What if Germany did not go for the F-104

helmutkohl

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The F-104 was indeed a sexy plane
but then there was that infamous Lockheed bribe and Germany's decision to choose the F-104 to do various roles for the Luftwaffe.
Had there been no scandal, or it was caught and stopped..

What were the other alternatives Germany could have gone for?

the F-5? Mirage III? the British Lightning?

How would affect its capabilities at that time and meet its needs?

How would it affect future acquisitions? would it mean Germany may be less risk averse to single engine jets?

How would it affect other countries as others selected the F-104 because Germany did.


What if pics
JG52_camo_1.jpg

euro_1.jpg

44832540924871e2c6d0b63eb3cc305d.jpg

gallery_12323_558_121023.jpg
 

CV12Hornet

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The leading candidate besides the F-104 was actually the Super Tiger; the Mirage III was never a candidate, the F-5 was too paper at the time, and so was the F-100J, the only other aircraft offered.

Without the F-104G the Luftwaffe is almost certainly going to pick the Super Tiger, and there's a solid chance the Marineflieger buys the Buccaneer.

As far as other countries, the Super Tiger being selected over the F-104G would mean the Super Tiger replacing the vast majority of F-104 sales - every NATO buyer of the F-104 was either part of the production consortium led by the Germans or acquired the aircraft from them, with only a relatively small number provided by Lockheed. And Germany selecting the Super Tiger almost certainly means Japan is going to follow suit - it was a very close-run thing IOTL, after all.
 
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Archibald

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Whaaat ? The Mirage III WAS a candidate and the French were pretty resentfull it wasn't picked.
To be fully honest...
- the Mirage III the Germans tested back in 1957 was either the III-01 or a III-A that hadn't matured enough (wrong engine, underpowered)
- the Mirage III-C that followed was first and foremost an interceptor
- the Germans with the F-104G were strike-oriented and the III-E that could have fit the role did not flew before 1961

Main problem with the Super Tiger was that (just like the F-20 and Mirage 4000) its country armed force did not bought and used it. I readily agree however that it was an outstanding flying machine.

Unfortunately the USN allowed it to happen merely as a "last two Tigers with a J79 and also a "Mach 2 J79 testbed" for the coming Phantom and Vigilante. There was never a RFP attached to it: its role had already been taken by Crusader I and II.
Note that the "real" Super Tiger(s) were two more aircraft planned in 1955 but canned soon thereafter. They were more than "Tiger + J79" but the Crusader crushed them.
 

helmutkohl

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The leading candidate besides the F-104 was actually the Super Tiger; the Mirage III was never a candidate, the F-5 was too paper at the time, and so was the F-100J, the only other aircraft offered.

Without the F-104G the Luftwaffe is almost certainly going to pick the Super Tiger, and there's a solid chance the Marineflieger buys the Buccaneer.

As far as other countries, the Super Tiger being selected over the F-104G would mean the Super Tiger replacing the vast majority of F-104 sales - every NATO buyer of the F-104 was either part of the production consortium led by the Germans or acquired the aircraft from them, with only a relatively small number provided by Lockheed. And Germany selecting the Super Tiger almost certainly means Japan is going to follow suit - it was a very close-run thing IOTL, after all.
you mean this aircraft?
MARINEFLIEGERF-11DTIGER01.jpg
 

Michel Van

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The Germans in end 1950s wanted a supersonic multi-purpose combat aircraft, that operate from short runway.
in consideration came:
F-104 (2260 km/h)
F-11F (1170 km/h)
Northrop N156 (1743 km/h)
Mirage III (2150 km/h)
SR.177 (2400 km/h)

The F-11F was to slow for need to Intercept Soviet Bombers
Northrop N156 was in prototype stage
While the British government killed the SR.177 although join venture with Germans, (they build the rocket Engine...)

Remains closer selection: F-104, N156 and Mirage III
Now here enter Walter Krupinskis a Pilot of Luftwaffe and WW2 ace.
On Order of Luftwaffe he tested the Aircrafts available
in Dezember 1957 Krupinskis flew the F-104 and End Mai 1958 he flew the Mirage III
Now according the Dassault those test flights went very odd
Krupinskis complain constantly about Prototype and not manage the simples exercise with Mirage III
The Dassault claim today that Kupinskis made this intentional deliberate

Walter Krupinskis recommend the F-104 from the begin, after moment he flew it.
unclear if he consider the Interceptor as that was needed or if Lockheed "persuade" him with "little gift"
or Lockheed "persuade" his superiors in Germany (the documents and flies were "destroy" mid 1960s)
One of main consideration for F-104G (G for Germany) was package deal to build F-104 in Germany.


