Postwar luftwaffe aircraft acquisition

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I feel that luftwaffe made several bad choices in acquiring aircraft in the 60s to 80s
please correct me if i am wrong but I feel that

Mirage IIIE have been a better choice than F104

F-4E should have been adopted not the castrated F4F w/o bvr weapons

F16 or F18 should have been bought rather than investing so much in tornado IDS

Feel like germans were forced to make the wrong choice due to their position in NATO
otherwise they seem very illogical

Any views appreciated

Original post

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The purpose of Luftwaffe during that period was to delay the Warsaw Pact Tank Armies until reinforcements arrived from the US. The emphasis was to interdict those tank armies while they were still in road march across the border from East Germany and Czechoslovakia. This meant more Hans-Ulrich Rudel and less Erich Hartmann because T-62s, BMPs, BTRs and trucks don't fly. Interdiction missions would be flown at treetop altitudes while delivering conventional and nuclear munitions. F-84s were superseded by G91s and F-104s which were superseded by Tornado.

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but the Mirages and F-16s can do both interdiction and provide aircover for the german army
why be solely dependent of RAF and USAF for air supeority fighters ?

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Wasn't IDS supposed to do air superiority?

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OK here goes.

Mirage IIIE have been a better choice than F104

No. The F-104 was first and foremost a nuclear bomber, delivering US special weapons. Not possible with Mirage III.

F-4E should have been adopted not the castrated F4F w/o bvr weapons

Due to the deletion of Sparrow black boxes and one fuselage tank, the F-4F was quite a bit lighter. Coupled with slats this meant having the best performing F-4 for WVR combat.
The role of German F-4s was to combat anything that got through the BVR interceptor screen (provided by other air forces) and SAM belt. BVR missiles were not deemed necessary for that role, esp. considering their poor performance at the time.

F16 or F18 should have been bought rather than investing so much in tornado IDS

Neither of which is a domestic product.
And of course they're also completely outclassed by the Tornado in the low level (nuclear) strike role. No TFR for starters.

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Wasn't IDS supposed to do air superiority?

The IDS? I don't think so Tim...*
Not sure if the IDS radar even has any A/A modes. The twin AIM-9 at least provide an emergency QRA capability, similar to the RAF Hawk fleet.

* unless of course levelling enemy air fields is considered air superiority...

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The Starfighter was considered to represent the overall better choice than the Mirage 3 back then and was operated as an interceptor, striker and reconnaisance aircraft. The nuclear strike role was only authorized by the US, France was reluctant to grant Germans nuclear weapons in a similar arrangement.

The F-4 was always considered as astop gap solution and the acquisition of F-4F was a logical choice after opting for the RF-4E to satisfy the recce requirements.

The MRCA requirement indeed included AA as a requirement, hence the Mach 2.2 specification. The IDS ended up as a dedicated strike aircraft to penetrate hostile airspace flying low and fast in all weather conditions and hit important installations and ground forces, plus recce and naval strike for the Marine. And yes its GMR featured AA capabilities, though they were limited. West Germany wasn't a souvereign state at all and the Luftwaffe only augmented the RAFG and USAFE in the air defence/superiority role.

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User gave the perfect answer.

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Only since about 2000 did processing,software and PGMs finally provide the ubiquitous ability to successfully undertake multi-role operations within a single platform/squadron. Before 2000, the pilot community was split into two distinct groups. One group trained for A2A (e.g. F-15C) while the other trained for A2G (e.g. F15E) due to the unique skill sets to be combat effective in either role.

In other words, today's software-enhanced capabilities which allow switch between A2A and A2G didn't exist until recently.

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US aircrew I talked to in the 1980s told me that USAF would not be the first to drop nukes in West Germany to stop the Warsaw Pact tank armies. The initial nukes would be dropped by Luftwaffe. That is why F-104 and Tornado were nuke certified.

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The purpose of Luftwaffe during that period was to delay the Warsaw Pact Tank Armies until reinforcements arrived from the US. The emphasis was to interdict those tank armies while they were still in road march across the border from East Germany and Czechoslovakia. This meant more Hans-Ulrich Rudel and less Erich Hartmann because T-62s, BMPs, BTRs and trucks don't fly. Interdiction missions would be flown at treetop altitudes while delivering conventional and nuclear munitions. F-84s were superseded by G91s and F-104s which were superseded by Tornado.

Why didn't the Germans buy large numbers of A-10s from the US?

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Why didn't the Germans buy large numbers of A-10s from the US?

Germans were not stupidly constrained by infighting between Army and Air Force over which service was allowed to fly CAS/CCA.

In the 1970s, both A-10 and F-16 had an expect lifespan of about 5 sorties due to the long, straight flight profile required to launch and guide the AGM-65 missile. The Maverick profile only worked during Desert Storm because the Iraqis did not have overlapping ADA around their dug-in tanks.

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Germans were not stupidly constrained by infighting between Army and Air Force over which service was allowed to fly CAS/CCA.

In the 1970s, both A-10 and F-16 had an expect lifespan of about 5 sorties due to the long, straight flight profile required to launch and guide the AGM-65 missile. The Maverick profile only worked during Desert Storm because the Iraqis did not have overlapping ADA around their dug-in tanks.

What does inter-service bickering have to do with Luftwaffe aircraft procurement here? The fact is that apparently the Germans didn't consider an aircraft as specialized as the A-10 as desirable.

Considering the amount of short-range air defenses the Soviets had the Tornado IDS might not have an expected lifespan much greater than 5 sorties either. The Iraqis had air defenses, they were just usually dismantled by SEAD.

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User gave the perfect answer.

which user?

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Why didn't the Germans buy large numbers of A-10s from the US?

The A-10 did anti-tank one-at-a-time. With several thousand T-tanks pouring through the Fulda Gap you need ten-at-a-time, even if those are only mission-kills with submunitions.

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BTW... Mirage III was not considered. The choise was on Super Tiger or F-104. The responsible Luftwaffe general opted for the Super Tiger but Lockheed intervened with a lot of money for certain politicians...

In the end, F-104G performed very well on tree top level missions for these days, but was a very unsafe aircraft.The Mirage was droped because with it's big wing performed bad in tree top level.

Tornado performed much better in tree top level than any other fighter, better than F-16 and other contemporary jets. It was the right choice for that job in these days.