Sunday, March 18, 2018

German AF Chief fired for supporting F-35. Ordinarily I'd cheer but should we?

Thanks to Super Rhino for the link!

via IHS Janes.
The Chief of the Luftwaffe is to leave his position in large part due to his support for a German procurement of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), Jane’s has learned.

Lieutenant General Karl Müllner will leave his position by the end of May, with the news of his retirement breaking just two days after Germany’s defence secretary, Ursula von der Leyen, was sworn in for another term.

Jane’s understands that Gen Müllner’s outspoken public support for the JSF as a successor to the German Tornado fleet was pivotal in the decision for his early retirement. “The Luftwaffe considers the F-35’s capability as the benchmark for the selection process for the Tornado replacement, and I think I have expressed myself clearly enough as to what the favourite of the air force is,” Gen Müllner told Jane’s and other media in November 2017.

The Chief of the Luftwaffe’s active support of the JSF clashes with current Ministry of Defence planning, which prefers a successor solution involving the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Mixed feelings.

I want solid recommendations to civilian leadership but the F-35 has caused flag officers to act badly.

Past behavior of others makes me want to cheer this move but I wonder if I should.

A tainted program has made everything suspect.  What if this is really his best recommendation?  Of course the other side is at play too.  What if the guy is bought and paid for and we'll see him on the board of some defense firm soon?

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