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mxaxai
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Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:03 pm

Lockheed, in cooperation with Airbus, was awarded a contract to upgrade the German P-3C Orion wings in 2015, and the fleet's systems in 2017, with completion of both projects planned for 2022-2023.
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2017-11 ... n-Aircraft
https://www.defensenews.com/home/2015/0 ... -new-wing/

However, in particular the structural works turned out to take far longer, became more expensive, and still don't guarantee reliable service until the planned retirement in 2035. So, according to reports today, the German government decided to halt those projects and look for a factory-new replacement aircraft. https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/bundes ... g-101.html [German]

In a letter to the members of the [Parliamentary] Committee on Budgets, which is available from NDR Info, it says: "The prevailing material availability, which has been significantly reduced over the years, results in permanent operational restrictions with an uncertain outcome of the project."
...
By 2023, the Navy's eight planes were to be modernized. In 2004 the Bundeswehr took over the used aircraft from the Dutch army. For the repair and upgrade, initially 500 million euros were estimated, later another 340 million euros. Airbus took over the work on the Lockheed aircraft and renewed wings and retrofitted electronics. However, work on all of the aircraft has not yet been completed.

The P-3C Orion should be in use until 2035, from then on a new sea reconnaissance aircraft should be introduced. But now it is clear: the modernization was associated with "technical risks", it took longer and the costs continued to rise, as the letter says.
...
The Federal Audit Office had already examined the modernization of the maritime surveillance and formulated harsh criticism. The auditors complained that the ministry had not defined any criteria for the termination [when defining and awarding the contracts, i. e. the contracts didn't have fixed termination clauses]. Other armaments projects ... were delayed and became increasingly expensive. The auditors also criticized this salami tactic when repairing the Gorch Fock. How the contracting parties now agree and how much the ministry now has to write off is open.
...
NATO had urged members of the alliance to invest in this capability given the large number of Russian submarines in the North Atlantic. In the letter from the Ministry to the members of the Defense Committee, the Bundeswehr was said to be conducting a "market review", i. e. which aircraft have already been developed and could be bought. The ministry's letter mentions two Airbus and Boeing models, among others.

I'm not sure what Airbus has to offer off-the-shelf, unless they're trying to sell a C295 MPA. Boeing will certainly offer P-8A and make use of their near-monopoly in this market segment. I would personally hope that the Navy is also looking at business jet based offers, since these should suffice for the usual operations near the coast (North Sea, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa).
 
texl1649
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm

Perhaps the retiring RAF Sentinels could be acquired/supplemented?
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:37 pm

I hope for the CASAs, cheap, reliabale and more than enough. I´d rather have 12 CASAs than 6 P-8s.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:13 pm

What happened to the A320 MMA floated a while back? Are they any closer to a firm timeline?

If they need something right away, then the P-8A would be the quickest. You already have two local allies who will be operating them, and rumors has it that there is contingent in NATO (but not Germany) interested in getting some.

Heck if they put in an order by the end if the year, the can have their planes by 2024.
bt
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mxaxai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:00 pm

bikerthai wrote:
What happened to the A320 MMA floated a while back? Are they any closer to a firm timeline?

If they need something right away, then the P-8A would be the quickest. You already have two local allies who will be operating them, and rumors has it that there is contingent in NATO (but not Germany) interested in getting some.

Heck if they put in an order by the end if the year, the can have their planes by 2024.
bt

The A320 MMA was already under consideration back when the P-3C upgrade was originally decided but I haven't seen any progress since then. IMO the default choice will be the P-8A, much like all other recent competitions, if they want to be taken seriously on an international level. I don't think the need is as urgent as the Tornado replacement but I just can't see them commit to yet another new development, nor do I see a chance for a one-off design like the P-1.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:10 pm

Why would you buy a frame that is worthless in the Baltic sea just to be "taken seriously on an international level".
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:04 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I'm not sure what Airbus has to offer off-the-shelf, unless they're trying to sell a C295 MPA. Boeing will certainly offer P-8A and make use of their near-monopoly in this market segment. I would personally hope that the Navy is also looking at business jet based offers, since these should suffice for the usual operations near the coast (North Sea, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa).

A good recent article on the current options in the market is available here, https://euro-sd.com/2019/09/articles/14 ... platforms/

It falls into three broad categories, Heavy platforms, bizjets and turbo-props. Heavies are obviously the P-8, P-1 and the oft mooted A320MPA. The Bizjets have the SWORDFISH MPA and the G5000 MPA from ELTA. The Turboprops have the ATR-72, C235/295, a Q-300 and perhaps the C-130 variant (not sure this actually has a customer).

