Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, has warned the German government against the purchase of the F-35.

“As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 member nation, cooperation on all combat aircraft issues with France will die,” Hoke said in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag which can be found here.

The local news site says that the Bundeswehr is looking for a successor model for the Tornado fighter-bomber. One candidate is the F-35 but “that does not suit the CEO of the Airbus armaments division”.

Airbus manager Hoke sees a historic opportunity in the competition with France on the fighter jet. “Europe needs to define its sovereignty more clearly, and to clearly state that we need to maintain independence in defence and space” he said.

The German Air Force recently issued a formal request for information about the F-35, as well as three other jets with the F-35 being their ‘preference’. The other jets are the F-15 and F/A-18E/F.

Germany is replacing its 85 Tornado jets, which will go out of service around 2030.

The F-35 is the “preferred” choice the list of aircraft the Luftwaffe is looking at according to a “senior service official” speaking anonymously under the Chatham House Rule, who told Jane’s 360:

“The Tornado replacement needs to be fifth-generation aircraft that can be detected as late as possible, if at all. It must be able to identify targets from a long way off and to target them as soon as possible.

The German Ministry of Defence is looking at several aircraft today, including the F-35 – it is commercially available already, has been ordered by many nations and is being introduced into service today, and has most of the capabilities required.”

Based on these requirements, it’s hard to see any alternative to Lockheed Martin’s F-35. The Luftwaffe would be able to benefit from expanding infrastructure to support the jets in Europe.

59 COMMENTS

  1. It will be interesting to see if they do go down the route with France to design a 5th gen fighter. It will cost them a fortune to equal or surpass it and with Turkey, Japan and S Korea are already well down the road in terms of designing their own, they will face a really tough challenge to win export orders.

    The UK actually seems to be doing well tying up partnerships with Turkey and Japan providing we are not just transferring technology without some form of work share.

  2. I don’t understand this statement. The UK and France are working together nicely at the moment on new UAV’s and the UK has the F-35 so why would France be so aghast at Germany choosing it? Also I think it would be pretty rich for one nation to try and tell another what they can and can’t buy for national defence and threaten them with less co-operation in future as that hardly seems like a friendly way to behave to an ally.
    The Eurofighter has been in many competitions around the world and I don’t think we’ve ever threatened to not work with those nations if they decide to pick another fighter.

  3. The French ( and David Cameron) would have like the UK to build one carrier with cats and traps and pair up with them and a joint Anglo French carrier force based on Rafale. Remember CDG cannot operate F-35C and Rafale is certainly competitive with F-18. In the event BAE interests won out and we went F-35B and created an entirely new doctrine, carrier enabled projection; a masterpiece of political leger de main.
    The French are no doubt looking for Germany to share the development costs of what would have surely have been and may yet be a very expensive French project. Germany should follow the UK in having an airforce with a small core of F-35s operating essentially as 5th generation Growlers and a larger number of Typhoons carrying the ordnance and networked in to the F-35s. An Airbus 5 gen fighter is not going to happen. France and Germany should leapfrog 5th gen manned fighers and let the UK and BAE dictate the development of Europe’s stealth UAV.

    • “In the event BAE interests won out and we went F-35B and created an entirely new doctrine, carrier enabled projection; a masterpiece of political leger de main.”

      Hardly.

      • A bit tongue in cheek on my part perhaps. A friend of mine says history can be viewed either as conspiracy theories or a series of cock ups! Take your pick.

        • (Chris H) Paul. P – Actually I think you got it dead right. We are using advanced technology in the aircraft and extra assisted landing technology on the ships to avoid expensive CATOBAR carrier construction costs. It also means we can operate a full on 5th Gen carrier strike capability with 1/3 the manpower (excuse the sexism ladies) required on Nimitz or Ford Classes.

          One Ford carrier cost $16 Bn. We could build 3 QEs for that and I KNOW what any war fighting Admiral would prefer on a cost for cost basis – 3 capable carriers delivering 150+ F-35s with exceptionally fast initial sortie capability against one VERY capable carrier delivering 80 aircraft and a jigher 24 hour sortie capability.

          • It’s not as good as what we could of had.

            I only commented because I think a lot of people are wetting their knickers over our upcoming capability.

