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Considering the original RFP (Request For Proposal) from the Department of Defense for the F-15 project was launched in 1968, how surprising is it that it is behind the state of art in 2005?

Consider for a moment that the production Rafale first flew in 1998 - thirty years after the design project for the F-15 started!

Beaten how? Was that the Xbox-live version of the plane?

The Euro-Fighter hasn't even missles to shoot down an intruder. I have a German friend working on the project who told me they haven't the budget to equip the plane!

Fact: the F15 has never been shot down in combat. Anyways, the US is developing the F22 raptor.

Not to mention the F15E is not a fighter but a ground-attack plane. It is a very capable fighter but not in the same class than his cousin the F15 (without the E). And that for that class of aerobatics at close range, the F16 would probably be better than the F15.

But teh US should really begin to deploy its newer airframes: the present ones and specially the F14 are beginning to show their age, both technologically and even physically: F14s are so old they need an unordinate amount of maintenance time

The big thing that people don't seem to remember about the F-15 is that it's a plane with a lot of hours on the airframe. They put lower limits on permissible Gs these planes can handle, so they don't accidentally rip the wings off or damage them in some fashion. The brand-new Eurofighter has much, much higher limits, and should be able to turn a lot harder in a dogfight than the F-15s without exceeding their maximum G rating.

This is part of the reason we need newer planes like the F-22 or the F-35.

One more little thing: The Eurofighter was British.

The Brit version has a gun, but doesn't have ammo for it (they decided they didn't want a gun, but it would cost more to put dead weight in to balance the plane than it would to replace the cannon, so they left it in but didn't buy the ammo for it and don't train in using it).

So, in a "real" dogfight, the Eurofighter pilot would have been flying around, making machine-gun noises, after his missiles were used up...

The eurofighter is not "still in development", it entered service february 13 2003.

Second, take a look at the original article (Scotland on Sunday). When spiegel-online talks about "experts", they probably refer to the two british RAF-pilots.

Problem is that the Eurofighter is a great weapon but it was designed for cold war air battles. I don't think we'll ever need it.

... but then again: maybe China is interested:-(.

In real air-to-air combat the F15 has a zero loss rate.

A year or two ago there was a mock naval air battle between India and the U.S. where India shot down a lot of U.S. planes and I think damaged and/or sunk some ships. What was never mentioned in any of the articles was that the U.S. planes all had their long-range radar turned off as part of the test. The result would have been a bit different otherwise.

Eric Hartman and Adolf Galand, eat your hearts out. The new generation is in charge. Two mock victories! Next to go down will be Hans Rudel when the new generation makes 50 mock sorties.

Don Miguel is right on.

What was never mentioned in any of the articles was that the U.S. planes all had their long-range radar turned off as part of the test.

The news story is about a WW2-style dogfight, which doesn't happen any more. Modern air combat is fought at extreme range, where what matters are radar and missile range & how radar-visible the opponents are to each other. Visibility is measured by radar cross-section (RCS).

The Eurofighter has a large RCS for a modern plane - about the same as the old brick-like F-4 Phantom.

The ancient F-15 has a large RCS as well, so a real fight would be determined by radar and missile range. Since the USAF has been constantly upgrading the F-15's radar and weapons based on combat experience, I'd put my money on the F-15.

When looking at the entire package of airframe, avionics, weapon systems, pilot, and command and control, the Eurofighter would lose to the F15E.

Europe without US avionics and weapon systems cannot effectively arm and deploy the Eurofighter. This was a great concern by the elites of Europe when it came to lifting the arms embargo with China. That concern was the US would stop technology transfers and this would adversely affect the military industries in the EU.

I think most of you would be amazed at the amount of US technology that is in the Eurofighter. It exceeds the technology contributions of the EU.

Pilot training is entirely another issue altogether. No nation in Europe has the number of aircrews the US has as combat ready. No nation in Europe invests as much in pilot training as the US.

As a point of interest, the F22 will be the last manned US fighter. Unmanned fighters are already in various stages of R&D. With the advent of unmanned fighters an entire new chapter of air combat will begin.

