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Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 01:04
by optimist
Working out a price on a fa-18 or any other platform from the budget documents takes more skill than most have, including me. There are a dozen prices and each one of them is correct, It's just a matter of having apples for apples.

Boeing's price price of about $55M, that was all over the net in CA was correct. Even though the money that CA would pay for block II was a lot more. Have a look at what Australia paid back in 2010. page 22 ( $117.9M )

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... 12_sar.pdf

The above used a BY of year 2000, some 20 years ago now.
See if this is confusing enough. They uses BY and TY for a start.
BY is base year cost. So say something has a 10 year production from 1970, Base year cost of purchase may be 1968 when they worked out the cost and lets say this is $10. If you buy the same thing in 1980 and the TY, then year cost of purchase is $20. Both the $10 and $20 price is correct. and the first unit bought in 1970 cost more than $10 in TY, because you have 2 years inflation added. So there was never a unit sold for $10 cash. But all of them even up to $20. Has a $10 BY cost.

then you can decide what you are counting, flyaway? There are 2 prices for that. recurring and total. Both are different and correct.
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Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 04:36
by XanderCrews
Austria bought the Eurofighter Typhoon and didn't have money to fly it. Serbia's MiG-29 fleet was suffering from insufficient maintenance, malfunctions and lack of upgrades and was no match for Western fighters in the 1999 Kosovo war. Both Slovakia and Poland are struggling with keeping their MiG-29s operational. According to an article published a few days ago by Onet.pl, only between 30-40 % of Polish F-16s are combat ready at any given time. (That's still way better than USN's F-35C, but still.) And F-16s are supposed to be easy to maintain, with so many flying throughout Europe, spare parts should be cheap as chips!


There's really more to it than this. for example in the US we have Full Mission Capable and Part Mission Capable (PMC). Full Mission capable means it can do any mission. Part mission capable was a lot more common for example with Harriers in the USMC. The Aim-9 rails, and Cannon pods are either broken, left off or both because its not really needed for the mission at hand. Harriers flying all around Yuma that are PMC, but it really doesn't matter. The guns just add weight unless the training mission calls for it and all the good sidewinder rails are overseas. But with no good sidewinder rails, the bird must be listed as "PMC" Theres always work to be done, and people choose to make sure the engine is good to go rather than the rails. Part mission means how it sounds, it can't do full mission but part of the mission spectrum.

Seeing as the F-35C isn't deploying, I'm not surprised the Squadrons are prioritizing. Most F-35Cs are training squadrons right?

lukfi wrote:In addition to the discussion we are having, I'd like to talk some more about the value proposition of the Gripen as I see it, and Czech Air Force experience with the plane.

The main selling point is low cost of operation. This is a big deal particularly for smaller and poorer air forces. It means that with a tight budget, your pilots can fly more, or sometimes that they can fly at all. And that they can invest more money into actually using the plane's full capabilities...

...On the other hand, do you know which small and poor air force has absolutely no problems keeping its fighters combat ready and can afford to send 5 of its total 14 supersonic aircraft to Iceland or Baltic Air Policing, while guarding its own airspace at the same time? You guessed it: the Czech Air Force, flying the JAS-39C/D.



Dude thats amazing. Congratulations on your 5 airplane det.

Im glad the CZ republic is actually taking defense into its own hands, and I'm glad that they are even being use to take some of the Rotations.

But this isn't a miracle. lots of even poorer countries keep F-5s going.


I haven't been able to find precise numbers, like what is the sortie rate or mission capability rate. But public statements of Army officials have been very positive towards the Gripen. Reliability and ease of maintenance are often cited.

Another article tries to compare the F-35 total ownership costs with what we are paying for leasing the Gripens:
https://www.armadninoviny.cz/americane- ... -stat.html
A fleet of 24 F-35A aircraft (based on Danish estimates) is expected to cost $3B to buy and $10B to operate over 30 years, this number includes direct costs of flying and regular maintenance but also training, servicing and upgrades throughout the fleet's lifetime. In USD, per plane and per year, the ownership cost (including depreciation) would be around $18M.