            Let’s be realistic, we didn’t choose to go v/stol because it was the best choice, we chose because we couldn’t afford cats and traps.

            We are now stuck with the F-35b that after years and years of testing still only has a tyre that lasts 8 landings, thanks Dunlop, plus the software issues not sorted yet.

            This just leads to another myth, “deep strike” I hear people talk about it all the time on here, deep strike with 900m range and no air to air refuelling, it’s not even on the horizon either, even buddy refuelling hasn’t been talked about.

            Throw in the fact that any captain sending a squadron of F-35’s of any variety into contested/denied airspace without a dedicated EW plane is an idiot. The EW of the f-35 is great don’t get me wrong but one big problem, it’s only good getting into the denied airspace, the radar jamming etc sits in the front forward facing. That’s why the growlers radar jamming pods are front and rear facing, why do you think the yanks have just ordered 40 odd more growlers to go with their F 35c. The radars etc need jamming on the way out as well lads.

            So that’s deep strike out the question against a well equipped enemy unless help from our American friends.

            Also this forum and STRN seem to be getting stiffys over crowsnest, out of all the carriers in the world today, our carrier is the newest yet has the worst AEW package. That’s because of no cats and no traps so we are stuck with a helo. Even the French have proper AEW, just compare the specifications of Merlin with Hawkeye, it’s a no contest. It’s something at least but it isn’t even in the same league as anyone else.

            Having said all that it’s still going to be good at projecting power in any ocean she sails into, IMO that’s what carriers are for, the RAF should have F 35A and provide the deep strike package.

            Carriers replaced the battleship, our carrier would still take out the CDG, In a one on one.

            But the CDG has a better deep strike package than we will have whichever way you look at it.

            Just wish people would stop saying we are either reinventing the wheel or we are going to have carrier deep strike, we will only have inland strike capabilities against a very weak opponent with no navy themselves so we can get close enough and just hope that the target is within 900m.

            We have replaced exactly what we had with the harriers, limited land attack and excellent CAS, along with a great presence in any sea she sails in.

            To have a carrier deep strike package we should of had cats and traps and a carrier wing of 2 squadron of F 35c for strike and 2 squadrons of f 18/rafale for WVR air combat if things get messy, along with proper AEW with 4 Hawkeye’s, a2a refuelling squadron of f 18.

          • I don’t think the RN AEW capability based on Merlin Crowsnest will be that much inferior in detection range to Hawkeye if a task force positions River 2 OPVs and Type 31s as Merlin refuelling pads as the outer screen for a task force.
            Carrier strike range has been lagging behind defensive AShM capabilities for many years. Bring back the Buccaneers? I think F-35B has a strike radius comparable to existing US F-18F ships.
            Overall,though I agree we won’t be doing ‘deep strike’ without US support.
            As to why we chose stvol I think it was a just an evolition of timings and circumstances. Emals wasn’t ready, emotional / RR / BAe / USMC interest the B model plus no buyer for POW = 2 STOVL carriers. I subscribe to the cock up theory of history. Politicians only think they are in charge.

          • @Chris. Yes, the politics and costs made it a choice between a one CTOL carrier navy with the FAA sharing aircraft ( Rafale or F-18) and training with CDG versus a 2 carrier sovereign UK STOVL capability with FAA training costs defrayed by sharing aircraft and training costs with the RAF ( and maybe the USMC).
            I think the jury is still out as to whether the extra range of F-35C is sufficient for the US to exert dominance in the Pacific. They may conclude that a larger number of B equipped USS Americas is the way to go.

          • Merlin vs Hawkeye

            Speed 192mph vs 402mph
            Range 450nmi vs 1,462nmi
            Altitude 15,000ft vs 34,700ft

            Detection range it’s altitude that matters in that game, stick crowsnest twice as high and it will see a lot further.

            Also the US has Air refueling for it’s f 18’s so combat radius much bigger than f 35b.

            Was a terrible decision for our Navy, with a lot of factors like you say.