The Eurofighter would lose to F22 in every combat engagement for no other reason than the F22 employs stealth technology. The best defense is to not be seen in the first place. If you can’t see the incoming plane, you can’t hit it. If you can’t hit it, killing it is highly problematic.

What was not reported was Singapore just decided against buying the Eurofighter and is looking at the F15 along with other possible candidates. Greece has put on hold its order for the Eurofighter because of the debt from the Olympic games.

Sorry, Joe, but the F-35 is manned. However good the F-22 might be, they cost too damned much. The F-35 may or may not be quite as good as the F-22, but it will cost less than a quarter as much per airframe.

The other name for the F-35 is the "Joint Strike Fighter", and both the Navy and Air Force are going to use it (in different variants). The Brits will use it too, on their two new carriers when they come off the blocks in 5 or 10 years.

Why would Der Spiegal even think to be proud about it? Only nasty Americans ever have hostile intentions. I thought the European Union would just talk soothingly to any enemies they encounter.

Very odd.

The bottom line is that the comparison is a joke. The F15E is not an air superiority fighter, but an "attack" aircraft. For a more realistic comparison the tests should have been against "existing deployed" US fighters (F18 & F16).

The avionics, weapons systems, pilot, etc above was an excellent point. Look at the First Gulf War and see how dismally some "allied" forces conducted their missions and had to be given "new" missions they could handle.

Right. The exact comparison would be F 18 Superhornet / Eurofighter.
Moreover, why would anyone buy a plane which costs about five times more than a F 18 Superhornet, but, which isn`t five times better, not even two or three times.
Look at it that way: Would you buy a Merc which costs five times more than a very good Toyota/Lexus but which isn`t better? Nope, you wouldn`t. And by the way, the Swiss Air Force bought several F 18 five years ago because the Eurofighter was - and still is and will be - more expensive.


Ch. Arm


Oh Gott, wie grauenvoll! Wie kann es sein, dass ein europäisches Flugzeug einem amerikanischen überlegen ist! Das muss eine Presselüge sein!!!!

Sagt mal, Leute, kommt ihr vielleicht mal wieder runter von eurem Trip oder seid ihr auf dem ewigen? Habt ihr die falschen Drogen genommen oder was?

Es soll ja durchaus vorkommen, dass die Europäer auch ein gutes Flugzeug bauen, siehe A 380. Vielleicht gilt das auch mal für den Eurofighter? Was regt ihr euch so auf?

The Eurofighter is a good aircraft. That's just a fact.That doesn't mean that the F-15 is bad.It just means that the Europeans managed it after 30 years to catch up to the F-15. And it will probably take them another 30 years to come anywhere near the F-22. The EF never was actually tested in real combat (and I doubt it will be anytime soon).

I think Hermann has got a point. The original post was rightly complaining about the 'Euro-Patriotism' of SPON and all that is coming in return are posts about how great the American planes are and how it can not be possible that the Eurofighter is competitive in the Air.

The real point about the article is that the article praised the Eurofighter for beating such great planes only to then admit that those planes (a lot older as well) don't perform well in computer simulations against Russian jets. What is it SPON? Is the F16 a good jet or is it not? The author is trying to have it both ways.

Kudos to the British pilot.
Btw SPON didn't do much more than copy an article from the Scotsman.

And jeez, it was not built to beat the best US planes, but Russian MIGs etc.

Whether we really need such a costly plane now is another question.

Btw, European mars landing did fail (as have previous US ones), but the orbit photos were absolutely great.

So was the European mission to Titan

Your "America über alles" is ridiculous.
Btw Airbus sold twice as many planes at the Paris airshow as Boeing.
No need for crowing. But if Europe is competitive that's a good thing

@ Herman.

Only in European papers, especially German media is the US being smeared on a daily basis. Here, we mention Germany very rarely since it is becoming less and less important, economically or militarily. The Americans don't waste too much effort on Hate like they do in Germany. I read several papers daily and am still amazed about the preoccupation with America.
If the German media spent as much time trying to solve their own problems as they do bashing the US, they might just succeed in bettering the conditions for their citizens.

The A380 may be a nice big plane , but economically it will fail. Boeing decided long ago that it would not be feasible to build a plane that large, just like they were right by not building a plane like the concorde. In times where Hubs have proven to be losing money, only a few Airports are being able to accomodate a large bird, it is questionable whether it will succeed or not. We will see in 10-15 years.

