When in March 2020, Berlin announced plans to acquire 45 F / A 18 E / F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fighter jets alongside 90 new Eurofighter Typhoons to replace, among others, the electronic warfare Tornado and those dedicated to NATO nuclear sharing missions, the German authorities knew that it was taking a significant risk, in particular for those who, after they will have to implement this acquisition program. In fact, the Boeing Super Hornet, no more than the Eurofighter Typhoon, were not expected to be able to receive the new gravitational nuclear bomb used by NATO in this specific context, the B-61-Mod12. . In order to respect its commitments made to Paris not to acquire an F-35A for this mission, to the chagrin of the United States and NATO, the German authorities had then made the bet that with this potential order, Washington would be forced to integrate the Super Hornet in the certification program of the B-61-12, in order not to lose its most precious ally in this mission in Europe.
Since then, a lot of water has passed under the bridges, with the victory of Joe Biden against Donald Trump across the Atlantic, and that of the center-left snack led by Olaf Sholtz against the CDU of Angela Merkel. However, with regard to the specific file, the situation is today exactly the same as it was almost 2 years ago when the German arbitration was announced in favor of the Super Hornet. Indeed, in an update from the American body piloting both civilian and military nuclear programs published in November, the NSSA clearly sets out the list of aircraft that will actually be able to transport the modernized American nuclear bomb, including the F -15E, the F-16 C / D, the B-2 Spirit, the F-35 and the B-21 Raider, as well as, interestingly, the Panavia Tornado. On the other hand, there is no reference to the Super Hornet, neither today nor in the future.
This list of devices likely to use 75 kt nuclear munitions therefore poses a major problem in Berlin, which sees its hopes of being able to acquire Super Hornets to remain in NATO's nuclear sharing program seriously altered. Furthermore, considering that the F-15E is not offered for export, and that Berlin will probably never consider acquiring F-16s for this mission, there are only two solutions left for the German authorities in this regard. case, either extend the operational life of the Tornado, which is highly improbable, or turn to the acquisition of a fleet of F-35A, as Washington and Brussels keep pushing for this to be the case.
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