Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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magitsu

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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 15:55

HX Challenge completed successfully (big article in English) - highly recommended read, goes into detail how they were tested
https://ilmavoimat.fi/artikkeli/-/asset ... geId=en_US

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0ZwkSx ... =emb_title
This one has subtitles in English.
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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 16:55

The results of this test would make for a great read!
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Unread post28 Feb 2020, 17:03

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:The results of this test would make for a great read!

For sure, but incredibly low chance it will happen within 25 years. That's how much it took for the previous DX decision brief to the government to become public. https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/201707022200238131

This time around they've acknowledged that it includes a mix of military secrets and company confidential data, which has commercial value for example in upcoming competitions.

We'll just have to settle for the impression that they've managed to validate the claims previously put forth by the manufacturers.

That video was one of the best I've seen in a while. Just the subtitles alone included plenty of interesting angles. Luckily they've improved during the project. Two years ago they didn't manage to deliver the translation in English at the same time, or they were significantly shortened.

bonus: Omega tanker DC-10 and Super Hornet team about to leave early today.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgPdV_43AYs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIFIDhRzVuY
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doge

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 02:56

Many Yes Slides. 8) Yes Yes Yes
https://siivet.fi/ajankohtaista/haiveha ... tiolennot/
F-35-Lightning-HX-hanke-HX-Challenge-202002-3.jpg

Language is Finnish. Used Bing translation.
THE FADE-OUT F-35 STARTED HX CHALLENGE'S EVALUATION FLIGHTS
NEWS from 12.2.2020
The U.S.-based Lockheed Martin candidate for the next fighter of Finland – the fade-out F-35A – has started HX Challenge evaluation flights in Tampere, Satakunta Lennon.

The trip to Finland lasted longer than planned in the North Atlantic due to storm storms. The destroyers were not affected by the storms, but the refueling machines required for folding a long bend are not all-weather destroyers and the air refueling is not successful in the cluster. In addition, only two planes arrived in Finland instead of the four F-35A aircraft, as the air refueling equipment available to the department was still contracted after departure from the east coast. Four aircraft had been allocated to the Atlantic crossing and to Finland to fly three air refueling planes, one of which was broken and the other was broken immediately after takeoff. One refueling machine was able to fly two planes on a direct nine-hour flight from the United States to Finland, so it was also provided. Along the way, the machines were refued every hour, giving both a sufficient safety margin for the problems that keep pilots pending in a long and numbing flight.

The planes arrived at the Satakunta flight on Sunday night 9.2. Air Force pilots told us that in this way after a long transfer flight pilots need 48 hours of rest.
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blindpilot

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 15:57

doge wrote:Many Yes Slides. 8) Yes Yes Yes
... Language is Finnish. Used Bing translation.
THE FADE-OUT F-35 STARTED HX CHALLENGE'S EVALUATION FLIGHTS
NEWS from 12.2.2020
The U.S.-based Lockheed Martin candidate for the next fighter of Finland – the fade-out F-35A – has started HX Challenge evaluation flights in Tampere, Satakunta Lennon.... Air Force pilots told us that in this way after a long transfer flight pilots need 48 hours of rest.


Former and current military pilots know this, but for others it bears clarification. "Crew rest" requirements are driven by regular safety standards. The pilots and aircraft likely could have turned around soon after landing (if it was war time).

I once flew nearly 100 hours in ten days (Saigon falling) and the crew and aircraft were operational the entire time. HOWEVER, one of the aircraft shelled an engine on takeoff a week later, and the crew had stood down (passed out and mostly slept) for the week before flying that eventful explosion.

But for the record, neither the F-35 aircraft, nor pilots, "need" to wait 48 hours after a deployment ... It's just good safety practice. (if you want to have aircraft with engines and pilots alert for emergencies)

FWIW,
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doge

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Unread post29 Feb 2020, 17:20

blindpilot wrote:

Thanks for the supplementary! :notworthy:


Additional HX Articles. 8) A slide I've never seen before.
http://www.lentoposti.fi/uutiset/f_35a_ ... taymp_rist
F35_Levine_kyvyt.jpg

Because it is long, I quoted and translated only the parts my favorite. (I tried using automatic translation of Chrome Browser.)
F-35A Fade Fighters Showcase Their Performance in HX Challenge - Different Operating Environment in Finland
2/14/2020

Military aviation regulations vary from country to country, and the crossing of a single-engine fighter jet across the Atlantic is not limited by civil aviation regulations. The flight took about 7.5 hours. During that time, both F-35s fought on the tank eight times. The route passed over Greenland and Iceland in the north.