Roads no taken:

Germany insist on Join-Venture
Britain must completed the SR.177 do treaty obligation with Germany
but if a Jet/Rocket Interceptor is perfect for a multi-purpose combat aircraft is doubtful

Krupinskis crash with F-104 during a test flight and dies
This would not only deselect F-104, but his successor could recommend better Aircraft for the job: the Mirage III
If the Dassault manage package deal and "persuade" the German superiors with a "little gift"
Also lobbyism by De Gaulle for "French Aircraft for his German Friends"

Extrem Off road:
German win WW1, while France goes path of Weimar Republic and anti Semitic violence rise.
Marcel Bloch escape with his family to Greater German Reich
and get job at Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in Berlin
He change his name to Stürmer (OTL Dassault)
After Second Great War, Stürmer start to work on new jet Fighter based on Alexander Lippish aerodynamic research
A Delta wing he called "Blitz" (Thunder) who enter 1956 in service of German Flugwaffe.
 
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newsdeskdan

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Regardless of the aircraft itself, the technology transfer underpinning the F-104 deal combined with the benefits of building it locally (jobs, money into the local economy, building the skills base etc.) made it a great deal for West Germany. It basically reinvigorated the German aviation industry. I'd understood that the various options initially on the table were:
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
Grumman F11F-1 Super Tiger
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Vought F8U Crusader
North American F-100J improved Super Sabre
Northrop N-156 (T-38 Talon/F-5)
English Electric Lightning
Saunders-Roe SR.177
Dassault Mirage III
Sud SO.9050 Trident III
and
Saab J35 Draken

Based on that list, maybe the Crusader (with technology transfer and local manufacture) might have been a decent alternative?
 

Mirage4000

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The F-104 was indeed a sexy plane
but then there was that infamous Lockheed bribe and Germany's decision to choose the F-104 to do various roles for the Luftwaffe.
Had there been no scandal, or it was caught and stopped..

What were the other alternatives Germany could have gone for?

the F-5? Mirage III? the British Lightning?

How would affect its capabilities at that time and meet its needs?

How would it affect future acquisitions? would it mean Germany may be less risk averse to single engine jets?

How would it affect other countries as others selected the F-104 because Germany did.


What if pics
JG52_camo_1.jpg

euro_1.jpg

44832540924871e2c6d0b63eb3cc305d.jpg

gallery_12323_558_121023.jpg
i vote Mirage III
 

Archibald

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Nah, what @Michel Van wrote about Walter Krupinski is eye opening. I think he tested the Mirage III-01 with the weaker Atar 101 that needed a rocket engine in the tail to hit mach 1.8 (the Atar 9 solved that issue, with the "mices" shock cones in the intakes).

Considering the fact the III-As did not flew until late 1958, Krupinski may have found the Mirage underpowered.

What is much more troubling in the F-104G LW deal is the alliance of Lockheed briberies with Frantz Joseph Strauss (more briberies).

The truth is probably a mix of the two above. as I said in my earlier post, the closest Mirage III variant from the F-104G was the Mirage III-E but it didn't flew before 1961, it had less priority than the III-C interceptor.

The lack of III-E withStrauss & Lockheed briberies probably explains why the Mirage lost.

As for the Super Tiger, Corky Meyer in his memoirs says Grumman come very close from success in Canada, Japan and Germany but each time Lockheed taught them a severe lesson in sales pitch. With the hindsight we have had since 1976 at least related to Lockheed briberies, I 'm not surprised Grumman lost.

Now this is harsh and cruel realpolitics (Kissinger would love that, that old SOB). In an alternate history the bribery scandals may have exploded into Lockheed face earlier, taking Strauss and his friends with them and opening a boulevard to the competitors.

@newsdeskdan list is really a mixed bag of ill-suited aircraft. My vote would go, in that order
- Grumman Super Tiger
- Vought Crusader
- Mirage III
- Lightning
- SR.177
- F-105D

Grumman F11F-1 Super Tiger - YES, come very close
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger - too slow and specialized
Republic F-105 Thunderchief - too big and specialized, although a "super F-104G" in attack capability for sure
Vought F8U Crusader - GOOD
North American F-100J improved Super Sabre - too old, too slow, no radar
Northrop N-156 (T-38 Talon/F-5) - cheap but slow and no radar - only Hellyer would pick it :p
English Electric Lightning - GOOD but short range and no ground attack modes by then - like the Mirage III-C
Saunders-Roe SR.177 - mixed fighters are dead-ends : not yet realized by 1958 however and it seems to have been a strong contender
Dassault Mirage III - stuck at III-01 /A development 1957 level, then III-C (1959) when III-E is needed (not until 1961)
Sud SO.9050 Trident III - dead by 1958, mixed power like the Saro - zero chance
and
Saab J35 Draken - excellent aircraft but politically impossible unfortunately...
 
