Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

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viper12

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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 21:32

Source ?
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vilters

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 00:23

It's all over the news here.

FACT :
A report about the "aging and lifespan" of our F-16's was kept inside the military and not delivered to the government.
This report would give Belgium 6 extra years before having to replace the F-16.

POLITICS :
It is the "Rafale clan" who brought the report to the press.

sh*t happens everywhere.
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vilters

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 00:30

@ Nutshell.

Concrete flies higher, faster, is more agile AND more reliable then a Tornado.

First combat? => Euh, had to recall the Bucaneers from retirement to do the lasering.

Mig escort? => Has to ask ATC to get the Migs fly LOWER AND SLOWER to "escort them".

Reliability? Check the "actual" combat ready serviceability rates.

Spare parts? Glue your wallets closed and locked.

For what Europe has spend on the Tornado?
We could have had the DOUBLE number of airframes combining a fleet of F-15 and F-111.
The Tornado was simply "a stupid move".
(Again a decision to protect own industry at "whatever the cost".)
Who cares?
It's taxpayers money anyway.
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monkeypilot

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 11:57

vilters wrote:It's all over the news here.

FACT :
A report about the "aging and lifespan" of our F-16's was kept inside the military and not delivered to the government.
This report would give Belgium 6 extra years before having to replace the F-16.

POLITICS :
It is the "Rafale clan" who brought the report to the press.

sh*t happens everywhere.


POLITICS :
It is the "Rafale clan" who brought the report to the press.


I do not think SABCA would have reacted so negatively in this case. And the story is mostly in Vlaams press. So no clue yet. Time will tell.
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bojack_horseman

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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 16:35

Some links on the slight scandal brewing in Belgium

https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detai ... id=9873302

https://www.moustique.be/20599/remplace ... ut-vacille

https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detai ... id=9872563

Smells like the politicians are keen to keep the F-16s for longer still so as not to make any decisions on replacing them
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nutshell

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Unread post23 Mar 2018, 03:53

vilters wrote:@ Nutshell.

Concrete flies higher, faster, is more agile AND more reliable then a Tornado.

First combat? => Euh, had to recall the Bucaneers from retirement to do the lasering.

Mig escort? => Has to ask ATC to get the Migs fly LOWER AND SLOWER to "escort them".

Reliability? Check the "actual" combat ready serviceability rates.

Spare parts? Glue your wallets closed and locked.

For what Europe has spend on the Tornado?
We could have had the DOUBLE number of airframes combining a fleet of F-15 and F-111.
The Tornado was simply "a stupid move".
(Again a decision to protect own industry at "whatever the cost".)
Who cares?
It's taxpayers money anyway.


Nope. You're a lost cause. I give up.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post23 Mar 2018, 04:12

Remind me again who designated for the Rafale's first LGB drops?

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... e-hardened
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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 03:45

Belgium delays, rescopes fighter programme
19 Jun 2018 Beth Stevenson

"Belgium’s ongoing programme to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon fleet has been hit by another roadblock, as the government considers a previously disregarded option to upgrade its incumbent fleet and not necessarily acquire a new-build aircraft.

Two offerings were being considered for the replacement of the F-16AM/BM fleet under the country’s Air Combat Capability Program (ACCaP), including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Final bids for the two aircraft were offered to the Belgian government under the formal acquisition process in February 2018.

In addition to this, Dassault Aviation submitted a bid for the Rafale fighter outside the formal competition, offering increased political links and industrial participation in return for a direct selection of the aircraft."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/81167/belg ... -programme
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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loke

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 08:32

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germ ... SKBN1JF2UJ

2040...! I am surprised they are not aiming for a somewhat earlier introduction.

Seems the German/French new fighter is still well into the future! So not an option for Belgium I would think.

Also interesting that Dassault will be in the driving seat. Probably a wise decision, looking at history...
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hornetfinn

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 09:02

loke wrote:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-france-defence/france-to-lead-joint-fighter-jet-program-with-germany-idUSKBN1JF2UJ

2040...! I am surprised they are not aiming for a somewhat earlier introduction.

Seems the German/French new fighter is still well into the future! So not an option for Belgium I would think.

Also interesting that Dassault will be in the driving seat. Probably a wise decision, looking at history...


