Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 04:54

Parts/LRUs are repaired at "hubs" (aka depots) so that part/LRU replacement is done locally.

A customer can decide to run their own depots (like Israel), but costs will obviously go up if they use that option.
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 05:08

That must be the "most part" as in
for the most part meet Finnish minimum requirements in life cycle costs
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magitsu

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 16:26

Yeah, that's just their quick assessment based on negotiations preceding the RFQ due date. That will be clarified once they start studying them.

Performance Based Logistics 5 year deals instead of annual deals is the change that they made to the subcontractors.

Apart from DAS, also the ICP seems to receive an update starting from Lot 15 (2023 deliveries). Similar big improvements.
https://www.f35.com/news/detail/lockhee ... generation
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lamoey

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 17:14

Component repair contract recently awarded to various companies and countries in Europe.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/second-round-f-35-maintenance-work-contracted

LONDON—Industry in Denmark, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK have secured component repair work for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


The contracts are part of the F-35’s Global Support Solution. The JPO says that participating nations have been provided with requirements outlining repair needs for F-35 component workload. Each country was then given the opportunity to work with industry to submit responses. Regional considerations such as forward basing, aircraft phasing, and transportation have contributed to assignment decisions.

Work assignments will be reviewed and updated as required by the program, the JPO says.

Under current plans, the assignments awarded in Europe will support the worldwide fleet. But as F-35 operations in the Asia-Pacific region pick up pace in the mid-2020s, component repair support services will also be established in that region. So far, the JPO has issued assignments to industry in Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Work assignments for the maintenance, repair and overhaul work on some 400 repairable items including avionics, life support systems, landing gear, pumps and power systems for the aircraft was issued by the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) on Feb. 12. Under current plans, the F-35 enterprise is awarding contracts for more than 770 repairable items on the aircraft.

The first batch of 65 of these contracts was issued in late 2016 for so-called high-value electrical components, fuel, mechanical and hydraulic systems, and ejection seats.


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playloud

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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 17:31

lamoey wrote:Not sure if there is a paywall, so let me know and I'll paste in relevant content.

No paywall.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 19:49

U.S. Government Approves Release of Boeing EA-18G Growler to Finland
https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-02-18 ... to-Finland

Somewhat of note: "Previously only Australia had been authorized to purchase the airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft."

Boeing also officially confirmed today that they've offered SH and Growlers. Quantity unknown.

Here's the flight demo part from last year's flight show in Finland. Growler was flown with external tanks and wing tip pods. They didn't have a permission to bring ALQ-99s (under the wing EW pods). The planes were on loan from USN NAS Whidbey Island. The year before Boeing brought two SH's with mockup-conformals on top of the wings. No idea whether the Growlers would receive conformals in this scenario.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K34EwvDWB2o
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Corsair1963

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Unread post19 Feb 2019, 00:50

Honestly, I would be shocked. If, Finland didn't acquire the F-35. On the other hand I wouldn't be at all surprised. If, Switzerland went for the Gripen E.
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ricnunes

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Unread post19 Feb 2019, 20:55

Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, I would be shocked. If, Finland didn't acquire the F-35. On the other hand I wouldn't be at all surprised. If, Switzerland went for the Gripen E.


Didn't Switzerland select the Gripen E because it was the cheapest of all 3 options (Gripen E, Rafale and Typhoon)?
On top of that they would get to co-develop the Gripen E with Sweden.
I would say that these 2 points are "paramount" for such a decision.

Anyway, this shouldn't be much of an issue for Finland since the F-35 should be among the cheapest options within its fighter contest.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Feb 2019, 01:34

ricnunes wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, I would be shocked. If, Finland didn't acquire the F-35. On the other hand I wouldn't be at all surprised. If, Switzerland went for the Gripen E.


Didn't Switzerland select the Gripen E because it was the cheapest of all 3 options (Gripen E, Rafale and Typhoon)?
On top of that they would get to co-develop the Gripen E with Sweden.
I would say that these 2 points are "paramount" for such a decision.

Anyway, this shouldn't be much of an issue for Finland since the F-35 should be among the cheapest options within its fighter contest.



Finland needs the vast capabilities of the F-35 to deter Russia. While, Switzerland needs a good deal to sell it to their public. Which, overruled the last fighter deal...
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Unread post20 Feb 2019, 13:20

I know it's dirtied up, but that demo looked positively lethargic. Especially given what we've seen from recent F-35 demos. If it's true the F-35's internal E/W suite is all that (and I don't doubt it), the jump in capability is going to be massive. The Finn's would be nuts NOT to buy the F-35.

But politics makes for strange bedfellows...
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Unread post20 Feb 2019, 17:02

But politics makes for strange bedfellows...

Just ask the Canadians :doh:
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hythelday

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Unread post01 Mar 2019, 13:52

Finnish Hornets refueled by USAF KC-135:

https://twitter.com/FinnishAirForce/sta ... -tankimist

I believe this was done over Finland, as Hornet deployment to US is already over, is it correct?

