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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #1411
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    The importance of datalinks in a WVR LOAL engagement are mostly to make sure that the AAM properly discriminates between Red & Blue in a furball, especially if the targets is using flares or DIRCM. The later would require GPS to ensure that it has the best chance of maintaining a good track of the target.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  2. #1412
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    The usefulness of a datalink during LOAL engagements depends of the match (or mis-match) between the kinematic range of the missile and the target-detection range of the seeker. If the target flies a manoeuvre which carries it beyond the detection range of the seeker, and outside the kinematic limits of the missile, a datalink would serve no purpose. But if a target that flies beyond the detection range of the seeker is still within the kinematic limits of the missile, than a datalink can send updated target information that will allow the missile to bring the seeker to within detection range.

    In the case of the AIM-9X Block I, a target flying beyond the detection range of the seeker could still be within the kinematic limits of the missile, so seeker performance was the limiting factor in LOAL capability. But given the emphasis in keeping the missile cost down, this situation was considered acceptable. Adding a datalink to the Block II gave a significant boost in LOAL performance.

    If you read my earlier postings, you will see that the quote from Jane's said that that the datalink "will improve the missile's off-boresight lock-on after launch (LOAL) capability", while specifically referred to "a limited LOAL capability".

    So the Block 1 had a LOAL capability, and the Block 2 had a much better LOAL capability.

    My original statement that the Block I had a LOAL capability was and is correct. I see no point in getting bogged down by semantic games such as what constitutes "True LOAL".

    Anyway, keep reading those manufacturers' and users' public relations handouts, and I will keep attending defence conferences and putting in the legwork at defence shows in order to learn the facts.
    Well the LOAL capability was deficient enough in Block I for both the missile manufacturer and a Navy Captain to consider it as having been added in Block II. So I'll stick with the description of 'no true LOAL' as it fairly reflects two very reliable sources that are actually visible.

    The importance of datalinks in a WVR LOAL engagement are mostly to make sure that the AAM properly discriminates between Red & Blue in a furball, especially if the targets is using flares or DIRCM. The later would require GPS to ensure that it has the best chance of maintaining a good track of the target.
    Well that's just it. Who could risk an 'oops sorry mate' moment? Another reason why I would not consider it true LOAL. And even in testing, friendlies are normally flying behind monitoring an OTS target vehicle.
    Last edited by Ryan; 16th May 2017 at 19:20.

  3. #1413
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan/Lukos
    Well the LOAL capability was deficient enough in Block I for both the missile manufacturer and a Navy Captain to consider it as having been added in Block II. So I'll stick with the description of 'no true LOAL' as it fairly reflects two very reliable sources that are actually visible.
    Ryan/Lukos,

    Here is a crazy idea, try doing some research and/or listening to people who know more than you. If you spent even a quarter of the time you do insisting you have some personal experience in this field doing basic research you would know far more than you do. (and save everyone else a lot of time)

    In October 2007, the
    AIM-9X program completed operational
    testing of a software update to the currently fielded missile
    with conflicting results.

    ...

    8.2XX (the latest software version) includes a rudimentary
    air-to-ground attack mode; limited lock-on-after-launch;
    full envelope high off-boresight capability without a
    helmet-mounted cueing system; and increased flare rejection
    performance.


    ...

    The upgrade addressed a previous deficiency in performance
    against aircraft employing countermeasures (flares) against
    heat-seeking missiles
    , and added new interim capabilities to
    the baseline missile in order to reduce future development
    risk.

    ...

    Analysis and evaluation is ongoing. Modeling and simulation
    analysis indicated the new software should have measureable
    increases in acquisition and track ranges, and greater
    capability against aircraft employing flares
    . Initial feedback
    from the captive flights is conflicting. Some crews noticed
    slightly better performance and slightly increased capabilities,
    while others felt the performance was less than the currently
    fielded missile.
    http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/.../2007aim9x.pdf

    So yes, the AIM-9X Block I has a LOAL mode, and note the bit about "increased flare rejection," and "deficiency in performance against aircraft employing countermeasures (flares)" which also proves you wrong about IIR seekers having some kind of inherent immunity to flares.

  4. #1414
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    hopsy, quite on the contrary, your article proves his point. Lukos has claimed that

    a) AIM-9X Block 1 did not have "true LOAL" which has been proven (read the limited lock-on-after-launch bit).
    b) IIR seekers were pretty immune against flares and that the only deficiency was the image recognition algorithm. Now, your article shows that with an software upgrade you can achieve greater capability against aircraft employing flares.

