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A-4FG Skyhawk in German Service
 
 
Historical Background:
 
In 1957 the Bundesmarine, the German Navy, was overruled by the Luftwaffe in the decision what the successor to the aging Seahawk would be. The domineering Luftwaffe chose the F-104G Starfighter for its own formation and the Marine had to follow in an attempt to standardize equipment. It was a less than optimal solution since the Marineflieger, the naval aviation, had a purely conventional fighter bombing and anti-ship mission. The conventional load-out of the Starfighter was very limited.
The Marineflieger also suffered high accident rates with the Starfighter and a political debate about the so-called Starfighter crisis unfolded, when in the later 60ies the United States Navy began retiring their A-4 Skyhawks. Also, the Marine had been evaluating the use of G-91 light bombers to supplement their air assets for some time, as it could be operated much easier with much less logistical and financial support. It had, however, been rejected because the bomb load was too small and the avionics too limited.
 
 
The Road not Taken: :
 
In this situation a bold Admiral stepped up and proposed to buy A-4 Skyhawks which would came in cheaper as the USN began retiring them in favour of the A-7. Since it had more advanced avionics than the G-91, could carry a greater bomb load then either Starfighter and G-91, and still could be easily operated, the idea quickly gained momentum in the Marine.  It also grew popular in the wake of the political discussion on the Starfighter and the apparent misjudgement of the Luftwaffe concerning the needs of the Marineflieger. The Luftwaffe stood by its decision though. A compromise was reached when the Marine agreed to hand over all their Starfighters to the Luftwaffe and would switch entirely to Skyhawk.
 
The A-4FG Skyhawk :
 
The German Skyhawk was a minimally changed F-model: while losing some of the guided weaponry, it incorporated an gun-sight similar to that of the Starfighter in order to ease pilot transition and other barely noticeable modifications. The first Skyhawks reached the Marine in 1970.
 
 
Operational History: :
 
The earliest Skyhawks were given to Marinefliegergeschwader 1 and still carried the USN gull grey colours. Later they were repainted according to Norm 76. Also the Luftwaffe became interested in the plane as it showed remarkable performances. But since the Luftwaffe was planning to introduce the Alpha Jet, only one wing which otherwise would have been disbanded, was equipped with Skyhawks.

 

[i am aware that technically the German Skyhawks in navy service may have been painted in Norm 62 until Norm 76 came around. However that Luftwaffe-like camo is not only unfitting for a navy, it was specially for the Starfighter and shared with the Luftwaffe. Had the navy gotten its own aircraft it may not have been painted in Luftwaffe colours. Therefore I chose navy colours. The historical precedent are the Seahawks which were not repainted]
 
 

August 1970, Marinefliegergeschwader 1
Jagel, West-Germany

9gd9.jpg
 
 

April 1977, Marinefliegergeschwader 1
Jagel, West-Germany

xbi0.jpg

 

September 1977, Marinefliegergeschwader 3 “Graf Zeppelin”
Nordholz, West-Germany

tgpk.jpg
 

 
March 1976, Jagdbombergeschwader 44
Leipheim, West-Germany

fjt8.jpg

I

hdmy.jpg
 
 
 
 
 

 

A word on a possible release:
 
In case of interest, I will need to refine the German Skyhawk, and I will need to make sure I got all necessary permissions to use the work of others (the German numbers and pilots e.g.), before I can upload it.

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Looks a natural in German colours eh..low vis grey looks just right

Edited by russouk2004

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Thanks gentlemen! I appreciate your feedback.

 

 

Looks a natural in German colours eh..low vis grey looks just right

 

Right, it fits suprisingly well. The German dark grey makes it almost look sinister, and the Iron Crosses don't make it appear any nicer. It just screams "BAD", especially compared to the nice and bright colours and positive imagery of the US.

 

 

You should make a modern ICE version. But it look great!