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uk 75

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Given the close political relationship between France and Germany at the end of the 50s and into the
60s I would give the Mirage III a pretty decent chance. Added to which, Germany wanted the VSTOL
strike fighter for which Mirage IIIV would then have been a natural evolution.
Lightning had not matured enough (still less the unflown SR177). We also know from the Buccaneer
saga how c>>>p the Embassy in Bonn were at selling UK stuff.
I cant see Grumman Super Tiger being a runner unless the US buys it too.
Crusader would be my alternate to the Mirage.
None looked as futuristic as the F104. Despite its problems the F104 served for 15 to 30 years in the various
roles, more in some cases
 

helmutkohl

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Given the close political relationship between France and Germany at the end of the 50s and into the
60s I would give the Mirage III a pretty decent chance. Added to which, Germany wanted the VSTOL
strike fighter for which Mirage IIIV would then have been a natural evolution.
Lightning had not matured enough (still less the unflown SR177). We also know from the Buccaneer
saga how c>>>p the Embassy in Bonn were at selling UK stuff.
I cant see Grumman Super Tiger being a runner unless the US buys it too.
Crusader would be my alternate to the Mirage.
None looked as futuristic as the F104. Despite its problems the F104 served for 15 to 30 years in the various
roles, more in some cases

that reminds me, I recall often reading somewhere that Germany always wanted VSTOL capabilities
yet in the end never got the Harrier (although a bit outside of the timeline of this thread). I wonder why they never went for the Harrier despite wanting its capabilities

marine_1.jpg


av8_desert_8.jpg
 

CV12Hornet

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The leading candidate besides the F-104 was actually the Super Tiger; the Mirage III was never a candidate, the F-5 was too paper at the time, and so was the F-100J, the only other aircraft offered.

Without the F-104G the Luftwaffe is almost certainly going to pick the Super Tiger, and there's a solid chance the Marineflieger buys the Buccaneer.

As far as other countries, the Super Tiger being selected over the F-104G would mean the Super Tiger replacing the vast majority of F-104 sales - every NATO buyer of the F-104 was either part of the production consortium led by the Germans or acquired the aircraft from them, with only a relatively small number provided by Lockheed. And Germany selecting the Super Tiger almost certainly means Japan is going to follow suit - it was a very close-run thing IOTL, after all.
you mean this aircraft?
MARINEFLIEGERF-11DTIGER01.jpg
Probably. I'd need a top-down to be sure but the nose and intakes look right.
 

_Del_

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One problem these scenarios generally ignore is that many sales (including this one) were actually funded by a MAP grant.

So unless the French decided to give Dassault money for Mirage licenses to Germany, offer Germany the opportunity to participate in production and assembly (including the J79), help them pay for the tooling and construction for the lines, etc, then the shiny new, Mach 2 Starfighter is probably going to be a no-brainer for the pols, bribe or no.

For alternatives, the Crusader possibly. The Thud seems like too much plane. F-5 came too late. Super Tiger doesn't get a production contract from the Navy, so there's no logistics train to take advantage of.
 

Keyboard Commando

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I tend to agree that the F-8 would be the most likely, could it be modified more for the land based role? I'm thinking no variable incidence wing so they can add more hardpoints, lightened structure, J79 or even a Spey, and 30mm ADEN/DEFA cannons to replace the unreliable Mk.12s. Was anything close to this proposed or feasible?
 

helmutkohl

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I tend to agree that the F-8 would be the most likely, could it be modified more for the land based role? I'm thinking no variable incidence wing so they can add more hardpoints, lightened structure, J79 or even a Spey, and 30mm ADEN/DEFA cannons to replace the unreliable Mk.12s. Was anything close to this proposed or feasible?

didnt the PHilippines use it exclusively in a land based role?

post-3782-0-85805700-1407075715.jpg

5709826995_700803cdc4_c.jpg
 

Hood

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Regardless of the aircraft itself, the technology transfer underpinning the F-104 deal combined with the benefits of building it locally (jobs, money into the local economy, building the skills base etc.) made it a great deal for West Germany. It basically reinvigorated the German aviation industry. I'd understood that the various options initially on the table were:
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
Grumman F11F-1 Super Tiger
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Vought F8U Crusader
North American F-100J improved Super Sabre
Northrop N-156 (T-38 Talon/F-5)
English Electric Lightning
Saunders-Roe SR.177
Dassault Mirage III
Sud SO.9050 Trident III
and
Saab J35 Draken

Based on that list, maybe the Crusader (with technology transfer and local manufacture) might have been a decent alternative?
This listing does miss off the home-grown options:
Heinkel He 31 Florett
Messerschmitt P.1211

Though these were discounted by the Germans themselves given the R&D programmes needed. Buying off the shelf with licence deals looked cheaper and quicker. A Gyron Junior/Spectre mixed fighter might have looked cutting edge in 1957-58 but by 1964 was looking old hat.

