Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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hornetfinn

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Unread post04 Dec 2015, 08:25

I think only vaguely sensible mixed fleet from the contenders would be having Super Hornet and JAS Gripen E as they share the same engine. Of course that would be sensible only if Gripen was much cheaper (in lifetime costs) than SH and if both were much cheaper than F-35. As neither seems to be probable, I think it's very improbable that we will have mixed fleet.
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magitsu

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 04:05

Recently there's been isolated speculation that the oddly non-specific RFI packages could in effect ask for a combination of multiroles and trainers (or a training solution of local simulators and trainer jets somewhere close).

When contrasting the companies against T-X bidders they've got half covered: BAe, LM, Boeing/Saab, leaving Textron, Alenia and Northrop Grumman out.

It remains to be seen how crucial domestic training scheme is for FiAF. Might be a challenge for the F-35 bid at this point.
At the moment the clearest combined package, if there really was a need for one would be Typhoon + Hawk AJT from BAe.
FiAF's current trainers are BAe Hawk Mk. 51s and Mk. 66s.
Last edited by magitsu on 15 Dec 2015, 04:12, edited 1 time in total.
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cosmicdwarf

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 04:12

magitsu wrote:Recently there's been isolated speculation that the oddly non-specific RFI packages could in effect ask for a combination of multiroles and trainers (or a training solution of local simulators and trainer jets somewhere close).

When contrasting the companies against T-X bidders they've got half covered: BAe, LM, Boeing/Saab, leaving Textron, Alenia and Northrop Grumman out.

It remains to be seen how crucial domestic training scheme is for FiAF. Might be a challenge for the F-35 bid at this point.

Shouldn't be. Other than the cost that is.

Training in new craft usually starts in the manufacturing country to train the trainers anyway (if I'm wrong please correct me, I'd rather learn), after that if the country wants to pay to set up their own training that's up to them.
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magitsu

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 04:17

cosmicdwarf wrote:Shouldn't be. Other than the cost that is.

Training in new craft usually starts in the manufacturing country to train the trainers anyway (if I'm wrong please correct me, I'd rather learn), after that if the country wants to pay to set up their own training that's up to them.

True, but we don't know whether it will be seen as a separate issue. There's only been talk of replacing the capabilities of the current Hornets (HX-project), but everyone knows that Hawks retire at the same time. Where does the money for those come from? Frankly it seems unlikely that they would be considering making another request, because these are not funded from the regular procurement budget.

Keep in mind that theoretically these jet trainers could serve in some limited military role. Even the current FiAF Hawks can carry Sidewinders (no radar though).

Month ago FiAF aborted a turboprop trainer replacement (VX-project) due to high cost (Grob G 120TP >2M/ea) which is beans compared to a jet trainer. http://www.c4defence.com/en/YaziDetay.aspx?ID=38&KID=1
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Corsair1963

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 09:27

magitsu wrote:Recently there's been isolated speculation that the oddly non-specific RFI packages could in effect ask for a combination of multiroles and trainers (or a training solution of local simulators and trainer jets somewhere close).

When contrasting the companies against T-X bidders they've got half covered: BAe, LM, Boeing/Saab, leaving Textron, Alenia and Northrop Grumman out.

It remains to be seen how crucial domestic training scheme is for FiAF. Might be a challenge for the F-35 bid at this point.
At the moment the clearest combined package, if there really was a need for one would be Typhoon + Hawk AJT from BAe.
FiAF's current trainers are BAe Hawk Mk. 51s and Mk. 66s.


Why not F-35A's and M-346 Advance Trainers from Italy??? :wink:

MP15-1031-AL-1-First-Flight-TRM005-960x639.jpg



M-346-LAVI_680-1.jpg
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magitsu

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 13:51

Corsair1963 wrote:Why not F-35A's and M-346 Advance Trainers from Italy??? :wink:

My favorite combo if one is needed. But Alenia wasn't included in the list of five pre-RFI companies (BAe, LM, Boeing, Saab, Dassault). So it's more likely that only F-35s and simulators come out of it. Norwegian, Danish and Dutch solutions for F-35 training should provide a good early indicator.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 14:22

IMO, F-35 would likely be combined with T-50 trainer and it has good qualities to double up as light combat aircraft to support more capable F-35s. Of course Alenia Aermacchi is also major partner in F-35 program and so I don't think M-346 is out of the window either even if Alenia was not included in the list if F-35 is selected.
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 19:28

I'm hoping Northrop Grumman designs a stealthy shaped trainer that is basically a V-tailed F-20 Tigershark without all the expensive materials needed in a stealthy plane so that they can be mass produced for cheap.
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Dragon029

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Unread post15 Dec 2015, 21:48

KamenRiderBlade wrote:I'm hoping Northrop Grumman designs a stealthy shaped trainer that is basically a V-tailed F-20 Tigershark without all the expensive materials needed in a stealthy plane so that they can be mass produced for cheap.


They've actually privately shown off their T-X concept; it's apparently a single-engine T-38 lookalike (area-ruled, low wings, twin side-mounted intakes) with some chines running back from the nose and a conventional tail - it might have a reduced RCS, but it won't be particularly 'stealthy' from what they're describing.
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magitsu

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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 02:00

hornetfinn wrote:IMO, F-35 would likely be combined with T-50 trainer and it has good qualities to double up as light combat aircraft to support more capable F-35s. Of course Alenia Aermacchi is also major partner in F-35 program and so I don't think M-346 is out of the window either even if Alenia was not included in the list if F-35 is selected.