I expect it will come down to the mission that Germany wants these aircraft to undertake going forward. If the intent is long range ASW then the heavies seem the best option. If we are just talking about some Baltic Sea and EEZ monitoring in the North Sea then the bizjets and turboprops also work given their lighter loads and shorter endurance.

You would think the A320 would be the preferred option going forward but that likely depends on how long Germany can wait and how much they want to spend. These types of development programs have a way of spiraling out of control but they could keep costs down by going with an existing mission suite from Thales or Leonardo. If they want an off the shelf purchase then the P-8 does seem a good option especially if the fleet were to fall from the current eight to maybe six or even five. It also provides good interoperability with NATO partners.

If Germany went for a smaller platform then perhaps the fleet can increase in number and the C295 would be a good option?

mxaxai wrote:
I would personally hope that the Navy is also looking at business jet based offers, since these should suffice for the usual operations near the coast (North Sea, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa).

How much MPA work does Germany actually do in the Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa?

texl1649 wrote:
Perhaps the retiring RAF Sentinels could be acquired/supplemented?

With no current ASW capability it would be more costly to integrate that into the aircraft than it was worth.

seahawk wrote:
Why would you buy a frame that is worthless in the Baltic sea just to be "taken seriously on an international level".

What issues make the Baltic Sea a difficult environment for the P-8 or correspondingly the A320MPA?
 
texl1649
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:48 pm

I just can’t fathom Germany ever acquiring a Boeing 7-series anything.
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:51 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I just can’t fathom Germany ever acquiring a Boeing 7-series anything.

I never expected them the look to acquire the SH either but stranger things have happened. The report mxaxai linked seems pretty certain on Germany not wanting a big development program and the bizjet/C295 seem a downgrade to me in range and capability.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:23 am

Maybe they could buy some Russian hardware to supplement their energy deals. :roll:
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:25 am

If they want top of the line, long distance, and delivery of now, then the P-8 is really the only option.

If however the requirements are shorter ranged or they have a bit more time to play with, then the other options listed are viable.

Compare it with a nations like NZ and Aus who chose the P-8 as the P-3 replacement in large part because the long range was a vital requirement.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:04 am

texl1649 wrote:
I just can’t fathom Germany ever acquiring a Boeing 7-series anything.



Why not, the Luftwaffe flew the B-707 well into the 1990s.

LH has a lot of experience with the Boeing 7-Series, including the B-737.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:04 am

Ozair wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
seahawk wrote:
Why would you buy a frame that is worthless in the Baltic sea just to be "taken seriously on an international level".

What issues make the Baltic Sea a difficult environment for the P-8 or correspondingly the A320MPA?


If we believe that one of the enemies is Russia and we know that the P-8 is optimized to operate at medium to high altitude, the plane would be on Russian radar the moment it enters the area. In addition it is a small confined water with lots of shipping, often cloudy and foggy. Low and slow works there. Germany does not need to hunt boomers in the open ocean it needs to hunt SSKs ans small crafts in the Baltic and North Sea. We all know they will order P-8s though.
 
columba
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:09 am

German Military is often looking for multinatinal solutions: C130J with France and the A330MRTT. Why not the P8 together with UK......??
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
columba
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:16 am

seahawk wrote:
Ozair wrote:
mxaxai wrote:

What issues make the Baltic Sea a difficult environment for the P-8 or correspondingly the A320MPA?


If we believe that one of the enemies is Russia and we know that the P-8 is optimized to operate at medium to high altitude, the plane would be on Russian radar the moment it enters the area. In addition it is a small confined water with lots of shipping, often cloudy and foggy. Low and slow works there. Germany does not need to hunt boomers in the open ocean it needs to hunt SSKs ans small crafts in the Baltic and North Sea. We all know they will order P-8s though.

Don´t forget the Sea Lion/Sea Tiger helicopters for the Sub Hunt. The Atlantic and the P3 were not used only for submarine hunt only. Even though it is a Boeing and does not share communality with the rest of the fleet (A319, A321, A340, A350 and A330MRTT) I believe it will be the P8.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:21 am

seahawk wrote:

If we believe that one of the enemies is Russia and we know that the P-8 is optimized to operate at medium to high altitude, the plane would be on Russian radar the moment it enters the area.