Above the sea, refueling tanks were refueled every time about 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of fuel had been consumed. The aim was to keep the tanks as full as possible in the event of failure and reaching the reserve field.

According to Norwegian pilots, the F-35's brake shade is significantly better than the country's current F-16 fighter jets. In particular, post-ground contact stability is better. This is also influenced by the two large side stabilizers of the F-35.

Current F-35 flight hourly rates are said to be $ 35,000. According to Lockheed Martin, after various actions, the cost of a flight hour is expected to fall to $ 25,000 by 2025. The current Hornets are estimated to cost EUR 10,000 per hour.

The figures are hardly comparable, as different operators have different methods of calculating what is taken into account for the cost of an hourly flight.

“ 90% of all parts have lasted longer than they were designed for. In addition, 70 percent of the components have not yet been defective, ”comments Steven Sheehy , F-35 fleet maintenance manager .

“There have been delays in the supply of spare parts and the problem is being resolved. Parts will be available as well as support to correct the problems, ”sheehy continues.

Correct situational awareness accelerates decision-making
In addition to the controversial stun features and their benefits or uselessness, the F-35 has a lot more. USF Major Jordan "Burn" Levine, who flew with F-15, F-22, and F-35 fighter jets, opened up a fighter jet for HX Challenge, utilizing sensor fusion, networking, and decision-making.

"Finland's operating environment is dangerous," Levine recalled, referring to the Suhoi Su-57 fighter jets and S-400 air defense systems.
The F-35 is designed to be low in radio frequency as well as thermal and small radar cross-sectional areas. At the same time, the fighter pilot's situational awareness is said to be top-notch with sensor fusion. This in turn allows the supervisor to make faster decisions.

F-35 fighter MADL information system ( Multi Function advanced Data Link) to share information among the fighters. All aircraft observations are shared with other F-35s. This will greatly improve situational awareness.
Information can also be shared with other fighter types through the NATO-compliant Link16 information system. F-35 fighter also has a wide frequency region functional capacity sincgars radio system, the secure Have UFH quick-access system.

Observing and monitoring the target plays an important role. In addition to the electronically scanned AESA radar, the fighter has a built-in electro-optical detection system that combines the capabilities of IRST (Infrared Search and Tracking) and FLIR (F orward-looking Infrared) thermal cameras .
They are complemented by a DAS camera system, the latest versions of which are reported to already detect the firing of a flame from the ground.

The fighter's internal fuel capacity is 18,000 lbs, or about 8,000 kg. The number is significant and allows for remaining within range when other fighters are already returning to the base or flying towards the air tanker.

According to the manufacturer, the F-35 fighter is also well suited for decentralized operations on which the Air Force's layout is based. Turning time in combat missions can be compressed up to 20 minutes.

The fighter can be refueled with the engine running, and in the meantime the pilot can even leave the cockpit and return if necessary. The normal turn-around time for a full fighter is approximately 1-1.5 hours.
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Unread post01 Mar 2020, 16:08

More Additional HX Articles(Logistics, Maintenance, Production, etc). 8)
http://sotilasilmailu.fi/hx-hanke/lockh ... ittajasta/ (Language is Finnish. Use Chrome Automatic Translation.)
LOCKHEED MARTIN OFFERS FINLAND THE OPPORTUNITY TO MANUFACTURE CERTAIN PARTS OF THE FIGHTER.
02/11/2020

F-35A fighter aircraft operating in standby will be superior
American F-35 side of the representatives of the machine operating in standby will be superior. Already, the new F-35s are capable of 80-90% operational readiness, the F-35 fleet figures are being eroded by older machines that have not yet been upgraded ( note : it has been reported that the first batch machines should not be upgraded for iron but should be left so-called educational machines)

Opportunity for Finland to make parts for F-35 fighters
As part of a bid for the HX project, Lockheed Martin is bringing to Finland the manufacturing of certain fighter parts. In discussions with Sotilasilmailu.fi, Steve Sheehy, Chief of Lockheed Martin's maintenance, refused to disclose what parts or assemblies could be built in Finland, but this is a significant part of the machine (note: this could mean wings, body parts, tail, etc.)

