You can buy an f18 jet
In one of the most important armaments projects of the German armed forces, the USA is considerably narrowing the scope of action for Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU). The Air Force is urgently looking for a replacement for those who are getting on in years Tornado-Fighter jets. Predecessor Ursula von der Leyen recently shortlisted two types of aircraft for this purpose: a new version of the European joint project Eurofighter or American type fighter jets F-18. According to information from Süddeutsche Zeitung however, there are doubts that the Eurofighter Can be finished on time to meet all the skills of the Tornadoes as demanded by the Americans to be able to guarantee without interruption.
A special feature of tornadoes makes the search for successors complicated. Part of the fleet guarantees Germany's so-called "nuclear participation". In an emergency, these jets should be able to carry the US atomic bombs stationed in the Eifel to the target. Whichever aircraft is to perform this task in the future, it has to go through an extensive certification process with the Americans. Von der Leyen had asked the USA to provide information on the costs and time periods for this procedure with a view to the various models. As the SZ learned, these results should now be available to the ministry and fall in favor of the American model.
Accordingly, the certification of the Eurofighters Take three to five years longer than the American comparison model. The F-18 had such approval in an earlier series.
On the one hand, the results come as little surprise if one assumes that the Americans are likely to have an interest in selling their own planes. On the other hand, there is no getting around certification, over which the Americans ultimately have sovereignty. The problem is: three to five years longer - the Bundeswehr should no longer have that time.
The almost 90 tornadoes are to be phased out by 2025. From this point on, the cost of their maintenance would rise so rapidly that the Bundeswehr could buy new planes with the money. German tornadoes are currently deployed against ISIS over Syria and Iraq, among others.
If you take the new forecasts of the Americans as a basis, a newly developed and certified Eurofighter of the Bundeswehr is unlikely to be fully operational in the yard before 2030. This could mean that Germany is unable, at least temporarily, to guarantee nuclear participation. Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to prevent this from happening. The CDU politician recently said during a visit to the Air Force about the necessary certifications during her inaugural visit with her US counterpart Mark Esper. "We're in close contact there." In the first quarter of 2020, she wants to decide on a successor model for the Tornado.
It was made clear to Kramp-Karrenbauer in Washington that their actions would be carefully followed
Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to strengthen military cooperation with the USA to stabilize relations. Washington is still the most important ally, the minister said on her trip to the United States. According to SZ information, the minister was also made clear by the Americans during their political talks that they would be closely following how military cooperation was being deepened in Europe. This should not lead to the Americans being left out with their armaments projects.
If it were up to the Americans, they would prefer Germany to have their most modern fighter pilot, the F-35, to sell. The Luftwaffe wanted this plane too. However, with such a purchase decision, Berlin would have opposed France. Together with Paris, they want to develop their own next-generation fighter jet by 2040. The F-18 could be justified as a temporary solution. Kramp-Karrenbauer will hardly be able to get past the Americans in his succession.
In industrial circles, people were surprised by their attempt to quickly bring about a decision. It is unlikely that the SPD coalition partner would agree to buy such a bomber from the Americans, of all places. The SPD parliamentary group is now led by Rolf Mützenich, an outspoken critic of American foreign and security policy and a supporter of disarmament. In front of the members of the Bundestag in the summer, he described Trump as "racists in the White House". The F-18 Mützenich refused to give priority even before he moved to the head of the parliamentary group.
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