        • A Carrier Group has a host of ancillary assets to support it. It will not sail without some ‘World Class’ aircraft and undersea support. It does NOT only rely on CIWS and Crowsnest other than routine operations – they are BOTH fallback positions in the ‘Oh my God, it’s all gone apeshit very suddenly’ scenario. Otherwise, with planning, we actually do have ‘World Class’ support for a CSG.

  4. It would have helped this article if this story from Janes had been included:
    “Airbus has formally presented its bid to replace the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado combat aircraft with the Eurofighter Typhoon to the German government. Under the bid, which was released on 24 April on the eve of the ILA Airshow in Berlin, the Eurofighter consortium would deliver additional Typhoon jets to the Luftwaffe from about 2025 for a seamless transition with the Tornado retirement planned for 2030. The Luftwaffe currently fields 130 Typhoons and 90 Tornados.”
    http://www.janes.com/article/79522/ila-2018-eurofighter-replacement-for-tornado-presented-to-germany

    • For the UK either is good, we have work share in both the Eurofighter and F35. But F35 would throw the French/German future fighter into the weeds. France would need to replace Rafale at some point but the Germans would be OK with F35 out to 2050 as it will get new weapons and engine updates, so could delay 6th gen fighter project for some time. It may also refocus Frances attention on the UK Future Air Combat System.

      If Germany and France do go ahead then UK should join, then pull out an go it alone or with another nation, with UK leading 🙂 France will never give up the lead of a project such as this.

      • Britain has no requirement for such an aircraft, the timescale not go mention the requisite costs, would be all wrong for any such collaboration. After all the requirement the Germans urgently need need is the exact one we are buying the F35 10 years earlier for ie replacing Tornados. Personally I think if we were interested in something of that nature ie a 5th gen aircraft, without VSTOL, cooperation with the Japanese would be a more worthwhile collaboration building upon the present cooperation if such a jet can combine the advantages of Typhoon with the stealth of F35 … Assuming stealth of that nature is actually still an asset in 15 years time. Otherwise a longer term project 6th Gen piloted or otherwise is the obvious next project but that’s too late for Germany.

  5. Afternoon all
    Couple of points to cover:
    Typhoon vs F-35A
    Politicians want Typhoon (jobs, industrial base, relations with Europe etc)
    Air Force professionals want F-35A (combat effect, survivability, ratio of combat effectiveness against perceived future enemy)
    Belgium:
    Janes report that Belgium want Rafale.
    U.K. Govt leads Typhoon bid to Belgium and offered access and training to U.K. UKIC. – Typhoon combat aircraft also included as part of HMG offer.

    On both scenarios which looks like it will offer the customer nation more?

  6. Imagine a Typhoon 2, with the new 30% more powerful thrust vectoring engines, redesigned reduced radar cross section, Easa radar and the sensors/cockpit and situational awareness of an F35.
    Now that would be something that would win export sales aplenty.

  7. If typhoon partner nations don’t buy it then why would any other nation. F35 is more capable but comes with fewer secondary benefits, such as single support and training arrangements. For a country with so little appetite to intervene abroad militarily, perhaps the secondary benefits tip the balance.

  8. there a go again…

    German make mess twice in tornado and typhoon, now it is potenial 3rd time mess up with other European countries to cause price soar up and expensive projects for both…

    would be nice see German-France Multiroles stealth warplanes indeed f35.

  9. In a decade, the F-35 might be the only Western fighter jet in production. Is that wise? If there was any sense in our global political elite, France, Germany, UK, Turkey, South Korea & Japan would have come together to make a scaled down F-22 look alike, using engines, AESA, etc from tranche 3 Typhoon.
    For Germany, a small order of F-35A (15-20) would keep their nuclear delivery capability, & give them time to see if a new French/German or wider Western fighter can become a reality.

  10. Evening all
    Couple of things about cost of carriers CTOL vs VSTOL:

    It made very little sense to build a CTOL aircraft carrier with legacy steam plant cats and traps. HMG was caught between technologies and couldn’t either afford or politically sell a nuclear powered carrier that could have generated the steam required. EMALS technology was talked about and in the late 2000’s it was believed that the technology was viable on a conventionally powered carrier at extra cost. This cost would have been covered by the cheaper F-35C that the RN and RAF Would purchase instead.
    Cost is measured over the whole life of the asset, if the asset is defined as carrier strike then this includes all the ships and aircraft required to meet the requirement.
    So, whilst the cost may have been higher at the beginning the whole life cost of the asset would have been cheaper over its full life. This is where politics comes in to it. Budgets are run yearly and as we know the MoD went through a period of steady fiscal decline. Basically the short term cost of the asset that would have been cheaper over its full life was too high in the short term so we went full circle back to VSTOL at an extra cost in the short term of £100m.

