Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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marsavian

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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 23:56

What type of offsets can the US offer Finland as a FMS customer ? Italy already took the local European production line. Saab are also throwing in 2 GlobalEye AEW&C planes in as well so they can meet the bid limit comfortably with 64 Gripen E/F. Brazil has got its own Gripen E/F assembly line if it wants it as well the option to build parts. I wouldn't see Finland getting any less it it requested it.

https://saab.com/gripen/industrial-coop ... rtnership/

All these contenders will be tested against the existing Finnish F-18 so the Finns will get a good grasp of how Gripen E compares against their existing aircraft and F-35. Plenty of data on which to make an informed decision along with any industrial concerns. On the face of it the F-35 is the most advanced but Gripen E maybe advanced enough to win on the overall package.
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magitsu

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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 00:15

Offsets shouldn't become the decider*. Lockheed Martin just needs to find more indirect ones than the others, who can peddle more fighter assembly/maintenance work. They can be totally unrelated to the fighter, see the bolded part below. So anything that's strategic in the realm of Finland's national safety/military industry.

I'm sure that LM as the 2nd biggest company, or the biggest in this field, can find plenty of co-op opportunities in the areas listed below. The smaller ones could be really sweating to get to the 30% (=3Bn€) if their fighter related things couldn't cover the majority of it. Saab's yearly turnover in 2018 was just 3.1 Bn€ (2017 2.2), while LM had $51 Bn.

These areas qualify:
The participation projects must involve technologies that are critical to national safety or related to strategic industrial know-how.

The know-how of the participants must be related to, for example, one of the following areas:

Software
Cyber skills
Artificial intelligence
Autonomous systems
Structures, materials, logistics
Directed energy
Research
Critical dual-use items
Sensors
C4: Command, Control, Communications, Computers
Systems for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition
Management of multi-technology systems
Energetic materials

https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/for-f ... r-program/

* Interestingly enough, General Dynamics supposedly did fail in their offset portion the last time around. The assumption is arrogance, unwillingness to offer anything but ready made bulk. F-16C/D was assessed as the cheapest in terms of acquisition/use and ultimately came in 2nd. They had 3 more F-16s (67) than MD had F-18s (64).

This chapter reads a bit like weird speculation, but it's from the same article that revealed the 25 year held secret Hornet buy presentation to the government. He was certainly a credible journalist, but some color pen is clearly applied here.
Strange attitude
At the time of the order decision, the manufacturing line for the F-16 was closing. The last update was set.

Although, for example, Norway and the Netherlands ended up in the F-16, the future of the type after 2010 was completely open.

A further problem was the basic attitude of the sales company, according to which the machines would be delivered in the finished version and in the version that the manufacturer thought was suitable for Finland.

The seller was not willing to listen to the wishes of his potential Finnish customer. The same policy was repeated for other losers. The cooperation would have been painful.

JAS Gripen was a prototype saturated with numerous problems.

The Air Force estimated that it would be very difficult for Sweden to overcome the faults and defects of the fighter. The salesmen had a lot of talk and promises but without merit.

The way Swedes produce and support fighters during their life cycle was very expensive. The offer made to Finland was blunt. Finland would commit to an open bill. Finland would have paid a share of the fighter development costs, however high they may rise.

Mirage was a really good fighter for the pilot, but technically and in terms of running costs, a horrible collection of museum items from decades. Like Gripen, no further foreign buyers were known to be in the horizon.

https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131
Last edited by magitsu on 21 Jan 2020, 00:42, edited 1 time in total.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 00:42

hornetfinn wrote:Now there is betting for money going on in Finland about which candidate will win the competition. These are the betting odds (Decimal odds):

Lockheed Martin F-35 1.60
Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet 3.50
Saab Gripen 3.75
Eurofighter Typhoon 10.00
Dassault Rafale 12.00

These were the initial odds:
Lockheed Martin F-35 2.15
Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet 3.00
Saab Gripen 3.75
Eurofighter Typhoon 6.25
Dassault Rafale 9.35

So it seems that F-35 is seen as the most likely candidate to win it and Rafale the least likely. I think I agree with the odds. Rafale and Typhoon are definitely seen as very unlikely to win.