Also blogger Corporal Frisk writes about Pohjanmaa-class corvettes, mentions HX a little:
he choice of ESSM will also have indirect effects on the Army’s GBAD program for a medium-range SAM-system. The inability of MBDA to secure a naval CAMM-order from Finland will likely impact the chances for the same missile on land as well. The NASAMS-compatible AMRAAM-ER in turn got a further boost, as it share some parts commonality with the ESSM (the ESSM can also be fired from the NASAMS launcher, though it is dubious if the Army wants a passive seeker head). [b]Overall, MBDA has had a surprisingly hard time in securing any kind of orders in Finland. Time will tell if HX changes this.[/b]

https://corporalfrisk.com/2019/02/22/es ... maa-class/
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magitsu

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Unread post01 Mar 2019, 15:11

Yeah, two Hornets were there for a bit over two years for JASSM integration. It was completed about a year ago.

Air tanking exercises are quite common. USAFE is usually the other party, but FiAF also uses Omega Tanker (NA private company). Omega is also often utilized for en route tanking to overseas exercises. No money or real domestic need for tanking, thus that capability doesn't exist in the FiAF. But all Hornet pilots need to have the qualification for international purposes.

Yeah, MBDA didn't win with CAMM/Sea Ceptor for the corvettes (Raytheon's ESSM was picked), which makes it very unlikely to win for NASAMS extended range project. That's almost certain to go for AMRAAM-ER. MMP is likely to lose to Spike LR II when it's time to update them. MBDA's SAMP/T lost to NASAMS a decade ago. No need for Taurus KEPD since JASSM was bought. Exocet lost to Gabriel for the corvettes. So they are really still lacking first proper success. Plenty of lost competitions already.

If F-35 is picked, MBDA Meteor has quite low chances. But if anything else, then it would likely be picked.
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 17:31

Long post by Corporal Frisk again regarding HX:

HX Shifting Gears
The HX program has shifted gear into the next phase, as all five contenders returned their answers to the first round of the RFQ (for those needing a primer on the process, see this post). As noted all five are still in the race, but a few notable events have taken place.

https://corporalfrisk.com/2019/03/02/hx-shifting-gears/

Some key points by the good corporal:
HX in general
- All five still in the race
- both the Air Force chief and the chief of defense retire soon but this "likely won’t affect the HX program in any meaningful way"
- The need for Finland to ensure that we aren’t the sole operator of the HX towards the end of it’s operational life highlighted recently, yet again, but not a surprise

F-35
- LM tight-lipped about the deal since it is negotiated on US-Finland government level. One anecdote is that it still isn't confirmed that A version is on the table and there's a theoretical possibility for the C
- While questions regarding ALIS exist, Frisk's personal opinion is that recent LHD deployment with 75% availability rate was very impressive and is a "strong sign of maturity"
- F-35 no longer has perfect competition record due to Germany, but that decision was highly political

Eurofighter
- Mentions Germany blocking arms sales to Saudis despite UK/France pressure. While done for valid reasons (Yemen, Khashoggi), this raises certain question regarding Berlin's stance in a Germany-Finland-Russia geopolitical arc (hello Nord Stream 2)
- Spain's unilateral EF T1 upgrade path is a mixed bag: good because it shows EF's independent upgradeability, bad - ..., well because it needed to happen and because the fate of EF T1 of other users does not inspire confidence.

Gripen E/F
- SAAB offers 4:1 one:two-seater ratio, because of "other drivers for and needs of a two-seat aircraft configuration in combination with the more traditional training-related benefits" (my comment: so much for the "smart fighter" advertisment)
- SAAB offers domestic production
- SAAB has a stronger local footprint than others

Super Hornet/Growler
- Boeing also not very vocal, but apparently tells a little more/better than LM, several strong selling points, including, accroding to Boeing, "Block 3 SH sensor fusion as good as F-35"
- also strong local presence, including several former Finnish mil people on the team
- Questions remain regarding service in 2060 timeframe
- Promises of local assembly and upgradeability

Rafale
- Dassault keeps low profile in the media
- Recent "unrelated" winter testing done in Finland is probably not a coincidence
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 18:34

I don't understand that C speculation. It's looking like a desperate effort of trying to draw requirements straight from the characteristics of the Hornet to what the successor should be. Surely the operational requirements have nothing that necessitates carrier capabilities, which come with their own drawbacks.

Has anyone besides the USN publicly considered buying F-35C?

F-35B could be theoretically useful with its unique capabilities. But even that one carries a higher price and has drawbacks which affect their main task for Finland, A2A operation. The suggested number of jets 64 is a tough ask even with cheaper A with their resources.

Eurofighter has taken hits as of late, that's for sure. The German export unpredictability is a bad look. Today Dassault CEO also warned that FCAS shouldn't be made into Eurofighter 2.0.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -f-456242/

I don't really understand how Saab expects to sell F when their domestic air force can do without. Yes, they have D's as trainers but they heavily promote these other usest than training. Who's going to pay for their development? Are they looking for a sucker?
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