As for the F15 vs Eurofighter, there is really no match in actual situations.
The F15 has been beat by the Israelis, Germans, Brits, India, Dutch and others in "exercises" and "simulations" over and over (Even years ago). OMG! The F15 is old junk! Not really. As discussed MANY times before, near all these games and comparisons are bogus. Major aspects of a planes capabilities are not played. Some aspects are clasified so true ECM, radar and other aspects are not really played as well. True missile capabilities are not reveiled. Even certain maneuvers are not performed. There are often more political than true exercise reasons behind some of these events.

If it were a real A2A fight (Someone’s about to loose an eye type of game) I'd bet my money on the F15. About the only thing out there that can take a F15C is a F22. But it's things like SA10, 12 and hundreds of other systems that are proliferating globally that make a huge radar reflector like an F15 obsolete. As a door kicker, the F15 is loosing its capabilities. But ironically the EF isn't in a much better boat.


I am not taking about the F35. That is the Joint Strike Fighter. It is part of the same generation as the F22. Much as the F16 and F15 are of the same generation.

The next generation will be unmanned.

Hell all you europeans eat the F 35. Vertical landing superior of that of the harrier because no double intakecan occur. Europe will never again catch up in military technology. I may be drunk but I'm still right (pun intended).

Yeah and an american fighter pilot will always prevail against anoyone else. We have the best training. End of statement.

@ Querdenker:

Our "America über alles"...?

Or your insecurity?

Lighten up. We never said Europe and Europeans have not accomplished great things. Clearly, Europe has accomplished an enormous number of great things. No debate on that.

The point here is that it's funny how SPIEGEL is so full of these stories when something European is better than something American. Why are they beating their chests like this. Why is that front page news other than to satisfy some need the reader has?

We don't have to catch up completely. Why spend billions or trillions on expensive junk. We just need to be better than our enemies.

And btw German pilots train in the U.S.

Not giving a damn about others who are not "important" enough is exactly the attitude that got those 2 U.S. pilots in trouble. They at least thought that in their "old" F15 they's make fun of the "eurotrash".

It's obvious that America has more influence on Germany than the other way round, hence German media will pay far more attention to the U.S.

Yet this arrogant "why should we care" will get you in trouble, sooner or later. Germany, btw, is still the third largest economy in the world.

@ Querdenker

"Not giving a damn about others who are not "important" enough is exactly the attitude that got those 2 U.S. pilots in trouble. They at least thought that in their "old" F15 they's make fun of the "eurotrash".

So since when have you been able to read minds Querdenker? That's amazing...

Oh yeah, of course. All Americans are arrogant and self-important. That is just understood. Thanks for enlightening us with your Euro-snob viewpoint.

still the third largest...

If you re-elect Schroeder that can still change...

Ray D, as I said, it was on the frontpage of the Scotsman first.
What's wrong with being proud of something?
We paid a f*** lot for the Eurofighter.
I find it interesting that the British felt the need not to brag about it in order not to embarrass the US.
Hey, it's a rather insignificant issue. No biggie.
America is the greatest and the best!

Btw I'd rather see Europe leading on the front of solar energy, energy saving cars, environmental technology. The Eurofighter is just an overpriced toy.

Ray D, everytime Germany is discussed I hear that "irrelevant" or "why should we care" quote. It's in the comments above, too.

"Irrelevance" is a very relative term. We're very very irrelevant in baseball, but we don't care. Our military can't match the U.S. but we don't care, because we don't need that.

Different priorities, that's all.

And no, not all Americans are arrogant and self important. Most are fine people.

And Schroeder will enjoy eary retirement soon.

@ Querdenker:

I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud. And Europeans have a lot to be proud of. I just happen to think SPIEGEL's pride is a bit tasteless and full of contradictions.

I do believe that Germans could use a little healthy patriotism. But it has to be the sort of patriotism that is about liking the good things about Germany, not a patriotism based on disliking others. America is a great country, but Germany is also a great country. I think Germany has the potential to be a far greater country if it abandoned the Socialist mentality of dependence that is destroying private initiative and self-reliance.

