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

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loke

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 07:59

rheonomic wrote:I think overall I'd characterize the STOVL variant as more technically challenging than the CV variant.

fbw wrote:Once commonality went out the window with the “C”, and it is the least common variant, sticking to the dimensions common with the other two made little sense. That and 2.5+ tons.


I mean, the CV version had a different planform from the start of the X-35 program...


So it seems to me that the conclusion is that both B and C are quite different from the A, which supports my initial claim that the F-35 program was huge.


What one also often tend to forget is that complexity (and with complexity also timelines) is not scaling linearly with the size of the project buth rather exponentially...


Clearly Dassault/Airbus will have a much smaller and simpler project.
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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 08:58

loke wrote:So it seems to me that the conclusion is that both B and C are quite different from the A, which supports my initial claim that the F-35 program was huge.

What one also often tend to forget is that complexity (and with complexity also timelines) is not scaling linearly with the size of the project buth rather exponentially...

Clearly Dassault/Airbus will have a much smaller and simpler project.


F-35 program was/is huge, but I'd say that 3 airframe variants was only relatively small part of that. It has the most advanced and extensive avionics systems and associated software, all of which cost a lot to develop. VLO stealth is also pretty expensive to develop and build the manufacturing capabilties also. These need to be incorporated in this proposed aircraft also and will be major factor in costs. Of course they might go for lesser capabilities and possibly use legacy avionics systems and have lesser stealth which would lower costs. That would naturally also lower the military value of each aircraft.

Another problem for this project is that a lot less of these aircraft will be made as F-35 has the benefit in being produced in huge numbers for US services. This will mean less efficient production and higher unit costs even if development costs might be less. For example Dassault Rafale has definitely been less expensive to develop than F-35, but unit cost is already higher despite lesser capabilties.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 10:26

I would add the large customer base for the F-35. Will help fund future upgrades and the integration of countless weapons in the coming decades. Something the Rafale and Typhoon can't hope to compete with.... :shock:
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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 20:50

loke wrote:
rheonomic wrote:I think overall I'd characterize the STOVL variant as more technically challenging than the CV variant.

fbw wrote:Once commonality went out the window with the “C”, and it is the least common variant, sticking to the dimensions common with the other two made little sense. That and 2.5+ tons.


I mean, the CV version had a different planform from the start of the X-35 program...


So it seems to me that the conclusion is that both B and C are quite different from the A, which supports my initial claim that the F-35 program was huge.


What one also often tend to forget is that complexity (and with complexity also timelines) is not scaling linearly with the size of the project buth rather exponentially...


Clearly Dassault/Airbus will have a much smaller and simpler project.


I think the problem for them is that F35 is a continuation of the F22, engine wise, airframe wise, avionics wise and manufacturing wise. Unless Uncle Sam is feeling overwhelmingly generous Europeans will have to develop everything from cockpit canopies to air data sensor assemblies from scratch, learn hard lessons about how to make them in a production setting, create all the R&D facilities, and do it all in a super "fun" French German collaboration without sustained support from the nationalistic fervor and huge budgets like what China has.

Good luck getting that to work in a reasonable time frame.

I suppose where the Europeans are lucky is that they can use some of the same supplier base, which will benefit from F35 tech transfer.
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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 21:48

loke wrote:
So it seems to me that the conclusion is that both B and C are quite different from the A, which supports my initial claim that the F-35 program was huge.



No, I would say that it all depends on what your definition of "quite different" is. A and B have more in common than C which is the biggest oddball, a lot of people conclude that B is the most different and in some ways it is, in other ways it's far more common with A.
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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 22:03

IIRC during the "Battle of the X-Planes, it was an X-35A that was turned into an X-35B.
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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 22:09

Correct.
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archeman

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Unread post21 Jun 2018, 22:55

loke wrote:
rheonomic wrote:I think overall I'd characterize the STOVL variant as more technically challenging than the CV variant.

What one also often tend to forget is that complexity (and with complexity also timelines) is not scaling linearly with the size of the project buth rather exponentially...

Clearly Dassault/Airbus will have a much smaller and simpler project.


Well you're bringing too much into this equation. You have to look at the product from the Customer perspective. How much time will they spend pondering the manufacturing complexities of the B and C models??? About 0 mins and 0 seconds. So that manufacturing complexity is irrelevant for the Customer. They are buying product A.

I am also not convinced the project is scaling exponentially. Because Exponents scale really really fast if you know what an exponent is. Unless you were just trying to say that it is more complex than other projects and wanted a fancy word.
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steve2267

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Unread post22 Jun 2018, 16:31

Doesn't it depend on what the exponent is?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post28 Jun 2018, 00:08

F-35 hits back with its own industrial offsets for Belgium.

ESTERLINE SIGNS A MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT WITH LOCKHEED MARTIN

"Kortrijk, 21 June 2018 – Esterline Belgium (formerly Barco Defense & Aerospace) today announced the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement with Lockheed Martin as part of the F-16 Replacement Program’s Essential Security Interests. Through this agreement, both companies will seek to develop further long-term partnerships if the Belgian government decides to choose the F-35 as successor for its F-16s.

This partnership will mainly concern avionics and rugged display products."

http://www.esterline.com/avionicssystem ... ARTIN.aspx
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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 18:46

Belgium seen picking Lockheed F-35 over Eurofighter
19 Oct 2018 Andrea Shalal

"BERLIN, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Belgium is likely to decide which fighter jet to buy to replace its ageing F-16s by the end of this month, several sources have told Reuters, and industry experts expect it to pick Lockheed Martin’s F-35 over the Eurofighter Typhoon....

...No comment was available from the Belgian defence ministry but official sources have indicated that a decision on the choice of warplane is likely this month. Prime Minister Charles Michel has previously said he would like to make the decision on replacing the F-16s before a national election in May. Defence Minister Steven Vandeput said this week that he hoped to be able to settle the matter before he steps down at the end of the year...."

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/belgium ... SL2N1WV11Y
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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 19:08

The Belgian Press Agency (Belga) reported earlier today that according to some government sources the decision to buy the F-35 has been made after two council meetings on October 4th and October 17th in which the results of the ACCAP procedure were presented and the economical offset. The government is now discussing the communication strategy to make this decision public.

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marsavian

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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 21:21

Excellent news, should marry well with their Dutch neighbors. I guess only Germany and Italy are picking up Super Typhoon now ;).
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Unread post22 Oct 2018, 01:56

F-35, the best fighter for Belgium.
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Unread post22 Oct 2018, 02:48

Just need Finland to pick up a few and the Baltic's covered in between all the Euro-Canards ;).
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