Also, conscripts can participate in F-35 fighter
maintenance According to Steve Sheehy, director of Lockheed Martin maintenance, Finnish conscripts can participate in F-35 fighter maintenance. Machine maintenance is easy to train mechanics and, if necessary, certain service operations can also be trained for conscripts, as is the case today. According to Steve Sheehy, the daily maintenance of the F-35 fighter does not require a large body of mechanics, but currently has three trained personnel. Until a few years back, up to ten mechanics were being talked about. The machine is also easy to maintain because it is automated for certain systems. This means that the machine's maintenance systems can tell you exactly what parts are wrong.

Road bases are not a problem For
maintenance, road bases do not pose a problem for the F-35. While current maintenance solutions that handle operations from the roadside base, the F-35 fighter maintenance solution is actually lighter. Nowadays, a large portion of the service container space is reserved for manuals and other papers, while for the F-35 fighter it is enough to carry a laptop. In practice, even smaller vehicle solutions can be used in the future for service teams than today.

Coverage of F-35 fighter can also be repaired at
roadside base points According to Steve Sheehy, director of Lockheed Martin maintenance, the coating of F-35 fighter can easily be repaired in Finland. Either by applying some type of tape to the surface of the machine or by applying a new roller to the damaged area. The F-35 fighter's coating can also be repaired at the road base. In practice, it only takes eight hours to repair the coating and does not require special modes like previous Stealth aircraft have required

The press was also given the opportunity to try F-35 fighter maintenance with virtual reality. The DAS system was also tested with virtual reality and one of the testers was US Ambassador Robert Pence.

https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/uutiset/ ... d47c1e97e4 (Language is Finnish. Use Chrome Automatic Translation.)
How To Maintain Your F-35 Spear fighter - Spare Parts Moving Around The World With 36-Hour Notice When Needed
By Mikko Pulliainen2/14/2020
Lockheed Martin provides Finland with "significant" parts.

About 500 Lockheed Martin in F-35s have been manufactured so far and are being flown operationally from the United States to Japan via Israel.
The final production volume will reach several thousands. The company itself aims to sell up to about 4,000 machines, which makes the logistics of spare parts and reliability of the machine quite complex.
Maintaining security of supply is very important for a non-military Finland in the HX project.
Lockheed Martin maintenance manager Steve Sheehy raised the issue of security of supply and logistics at a press conference at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport last Monday.
“Each F-35 base has the necessary spare parts for normal flying. In addition to this, [each country] has to carry a spare parts warehouse used in times of crisis. We are building a spare parts package for Finland in cooperation with the Finnish Air Force. It is based on an estimate of the number of flight operations, flight hours and crisis bases. We adjust the size of the package according to how long the Air Force wants it to last. ”
The final assembly of the F-35s will be made at Texas Ft. Worth, Italian Camer, and Nagoya, Japan. Sheehy does not tell us exactly what kind of manufacturing business is offered to Finland.
"We're talking about a major production component, but I can't say more about that."

DURING PEACE , the F-35's global logistics chain is based not only on base parts packages, but also on a larger regional spare parts warehouse. The European regional warehouse is located in the Netherlands.
In practice, spare parts are shipped, if necessary, not only from the regional warehouse, but also directly between the F-35 user countries.
“The maintenance contract would be based on thousands of fighter aircraft instead of 64 in Finland, which reduces the unit cost,” Sheehy explains.
In the event of a malfunction of the F-35 Air Force, the defective component would be removed from the aircraft and taken to a Finnish service center. Similarly, the necessary spare part would be taken from the Finnish warehouse.
“It usually takes a while for a component to be repaired, so in this scenario there is a shortage of one component in the Finnish spare parts warehouse. So, our global service system will purchase a new part somewhere in the world and ship it to Finland. Usually this happens within 36 hours. ”
Similarly, once the original defective component has been repaired in Finland, it will be returned to a Finnish spare parts warehouse or shipped to the world as needed.
“We have an operational center that constantly monitors this subcontracting chain. It is not just about spare parts, it is about the ground systems needed to operate the machine and the technology used for training. At the same time, the Finnish defense industry is gaining experience in component maintenance, so they have the necessary know-how in times of crisis. ”
The cost of repairing an individual spare part may vary depending on the country where the work is performed. How are costs compensated?
“That is a very complex question, but we have methods to address it. In some cases, F-35 customers state that they want to repair certain components within their own limits, even though it does not make business sense from our point of view. Then the customer country pays more to get the capacity in their own country. These are decisions that belong to the Finnish state. ”