    Which is basically exactly what he has claimed, albeit using different words..

  5. #1415
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    Yes, a limited capability, but clearly an extant capability. Obviously any LOAL without a datalink will have limited capability as the missile will be flying blind from the time it leaves the rail until such time as its seeker can acquire the target. Any target maneuvers during that time will have a high likelihood of defeating the missile. Besides, all Mercurious said was that LOAL IR missiles without datalinks existed, which this establishes is a factual statement.

    Similarly, "greater capability against aircraft employing flares" does nothing to establish that IIR seekers are immune to flares, which was Ryan/Lukos's assertion. In fact, it proves the opposite as the AIM-9x went operational with a deficiency against flares.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan/Lukos
    So why are they even bothering if flares work against IIR? Although I have some experience in DSMAC and image recognition and can tell you flat out that they don't.
    As usual, you could have saved some typing with a little thinking.

  6. #1416
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Yes, a limited capability, but clearly an extant capability.
    Limited LOAL, not true LOAL, pretty much the same meaning..
    In order to save face you're now bickering about semantics..

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Similarly, "greater capability against aircraft employing flares" does nothing to establish that IIR seekers are immune to flares, which was Ryan/Lukos's assertion. In fact, it proves the opposite as the AIM-9x went operational with a deficiency against flares.
    In fact, it does.. Because for the Block II the seeker has not changed a bit.. It's still the same, only the image recognition has been improved.. And it can be improved even more, up to the point of virtual immunity, it's only a matter of refining the software.

  7. #1417
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere
    Limited LOAL, not true LOAL, pretty much the same meaning..
    In order to save face you're now bickering about semantics..
    Why don't you define for us the difference between "limited" LOAL and "true" LOAL.

    In fact, it does.. Because for the Block II the seeker has not changed a bit.. It's still the same, only the image recognition has been improved.. And it can be improved even more, up to the point of virtual immunity, it's only a matter of refining the software.
    As usual, no source. What is the basis for your claim that the AIM-9X has the potential to achieve "virtual immunity" to flares given that Mercurious and others have already provided credible information to the contrary. Certainly an imaging seeker has an improved resistance to flares, but "virtual immunity?" Nope...

    http://tti-ecm.com/uploads/resources...ci%202012).pdf

  8. #1418
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Why don't you define for us the difference between "limited" LOAL and "true" LOAL.
    IMO, there is no difference here, just semantics.. but it was not my claim, so you gotta ask lukos on that one..

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    As usual, no source. What is the basis for your claim that the AIM-9X has the potential to achieve "virtual immunity" to flares given that Mercurious and others have already provided credible information to the contrary. Certainly an imaging seeker has an improved resistance to flares, but "virtual immunity?" Nope...
    Sorry, I can't be bothered with constant looking for sources and evidence and whatnot.. really got no time for this.. Finally, I am not appearing before a court here, am I?

    Nevertheless, that article of yours pretty much proves that IIR seekers already are virtually immune to flares at all ranges over 600 m.. On top of that, they are pretty much immune even below 600 m at angles beyond ~30 deg in azimuth and ~40 deg in elevation.. Further improvements in image recognition will have furthermore reduced the flare effectiveness cone to even more narrow angles and shorter range..

    In other words, it's becoming rather desperate.. I can safely kill my target in all thinkable scenarios except a tight tail chase when I am right behind him.. good.. if the guy has balls of titanium to try to counter my ASRAAM with flares (good luck!), then I'll simply slay the sucker with a burst of my 30mm which just loves to finish off anything at 500 meter ranges.
    Last edited by MSphere; 17th May 2017 at 00:46.

  9. #1419
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    IMO, there is no difference here, just semantics.. but it was not my claim, so you gotta ask lukos on that one..
    Well then there isn't really anything to talk about because the one thing we can be sure he won't do is just admit he was wrong.

    That article of yours pretty much proves that IIR seekers already are virtually immune to flares at all ranges over 600 m.. On top of that, they are pretty much immune even below 600 m at angles beyond 30 deg in azimuth and 40 deg in elevation.. Further improvements in image recognition will have furthermore reduced the flare effectiveness cone to even more narrow angles and shorter range..
    Once again I am left to wonder whether you are playing dumb. That article was a very basic examination of the feasibility of employing flares against an imaging seeker. What it showed was that under some circumstances they had the potential to be effective. One can expect the techniques employed in the real world to be quite a bit more sophisticated.

    DST Group is undertaking developmental research to ensure the Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile (ASRAAM), the primary weapon carried by Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF’s) F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, remains capable against evolving threats.