We've had several discussions of this topic over the years - generally everybody has their favourite.
The Crusader with its variable-incidence wing might have had quite attractive field performance for the Luftwaffe.
 

Archibald

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A land-based Crusader with a J79 would indeed no longer need a VI wing - as the engine is not only shorter, but the nozzle won't hit a flight deck at low speed and high AoA anymore.

Problem: these two modifications would cost Germany an arm and a leg. "Better is the ennemy of good" sometimes.

Maybe the V.I wing mechanism could be locked in place or removed altogether without further modifications ?

Vanilla Crusader IIs would probably be a better idea.

The Marineflieger at least would like the Crusader for obvious reasons. Maybe it could be adapted to lob anti-ship missiles (Kormoran ?)

I vote for the Crusader as the winner here. Super Tiger would be better but has no backing from its mother country, and that's pretty bad.
 

alertken

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Lockheed lubricants.

When a firm ventures into terra incognita, where the procurement process differs from home, door-openers appear, able to secure deals, where "without me you have no chance". This is almost always nonsense...but only almost...so the Bidder employs the Agent as insurance, trying very hard to uplift Bid price by his fee. We, in civilised countries, think this to be improper - taxes on we little people, to line the pockets of the rich. We forget that in some places little people don't pay income taxes and big cheeses create much employment.

So, 5/55 sovereign FRG creates an Aero industry, by licensing off-the-shelf products from its new Allies in NATO. Much subsidy from US, whose interest was not to create a business competitor, but to outsource as much of the dying as poss. By late-57 that has been done, so the replacements for Korea-vintage F-84F/F-86E etc. can and should involve local design - "noble work". NATO, 16/12/57, received a US Offer of a Common NATO AW Stockpile - dual key-to-the-cupboard. Artillery, SSMs, SAMs, ADMs and gravity Bombs on fighter-bombers: nuclear war-fighting. And all of this was offered to all NATO Members.

At a stroke non-US platforms became too hard to operate, integrate: very few R&D programmes were funded to clear non-US platforms to operate US AW. I think of Shackleton/Nimrod/Atlantic NDB, FRG/Ital Tornado B61...then...So, for example, death to UK Blue Water SSM, cos Sergeant comes with its US AW.

Linked with this cupboard was vigorous effort by US to "offset" the $: DM Exchange burden of US Forces based in FRG. France/UK/Neths/Belg/Canada like this idea and try ditto, but a hefty slice of FRG Defence procurement budget must go to the largest Visiting Forces supplier. Another hefty slice will go to R&D, but not-to-duplicate what US is already doing: so runwayless dispersal of tactical AW. So, 1958-60: FRG effort on VTOL for late-1960s deployment, but meantime we need better payload-range off shorter-than-now runways: autobahns might do nicely. FRG decides it needs an AW strike type, an iron/recce type, an interceptor and a Baltic anti-ship AW+iron type. Lockheed was first to present one type to do all of those things (well-disguising that USAF was not buying it, and inventing ZELL zero runway launch). They were also first to present a licence production proposition to meet all industrial needs...bar only noble R&D. FRG decided it did not want R&D workshare on the G- element of F-104G: it wanted early delivery off local production, and that the noble work should be on VTOL successor Programmes that US and other Central Front Allies might buy.

Nobody in Saro, English Electric, SAAB, Dassault, Sud understood any of this. Grumman tried to construct a local production proposition...on a type USN was not buying. F-104G was the only game in town. Lockheed had no need to lubricate anybody and wasted their money on Strauss and Pr.Bernhard.
 

newsdeskdan

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F-104G was the only game in town. Lockheed had no need to lubricate anybody and wasted their money on Strauss and Pr.Bernhard.

All true and well put. Germany had every incentive to choose the F-104 and did. But what if, in a bizarre twist (and this being an 'alternative history' thread), Germany did not go for the F-104? Who had the next best proposition - Grumman?
 
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Archibald

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Lockheed lubricants.

When a firm ventures into terra incognita, where the procurement process differs from home, door-openers appear, able to secure deals, where "without me you have no chance". This is almost always nonsense...but only almost...so the Bidder employs the Agent as insurance, trying very hard to uplift Bid price by his fee. We, in civilised countries, think this to be improper - taxes on we little people, to line the pockets of the rich. We forget that in some places little people don't pay income taxes and big cheeses create much employment.

So, 5/55 sovereign FRG creates an Aero industry, by licensing off-the-shelf products from its new Allies in NATO. Much subsidy from US, whose interest was not to create a business competitor, but to outsource as much of the dying as poss. By late-57 that has been done, so the replacements for Korea-vintage F-84F/F-86E etc. can and should involve local design - "noble work". NATO, 16/12/57, received a US Offer of a Common NATO AW Stockpile - dual key-to-the-cupboard. Artillery, SSMs, SAMs, ADMs and gravity Bombs on fighter-bombers: nuclear war-fighting. And all of this was offered to all NATO Members.