We are currently paying $5.3M each year for each single Gripen, which includes not only leasing the aircraft itself but also training, servicing and upgrades. It's not an all-inclusive number like the one for the F-35A, so let's throw in some money for personnel, fuel and everything else. Let's round it off at $7M. At 150 hours/year this would put its CPFH (excluding training and servicing!) at $11,300 which may be a little harsh but we're talking ballpark numbers.

The comparison is harsh for the Gripen because leasing it is more expensive than owning it, when you average it out throughout the lifetime. (Oh and the lease includes tax, which we are essentially paying to ourselves; without it it's some 20% cheaper, but that may be included in the F-35 number as well, I'm not sure.) Additonally, the less planes you operate the more expensive each individual one is, and the numbers are for 14 Gripens vs. 24 F-35As, so the Gripen is again at a disadvantage. The F-35 on the other hand may be disadvantaged because the estimate comes from the Danish who have more expensive personnel. So the comparison is not perfect, but it looks like owning a Gripen costs about 40% of what an F-35A is projected to cost. And that's total cost, despite the F-35A being so cheap to buy!


oh good god.


Now, this is of course for the C/D model. The Gripen E will be more expensive to buy (but then again buying is cheaper than leasing) and to fly. Even if the TCO somehow ended up being 50 % more than the Gripen C, we are still in the ballpark of half an F-35.


Yeah and this is thread for the Gripen NG. as I've alluded to before they don't have much in common.

You know why the Gripen costs less? Because it does less. this wasn't a secret even among Saab they said the old Gripen wasn't quite like an F-16 but was a good value all the same.

Even if the F-35 was twice as valuable than a Gripen E, a small air force will not go under a certain number of aircraft. Bulgaria bought just 8 F-16s. At that size, it's barely enough to fulfill domestic air policing duties, with no hope of ever taking part in foreign missions, not even Baltic/Iceland air policing. If CzAF ever wants to fight abroad, it would need 24 fighters. Getting just 12 F-35s does not make sense, getting 24 Gripens for a similar price instead… maybe?


Coalition based warfare. I understand the argument you are trying to make. the old "not even a spitfire can be in two places" trope. Getting 12 F-35 makes perfect sense when you are going to deploy them along with other F-35s. Thats one of the key points of the whole "joint warfare" aspect, hell the whole joint strike fighter really.

one of the lessons of the 1991 war was that multirole aircraft were fare more versatile and needed. the US Navy planned on fighting the soviets alone on the high seas and lacked all the IFF equipment that the USAF (and many allies had.) which meant the navy wasn't allowed to come out and play with their F-14s, they got sidelined. worse still, by the time the air to air phase had subsided and everyone is aching for more bombs, the F-14s still couldnt do anything since they were not multi-role. The Tomcat contribution to the 1991 war with iraq was comparatively small.

1991 emphasized the importance of avionics and other systems being uniform, the importance of multi-role capability and a host of other things that have made it into the JSF program that became F-35.

Speaking of 1991, one of the Canadian people I know was a CF-18 pilot and spoke glowingly of working with the US Marines. When did he work with the US Marines? Whenever the CF-18s bubbas went to go to Marine base up the road in Saudi Arable and ask and beg and acquire spare F-18 parts... This is one of the reasons why it helps to have everyone using the same gear. Really hard to beg for Gripen parts when you're the only group using them. The only F414 equipped US units will be on ships BTW, unless you happen by a concrete growler detatchment

More lessons learned. in 1999 the CF-18s were almost sent home when it turned out they lacked the encryption communications the allies were using. The solution ended up being to broadcast in the clear instead of encrypted. but the point stands that you might send 2 or 20 or 200 something in the future and they just send you home. thats why the whole 2/5 eyes thing matters.

anyway yes, you might very well hit a point where its bad, but its not the way you are thinking. In some cases you may well be better off sending 3 F-35s, than 30 Gripens. and I'm not kidding. And thats before we get into the combat survival aspect. The USN is saying not even Growlers should be messing around in high threat environments. Thats 5th generation only and even then it won't be easy. Gripens would be wiped out if they were allowed in there. and again I'm not kidding.


