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High Tech German Jets Grounded at Night, Russia Keeps Flying

Excessive cockpit lighting is blinding German pilots trying to fly night missions in Syria 

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Originally Appeared at Contra-Magazin. Translated from the German by Werner Schrimpf


The German Air Force is restricted to conducting its flights over Syria “only during office hours.“  Newly-implemented hardware and software generates a too-intense cockpit lighting which is preventing crews from flying night missions. The interesting question now is whether there had been any tests before installing these new software and hardware features.

According to the German newspaper "BILD," the German Army is obviously not able to conduct reconnaissance flights against IS during night hours. This report is based on statements from the German Air Force. The reason for this is a new software and hardware upgrade, the so-called ASSTA-3, which has made the cockpit lighting too bright, thus making it impossible to fly at night.

The German Air Force is working hard to fix the problem for the short-term and plans to introduce an interim solution. Finally, the issue should be solved by the end of 2016, according to an Air Force spokesperson. 

Since the beginning of 2016, the German Air Force has been participating in the war on IS and has been conducting reconnaissance flights over Syria and Iraq. But according to the German Air Force, the problem shouldn’t cause too big of a setback because reconnaissance results would be better during the daytime anyway.

Nevertheless, the crucial question remains: why did they not test these upgrades beforehand? How can one install hardware and software in fighter jets which make it practically impossible to fly in the dark? Was a lobby group supported by taxpayer money involved?


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