I don’t see an advantage to any of the platforms from a radar perspective, if you could see one of the platforms you would see all and an MPA isn't exactly a highly survivable asset in the face of fighters or SAMs.

seahawk wrote:
In addition it is a small confined water with lots of shipping, often cloudy and foggy. Low and slow works there. Germany does not need to hunt boomers in the open ocean it needs to hunt SSKs ans small crafts in the Baltic and North Sea.

For the low and slow that is what I was implying with what mission sets Germany really want the aircraft to perform. If hunting subs is a mandatory then a bigger platform like a P-8/A320MPA to me seems a better option. Longer endurance, higher payload of weapons and sensors, more operators. If monitoring shipping and hunting occasional SSKs in the Baltic only then the bizjets and even more so the turboprops appear the better option.

I also don’t think we necessarily need a low and slow for hunting SSKs or general maritime monitoring. The USN is soon to start using the HAAWC, so a 30kft launched Mk54 torpedo and I expect if they want that capability they need a corresponding higher altitude sonar buoy drop as well. Additionally it is hard to determine what ASW and general maritime monitoring will look like 15 years from now. Perhaps the P-8s/A320MPAs will deploy multiple disposable UUVs and UAVs and monitor via data-link allowing the MPA to maintain altitude and converse fuel while the UUV/UAVs do the patrolling. The Baltic seems well placed to be covered with UUVs from local nations in 15 years time.

seahawk wrote:
We all know they will order P-8s though.

I don’t think it is certain but agree a P-8 via FMS would be a lot easier and quicker, they could be operating an aircraft 2 years from now...

Airbus has been trying to get an A320 MPA going for years though, this seems as good an opportunity as they are going to get so I expect the political pressure to be very strong.
 
steman
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:36 am

Would an ATR P-72 be a good choice?
The Italian Air Force chose it to replace the Atlantics. As far as I know it has good ASuW/ASW (albeit light) capabilities and it´s designed for littoral/EEZ patrol, which should be good enough for German Baltic ops.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:23 am

Ozair wrote:
A good recent article on the current options in the market is available here, https://euro-sd.com/2019/09/articles/14 ... platforms/
mxaxai wrote:
I would personally hope that the Navy is also looking at business jet based offers, since these should suffice for the usual operations near the coast (North Sea, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa).

How much MPA work does Germany actually do in the Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa?

That is a good article.

The German navy has three main objectives:
(A) Monitor and defend the German coast as well as the EEZ in the North & Baltic sea (incl. SAR)
(B) Protect shipping lanes, in particular anti-piracy operations
(C) Support UN / NATO / EU forces

During the cold war, the primary focus was (A) and to a lesser extent (C). Hence you'll find that most naval assets of that period were rather short ranged, with a priority on point defense and shallow coastal waters. However, this has since changed to include (B) and emphasize (C). Air launched anti-shipping missiles were phased out, new ships were designed with endurance and counter-terrorism in mind and the P-3C replaced the Breguet Atlantic. As such, the P-3C nowadays forms a core element of German (and allied) ASW.

Despite a small fleet of 8 aircraft, and about half of them in maintenance at any given time, there has been a nearly-continuous deployment to Djibouti since 2008 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and EU NAVFOR Somalia - Operation Atalanta. According to P-3C crew, mission durations of 8-14 hours were not unusual.

The German P-3C also contribute to NATO's mission to keep the North Atlantic and adjacent sea regions well monitored. Since this year, they have additionally been deployed in support of EU Operation Irini to monitor arms smuggling and human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

In hindsight, this decision should not have come as a complete surprise. Warnings about budget and time of the P-3C upgrades have been increasing lately and just last week, the commander of the Navy's air wing published an article [German] which emphasized their desire for a capable crewed ASW platform. He says that UAV & helicopters are useful but neither come close to the capability of a modern MPA.

The article uses a couple of keywords to show what their ideal MPA should be:
- (relatively) fast
- high altitude
- decent range
- good sensor suite (radar, IR, visible) incl. sensor fusion
- able to deploy significant numbers of sonar bouys
- good data link
- able to carry anti-ship missiles
- able to carry torpedos & depth charges for ASW
- reliable

Overall, I think the Navy clearly wants a P-8 or similar, which would be the P-1 or a hypothetical A320 variant. If that is out of the question for financial reasons, they still have the business jet option. Turboprops are unlikely, IMHO, considering the relatively large ranges at which the P-3C is used at. C-295 et al have good endurance in principle but not so much when you need to travel 600+ nm just to get on station.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:36 am

Carefull, that article mostly makes a point for a fixed wing MPA and the mentioning of speed is in relation to helicopters.

