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Old 1st Feb 2019, 07:00
  #11705 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Germany officially knocks F-35 out of competition to replace Tornado

COLOGNE, Germany ― Germany’s Ministry of Defence has officially ruled out the F-35 joint strike fighter as a choice to replace its aging Tornado fleet, Defense News has learned. An official from the ministry confirmed that the F-35 is not a finalist in the competition, which seeks a replacement for the 90-jet fleet. The news was first reported by German site AugenGeradeaus......

However, the decision leaves open the question of certification for nuclear weapons. The Typhoon is not certified to carry the American-made nuclear bombs that Germany, as part of its strategic posture, is supposed to be able to carry on its jets......

Before the German MoD confirmed that the F-35 was officially out of the running, Reuters on Thursday reported that the ministry was considering splitting the buy between the Typhoon and either the F-35 or Super Hornet. Ordering both the Typhoon and an American aircraft would make it easier to continue carrying out the NATO nuclear mission, while also lending support to the European industrial base. However, it could complicate logistics, adding more expense and forcing the German air force to maintain two supply chains.

It is worth noting that despite complaints about the cost of keeping the ageing Tornados flying, keeping around a certain number of them always has been considered a painful, but not impossible, proposition among some defense experts. That is especially the case for the nuclear mission.

“There does not have to be a nuclear Tornado replacement,” Karl-Heinz Kamp, president of the Federal Academy for Security Policy, a government think tank, told Defense News last August. He noted that any German government is acutely averse to the publicity surrounding Berlin’s would-be atomic bombers. “That’s why they will keep flying the Tornados, despite the price tag and despite having asked about a Eurofighter nuclear certification in Washington,” Kamp predicted at the time......

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