered C-27 or C-130Js. Those things are 50 years old.

They also had a cargo plane perform an emergency landing recently in Bulgaria with soldiers on board headed for Afghanistan.

I just think in general, at this moment, if Russia wanted to take or simply destroy Eastern Europe I think it'd be easy pickings until the US arrived. Germany is not a major power militarily. India, Brazil and other second tier powers will pass them. Even Turkey.
 
11Bravo
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:37 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 1):
I just think in general, at this moment, if Russia wanted to take or simply destroy Eastern Europe I think it'd be easy pickings until the US arrived.

Seriously? I think you are vastly over-estimating the combat capibility of the Russian military. The Russian army has almost no ability to project power beyond its own borders. We are not talking about the Red Army here any more. That being said the Germans need to get their military house in order. If the figures mentioned above for operational Eurofighters are accurate, it's not acceptable.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:59 am

I don't mean to "go there" but has the German military regained its strength (comparatively) since World War 2? The Nazi Luftwaffe was one of the most powerful air forces in the world, and now it seems to be a shell of itself. Why Germany didn't invest in the F-35, I don't know. Even Denmark did! (I don't mean this as a slam on the Danes) How are Germany's ground forces? I believe their tank divisions are some of the worlds best, yes?

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 2):
Seriously? I think you are vastly over-estimating the combat capibility of the Russian military.

I don't think he is. Russia may have lost equipment in the fall of the USSR, but most of the country either gave a lot of stuff back or the Russians regrew organically. They, along with the US, trained for decades and spent trillions of dollars on how to invade each other. Intercontinental invasions include a massive air and sea lift campaign to be carried out, so it was imperative for the USSR to develop that capability, and that's not an ability you lose when your nation splits into a huge military behemoth and some other small countries. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the US, UK, and Russia are the only countries capable of a massive invasion on other continents. Its easier to strike anywhere on the planet with a missile than it is to move hundreds of thousands of troops overseas for a full scale invasion.
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mandala499
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:46 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 1):
I would be embarrassed flying C-160s. I'm not kidding. They should have ordered C-27 or C-130Js. Those things are 50 years old.

LOL! At the current rate, even the An-12s would be better.
No, just kidding. The Transalls are easy to knock, but are they really that bad? They are old, yes.
The problem with the Luftwaffe is that they were not prepared to do what they're asked to do. I mean, the transport equipment being C-160s and only "recently" added the A310MRTT? OK, they were only tasked with Europe... unlike it's neighbour, France... with their C-160s, CN-235s, and a handful of C-130s, added with A310s, KC135, and A340s (all of the latter to be replaced by the A330MRTT). France has had a more global requirement to their air force, unlike Germany untul recently, but damn it, Germany is seriously lacking behind on the transport requirements to fulfill it's missions...
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
Mortyman
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:09 pm

The Rusians has said they are gonna spend some 700 billion USD on New equipent towards 2020 and the lastest from the Russian TV channel Russia today in an interview With the russian Foreign minister Sergej Lavrov is that it's time for Russia to modernize it's nuclear and conventional weapons arsenal.

" - I do not think we are on the brink of a new arms race. Russia will at least not be a part of it. It is time that we modernize our nuclear and conventional arsenals, Lavrov said in an interview with the TV channel Russia Today today. "

http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/09/28/n...ig_og_konflikter/forsvar/35484219/


So Russia is gonna spend alot of Money on wheapons in the years to come ...
 
11Bravo
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:17 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
I don't think he is. Russia may have lost equipment in the fall of the USSR, but most of the country either gave a lot of stuff back or the Russians regrew organically.

With all due respect, the reduction is much, much, more severe than you suggest. The Russian Army today is approximately 1/20 the size of the Soviet Army in the mid 1980s at the height of the cold war.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the US, UK, and Russia are the only countries capable of a massive invasion on other continents.

The UK and Russia have absolutely no ability to do anything of the sort. Both those nations could conduct very small operations for a very short period of time. Invade other continents? Um,.... nope.
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Mortyman
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:59 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the US, UK, and Russia are the only countries capable of a massive invasion on other continents.

UK ?

Since when ? By that Logic, France should be just as able ...
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:36 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 6):
The UK and Russia have absolutely no ability to do anything of the sort.
Quoting Mortyman (Reply 7):
Since when ? By that Logic, France should be just as able ...

The UK had a huge logistic campaign moving troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Falklands. And to make the pit sweeter, had the strategic airlifters and the sealidt capabilities to support their missions. Especially the Falklands.
When wasn't America great?


