The Luftwaffe is the air arm of the German Wehrmacht. It was founded in 1935, and controls most of Germany's military flying units, the national radar network, and the German arsenal of strategic surface to air missiles. It also possesses ground forces in the form of 2 Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger divisions, and a third Waffen-SS Fallschirmjäger division attached.
The present Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe is Generalfeldmarschall Arne Kreuzinger-Janik.
The Luftwaffe is divided into several regional air fleets (Luftflotten). The Luftwaffe Air Fleets are assigned to OKE and to its subordinate fronts. Some air fleets contain all of the aircraft under a particular front, while others contain some of the aircraft in a front. Each Air Fleet contains its own depot level facilities, and support units. The Air Fleets also control their own light Flak and FlaRak units that defend Luftwaffe bases from air attack.
Luftflotte 1 is assigned to OK Ost in the Eastern Front. It's role is to support the two northern Armies on the Eastern Front. It is equipped with fighters strike aircraft, and close support aircraft. It also has a number of medium bombers. Support aircraft include electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft.
Luftflotte 2 is assigned to OK Süd, and is based in Italy. Luftflotte 2 is primarily a command formation. Its peacetime German assets include a Geschwader of Tornados (probably intended for nuclear strike, as the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana) has several Gruppi of its own Tornados), a number of command aircraft (converted Airbus A310 aircraft), a Geschwader of tankers, and a small Staffel of liaison aircraft. Its main wartime role would be to control the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, and parts of the French Armée de l'Air, and the Spanish Ejército del Aire.
Luftflotte 3 is Germany's strategic transport force. It is assigned directly to OK Europa and supports all other fronts. During wartime, it would control the strategic transport aircraft of all EU air forces. In peacetime, LF3 can charter civil aircraft. Lufthansa is the primary recipient of these charters, however other EU airlines can be used (for instance, support for German forces in Cuba is usually done by Air France, KLM, or British Airways). In wartime, civil airliners are requisitioned by the EU's armed forces. LF3 controls most of those airliners. Smaller regional airliners, however, can be parceled out to the various Fronts.
The Fallschirmjägertruppe is assigned to OK Europa as a strategic intervention force. It contains two Fallschirmjäger (airborne) divisions and commands an SS Fallschirmjäger division. It works with Luftflotte 3.
Luftflotte 5 is assigned to OK Abschreckung ("Deterrence" Front) and is equipped with strategic bombers. Its tasks include delivery of strategic nuclear weapons, delivery of tactical nuclear weapons and long range conventional strike (the latter two roles occur when LF5 forces are temporarily assigned to another Luftflotte)
The Reichsluftverteidigungkommando (Reich Air Defence Command) is assigned to OK Zentral and is the German component of Europäische Luftverteidigungskommando (European Air Defence Command). It maintains a network of radars covering the skies from the Arctic Circle to the Canary Islands, and from the western coast of Ireland to Theoderichshafen (Sevastopol). It also maintains a group of ballistic missile warning radars.
Its forces include interceptors, and surface to air missiles. Interceptors include the Panavia Pa 200J Tornado (also known as the Tornado ADV or Tornado LVV) used for long range patrol and the Messerschmitt Me 663 used for shorter range engagements. Surface to air missiles cover key points. The Luftwaffe operates long range mobile SAMs and a small (but growing) number of missile defence interceptor missiles.
Luftflotte 7 was formed to support the Atlantic Front. It was disbanded in the late 1960s when the Kriegsmarine Naval Air Service took over all maritime aviation tasks.
The Strategic Missile Command is the counterpart of LF5. As its name implies, it operates intercontinental ballistic missiles. Some of its missiles are based in Germany, but most are based in the General Government, Ostland, and the Ukraine. This decision was taken in order to safeguard German cities from the effects of a "counterforce" strike. This decision was flawed due to the fact that the ground nuclear bursts required to destroy missile silos produce massive amounts of fallout, which would drift to Germany and Western Europe, but the silos were nonetheless built.
Today, only a small number of German ICBMs are silo-based. Most of Germany's current ICBM force is mobile.
Luftflotte 9 is the third Luftflotte assigned to OK Ost. It includes the transport, refueling, airborne early warning, and battlefield surveillance aircraft of the Eastern Front. It also contains a force of Arado Ar 534 strategic bombers, intermediate range ballistic missiles and Tornado strike aircraft. These are believed to act as a "Front Commander's discretionary strike force".
Luftflotte 10 contains training and liaison squadrons. It is based in Germany and reports to OK Zentral. It also performs the Luftwaffe's VIP role.
Luftflotte 11 is primarily based in Norway and supports the Northern Front. It is commanded by OK Nord. Like LF2, LF11 is small. It has a small number of strike aircraft, plus command aircraft and tankers. This is not a great disadvantage in wartime, as LF11 would incorporate the Norwegian Air Force.
Luftflotte 12 is assigned to OK Ost in the Eastern Front. It's role is to support the two southern Armies on the Eastern Front. It is equipped with fighters strike aircraft, and close support aircraft. It also has a number of medium bombers. Support aircraft include electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft. It is smaller than Luftflotte 1. In wartime, it would incorporate the Romanian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian air forces.