    New algorithms have been developed that enhance the ability of ASRAAM to acquire and maintain lock-on to target aircraft despite their deployment of new-generation infrared countermeasures.

    These algorithms were tested at the Port Wakefield Proof and Experimental Establishment using the Reusable Aerodynamic Flare Ejection Capability to deploy countermeasures at speeds representative of fighter aircraft.

    DST algorithms will be incorporated into a new missile software load being developed jointly by the UK and Australia, which is expected to result in a substantial improvement in weapon performance.
    https://www.dst.defence.gov.au/proje...missile-asraam

    Here again... different countries, a different weapon, and yet they continue to invest scarce resources in developing new approaches against flares and foresee the potential to achieve "substantial improvement in weapon performance."

    Use your head, either IIR seekers are "virtually immune" to flares, or there is room for "substantial improvement" against them.

    Countermeasures and counter-countermeasures continue to evolve.

    By the time ASRAAM entered RAAF service in 2004, awareness had been growing in Defence circles of a need for an iterative software upgrade path to align the missile to Australian tactical requirements and to keep it ahead of evolving countermeasures.

    ...

    During choreographed encounters with target aircraft, ASRAAM operators on board the jet operated the missile via integrated video cameras and recorded data streams for later analysis. This enabled performance evaluations to be made of target acquisition and tracking when targets undertake aggressive manoeuvres, when flying against difficult backgrounds such as broken sunlit cloud and when flares are deployed as infrared-guided missile countermeasures. Researchers were able to run new and old software during the same flight to ascertain the level of improvement new versions offer.
    https://www.dst.defence.gov.au/news/...g-with-science

    The Block 6 seeker activities included DST Group airborne pod trials, DST Group field trials at Port Wakefield and several rounds of DST Group HWIL testing. These trials included testing performance against advanced and experimental flares. The projects to develop Australian software Load 3, and the replacement seeker (Block 6) made substantial use of existing infrastructure, skills and facilities. The two projects became heavily interwoven as the organisations pursued a common interest.
    http://www.acilallen.com.au/cms_file...ueDST_2016.pdf
    Last edited by hopsalot; 17th May 2017 at 01:05.

  10. #1420
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Well then there isn't really anything to talk about because the one thing we can be sure he won't do is just admit he was wrong.
    True.. but for the life of me I can't remember you having ever admitted you were wrong.. ever..

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Once again I am left to wonder whether you are playing dumb. That article was a very basic examination of the feasibility of employing flares against an imaging seeker. What it showed was that under some circumstances they had the potential to be effective. One can expect the techniques employed in the real world to be quite a bit more sophisticated.
    Oh, suddenly it's just a basic examination.. because even your own source doesn't suit your narrative.. so why post it if it has no informative value?

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Here again... different countries, a different weapon, and yet they continue to invest scarce resources in developing new approaches against flares and foresee the potential to achieve "substantial improvement in weapon performance."
    Yes, different countries, different types and they still concentrate on... algorithms.. which means software, nothing else.. how is that different from what me or lukos has claimed?

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    Use your head, either IIR seekers are "virtually immune" to flares, or there is room for "substantial improvement" against them.
    I am using my head.. it seems you don't.. you are not reading that the 128x128 focal plane array is insufficient against distributed flares and we have to invest substantial resources in imaging seekers with at least VGA resolution, right? even with the modest resolution (128x128 FPA is hardly world breaking, in fact it's low cost crap), the seekers are obviously OK as they are.. the only thing that is constantly being refined is software.. which means image recognition.. which means EXACTLY what lukos has claimed.. and what I have claimed..

    Still not getting it? I don't think I have energy to explain this once again..

  11. #1421
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    True.. but for the life of me I can't remember you having ever admitted you were wrong.. ever..
    Pro tip, figure out what you are talking about before making assertions. You are doing it wrong.

    Oh, suddenly it's just a basic examination.. because even your own source doesn't suit your narrative.. so why post it if it has no informative value?
    I didn't say it had no informative value. I said that it showed that even in a simple scenario it is possible to create conditions where flares can defeat an IIR seeker.