Anyway there is really more to this than you think. Denmark is basically doing the same thing every other F-35 buyer is except for maybe Israel, the idea is basically they will absolutely not be going to war alone, but as a part of an alliance. They may actually save more money, contribute more, and have more availability by flying the F-35, even if its in smaller numbers, than "going it alone" and buying a niche aircraft they are then 100 percent on the hook for, while also hoping their upgrades have kept them up with 5th generation warfare (which is impossible basically) There simply no amount of money you can pump into a Gripen or Gripen E that will make it 5th generation. Just like there was no amount of money you could throw into an F-4 to make it an F-16 or F-15 or F-14 or F-18. and yes F-4s still serve today I know, but they aren't any of the teen series.

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 11:04
by hythelday
lukfi wrote:In addition to the discussion we are having, I'd like to talk some more about the value proposition of the Gripen as I see it, and Czech Air Force experience with the plane.

The main selling point is low cost of operation. This is a big deal particularly for smaller and poorer air forces. It means that with a tight budget, your pilots can fly more, or sometimes that they can fly at all. And that they can invest more money into actually using the plane's full capabilities.

[...]

On the other hand, do you know which small and poor air force has absolutely no problems keeping its fighters combat ready and can afford to send 5 of its total 14 supersonic aircraft to Iceland or Baltic Air Policing, while guarding its own airspace at the same time? You guessed it: the Czech Air Force, flying the JAS-39C/D.

Even if the F-35 was twice as valuable than a Gripen E, a small air force will not go under a certain number of aircraft. Bulgaria bought just 8 F-16s. At that size, it's barely enough to fulfill domestic air policing duties, with no hope of ever taking part in foreign missions, not even Baltic/Iceland air policing. If CzAF ever wants to fight abroad, it would need 24 fighters. Getting just 12 F-35s does not make sense, getting 24 Gripens for a similar price instead… maybe?


Bulgaria bought 8 Block 70 F-16s with a 1/3 of Czech GDP and a smaller defence budget. Slovakia bought 14 Block 70s with 1/2 the defence budget of Czechia. Soon your "little brothers" will have a more numerous air force with objectively a more capable fighter.

Finland assessed that Gripen would be a more expensive option over the lifetime than the F-16 and only marginally cheaper than F/A-18 while being significantly inferior (Swiss assessed even MS21 Gripen with AESA and Meteor could not match their 1997 Hornet in Air Policing missions). Slovakia wasn't looking for "14 Falcons or 28 Gripens", they were looking to replace their Fulcrums at about 1:1 ratio. But we all know that Gripens were passed over because of US pressure, not because F-16 offers more bang for the buck. Gripen may be cheaper, but it is not that cheap. Slovakia could afford 1,8 billion USD for 14 most modern Vipers, while Botswana was offered 12 Gripen C/Ds at 1,7 billion for a fighter that is supposed to be significantly cheaper. They also don't think they can support them which is why they are "in talks" for the past five years or so, even though you say MX costs of Gripen are about half of the Viper. Besides even if you "go fight abroad" or "use plane's full capability" you might still get stuck on the bench because Joint Force Commander refuses to give any important missions to you. This is what happened to Portugal when they sent their Block 15 F-16s to Kosovo in 1999.

Speaking of Portugal: they can maintain about 20-sh F-16s with a defence budget of 4,5 billion USD in 2017 vs 2,0 billion for Czechia for the same year. But the Portugese also have a larger Air Force, a larger Armed forces in general (including a proper Navy with frigates and subs, something Czechs don't have to spend on enitely) not to mention the fact that Czech economy is the same or even doing better in recent years than the Portugal:
Image
Image
https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/P ... nse-budget

Yet they deploy to BAP and IAP as often as CzAF.

By the way, wealthy country != well funded military. Many Western European armed forces have been severely underfunded in the recent decade only to see some improvement in the past several years. E.g. Belgium has maintained their defence budget well below the 2% but still maintain around 40 F-16s. in 2017, Belgium sent 4x for BAP as well as had 6x F-16 in the Middle East for an entire year. Other countries, like Denmark or Norway, also send up to 25% of their F-16 fleet to overseas combat operations (Iraq/Libya/Afghanistan) on a budget that could have been managed by the Czech.

At some point the Czechs have to start wondering why are they paying that much for so little.


