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Thread: German Defense Cooperations

  1. #61
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    Merkel and Macron announced a joint development programme for a new combat jet during the regular joint government meeting* today, planned as a "new generation of fighters" to "replace the air fleets of both countries" - explicitly Eurofighter and Rafale, not just Mirage 2000 and Tornado. Detail planning including timeline to be developed by mid-2018.

    Additional points agreed upon were also joint development of the next Tiger combat helicopter iteration, for tactical air-to-ground missiles (which is kinda interesting since Germany is currently integrating Brimstone 2), as well as some details and continuations for the "Eurodrone" MALE UAV to be developed jointly with Italy, the planned joint Leopard/Leclerc MBT successor and the future joint artillery system.

    Germany will also support and finance the (sorta neocolonialist) "Sahel G5" alliance, a bloc of states south of the Sahara which do joint military operations against terrorism under French "guidance".

    * the German and French cabinets meet up semi-annual since the 40-year anniversary of the Elysee treaty, replacing the previous governmental consultation council. Joint EU defense was the primary topic of the latest meeting, with an intended European Defense Union agreed upon.

  2. #62
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    If this program is explicitly a Eurofighter/Rafale replacement I'm not sure it will actually serve as a Mirage 2000 or Tornado replacement since it implies a 2040s timeframe for production to match with the expected out-of-service dates for the still very young Rafale and Typhoon fleets.

    I expect France to replace the Mirage 2000 with additional Rafales, although I'm unsure about what path Germany will take for the Tornado. I could see Germany buying F-35s, working with Airbus on a replacement (better hurry up though), or potentially even acquiring Rafales and utilizing a French nuclear deterrent if relations with the US continue to sour.

    I've read that the Luftwaffe plans to keep the Tornado in service until the 2040s, but that seems awfully farfetched to me. I don't see how the airframes would have the hours remaining or how it could remain effective enough for nuclear delivery for another 20+ years.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    If this program is explicitly a Eurofighter/Rafale replacement I'm not sure it will actually serve as a Mirage 2000 or Tornado replacement since it implies a 2040s timeframe for production to match with the expected out-of-service dates for the still very young Rafale and Typhoon fleets.
    It would definitely be a staged introduction, and very likely a system of systems.

    For Rafale, remember that it is in ongoing procurement; procurement of the fifth tranche (Rafale F4 standard planned for 2025, beginning replacement of Mirage 2000) was deferred to the next six-year plan due in 2019. Provided an off-the-shelf solution is sought - which i highly, highly doubt, unless that off-the-shelf solution is Rafale F4 itself - that procurement of up to 100 aircraft could easily be switched over to a new aircraft. F4 development was only started in March this year, still by the last government. One of the main points of the F4 standard is that it integrates ASMP-A, thus making it possible to replace the Mirage 2000N as a standoff nuclear delivery platform with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I've read that the Luftwaffe plans to keep the Tornado in service until the 2040s, but that seems awfully farfetched to me. I don't see how the airframes would have the hours remaining or how it could remain effective enough for nuclear delivery for another 20+ years.
    The nuclear delivery is mostly problematic because it'd need to get B61 Mod 12 integrated - the current Mod 3/4 are effectively being phased out by the USAF, and due to lack of production existing stocks will cease being operational within probably 5-7 years. Haven't seen Mod 12 in any ASSTA modernization plans yet though. Only somewhat nebulous for a potential ASSTA 5 or higher.

    The Tornados are relatively young as flight hours on the airframe go. Due to their specific role we don't really use them all that much. The most-used one passed the 5,000-hour mark only in August 2011 (and was retired a month later, when it hit 30 years of age), and even three years later "only few" had passed that mark; guaranteed minimum lifetime is 8,000 hours for the unmodified original airframes (7,500 for the engines), which at 140-150 hours per year planned use means until 2031-2035 thereabouts depending on the individual frame. Use beyond that would require some work, but nothing unimaginable either.

    The socalled "permitted" lifetime guaranteed by the Eurofighter consortium for its fighters is currently only 3,000 hours; the estimated lifetime is 6,000 hours, but those numbers do give leeway in when to replace them (such as in parallel to the Tornados). The Eurofighters are currently running through qualification tests for the 6,000-hour mark, which will be due in... yep, you can guess it, mid-2018. And given past qualification tests it's not looking promising for the Eurofighter, which already didn't get its planned 4,000-hour certification back in 2014 under the same stress tests.
    Last edited by kato; 13 Jul 17, at 21:31.