    Yes, different countries, different types and they still concentrate on... algorithms.. which means software, nothing else.. how is that different from what me or lukos has claimed?
    The fact that work is ongoing a decade+ after these missiles first went operational and with an eye toward still emerging new flare technologies/strategies demonstrates that IIR seekers do not have any inherent invulnerability to flares as a countermeasure. Both flare developers and missile developers continue to work to improve their respective technologies. That software improvements continue to be made to IIR missiles does not support your case. It proves that developers continue to identify and seek to mitigate vulnerabilities. (that Lukos/Ryan insists could only take the form of "holographic blah blah blah flares")

    If I announced that "AESA radars are immune to electronic countermeasures," would you accept ongoing software updates as somehow "proof" that the hardware is inherently capable of achieving something like "virtual immunity" to countermeasures? (Of course not, we both know if I said the sun is hot you would reflexively claim that it isn't.)

    As usual your logic isn't so much lacking as absent.

    They are also BTW developing new seeker hardware so... another MSphere argument that could have been thought out in advance perhaps.
    Last edited by hopsalot; 17th May 2017 at 02:02.

  12. #1422
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    What history has shown us, is that advertized Technology does not work like it was supposed to. Rii said it pretty clearly. You need real wartime to see the results.
    A very good example would be Ukraine. The **** storm that UAV operators faced was litterly a shock for US foreign advisers. I mean who could have known that UAV could not operate with impunity over enemy battlefields..🤔
    Ukraine also showed what happen when you fly jets and heli without the latest self defense suite aviable.. you lose the air superiority.

  13. #1423
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    I didn't say it had no informative value. I said that it showed that even in a simple scenario it is possible to create conditions where flares can defeat an IIR seeker.
    You have not read the article very thoroughly, have you? Because it showed just the opposite - that creating conditions where flares can defeat an IIR seeker was a quite demanding task.. distributed flares, very short range, very narrow time window, narrow effectiveness region.. Frankly, only a complete idiot would risk something like that in real combat when his a$$ is at stake.. and maybe you, because you just LOVE to be right, even if you aren't.. right?

    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot
    The fact that work is ongoing a decade+ after these missiles first went operational and with an eye toward still emerging new flare technologies/strategies demonstrates that IIR seekers do not have ... blah blah blah..
    Of course the developers are always looking at something new.. you can always make Pk even better.. the effectiveness range even shorter.. the effectiveness cone even more narrow.. and you can always make the FPA larger.. these 128x128 FPAs are outright dinosaurs, even commercial industry has moved towards 640x512 arrays.. it won't be long before the small arrays aren't really cheaper than their 20-times larger cousins.. so why bother and stick to something which ain't being produced, anymore? Does that mean a proof of their ineffectivity? Nope..

    Frankly, IIR vs flares, it's almost desperate even today, and while looking at the possibilities the flares have compared to the development of even more refined real-time recognition algorithms, combined with increased computing power, I think that flares are safely on the losing end.. My piece of advice is, get proper DIRCM.. or depend on flares and die in a fireball if you're being so stubborn.. your problem..

    Nuff said..
    Last edited by MSphere; 17th May 2017 at 11:38.

  14. #1424
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    We should not isolate flares as the only counterneasure. Flares is only one in a whole pack of means to spoof any advertized weapon systems. Today where you find flares on a jet, you should also find jammer systems.

  15. #1425
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    So yes, the AIM-9X Block I has a LOAL mode, and note the bit about "increased flare rejection," and "deficiency in performance against aircraft employing countermeasures (flares)" which also proves you wrong about IIR seekers having some kind of inherent immunity to flares.
    I said 'no true LOAL' and Raytheon agrees.

    http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/products/aim-9x/

    And given that a Navy captain thinks the same, maybe it's the case that the LOAL capable was too ineffective or dangerous to be cleared for use in Block I.

    As usual, you could have saved some typing with a little thinking.
    I've witnessed lots of tests where flares didn't work against an IIR missile and none where they have. Also lots of tests on YouTube with them not working and none with them working, if you need something you can see. Sun is a different matter altogether. Much brighter, very wide band radiation.

    What history has shown us, is that advertized Technology does not work like it was supposed to. Rii said it pretty clearly. You need real wartime to see the results.
    A very good example would be Ukraine. The **** storm that UAV operators faced was litterly a shock for US foreign advisers. I mean who could have known that UAV could not operate with impunity over enemy battlefields..��
    Ukraine also showed what happen when you fly jets and heli without the latest self defense suite aviable.. you lose the air superiority.
    I don't think there's an equivalence here. Ukraine was never regarded as having state of the art equipment. Most of it was old and Russian, which doesn't help when you're up against Russian-backed rebels. And a UAV is basically a glorified RC plane, so yes it's subject to attrition against air defences, although ECM suites are being looked at I think.

