F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post19 Mar 2020, 22:15

invictus wrote:Apologies for being off topic but wouldn't it be better to compare the Gripen E to something like F.16 Block 70 series.

It would be better to just acknowledge the thread title: F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG otherwise a thread in the F-16 section of this F-16.net forum could be started OR another thread started somewhere else. This is the F-35 sub-section.
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optimist

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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 02:37

invictus wrote:Apologies for being off topic but wouldn't it be better to compare the Gripen E to something like F.16 Block 70 series.

It's even a big step behind the F-16. Nationalistic pride and anything US is bad for EU, gone mad. :roll:
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loke

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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 13:04

Saab started pushing the idea of Gripen NG to export customers some time ago, that is correct. However Sweden was not interested at that time, they were actully happy with the Gripen C, without a massive update in avionics. The current "block" is MS20, and to my knowledge the Swedish AF is still happy with that, even today. MS20 improved radar performance and integrated Meteor amongst several things.

It was clear already in 2008 that Sweden would not need a "Gripen NG" for quite some time. I remember Norway had to put a lot of pressure on Sweden to make them promise to commit to buy 2 Gripen NG, to ensure that Norway would not be the sole customer.

It is true that Gripen E is currently not very cheap, this is linked to the fact that there are currently only 2 customers and only 96 E/F have been ordered. With more customers the price will come down.

Finding more customers is going to be tricky; Dassault and Boeing struggled for a long time before they found their first export customers for Rafale and the SH. And so far SH has only 2 export customers. SH flew in 1995, and it took Boeing 12 years to sign the first (and so far only) export... AFAIK the "Hornet 2000" was proposed already in the 1980s, I guess this might correspond to the "Gripen NG"? If so, it took McDonnell Douglas/Boeing approx. 20-25 years from the first idea of SH and until they had the first export customer. It took Saab 7 years from they started work on the "Gripen Demo" and until they signed the contract with Brazil.

Typhoon has sold a bit, mainly due to the 4 partners, but also due to the political connections in the Middle East (and willingness to sell to those countries). Otherwise it looks pretty bleak also for the Typhoon. Typhoon lost in Denmark, India, Switzerland (first round), Brazil, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, etc., and pulled out of Belgium, Canada, and Norway.

Selling anything but F-35 and F-16 is very difficult. I think it is too early to call Gripen E a fiasco. If they don't find any new customers within the next 15 years then yes it starts to look as a fiasco. But IMHO not until then.
Last edited by loke on 21 Mar 2020, 11:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 14:28

F-15,16,35 are the popular exports. The Super Hornet has 2 export customers. Australia got them to quickly retire the F-111. As FA-18f were easier to introduce on the back of our existing hornets, than get F15's. The USN gave up their spots for aussies to get quick delivery. So there wasn't a long lead time. Then with a follow on Growler order. Also the FA-18efg were still being ordered within USA at the time. The F-15 wasn't a normal FMS and we would be dealing with Boeing. As it turned out, the supers are a good aircraft. I don't know why Kuwait got them and they aren't getting the growler at this stage.
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loke

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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 14:41

optimist wrote:The Super Hornet has 2 export customers.

Oops yes you are right, they now have two not one export customer. Sorry about that.
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 14:48

It's all good, they aren't a popular export. I think Kuwait saw them work close up, during the ME situation and saw the value in them. The block II with the x-32 stuff put in it, is a bit of a secret squirrel. I don't know if they are getting the full USN version.
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 20:45

loke wrote:Saab started pushing the idea of Gripen NG to export customers some time ago, that is correct. However Sweden was not interested at that time, they were actully happy with the Gripen C, without a massive update in avionics. The current "block" is MS20, and to my knowledge the Swedish AF is still happy with that, even today. MS20 improved radar performance and integrated Meteor amongst several things.

It was clear already in 2008 that Sweden would not need a "Gripen NG" for quite some time. I remember Norway had to put a lot of pressure on Sweden to make them promise to commit to buy 2 Gripen NG, to ensure that Norway would not be the sole customer.



but thats precisely my point. the Swedes don't even need it, didn't really want it, but signed on anyway for the export deals. And they have one for 36 to Brazil after all the loses elsewhere.

Is sure seems unnecessary from start to finish. its taken way too long to get where it is considering what its supposed to be and do.

Sweden doesn't even need it, but theyre going along with it for exports 13 years later:

Sweden: hows it going saab?
Saab: well we exported it! 1 country bought 36!!
Sweden:.... in 13 years?

But wait it gets better, since Gripen E is completely redesigned with features Sweden doesn't even need its like the Swaf will be operating dual fleets, and the Gripen E spare parts pool will have to begin anew, since the A-D parts aren't going to translate very often. but thats ok because sometimes you have to compicate things and add expense to help Brazil.

if they came back and in 15 years they sold something like 150 aircraft to 4 countries, that would really make it all worth it. but they haven't. the list is getting shorter, and of those that realistically remain the orders are like to be small.