Listed are the C295, ATR(RAS)72 and the P-8.

https://specialmission.ras.de/the-ras72/

Considering that they actually planed to have the Maritime Airborne Weapons System (MAWS) ready by 2035 in cooperation with the French, I suspect a bridging solution in form of turboprop.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:39 pm

seahawk wrote:
lots of shipping, often cloudy and foggy. Low and slow works there. Germany does not need to hunt boomers in the open ocean it needs to hunt SSKs ans small crafts in the Baltic and North Sea.


The P-8A is not strictly a sub hunter. It is an MMA. The massive computing power and uniquely tuned radar is perfect for tracking surface ships in busy shipping lane. If it can detect and track periscopes, it can find and track the hundreds of small crafts in a busy waterway.

That is why the P-8A is preferred when doing SAR work in the open ocean. It uses it's radar at high altitude to detect and discriminate targets. Then it can come down lower to confirm with the EOIR or the eye ball

bt
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:42 pm

I also believe that if Germany chooses the P-8, it would be an interim solution, and a low risk one. If and when, the A320 MMA is implemented, they can easily sell of their P-8A. I'm sure by that time, the P-8 line will be shut and used P-8 would be prized!

bt
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JetBuddy
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:23 pm

columba wrote:
German Military is often looking for multinatinal solutions: C130J with France and the A330MRTT. Why not the P8 together with UK......??


P-8 together with both UK and Norway. I believe the P-3 extension program was done in cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Air Force as well.

Article written about the subject before the Norwegian P-8 order. Translated to English:

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... l%2F196811

Norway decided to order the P-8 Poseidon. This might have had an effect on the German decision.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:40 pm

Hopefully the first customer for the A320 M3A.
 
texl1649
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:00 pm

bikerthai wrote:
I also believe that if Germany chooses the P-8, it would be an interim solution, and a low risk one. If and when, the A320 MMA is implemented, they can easily sell of their P-8A. I'm sure by that time, the P-8 line will be shut and used P-8 would be prized!

bt


That would be the most ludicrous option, as it would mean insane transition costs over just around a 15 year period, with marginal/no real performance gains likely. Even USAF tanker acquisitions haven't made that mistake, being the paradigm of inefficient military aviation purchasing they are.

Again, Germany often seeks multilateral solutions with their neighbors, but they are also virulently anti-American, likely growing more so as the US DoD withdraws more forces. With the brits out of the EU I highly doubt synergies there favor the P-8.
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:10 pm

bikerthai wrote:
seahawk wrote:
lots of shipping, often cloudy and foggy. Low and slow works there. Germany does not need to hunt boomers in the open ocean it needs to hunt SSKs ans small crafts in the Baltic and North Sea.


The P-8A is not strictly a sub hunter. It is an MMA. The massive computing power and uniquely tuned radar is perfect for tracking surface ships in busy shipping lane. If it can detect and track periscopes, it can find and track the hundreds of small crafts in a busy waterway.

That is why the P-8A is preferred when doing SAR work in the open ocean. It uses it's radar at high altitude to detect and discriminate targets. Then it can come down lower to confirm with the EOIR or the eye ball

bt

Th P-8 isn't unique in having SAR/ISAR capability from its radar, all the current MPA options have that capability although sometimes as an add on for the smaller aircraft. Sure the P-8 may be better in the processing department but I doubt so significantly so that it offsets the higher acquisition or sustainment cost. The P-8 advantage remains range, speed and payload over the smaller options. It can lift more sensors, weapons and operators for longer durations over greater distances. I doubt the Germans would acquire the AAS, if it was even available for export, and therefore the AN/APY-10 would remain the standard fit.

JetBuddy wrote:

P-8 together with both UK and Norway. I believe the P-3 extension program was done in cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Air Force as well.

Norway decided to order the P-8 Poseidon. This might have had an effect on the German decision.

Perhaps Norway was a factor but a declining number of P-3C operators globally probably didn't help. The skills base is shrinking and upgrading P-3s seems to be a somewhat difficult and expensive exercise.

mxaxai wrote:

The German navy has three main objectives:
(A) Monitor and defend the German coast as well as the EEZ in the North & Baltic sea (incl. SAR)
(B) Protect shipping lanes, in particular anti-piracy operations
(C) Support UN / NATO / EU forces

During the cold war, the primary focus was (A) and to a lesser extent (C). Hence you'll find that most naval assets of that period were rather short ranged, with a priority on point defense and shallow coastal waters. However, this has since changed to include (B) and emphasize (C). Air launched anti-shipping missiles were phased out, new ships were designed with endurance and counter-terrorism in mind and the P-3C replaced the Breguet Atlantic. As such, the P-3C nowadays forms a core element of German (and allied) ASW.