I don't think that's really surprising given this quote
The Franco-German agreement calls for work on the project to begin before the end of the year, starting with a study phase, the ministry said


They are basically where F-35 was in the early 1990s when JAST/JSF studies were planned and made. It took almost 25 years for first production aircraft flying and it might well take similar amount of time for this proposed aircraft. Especially since France and Germany have less money and other resources to pour into their program.
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loke

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 10:12

hornetfinn wrote:
loke wrote:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-france-defence/france-to-lead-joint-fighter-jet-program-with-germany-idUSKBN1JF2UJ

2040...! I am surprised they are not aiming for a somewhat earlier introduction.

Seems the German/French new fighter is still well into the future! So not an option for Belgium I would think.

Also interesting that Dassault will be in the driving seat. Probably a wise decision, looking at history...


I don't think that's really surprising given this quote
The Franco-German agreement calls for work on the project to begin before the end of the year, starting with a study phase, the ministry said


They are basically where F-35 was in the early 1990s when JAST/JSF studies were planned and made. It took almost 25 years for first production aircraft flying and it might well take similar amount of time for this proposed aircraft. Especially since France and Germany have less money and other resources to pour into their program.

True, on the other hand, this program will most likely produce only 2 very similar version (land and carrier based) whereas the F-35 project included also the F-35B which clearly made the F-35 program much larger and much more complicated.

Furthermore, designing and building a 5. gen fighter today should be simpler than 25 years ago since materials technology and software technology has matured quite a lot since then.

Of course there is a counter-argument to my last point which is pretty strong -- LM had already built the F-22 when they started the F-35....

Anyway, we all know that large development projects with large software components tend to be delayed... So if they aim for 2040 then 2045-2050 is more likely to become the end result.... IMHO they should plan for 2035, perhaps that would increase the probability of actually having something in 2040!
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hornetfinn

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 10:47

Loke, I agree with all that. Not sure if B made the program that much larger or complicated although it definitely had some effect.

There could be some ways to develop this faster like using existing technology developed for Dassault Rafale. Things like AESA radar, IRST, sensor fusion and HMI. Basically like making F-35 with avionics from say F-16 Block 60. Of course that would limit possibilities and would likely delay fielding full next gen capabilities.
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steve2267

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 15:40

HF, I think you are on to something here, and it may be along the same lines of some musings I have had in the past: a spiral development of modest increments.

While this whole idea is probably (more) dependent on consistent funding than other programs... the concept would be to produce X number of aircraft per year, and roll updates into the aircraft on a regular schedule. While this is not unlike what the US is trying to do with F-35 C2D2 now, I suggest he same thing be done with the airframe.

In other words, industry, you have Y Euros, we want the best airframe that you can come up with in 3 years. Here are your "requirements." Do the best you can. You will be competing against each other. You have one year to design, one year to build some flyable prototypes, then we will have a one month (or two or three, but relatively short) competition, a winner will be chosen, and you have six months to make any prototype changes, and build Z test aircraft. Six months to test, then begin production with the best we have. If you screw up, we go to #2 place and have them build. This winning aircraft will be in production for 3 years. Then as soon as a winner is chosen, a new competition for the next round begins.

The idea being to cut production back from one YUGE 25 year cycle of thousands, to smaller cycles (3-5 years?) of smaller production purchases. Approach the aircraft as a system of open systems, and compete the subsystems. When a new 4-stream motor comes along and meets all the specs, you plug it in -- run a test program, work out a few kings and put it into production (if it doesn't integrate, you keep the current, working motor.) When a new radar comes along, meets the specs... it plugs into the avionics "stack".

Overall, any single aircraft in production will probably not be the very best possible performer in all categories, but it should be 1) cheaper, 2) in production, 3) your industry is constantly working.

This would be a systems-of-systems approach to tactical aircraft design which would fit better with the whole 5th+ gen system-of-systems.

In my opinion, the biggest advantage is that it keeps your industry fresh. Ideally, if you had 3-4 manufacturers all producing tens of aircraft per year... you go buy your tactical aircraft like Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Mercedes etc. But the market probably will never be that large.
Last edited by steve2267 on 20 Jun 2018, 16:07, edited 1 time in total.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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loke

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 16:05

steve2267 wrote:In other words, industry, you have Y dollars (or francs or marks)[...]

Euros, Steve, Euros...!

Quite some time since the FF and DM disappeared.
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steve2267

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Unread post20 Jun 2018, 16:07

Fixed. Thank you.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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