Luftflotte 13 is the newest German Air Fleet. It is based in German Palestine and supports the South Eastern Front under the command of OK Südost. It operates across the Middle East, providing support to the air forces of Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. In wartime it includes the Italian units in Italian East Africa and French units in Lebanon. In a Middle Eastern conflict, these Axis forces are intended to contain Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Emirates.
|Focke-Wulf Ta 800||Strategic bomber, cruise missile carrier|| Ta 800 B|
Ta 800 D
Ta 800 R
|1956||See below for other roles|
|Arado Ar 534 Blitz III||Supersonic heavy bomber||Ar 534 A||1987||Variable geometry|
|Junkers Ju 332||Subsonic medium bomber||Ju 332 D||1957 (D model: 1989)||Crescent wing |
Tactical Fighter/Attack Aircraft
|Panavia Pa 200 Tornado|| Interdiction/Strike|
| Pa 200 A|
Pa 200 J
Pa 200 E
| Pa 200 A: 1979|
Pa 200 J: 1985
Pa 200 E: 1990
|Collaborative European design|
|Eurofighter Ef 2000 Taifun||Strike fighter (A)|
Conversion trainer (B)
|Ef 2000 A|
Ef 2000 B
|2003||Collaborative European design, intended to replace the Ta 390 and Me 663|
|Messerschmitt Me 663||Strike fighter||Me 663 A|
Me 663 B
Me 663 C
Me 663 D
|Primary fighter of the Luftwaffe|
|Messerschmitt Me 609||Strike fighter||Me 609 C|
Me 609 D
|1973||Secondary fighter of the Luftwaffe|
|Messerschmitt Me 563||Fighter||Me 563 E|
Me 563 D
Me 565 F
|SEPECAT Ta 390 Jaguar||Ground attack||Ta 390 C (attack)|
Ta 390 D (trainer)
|1973||Collaborative European design|
|Focke-Wulf Ca 393 Weihen||Close air support||Ca 393 F, Ca 393 H (single-seat)|
Ca 393 G, Ca 393 J (twin-seat)
|STOVL aircraft, most development work by British Aerospace under the name Harrier|
|Messerschmitt Me 623 Gigant III|| Strategic transport|
Outsize cargo lifter
|Me 623 C||1972 (C model: 1995)||Largest, heaviest aircraft in the world. Six engines, 250 tonne payload|
|Airbus A500M||Strategic transport||A500M||1988||Four-engined cargo aircraft, maximum payload 75 tonnes|
|Junkers Ju 652||Tanker||Ju 652 LB||1973||Four-engined jet airliner, used as a tanker.|
Last wholly German jet airliner. 
|Airbus A310 MRTT||Tanker/transport||Ab 310 LT||1985||Convertable for cargo, passenger, or refueling roles|
|Airbus A330 MRTT||Tanker/transport||Ab 330 LT||2006||Convertable for cargo, passenger, or refueling roles|
|Focke-Wulf Ta 800 (transport)||Tanker|
|Ta 800 H|
Ta 800 E-4
(current version: 1989)
|Fiat/Junkers G.222||Tactical transport||Ju 222||1978||Italian design|
|Transall C-160||Medium tactical transport||Tr 160 B||1967||Franco-German collaboration|
|Airbus A400M||Medium tactical/strategic transport||Ab 400||2006||Replacement for the Tr 160|
- Airbus Konkord
- Airbus A330CJ
- Airbus A319CJ
- Blohm & Voss Ha-320
- Dornier Do 27
- Dornier Do 28
- Dornier Do 228
Electronic Warfare/Surveillance Aircraft
- Panavia Pa 200E Tornado 
- Airbus A310MZF Airborne Early Warning aircraft 
- Focke-Wulf Ta 800 ZF Airborne Early Warning aircraft
- Focke-Wulf Ta 800 FEA ELINT aircraft (Fernmelde- und Elektronische Aufklärung)
- Focke-Wulf Ta 800 AK Reconnaissance aircraft (Aufklärung)
- EADS Eu 100 Barrakuda UAV
- Grob Gr 115
- Focke-Wulf/Piaggio FWP.149 D
- Dornier/Bloch Do 501 Alpha Jet 
- Blohm & Voss Ha-320
Air Defence Artillery
Surface to Air Missiles
- BL-R-3 Bloodhound radio command-guided surface to air missile
- BL-A-9 Grubenottern radar-guided surface to air missile 
- BL-R-7 Himmelblitz radar-guided surface to air missile 
- BL-R-8 Pfeil radar-guided surface to air missile 
- BL-AR-16 ASTER-30 radar-guided surface to air missile
Working and Combat Uniforms
Flying Suit - Worn by all personnel working on service aircraft. Used by the Heeresflieger, and the National Socialist Flying Corps with appropriate insignia.
Combat Uniform - Worn by FlaRak, and Ground Defence troops.
Working Uniform - Worn by Luftwaffe ground personnel as a general working dress. Senior NCOs often wear black overalls in accordance with Luftwaffe tradition (the "Blackbirds").