At a stroke non-US platforms became too hard to operate, integrate: very few R&D programmes were funded to clear non-US platforms to operate US AW. I think of Shackleton/Nimrod/Atlantic NDB, FRG/Ital Tornado B61...then...So, for example, death to UK Blue Water SSM, cos Sergeant comes with its US AW.

Linked with this cupboard was vigorous effort by US to "offset" the $: DM Exchange burden of US Forces based in FRG. France/UK/Neths/Belg/Canada like this idea and try ditto, but a hefty slice of FRG Defence procurement budget must go to the largest Visiting Forces supplier. Another hefty slice will go to R&D, but not-to-duplicate what US is already doing: so runwayless dispersal of tactical AW. So, 1958-60: FRG effort on VTOL for late-1960s deployment, but meantime we need better payload-range off shorter-than-now runways: autobahns might do nicely. FRG decides it needs an AW strike type, an iron/recce type, an interceptor and a Baltic anti-ship AW+iron type. Lockheed was first to present one type to do all of those things (well-disguising that USAF was not buying it, and inventing ZELL zero runway launch). They were also first to present a licence production proposition to meet all industrial needs...bar only noble R&D. FRG decided it did not want R&D workshare on the G- element of F-104G: it wanted early delivery off local production, and that the noble work should be on VTOL successor Programmes that US and other Central Front Allies might buy.

Nobody in Saro, English Electric, SAAB, Dassault, Sud understood any of this. Grumman tried to construct a local production proposition...on a type USN was not buying. F-104G was the only game in town. Lockheed had no need to lubricate anybody and wasted their money on Strauss and Pr.Bernhard.
The style of your posts is always... surprising. Although not always easy to understand for not native english speaking people like myself.

Lubricants... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_jelly
 

Hood

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The style of your posts is always... surprising. Although not always easy to understand for not native english speaking people like myself.

Lubricants... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_jelly

Refers to two sayings in the English language, "set the wheels in motion" i.e. start a process going (usually some kind of official process) and "Oil the wheels" ("Grease the wheels" is more common in the US I think) is a saying for making that process run smoothly by applying lubricant, which in this case is not a mineral based lubricant but money.

I presume both trace their origins to the expansion of the Railways in the mid-19th Century.

Alertken says pretty much nailed this on the head. Lockheed's genius was getting Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy (and Canada too) on board in a much larger industrial programme to compensate for any lack of home user back in the US.
Its perhaps ironic that having tried so hard numerous times to foster joint NATO kit by the use of NBMRs (which as Altertken has raised before were largely paperwork dreams without procurement funds to make them reality), that a few executives (and perhaps a few briefcases of cash) managed to get all the main Central European NATO members to buy the same kit.
de Havilland had attempted this with the Macchi and Sud Est Vampire/Venom production lines and Hawker licensed Hunter to Fairey Avions/SABCA/Fokker/Aviolanda during the 1950s with success but there was no encore for the 1960s. There was probably not the money available to make defence assistance funding payments to NATO nations (the UK was still then a receiver of MDAP funds) and after the 1957 cuts the only game in town was the Lightning and if you didn't like the Lightning then you had to look elsewhere.

It's worth outlining the F-104G plan here:
The original 18 March 1959 licence agreement with Germany was for 210 aircraft built by Messerchmitt, Dornier, Heinkel and Siebel under the Arbeitsgemeinschaft 104 (ARGE 104) consortium.
On 20 April 1960 the Netherlands signed a deal, Belgium signed on 20 June and Italy followed on 2 March 1961. Canada had signed its own deal on 17 September 1959. Japan got hers on 29 January 1960, so after Germany and Canada but before BeNeIt.
So ARGE 104 was recast as ARGE Sud.
A new ARGE Nord was formed by Focke-Wulf, Hamburger Flugzeugbau, Weser Flugzeugbau, Fokker and Aviolanda.
A Western Group comprised SABCA and Avions Fairey.
An Italian Group was formed of Fiat, Aerfer, Macchi, Piaggio, SACA and SIAI-Marchetti.
Between them the F-104G orders in 1964 stood at 947 aircraft plus 149 RF-104G and 48 TF-104G.

Germany got 604 ARGE-built and 96 Lockheed-built F-104s; the Netherlands 120 from ARGE; Belgium 99 from home production and 1 from Lockheed, Italy 124 from home production and 1 from Lockheed. Italy then followed with the F-104S.
Canadair under its own licence agreement took care of other NATO needs: 25 for Denmark, 16 for Norway, 36 for Greece and 38 for Turkey. (I'm not sure why these came from Canadian and not European production, presumably to offset Canada's basing costs in Europe?)