 

One may think about new eighties wraparound camouflages, like Norm 83 and Norm 87, but I don't think substantial upgrades would have been made. In the MFGs it would have been replaced by the Tornado. Which is sad, for I could imagine a bunch of upgrades similar to the Kahu, plus some German goodies like the BK 27 - which is unfortunately too late for A-4FG...

 

http://www.jpsmodell.de/dc/draw/n87d_tor.jpg

http://www.jpsmodell.de/dc/draw/n83a_ajet.jpg

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come on PraetorH just do that ICE Stuff. it is a what if^^

 

if you think about it you must say that it would be way more cost effective for A-stan in the CAS role ;-)

 

but if you go ICE. you should maybe consider a one piece windshield if possible this will enhance visibility for ground attacks

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I am afraid a one piece windshield is beyond my capacities... As for the ICE. I know it is a "what-if", but my definition of "what-if" is not "anything-goes". I write up these stories to come up with at least thinkable solutions to introduce the aircraft I want. If you or I can think of a solution why the A-4FG would have been upgraded, ok. The problem is that by 1990 Germany had way too many A-G assets and had to massively reduce them obeying arms reduction treaties. In the years to follow six fighter bomber wings were dissolved, and another two were reorganized as fighter wings, not to mention all the GDR assets. Light CAS was not the parole of these days unfortunately, which is why most of the dissolved wings were Alpha Jet wings, as noone could think of missions like A-Stan.
 
This does not mean I could not do it anyway, just for fun drinks.gif.pagespeed.ce.9olfNKsCP-.gif
The main difficulty would be the wrap around camo anyway. If I got that, an ICE will not be too hard. We will see about that when I finish the vanilla FG.

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Norm87 is way beyond sexy.  :blink:

Something tells me, that MFG1 - for reasons never quite well explained to the public - couldn't transit to Tornados and was stuck with the A-4 until the late 90s.  :biggrin:

 

PS: Yes, I have a little crush on that MFG1 Eagle-emblem.

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Norm87 is way beyond sexy.  :blink:

Something tells me, that MFG1 - for reasons never quite well explained to the public - couldn't transit to Tornados and was stuck with the A-4 until the late 90s.  :biggrin:

 

Norm 87 is interesting, but as a wraparound camo, it is not easy to do a skin for it. Norm 76 with its two colours (one for the upper surface, one for the lower surface) is very easy in contrast - and looks extremely nice, imo.

 

Anyway as I am on the way creating Norm 87 I can just as well think about an upgrade. The problem is: what kind of upgrade? We had loads of Tornados and therefore the Skyhawk needs to have some capacities the Tornado did not have. And the only thing the Tornado could not do well was air to air combat. Now an A-4 fighter seems strange as well. Although the idea of a Skyhawk with Amraams is quite fun.

 

So in short I am stuck concerning the nature of the upgrade.

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if you ask me it could be explained that germany didn´t buy so many tornados because they have for some roles the already very good A-4FG so why buying mor expensive tornados in such big numbers, if not really needed?

i don´t think we would stick with the A-4 because we could need a fighter :-D especally not in the 90`s after we recieved the mig-29´s

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Considering the A-4FG is state of the 60ies-tech, an upgrade would be due in the 80ies – the time of the Tornado. Since the Tornado could do everything better than the Skyhawk, except perhaps CAS, and since there was ample money for the Tornado, I don’t see much of a niche for the Skyhawk in the Marine. Mind you, we should not confuse today’s Bundeswehr with that of the 80ies, which was very well funded and got a lot of impressive toys. There was no need for a 50ies plane anymore. The exception, the Phantom, was a pure stop gap, which in case of the Skyhawk would be unnecessary due to the best solution being available already. The G-91, a contemporary of the Skyhawk, was replaced entirely instead of being upgraded. (Not that there was much to upgrade).