Speaking to someone that has some sense of how the Finns have structured the competition (and no industry links), they suggested that it would be a stunner if the FaF didn't go with the F-35. While Industrial concerns are important, the competition criteria are more heavily weighted on the military capability side and the F-35 is seen as far more in line with what the government wants.
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magitsu

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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 00:49

hb_pencil wrote:Speaking to someone that has some sense of how the Finns have structured the competition (and no industry links), they suggested that it would be a stunner if the FaF didn't go with the F-35. While Industrial concerns are important, they're far more focused on the military capability side than anything else and the F-35 is seen as far more in line with what the government wants.

True. Capability/performance* has been highlighted on multiple occasions as the most important factor. Beyond that, it's slanted a bit towards air-to-air performance. With reservation that we can see how the FDF has increased its investment in A2G and stand-off effects massively as of late, so it should be less important than for F-18 initially. They were bought without A2G capability until MLU.

We must also remember that these are manufacturer preference (with guidance from FDF) design to cost packages instead of fighters unlike in most competitions. Hence SH/G, Rafale 1/2-seaters, T all 1-seaters, G E/F with 2x GlobalEye. So we might have to adjust a bit our mental models of always comparing just fighters 1v1. They'll be doing even that aspect 4v4.
The packages might even change a bit for the revised bids coming by the end of this month, because they dropped the strict requirement of 64 fighters.

Since the project is organized as a decision ladder / optimization towards the best capability scheme, everybody needs to clear the Industrial Partnership requirement to even proceed to the capability assessment phase. Only there will any rankings between the contestants be made. https://www.defmin.fi/puolustushallinto ... .9856.blog (might want to google translate that to understand how the project decision model is structured)

*It's often declared that the most capable/performing was selected when talking about F-18. With other procurement "the most suitable for Finnish conditions/Finnish defensive system" is the party line. Which the mil community often memes as "special circumstances" when something surprising ends up winning or some 2nd hand junkers are bought for pennies (mostly for the Army). Some of these are very nice finds like the Swiss Hawks, but some end up being misses. Like the UK pilot trainer Grobs, which ended up having significantly more fatigue damage than the initial assessment found out.
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marsavian

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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 03:25

Magitsu, re: https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131

Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...

JAS Gripen was a prototype saturated with numerous problems .

The Air Force estimated that it would be very difficult for Sweden to overcome the faults and defects of the machine . The salesmen had a lot of talk and promises but no margin .

The way Swedes produce and support machines during their life cycle was very expensive . The offer made to Finland was stupid . Finland would be committed to an open bill . Finland should have paid a share of the machine development costs, however high .

Genuine bullseye

In retrospect, buying the Hornet was a successful solution, a real deal .

F - 16 was 1990 - century, good or satisfactory machine . However, its operational lifetime is in fact already over . Choosing it would have been a fault .

All doubts about JAS Gripen subsequently proved to be correct . The model offered to Finland was practically a wolf .

Traded to Finland B - type machine did not finish ever . It did not receive any weapons or other required equipment.

Sweden has decommissioned aircraft for only about 30% of its hourly flying hours .This was confirmed to the Finns by Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist last fall .

The version had failed and it was not even worth upgrading . At the moment, Finland would not have a credible air defense if the choice had been to Gripen .

Mirage's story was short . Taiwan, India and the United Arab Emirates bought a few machines .

The best in Europe

In reality, only the selected F / A - 18 survived the offerings of that time .Hornet has fulfilled all operational and technical requirements and promises, even exceeding them .

For 25 years, there has been uncomplicated cooperation with the US Navy, a machine manufacturer and machine operator . Trust is mutual . The problems have been solved together and the machines have the best armament on the market .

