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Only 4 Of Germany's 128 Eurofighter Jets Combat Ready


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#1 MiloMorai

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 0833 AM

http://www.dw.com/en...port/a-43611873

 

https://www.express....ato-World-War-3

 

"Respected magazine Spiegel said that coolant leaks in the fighter's sensor system which detects enemy aircraft or incoming missiles have grounded all but a handful of the advanced warplanes.

It means Germany is falling far short of its obligations to the Nato alliance and would be unable to intercept or repel a large-scale incursion of its airspace.

Spiegel reported that technicians were able to replace the defective sensor pods on the wings – but the spare part necessary to seal the cooling circuit is no longer available because the manufacturer has been sold and no longer producing it.

German military officials hoped that the jinxed Eurofighter's many bugs would be ironed out after a disastrous report last year showed just 39 out of 128 were ready for action."

 


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#2 Markus Becker

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 0845 AM

That many?  :D


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#3 Yama

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0221 AM

German Air Force: plenty of Luft, not so much Waffe.


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#4 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0326 AM

There are several aspects to the problem. One are the referenced coolant leaks in the wing pods of the DASS self-protection suite, where the maker of spares changed ownership which seems to have lead to non-availability without the Luftwaffe noticing (I take it this refers to the recent forming of Leonardo, who are now listed as the maker of DASS). This means only eight to ten Eurofighters are currently rated fully combat-ready. I'd be interested to know how this affects other users; knowing the anal German way, they probably just sourced alternate parts without as much fuss. I recall the Brits took a very pragmatic approach to a propeller problem which severely impacted the Luftwaffe's A400M fleet.

 

The "only four aircraft" bit relates to the fact that there appear less than 20 servicable AIM-120 left of the 80-100 procured from 1996. Some were fired in tests and exercises of course, but it seems that as part of the penny-pinching in recent years, the rest was not maintained properly in expectation of them being replaced by Meteor soon anyway - which has however been delayed. Since warload is four AMRAAM per aircraft, you can only fully equip four of them thusly (though of course you could put two each plus IRIS-T on all otherwise combat-ready aircraft).

 

Overall, the Bundeswehr's airfleet remains in a sorry state. There is a report today that last year, 19 of 129 Tiger pilots had their license lapse because there weren't enough flyable helicopters to get their minimum flight hours (the Bundeswehr has recently taken the unusual way of having them fly on civilian helicopters by agreement with the ADAC, the German motorist club which runs Germany's biggest fleet of MEDEVAC choppers). Another recent report was that seven Eurofighter pilots have quit the service this year alone, which got some publicity when a female jock who had gotten exposure by winning selection for one of two slots by a private initiative to get a female German astronaut to the ISS joined them (she also gave up that slot, and the initiative hasn't collected the necessary money for the training by far with the deadline approaching, so everything is not roses on the private aerospace side either).

 

This has also been linked to the lack of flyable fighters, though the problems run deeper. For some years now, Luftwaffe pilots have complained that their original special contracts for serving in a flying capacity to 41 years of age, then leaving with a 55 percent pension are being turned into standard lifer contracts and the Luftwaffe puts them wherever it needs them (more than in a marginally available aircraft fleet anyway), including driving UAVs and unglamorous desk jobs. I can certainly understand them being pissed about the service unilaterally going back on agreements made, and quitting in return as is the right of any lifer at any time (though without the pension benefits), even if the often-expressed attitude of "I joined to be a pilot first, not a soldier" annoys me; if you just wanted to be a pilot, you could have joined Lufthansa, but apparently you wanted the thrill of flying a fighter jet, the purpose of which is, well, military.

 

It is of course no accident that all these reports are coming out at this precise time; as I noted over in another thread, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is trying to wrangle out a total increase of twelve billion Euro for her budget this term rather than the 5.5 in the finance ministry's initial draft (of which three billion are really for pay raises recently agreed for all public services). She has threatened that otherwise one of several planned European cooperation projects like the joint German-Norwegian submarine project or procurement of six C-130J for a joint SF support squadron with France would have to be cancelled, putting extra foreign policy pressure on the dear coalition partner of the SPD.

 

She also took the unusual step of a joint note with Development Minister Gerd Müller in cabinet that they were only consenting to the budget draft in the expectation that it will be improved upon in subsequent deliberations (the new CDU/CSU-SPD coalition agreement mandates that both their budgets are to be increased in step, as Germany currently doesn't fulfill the ODA target of 0.7 percent of its GDP for developmental aid at 0.5 percent either). So media coverage should be seen as part of the fight over money, though of course that doesn't mean the problems aren't real.