Despite a small fleet of 8 aircraft, and about half of them in maintenance at any given time, there has been a nearly-continuous deployment to Djibouti since 2008 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and EU NAVFOR Somalia - Operation Atalanta. According to P-3C crew, mission durations of 8-14 hours were not unusual.

The German P-3C also contribute to NATO's mission to keep the North Atlantic and adjacent sea regions well monitored. Since this year, they have additionally been deployed in support of EU Operation Irini to monitor arms smuggling and human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

Thank you, very good info and it makes it more clear what the expectations are for a replacement for the German P-3 fleet.

mxaxai wrote:
In hindsight, this decision should not have come as a complete surprise. Warnings about budget and time of the P-3C upgrades have been increasing lately and just last week, the commander of the Navy's air wing published an article [German] which emphasized their desire for a capable crewed ASW platform. He says that UAV & helicopters are useful but neither come close to the capability of a modern MPA.

The article uses a couple of keywords to show what their ideal MPA should be:
- (relatively) fast
- high altitude
- decent range
- good sensor suite (radar, IR, visible) incl. sensor fusion
- able to deploy significant numbers of sonar bouys
- good data link
- able to carry anti-ship missiles
- able to carry torpedos & depth charges for ASW
- reliable

Overall, I think the Navy clearly wants a P-8 or similar, which would be the P-1 or a hypothetical A320 variant. If that is out of the question for financial reasons, they still have the business jet option. Turboprops are unlikely, IMHO, considering the relatively large ranges at which the P-3C is used at. C-295 et al have good endurance in principle but not so much when you need to travel 600+ nm just to get on station.

Agree, a heavy MPA really seems to fit the requirements although may not fit the budget. This seems to be one of those areas though where Germany can contribute to international operations without having to resort to kinetic strikes, which they seem to have an aversion to. In that context it might be a worthwhile spend given the political aspects of international participation.

Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully the first customer for the A320 M3A.

I'd be interested to know peoples thoughts on how long an A320 MPA would take to dev and deliver. The mission systems may be mostly available already although would require some integration but the aircraft will need some structural work to accommodate the additional sensors, weapons, sonar buoy launcher, MAD probe etc. I would expect at least 5 years, probably closer to eight and maybe even ten before a representative A320 MPA was able to enter service. Perhaps that is being too pessimistic? (Pretty sure we discussed this previously when Airbus last floated the A320 MPA option for the Maritime Airborne Weapons System).

texl1649 wrote:
Again, Germany often seeks multilateral solutions with their neighbors, but they are also virulently anti-American, likely growing more so as the US DoD withdraws more forces. With the brits out of the EU I highly doubt synergies there favor the P-8.

Norway also isn't a member of the EU but had very good relations with Germany regarding their P-3s as detailed further up. Politically NATO holds a lot of sway and while the UK may have left the EU it remains a strong and supportive NATO partner so I can't see that being an issue.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:38 pm

Ozair wrote:
will need some structural work to accommodate the additional sensors, weapons, sonar buoy launcher, MAD probe etc.

Don't forget a modified engine with enough generators to power the electronic suite.

If it's a simple mod with only a bomb bay for weapons, then the shorter time line may be achievable. If you are looking at hard points on the wing, then you are looking at a completely new wing.

Consider that the P-8A was able to amortize the development cost over 100 frame, heading into their second set of 100's, which makes it more palatable. How many frames are the German buying and how much R&D capability are they willing to spend just to get a few dozens?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:38 am

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
will need some structural work to accommodate the additional sensors, weapons, sonar buoy launcher, MAD probe etc.

Don't forget a modified engine with enough generators to power the electronic suite.

If it's a simple mod with only a bomb bay for weapons, then the shorter time line may be achievable. If you are looking at hard points on the wing, then you are looking at a completely new wing.