Alertken is probably right, with this level of industrial benefit for a whole swathe of European aircraft industries some political lubricants probably helped the right people sign the right documents but there must have been a lot of industrial pressure too.

So from an AH perspective some factors are clear:
1. You need to kill the West German order by 1959 to avoid the critical mass of the smaller western NATO nations following suit in 1960.
2. There may have been scope to chip away at some of the smaller NATO members, the Belgian and Italian production blocs were not so tied into ARGE and might have been tempted by a good deal.
3. You need the right fighter at the right time.
4. You need financial clout behind you
5. The Germans didn't fully decide until 1959, is it feasible that they would have been able to make a decision sooner? Was a Saro P.177 order in 1957 or early 1958 really feasible or would it have been a hanging-on for 18 months for no benefit?
6. Does Germany, Canada and Japan all going for F-104 within 9 months of each other realistically kill off any other competitors beyond small-scale orders around the fringes?
 

newsdeskdan

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So from an AH perspective some factors are clear:
1. You need to kill the West German order by 1959 to avoid the critical mass of the smaller western NATO nations following suit in 1960.
2. There may have been scope to chip away at some of the smaller NATO members, the Belgian and Italian production blocs were not so tied into ARGE and might have been tempted by a good deal.
3. You need the right fighter at the right time.
4. You need financial clout behind you
5. The Germans didn't fully decide until 1959, is it feasible that they would have been able to make a decision sooner? Was a Saro P.177 order in 1957 or early 1958 really feasible or would it have been a hanging-on for 18 months for no benefit?
6. Does Germany, Canada and Japan all going for F-104 within 9 months of each other realistically kill off any other competitors beyond small-scale orders around the fringes?

I believe the scenario posed at the beginning of this thread is as follows: West Germany has announced that it will not be buying the F-104 (we don't know exactly when this happens though). The F-104 is no longer an option for the FRG. What happens next?
To take your points in order:
1. I presume the 'you' here is addressed to each of the manufacturers competing to supply the FRG with its next fighter. I'm not sure what you mean by 'killing' the West German order. Do you mean that the successful contender (other than Lockheed) must secure a West German order by 1959 to have any chance of creating a 'snowball effect' similar to what happened with the F-104?
2. Chip away at the smaller NATO members? How do you mean?
3. Yes ('you' being, again, presumably the contending manufacturer).
4. Yes (ditto).
5. Interesting point. It's a shame we don't know, in this scenario, exactly when the FRG declined to purchase the F-104!
6. The F-104 is dead to Germany. However, there's nothing to stop the other nations from purchasing it. Could Lockheed have managed to create that 'snowball' effect even without the original German snowball? Seems unlikely. I suppose the question is, would the 'sale of the century' have still happened if the FRG had picked a different design, say, the Super Tiger?
 
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SSgtC

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The F-11F was to slow for need to Intercept Soviet Bombers
The version offered to Germany was actually an F11F-1F. Instead of the Wright J65 in the original Tiger, this version was powered by a Pratt & Whitney J79 and was capable of reaching Mach 2.04 in level flight. And possibly faster in the production version (the prototypes were just stock F11F-1s with a fuselage plug and wing root fillets).
 
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zen

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Was a Saro P.177 order in 1957 or early 1958 really feasible or would it have been a hanging-on for 18 months for no benefit?
Depends.
If Saro P.177 proceeds in original only form Germany isn't buying a license for nuclear strike and iron bombs.
If variant pushed forward, Germany is buying in. But this presupposes RAF and FAA are shifting over to Strike/Attack variant focus as well.
RAF Venom successor suggests this instead of Hunter.
 

sferrin

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The Germans in end 1950s wanted a supersonic multi-purpose combat aircraft, that operate from short runway.
in consideration came:
F-104 (2260 km/h)
F-11F (1170 km/h)
Northrop N156 (1743 km/h)
Mirage III (2150 km/h)
SR.177 (2400 km/h)

The F-11F was to slow for need to Intercept Soviet Bombers
The J79-powered F11F-1F was a Mach 2 aircraft. ("Super Tiger", not Tiger)

"The first flight of the F11F-2 took place on May 25, 1956. Ten days later, 138646 achieved a speed of Mach 1.44, even though it was still fitted with a lower-rated J79 engine. Several changes were introduced during flight test, including a 13 1/2 inch extension in the rear fuselage, the addition of 60-degree wing root fillets, and the introduction of a fully-rated J79 engine.

On May 2, 1957, Grumman test pilot John Norris took 138647 to a maximum speed of Mach 2.04 and a maximum altitude of 80,250 feet. On April 16, 1958, LtCdr George Watkins set an official world altitude record of 76,831 feet with 138647.

