F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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ricnunes

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Unread post01 Jun 2019, 15:57

I was checking some images related to military aircraft stored in my PC's HDD and I found the one that I'm sharing below (which I believe it was first posted by someone here at F-16.net) which pretty much resumes a comparison between the F-35 and Gripen in terms of performance/capability:

Image

:wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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kimjongnumbaun

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Unread post01 Jun 2019, 17:36

ricnunes wrote:I was checking some images related to military aircraft stored in my PC's HDD and I found the one that I'm sharing below (which I believe it was first posted by someone here at F-16.net) which pretty much resumes a comparison between the F-35 and Gripen in terms of performance/capability:

Image

:wink:


The Gripen in that photo is carrying 1000lb ers.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post01 Jun 2019, 20:52

And the F-35's Combat radius is 670nm
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knowan

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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 05:02

I find it amusing the F-35A is criticized for having only 180 rounds of 25mm ammunition for its gun, but the Gripen has only 120 rounds of 27mm ammo.
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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 06:12

OK we all know the extra 2 mm gives extra punch :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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knowan

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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 08:13

gta4 wrote:OK we all know the extra 2 mm gives extra punch :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


The 27mm rounds are about 25% heavier, but the F-35 has 50% more ammunition, with a gun that has nearly twice the rate of fire.
So in total gun firepower available and the amount delivered in a given amount of time, the F-35A is superior to Gripen... yet I've never seen the Gripen criticized on this metric, not once.
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ricnunes

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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 12:17

kimjongnumbaun wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Image

:wink:


The Gripen in that photo is carrying 1000lb ers.



Absolutely!

BTW, does anyone know if the Gripen E can carry 2000lb bombs on those two fuselage stations?

In case NO (which is what I suspect) then this even makes things worse for the Gripen since in order to carry 4K PGM's the Gripen would either carry 2x2000lb PGM's on the inner wing pylons and thus would only carry a single external fuel tank (instead of two) in the centerline fuselage pylon or would carry 4x1000lb (2 on the fuselage pylons as seen in the picture above and 2 on the inner pylons) but then it wouldn't carry any external fuel tanks as all!



SpudmanWP wrote:And the F-35's Combat radius is 670nm


Yes, indeed.
That picture above is quite old - I don't remember how old it is but it is pre-Block 3 that's for sure - and if I'm not mistaken at that time the F-35A combat range was only tested up to 590nm (but also if I'm not mistaken, known to be bigger than that, hence the '+' sign after the 590 value).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 12:36

SpudmanWP wrote:And the F-35's Combat radius is 670nm

"If the pilot took off with full fuel 2 amraams and 2 2000lbs bombs flew 590nm and came back with a 10 min weapon deployment time they would land with around 7,000-8,000lbs still in the tank. " Even 670nm is conservative.
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ricnunes

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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 12:39

knowan wrote:I find it amusing the F-35A is criticized for having only 180 rounds of 25mm ammunition for its gun, but the Gripen has only 120 rounds of 27mm ammo.


Ditto!

And not only that but also the Rafale gun carries 125 rounds of ammo, the Typhoon gun carries 150 rounds and the Su-35 gun also carries 150 rounds. :wink:
And I usually watch a considerable number of fans of these 3 aircraft criticizing the F-35A by "only" having a 180 round capacity for its gun, go figure :roll:

So basically the only F-35 "direct competitor" that carries more ammo in its gun is the Super Hornet with 412 rounds (but otherwise carrying a weaker 20mm gun) and I never watched any of these guys mentioning guns and their ammo capability while being fans of the Eurocannard or Russian fighters pointing out that the Super Hornet has the "advantage" here...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 14:11

The whole gun/rounds thing in US fighters has been interesting to follow.

The F-15 if I'm not mistaken carried a whopping 940 rounds of 20mm ammo! That's a lot of squeeze time. The F-14 had 675 rounds, 510 in the F-16 and 400 or so in the F-18. So as time's marched on, the weapon has largely remained the same and the round count has declined.