    CTOL with EMALS loaded with F-35C et al over its full lifecycle would be cheaper and offer more capability.
    VSTOL with ramp loaded with F-35B et al over its full lifecycle will be more expensive and provide appropriate capability. This option however, with its RR lift fan et al provided the right political answer at the right cost at the right time.
    Just look at the pain Germany is going through at the moment with Typhoon and F-35 a politics vs capability

    • (Chris H) Lee – You are basically correct again. As I recall when the carriers were first authorised in the early 2000s it was a case of “STOVL with passive capability for later CATOBAR”. Then in 2010 with a change of Government and a hard (very hard) SDSR in the light of our appalling economic situation Cameron did look very closely at CATOBAR / F-35C but while the UK EMCATS was quite a proven system and could have run with conventional power plants it was thought the UK EMALS system was the more viable option given the USA were fitting it to their new carrier which was in about the same build state as QE. It also could have run with conventional power plants as it stores power in the 45 second ‘reload’ from a lower, steady state power source. The reality was that EMALS was unproven, undeliverable in the required timeframe and had absolutely no predictable costs attached let alone guarantees. The USA could throw cash at it until it worked but we couldn’t and had to deliver not one but two carriers. I suspect that the reason the Gerald R Ford is more than 3 times as costly as the QE is not just because of nuclear power but a factor of the cost of EMALS which is still not totally proven

      As a back thought the UK EMCATS system from Converteam must have been pretty damn good because GE paid $3.2 Bn for the business….

  11. “provided the right political answer at the right cost at the right time.”

    The defence of the country should not be decided on what’s right for the current political party hitting unrealistic fiscal targets.

    “It made very little sense to build a CTOL aircraft carrier with legacy steam plant cats and traps”

    Little sense to who, the system works absolutely fine, when the US start fitting their ships with lasers for point defence shall we just chuck all our phalanx in the sea because they are now “legacy” and incidentally China’s third carrier has emals and it isn’t nuclear powered, ok they have a lot more money to throw at new technology but the technology was there to be found, we didn’t even try look, as the country that pioneered carrier aviation that stinks.

    Everybody was up in arms about the decision especially STRN, there is an article on there now from the time saying the carriers will be little more than CAS ships now they are confined to f 35b.

    Also we don’t know if the f 35 is going to be that much of a game changer yet, they are designed as a BVR fighter, they hold 4 A2A missiles internally, a Syrian SU-22 from the 70’s beat a US AIM-9X sidewinder from a Hornet up it’s rear using flares, it needed a second missile to take it down. So in regards to f 35 vs Typhoon for example, it’s not a given, there is a much bigger chance of missile evasion from a BVR missile, and the Typhoon can turn at 9g, so even the most advanced air to air missile in the world cannot pull as tight as that. So the f 35 pilot better pray he hits with the 4 missiles he has because if he doesn’t and they see you it’s game over, the f 35 can’t dogfight to save it’s life.

    • Just read Chris comment above.

      I wrote “but the technology was there to be found, we didn’t even try look, as the country that pioneered carrier aviation that stinks.”

      I take that statement back, I did not know about the UK EMCATS system, in my defence I was only 14 at the time.

      Although that annoys me even further, the tech was there and from what I have just read the tech is sound.

