Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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magitsu

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Unread post15 Aug 2018, 14:01

Finnish Air Force will participate in the Exercise RED FLAG-Alaska 19-1 in October. Six F/A-18s and up to 70 airmen will be deployed to Eielson AFB during the exercise. It's their first time in the Red Flag.

There they can see (or specifically not see :wink: ) F-35 and F-22 through their own radars, which could be a good reference to the ongoing fighter acquisition. Other participants will include at least: F-15Ks from SK, EA-18Gs from USN, F-18Ds from USMC, A-10s & F-16s from USAF. The Aggressors have Eagles and Fighting Falcons.

They will also participate in the preceding exercises Distant Frontier 1 (24th Sept to 3th Oct) & Distant Frontier 2 (22th Oct to 26th Oct) bilaterally with the USAF. So the Finns are going to be in Alaska for quite some time.

https://twitter.com/FinnishAirForce/sta ... 6811427840
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magitsu

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Unread post20 Aug 2018, 16:25

Hornetfinn, if you are reading this, what are your expectations about Red Flag & Distant Frontier 1&2?

Anyone other familiar with Red Flag, please chime in. This is something new and exciting to Finland.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post21 Aug 2018, 07:03

Magitsu, I definitely agree that this is great training opportunity and something new and exciting for Finnish Air Force! We have had or participated some pretty large exercises, but naturally Red Flag is the biggest one with a huge number of assets and systems around.

I'm not sure if there will be any F-22 or F-35s around in that exercise. All sources I could find say that there will be F-15SKs, F-16s, A-10s, Growlers, USMC Hornets and naturally AWACS and tankers etc.
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popcorn

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Unread post21 Aug 2018, 07:51

The 5Gens may possibly make an appearance during Distant Frontier 1 & 2.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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magitsu

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Unread post21 Aug 2018, 09:26

popcorn wrote:The 5Gens may possibly make an appearance during Distant Frontier 1 & 2.

Hopefully. This USMC pic from a Distant Frontier in 2017 seems to at least have F-22s (which are Elmendorf locals). https://www.477fg.afrc.af.mil/News/Phot ... 001753303/

August 8 (wed), 2007: the base officially welcomed the first of its F-22A Raptor fleet.
http://www.f-16.net/f-22-news-article2469.html
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magitsu

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Unread post26 Sep 2018, 00:26

The Finns have arrived to Eielson for Distant Frontier trainings, and the main course Red Flag in between them.

https://twitter.com/EielsonAirForce/sta ... 0269214720
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Corsair1963

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Unread post26 Sep 2018, 00:35

I would be shocked if Finland didn't acquire the F-35.... :wink:
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hythelday

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Unread post23 Oct 2018, 13:10

A discussion regarding Finlands choice seems to have developed. There were some suggesting F-35 is advertise as "offensive" and hence will be at a disadvantage in defenseively-minded Finland. Well, this is what Finnish Air Force has to say about that:

In an internationally tense situation the effects of the adversary’s electronic attacks, anti-aircraft systems, interdiction and long-range weapons set limits on the use of one’s own aircraft. In such cases, the airspace which is permissive for air operations can shrink considerably, with one only being able to operate in uncontested areas where the adversary cannot freely employ his weapon systems. Operations deep into the adversary’s territory are often necessary to engage his key targets and to achieve a successful result in the war effort. Targets are in areas which the adversary tries to hold by maintaining a continuous air defence capability. The means for limiting operations in the rear include: the denial of base operations in areas from where an air operation could be launched; denying the use or airspace by active counter-air defence in areas important to one’s own operations, and limiting or denying the C2 and situation and intelligence picture capability as well as launching direct pre-emptive attacks on the adversary’s offensive forces. Operations deep into heavily defended areas intended to resolve the outcome of battle or war are extremely risky.


Page 18 of "Preliminary Assessment for Replacing the Capabilities of the Hornet Fleet" (https://www.defmin.fi/files/3178/Prelim ... _Fleet.pdf)

In other words - Finnish military is not made up of blue-eyed idiots who plan dig in along the border and wait until the enemy attacks. Finnish Air Force is aware of the fact large parts, if not all of Finnish air space is withing range of Russian SAMs and all of Finland can be struck by either mobile ground based or naval SSMs from hundreds of miles outside Finnish territory. Finnish military also plans to destroy those threats by means of air attacks (maybe coupled with naval missile strikes of their own). It's a fact that they openly proclaim in the papers regarding their future fighter and their justification to do so is clear to anyone who spends more than two minutes pondering Finnish military-strategic situation.

Now, regarding "political" side of the question, I am bewildered as to why some people think that because Finland is "neutral", it is naturally in some sort of mutual defence agreement with "neutral" Sweden, thus giving Gripen an edge. Finland buys what deems the biggest bang for the buck, there is no clear bias towards any national supplier - their kit is a mix of indigenous, European and American systems gradually replacing old Soviet equipment. South Korean K-9 was recently chosen as their newest SPG, Archer - not so much. Their only major distinctly Swedish weapon systems is CV90 (which is arguably the best in the world for Finns need) and the only Swedish weapon that was undoubtedly favored by the military in competition was the light torpedos for their future fleet. I am sure @hornetfinn can tell you in more detail how Finnish public attitude changed over time towards joining NATO, but I can tell you that right now NATO planes fly from Finnish bases as part of Trident Juncture exercise, and Finnish Hornets are over in Alaska for Red Flag. And please, don't even bring the "friendly with NATO means Russia treats you as an enemy!!!!" argument here, it's no secret who is Finland's most probable enemy anyway.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post23 Oct 2018, 13:27

Agreed hythelday. I think the FiAF started building more offensive capability as soon as possible. It was really made possible with the F/A-18 and acquisition of air to ground weaponry. Another thing is that ISR has always been important and being able to do that against effective IADS is very important. Of course being able to put up a fight seriously outnumbered in the air is important. I think all those favour F-35.
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steve2267

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Unread post23 Oct 2018, 14:31

In the Belgium thread,

XanderCrews wrote:
We will sell you a special F-35 model with super tiny fuel tanks lest you go beyond your own borders.

Or buy gripens, they come like that already

:devil:


I'll do you one better...

Buy your Gripens, and I'll sell you an add-on stealth kit for your Gripens!

Bad news: stealth isn't cheap... it will roughly double the purchase price of your Gripen. But the good news is that you can use all the Gripens as trainers...

(OH, and everyone will accuse you of being in Lockheed Martin's pocket, but don't believe them!)
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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