  4. #64
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    Further things agreed on:
    • Maritime Patrol Aircraft (see above post on NATO cooperation) : striving for a "European solution", roadmap in 2018
    • Eurodrone : development contract "before 2019"
    • both Germany and France will make SARah and CSO satellite reconnaissance available to the EU's EEAS (foreign ministry)
    • development of military space surveillance systems to create a joint space situational awareness system
    • exchange of personnel, algorithms and systems between the cyber warfare commands of both countries including mutual integration of cybersecurity routines into each other's military hardware
    • some joint R&D on "digital dual-use technology"
    • coordination of arms export control
    • G5-Sahel: both Germany and France support the multinational G5 intervention force with equipment and training
    • NATO EFP: France will field troops under German command for the German battlegroup in Lithuania in 2018.
    • planning a Frontex exercise for end of 2017 and various Frontex-related stuff (PNR etc)
    • Germany and France agree to combat terrorist propaganda on the internet (the term "terrorist" being a bit wider than usual - it includes hate speech), including forcing providers to remove certain content. Basically, France joins Germany's war against Facebook.

    Next meeting for progress control for the above - defense ministers only - is scheduled for October, i.e. after the German election. The joint ministerial council where this was agreed had been similarly scheduled for after the French election.

  5. #65
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The Tornados are relatively young as flight hours on the airframe go. Due to their specific role we don't really use them all that much.
    This is a surprise to me!

    With the Eurofighter's extremely delayed ground and maritime attack capabilities, I assumed the Tornado fleet would be picking up the slack by shouldering this burden and accumulating significant flight hours accordingly.

    What has the German Air Force been using for conventional ground attack since the retirement of the F-4s if not the Tornados?
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 14 Jul 17, at 16:16.

  6. #66
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    The Tornados are used for:
    - tactic-strategic nuclear strike (B61 bombs under nuclear sharing)
    - tactic-strategic conventional strike (air-launched Taurus cruise missiles)
    - reconnaissance (Tornado Recce version)
    - SEAD/DEAD (Tornado ECR version)
    - CAS
    Roughly in that order of relevance from the top down.

    The F-4F, at least since the 1980s ICE upgrade but to a good extent also before, weren't really used much in a ground attack role. They were missile trucks for air interdiction first and foremost, in which - alongside the MiG-29 - they were replaced by the Eurofighter.
    To replace the F-4's extant ground attack role, i.e. to improve them in their main role, the IDS Tornados were upgraded to ASSTA 1 standard beginning in 2000. This basically was based on the British GR4(A) upgrade and also introduced Paveway III as primary guided CAS ordnance - the current ASSTA 3 upgrade is switching this over to LJDAM. ASSTA 1 also added the maritime strike role with Kormoran II missiles (which have since been expended and the role folded into CAS operationally). The intermediate ASSTA 2 upgrade added Taurus.

    The flight hours differ between Tornado wings; Tactical Air Wing 51 with only SEAD/DEAD and Recce roles as well as a training function only has 4,300 flight hours per year available for its around 40 aircraft; Tactical Air Wing 33 with air-to-ground roles (all the above except SEAD) and around 45 aircraft has some 5,000 flight hours available; these do not include on-mission flight times though, which are another about 4,000 hours per year for both wings together. Nominal requirement for Tornado pilots in Germany is 140 flight hours + 40 simulator hours ; weapon systems officers have slightly higher flight hour numbers.

    The numbers themselves aren't really that low - and not even a result of Germany not taking part in some air campaigns (Iraq, Libya). Even the RAF's GR4 are only pushing 6,000 hours either.
    Last edited by kato; 14 Jul 17, at 17:44.

  7. #67
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    Japan quietly inks deal with Germany on defense sharing

    By RYO AIBARA/ Staff Writer
    July 19, 2017 at 15:00 JST

    Japan has quietly signed an agreement with Germany that will open the door for cooperation on defense technology development.

    At Germany's request, no formal announcement was made.

    However, several government sources confirmed that the agreement on the transfer of defense equipment and technology had been signed in Berlin between Ambassador Takeshi Yagi and Katrin Suder, a state secretary in the German Defense Ministry.

    The agreement is the eighth of its kind for Japan. The United States, France and Britain are among countries with which Japan has similar pacts.

    According to Defense Ministry sources, the agreement will give Japan the means to develop faster tanks that can serve as troop transport carriers for use by the Ground Self-Defense Force in Japan's outlying islands. Germany's tank technology is highly regarded.

    The agreement falls under revised principles on the transfer of defense equipment that allows Japan to jointly develop defense technology under certain conditions.

    Those principles obligate partner nations to strictly manage information with regard to weapons capability, such as when using the technology for purposes other than the original objective or passing on the information to third parties.

    The principles also call for transparency when sharing the information. That raised concerns within the Defense Ministry about a possible public backlash as Germany had long insisted that the agreement not be formally divulged.