As both an American and German citizen, I'd also like to see Americans a little more intersted in foreign policy. That's part of why we do this site. To provide an interesting, informative and entertaining view into what is happening in the German media. I like to think it's working.

PS: Sorry for the jab earlier...

@ Querdenker
Do some more googling. Germany's economy is shrinking more every year. Soon you will even lose your place in the export category.
There are many countries catching up fast.

Numeric Symbol Nation GDP %
Ranking ( m-pic.org ) ( Country ) ( bil. $ ) ( total )

1 US United States 10,400.0 21.08
2 CH China 5,700.0 11.55
3 JP Japan 3,500.0 7.09
4 II India 2,700.0 5.47
5 GM Germany 2,200.0 4.46
6 FI Finland 1,500.0 3.04
7 FR France 1,500.0 3.04
8 UK United Kingdom 1,500.0 3.04
9 IT Italy 1,400.0 2.84
10 RU Russia 1,400.0 2.84
11 BR Brazil 1,300.0 2.64
12 KR South Korea 931.0 1.89
13 CN Canada 923.0 1.87
14 MX Mexico 900.0 1.82
15 SP Spain 828.0 1.68
16 IO Indonesia 663.0 1.34
17 AU Australia 528.0 1.07
18 TR Turkey 468.0 0.95
19 IR Iran 456.0 0.92
20 NL Netherlands 434.0 0.88


I find it hard to believe Finland is so strong...

Ok, 5th, I was focussed on the G8 nations.
So China and India, both over a billion people, beat Germany (82 million) people, by GDP...not surprising.
The true strength needs to factor in GDP, GDP per capita and other things. Germany certainly has suffered by taking in bankrupt East Germany.
The figures given by americanbychoice are actually outdated but the ranking of the first 5th is correct.
Finland is an error, it's FDP is only a tenth of what is published here, of course.

GDP of course

We don't live in a perfect world nor in a perfect country:

1) Quality of life
2) Technological innovation
3) Better education and science
4) Environmental improvements
5) Radical simplification of the tax code and fairer taxing (any income is taxed alike)
6) De-bureaucratization (we waste so much precious time and money with stupid rules and regulations)
5) Promoting peace

You see some of my points would fir a "green" agende, other more a CDU or even FDP standpoint. This and former German governments have not delivered on that.

So yes, I'm against lifting the China arms embargo, for easier employment regulations, for the Ganztagsschule, for stricter immission reductions etc.

If Angie can deliver, more power to her. I'm not so optimistic as the only concrete thing I've heard right nows seems to be a VAT raise.

Not a great start, sorry.

Note that those points

Some priorities to think about.
Btw I'm not a supporter of Schroeder

Ray D, re "proud".

Remember when the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in ice hockey?
I think the Eurofighter thing is a bit like that.
We all know that the U.S. military is dominant.
So if a thing like this happens...
It may not even be correct but who cares?
Just a few minutes of feeling good, thats all.

PS: I didn't chose my name in vain. Somehow I'll never agree with the majority. Nor with the minority.


You want GDP/capita? Germany does even worse. They are #24. Granted, a few of the first 23 couldn't fill a decent stadium, but Germany is behind the US, Ireland (that's got to be galling), Canada, Austria, Australia, the UK, and is tied with (don't flinch) France.

source: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html

Rank Country GDP - per capita
1 Luxembourg $ 58,900
2 United States $ 40,100
3 Guernsey $ 40,000
4 Norway $ 40,000
5 Jersey $ 40,000
6 British Virgin Islands $ 38,500
7 Bermuda $ 36,000
8 San Marino $ 34,600
9 Hong Kong $ 34,200
10 Switzerland $ 33,800
11 Cayman Islands $ 32,300
12 Denmark $ 32,200
13 Ireland $ 31,900
14 Iceland $ 31,900
15 Canada $ 31,500
16 Austria $ 31,300
17 Australia $ 30,700
18 Belgium $ 30,600
19 United Kingdom $ 29,600
20 Netherlands $ 29,500
21 Japan $ 29,400
22 Finland $ 29,000
23 France $ 28,700
24 Germany $ 28,700
25 Man, Isle of $ 28,500
26 Sweden $ 28,400
27 Aruba $ 28,000
28 Gibraltar $ 27,900
29 Singapore $ 27,800
30 Italy $ 27,700

scum... I'm aware of that
I think it's fairer to consider several factors together to ascertain where a (larger) country stands.
The distribution of wealth also plays into that.