 

The only thing the Marine did not have, was a fighter or interceptor. That is the only niche I can see, and perhaps CAS. A maverick armed Skyhawk might be within the realm of the thinkable, but that is quite a stretch. And it is not the most funny solution. An Amraam armed Skyhawk however... the Bundeswehr did not have many fighters up there, just JG 71, which may not have been enough to satisfy the fighter cover needs of the Marine, Luftwaffe, and Heer in all of Northern Germany, and the Northern Sea, and the Baltic Sea. (A MiG-Wing was not thought of in the 80ies, as one can imagine).  I could make an air superiority camo as well, Norm 90. This is a stretch as well, of course, because if the Marine really wanted a fighter/interceptor they may have gone for the Tornado ADV.

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The A4-s already carried the Bullpup and the Walleye, so the Maverick isn't far fetched at all. Specifically the kiwi A4K was wired for Mavericks in RL so German upgrade of it would be possible.

Cover story could be include saving resources for the JF90 project they decided to buy fewer Tornados and fill the gap with these upgraded A4s.

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Well, as it seems a popular topic, there is my try on the Bundesmarine camouflage Norm 87 applied to an upgraded A-4FG:

 

 

post-3782-0-87904800-1385137028_thumb.jpg

post-3782-0-18150100-1385137032_thumb.jpg

post-3782-0-52280600-1385137035_thumb.jpg

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I will, it will take a little more time though as I include an upgraded version, the A-4FG ICE, as well.

 

The ICE has an adapted APG-66 similar to the KAHU and can use Mavericks, but no LBGs. The radar however supports Amraams and the A-4FG is now perfectly air-to-air capable. It thus serves a double role, light attacker and fleet defender. Further upgrades include a slightly stronger engine and the replacement of the cannons with Mauser BK 27s. It's quite a blast.

 

You saw Norm 87 for the attackers of MFG 1 already, now you see Norm 90J for the fleet defenders of MFG 3 "Graf Zeppelin".

 

 

 

 

post-3782-0-84427900-1385174424_thumb.jpg

post-3782-0-91224500-1385174427_thumb.jpg

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Thanks, gentlemen!

 

 

head up display included for the ICE?

 

Never. I don't like HUDs, and it is not necessary. The A-4FG ICE will have the same targeting visuals like the F-4F ICE:

 

 

post-3782-0-75343900-1385214018_thumb.jpg

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I am thinking of more fictional camouflages: arctic and desert, any ideas for simple yet interesting camouflages are welcome.

 

Recently I did a skin for a special what-if, Skyhawks in the German Support Group Somalia 1993-1994. Somalia was the first large out-of-area mission of the German military since WWII and decidedly unmilitary except the security forces provided by paratroopers. In this version though Skyhawks patrol the skies, painted in the typical UN colours (like, for example, the C-160 on UN missions).

 

 

July 1993, UNOSOM II

Beledweyne, Somalia

post-3782-0-89444300-1385287185_thumb.jpg

post-3782-0-56536400-1385287190_thumb.jpg

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This post is really great, I love the story and the development. Also this UN scheme is pretty cool.

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UNOSOM II. MARINE REQUESTS KH-25L FROM EX-NVA-STOCKS

 

In Somalia, there is need for precision munitions to deal with irregular forces attacking our troops on the ground. Due to political and humanitarian considerations, the use of unguided munitions is not sensible. The AGM-65 are too expensive, but the large stocks of laser-guided Kh-25L missiles provide an adequate answer. They are readily available and easily mounted on the A-4FG ICE. However, lacking a laser-designator as of now, our paratroopers need to mark the targets. This solution will also ensure the better judgement of the troops on the ground helps avoiding collateral damage as much as possible.

 

post-3782-0-46046400-1385644593_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Also, during later missions in arid terrain, the Marine came up with a new camouflage:

(entirely fictional, the Bundeswehr never developed a desert camo)

post-3782-0-85238100-1385644636_thumb.jpg

post-3782-0-57392800-1385644637_thumb.jpg

Edited by PraetorH
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