@lukfi, this discussion has been quite active on three separate threads for a while now, but I still don't get what are arguing about. Maybe you can answer a couple of questions for me:

1) Do you consider Gripen a better plane than a F-35? If yes - is it overall? Certain missions? Performance vs cost?
2) Do you think that Finland or Poland or Swiss would be better off with Gripen rather than F-35?
3) Will the Finnish/Swiss choice validate that F-35 is the most cost-effective/best performance plane on the market right now, or will do think that those contest were in some way skewed against the Gripen?

Re: F-35A versus Saab Grippen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 13:41
by taog
swiss wrote:@ XanderCrews and Ric: I fully agree with your opinions.

@ marsavian: its the same as we talk in an other thread about RSC of the Su-27/30 vs Su-35. Again, It's very unlikely to put on a thin layer of (Ram) paint, without changing the airframe, to reduce the RCS by one order of magnitude.

Boeing/McDonnell Douglas did this with the SH compere to the F-18 C/D

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=12648&start=285

Image

This is from the SH flight manual. As you can see, they did a lot more, then only a "paint job", to reduce the RCS of the F-18E 10 times.

Image

download/file.php?id=16580


Can you provide the source of the first picture? (F18 ef has the rcs only 1/10 of the f18 cd)
Thx

Re: F-35A versus Saab Grippen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 14:12
by optimist
taog wrote:Can you provide the source of the first picture? (F18 ef has the rcs only 1/10 of the f18 cd)
Thx

The letter from the under secretary of defense is in the link.

An order of magnitude
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_magnitude

Of note is that it is dated 1997 and would be talking about the block I super hornet. Low-rate block 1 production began in March 1997. There were significant further RCS and other enhancements to block II and ongoing lot numbers, that isn't talked about a lot. The RCS is normally that of block I that is posted on the net.
http://www.airvectors.net/avhorn_2.html

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 17:09
by ricnunes
hythelday wrote:Besides even if you "go fight abroad" or "use plane's full capability" you might still get stuck on the bench because Joint Force Commander refuses to give any important missions to you. This is what happened to Portugal when they sent their Block 15 F-16s to Kosovo in 1999.


Ditto!


hythelday wrote:Speaking of Portugal: they can maintain about 20-sh F-16s with a defence budget of 4,5 billion USD in 2017 vs 2,0 billion for Czechia for the same year. But the Portugese also have a larger Air Force, a larger Armed forces in general (including a proper Navy with frigates and subs, something Czechs don't have to spend on enitely) not to mention the fact that Czech economy is the same or even doing better in recent years than the Portugal:


Actually Portugal operates close to 30 F-16s.

And also speaking of Portugal, it seems that Portugal is now seriously considering (at governmental level) the F-35. Here:
https://observador.pt/especiais/f-16-de ... a-geracao/

Unfortunately the article in under a "pay wall". It's also in Portuguese.

I already knew that "unofficially" the Portuguese Air Force wants and really expects to operate the F-35 but the news above seems to be an official confirmation of this.

Anyway the title says: "Defesa quer avançar para "caças" de última geração"
Which means:
- Defense [I gather defense ministry] wants to advance to latest generation fighter aircraft [a.k.a. F-35]

Actually the initial plan regarding the Portuguese Air Force was first to modernize the current F-16 fleet to F-16V and only later on adquire the F-35. It seems now that the plan is to "bypass" the F-16 modernization and adquire the F-35 "straight away".

Re: F-35A versus Saab Grippen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 18:05
by taog
optimist wrote:
taog wrote:Can you provide the source of the first picture? (F18 ef has the rcs only 1/10 of the f18 cd)
Thx

The letter from the under secretary of defense is in the link.

An order of magnitude
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_magnitude

Of note is that it is dated 1997 and would be talking about the block I super hornet. Low-rate block 1 production began in March 1997. There were significant further RCS and other enhancements to block II and ongoing lot numbers, that isn't talked about a lot. The RCS is normally that of block I that is posted on the net.
http://www.airvectors.net/avhorn_2.html


I mean do you have any idea about where does the content of the first picture come from? (from which document)

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 22:07
by loke
ricnunes wrote:Actually Portugal operates close to 30 F-16s.

That is very, very impressive.