A good relationship is evidenced by the problem situation that was revealed shortly after the purchase of the machines .

Finland had ordered the Hornet's advanced C / D - version . The machine's self-defense systems, radar and engine had been updated . The machine software had been improved based on the experience of the first Gulf War .

Hornet's production had already started and deliveries had begun . However, for some reason, Finland offered the older A / B - version weaponry . It did not fit the new version of the software.

Air Force Commander Matti Ahola told the then US Secretary of Defense, William Perry . The United States corrected the mistake at a rapid pace as an obvious child on the American side .

For more than 20 years, Finland has had the best and most reliable fighter equipment in Europe and now also a multi-purpose fighter with its armaments .

The cost of the machine has remained within its predicted frames without any unpleasant surprises . The entire fleet of aircraft has excellent airworthiness, better than any other country in its fighter aircraft
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hornetfinn

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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 07:24

ricnunes wrote:Oh, it's a "petty" (note the quotes) that the odds favor the F-35 because if not then it would be a good way to win some money in that bet (in case people outside Finland are allowed to bet, that is). :mrgreen:

My guess is that this means that betting in the F-35 and if it wins then there's not much money to be won.


Yes, if you bet 100€ with F-35 you get 160€ if it wins so you get 60€ in profit. With Dassault Rafale you get 1,200€ if it wins meaning 1,100€ profit. Basically F-35 is seen to be about twice as likely to win than SH or Gripen and almost 10 times more likely compared to Rafale.

I'm not sure about who can bet in these things as I've never done that in my life. But I think this is only for Finns.
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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 09:08

marsavian wrote:Magitsu, re: https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131
Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...

We have to remember that they offered Gripen A/B, which they passed over quite unceremoniously later for C/D. So it probably was the right assessment.

Wikipedia's rough description:
JAS 39C: NATO-compatible version of Gripen with extended capabilities in terms of armament, electronics, etc. Can be refuelled in flight.
JAS 39D: two-seat version of the 39C, with similar alterations as the 39B.

So A/B would've been Nato-uncompatible, with less armament/avionics and no refuels in flight.

It was their first competition, so no wonder they bungled it. Officially then Finnish Minister of Defence, Elisabeth Rehn, stated that delays in Gripen's development schedule had hurt its chances in the competition.

But remember the color pen. He was clearly bullshitting himself by claiming that F-16 wouldn't have been an acceptable pick looking back in 2017 at the time when he wrote the article. Clearly as operationally relevant as F/A-18C/D if not more due to even the production line being open whereas Hornet's ceased with the Finnish buy.
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Unread post22 Jan 2020, 01:06

hornetfinn wrote:Yes, if you bet 100€ with F-35 you get 160€ if it wins so you get 60€ in profit. With Dassault Rafale you get 1,200€ if it wins meaning 1,100€ profit. Basically F-35 is seen to be about twice as likely to win than SH or Gripen and almost 10 times more likely compared to Rafale.

I'm not sure about who can bet in these things as I've never done that in my life. But I think this is only for Finns.



Thanks for the heads up hornetfinn!
Actually this was more curiosity than any will to bet even because I also never put money in such bets (I only bet on things such as lotteries and very rarely on Casinos) :mrgreen:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post23 Jan 2020, 19:16

marsavian wrote:Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...

No wonder, this was in 1992. Gripen A/B entered service with Sweden in 1996. They didn't want a plane that isn't operational yet and for a small air force that's probably a reasonable requirement. Gripen E could not enter the Swiss Air2030 competition because of the same.
magitsu wrote:So A/B would've been Nato-uncompatible, with less armament/avionics and no refuels in flight.

Though to be fair, the A/B models were upgraded to C/D standard when the C/D became available.
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Unread post24 Jan 2020, 13:35

lukfi wrote:
marsavian wrote:Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...