    The accord reflects Japan's policy of improving defense technology cooperation with European nations. Japan signed a defense equipment and technology transfer agreement with Italy in May and has also begun joint research with Britain designed for missile development.
    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201707190028.html

    The mentioned Katrin Suder is considered a bit controversial in the MoD due to her industry contacts (through McKinsey) and for pretty much being a protege of MoD von der Leyen.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    There's currently a platoon of the Seebataillon deployed onboard Dutch LPD Johan de Witt in the US-led NATO exercise BALTOPS which focuses on amphibious operations*. This is due to Karel Doorman - originally earmarked for the exercise - suffering damage to one of its electric drive motors to an extent that it needs to be replaced entirely.
    Since Karel Doorman is back to sea since this April (yes, they needed 8 months in the shipyard...) troops of the Seebataillon have returned to her, conducting a 3-week MIO/SO exercise using Karel Doorman and chartered civilian ships.

    Apparently the deployment also again included a German Air Force CH-53G. They already trialled that last summer while Karel Doorman was moored in Den Helder during her repairs.

    Meanwhile a British Wildcat helo is currently deployed on the German F122 frigate Lübeck.

  9. #69
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    Project Apollo between Germany and the Netherlands has been subdivided into six subprojects:

    Black Apollo - Creating joint procedures, concepts and standards. Proof testing for first SOP created by Black Apollo through exercises before the end of 2017.
    Purple Apollo - Networking - in the sense of being able to connect systems at platoon level, e.g. integrating Dutch Patriot missile launchers into a German Patriot battery network.
    Blue Apollo - Joint procurement. Will probably see some activity next year.

    Red Apollo - establishing a "Bi-National Air & Missile Defense Academy" (BAMDA). Will use existing German and Dutch military schools in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA.
    Yellow Apollo - establishing a "Bi-national Air & Missile Defense Task Force". Initial capability established through joint exercises in 2016. At full operative capability will be offered to NATO as a joint unit.
    Green Apollo - establishing a joint taskforce for close air defense by placing a German unit under Dutch command and establishing a competence center for such in the Netherlands.

    Next development is under Green Apollo; German FlaRakGr 61 will be placed under Dutch command at the end of this month.

  10. #70
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    German-Norwegian submarines:

    Tender is out, TKMS has received an invitation to submit an offer. All six submarines - two German, four Norwegian - will be identical except for encryption hardware. Norway has an option for a fifth submarine.
    Planning is for a contract by 2019, with the first Norwegian boat delivered in 2025 and commissioned in 2026, while the first German boat should be ready be 2027.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Next development is under Green Apollo; German FlaRakGr 61 will be placed under Dutch command at the end of this month.
    Has been signed off, albeit with a formal activation date of April 1st 2018. Reason is that this way FlaRakGr will go on its planned Mali deployment while still under German command.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Next development is under Green Apollo; German FlaRakGr 61 will be placed under Dutch command at the end of this month.
    Has been signed off, albeit with a formal activation date of April 1st 2018. Reason is that this way FlaRakGr 61 will go on its planned Mali deployment while still under German command.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    • the Czech Republic to subordinate the 4th Rapid Forces Brigade under the German 10th Armoured Division
    Looks like the Puma came out on top in Czech comparative testing for a new IFV btw - the competition were BAe with two CV90 models, Rheinmetall with Lynx (a modern Marder derivative) and GDLS with Ascod 2. Not unlikely we'll relatively soon see the Czech Republic buy some 210 Puma to replace their BMP-2 mostly in 7th Mechanized Brigade, i.e. their other brigade - the 4th uses Pandur II 8x8 with a 30x173 RCWS and Spike-LR, granting full ammunition commonality with Puma. Some of these Pumas will likely also come in other variants, including mobile command posts and medical vehicles.

    PSM has also offered to move some further Puma subcomponent production lines from Germany across the border; cabling and some sensors already comes from the Czech Republic, track procurement is planned to be moved anyway, this new deal could see entire component groups and final assembly lines being moved - including for further German procurement beyond the current first batch of 350.

    The Czechs are also looking to replace their T-72M4CZ - a battalion worth in the 7th Mech Bde. Supposedly they've been looking in particular at the stored Spanish Leo 2A4 (which would need repairs and upgrades, something somewhat attractive to Czech and also Polish defence industry), although there's also an offer from IMI for Sabra Mk III on the table. A replacement for the T-72 is not due until about 2020 though, so this is pretty preliminary.

  14. #74
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    An Ever Closer Military Union

    Faced with terror and an "America first" president in Washington, the European Union is building up its own battle forces and establishing a unified arms policy, writes Germany's Defense Minister.

    By Ursula von der Leyen
    Published on October 17, 2017 5:38 pm


    What’s next for Europe? Only a few months ago, pessimists dominated the discussion. After the British had bid farewell to the European Union last year by voting for Brexit and Donald Trump won the US presidency, right-wing populists used anti-European tirades to try to win votes in several member states. But then, with the election of pro-European French President Emmanuel Macron, the mood changed. Now many are looking to Germany. No matter what Germany’s next federal government looks like, it has a great opportunity to join forces with France and make decisive strides forward for Europe. This is especially true when it comes to policies related to peace and security.