Actually Poland operates close to 18 F-16 (they have 48 quite new (block 52+))...

http://alert5.com/2020/02/06/poland-can ... erational/

Re: F-35A versus Saab Grippen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 23:03
by optimist
taog wrote:
optimist wrote:
taog wrote:Can you provide the source of the first picture? (F18 ef has the rcs only 1/10 of the f18 cd)
Thx

The letter from the under secretary of defense is in the link.

An order of magnitude
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_magnitude

Of note is that it is dated 1997 and would be talking about the block I super hornet. Low-rate block 1 production began in March 1997. There were significant further RCS and other enhancements to block II and ongoing lot numbers, that isn't talked about a lot. The RCS is normally that of block I that is posted on the net.
http://www.airvectors.net/avhorn_2.html


I mean do you have any idea about where does the content of the first picture come from? (from which document)

Yes. It appears to be enclosure one of the enclosures within the 1997 letter from the under secretary of defense
In the link there are 3 pages. viewtopic.php?f=46&t=12648&start=285

Re: F-35A versus Saab Grippen NG

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2020, 23:50
by taog
optimist wrote:
Yes. It appears to be enclosure one of the enclosures within the 1997 letter from the under secretary of defense
In the link there are 3 pages. viewtopic.php?f=46&t=12648&start=285


Oh I find it, thx a lot!

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2020, 23:42
by ricnunes
loke wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Actually Portugal operates close to 30 F-16s.

That is very, very impressive.


Not bad I guess, given the (small) size of the country.

loke wrote:Actually Poland operates close to 18 F-16 (they have 48 quite new (block 52+))...

http://alert5.com/2020/02/06/poland-can ... erational/


I really didn't know that Poland has such a hard time in maintaining its F-16 fleet.

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2020, 16:14
by loke
ricnunes wrote:
loke wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Actually Portugal operates close to 30 F-16s.

That is very, very impressive.


Not bad I guess, given the (small) size of the country.

Not so much the size of the country but the size of the fleet.

Norway started out with 72 F-16 (many years ago). The number of operational F-16 today is strictly classified, however it is clearly much, much lower than 72... I suspect the main reason why the number is classified is because it is, well, a very small number. But of course it makes sense since the Norwegian F-16 are both very old but also have been flown very hard. Nevertheless in general the operational number of a/c always tend to be lower than the number of a/c listed in inventory. The really most astonishing example is of course Germany and their Eurofighters, don't recall the exact number of operational German Typhoons but it was staggeringly small number compared to the inventory number... and quite new a/c as well, at least many of them.

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2020, 17:11
by ricnunes
loke wrote:Not so much the size of the country but the size of the fleet.

Norway started out with 72 F-16 (many years ago). The number of operational F-16 today is strictly classified, however it is clearly much, much lower than 72... I suspect the main reason why the number is classified is because it is, well, a very small number. But of course it makes sense since the Norwegian F-16 are both very old but also have been flown very hard. Nevertheless in general the operational number of a/c always tend to be lower than the number of a/c listed in inventory. The really most astonishing example is of course Germany and their Eurofighters, don't recall the exact number of operational German Typhoons but it was staggeringly small number compared to the inventory number... and quite new a/c as well, at least many of them.


Yes, I know what you mean.

For example Canada started with 138 CF-18s but now it operates less than 80.

But the Portuguese case seem to be a little different. Portugal used to have more than 40 (forty) F-16s but when the plan to upgrade them to MLU was approved, it was decided that only 30 F-16s would be upgraded to MLU standard while the remaining were to be declared surplus, this if my memory doesn't fail me because there were never more than 30 F-16s operational at any time and this was the minimal number required by the Portuguese Air Force (in order to operate 2 squadrons). BTW, some of the surplus F-16s were used for spare parts (cannibalization) while others were upgraded to be sold (namely to Romania) together with stored F-16s acquired from the USA.
Anyway, the plan (for the Portuguese Air Force) is to have 30 operational F-16s (basically the entire fleet).

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2020, 22:33
by lukfi
XanderCrews wrote:A part of what lead to the canadian confusions was that the F-35 cost comparison was the whole enterprise (APUC), while the Canadian media was parroting 65 million flyaway and people not realizing one comparison was the flyaway cost, the other was the entire acquisition cost.