Now it's down to 180 rounds in the F-35A, and 220 rounds for the gun pod in F-35B/C. The big change here though as I understand it is the move to 25mm shells. Can also be shot in multiple ways/rates of fire. I'll be honest... I cringed when I saw no internal gun for the F-35B and C.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, they still have a gun (if they opt to carry it). OTOH, I'm not sure how much it degrades performance and RCS. I understand the pilots when given a choice chose more gas, but to me that's more important in a C vs. a B. The B can set down anywhere in a pinch, whereas the C will be flying over water/open ocean with only one landing strip available - the carrier.

It will be interesting to see how the B/C gun pod thing plays out. One thing I always liked about it: A gun can't be jammed or spoofed. If stealth on stealth results in dogfights, they'll be glad they're carrying one. Although now that I think about it, the J-20 has none.

Hmmmm...
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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 17:51

eloise wrote: Then wouldn't these jammers get located by ASQ-239 and triangulation?


Likely, but at that point you would have a situation we're both sides have more or less the same information, a X-band radio transmission, one from the F-35 radar and the other from the jammer.

eloise wrote:
alphaxraylima wrote:though the radar of a single F-35 will be more susceptible to jamming from another fighter compared to the radar of an AWACS, due to it having a higher frequency than most AWACS and such jammers are easier to fit inside a fighter.

While this might sounds reasonable at first glance, it is not necessarily true. While there is no doubt that AWACs radar is more powerful than APG-81, thanks to F-35's RCS, APG-81 can stay much closer to target area and because signal reflection degrade with forth root of distance, APG-81 might actually be harder to deceive.


I was not referring as much to the power or size of the radar as I was of the jammer itself. Most AESA radars can be used as jammers, and these will, in the case of pretty much all modern fighters, be X-band. This, combined with the fact that the radar is probably the single largest available transmitter on most fighters will mean that the frequency band that an AESA radar equipped fighter will be able to most effectively jam is the same that radar is intended for.

eloise wrote:
alphaxraylima wrote:When it comes to effective range the F-35 in an internal air-to-air configuration is said to have a maximum combat radius of about 1400 km while the Gripen E is said to have a combat radius of 1500 km with 30 minutes on station time, which should give it a maximum combat radius of about 1700 km, and like pointed out above, the latter would, in that scenario, only have to fly at lower altitudes for a short duration. Yes that is in an air-to air configuration and the Gripen will suffer more from the addition of heavier and draggier air-to-ground ordnance but two BRU-61s with four SDBs or Spear IIIs each aren't that draggy or heavy.


Didn't Gripen NG has shorter combat radius than Rafale and F-18 and both have shorter combat radius than F-35 if all are on internal fuel?
Assuming you want to have 1500 km combat radius on Gripen, you will need 3 external fuel tanks at least, which harm both agility, acceleration, speed and RCS.
22.PNG

gripen.jpg


On just internal fuel the F-35 is probably the fighter with the longest range, no question about that. The other ones are intended to use external tanks. In that situation the Rafale probably has the furthest reach. The Gripen E, configured with two 450 gallon EFTs, two BRU-61s with SDBs, three AIM-120s, two AIM-9s and a targeting pod would have a very slight advantage in fuel fraction over the F/A-18C carrying the same air-to-ground ordnance load but with two fewer AIM-120s and three 330 gallon EFTs. If my memory serves that image is actually from a presentation made by Dassault so I would take it with a grain of salt when it comes to the performance of the other two aircraft.

According to what can be found on Saab's website the air-to-air combat radius of the Gripen E is 1500 km with 30 minutes of on station time. Like you pointed out that is most likely with three EFTs (two 450 gallon tanks under the wings and one 300 gallon centreline tank), two IRIS-Ts and two BVR missiles. The Gripen E uses basically the same F414 engine as the Super Hornet so going by the range and endurance charts in the F/A-18E/F flight manual 30 minutes of flight at a maximum endurance speed translates to over 400 km at optimum cruise (at the same altitude) which is how I came up with the 1700 km maximum combat radius. Assuming that replacing the centreline fuel tank with two BVR missiles doesn't change the total drag index of the aircraft (which would result in a conservative estimation based on the F-16C/D flight manual) the Gripen E should have a combat radius of about 1550 km with two 450 gallon EFTs, four BVR missiles and two wingtip IR missiles (going by the change in fuel fraction). Which is similar to claims made for the SH, which is 1490 km with the same missile load and three 480 gallon EFTs. Obvious exclaimer, most of this last paragraph are based on my own speculations and calculations but I don't think they are too unreasonable.
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Unread post02 Jun 2019, 20:40

mixelflick wrote:I'll be honest... I cringed when I saw no internal gun for the F-35B and C.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it.