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Mortyman
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:53 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 8):
The UK had a huge logistic campaign moving troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Falklands. And to make the pit sweeter, had the strategic airlifters and the sealidt capabilities to support their missions. Especially the Falklands.

I beleave France has done several missions in Africa all on it's own

and when the US wants to move tanks and other Heavy Equipment around the world into war theaters, the US government often Calls upon the Merchant fleet of Norway to haul it's stuff around. Norway has one of the largest Merchant fleets, in the world larger han the US With some of the largest ships. We helped get Your Equipment to Iraq for instance.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:41 am

I am not sure if that is a joke but it bwas said that, when the Luftwaffe gets the first A400 in November, they will take the aircraft apart and re-assemble it. Probabyl to check if Aibus pu all the parts that are contracted in.

Commercial airlines have engineering staff at the assembly plants to supervise that. Even if that is true, the military has a huge bureaucracy that is blocking the sourcing of material and the parliament is the biggest enemy.

It is the next joke when you see high ranking politicians of the Greens critizising the presennt situation. They and their so called "peace movement" are the main cause and reason why Germany is in that situation now. Eurofighter and A400, the helicopters and all other hardware has been delayed over and over again, raising costs to the sky instead of making sure that procurement of material is efficeitnly handled.

The Greens and the Social Democrates are the ones responsible for the desaster. We have no defence anymore and the "flawless democrat" ( a Schrieder remark) from Moscow suddeenly turns out as a flawless dictator who say that he could invade the west within 2 days. I have no doubt about that.
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seahawk
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:48 am

I have no problem with the current situation. If politicians would not play world police, the BW readiness would be fine and the budget and manpower could be reduced further, saving valuable money.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:59 am

You translate that also to the fire department and the police, right?

We have peace in this country BECAUSE we are a NATO member, we have to fulfil our obligations to keep it that way.

The Bundeswehr is already the laughing stock and left wng politicians have made it that way. With further budget reductions we might as well close the shop down altogether, however, the old saying

"Every country has an Army, it's own or a foreign one" has a lot of truth in it. I don't want it to happen that the final game of the soccer world cup 2018 takes place in Leipzig.

.
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columba
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:21 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 1):
Those things are 50 years old.

Well, I believe even the US has some Hercs in service that are about the same age. Also the KC-135s and B-52s are not the newest planes either.

I had the opportunity to visit Airbus Military in Manching the other day and had some interesting talks with high ranked officials from both side the Industry as well as the Military.
Regarding transport planes the Military official said he loves the C 160 as it is a great plane but needs a replacement very soon. He also was not satisfied that the C160 will be replaced with A400Ms only and wished for some
Casa C-295s or C-27s as well.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
Why Germany didn't invest in the F-35, I don't know.

Because it is not European made and is a single engine aircraft

Maybe this media uproar will help the Bundeswehr to get some new planes and helicopters soon.
Maybe the could get a good deal with Airbus to get some Cougars or Dauphine´s as Navy helicopters on a short term lease.
Also some C-295s to help out the aging C160s till the A400s are ready. Or even some 2nd hand C130s or Black Hawks from the Dessert on a short term lease.

[Edited 2014-09-29 00:35:52]
Air Berlin - gone but not forgotten
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:50 am

To me this seems to be a ploy by some "interested" players in the german military or MOD to raise more funds for the military.

To me the numbers do not really sound that bad. 40 fully available Eurofighters is not bad.

Air transportation is something different, though. My grandfather retired from the Bundeswehr in 1981 and he flew Transalls as a flight instructor. Those things are still around, 40+ years old. Testimony to the quality, but by no means acceptable for the 21st century.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
I don't mean to "go there" but has the German military regained its strength (comparatively) since World War 2?

Well, first of all, the Bundeswehr was from the beginning intended to be a military integrated into a multinational force. After starting WW2, and only having limited sovereignity, West Germany re-armed in the cold war to be a strong deterrent to the Warsaw pact forces. From the beginning, while there were some Wehrmacht generals serving on, it was an army mostly based on American ideas (and military equipment), not old Wehrmacht traditions (this was deliberately ruled out, since military and Nazis were merging an unholy alliance and completely lacking democratic visions).

Many Germans jokingly said "the mission of the Bundeswehr is to keep the russians away until real military arrives".

This, of course, was not the truth. The Bundeswehr was - at least in the 1970s and 1980s - a very capable army, but entirely limited to its mission of keeping "the evil russians" away. This means a strong conventional army (tanks, artillery, later on combat helicopters), but rather limited "word wide striking" capability.

The entirely defensive orientation of the Bundeswehr was entirely different from the Wehrmacht, which was intended for an agressive war and offensive operations. Until 1989, west-Germany never took part in international military missions (exceptions being delivery of human aid in africa in the 1970s).