Yep, no point doing an A320 MPA half baked. If they are going to do it they should do it right and make a valid competitor to the P-8, ie one that meets the stated needs of the German Navy.

bikerthai wrote:
[Consider that the P-8A was able to amortize the development cost over 100 frame, heading into their second set of 100's, which makes it more palatable. How many frames are the German buying and how much R&D capability are they willing to spend just to get a few dozens?

bt

Given Germany only operates eight P-3Cs then you would expect that a fleet size similar to that would be the path going forward. That is where the French and potentially other nations come in with the Maritime Airborne warfare system. I’m not sure where that has gone since this Reuters article from 2018,

German navy officials were not immediately available for further comment on the program, or how it will tie into an effort by eight NATO allies, including France and Germany, to cooperate on “multinational maritime multi-mission aircraft capabilities.” The program also includes Canada, Poland, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germ ... SKCN1HD29A

I think I said in the previous thread that Italy and Spain aren’t big users or have gone for smaller aircraft. Canada is a likely option, Greece doesn’t have a lot of money and Turkey operates smaller aircraft. You wouldn’t think there is more than 40 aircraft between those nations and in that context the dev cost seems high…
 
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Slug71
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:42 am

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully the first customer for the A320 M3A.

I'd be interested to know peoples thoughts on how long an A320 MPA would take to dev and deliver. The mission systems may be mostly available already although would require some integration but the aircraft will need some structural work to accommodate the additional sensors, weapons, sonar buoy launcher, MAD probe etc. I would expect at least 5 years, probably closer to eight and maybe even ten before a representative A320 MPA was able to enter service. Perhaps that is being too pessimistic? (Pretty sure we discussed this previously when Airbus last floated the A320 MPA option for the Maritime Airborne Weapons System).


I was thinking an EIS of 5 years might be doable, but could definitely take longer as you say.
I'd imagine the CAD work is mostly done since announced.
Not sure how much work from the P2F program can be ported over if any, but that may help somewhat.
The biggest "pro" to this option would be that all the work could be done in Germany between AB's facilities in Dresden and Hamburg though.
And maybe interest Singapore along the way?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:25 pm

Slug71 wrote:
And maybe interest Singapore along the way?


Only if the P-8 line shuts down before Singapore decides to buy buy some :optimist:

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:28 pm

An A320 derivative/version has several significant disadvantages; (a) it would be delivered in around 15 years minimum (realistically; 8 years for development, 7 years to negotiate between the various countries/legislatures/commit to numbers), (b) it would cost at least around double the P-8 per frame (all in, including training/validation), and (c) would still be operated in numbers at least 60-75% percent lower than the P-8. I think it’s unlikely the PW1500 or LEAP would work for similar reasons to their not being used in the P-8.

It would, in essence, become the A400M of MPA’s. With the budget constraints in the world today I can’t see how that can be committed to, and in particular as Airbus seems to be looking to move past the A320 with a replacement sometime around 2035 (right around when the A320 MPA would be finally in operational service), it would just be a fantastic waste of resources, frankly.

My bet remains the Germans go with a turboprop as they have an aversion to any Boeing 7-series in particular, and a lighter solution might just work ok for them, but anything is possible.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:25 pm

texl1649 wrote:
An A320 derivative/version has several significant disadvantages; (a) it would be delivered in around 15 years minimum (realistically; 8 years for development, 7 years to negotiate between the various countries/legislatures/commit to numbers), (b) it would cost at least around double the P-8 per frame (all in, including training/validation), and (c) would still be operated in numbers at least 60-75% percent lower than the P-8. I think it’s unlikely the PW1500 or LEAP would work for similar reasons to their not being used in the P-8.

It would, in essence, become the A400M of MPA’s. With the budget constraints in the world today I can’t see how that can be committed to, and in particular as Airbus seems to be looking to move past the A320 with a replacement sometime around 2035 (right around when the A320 MPA would be finally in operational service), it would just be a fantastic waste of resources, frankly.

My bet remains the Germans go with a turboprop as they have an aversion to any Boeing 7-series in particular, and a lighter solution might just work ok for them, but anything is possible.


This article mentions the P1100 or LEAP 1A,

https://www.naval-technology.com/projects/a320neo-m3a/

And then theres an Airbus press release,

https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/news/en ... rsion.html
 
angad84
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:20 pm

Everyone seems to forget my favourite underdog, the P-1. Loaded with all the disadvantages that have been discussed threadbare here and in other threads, but it's just so damn cool.
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:01 am

angad84 wrote:
Everyone seems to forget my favourite underdog, the P-1. Loaded with all the disadvantages that have been discussed threadbare here and in other threads, but it's just so damn cool.