    • Evening SoleSurvivor
      Defence of the country is not just about the military hardware we buy. A risk assessment was completed at the time and it was decided, whether right or wrong, to go with VSTOL over CTOL with EMALS. Chris(H) makes valid points with regards to EMCATS but the US are moving forward with EMALS, to sustain the cost of maintenance and support of the EMCATS system over the whole life of the system (50 years) would not be value for money.
      Remember Nimrod and Harrier were also cut in the same timeframe, choices were made based on the economic ability of the country to pay at that time. We are now in 2018 and we have an at sea functioning aircraft carrier.
      AAM
      AIM-9x has a target hit ratio of above 90%, this means occasionally it will miss.
      Most SRAAM have the ability to turn, at 50g, far more than the 9g of Typhoon or any other manned fast jet on the market.
      Typhoon is designed to turn inside the turning ratio of larger aircraft so that the forward looking radar plate (60 Deg arc) of the enemy aircraft cannot see it which means it is unable to engage and lock.
      F-35 doesn’t have this problem, all its sensors are fused and the aircraft has situational awareness beyond the narrow arc of the active radar and IRIS systems on most fighter aircraft. Technically the pilot wouldn’t even press the button, controllers could do that allowing the pilot to manage their aircraft whilst its weapon system is used against the enemy (happy to articulate further if needed).

      • Hi Lee

        No need for you to articulate further, I perhaps never gave enough detail in my initial response as i thought you would of knew what I meant.

        In regards to fast jets and missiles tight turning, a missile can not turn as tight as a jet because you measure the g they can both turn on vs the speed difference squared, so while a missile can turn at 40,50 or 60g, it’s going that fast that it will be a wider turn, the Typhoon has a better tighter pull rate than any missile on the market, especially BVR missiles which the F 35 will carry.

        • Morning
          Okay, so BVRAAM and SRAAM.
          Whilst articles on the internet are great at explaining things like engagement of AAM at beyond visual range:

          https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/defenseissues.net/2013/08/17/evading-air-to-air-missile/amp/

          Couple of things:
          BVRAAM engagements, when used in the U.K. context are mostly utilised and deployed to deter and prosecute large targets at range before they can deploy their weapon payload.
          In the 80’s and 90’s this was demonstrated by the use of the Phantom and Tornado F3 armed with long range radars and the Sky Flash medium range AAM. The USN employed the F-14 and the AIM-54 and the USAF the F-15 and Sparrow to do the same thing. All used the same operating parameters, get to the target as quickly as possible and launch missiles, at range and continue to close on target to employ shorter range weapons and finally guns.
          Typhoon, currently armed with 4 AMRAAM and 4 ASRAAM will continue to fulfill that role.
          As the article points out BVR engagements can be evaded, for example if the enemy turns and burns energy to exaust the range of the missile. If it does that, job done as the weapon system has done its job in either slowing or steering the enemy from attacking. Whilst all the evasion is going on the defending aircraft is getting closer and closer able now to use its next weapon system, the SRAAM which is even more difficult to evade and then finally, if required – guns.
          The rule being the more situational awareness you have and the closer you can get to target the better opportunity you have to shoot it down.
          F-35, in any of its versions (A,B or C) is designed to get as close as possible to the target so as to attack it, it does this through enhanced situational awareness and stealth.
          We have 2 aircraft designed to do different things in their primary role but both are able to to multiple things.
          Typhoon, designed to replace Tornado F3 and F-35 designed to replace the F-16/18/Jaguar.
          The F-15 was to be fully replaced by the F-22 but cost curtailed that.
          By taking about the number of missiles an aircraft can carry somewhat misses the point. More missiles = more weight which means tanks and refuelling and all the infrastructure that goes with it. The USN will use both the F-18E and F-35 on their carriers (Total capital cost of a CAG and carrier $20Bn), but the same methodology for engaging air targets will be used. HMG just cannot afford £16bn capital outlay on a single carrier and why do we need to?

          The aircraft and its weapons are just a small part of the system that is used, the most visual part admittedly, but part of a larger system that has been designed over many years of lessons learned to deliver the effect required.

          We do not tend to put our assets, men and material, in harms way unless the system that we have to protect them is not able to do the role asked of it.
          Comparing the Typhoon and F-35B misses the point but makes great info graphics in magazines and in newspapers, but nothing more.
          Read the doctrine that your Air Force writes and updates on a yearly basis. Speak to the pilots and instructors who regularly practice multiple scenarios and then speak to the vendors who design and build the weapons, against a requirement set – as defined by the user.
          Don’t rely on internet articles and the latest musing of Airforces Monthly.