Well, not having an internal gun didn't stop the F-4 from being one of the biggest success of the entire history of military aviation and this in an era where Air-to-Air missiles and Air-to-Ground ordinance was far, far less effective than nowadays.


mixelflick wrote:On the one hand, they still have a gun (if they opt to carry it). OTOH, I'm not sure how much it degrades performance and RCS.


Just like the F-4, the F-35B/C will have the chance to carry a gun when needed using the gunpod just like you pointed out.

From what I read the gunpod is stealth, so if it increases the aircraft's (F-35B/C) RCS then I strongly believe that such increase will likely be minimal.


mixelflick wrote:Although now that I think about it, the J-20 has none.

Hmmmm...


I didn't know that! Thanks for the info.

As you can see even with the J-20 example the gun is becoming more and more a secondary (I would say "tertiary") weapon for a fighter aircraft. A bit like a knife is for the modern infantry soldier - A "cool looking" weapon to have which may be handy in a few and rare situations but otherwise definitely a weapon that the same infantry soldier won't use to engage the enemy.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post03 Jun 2019, 09:11

alphaxraylima wrote:Likely, but at that point you would have a situation we're both sides have more or less the same information, a X-band radio transmission, one from the F-35 radar and the other from the jammer.

Not really, because the radar doesn't illuminate all targets at once, all the times. Radar scan its field of regard, by each beam position, one by one, then move on to the next position. In other words, you sorta track your adversary one by one if that make sense.
Like this: You see the whole 120 degrees field of regard, is not illuminated at the same time.
Image
Image

On the other hand, for support jamming, you would want to flood all adversary radars in the area with noise so none of them can detect your friends. You can track your enemy one by one with radar but you can't jam your enemy one by one with support jamming. Does that make sense?. let say if they have 10 aircraft and you are only jamming fighter A, then fighter B , C, D, E , F can alternatively take the role of using their radar. And the location of your squadron can be found. So you have to jam all to prevent that. As a result, the jamming beam has to be larger and the operating period have to be greater
In addition, do you intend to active jamming or reactive jamming? If your jammer is only reacted aka only transmit if it detects APG-81's pulse, then your formation is at risk from first pulse detection. In simple words, same as SAM, F-35 remain silent and only transmit once in a while. If that pulse is transmitted when the formation is sufficiently close then all your Gripen will be detected. By contrast, if you set one of your Gripen as support jammer, and he has to transmit all the time regardless of whether any APG-81's pulse is detected or not then F-35 squadron will have a much more stable passive track of Gripen NG jammer, than Gripen NG squadron's passive track of APG-81 radar, and they can start to attack it.

Secondly, Gripen with 3 EFT will be detected from pretty long range, and i suspect the burn through distance will be quite long as well



alphaxraylima wrote:I was not referring as much to the power or size of the radar as I was of the jammer itself. Most AESA radars can be used as jammers, and these will, in the case of pretty much all modern fighters, be X-band. This, combined with the fact that the radar is probably the single largest available transmitter on most fighters will mean that the frequency band that an AESA radar equipped fighter will be able to most effectively jam is the same that radar is intended for.

AESA radar can jam at others frequency as well
https://patents.google.com/patent/US4823136


alphaxraylima wrote:On just internal fuel the F-35 is probably the fighter with the longest range, no question about that. The other ones are intended to use external tanks. In that situation the Rafale probably has the furthest reach. The Gripen E, configured with two 450 gallon EFTs, two BRU-61s with SDBs, three AIM-120s, two AIM-9s and a targeting pod would have a very slight advantage in fuel fraction over the F/A-18C carrying the same air-to-ground ordnance load but with two fewer AIM-120s and three 330 gallon EFTs. If my memory serves that image is actually from a presentation made by Dassault so I would take it with a grain of salt when it comes to the performance of the other two aircraft.