After the end of the cold war, the mission of the Bundeswehr eroded. The enemy was gone, and so there were many reforms. West Germany alone had more than 500.000 soldiers in 1989 and more than 2 million reservists. On the other side, in East Germany, it was also several hundred thousand soldiers.

The next years the Bundeswehr was shrinking, and the budget was getting smaller. The Alpha Jet, a CAS jet (or lets say a joke of a CAS plane) was retired almost immediately.

However, the Balkan war in the 1990s showed that Germany needed to get ready for more international missions. In the beginning, this was strongly opposed. The thought that Germany started WW2 (and WW1 - not going into depth about that), meant that this was subject to a lot of discussions and opposition. This might explain why Germany is much more reluctant to participate in international missions then Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands..

The Bundeswehr was doing a transitioning process. Smaller, yet more capable units for international missions were created, like the Kommando Spezialkräfte (a german commando mission, a bit like the SAS or the Seal team), and Germany took also part with the Luftwaffe in the Kosovo war in 1999. National defense was no longer a priority, as Germany is "surrounded by friends".

The Luftwaffe - unlike in Belgium or Denmark - was not really intended to be the main contributing factor for international missions. It shrinked a lot. Germany had 1000 F-104s in the 1960s, several hundred F-4s, more than 100 Alpha Jets, several hundred Tornados and so on. Also, there were delays on the Tiger helicopter and the Eurofighter.

In Kosovo, only the RECCE and ECR versions of the Tornado were used. No strike missions.

Generally, to answer your question, I would say the following: The Wehrmacht was an aggressor army, designed to invade other countries. We do not want that anymore, and the Bundeswehr is not able to do that.

However, the Bundeswehr learned a lot of experience in the last 20 years for international missions. I would guess they are more capable than public opinion sometimes thinks, together with international partners.

As for defending the Balkans in a full-scale war: Well this will be hard. But do not forget, the russians are not that capable either, despite the propaganda. And if such a scenario occurs, we certainly have other problems.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:53 am

If the mission is adjusted to the budget, the problems go away. You can not play in same league as France with the current budget. So maybe no out of area missions would be a good start. I for one do not see why we need to have the Bundeswehr in Africa or Syria. If you go for a pure homeland defence, you could cut the budget by 1/3 and the size by up to 50%.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:58 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 15):

While I agree that we should not play "word police", Germany is dependant on trade - more so than other countries. This means we must be able to protect our interests internationally.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:16 am

@ TheSonntag, you forgot to mention that 25 years ago the equally aggressive NVA of East Germany was more or less completely dissolved and the budget of the Bundeswehr stagnated every since.

We should not play world police but as one of the world's largest national economies we must participate in international ventures. We simply cannot stay away from that responsibility.

It must also be acknowledged that the majority of the world's countries are far from being democratic, far from being ruled by the law. We cannot stand in this world without defence.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
tommy1808
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:25 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 14):
To me the numbers do not really sound that bad. 40 fully available Eurofighters is not bad.

Especially considering that the number was 4 (!) a few weeks ago i see a massive and quick improvement. All the rumble right now i mostly to get some cash infusion to recover from the 2009 spending cuts faster than otherwise possible.
They only real problem is with the helicopter force, the Transalls just will have to do a little longer due to the A400M delays, so there is light at the end of the tunnel and the planned air force structure, 180 Eurofighter plus 85 ASSTA 4.1 Tornados is certainly enough.
I´d be more worried about the lack of heavy armor and artillery if it comes to a clash of arms, but in the end Russia´s military today isn´t much of a challenge for the European members of NATO alone.

best regards
Thomas
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seahawk
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:53 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
While I agree that we should not play "word police", Germany is dependant on trade - more so than other countries. This means we must be able to protect our interests internationally.

Indeed, but apart from Atalanta and the connected missions EUTM SOM and EUCap Nestor, few are doing this.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:46 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 14):

As for defending the Balkans in a full-scale war

I meant the Baltic states, of course...
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:31 am

It doesn't help that the Eurofighters have a manufacturing fault, which has halted all deliveries and prompted the Luftwaffe and the RAF to halve flying hours:

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...urofighter-Has-Manufacturing-Fault

Quote:
A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany said Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets.

The news was another blow to the troubled and costly Eurofighter program — and raised concerns over the use of the planes.

According to Germany’s defence ministry, the defect discovered was in the rear fuselage of the twin-engine multi-role fighter.

As a result, Berlin has decided to cut the time its Eurofighters spend in the air each year in half, from 3,000 hours to 1,500 hours.