T-50 has lost 2 times to M-346. Singapore and Israel. South Korea is a good case (but the only one with F-35) for T-50 and also the fact that Indonesia replaced Hawk Mk 53s with it.

M-346 has more prestigious buyers (Israel, Italy, Poland, Singapore - all likely F-35 buyers) at the moment.
Both are definite contenders and assuming there won't be a move to shared training capabilities.
The fact that LM is selling the T-50 is probably its best selling point at this moment.

M-346 is 1bn dollars per 30 based on to the Israeli buy. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-1000725663 Finland has 24 or 26 modernized Hawks left starting next year.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 10:30

T-50 seems more advanced and capable aircraft, but it's likely also quite a bit more expensive than M-346. It's definitely larger, more powerful and can carry more stuff. FA-50 version has very impressive weapons capability (AMRAAM, AIM-9, JDAM, Spice, targeting pods). Being more capable doesn't necessarily mean better trainer where cost is very important criteria everywhere. M-346 is likely very fine trainer aircraft and LCA version could also carry Brimstone, IRIS-T and AIM-9 missiles.

I think for Finland there might be some interest to buy say 6-10 T-50/M-346 (trainer only) and 10-20 FA-50/M-346 LCA variants (dual role light fighter/trainer) in addition to actual fighters (say F-35A). This would give cheaper alternative to fighters both to acquire and operate while giving some combat utility also.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 10:58

hornetfinn wrote:T-50 seems more advanced and capable aircraft, but it's likely also quite a bit more expensive than M-346. It's definitely larger, more powerful and can carry more stuff. FA-50 version has very impressive weapons capability (AMRAAM, AIM-9, JDAM, Spice, targeting pods). Being more capable doesn't necessarily mean better trainer where cost is very important criteria everywhere. M-346 is likely very fine trainer aircraft and LCA version could also carry Brimstone, IRIS-T and AIM-9 missiles.

I think for Finland there might be some interest to buy say 6-10 T-50/M-346 (trainer only) and 10-20 FA-50/M-346 LCA variants (dual role light fighter/trainer) in addition to actual fighters (say F-35A). This would give cheaper alternative to fighters both to acquire and operate while giving some combat utility also.



Honestly, I think the odds are very good than Finland will purchase the F-35. As it looks to move closer to Europe the US and NATO. As for the M-346 it think it a good fit for the F-35 and would also be a good choice. Yet, I have no idea of the odds of Finland acquiring it???
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hornetfinn

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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 11:56

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, I think the odds are very good than Finland will purchase the F-35. As it looks to move closer to Europe the US and NATO. As for the M-346 it think it a good fit for the F-35 and would also be a good choice. Yet, I have no idea of the odds of Finland acquiring it???


I think only potential new trainers to replace our Hawks currently in existence are T-50 and M-346. All others are too old designs and not being produced any more. Of course some new trainer aircraft might surface within the time frame, like Boeing/Saab project or Northrop Grumman proposal for USAF T-X program.
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magitsu

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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 13:07

How big is the price difference between armed trainer and the basic versions?
Because I wonder whether it's a better idea to not buy any armed trainers (just the basic ones) and just get max amount of actual jets.

It's interesting to consider whether F-35s could be used to target FA-50s weapons (Amraam) while they loiter further back... because then there would be more missiles in the air without it really mattering that both don't have the same capability.

FA-50 as a low cost bomb truck, what do you think?
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Unread post16 Dec 2015, 14:27

FA-50 costs about 35 million US$ according to this: http://www.koreaaero.com/english/pr_center/cpr_view.asp?pg=1&gubun=v&seq=25777&bbs=10#

T-50 costs about 25 million US$ according to this: http://www.koreaaero.com/english/pr_center/cpr_view.asp?pg=1&gubun=v&seq=23695&bbs=10#

So, armed trainer/light attack aircraft costs about 10 million US$ more per aircraft than basic version. Of course this depends on exact details of each version and each contract.

So, let's say each F-35A costs about 120 million US$, FA-50 about 35 million US$ and T-50 about 25 million US$. If Finland uses say 6 billion US$ to buy the aircraft, we could get the following:

A) 48 F-35s, 10 T-50s (IMO, about minimum number of trainers, max number of fighters)
B) 45 F-35s, 24 T-50s (Direct conversion of Hawks to new aircraft)
C) 40 F-35s, 25 FA-50s, 10 T-50s
D) 36 F-35s, 40 FA-50s, 10 T-50s (balanced high/low mix)
E) 24 F-35s, 80 FA-50s, 10 T-50s
F) 0 F-35s, 160 FA-50s, 10 T-50s

Of course last two are not feasible at all because they'd increase the number of aircraft significantly and thus requirements for personnel a lot which would increase costs too much. They'd also be inadequate to face well equipped enemy with modern systems. IMO, I'd also buy max number of actual fighter jets and minimum amount of trainers. IMO, 5 F-35s would be more useful in most cases in our threat environment than 25 armed trainers. I would rather maximize the number and capability of weapons instead.
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