          • Morning Lee

            Yes I used an internet article for my information, and seen as you thought that because you read somewhere that AAM can turn at 50g etc and you know jets turn on single digits so the missile must be better at turning, when it clearly is not, prove to me that you must use second hand information like myself because you have no first hand experience in the field otherwise you would of known that surely, although I could be wrong and you might come back saying you’re an ex RAF pilot, which then I would apologize.

            Which is fine either way because i’m not into a dick waving competition about aviation knowledge.

            Your example is set on your ROE terms, for instance the F 35 is the defending aircraft, that kinda misses the point, it will most likely be the attacking aircraft on a bombing mission, so the amount of missiles it can carry does actually matter, if it wants to maintain its full stealth properties then it wont be carrying anything externally. So that leaves four it can carry internally, which would be two ATG for the mission and two AAM.

            So if it has to engage another aircraft it has a choice of two missiles, you mention the SRAAM, which is the hardest to evade but we wont be carrying it internally, the internal integration has not been funded, it will sit on external hard points for us so no SRAAM in this situation.

            Even if it was integrated, if the F 35 was entering denied airspace it would not be carrying a missile that does not play to it’s strengths, it was not designed as an air superiority fighter, it is a BVR fighter/bomber, so obviously it will be carrying two meteor BVRAAM.

            So you have the F 35 with 2 missiles against a Typhoon that could carry what in the air intercept role 13? BVRAAM, AMRAAM and SRAAM. Also take into account the weather etc, the attacking F 35 would need to take into consideration any ground assets like advanced UHF and VHF band early warning radars, stealth tracking technology is being invested in massively at the moment, the F 35 stealth technology might be useless against near peer opponents in as little as 15 years. And of course biggest of all the human factor, how experienced and well trained the pilot is.

            So I will definitely stick with my first comment, that Typhoon vs f 35 is not a guaranteed kill for the F 35, of course it will have the first advantage if all goes to plan, but like I said in the first comment, it needs to make that advantage count, because after that all the specifications swing towards a true air superiority fighter.

            You cannot talk about air combat as black and white like its a video game, it does not work like that, lots of factors lots of different scenarios to take into account.

            They are both great aircraft to have and they are not replacing each other like you say, but that does not mean you do not compare them, because our Typhoon might be intercepting a stealthy jet in the air intercept role in the future, vice versa our F 35b might be on a bombing mission in denied airspace against a true air superiority fighter.

            “Don’t rely on internet articles and the latest musing of Airforces Monthly.”

            Can I just point out, I have read quite a few Airforces monthly magazines and they are without doubt some of the best sources of information you can use in this country. You mentioned everybody you should speak to, well they are all in the magazine giving interviews, they have interviews with test pilots, former pilots, designers, engineers, former air marshals even.

            So if you don’t rely on internet articles or aviation magazines where do you get your information from like specifications etc?

            If you are not a pilot yourself then there are 3 ways, internet articles, youtube videos or avaition magazines/books. Not sure where you are going with that one.

  12. Germany has been very happy to but USA aircraft since the end of WW2. Sabres, Starfighters, Phantoms etc.
    I’m always amazed that the nation that pioneered & operated aircraft carriers for decades suddenly found itself unable to do cats & traps. There’s pro’s & con’s to CATOBAR & VSTOL, but we’re now wedded to VSTOL for another generation. Couldn’t the Osprey be used for in-flight refueling & operate from our QEs decks? Also could it not similarly make a better AEW platform?

    • Osprey operating from QE class a great idea IMO, speed and range being the obvious advantages…though as an AEW platform, wouldn’t a large rotating radome be an issue in hover mode—is there a design/technology alternative to the top mounted radome available?

    • Can still happen. No secret the RN would like some Ospreys. Even specified that the Type 26 flying deck should be capable of landing them.

  13. This forum provides real very interesting facts and expertise for poorer less informed enthusiasts like yours truly. I try and add my own two penneth worth every now and then. The overriding grump I have is the “fantasy wishlist” of huge amounts of aircraft and ships that people routinely write about that the UK should have! For once and for all smell the coffee! NO more than 4 frontline F-35 sqdns in the next 15 years!!
    Read it and weep! This is where we are. This is the huge power projection of the future UK joint FAA/RAF notwithstanding the MOD’s and more still, the RAF’s fantastic handling of Typhoon resources as the Tornado fades into the sunset. 9 frontline RAF sqdns is the best we will ever get!!