    We should not isolate flares as the only counterneasure. Flares is only one in a whole pack of means to spoof any advertized weapon systems. Today where you find flares on a jet, you should also find jammer systems.
    But does a jammer work against an IIR missile with an optical fuse? Not unless you have enough power to fry the electronics. An IIR jammer like DIRCM might I guess.
    Last edited by Ryan; 17th May 2017 at 10:31.

  16. #1426
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    And to interrupt this fascinating, ahem, conversation pitting a professional opinion and sources vs. half-baked opinions, actual F-35 news:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...-idUSKCN18D13X

    Germany asking for classified briefing on F-35.

  17. #1427
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    The missile manufacturer and a USN Captain aren't professional sources/opinions now?

    Where do you draw the line with limited LOAL ability before you call it 'no true LOAL'. Does an R-27ET's PPS mode count as true LOAL?

  18. #1428
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    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...-idUSKCN18D13X

    Germany asking for classified briefing on F-35.
    Little know fact.. Germany could "buy" their way into the Partner program and get a piece of the logistics pie.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  19. #1429
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    Air Force: F-35 3F software drop {Block} challenges resolved

    The Air Force expects to operationalize the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s latest “3F” software iteration by September or October of this year, a development which will integrate additional technology and equip the stealth aircraft with a wider range of weapons, service leaders said.

    After experiencing some challenges during developmental testing, the 3F software drop {Block} is now improved and sharpened up for delivery, Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, Director, F-35 Integration Office, told reporters.

    Engineers made specific efforts to identify and resolve any emerging issues, he explained.

    “They are encouraged by the things that they found during developmental testing. They have not seen any show-stoppers in stability or capability at all. There are no ongoing issues with the things they repaired,” Pleus said. “Pilots are very encouraged by what they have seen.”
    more at the link

    https://defensesystems.com/articles/2017/05/17/f35.aspx
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  20. #1430
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    It is almost done. Now to get France to buy the F-35/turn do the dark-side, and the F-35 dominance of Europe will be complete.

  21. #1431
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBW View Post
    And to interrupt this fascinating, ahem, conversation pitting a professional opinion and sources vs. half-baked opinions, actual F-35 news:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...-idUSKCN18D13X

    Germany asking for classified briefing on F-35.
    This year 2025 deliveries. it is expected most EU arms industry close down by that. I wonder how French feel about Germany not buying there fighter despite in Union with them. The direction of Germanic economic dependence is going east.

  22. #1432
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBW
    And to interrupt this fascinating, ahem, conversation pitting a professional opinion and sources vs. half-baked opinions, actual F-35 news:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-l...-idUSKCN18D13X

    Germany asking for classified briefing on F-35.
    Sounds like the F-35 has a sale coming unless Germany just shrinks their fleet. It doesn't have any real competition for the Tornado replacement.

  23. #1433
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    Well, what actual possible alternative you have except buying more Typhoons?

  24. #1434
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    Develop their own.. or join some already existing development program..

  25. #1435
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopsalot View Post
    Sounds like the F-35 has a sale coming unless Germany just shrinks their fleet. It doesn't have any real competition for the Tornado replacement.
    Would be suprised if Germany pulls the trigger before the early 2020's. Then again Mrs. Merkel seems a bit more twitchy toward her eastern neighbor as of late. Defense spending is about as popular in Germany as balancing the budget is among US politicians.
    Last edited by FBW; 17th May 2017 at 22:56.

  26. #1436
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    Develop their own.. or join some already existing development program..
    Such a program exists in Europe in its infancy. Nothing to support this, but I would expect Germany to join the U.K.-France FCAS initiative before considering the F-35. Would seem a bit duplicitous to be pushing EU agenda, then buying US. (Brexit aside)

  27. #1437
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    Only a new development under German lead or F-35 are realistic options imho. Additional EFs are unlikely. They are not nuclear capable bombers. For the same reason, all other 5th gen programs are not an option.

    While I'd prefer a new design, what are the chances the Germans can pull it of in time before the Tornados fall apart and on budget? Maybe it's best to replace the Tornado fleet with F-35 in an F-4 like interim solution. And start working on a 6th gen EF replacement.
    Btw, the Germans apparently want to re-introduce anti-ship capability against peer enemies... maybe the Marineflieger will operate jets again.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  28. #1438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcellogo View Post
    Well, what actual possible alternative you have except buying more Typhoons?
    Yes, that is my point.

  29. #1439
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    And what is the mission of the future Luftwaffe that the Typhoon would not be able to do?

  30. #1440
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    Operate in defended airspace...

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