It is true that Gripen E is currently not very cheap, this is linked to the fact that there are currently only 2 customers and only 96 E/F have been ordered. With more customers the price will come down.


That really depends. Brazil is going to slow their production meaning cost will go up. If more export customers play the "build it here" game then thats additional factory costs and the curve starts over again.

And so far SH has only 1 export customer.


2

SH flew in 1992,


nope November 29, 1995.

If so, it took Boieng approx. 20-25 years from the first idea of SH and until they had the first export customer


Image

Boeing?

and it took Boeing 15 years to sign the first (and so far only) export... AFAIK the "Hornet 2000" was proposed already in the 1980s, I guess this might correspond to the "Gripen NG"? It took Saab 7 years from they started work on the "Gripen Demo" and until they signed the contract with Brazil.




The Super Hornet was never predicated on the notion another country had to sign onto Loke, The US Navy deemed it necessary and went ahead with it completely alone, not even the USMC signed on. The Navy bought exactly what it wanted and already had plans to build them in the hundreds. Nothing hinged on exports. The US wasn't waiting for Norway, or the Dutch or the Swiss, or the Brazilians to climb on so they could get cooking. In fact the Aussie export was a bit of a surprise for a lot of people.

The Gripen E had to be sold to another country before it started, the SH did not.

The SH was made then went into service, then got other customers later as an afterthought. If there was no SH customers no one would care, the US Navy would still have them exactly as they wanted. Its a CVN strike fighter optimized for the highly specific requirements of the US Navy. Exports are nice but irrelevant. Gripen NG had export as a condition of development, which also meant it had to be more attractive to export customers, which facilitates features Sweden would consider irrelevant.


]Selling anything but F-35 and F-16 is very difficult. I think it is too early to call Gripen E a fiasco. If they don't find any new customers within the next 15 years then yes it starts to look as a fiasco. But IMHO not until then.


I think its already a fiasco just given the goals and the amount of time and cash put into this for an airplane Sweden doesn't even desire or need, only to find out they could have upgraded what they already had and all to sell to... Brazil?

Its amazing when you step back and think about it

And think about the original Gripens export success. It never even broke 75 exported sold and leased, so the optimism is amazing that they think 400-450 is realistic.

CZ rep -14
Hungary- 14
south africa- 26
Thailand 8 + 6 more = 14
UK- 1

total 69 aircraft.


I bring up the SH because the timeline was far far more compressed, and that was with shipboard requirements and all the F414 work to be done. Call me crazy but the SH got me under the crazy notion this shouldn't take 15 years.
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 21:04

Yes the Shornet had to undergo rigorous 'SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL' testing as well for Carrier Operations. This is difficult time consuming testing that almost breaks the airyplane but great USN test pilots know how to go to the aircraft limits.
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Unread post20 Mar 2020, 21:34

spazsinbad wrote:Yes the Shornet had to undergo rigorous 'SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL' testing as well for Carrier Operations. This is difficult time consuming testing that almost breaks the airyplane but great USN test pilots know how to go to the aircraft limits.



it also had the testing problems and wing issues to overcome.

Heres a BASIC SH timeline:

USN orders it 1992
First flight Nov 1995
testing begins in 1996
first carrier landing in 1997
LRIP March 1997
OPEVAL 1999
opeval approved Feb 2000
IOC sep 2001 (5 years and 10 months after first flight)
first combat operation November 2002
Block II deliveries start 2005

Some events left out.

I'm interested to see a Gripen NG/E timeline for anyone who is interested in making one (most gripen fans can't agree on this, so its going to be an "opinion" as well)
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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 01:50

Thanks I was just adding that why? Becuz the GRIPPING thinks it can easily be converted to a carrier aircraft and I reckon: ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? :doh: Sure the Shornet had issues but as seen in the Zanda timeline it takes testing time indeedy.
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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 11:28

Timelines of events (Marketing statements by the Saab marketing team not included).

2007: Work on Gripen Demo starts
2008: First flight Gripen Demo
2012: Switzerland and Sweden commits to buying Gripen E but with preconditions. Sweden has a precondition that they will purchase if another country signs a contract. Switzerland has a precondition that the referendum is positive.
2013: Swedish parliament commits Sweden to Purchase Gripen E.
2013: Brazil announces intention to purchase Gripen E/F
2013: Work on first preproduction Gripen E is initiated
2014 Swiss referendum is negative; Switzerland cancels the plans for purchasing Gripen E
2014: Brazil signs contract with Saab for Gripen E/F. Delivery of first Gripen E is planned for 2019.
2017: First flight of Gripen E
2019: Delivery of first Gripen E to Brazil and Sweden
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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 15:40

loke wrote:Timelines of events (Marketing statements by the Saab marketing team not included).

