Germany fears Tornado availability collapses with withdrawal of Tornado from RAF

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The Luftwaffe today uses nearly a hundred Tornado attack aircraft, built in the 80s by the Panavia consortium bringing together British, German and Italian industries. The Royal Air Force has announced that its own Tornado GR4s will be withdrawn from service before the end of the year, replaced by Typhoon whose ground attack capabilities will have been increased, in particular thanks to the carriage of the Storm Shadow missile, and by the F35Bs which are currently entering service with the Royal Air Force. 

The Luftwaffe, on the other hand, currently has no short-term plan to replace its Tornado, which it plans to extend at least until 2025, and probably until 2030, during which time they will have to be gradually replaced, probably by new  Typhoon having Air-Ground capabilities (the Typhoon Germans only have air-to-air capabilities).

With the withdrawal of British GR4s from service, the Luftwaffe fears that maintaining its own Tornado in operational condition, already in trouble, deteriorates further, and its costs explode.

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Beyond the legitimate fears expressed by the Ministry of Defense and the Luftwaffe, we cannot isolate this declaration from the very significant pressures experienced by the German authorities to join the F-35 club. However, if Germany gave in to the sirens of Lockheed, it is obvious that this would significantly hamper the Franco-German cooperation project regarding the FCAS, the 6th generation fighter announced jointly by E.Macron and A.Merkel, not to mention the hard blow to Airbus which promotes a solution based on Typhoon.

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