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0333 AM

There are several aspects to the problem. One are the referenced coolant leaks in the wing pods of the DASS self-protection suite, where the maker of spares changed ownership which seems to have lead to non-availability without the Luftwaffe noticing (I take it this refers to the recent forming of Leonardo, who are now listed as the maker of DASS). This means only eight to ten Eurofighters are currently rated fully combat-ready. I'd be interested to know how this affects other users; knowing the anal German way, they probably just sourced alternate parts without as much fuss. I recall the Brits took a very pragmatic approach to a propeller problem which severely impacted the Luftwaffe's A400M fleet.

 

The "only four aircraft" bit relates to the fact that there appear less than 20 servicable AIM-120 left of the 80-100 procured from 1996. Some were fired in tests and exercises of course, but it seems that as part of the penny-pinching in recent years, the rest was not maintained properly in expectation of them being replaced by Meteor soon anyway - which has however been delayed. Since warload is four AMRAAM per aircraft, you can only fully equip four of them thusly (though of course you could put two each plus IRIS-T on all otherwise combat-ready aircraft).

 

Overall, the Bundeswehr's airfleet remains in a sorry state. There is a report today that last year, 19 of 129 Tiger pilots had their license lapse because there weren't enough flyable helicopters to get their minimum flight hours (the Bundeswehr has recently taken the unusual way of having them fly on civilian helicopters by agreement with the ADAC, the German motorist club which runs Germany's biggest fleet of MEDEVAC choppers). Another recent report was that seven Eurofighter pilots have quit the service this year alone, which got some publicity when a female jock who had gotten exposure by winning selection for one of two slots by a private initiative to get a female German astronaut to the ISS joined them (she also gave up that slot, and the initiative hasn't collected the necessary money for the training by far with the deadline approaching, so everything is not roses on the private aerospace side either).

 

This has also been linked to the lack of flyable fighters, though the problems run deeper. For some years now, Luftwaffe pilots have complained that their original special contracts for serving in a flying capacity to 41 years of age, then leaving with a 55 percent pension are being turned into standard lifer contracts and the Luftwaffe puts them wherever it needs them (more than in a marginally available aircraft fleet anyway), including driving UAVs and unglamorous desk jobs. I can certainly understand them being pissed about the service unilaterally going back on agreements made, and quitting in return as is the right of any lifer at any time (though without the pension benefits), even if the often-expressed attitude of "I joined to be a pilot first, not a soldier" annoys me; if you just wanted to be a pilot, you could have joined Lufthansa, but apparently you wanted the thrill of flying a fighter jet, the purpose of which is, well, military.

 

It is of course no accident that all these reports are coming out at this precise time; as I noted over in another thread, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is trying to wrangle out a total increase of twelve billion Euro for her budget this term rather than the 5.5 in the finance ministry's initial draft (of which three billion are really for pay raises recently agreed for all public services). She has threatened that otherwise one of several planned European cooperation projects like the joint German-Norwegian submarine project or procurement of six C-130J for a joint SF support squadron with France would have to be cancelled, putting extra foreign policy pressure on the dear coalition partner of the SPD.

 

She also took the unusual step of a joint note with Development Minister Gerd Müller in cabinet that they were only consenting to the budget draft in the expectation that it will be improved upon in subsequent deliberations (the new CDU/CSU-SPD coalition agreement mandates that both their budgets are to be increased in step, as Germany currently doesn't fulfill the ODA target of 0.7 percent of its GDP for developmental aid at 0.5 percent either). So media coverage should be seen as part of the fight over money, though of course that doesn't mean the problems aren't real.

 

Would it be wrong to view this perhaps from the long perspective of the problems of the Starfighter, with nobody wanting to be fingered with putting aircraft in the air less than perfect?

 

I mean the RAF have had a long tradition of it, Im not surprised we are pragmatic. :D

 

We just finished assembling some Typhoons for Qatar IIRC, so there must be an alternative source somewhere. Unless we have a bigger spare stockpile.


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#6 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0340 AM

I'd not be surprised to find you're right with that simple last explanation, since the lack of spare stocks as a result of saving measures in the defense budget has been noted to be a problem for all services of the Bundeswehr before, leading to low availability of systems in general.

 

Also, Luftwaffe pilots have commented on their force's zero-defect mentality, driven by the American role model through decade-long training in, with and by the US. I recall an article about UAV personnel sent to Israel for training on Heron, who commented that it required full inter-cultural competence to square that with the local relaxed Mediterranean attitude. :D


Edited by BansheeOne, 03 May 2018 - 0345 AM.

