Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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bring_it_on

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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 14:33

magitsu wrote: For example AARGM-ER comes to mind for Growler. Not necessarily first priority, but something that you might want after deployments start to roll.


They almost would have to be for them to be effective. The Growler notification, for example, only covers the MB pods. That's one expensive stand off jamming platform that can't even cover the entire spectrum it is designed to cover because of the stuff that is excluded.

magitsu wrote:MRSAM RFQ is out. Interestingly Raytheon wasn't included (or Saab). Since Kongsberg was, AMRAAM-ER is probably still in contention. But this is clearly a related development to HX air defence role. The budget is meagre since it didn't allow Patriot to be included. So this is different to Switzerland, which seems to invest more in this component as Patriot is in theirs.

So it's either going to be integrated to Raytheon NASAMS II FCS (=new missile alongside AIM-120 and AIM-9) or another sam system to go along.


Are the Germans or LM-MBDA pitching the MEADS solution for this with the MSE and IRIS-T combination?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 16:27

Thanks again magitsu.

So it seems the potential candidates for this AD system would be IRIS-T SLM, BARAK MX, NASAMS upgrade and AMRAAM-R missile, CAMM-ER and Spyder. I doubt either David's Sling (Rafael) or SAMP/T (MBDA) are in this competition due to their cost. BARAK MX seems like most capable system (up to 150 km range and 30 km altitude), but NASAMS upgrade with AMRAAM-ER is likely the cheapest solution by far.
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steve2267

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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 16:50

Which of these SAM systems, if any, have the ability or potential to integrate with F-35's in a network fashion? Either cueing Panthers to launch, or a Panther cueing the nearest SAM to keep the Panther hidden?
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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magitsu

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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 22:09

NASAMS II should work through Link 16. Technically the whole FDF is networked in such way and shares the same situational picture (e.g. Navy has L16/22 on all ships - Swedes are lagging in this regard, they ordered L22 only in 2018 almost a decade later than Finns**), there's no barriers like between services in the US.

This system extension looks to be quite modest, given there's nothing close to Patriot level money reserved for it. But the rollout will happen 2025-> right at the same time with HX fighter jets.
But they don't necessarily come from the same country.

Amraam-ER could be the favorite since they don't need to introduce another system alongside Nasams like some of the other options.

Barak 8 already lost to ESSM in the corvette bid.

**
Small excerpt about the state of connectivity.
This enabling technology is called Multi Data Link Processor (M-DLP): in these simple four words, it represents the widest response in the tactical field when it comes to sharing and interpreting different type of links, whilst integrating different languages and protocols into a common format, with an ability and implementation that guarantee the highest level of interoperability among warships, aircraft, ground assets and command posts.

However, one can ask, how is it possible to provide full data forwarding capabilities with tools to build a real-time shared common operational picture?

The M-DLP is without doubt the most advanced product available, as it integrates and interprets all of the different formats, languages and "protocols" of the Data Link universe (Link 11 a / b, Link 16, Link 22, JREAP B&C, IFF M5 and VMF), therein achieving a true and full interaction and interoperability. This is in part due to Leonardo and Italy’s involvement and participation in the Data Link Working Group, which develops the standardisation of tactical Data Links within NATO’s framework. One of the leading Nations in Data Link and M-DLP implementation is Finland, and Leonardo is very proud of the fact that the solution it has adopted was designed and manufactured by Leonardo.
Leonardo is also a leading provider of Data Links, particularly in the development of Link 22 within the NATO program NILE (NATO Improved Link Eleven). At the moment about 200 Leonardo M-DLPs operate globally within various Defence Forces.

https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/news ... -processor

Test 2007 http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... nland.html

Slide 28 here from 2010 tells about the state of Link 22 implementation worldwide. It seems that the whole Finnish Navy, with some shore sites too were to be completed by 2014: https://docplayer.net/48195250-Nato-imp ... nk-22.html

Overall tactical data networks should be in far better shape than expected.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 12:54

steve2267 wrote:Which of these SAM systems, if any, have the ability or potential to integrate with F-35's in a network fashion? Either cueing Panthers to launch, or a Panther cueing the nearest SAM to keep the Panther hidden?