So a country with a high GDP, a rather high GDP per capita and a fair distribution of that GDP per capita (means large middle class) will fare better than others compared in size and population. The U.S. of the 60s may have best met all those requirements.

Small countries like Luxembourg, San Marino and the like do of course fare much better as they are very small, rely on foreign banking, tax havens etc. That's not what larger countries can live of. Norway fares so well because of its oil wealth.

Ireland really has been a success story... they put quite an impressive EU help (with Germany financing the bulk of it) to good use.

The UK is the real contender as it can be best compared to Germany. West Germany would still beat the UK on a GDP per capita level. But the UK did make an impressive performance. I'd still say that why the British have some more GDP per capita, the average German enjoys more non-monetary benefits which are never factored in in these lists. German healthcare, while with its own problem, surely beats the British system.

Querdenker, I respect the points raised in some of your posts, but would like to make some counterpoints.

"We just need to be better than our enemies." So... why are you mock fighting with a US plane?

"What's wrong with being proud of something?" Nothing, but why not be proud of your real accomplishments, many of which you pointed out yourself? I can't say that I was actually "proud" when I beat Splinter Cell.

"Why spend billions or trillions on expensive junk." These are presumably assets to defend your nation and your allies (whoever those might be). If this is how you feel about your nations defense capabilities, why bother to be proud of a mock battle?

"1) Quality of life
2) Technological innovation
3) Better education and science
4) Environmental improvements
5) Radical simplification of the tax code and fairer taxing (any income is taxed alike)
6) De-bureaucratization (we waste so much precious time and money with stupid rules and regulations)
5) Promoting peace"

Building up the military capacity of China seems to be at least 6. Should I presume self-defense is NATO obligations rank somewhere in the low teens? An ally might hope that Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights (you know "never again" -- at least in Europe) would fall in the twenties.

If Germany would put her money where her mouth is, instead of where every tyrant's ass is, I could share your pride in her again. Save the innocent people of Zimbabwe from a Stalinist/Maoist state manufactured famine/genocide, and I could respect Germany again. The Germans and her allies, whoever they may be, are brilliant people worthy of such a contribution to humanity.

"Yet this arrogant "why should we care" will get you in trouble, sooner or later." The why should we care attitude troubles me to. Keep in mind that those populating this particular blog may wish they didn't, but they clearly do care or they wouldn't be here. I care. I am a pro-German American, and I still ask myself, in my most honest moments, “why shouild we?”

Why invest your international clout solely into bitching at the US and bragging about beating US planes in mock combat? DO something. Take care of Africa. After all, as much as you would like to blame the US for all international racism, Europe was Colonial, but America is not and never has been.

I wrote all this as a response to you before you made your final posts. You know, the ones beginning "scum"... None of the Americans you so hate called you anything as low as "scum". FUhard. You don't deserve my respect. Go piss own your children's feet and tell them it's raining for a refreshing change.

"So a country with a high GDP, a rather high GDP per capita and a fair distribution of that GDP per capita (means large middle class) will fare better than others compared in size and population."

Wonder how that shit happens. Accidentally, of course.

"Small countries like Luxembourg, San Marino and the like do of course fare much better as they are very small, rely on foreign banking, tax havens etc. That's not what larger countries can live of."

Uhhhhh, OK. Still a lucky accident?

"I think it's fairer to consider several factors together to ascertain where a (larger) country stands." Stands where, and for what? What, and under what circumstances, has Germany ever decided to "stand" for? What does she stand for now? Two generations after the family members who fought to give her Freedom?

"That's not what larger countries can live of. Norway fares so well because of its oil wealth."

What? Look around this world, jackass. Norway ain't exactly running the OPEC show.

Tom Penn, did you bother to realize that "scum" was a reply to the previous poster who chose the nickname "scum of the universe"?