The news website Spiegel Online reported that, in the worst case scenario, the fault could result in the plane’s hull becoming unstable.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:09 am

That is a huge problem. With the flying hours halved (and I think they mean before major overhaul and not yearly flying hours) you could look at a much earlier out of service date for the Typhoons.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:28 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 9):
I beleave France has done several missions in Africa all on it's own

France has subs with nuclear missiles, a working aircraft carrier, several ships for amphibious warfare (Mistral class), it has 17 operations running abroad, and the French army, navy and air force still costs only 32 billion Euros a year (without counting the pensions for veterans).

That's the same as the whole German Bundeswehr.

The running joke is that Switzerland could invade Germany in three days. If they manage to show coherent resistance, it will take four days.       


David

[Edited 2014-10-01 04:21:02]
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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seahawk
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:07 pm

But only during office hours    
 
mham001
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:12 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 14):
To me the numbers do not really sound that bad. 40 fully available Eurofighters is not bad.

It's not going to look too good after you lose 20 or so in combat.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:08 am

Quoting mham001 (Reply 25):

It's not going to look too good after you lose 20 or so in combat.

In which case these peacetime safety requirements probably would not appy.
 
r2rho
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:26 am

This is not really an exclusive German problem, although right now Germany is being more outspoken about it while other countries prefer to not reveal it. But with the exception of UK & France, a lot of this could apply to most European air forces. It is a direct consequence of the budget reductions of the past years. Although it is also true that there are many inefficiencies in the system, and much more could be done even in the current constrained budget environment if those were taken out.
By the way, availability rates on many of the jurassic age USAF planes are not much better, except that they can make up for it with sheer numbers while Europe can't.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 10):
I am not sure if that is a joke but it bwas said that, when the Luftwaffe gets the first A400 in November, they will take the aircraft apart and re-assemble it. Probabyl to check if Aibus pu all the parts that are contracted in.

It is a slight exaggeration but highlights a truth, and another EU-wide problem : we have no military equivalent of EASA, so that currently all national authorities have to re-certify each new aircraft, adding to the costs. This is particularly bad in the case of the German armed forces, who somehow feel the need to recertify absolutely everything and are unable/unwilling to accept previous certification work from other EU military authorities.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 4):
Germany is seriously lacking behind on the transport requirements to fulfill it's missions...

A classic case where you could subsititute Germany by "all of EU except UK & France" in that phrase. IMO the EU should have a common shared strategic airlift fleet, with C-17's/A400M's. But current governments will never agree on such a thing.

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 14):

   Very good historic summary, important for understanding the whole background.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:27 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
Why Germany didn't invest in the F-35, I don't know. Even Denmark did!

Because Germany makes its own fighter. I don't see the US buying foreign fighter jets either. The other reason being that the US can base F-35s in Germany since it has military bases there, so there is no need to buy them ! Germany, as part of NATO but also for historic reasons, and the current geostrategic situation, isn't a country that sees a need for a much stronger military.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 10):
The Greens and the Social Democrates are the ones responsible for the desaster. We have no defence anymore and the "flawless democrat" ( a Schrieder remark) from Moscow suddeenly turns out as a flawless dictator who say that he could invade the west within 2 days. I have no doubt about that.

Merkel has been in power since 2006, surely if she had wanted to distance herself from Putin, she could have done it, and if she wanted the German military to have more spare parts and mechanics, it shouldn't have been that difficult to do. Not buying a host of new hardware is understandable, every order nowadays is in the billions, and billions don't come by easily, but skimping on spare parts and maintenance is unacceptable.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
bilgerat
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RE: Meltdown Of The German Air Force?

Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:15 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):

It doesn't help that the Eurofighters have a manufacturing fault, which has halted all deliveries and prompted the Luftwaffe and the RAF to halve flying hours:

Interesting that of all the articles available on this issue you've picked the most negative one. It's actually quite misleading.

The RAF has stated the issue has not effected the flying programme and both training and operational flying are continuing as normal. The exact nature of the problem hasn't been revealed, but it's speculated that holes have been drilled out of tolerance or specification. I understand the problem was first noted on an RAF aircraft and subsequently confirmed on other users' aircraft as well. The manufacturer is unable to predict what effect this will have on the airframe so as a pre-emptive safety measure the airframe life has been cut from 6,000 to 2,000 hours. It's been reported that modifications to rectify the problem are already underway. 2,000 hours is about 15 years worth of peacetime flying so even the oldest Typhoons are still a few years away from hitting the limit.

If the Germans have halved the number of hours their Typhoons are flying then I suspect it has a lot more to do with money than a problem with the aircraft.

[Edited 2014-10-18 20:16:41]

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