    Already over the last few years, there has been a growing sense among Europeans that we need to become more capable and efficient when it comes to defense. Tensions in our neighborhood, the crises in Ukraine and in North Africa, the civil war in Syria and, most of all, the increase in Islamist terrorist attacks have clearly heightened the need for security in our countries.

    We often waste resources in Europe because we duplicate operations. It usually takes a very long time for us until we act in concert or at least in agreement with one another. But speed is important, especially in crisis situations. What is often lacking is less a common will but rather a tried and tested framework. This became clear, for example, when Mali, driven by the chaos in Libya, was threatened by collapse due to an explosive mix of Islamist terror, violent separatism and crime. It took Europe several months to assemble a training mission for the new Malian army, and it was only thanks to the French that the worst was averted. In such situations, Europe needs to become faster.

    It is a question of self-reliance, which does not distance us from the Americans, but makes us a more relevant partner.

    Many member states were long skeptical about whether Europe, in addition to NATO, truly needs an independent defense policy and military options for action. This has changed fundamentally. It is not without a reason that the framework we are operating within today was established in the 2007 Lisbon Treaty in the form of the “Permanent Structured Cooperation,” or PESCO. But, as so often, the willingness to make the great leap and dare to change only emerged in response to internal and external pressure: an “America first” president in Washington, the pressure to consolidate in many European countries caused by the financial and euro crises, and instability stretching from North Africa across the Middle East to Ukraine. Now is the right time to establish a European defense union.

    We presented the first concrete proposals together with France about a year ago, and Italy and Spain quickly voiced their support. In the spring, as a first milestone, we created the joint European command center for education and training missions. Now, the time has come to make decisions: In the coming weeks, EU countries will forge the rough framework of PESCO. We are writing the rules for access and participation. In doing so, we are for the first time making commitments in Europe to jointly equip ourselves, to invest smartly, to vote on the procurement of important weapons systems and, above all, to be available and ready for joint missions in case of a crisis.

    In order to be concrete, we are also starting to define initial projects: joint troops that can be deployed quickly in times of crisis, better joint cyber defense, or a military logistics network that spans Europe. We are keeping the door open for all those who are truly serious about wanting to advance the European Defense Union. The number of supporters has grown rapidly since the German-French initiative was launched. In all likelihood, around 20 member states will participate in the end. They all want more than just loose, on-call cooperation, and are instead committing themselves to ambitious goals.

    We can also make many aspects of the military sector in Europe much more efficient. Instead of paying for 20 types of fighter aircraft with 20 different training courses for pilots, 20 lines of production along with the associated repair and logistics chains throughout Europe, we will in the future be able to employ a uniform European combat aircraft of the next generation. When today, in a European mission to Africa, three different helicopters are deployed, this means three times the spare parts, as well as a specialized mechanics and maintenance infrastructure.

    But a functioning European Defense Union, in which everyone has the same equipment, does not come at zero cost. Joint solutions require upfront investments – and from Germany, the willingness to move ahead in a European way. But we should not shy away from the investments, because in the long run they lead to enormous synergies and economies of scale as well as medium-term savings for each individual country.

    Sharing costs for development and maintenance does not only increase opportunities for the large member states. Systems operating in a network also open doors for smaller partner countries. For example, nations that do not want to pay for their own helicopter units can provide engineers or rescue crews for a joint helicopter unit. It is also a matter of technological independence, since investing together in modern systems means securing knowledge for our continent.

    All these objectives are served by a European Defense Fund, to which the individual countries and the European Commission contribute. We Europeans are gaining strategic autonomy. It is a question of self-reliance, which does not distance us from the Americans, but makes us a more relevant partner. The European voice is given more weight in matters of peace and security. The momentum for the big leap is now here: A new pro-European government in Germany, the clear, Europe-oriented course of French President Macron, but most of all, the citizens across Europe who want more security. Great politics means courageously taking advantage of the moment. Let’s make the Defense Union the next success story of our great continent.
    https://global.handelsblatt.com/opin...en-nato-841045

    The author is the incumbent German Minister of Defense, although she'll probably be replaced in the coming weeks with the formation of a new government. The above probably serves as a summarizing final statement from her before that.

  15. #75
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    The joined German/French air transport squadron is apparently intended to operate at an even closer cooperation level than the D/F Brigade: They're planning mixed ground crews and even mixed cockpit crews.

    First of the four French C-130J for the unit was delivered today. German C-130J will be delivered from 2021. The unit will operate five C-130J and five KC-130J.

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