According to what can be found on Saab's website the air-to-air combat radius of the Gripen E is 1500 km with 30 minutes of on station time. Like you pointed out that is most likely with three EFTs (two 450 gallon tanks under the wings and one 300 gallon centreline tank), two IRIS-Ts and two BVR missiles. The Gripen E uses basically the same F414 engine as the Super Hornet so going by the range and endurance charts in the F/A-18E/F flight manual 30 minutes of flight at a maximum endurance speed translates to over 400 km at optimum cruise (at the same altitude) which is how I came up with the 1700 km maximum combat radius. Assuming that replacing the centreline fuel tank with two BVR missiles doesn't change the total drag index of the aircraft (which would result in a conservative estimation based on the F-16C/D flight manual) the Gripen E should have a combat radius of about 1550 km with two 450 gallon EFTs, four BVR missiles and two wingtip IR missiles (going by the change in fuel fraction). Which is similar to claims made for the SH, which is 1490 km with the same missile load and three 480 gallon EFTs. Obvious exclaimer, most of this last paragraph are based on my own speculations and calculations but I don't think they are too unreasonable.

I don't have F-18 E/F manual with me, so if you can supply it, it would be great.
Anyway,
1-You said "30 minutes of flight at a maximum endurance speed translates to over 400 km" what is the load out of F-18 in that condition?
2- Missiles close together are more draggy then when they are far apart due to interference drag, if you look at F-16 manual, you will notice that centerline tank drag index is different when station 4-6 are loaded vs when they aren't. So most likey 2 AIM-120 in Gripen centerline will be more draggy than when they are on F-16 outer hard point.
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Unread post03 Jun 2019, 09:21

About cost for Gripen and F-35

There was a good article in a swiss newspaper comparing System Price for F-35 ( Belgium, Netherlands ect) vs Gripen price offered to Switzerland. And its seems the F-35 could be even cheaper then the NG.

https://translate.google.ch/translate?h ... 9h0RnNVfAE
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ricnunes

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Unread post03 Jun 2019, 10:07

swiss wrote:And its seems the F-35 could be even cheaper then the NG.

https://translate.google.ch/translate?h ... 9h0RnNVfAE


Yes indeed and that doesn't surprise me a bit. Actually this is something that I've been saying to quite awhile here in this forum.
IMO (and again) we just need to look at what I consider the only (and therefore best) source regarding the Gripen E price which is the Brazilian Gripen contact (so far the only Gripen E export customer). This contract involved 36 aircraft for a total cost of USD $5.4 billion which was later renegotiated (mostly due to Brazil being a Gripen NG partner and its currency plummeted in the meanwhile) so the end result was USD $4.68 billion for the same 36 aircraft.
This means that each Gripen aircraft will cost Brazil USD $130 Million (again, per aircraft).
Here:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... al-416586/
and here:
https://sites.tufts.edu/corruptarmsdeal ... ence-case/

Of course we can argue that USD $130 Million cost per unit/aircraft doesn't only cover the aircraft itself which would be correct. However this contract doesn't seem to cover much more than the aircraft itself. Basically this contract involves the aircraft itself, the training to some pilots and ground maintenance personnel (mechanics) and logistical support (whatever that might be).
Here:
https://translate.google.pt/translate?h ... _1820.html

Original of the above in Portuguese:
https://aeromagazine.uol.com.br/artigo/ ... _1820.html

So if we look at F-35 contracts we see either contracts with the cost per aircraft being quite cheaper while providing similar or even more "extras" or contracts which either have a similar cost or being a little bit more expensive but providing far more "extras" (such as including maintenance for an 'X' number of years and/or the construction of ground support infrastructures, etc...).
As such, with the above I conclude that the F-35 is actually cheaper than the Gripen E.

However the Gripen should be cheaper than the remaining Eurocannards (Typhoon and Rafale) which could make it an "attractive" option for those countries that want to buy Western fighter aircraft (or not wanting to buy Russian or Chinese) but don't have access to American aircraft or do not want to buy American fighter aircraft such as for example Brazil (the sole export customer to this date).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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