It seems like all of them would allow that using Link 16 at least. All of these candidates are digital, software based and networking is a very high priority in all of them. Basically it just needs Link 16 terminal, suitable radio and software to translate targeting data to and from Link 16/TADIL-J messages. I'm sure all of these systems have the option to use Link 16 or some other data link (if user requests something else) for this. F-35 could also employ some other data link if suitable application is installed. Of course in case of Finland only sensible solution is to use Link 16 as that is already widely used as magitsu wrote. I bet that Link 16 connectivity is required for these systems to be even considered.
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magitsu

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Unread post29 Oct 2020, 19:53

More analysis about the GBAD acquisition:
https://corporalfrisk.com/2020/10/29/fi ... -shopping/
(timeline for it is 1 year after the HX fighter decision)
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hornetfinn

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 08:00

IRIS-T SL/SLM is interesting as IRIS-T missile itself is very similar to AIM-9X and ASRAAM. It seems however that IRIS-T SLM is dedicated surface-to-air missile with larger rocket motor and nose cone to improve aerodynamics for better performance. Here are some interesting info about the system:

https://idoc.pub/documents/iris-t-slm-ylyx51g3xznm

The vertical-launched IRIS-T SLM has a full 3600 engagement capability and is fitted with a powerful rocket motor as well as a drag-reducing nose cone resulting in an effective range of more than 35 km and an altitude of up to around 20 km.


and

https://www.diehl.com/defence/en/press- ... l-firings/

The first target was engaged at a distance of more than 30 km. The IRIS-T SL missile flight time was about one minute reaching an altitude above 12 km. Despite an evasive maneuver involving changing direction and altitude, a direct hit of the target was achieved proving the medium range capabilities of IRIS-T SL.


So it seems plausible that even IRIS-T SLM would fit the requirement for significantly improved altitude over current NASAMS with AMRAAM and AIM-9X missile. Of course AMRAAM-ER would give NASAMS about similar range/altitude performance to IRIS-T SLM. I think that would be the best solution due to small budget.

Btw, in that blog by Corporal Frisk it's said that Spyder lacks range and altitude. But there is also Spyder-LR missile available with 80 km max range and 20 km altitude capability:
https://www.rafael.co.il/wp-content/upl ... -Eng-1.pdf
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jakobs

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 12:14

hornetfinn wrote:So it seems plausible that even IRIS-T SLM would fit the requirement for significantly improved altitude over current NASAMS with AMRAAM and AIM-9X missile. Of course AMRAAM-ER would give NASAMS about similar range/altitude performance to IRIS-T SLM. I think that would be the best solution due to small budget.


It really depends on what kind of seeker they are looking for on the missile IMO. Otherwise the two missiles are pretty similar in their spec.
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madrat

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 12:32

Mid-course command guidance is the key because the seeker isn't exposed to the airstream until its in terminal mode. There is no reason they couldn't use multiple versions of seekers with this kind of system. Link 16 and Link 22 are key to removing the Achilles Heel of older mobile SAMs integrated with infantry as it allows you to combine so many elements into one tightly integrated package yet retain quick response times. Big difference over old systems like Mauler, Rapier, Roland, etc.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 12:53

If we think about synergies between GBAD systems and fighter aircraft in Finnish competition, it's pretty clear F-35 would be the best aircraft component. It has easily the most capable sensor system with most advanced sensor fusion and networking capabilities. VLO stealth gives it the ability to operate undetected closer to the threats. Together these mean F-35 can generate most complete and accurate air situation picture and transmit that to GBAD units. Of course all the competitors would be capable of contributing to GBAD capabilities, but not to the same level of F-35.

I think all competing fighter aircraft are pretty equal when it comes to receiving targeting data from GBAD units since all would receive the same data using the same data link system. Biggest difference would be the sensors, sensor fusion and networking to create overall SA in the aircraft.
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magitsu

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 14:04

I've always crutched on the idea that even if F-35 ended up being expensive, it extracts easily the most extra efficiency out of the rest of the defense system. For example extra 10% there could be more than any difference in the number of frames within HX.

Growler can be one of a kind in a sense, but there's likely just 12 of them. Only 1/4 of the Supers could carry IRST based on the DSCA numbers... etc. Saab's two GlobalEyes being the most drastic pooling of critical resources, leading to concentration of risk.

F-35's best feature might in the end be wide standardization of high performance capabilities. Always on. So nice for planning, redundancy and surprise needs that you can't fully predict.

So even if most notably Gripen is marketed as dispersed operations being their strength, the F-35 package as a whole looks like it would fare better in that regard.
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steve2267

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 14:55

If dispersed operations were a YUGE thing, then the F-35B would seem to be the way to go.

If F-35 could detect, cue, and guide SAM's, then you could almost separate the GBAD radar from the launchers. Or possibly just use the GBAD radars as decoys. As long as the GBAD launchers have missiles, the F-35 would target intruders with ground launched missiles which could be widely dispersed. Kind of like an unlimited magazine depth for the Panthers.
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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Unread post31 Oct 2020, 00:09

You need STOL not VTOL per se, so F-35B provided no advantage.
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magitsu

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Unread post08 Nov 2020, 14:31

President Niinistö seems to give interesting signaling about bilateral (US-Finland) interests.

