I think the LM and friendly media were making sure that everyone knew General Muller = Luftwaffe and that what he said was the real and only l wish of that organisation. It is understandable that they did/do, because Muller said exactly what they wanted to hear.
Keesje, do you live in an alternative reality where the F-35 only gets good press? A simple google search of F-35 will tell you that the media is not friendly to the F-35 and hasn’t been for over ten years. Mullner did not say exactly what anyone wanted to hear, he stated the position of the Luftwaffe on how they want to remain viable against future threats.
In case you missed it, here is the report again. It would do well to read the text so you actually understand what was said instead of continuing to make up scenarios that don’t match with the facts.Tornado replacement must be fifth generation: German air force chief
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germ ... SKBN1D81WR
The German military needs a “fifth-generation” replacement for its Tornado fighter jets that is hard to detect on enemy radars and can strike targets from a great distance, the chief of staff of the air force said on Wednesday.
Lieutenant General Karl Muellner’s comments are his clearest public statements to date on the Tornado replacement program. They indicate a preference for Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet, the only Western aircraft that meets those requirements.
The air force last month issued a formal request for information about the F-35, as well as three other jets: the F-15 and F/A-18E/F, both built by Boeing Co, and the European Eurofighter Typhoon.
Germany is kicking off the process of replacing its 85 Tornado jets, which will go out of service around 2030.
The program could be worth billions of euros for the winning bidder in coming years.
Muellner told Reuters Germany would need to buy an off-the-shelf replacement that could enter service around 2025 to facilitate a smooth transition with the Tornado, noting that did not leave enough time to develop a unique solution.
But he said changing warfare requirements and the need for a credible deterrent meant the successor fighter had to be “low-observable, and able to identify and strike targets from a great distance”.
“It will have to be a fifth-generation jet to meet the full spectrum of our needs,” Muellner said.
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.
Lockheed is rolling out the red carpet, bringing its F-35 flight simulator to Berlin and offering members of parliament, ministry and military officials and a journalists a chance to “fly” the stealthy single-seat, single-engine fighter.
It even printed a new version of its standard F-35 lapel pin in the black, red and gold colors of Germany’s flag.
Any new fighter jet 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.
A purchase of around 100 jets would help ensure German industry got a decent share of work on the program.
Steve Over, Lockheed’s director of F-35 international business development, welcomed the comments and said Lockheed stood ready to support the German government in its selection process. He said most F-35 foreign military sales involved some work for companies in the buying country.
Over told Reuters the price of the aircraft would have dropped to around $80 million by the time Germany would need to sign a contract. He said interest was growing in the F-35 given the changing threat environment.
“It’s really about giving nations a deterrent capability. Because if you’re got the capability to take an airplane into another country’s airspace and they don’t even know you’re there, that’s an incredible deterrent,” he said.
Muellner said he also strongly supported a Franco-German plan to develop a successor for its fleet of what will be 140 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, built by Britain’s BAE Systems Plc, Italy’s Leonardo and Airbus.
The project, unveiled in July, would help preserve critical technology skills in Europe and allow Europe to develop its own low-observable technology, Muellner said.
Airbus last week said that choosing an interim U.S. fighter that could eventually become a longer term commitment might interfere with the Franco-German fighter.
Industry sources said a decision to order the F-35 would be negative for Airbus, which is part of the Eurofighter consortium and is seen as one of the key partners in the Franco-German initiative announced earlier this year.
Muellner said the German air force had also committed to NATO to provide a fleet of 14 electronic warfare aircraft by the middle of the next decade, which meant it would likely have to buy around 20 such jets.
Possible candidates could be the Boeing EA-18 Growler, a modified A400M transport plane that could provide stand-off jamming capability, or a modified Eurofighter, experts said.
No decisions on that program have been made.
In summary for you. Mullner said the Luftwaffe wants 5th gen, needs 5th gen because the threat landscape has changed. He also supports future German/French cooperation on a Eurofighter replacement but does not see that aircraft replacing the Tornado as it won’t be developed in time.
What could be expected and happened was that apparently Muller was going alone & was sidelined. Clearly not what the LM team expected / hoped.
Up until that announcement from Mullner there was little beyond mild speculation that Germany would seek to operate the F-35. In fact if you search F-35 and Germany you struggle to find a single reference before 2017, when Mullner made the announcement.
And yet future budget projections don’t reflect the new direction…
Not to say the Luftwaffe will never F-35's, but if so, in a different role and they will set conditions regarding IP & compensation that might be different from contracts so far.
If Germany acquire the F-35 it will be the same way every other non-partner F-35 customer ordered the aircraft. Germany isn’t any more special than Japan or South Korea and Germany has a long history of buying US equipment, including aircraft, via standard acquisition channels.
People that think IDS optimized Rafale F4's are out of the picture; replace the Muller story by the Macron/Trump story & think again. The German industry loves the Eurofighter but it seems the government le$$ $o.
Ha, so now you have gone from German requirements are for a large long range twin seat aircraft to F4 Rafales…
Again Keesje because you seem to not get the concept, the Rafale offers nothing than Germany cannot get from an enhanced Eurofighter. In comparison the F-35 offers capabilities not available in the Eurofighter or the Rafale and that is precisely why Mullner said what he did.