No wonder, this was in 1992. Gripen A/B entered service with Sweden in 1996. They didn't want a plane that isn't operational yet and for a small air force that's probably a reasonable requirement. Gripen E could not enter the Swiss Air2030 competition because of the same.
magitsu wrote:So A/B would've been Nato-uncompatible, with less armament/avionics and no refuels in flight.

Though to be fair, the A/B models were upgraded to C/D standard when the C/D became available.


Yes, while F/A-18C/D was very capable from the very beginning, Gripen was seen to take almost 10 years to reach similar capability level and Swiss evaluation showed that this also happened. Even then, Swiss evaluation showed that F/A-18C was mostly superior to Gripen C. So choosing Gripen would've been rather poor and risky choice to make. Besides we would've needed to upgrade the A/B Gripens to C/D level and that would've cost extra. When Gripen was not really cheaper to buy or operate to begin with, it would not have made much sense economically either.
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Unread post26 Jan 2020, 18:52

lukfi wrote:
marsavian wrote:Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...

No wonder, this was in 1992. Gripen A/B entered service with Sweden in 1996. They didn't want a plane that isn't operational yet and for a small air force that's probably a reasonable requirement. Gripen E could not enter the Swiss Air2030 competition because of the same.
magitsu wrote:So A/B would've been Nato-uncompatible, with less armament/avionics and no refuels in flight.

Though to be fair, the A/B models were upgraded to C/D standard when the C/D became available.



Thats crazy that within just 10 years of entering service with Sweden in 1996, they were already planning a complete redesign that they revealed in 2006, while also having to upgrade A/B in the meantime.
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marsavian

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Unread post27 Jan 2020, 04:31

Typhoon promo video for the HX competition.

https://youtu.be/cXef-I-Skhw

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Unread post27 Jan 2020, 07:37

marsavian wrote:Magitsu, re: https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131

Wow they didn't trust the Swedes at all to deliver ...


This was in 92, when the big thing was static instabillity and digital fbw. Gripen had it, and Saab had learned the hard way how not to do it. L-M crashed their YF-22 for the same reason, so risks were seemed high by the public. That, and the timing were bad for the Gripen in the Finnish evaluation.
As it turned out it was really not that hard, done properly, but for engineers it is not always easy to convince the unknowing.
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Unread post27 Jan 2020, 07:45

XanderCrews wrote:

Thats crazy that within just 10 years of entering service with Sweden in 1996, they were already planning a complete redesign that they revealed in 2006, while also having to upgrade A/B in the meantime.


Now I think you are re-writing history?
Upgrades have been studied all trough development of the 39, I've seen new air intakes, Radar enhanchments, IR sensors, Hardpoints, Other engines.....
Aroud 2006 the Demo program were formed where the only changes were 414 engine and AESA radar. Not much different from the F-16 upgrades.

I give you that as it turned out that was not the only thing changed, and the program has changed ALOT since 2006.

But that you continiously study upgrades is not crazy, I call it smart since everybody does it to keep pace.

Even the F-35 does it, you know.
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Unread post27 Jan 2020, 07:51

linkomart wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:

Thats crazy that within just 10 years of entering service with Sweden in 1996, they were already planning a complete redesign that they revealed in 2006, while also having to upgrade A/B in the meantime.


Now I think you are re-writing history?
Upgrades have been studied all trough development of the 39, I've seen new air intakes, Radar enhanchments, IR sensors, Hardpoints, Other engines.....
Aroud 2006 the Demo program were formed where the only changes were 414 engine and AESA radar. Not much different from the F-16 upgrades.

I give you that as it turned out that was not the only thing changed, and the program has changed ALOT since 2006.

But that you continiously study upgrades is not crazy, I call it smart since everybody does it to keep pace.

Even the F-35 does it, you know.


By 2006, Saab was already pitching the Gripen NG, something that was supposed to be an upgrade but turned out to be a wholly different plane. This is not fixing development problems like the F-35, Saab is doing a whole new design. And this is a really bad sign because at first they were pitching an upgrade on the C model, not a new plane. It shows they had no idea what they were getting into.
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