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#7 seahawk

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0936 AM

Simply  reduce the overall force until the size matches the budget. Germany could do with just planes in total. 18 for air policing in the North and 18 in the South. Each unit can sent 3 for deployment. Giving you 4 + 2 spares for deployment. That would be enough. 


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0953 AM

Till they start getting shot down. I think we lost 6 Tornado's in Desert Storm alone.


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#9 Gregory

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 0953 AM

"You have to understand, we have the Bundeswehr, but the Bundeswehr is not there to fight."
-Chancellor Angela Merkel
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#10 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 1038 AM

Where is that quote from?


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#11 Gregory

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 1421 PM

Where is that quote from?

https://www.politico...ld-be-overcome/
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#12 BansheeOne

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 1457 PM

Ah, I was looking for a German source. Of course in reference to Afghanistan 2005 it's easily imaginable.


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#13 Red Ant

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 1922 PM

Just thinking of the criminal neglect of Germany's armed forces in the last few decades gets my blood boiling. There were times when people were shot for such systematic erosion of the nation's ability to defend itself. I say we reinstate that time-honored practice.  :angry:


Edited by Red Ant, 05 May 2018 - 1922 PM.

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#14 seahawk

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0204 AM

Why, most Germans will agree that those forces are a waste of money.


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#15 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0206 AM

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.


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#16 Ssnake

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0216 AM

The "only four aircraft" bit relates to the fact that there appear less than 20 servicable AIM-120 left of the 80-100 procured from 1996. Some were fired in tests and exercises of course, but it seems that as part of the penny-pinching in recent years, the rest was not maintained properly in expectation of them being replaced by Meteor soon anyway - which has however been delayed.

 

So, I tried to educate myself a bit about the Meteor procurement on the (German) Wikipedia page, which seems to be rich in detail about the origins and general development process but seems to lack updates since about 2014, the "start of production"; so, what happened in the last three years that we're not yet having it? Even the English wikipedia doesn't give details about production delays even though it contains a few entries as recent as 2017.


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#17 BansheeOne

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0435 AM

AFAIK, Sweden has already introduced Meteor (in 2016?), and France and the UK are to get them this year. For some reason, Germany often seems way down the line for deliveries of jointly-developed stuff; see A400M (we got our first one after France, Turkey and the UK, 18 months on from the former) or NH90 (first aircraft other than for the joint French-German training center was three years on from Italy, Finland, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway and Oman taking initial delivery, at about the same time as France, Greece and New Zealand.

 

That's before any teething problems in national service. I don't know whether that's because Germany is particularly anal about accepting only products up to spec (unlikely considering said teething problems we're having), glad to have deliveries pushed back for financial reasons (very likely), export customers take precedence for PR reasons, or other partners just tend to say "you won't use them anyway, so give us the money and otherwise stand back behind the adults" ...

 

From what I hear, the current problem with DASS seems indeed again that spares - allegedly a simple rubber gasket - would be available at a few Euros apiece; it's just that other than from the original maker, they're not certified for aviation use. I don't know if that's a specific German problem (considering the differences between the US and Germany in certification process that killed Eurohawk, it might just be), since such regulations tend to be rather strict internationally, for good reason. Of course couple that with no stocks because the industry will always™ deliver Just In Time, and you end up like this. Allegedly the gap is only temporary though, due to the maker's restructuring.


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#18 seahawk

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0451 AM

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry


Edited by seahawk, 06 May 2018 - 0454 AM.

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#19 Martin M

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0620 AM

in my observation a great majority (80-90 %) do not give a shit how many Eurofighters Germany has - flying or not - besides the usual  gripe about so much money being spent.

There is about zero to 5 % support for the Bundeswehr anyway.

 

As for an other 80 % number . . . . . .    a survey shows that 80 % of Germans approve of  the re-introduction of wolves into Germanys countryside . . .  there are about 1000 last count . . . and they all are in working order.

 

Lol


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 0626 AM

 

Fine, so disband them and spend the money on nations that are willing to defend European security. Job done.

 

Or disband them and spent the money on social security and health care. Any asset that you have no intention to use, is just a waste.

 

The simple fact is that no political party:

 

- actually wants to use the forces in a real shooting conflict

- intends to fund them to a level that would make them a credible asset

- it is only a tool to fund the German defence industry

 

 

 Your argument is basically saying there is no point in having a police force unless you plan to arrest people. Yes, but...

 

The Central European powers are all enjoying the benefits  the peripheral powers have been paying for their security. Its a simple choice, either you man up and play a role, or you can witness your own security go down the toilet. There is a smug belief that the next 25 years of European security is going to look like the last 25, and I for one am wondering where this belief comes from, because Its clearly not supported by any evidence.


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