Impressive though the performance was, the Navy concluded that the Super Tiger was too heavy for service aboard aircraft carriers and decided not to order the Super Tiger into production. The designation of the F11F-2 was then changed to F11F-1F, the "F" suffix indicating that the aircraft were F11F-1s with special powerplant modifications."
 

Archibald

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Too heavy.......?

Convenient answer, wait the excuse for the contemporary and also excellent F5D Skylancer

"we have too much Douglas on our decks"

Truth was there were too many companies working on naval combat jets since 1945 - subsonic transonic attack fighter interceptors and near or post mach 2 types. With Sparrows.

The Super Tiger was merely a ploy to test the Phantom J79 from the deck to Mach 2.

The Skylancer was allowed to happen because of the Sparrow II.

The former fell to the Crusader II limited all weather with AIM-9 -the latter to the Phantom.
 

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Too heavy.......?
I believe the exact excuse was that the Super Tiger was too heavy to operate off of the SCB-27A Essex class decks with their hydraulic catapults. IIRC, the Navy had led Grumman on with the idea that the F11F-2 was under consideration for operation off of the ASW carriers in the anti-snooper role that was then being filled by the Banshee and Skyhawk
 

Michel Van

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The J79-powered F11F-1F was a Mach 2 aircraft. ("Super Tiger", not Tiger)
So far i Know Walter Krupinskis tested the F-104 first, then F11 (I don't know what version) on his America trip
follow next year trip to France to test the Mirage
 

uk 75

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom. It first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1961.
Compared with the tortuous options above, especially the daft SR177, getting the F4 around in the late 50s rather than the early 60s seems a much easier alt Luftwaffe.
Canada is the other F4 should have been.
This would not have killed the Starfighter though the Belgians, Danes, Dutch and Norwegians might have gone with Drakens (Denmark bought some) or Mirages (Belgium later bought Mirage Vs).
They might even have bought Lightnings if the UK had got its act together.
 

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom. It first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1961.
Compared with the tortuous options above, especially the daft SR177, getting the F4 around in the late 50s rather than the early 60s seems a much easier alt Luftwaffe.
Canada is the other F4 should have been.
This would not have killed the Starfighter though the Belgians, Danes, Dutch and Norwegians might have gone with Drakens (Denmark bought some) or Mirages (Belgium later bought Mirage Vs).
They might even have bought Lightnings if the UK had got its act together.
The only problem is, the Phantom is something like 2-2.5 times as expensive as the F-104/F11F. So while F-4 was the, by far, better plane for Germany, it was also a plane that they simply couldn't buy enough of given it's cost.
 

uk 75

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom. It first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1961.
Compared with the tortuous options above, especially the daft SR177, getting the F4 around in the late 50s rather than the early 60s seems a much easier alt Luftwaffe.
Canada is the other F4 should have been.
This would not have killed the Starfighter though the Belgians, Danes, Dutch and Norwegians might have gone with Drakens (Denmark bought some) or Mirages (Belgium later bought Mirage Vs).
They might even have bought Lightnings if the UK had got its act together.
The only problem is, the Phantom is something like 2-2.5 times as expensive as the F-104/F11F. So while F-4 was the, by far, better plane for Germany, it was also a plane that they simply couldn't buy enough of given it's cost.
Germany was already by the early 1960s on the way to being the West's biggest economy after the US.
German Industry building F4s with McD would not have needed MRCA Tornado. Swing Wing F4s instead.
The G91 bulked out the Light Attack Wings. A joint UK/German replacement based on Harrier or BAC ctol designs might have replaced them.
 

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I believe the scenario posed at the beginning of this thread is as follows: West Germany has announced that it will not be buying the F-104 (we don't know exactly when this happens though). The F-104 is no longer an option for the FRG. What happens next?
To take your points in order:
1. I presume the 'you' here is addressed to each of the manufacturers competing to supply the FRG with its next fighter. I'm not sure what you mean by 'killing' the West German order. Do you mean that the successful contender (other than Lockheed) must secure a West German order by 1959 to have any chance of creating a 'snowball effect' similar to what happened with the F-104?
2. Chip away at the smaller NATO members? How do you mean?
3. Yes ('you' being, again, presumably the contending manufacturer).
4. Yes (ditto).
5. Interesting point. It's a shame we don't know, in this scenario, exactly when the FRG declined to purchase the F-104!
6. The F-104 is dead to Germany. However, there's nothing to stop the other nations from purchasing it. Could Lockheed have managed to create that 'snowball' effect even without the original German snowball? Seems unlikely. I suppose the question is, would the 'sale of the century' have still happened if the FRG had picked a different design, say, the Super Tiger?

1. I was talking in the third-person. "You" here means an AH author or an in timeline actor. Yes, any AH that pre-supposes the F-104G falls on its arse would require the Germans to choose another product.