I did at least mention it above as an option. Would love to see it get an export order somewhere but unfortunately I don't think that is likely.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:04 am

Yeah, I think NZ was probably its best chance. Germany is unlikely to go with it.
 
steman
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:48 am

angad84 wrote:
Everyone seems to forget my favourite underdog, the P-1. Loaded with all the disadvantages that have been discussed threadbare here and in other threads, but it's just so damn cool.


The P-1 performed a flying display at the last ILA Air Show in Berlin, two years ago.
It´s quite a nice compact machine, with those 4 small turbofans. I find it really attractive.
I recall the moderator saying it cost 200 Million Dollars a piece. Not idea how close to reality that is.
It´s probably way too expensive not only to acquire but also to operate and the fact that Japanese designs have never been exported to the West (or exported at all) makes it almost impossible.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:38 am

Yes, the P-1 is a fascinating aircraft. I'm sure Japan would sell some to allied countries if asked.

It's still pretty unlikely; there's so much customized stuff on it that I can't see it beating the P-8's reliability or cost. There's also the benefit that the P-8 was developed entirely in english (which many Germans speak), whereas the P-1's documentation requires extensive translation efforts. I think it could only be viable if Japan agreed to buy something German in return, e. g. cooperation on FCAS.

On the technological side, the P-1 was developed for long-range Pacific patrols. I have no doubt that it's good at that but a German MPA must be usable in shallow coastal waters as well. The P-8 seems better able to do both.

All in all, the planners will have it on their list and maybe even ask for a quote, but the chance of a sale is low.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:57 pm

steman wrote:
recall the moderator saying it cost 200 Million Dollars a piece. Not idea how close to reality that is.


Well, compare that with the latest block buy of the P-8A, the cost difference makes it a no brainier.


https://www.geekwire.com/2020/boeing-wi ... craft/amp/

Average out to about $84 mil per frame. That seems like a steep price drop from the previous block.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thedef ... ay-uk/amp/

This second article gives a better sense if how much more a FMS sale would cost compared to a US buy.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
744SPX
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:30 pm

The P-1 is the only current technology purpose built ASW aircraft available. It should be at or near the top of the list for anyone who is looking at a P-8 or P-3 sized aircraft.
 
CX747
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:16 pm

Germany surprised a few when they bought the Super Hornet. In that procurement there were a few outliers that really pointed to the Super Bug winning at least a portion of the order. Hard to see them going with the P-8. I can't imagine what the unions would do. Best option overall and gives you interoperability with your allies but will that drive the decision?

Going with the C-295 gives you a presence but not up to par with your contemporaries. It checks off the capability box and buy Airbus box also. Launching an A320 option is nothing more than a waste of resources and time. Let's see what they do.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
trex8
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:23 am

bikerthai wrote:
[

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thedef ... ay-uk/amp/

This second article gives a better sense if how much more a FMS sale would cost compared to a US buy.

bt

That is for a modification to a previous contract, it is not the actual "total" price

Norway is paying 1.75 billion for 5
https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/n ... ed-support

NZ 1.46 billion for 4
https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/n ... ed-support

India 2.13 billion for 8
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... th-boeing/
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:53 am

So 280 to 300 mil per frame. That sounds more reasonable.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:26 am

trex8 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
[

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thedef ... ay-uk/amp/

This second article gives a better sense if how much more a FMS sale would cost compared to a US buy.

bt

That is for a modification to a previous contract, it is not the actual "total" price

Norway is paying 1.75 billion for 5
https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/n ... ed-support

NZ 1.46 billion for 4
https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/n ... ed-support

India 2.13 billion for 8
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... th-boeing/

Those contracts include things like spare parts, tooling, training and other assorted items. General rule of thumb is that the support and training portions of the contract are usually 2-3x the cost of whatever you are buying.
 
steman
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:35 am

CX747 wrote:
Germany surprised a few when they bought the Super Hornet. In that procurement there were a few outliers that really pointed to the Super Bug winning at least a portion of the order. Hard to see them going with the P-8. I can't imagine what the unions would do. Best option overall and gives you interoperability with your allies but will that drive the decision?

Going with the C-295 gives you a presence but not up to par with your contemporaries. It checks off the capability box and buy Airbus box also. Launching an A320 option is nothing more than a waste of resources and time. Let's see what they do.