Right. But we were also talking about Kuwait (was it?) who bought some Super Hornets & Growlers and the whole contract was more than $300M per plane. I'm wondering what exactly did they get in that, since the flyaway is just $70M or whereabouts.
playing games with the cost comparisons is what got you burned on your Australian claims earlier remember? when you didn't realize their contract included upgrading runways and base facilities as well.

You either don't understand how these contracts work or are written or you're attempting to be deliberately deceptive.

If we are going to compare flyaway we need to compare flyaway for example. You don't get to compare flyaway vs total acquisition costs (which will clearly be far higher), and even then as you should have learned its far more than just the airplanes usually.

I'm not trying to be deceptive. But we both know the flyaway cost of an F-35 is nowhere near $52M even nowadays after the price had gone down.
Now, I know what you're going to say. "I gave you estimates from Switzerland AND Norway of what the Gripen costs, and you still refuse to believe it!" Well, sorry. We have nothing to compare the Swiss number against (not even the Rafale or Eurofighter which would be more expensive, but we would see how much more expensive and could perhaps compare that to other numbers that we can find for them). And the Norwegian estimate… is simply weird, and possibly fake.
Moreover you need to be careful with your argument there. "its totally cheap if you aren't a first world air force like the Swiss, in which case its like super expensive" is a bizarre selling point but don't let me stop you.

If what makes it cheap is the nation that operates it and not the airplane itself, there is nothing special about it.

Conversely, what if the nation that operates it is making the plane expensive and not the airplane itself. That was exactly my point. If Poland has enough money, they should be able to operate F-35s for a lower CPFH than Denmark or Norway. Unfortunately, the problem with poor nations is that they seldom have enough money. If there's any truth to what has been recently published about Polish MiGs and F-16s, their F-35s may end up being hangar queens.
People can accuse F-16.net of being fanboys, or an echo chamber, I'm sure there are indeed some elements of truth to that, however F-16.net in some cases is one of the few areas on the Web thats basically been telling "the other side of the story" for whats been the 15 years and running concentrated onslaught against the F-35. Its been one of the few bastions against the Bull$hit.

Oh yeah, the whole world is wrong and unfair to the F-35 and you are the only true champion of light :mrgreen:
Youre posting the biased CBC piece for example .

I also explained why I posted it but you chose to ignore that.
You didn't come in here with an open mind or to learn or hear the other side of the story. You brought "baggage" and then plopped down and started spewing what you "thought" and turns out-- you didn't really know what you were talking about.

I admit there are things I did not know when I came here, and now I know, thanks to you. But you preaching about an open mind, well… just remember that you can be affected by confirmation bias, too.
"as far as I can tell" yes exactly. take a BITE of humble pie. tell us more about the Stealth Skin

Sorry, what?
Welcome to the 80s.

I am curious, though. Do the F-15 or F-16, which were both designed cca 1970, have the same amount of auto-diagnostics and sensors that indicate malfunctions, as the Gripen which was designed 20 years later? Even if the overall maintenance concept with LRUs and SRUs is the same, if an aircraft can tell you what needs to be replaced that could save a lot of unnecessary work and replacing parts that are still good. Together with designing the parts for higher MTBF, even if it means higher cost or higher weight, it could be a clue as to why Saab can claim the Gripen costs less to run than an F-16, and at least for the C/D this seems to be true.
I also came across a source claiming that Gripen has on average 1 malfunction per 10 flight hours while the F-16 has 1 per 7 fh. I don't know how much truth there is in that. This article (in Czech) says 112 malfunctions in 890 flight hours which comes out to 7.9, but this was published just one year after the planes were introduced in service:
https://www.novinky.cz/domaci/clanek/gr ... e-40115885
Some later articles say the reliability grew, but no precise numbers are given.
You should let go of the idea that flyaway cost is a direct indicator of operational costs.

Was never my idea to begin with, I was the one railing on the people who thought that.

And yet here you are, claiming the Gripen E will for sure be expensive to fly because it's expensive to buy. Make up your mind! :D
If you want to get really nasty about it the F-35 is already moving beyond those maintenance practices--They're considered 4th generation and outdated, and the F-35 operators are moving beyond them. Awesome that the Gripen E is still keeping the 1980s alive. Thats 30 years ago, if they are going to carry it over on the E, they're desperately behind.

