Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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white_lightning35

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 19:40

I wonder how the chips will fall in the end for this competition. Simply put, it seems the f-35 is just more capable than the others. The only thing I could see getting in the way is some political stunt (i.e a certain Twitter user saying or doing something really stupid) and it swings the contest toward the other aircraft, in which case I see the rafale as being the victor. Five years ago I think this competition would be very interesting, with the f-35 being at 2B software and 100+ million dollars. Now when it's at 3F and 80 million it just seems like a yawning gap between it and the others. I don't want to eat my words but this competition seems too professionally run to not put it in the f-35's already large bag.

I think if the US wanted to seal the deal, they should invite the Finns to a Red Flag with some other f-35 users like the RAAF, put up a multinational four-ship to highlight interoperability, and tell the Finns to do their worst alongside red air. Then they can have first-hand experience of what the f-35 can do.
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 22:41

hythelday wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Maybe the US does not want to sell to Finland an aircraft that could conceivably poke the bear deeply in its territory?


So they sold JASSM instead?

Speaking of that, I believe the sale didn't go as smoothly as expected, with some feet dragging on the US side.
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hythelday

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 23:37

@f4u7_corsair, do want a bet?

My favorite tactical fighter against yours, who wins HX? 25 euro Amazon gift card (to buy military history books of course)?
Additional rule: if Dassault decides to stay in the competition till the end but Rafale comes second in the final evaluation right behind F-35 we'll consider it a draw?
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 23:44

My favorite tactical fighter is the 2000-5, which lost back in '92 against the Hornet in Finland (hurr durr obviously a rigged competition). But let's suppose it's the Rafale - seems like a fun bet. Feel free to PM me! :)
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steve2267

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 00:02

The Rafale is a fine aircraft. I love it's lines. It is the ultimate evolution of the Mirage III -> Mirage V -> Mirage 2000 lineage.

Too bad Lockheed Martin had to come along and upset everyone's apple cart...
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 post31 Jan 2019, 07:56

f4u7_corsair wrote:My favorite tactical fighter is the 2000-5, which lost back in '92 against the Hornet in Finland (hurr durr obviously a rigged competition). But let's suppose it's the Rafale - seems like a fun bet. Feel free to PM me! :)

Ideally the last leg would be F-35 vs. Rafale instead of Gripen. But as I described above, they will deliver only one recommendation to avoid giving ideas. Everyone else is 2nd placed. The political cost of not following that recommendation is increased when there's a threat of the military wanting to redo everything in case their advice wouldn't be followed.

They will receive guidance on the final number of jets to purchase due to the planned budget being still quite rough estimate 7-10 Bn euros. New cabinet should be writing their program this May. That's the most meaningful milestone ahead. 64 was used as a goal post in this RFQ, but this quote describes the meaning:
- If someone offers 62 and the other 64, that 62 might produce a better capability for the Finnish defense system, Puranen explained.

However, according to him, a "somebody's angle" was to be placed on the initial invitation and 64 were considered to represent the complete substitution of Hornet performance in multipurpose fighters as outlined in the 2017 Defense Statement.


https://www.ilkka.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/su ... -1.2861412

The president has also weighed in. He said that they won't be making a political effects study, like there wasn't one with the Hornet purchase either.

white_lightning35 wrote:
I think if the US wanted to seal the deal, they should invite the Finns to a Red Flag with some other f-35 users like the RAAF, put up a multinational four-ship to highlight interoperability, and tell the Finns to do their worst alongside red air. Then they can have first-hand experience of what the f-35 can do.

Finland was just at the Red Flag Alaska last October. It was their first time. They spent about a month there, taking part also in two other exercises before and after the main event. There probably were no F-35s, but F-22s certainly took part.
They won't have funds for another tour as this one is said to have taken 9 years of preparation. What happens instead is that the Nordic ACE event (one every 2 years) will be turned into Flag level exercise. This was confirmed by the Swedish defense minister at this years Almedalen Week (yearly top politcs conference retreat). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almedalen_Week

RAAF is certainly very good counterpart. Hornet, Super Hornet, JASSM, and non-Nato type of needs. The top brass has at least traveled to conferences there occasionally. Also to Israel, which is to be expected. Interestingly Israel was the only non-fighter producing country that received an inquiry in this HX project. So they sent separate inquries for jets and another for equipment/armament. Within the last year Israel has been winning the big Finnish military contracts, with IAI's Gabriel selected as the coastal missile, and for the new/renovated ships. IAI's subsidiary Elta won a smaller counter-battery radar deal.

f4u7_corsair wrote:
hythelday wrote:
steve2267 wrote:Maybe the US does not want to sell to Finland an aircraft that could conceivably poke the bear deeply in its territory?

So they sold JASSM instead?

Speaking of that, I believe the sale didn't go as smoothly as expected, with some feet dragging on the US side.

Yeah, they were denied the first time. But certain closely aligned countries like South Korea never got it.

2007 denied, then FiAF went looking for JSOW alongside JDAMs for the MLU2 phase which introduced air to ground capability. In 2011 JASSM was cleared leaving the JSOW purchase probably only to the initial batch of around a dozen.

hythelday wrote:Besides, is it really "confirmed" that F-15 wasn't offered because of US Gov obstruction?

Likely just a mental shortcut by the journalist. The most likely explanation is that it doesn't make sense for Boeing to offer two products. Prep work is too expensive against the potential, so they have decided on the more suitable product from their own selection. Note that Boeing loaned two Whidbey Growlers to visit Finland last summer. Growler's added capabilities likely match better against F-35 than just F-15. Looks like sound judgement given the price disparity to F-35 would likely be even worse with F-15.