You´re writing in past tense as if it has happened already but Germany hasn´t bought anything yet. There is nothing official, just an indication that they might go for a mix buy of F/A-18F, EA-18G and Tranche 4 Eurofighter. Nothing has been signed and everything could still change.
There´s a dichotomy between choosing what is best from a technical/industrial/economical point of view and what is politically and strategically acceptable.
One could argue that signing a mega contract with Boeing for Super Hornets, Poseidons and Chinooks (since the Luftwaffe is also looking for a new heavy lift helo) would make economical sense and could get a nice discount and/or industrial compensations. But this would be a political and strategical mistake. Same could be said for the F-35, that arguably represents the best option to replace the Tornados but it has been excluded from the competition for political reasons.
So, it´s really hard to say what is going to happen with the P-3 replacement. The P-8 seems to be the best choice but it comes with strings attached and it´s difficult to make it acceptable to the tax payers and the opposition.
I think they´ll go for a more acceptable option like the C-295 or some specially configured biz jet.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:48 pm

What kind of timing will we be seeing? I'm sure they already have a plan forward before the even made this decision.

The next step would be to announce their intension. Even if they decide on a smaller platform would they at least request approval from the US Gov for a potential P-8A buy?

Would they even consider delaying that request until after the US election?

My feeling is if the request comes before the election, then the need is urgent, politics have been put aside and they may follow the steps of the UK. But since I am not hearing any capability gap, I'm thinking it will not come until the COVID situation stabilize.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:14 pm

bikerthai wrote:
What kind of timing will we be seeing? I'm sure they already have a plan forward before the even made this decision.
bt

Right now they're holding informal talks with vendors and doing some google searches to determine their options.

Next will probably be some sort of top-level requirements definition along with a discussion what future missions will look like, as well as a budget estimate. Important since there is no direct replacement for the P-3C.

Following that we should see an official RFP sent to vendors, unless they decide to copy the Tornado replacement approach and do a sole-source acquisition.

At this point, we will see political aspects come into play, since all options involve foreign governments in some form. This part may take a while.

Then something gets chosen, parliament gets to vote on the decision and funding is allocated.

I think the CH-53G replacement tender can be used to estimate the timeline:
2013 - dismissal of new helicopter development program
2015 - identification of replacement options
2016 - first contact with the US gov
2018 - clarification of political aspects
2020 - final offer received
2024 - first delivery planned

You could accelerate that a little bit, but I think 5-8 years are realistic, i. e. first delivery in 2025 - 2029. A new A320 would probably add 2-3 years to that for development and testing, so probably 2030+. A sole-source contract with Boeing could see the first German P-8 delivery in 2024.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:39 pm

I don't see the P-8 line lasting much beyond 2024. With Lot 11 buy, looks like the US Navy is getting a few more frames, but probably not enough by themselves to tie Boeing over through 2024. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this development to see how fast it may go which would tip their hand on what frames they would prefer.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:27 am

mxaxai wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
What kind of timing will we be seeing? I'm sure they already have a plan forward before the even made this decision.
bt

Right now they're holding informal talks with vendors and doing some google searches to determine their options.

Next will probably be some sort of top-level requirements definition along with a discussion what future missions will look like, as well as a budget estimate. Important since there is no direct replacement for the P-3C.

Really the P-8A is about as direct a replacement as you can get. Now that the upgrade of the P-3s has been cancelled do we know what condition they are in. How long could they continue to operate in the role before needing replacement?
 
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seahawk
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:31 am

2025 is seen as the year it would be impossible to achieve the needed readiness and when it would be uneconomical to keep flying the P-3.

In the end it runs between CASA295, ATRs and P-8.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:49 am

Ozair wrote:
Really the P-8A is about as direct a replacement as you can get. Now that the upgrade of the P-3s has been cancelled do we know what condition they are in. How long could they continue to operate in the role before needing replacement?

Key is as direct as you can get. You still can't replace the P-3 with a P-8 and expect to operate it in the same manner. There are some, albeit minor, drawbacks of the P-8 and the navy will have to decide whether those are acceptable.

2 of the 8 P-3C have received the new wings already and will get the full upgrade package. Those should last for a while.
On the other hand, 1 aircraft was heavily damaged on the ground earlier this year and might not be repaired. So that leaves only 5 non-upgraded aircraft to augment the 2 upgraded ones.

I don't think the 2025 deadline is firm but anyway 2025 is the target date given by the German MoD.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Germany cancels P-3C modernisation; looking for replacement

Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:14 pm

Question is, have those P-3's been operating with allies beyond the German border?

If not, is it because of politics or availability? I mean if Germany wants to be more prominent in international endeavors, then the P-8A would be an easy deployment that is highly valued and can seamlessly integrate into any international search and rescue or disaster relief operations.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.

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