2007: Work on Gripen Demo starts


late 2005 actually according to Saab themselves:

The Gripen NG development program was conceived by Saab back in late 2005 as an important stepping stone towards what is today known as Gripen NG (Next Generation). In this program many new fundamental systems and capabilities for Gripen NG are flight tested and demonstrated as a proof-of-concept as well as for risk mitigation reasons.

https://saab.com/air/gripen-fighter-sys ... programme/

And I believe studies for an improved Gripen started even earlier. I remember this Saab concept art from circa 2004 showing an "Advanced Gripen" with TVC, CFTs, IRST and towed decoys:

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Unread post23 Mar 2020, 15:40

loke wrote:Timelines of events (Marketing statements by the Saab marketing team not included).

2007: Work on Gripen Demo starts
2008: First flight Gripen Demo
2012: Switzerland and Sweden commits to buying Gripen E but with preconditions. Sweden has a precondition that they will purchase if another country signs a contract. Switzerland has a precondition that the referendum is positive.
2013: Swedish parliament commits Sweden to Purchase Gripen E.
2013: Brazil announces intention to purchase Gripen E/F
2013: Work on first preproduction Gripen E is initiated
2014 Swiss referendum is negative; Switzerland cancels the plans for purchasing Gripen E
2014: Brazil signs contract with Saab for Gripen E/F. Delivery of first Gripen E is planned for 2019.
2017: First flight of Gripen E
2019: Delivery of first Gripen E to Brazil and Sweden


Thank you

my point is the biggest order for NG is by Sweden, which can technically do without it. Brazil who once envisioned up to 100 aircraft when it won the contract in 2014 has imploded to a handful.

Just play along for a second (for gripen fans this is hypothetical so you don't need to panic) but if there was some kind of brokered deal where Sweden and Brazil just said "lets cancel this thing, and make each other whole and move on after we've squared the costs"

Sweden can do the Gripen C+ plus thing, and Brazil would probably be more than happy to go F-16V alone or as a part of a larger arms package (helicopters, etc) with the Trump administration and Balsonaro would probably be all smiles.

Don't worry this is still going through but this is unbelievably unnecessary. they tried, they shopped it around, they worked a lot of deals and competed in a lot of tenders, but the market is not there like they thought despite decades of marketing hype. They won't because for both nations this is a job program, and I'm betting for sweden pride (no one is immune to this, I don't care how smart and fastidious you are) This airplane has already popped it budget, but we are going to go through with it from some reason, while grinning through our teeth that its "cheap!"

When I saw the first Gripen NG CGI I thought "wow thats neat, kinda like the super hornet," and assumed it would be in service at the latest 2011. was only off by 10 years.

people are going to complain that I'm being unfair and that the market is rigged against the gripen because of politics and national alignments (NORWAY!! WEHHHHHH), bribes, etc. Believe me I've heard it all. But the bottom line is the Gripen is competing against the big boys no matter how much company propaganda is spewed. It might be unfair that Slovakia aligns with the US and goes F-16, but guess what? That's a part of the game. Saab is a big boy and should know this. Don't talk about "punching above your weight class" and then get upset when it turns out you're not actually competitive in that weight class and getting your nose broken every contest. Maybe you got a little carried away?

And thats usually the refuge of the saab scoundrel when his baby loses yet again "oh it was rigged because politics" politics are a factor. Politics has benefited Gripen NG on ALL 3 occasions though. The NSA scandal, a cheaper cost in Switzerland, and Sweden signing onto it even though its not needed. It ONLY wins on politics.

The reason I harp on sales and why they matter beyond it being a good indicator of performance and capability and of course being directly linked to costs, is that sales actually MATTER. You can have the worlds greatest idea but if no one is buying it, it just goes into the dustbin of history. you have to be able to SELL your great idea or wonder invention. For Saab people obsessed with economical operations and money this should really be obvious but I find myself explaining it often for some reason. In order to do a good job, you must first GET THE JOB. I've had to give this speech on more than one occasion.

"All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right." -Sydney Camm

That quote is only what? 50 years old?
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Unread post23 Mar 2020, 16:19

XanderCrews wrote:And thats usually the refuge of the saab scoundrel when his baby loses yet again "oh it was rigged because politics" politics are a factor. Politics has benefited Gripen NG on ALL 3 occasions though. The NSA scandal, a cheaper cost in Switzerland, and Sweden signing onto it even though its not needed. It ONLY wins on politics.


With the above you nailed it!

It's comical so watch and read Gripen fanboys claiming the Gripen E/F lack of more/bigger success is due to politics when all of it small successes to the date were all due to politics alone and absolutely none was due to the aircraft's technical merits :roll:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post24 Mar 2020, 01:50

To be fair, there has to be a minimum acceptable technical standard, even when driven by political considerations... Most military buys have political considerations, even American ones (F-15EX for example...).
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