The inquiries were sent for the governments, not the makers themselves. This might explain why "Pentagon decided". FMS process unlike most of the F-35 partner purchases thus far. But gov to gov is the main guiding reality for the others as well. They want to stay in lockstep (same pace of development, as little as possible extra integration work paid by themselves) with the main user whichever product they end up getting. To keep the costs at check etc.
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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 14:39

Another article, another google translate bit:
The repair capability of hull, equipment and combat damage must be available in Finland in accordance with certain criteria and time requirements even in exceptional circumstances. Such maintenance can be performed, for example, by strategic partners of the armed forces in the aerospace industry.

https://ruotuvaki.fi/-/havittajahanke-e ... vaiheeseen

Here's an interesting tweet which displays a slide from the scenario side of the assessment. DCA Case 1.1. Have a look. 8)
https://twitter.com/MiiHult/status/1090156736697286656

Eurofighter tells that there were 2500 questions. Operative ones were the hardest, but also the most rewarding.

edit:

Everyone submitted a bid. Cheers for that, lads. :D
https://puolustusvoimat.fi/artikkeli/-/ ... geId=en_US

The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command sent the invitations to tender in spring 2018 for the HX Fighter Programme and have now received replies from five aircraft manufacturers.

The deadline for submitting replies was set at the end of January 2019. The Defence Forces’ Logistics Command received a preliminary RFQ for all five aircraft types. The replies contain binding information on the comprehensive solution and package, built around each multi-role fighter option; the aim is to create the best possible capability for Finland’s defence system while replacing the Hornet fleet.

Apart from the 64 aircraft, the replies to invitations to tender contain technical systems needed for operating the aircraft, training systems, necessary maintenance tools, testing equipment and spare parts as well as weapons, sensors and other associated type-specific support functions. They may also include other supporting systems and capability elements.

The next phase after receiving the preliminary quotations is a content analysis that lasts several months. This is followed by the first phase of negotiations during which the quotations are further specified in cooperation with the manufacturers.

A more specific RFQ will be sent in the second half of 2019; this will be followed by the second phase of negotiations during which the content of procurement packages will be finalised. The second phase of negotiations will end in 2020; the manufacturers will then be requested to submit final tender documents. The government will make the decision on the replacement of the Hornet fleet in 2021.
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magitsu

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Unread post06 Feb 2019, 18:44

Interesting... Saab's offer included 52 E and 12 F (two-seater).
https://www.suomenmaa.fi/uutiset/ruotsi ... 84c2973fd0

Currently flying F/A-18 Hornet buy was originally 57 C and 7 D.
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hythelday

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Unread post07 Feb 2019, 15:30

Sometimes news from Finland cross the gulf down south, and today Estonian state broadcast wrote in brief that Swedish Chief of Air Force, General Mats Helgesson, said that "Finland should buy Gripen E because it has black belt in killing Sukhois":

https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10634682

https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/9 ... afb80888e5

How truthful was that translation (@magitsu, @hornetfinn)? :D

Also the good general said the usual BS that in order to maximize defensive cooperation Nordic countries should purchase the same fighters - but what does it say about him as a professional if he advocates the worst option out of 5? Dumb question. I guess he does not want to be the commander of the only nordic AF that didn't choose the F-35.
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loke

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Unread post07 Feb 2019, 17:08

hythelday wrote:Sometimes news from Finland cross the gulf down south, and today Estonian state broadcast wrote in brief that Swedish Chief of Air Force, General Mats Helgesson, said that "Finland should buy Gripen E because it has black belt in killing Sukhois":

https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10634682

https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/9 ... afb80888e5

How truthful was that translation (@magitsu, @hornetfinn)? :D

Also the good general said the usual BS that in order to maximize defensive cooperation Nordic countries should purchase the same fighters - but what does it say about him as a professional if he advocates the worst option out of 5? Dumb question. I guess he does not want to be the commander of the only nordic AF that didn't choose the F-35.

In real life one must take the size of the budget into consideration. Switzerland concluded that although the Rafale scored higher than Gripen in the technical eval, Gripen won, mainly because it was affordable.

Finland may reach a completely different conclusion, but it is not obvious unless one knows more about both the aircraft but also about the Finnish requirements & budget.

Not that the ranking of fighters 2-5 really matters that much. F-35 will undoubtebly win, and it will be chosen in Finland.
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magitsu

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Unread post07 Feb 2019, 18:27

Translation was truthful. Swedes are big talkers, from behind the backs of more capable forces. :wink:

Of course they are designed to go against their most likely adversaries. Black belt or brown underpants, matter of perspective.
Last edited by magitsu on 07 Feb 2019, 18:49, edited 2 times in total.
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white_lightning35

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Unread post07 Feb 2019, 18:46

How does a plane that has been flying for a year and never been near a sukhoi have a black belt in killing them? Hmmm, and the f-35 proponents are the ones accused of exaggeration.
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Unread post07 Feb 2019, 19:11

Probably referring to past reports of current Gripens in DACT against Flankers of which there have been a few.
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element1loop

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Unread post08 Feb 2019, 07:31

marsavian wrote:Probably referring to past reports of current Gripens in DACT against Flankers of which there have been a few.


oh gawd ... please ... not gunfightz again ...
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post08 Feb 2019, 08:00

Gripen did DACT against Flankers? Thai vs Malaysia? SAR vs Zimbabwe?

Considering Gripen C was ranked "Failed to meet minimum criteria" in Air Police/DCA in Swiss eval, the biggest shortcomings being range & performance, I don't see how they can spectacularly improve those characteristics with an E, unless flight control software was really bad in 2005.
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