PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - F-35 Cancelled, then what ?
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Old 17th May 2018, 19:03
  #11309 (permalink)  
ORAC
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Peripatetic
Posts: 10,208
We are discussing the possible role for German F-35As, if they bought them. The Germans are not renowned for showing eagerness to deploy armed aircraft - at least since 1945. Hence the assumption must be they would only ever be utilised in the role against an attack against NATO by Russia.

The weapon storage locations and their handling also strongly strongly suggest that they would only ever be employed in extremist from their home bases - which implies against enemy forces advancing through the Baltic states, Hungary or Poland - and from time and other constraints probably the latter. seeing as the B61-12 is optimised for attacks against bunkers I have to question what sort of target they would conceivably be employed against.

In the unlikely event event they were targeted against a site deeper in Russian territory they would require AAR far beyond the FEBA.

In such circumstances it would also suggest a scramble in such extremis that a planned COMAO with advance fighter sweep, EW, C4I, AAR supper would not be possible. If it was possible then then tankers would be on orbits at least 150nm short of the FEBA behind protective EW and fighter CAPS with the bombers interleaved with other tanking assets so they couldn’t be spotted - and would then have to fly an indirect route clear of other formations to prevent their being accidentally engaged at the same time as other assets. So let us presume a route of at least 200nm before crossing the FEBA.

The F-35A combat radius is 590nm - allowing a penetration beyond the FEBA with a safe return of about 400nm - which wouldn’t reach the Russian border which is about 800nm. One way they couldn’t reach Moscow.

Which reminds me of the rumour that that that the range of the Tornado GR1 was designed to prevent the GAF being able to reach Moscow on a one way trip......

if you search there there has been a multi-year argument that the B61 is a bomb with no role in the modern era. The latest mods may give it a justifiable role - but not carried by a Tornado, Typhoon or F-35 - except to force their Belgian and German governments to make a nuclear commitment which will never be conceivably be employed.

I suppose they could bomb the sh*t out of Kaliningrad.....
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