So before you start insulting people, read carefully.
And no, you can't compare Luxembourg with Germany, that's ridiculous. The GDP per capita of Munich is higher than that of Luxembourg (and London btw).

Norway is a country with a lot of oil per capita.
Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights are of course a high priority. We have these things already. And we help promoting them in places like Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Horn of Africa.

That list wasn't a hierarchical one btw. And not exhaustive

As for the Eurofighter: It's overpriced but since we paid for it I prefer that it at least delivers. I also think that Formula 1 is a ridiculous overpriced circus and still I have a moment of pride when Schumacher or a German car wins.

Same for soccer. Just human.

And as I understand the British Eurofighter didn't start the mock fight.

We certainly need to spend something on defense but since neither the US, China nor Russia will attack us, we don't have to spend trillions on that stuff. Much better to invest in science and technology, to stay ahead.

As for the German contributions to freedom and democracy, you might want to note that Germany has more troops abroad to contribute to that than most other countries except the US.

Now take your jackass and shove it.

And a last thing: I'm so tired of that "you hate America".
That such a nonsense. Why should I hate America? It's a beautiful country with people I always got along very well. I don't hate Bush either although I do believe he's not a good president. Well, same goes for Schröder. Usually Americans make the same distinction between politics and a country and its people. I know very few Americans who would hate Germany because the think Schröder is an idiot.

Even if I hated America I would wish her well. Because if America stumbles, we fall. We have nothing two win if America loses.

I was against the Iraq War. But I sincerely hope that you win. For our own sake.

To add another layer to the Eurofighter, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH is the multinational company responsible for the development of the Eurofighter formed from a patnership between three aerospace companies: Alenia Aeronautica (which is Italian), BAE Systems (British, created from the merger of British Aerospace and General Electric's defense arm.), and EADS (created from a merger between Aerospatiale-Matra of France, Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA of Spain, and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG).

The Typhoon is a good plane, but it is certainly not a match for the F-22 Raptor, the best air superority fighter in the world. And I'd like to see how it matches against the forementioned F-22, the F-18 Super Hornet, and the soon F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Also the F-15E is a variant intended for ground attack first and air superority second. F-15A/B models started being upgraded in the late 70s, being replaced by the F-15C/D models, these are the air superority fighters and are currently being retired and replaced by F-22 Raptors and the soon-to-be F-35 JSF. F-15E came into service in the late 80s.

I think an explaination of the F, B, A, C, H and E usage in the US military could help. Originally F was the designation for fighter aircraft intended for air-to-air combat, B for bombers, A for ground attack/support roles, C for cargo transport, E for electronic warfare, and H for Helicopter. But the US Air Force brass has a stimga against "mud movers", A and B aircraft are considered less appealing and also flying one type usually limited a pilot's future prospects for flying another type, particularly A aircraft, like the A-10. The F-15E would be better designated as F/A-15. It's come into fashion in recent years to call jets dedicated for ground and air attack roles "strike fighters".

you can learn more about US designations and naming variants here:

I do agree it's cute how that German paper consulted the "experts".


Sorry I'm joining too late to offer anything more than moral support. You made some fine points and, to my way of thinking, have an admirably realistic grasp of the nuances.

Your choice of nom de plume suggests that you're not unfamiliar with folks rejecting your line of reasoning. However, your 'jackass' and worse from Tom Penn certainly trumps my 'idiot' from poguemahone.

Hang in there.


PS - Your US/Soviet hockey analogy was bang on.

I frequently don't agree with you, but you are welcome here.
you aren't like the talking parrots I see so much here in Germany (as my name suggests, I am an Ami who lives hier in Germany)

And should Germany beat Brazil on Saturday (not very likely but who knows), that doesn't mean that German soccer is better than Brazilian soccer.

But for a few hours we can celebrate and believe that it is.

Like Greece celebrated one year ago.

amiexpat, it's good to disagree.

Ever hear that old Commie joke?

A guy from the Stasi walks up to a guy in the street and asks: "What do you think of the current political situation?"
The guy looks around nervously,you never know... the party line may have changed, who know who that guy is... so finally he answers:
"Comrade I think exactly the same thing as you."
The Stasi guy replies: "Comrade, in that case you are under arrest!"

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