2. By this I mainly mean the Belgian and Italian deals. Note how Belgium wasn't integrated into ARGE Nord the way Fokker and Aviolandia were. It may have been possible therefore to offer those two countries a bespoke industrial deal. Lockheed of course had this covered too in their willingness to develop the 'SuperStarfighter' for Italy which resulted in the F-104S.

3 & 4. Yes third-person.

6. Could Grumman have pulled it off? They were not big exporters, shuffling a few S-2 Trackers and F9Fs under MDAP funding to allies wasn't too hard but they had no experience of the cut and thrust of commercial airline haggling for example.

I was digging around in my files yesterday on an unconnected thing and I think it brings a lot of light to what might have happened.
I've seen correspondence from Boeing-Vertol to the Air Staff and the MoA regarding the Chinook and Germany's early interest in the type in 1964. Boeing-Vertol were very keen to get the UK involved in some kind of US-UK-Germany licence-production deal with or without Gnome engines etc. They kept the MoA informed about Germany's intentions and which German ministers were in favour of which options. They name drop India, Italy and Australia as interested buyers.
Now its not a stretch of the imagination to believe that in 1959 Lockheed may have been tipping off Germany and Canada as to each other's intentions and almost certainly during 1960 they must have worked on Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy given the closeness in time that everyone signed up. There was probably quite a bit of legwork in this deal, some of this evidence probably still lies in national archives. That isn't even including the kind of Benelux relations likely between Staff Officers and Ministers and hushed talks in corridors at NATO HQ.
There is a lot more behind all this that just a few bribes. Once those wheels were lubricated in Bonn during 1958-59 they went a long long way with momentum.

My only other thought is, if only the EECo P.6 had been developed instead of the P.1B then it might have been a much closer match to F-104.
 

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My only other thought is, if only the EECo P.6 had been developed instead of the P.1B then it might have been a much closer match to F-104.

I can't help but feel, given what alertken was saying about the importance of purchasing something compatible with American weaponry and equipment - the NATO 'cupboard' - that the winner would inevitably have to be something American. The F-4 first flew in '58, so it was a practical prospect. Presumably it wasn't offered because it was too good to sell abroad, even aside from the expense mentioned by SSgtC.
 

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom.
That would have worked had all involved had a Magic 8-ball and been willing to wait a decade.
 

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom. It first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1961.
Compared with the tortuous options above, especially the daft SR177, getting the F4 around in the late 50s rather than the early 60s seems a much easier alt Luftwaffe.
Canada is the other F4 should have been.
This would not have killed the Starfighter though the Belgians, Danes, Dutch and Norwegians might have gone with Drakens (Denmark bought some) or Mirages (Belgium later bought Mirage Vs).
They might even have bought Lightnings if the UK had got its act together.
The only problem is, the Phantom is something like 2-2.5 times as expensive as the F-104/F11F. So while F-4 was the, by far, better plane for Germany, it was also a plane that they simply couldn't buy enough of given it's cost.
8f36ced4f33cfeafc97899614acebd5d.jpg

Probably cheaper than the Phantom and they could lighten it up by ditching the variable incidence wing.
 

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Forget the Super Tiger or the Crusader, the real answer to this problem, as the Germans realised a decade later, was the F4 Phantom. It first flew in 1958 and entered service in 1961.
Compared with the tortuous options above, especially the daft SR177, getting the F4 around in the late 50s rather than the early 60s seems a much easier alt Luftwaffe.
Canada is the other F4 should have been.
This would not have killed the Starfighter though the Belgians, Danes, Dutch and Norwegians might have gone with Drakens (Denmark bought some) or Mirages (Belgium later bought Mirage Vs).
They might even have bought Lightnings if the UK had got its act together.
The only problem is, the Phantom is something like 2-2.5 times as expensive as the F-104/F11F. So while F-4 was the, by far, better plane for Germany, it was also a plane that they simply couldn't buy enough of given it's cost.
View attachment 658613

Probably cheaper than the Phantom and they could lighten it up by ditching the variable incidence wing.
It was significantly cheaper than the Phantom. IIRC from the research I did for my TL, the F8U-3 would be around 20% cheaper than the F-4. The aircraft was already pretty light. Only 38,200 pounds at takeoff with a full A2A loadout. But it had no air to ground capability. For Germany to buy it, Vought would need to develop the aircraft further (similar to how they developed the F8U-1/2 by adding wing hardpoints). You also run into the same issue as the Super Tiger. The plane is an orphan. The Navy needs to buy it for Vought to have any chance of international sales success.
 

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Would a split buy be possible? A Spey powered F-8 was offered to the UK around this time, Germany could go for a Spey F-8 for its fighter requirement and buy Buccaneers for low level strike, seems like an ideal and more capable option while also being more realistic than the orphaned Super Tiger getting bought.
 
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