The German Air Force - or Luftwaffe - manages a mix of modern and Cold War-era players including the Eurofighter Typhoon and PANAVIA Tornado types.
POWER INDEX SCORE
(Ranked 20 of 53)
Nearly 400 aircraft make up the fighting strength of the modern German Air Force. Some 45% is dedicated to the fighter force and this group is made up of the modern Eurofighter 'Typhoon' multirole type and the swing-wing PANAVIA Tornado IDS (InterDiction Strike). The fighter fleet will be bolstered by the arrival of six additional Eurofighter Typhoons, bringing strength to over 125 of these aircraft while the Tornado IDS variant supplies a proven, if aging, high-speed strike capability. The rotorcraft force follows in strength by making up 25% of available inventory - but this group is led by the aging line of Sikorsky CH-53 'Super Stallion' heavy-lift helicopters needing replacement in the near-future. The transport fleet accounts for 18% of all strength and is headed by another Cold War-era warrior, the Transall C-160, which is set to replaced by a sizeable collection of inbound Airbus A400M 'Atlas' heavy-haulers (sone nineteen are currently in service). Training does not see dedicated flight, basic, and advanced types common to other global air powers used - instead the Tornado IDS is reserved for conversion training. The tanker force is relatively strong with a mix of Airbus A310 MRTT and A400M aircraft with the Lockheed KC-130J ''Super Hercules' still to come. Special mission platforms are not as varied as other powers - the group led by the Tornado EW variant and a collection of other role-specific types. On-order systems look to address some growing concerns, particularly in fighter strength, aerial refueling, and transport capabilities.
All told, the German Air Force is a service in flux, looking to the future while saddled by aging types while being outpaced by historical rivals in Britain and France. For what it is designed to do, local defense and mission support abroad, the service can hold its own for the near-future but modernization of certain aspects will be in high order heading into the next decade.NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
199 Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
279 Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
299 Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
318 Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.