I honestly don't know. The information I found was on the Gripen C, which technically speaking is a late-1980s design. I assume they kept the basics the same. If it works for them, why change it.
Saab is famous for this. They love to list the "turnaround time" of a gripen for example "10 minutes". It had a smaller full tank, and 2 fewer pylons than an F-16!!-- of course its going to have a faster turnaround unless the F-16 is using more ordies and other crew-- but that really cuts to the heart of the matter. The amount of personnel, load out, their training and experience etc make the entire thing an absolutely ridiculous metric. how did they come up with it? is it 2 ordies or 20? what Its like saying a car with a red steering wheel "drives faster" the turnaround time of an airplane has far less to do with an airplane and much more to do with the situation, load, training, experience, hell even the weather has an effect on that. Do we really think the act of buying a Gripen made the SAAF a pit crew of aviation ordnance complete with 10 minute turns?

The 10 minutes is supposed to be for air-to-air loadout, no details are given so I assume they could mean 4 missiles? As for crew, Saab (marketing) says that Gripen can be refueled and re-armed by a team of 1 trained mechanic + 5 conscripts with minimal training. I agree that this will differ with situation and experience.
The israelis used fast turn arounds with well trained crews in their air wars in 67 and 73 as well. The US Navy has done it too with "flex deck" and they do it with actual things like heavy bombs and much more fuel in a far far more complicated and stressful environment. Oh and theyve done it in combat.

I guess the real question is how many actions have to be taken and what training is required for those actions. It could be just Saab marketing talk, but I believe it is possible for one plane to need less (or less difficult) actions to get airborne than another plane.
Hopefully soon. If its lower I win, if its higher I'll copy and paste your excuses.

I'm also curious to see what the Swiss come up with. Especially if they also separate the personnel and fuel costs like they did for the Gripen. But we've been talking how the Gripen NG design changed over the years and the Swiss estimate was from what, 2011? Hard to say how relevant that is.

optimist wrote:Working out a price on a fa-18 or any other platform from the budget documents takes more skill than most have, including me. There are a dozen prices and each one of them is correct, It's just a matter of having apples for apples.

I see… many thanks for this. Somehow it did not occur to me that some people may be counting costs normalized to a base year, although in government it's not so uncommon.

XanderCrews wrote:There's really more to it than this. for example in the US we have Full Mission Capable and Part Mission Capable (PMC). Full Mission capable means it can do any mission. Part mission capable was a lot more common for example with Harriers in the USMC.

OK, that's fair.
Dude thats amazing. Congratulations on your 5 airplane det.

I know you mean it sarcastically, but when the planes were leased, the idea was that they are for NATINADS duty and training and that was it. Being able to do any kind of foreign deployment is above the plan.
lots of even poorer countries keep F-5s going.

That's true, but the F-5 is obsolete.
You know why the Gripen costs less? Because it does less. this wasn't a secret even among Saab they said the old Gripen wasn't quite like an F-16 but was a good value all the same.

Exactly! The reason is that smaller/poorer air forces will hardly use the plane to the limit of its abilities, and so in practice what they can do with a Gripen is equivalent to what they can do with an F-16.
Whenever the CF-18s bubbas went to go to Marine base up the road in Saudi Arable and ask and beg and acquire spare F-18 parts... This is one of the reasons why it helps to have everyone using the same gear. Really hard to beg for Gripen parts when you're the only group using them.

Yes, that's definitely good point when you want to do foreign deployments, and Sweden also saw this in 2011 when they sent Gripens to fly over Libya but the Sigonella base on Sicily didn't have the correct fuel for it.
But it is only relevant if you plan to participate in such missions. And I have some doubts that Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria which are all switching from MiGs to NATO-common F-16s, will ever use them to fight abroad.
The USN is saying not even Growlers should be messing around in high threat environments. Thats 5th generation only and even then it won't be easy. Gripens would be wiped out if they were allowed in there. and again I'm not kidding.