  14. Well well well — Turns out Franco German Airbus and French Dassault have joined forces to build the next ‘Eurofighter’. And apparently this will be part of a range of aircraft, drones and systems. Note that well: ‘Drones’.

    So basically we allowed BAE to share all there Taranis and other UCAV research and developments with Dassault and now they have buggered off and taken it all to Airbus. A couple of hundred million quid and 8 years research all now in the hands of our competitors.

    Forgive me saying this but “I told you so!”. NEVER EVER TRUST THE FRENCH. They shafted us over the Typhoon, the aircraft carrier and now UCAV. And I bet they waited until they had their hands on the MAGMA technology before doing this deal. And of course Airbus were flying false flags to distract everyone’s attention over the Germans looking at F-35. …..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43895648

  15. (Chris H) – Sorry. To keep the spelling gurus happy that should have been ‘their’ not ‘there’….. I should also have mentioned that these two will decide ‘if they want to let BAE join the work’ at a later date

  16. If the French and Germans are talking about going it alone, maybe we should be joining forces with the Swedish who already produce a fantastic aircraft with a good percentage of uk content and avoid the Franco-German bullshit of letting them take all the hard work we have done and saying bye we’ve got what we want now we’re doing it on our own.

      • Plausible except that Sweden’s neutrality would be a problem in certain sales areas for the UK just as our veto on UK equipment used in Viggen barred it from sales to certain countries.

        Not sure what the future is for a Typhoon replacement other than BAE creating a ‘Typhoon II’ from the good parts of what we already have (Canards, brilliant wing, CAPTOR -E radar, HUD, Sensor suite, magnificent engines) and adding something similar to the rear end of the twin tail of the F-35 that BAE designed and developed. Add in an RR limited vectored thrust system as we have that technology nailed in the F-35B and then build it ourselves. Conformal fuel tanks would add range and increase the already exceptional pylon availability for weapons and pods for jamming and targeting

        We can neither afford, or have the internal market for, a whole new aircraft and I suspect we do not actually need one. We just update and use already proven designs and systems in a newer more efficient shape. Learn from what the Yanks did with the F-18 Hornet to create later versions. I am not totally sold on the benefits of ‘stealth’ at all especially as once you add pylons the F-35 is no better than a Typhoon and it can’t even Supercruise. In my view the F-35B is a modern Harrier and we should use it accordingly. That it also brings ‘stealth’ and advanced sensor suites are added bonuses not ‘les raisons d’etre’. So for me anyway we just need a better ‘4.5 gen’ fighter and multi – role airframe, with added naval capability as an option for QE’s first refit in 2042, to take us past 2035. I know the current Tiffy is good until 2040 but we will need to have something in the air long before that.

        And if that means buying out the Typhoon licences from Airbus and Leonardo at the end of the current sales orders so be it. It shouldn’t be an issue given Airbus are now partnered with Dassault for a Rafale / Typhoon replacement. And I for one will not want us to be a humble customer of that setup thank you. We are better than that. They clearly do not want British involvement despite us being a very capable and leading Typhoon partner so we really should be thinking about what we as a country can do for ourselves. It doesn’t stop us co-operating with countries like the USA on programmes like the F-35 indeed it adds to our skill set and makes us a better partner.

  17. If we’re talking air to air engagements within visual range the Asraam has the Sidewinder beat for a couple of reasons. Firstly the pilot can cue the missile without locking on the missiles seeker head by using an aiming recticul on his helmet display. Secondly the Asraam can carry out over the shoulder engagements. The UK as part of the weapons integration program will have Asraam on the wing as well as in the internal bay of the F35B.
    The Meteor will completely replace Amraam in UK service. It can carry out within visual range to beyond visual range engagements due to the variable throttle rocket. It means for a short range engagement it can use maximum energy to reach its target in the least amount of time I.e. Mach 3+ or at max range can throttle back to use less fuel and cruise towards the target. It still speeds up again when going active nearer the target to ensure the “victim” can’t escape.

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