However, the development of Finland's bilateral relations with the United States is determined by whether there are concrete joint projects between the great power and the small but brave Nordic country.

Nokia's 5g data networks, icebreakers and Finland's new fighters are at the heart of diplomacy and trade policy, which Niinistö pointed out.

- President Trump already focused in quite a nice way on these 5g and icebreaker issues last year when I visited Washington. There is a long foundation and a follow-up interest in both these matters as well, Niinistö emphasized.

Biden’s future administration needs effective icebreakers in the Arctic. Similarly, the United States wants the rest of the world not to be dependent on Chinese company Huawei’s network technology.

Nokia may still flourish again. At the same time, Finland, as an EU country, will have to choose its side in the competition between the United States and China.

Washington is a much more important center of power for us than Beijing. The American defense policy affects how much Finland has independent room for maneuver in the neighborhood of authoritarian Russia.

That is why it was prophetic - or very intentional - for Niinistö to mention the fighter choice to be made next year as part of the relationship between the United States and Finland.

- Let's not forget that it may well be that the ongoing HX acquisition is the one that has particularly intensified our relationship - or interest," Niinistö pondered.

It was hardly an accident, although Niinistö did not say that Finland would buy US fighter jets.

The question of joint training between Sweden and the United States, in which countries practice defending Sweden, Niinistö partly dodged. From Sweden, Finland should not fall behind in the quality and depth of the relationship with the United States. Niinistö turned his attention to the fact that James Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense of the Trump administration, gave a lot of value to Finland's defence policy.

"It is quite clear that Finnish determination, for example in terms of the will to defence and the structure of the Armed Forces, is very much respected in the United States. He was a true friend of Finland and knew very carefully our thinking and actions, which he greatly appreciated, and spread that message," Niinistö praised Mattis' influence.

Perhaps under Trump, someone worked in the US administration who was worth more to Finland than the figurehead who ran his own reality show after all.

At the beginning of Biden's term, the relationship between Finland and the United States is well underway, but a place for a big choice is the moment when Niinistö and the key ministers of Sanna Marin's (sd) government sit down at the table and decide which country to buy from the most modern and the most peace and democracy securing part of Finland's weaponry.

Realpolitik has not given way to the world.

https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/f ... fa7f7f21d5

edit: Another article referring to it, this one is already in English:
https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/niin ... y/11637172
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magitsu

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Unread post12 Nov 2020, 20:55

LM's advertorial type story features LM's Scott Davis and Norway's LtCol Ståle Nymoen.

Some of the more interesting parts translated:
Kill ratio is related to traditional air combat, but it is only one part of the tasks of a modern multipurpose fighter. Even more important is how the fighter is able to respond to the evolution of modern missile systems and electronic warfare.

“Finland is a long and narrow country, around which the anti-aircraft missiles cover the entire area of the country. I have flown a number of fourth-generation fighters, missiles and responding to these machines is really difficult, "says Davis.

Fifth-generation fighter uses the its own radar as an interference transmitter. This is about ten times more efficient than a separate jammer placed in a hard point due to higher power and better cooling. In addition, a larger antenna produces a better directed and narrower beam at the target, making it harder for the enemy to detect the plane,” Davis says.

In the winter tests, the challenge of Finland's weather conditions, this time wet and slippery zero degree weathers, came to the fore. Another special feature of Finland is that fighters do not always have actual air bases available, but they must also be able to operate from road bases where the take-off, landing and maintenance conditions are harsher.

The manufacturers of the F-35 are not concerned about the challenge of Finland's special features, because the machine is already in use in at least as challenging conditions.

Davis confirms that road bases are not a problem for the F-35.

“The F-35 cannot be given the same specific dimension that it needs to ascend and descend - these depend on things like temperature, altitude readings and the machine’s fuel load. But the rise and fall of the F-35 without a brake parachute requires approximately the same distance as Finland's current Hornet aircraft. Finland is the only country that uses Hornets from road bases, so it will be successful with the F-35 as well."

The Norwegian fighter jet procurement project has set the goal of preliminary operational performance of the machines in 2019 and full operational performance in 2025. According to Nymoen, the goals have been achieved so far. He points out that there is no objective metric for performance.

“Each country determines for itself what issues it will include in initial operational readiness or full operational readiness. In the big picture, we have decided to do this by increasing the operational capacity by a certain amount from year to year, ”says Nymoen.

According to Nymoen, the challenges to performance are not so much technology but the cultural change required by the entire defense system. Challenges relate to communication and networking with other weapons.

"The biggest question right now is the implementation of this cultural change: the fact that we understand that the F-35 will become one of the main nodes in the entire defense force."

https://www.mustread.fi/artikkelit/vast ... empaankin/
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