What threats are we talking about here? Chinese/Russian stealth planes? SAMs?
Anyway there is really more to this than you think. Denmark is basically doing the same thing every other F-35 buyer is except for maybe Israel, the idea is basically they will absolutely not be going to war alone, but as a part of an alliance. They may actually save more money, contribute more, and have more availability by flying the F-35, even if its in smaller numbers, than "going it alone" and buying a niche aircraft they are then 100 percent on the hook for, while also hoping their upgrades have kept them up with 5th generation warfare (which is impossible basically) There simply no amount of money you can pump into a Gripen or Gripen E that will make it 5th generation. Just like there was no amount of money you could throw into an F-4 to make it an F-16 or F-15 or F-14 or F-18. and yes F-4s still serve today I know, but they aren't any of the teen series.

Those are all reasonable points. As for 5th-gen warfare, the only thing Gripen does not have is stealth airframe and internal weapon bays, it can have everything else - sensor fusion, networking, passive sensors, …

Re: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2020, 22:55
by lukfi
hythelday wrote:Bulgaria bought 8 Block 70 F-16s with a 1/3 of Czech GDP and a smaller defence budget. Slovakia bought 14 Block 70s with 1/2 the defence budget of Czechia. Soon your "little brothers" will have a more numerous air force with objectively a more capable fighter.

Compared to the Gripen C/D, yes, they will. What they do with it remains to be seen.
Swiss assessed even MS21 Gripen with AESA and Meteor could not match their 1997 Hornet in Air Policing missions). Slovakia wasn't looking for "14 Falcons or 28 Gripens", they were looking to replace their Fulcrums at about 1:1 ratio. But we all know that Gripens were passed over because of US pressure, not because F-16 offers more bang for the buck.

I have some corrections for that.
1) AESA and Meteor are useless for AP and the Swiss did not evaluate that; the reason why they gave the Gripen lower marks is because, being a single-engine fighter, it's climb rate and acceleration are worse, and when you use afterburners you quickly deplete the limited fuel it carries. There are definitely better interceptors on the market. That doesn't mean Gripen can't do air policing. MiG-21 can do air policing.
2) I don't know if Slovakia was pressured, I think nobody is claiming that. They themselves asked the US for an offer.
Slovakia could afford 1,8 billion USD for 14 most modern Vipers, while Botswana was offered 12 Gripen C/Ds at 1,7 billion for a fighter that is supposed to be significantly cheaper.

True, that does raise eyebrows. But we don't know what the two contracts include.

Thanks for the comparison with Portugal. As you can see, their GDP and defense spending as % of GDP are higher than those of Czech Republic. But yes, I don't think 30 or so F-16s would break the bank. I'm sure our defense budget could allow for more aircraft and some foreign deployments. But it could be that we decide to spend less on the air force and participate in other meaningful ways, with ground troops.
@lukfi, this discussion has been quite active on three separate threads for a while now, but I still don't get what are arguing about. Maybe you can answer a couple of questions for me:

1) Do you consider Gripen a better plane than a F-35? If yes - is it overall? Certain missions? Performance vs cost?
2) Do you think that Finland or Poland or Swiss would be better off with Gripen rather than F-35?
3) Will the Finnish/Swiss choice validate that F-35 is the most cost-effective/best performance plane on the market right now, or will do think that those contest were in some way skewed against the Gripen?

1) "Performance vs. cost" is how Saab is trying to sell the planes. I'd like to get an idea how much it really costs to fly a Gripen vs. an F-35, but it is difficult to get comparable numbers, especially when the latest Gripen E is not operational in any air force yet.

2) Poland wants to be best buddies with USA, so they need to buy American. Gripens would be useless to them. Finland, depends. If they emphasize self-sufficiency, it will come down to who can offer that, and Sweden could be more flexible in this regard than the JSF program. Also, a Gripen by itself is maybe not that good, but a Gripen backed by a GlobalEye, hmm… If they emphasize air-to-ground capabilities and payload capacity, Gripen is out. I liked it for Switzerland. There are people saying Switzerland should not keep an air force (or military, even) at all so a cost efficient fighter would be good for them; also the Gripen is small, so it would fit into their mountain bunkers. As a neutral country they don't have to care about foreign deployments. In the end, though, some people voted against it because they are anti-military and others because it was not good enough.

3) Gripen is not participating in the new Swiss contest. If Finland chooses the F-35 over Gripen, that will definitely be a big debacle for Saab. I think there are valid reasons for choosing either one, depending on priorities.