THE GLOBAL subcontracting chain is monitored by Lockheed Martin's ALIS maintenance system. In practice, the machine's computer system is able to provide fault codes in the event of a problem, on the basis of which ALIS determines which part requires repair, where it can be obtained, and so on.
The system has proven to be very problematic and costly during its existence, which has contributed to the reduced utilization rate of the F-35. ALIS is being replaced by a newer ODIN system, which is expected to solve these problems.
“ALIS was developed over 15 years ago. It used commercial bulk technology because it was a requirement. The technology has not been updated since then. ODIN uses newer technology on both the iron and soft sides, and is no longer based on mass-produced parts. The system will be fully operational by December 2022. ”
The operation of the F-35 thus requires a data connection to the ALIS system (and later to ODIN). However, according to Sheehy, the machine can be operated for some time, for example from a road base, so that service personnel can only communicate with the machine using the PMA (Portable Maintenance Aid) system on tablets.
MY OWN chapter is about the changes that the Hornet replacement will need to make to the base infrastructure. Sheehy says the same is true with the F-35. At least for the preservation of classified technology, Finnish air bases need to be modified.

On the other hand, in some respects, the machine requires less infrastructure than previous machine types.
“For example, there is no need for a separate protected test area for engine testing, as all post-service inspections can be performed with the engine idling. Similarly, jamming transmitters or target tanks do not require a separate infrastructure, as these technologies are built into the body of the machine. ”
The F-35's sophisticated features require materials that reflect less radar than usual. Sheehy assures that any damage to the machine's coating can be repaired outdoors.
“If you get a scratch on the machine, you can apply some kind of adhesive tape or masking paint on it. Typically, such repairs can be made within eight hours. In addition, 86% of the parts that need to be routinely replaced on the machine are behind flaps and closures, and replacing those parts does not require repainting. "
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Unread post02 Mar 2020, 12:04

One of the F-35A's in the HX Challenge is told to have suffered a malfunction that prevented some of its flights.

This is why it would've been very useful to get all 4 of them there. Very likely they still got all of the the scheduled verification work done. There's also that one week of testing left after the summer holidays in each candidate's home country. It could include time in a lab, flying or simulators.

https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/uutiset/ ... 752ee00abf

Not a full quote, but the most interesting part:
Were the promises made in the invitations to tender fulfilled?

“Partially satisfied, partly not. Not all information has been analyzed yet. There will always be surprises, but it was known that some fighters still have shortcomings. The first fighters will arrive in Finland in 2025. By that time, all fighters must be in good condition.”

What kind of surprises did the tests show?

“For example, it complicated things that that four F-35s were supposed to come. Only two arrived, and one of them suffered a technical failure. It could not fly all of the flights. The other flew all of the flights.”

Saab Gripen's operational readiness has been a question mark. How do you comment?

“Gripen is the freshest of the fighters and in the prototype phase. Gripen lacks systems, but all candidates still have something to do, maybe Gripen has more to do. ”

Is anyone going leave the race beyond this point?

"Unlikely. These test flights were that expensive.”

How does the actual decision come about?

“The project is preparing a performance-based presentation that will go to the Air Force commander and then to the HQ. The General Staff sends the Defense Forces proposal to the Ministry of Defense. The HX project will be decided by the Government on the proposal of the Minister of Defense. ”

Can two fighters be involved in the final recommendation?

“There will be one fighter jet in the final recommendation. Before the final presentation, the Government may amend the defense administration's proposal. When we bring the final proposal to the government for decision, we know it will go through.”
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Unread post03 Mar 2020, 08:59

magitsu wrote:One of the F-35A's in the HX Challenge is told to have suffered a malfunction that prevented some of its flights.

I regret that couldn't show Appeal off the Network Fusion between F-35 wingman Formations, the true value of F-35. :doh: F-35 suffered a Handicaps! :bang:
(Calm Down 8) )
So...how much will the F-35's Odds go down? :devil:



More More Additional F-35's HX Articles. 8)
https://tekniikanmaailma.fi/lehti/4b-20 ... 95828a-500 (Language is Finnish. I used Chrome automatic translation mainly and used ilovetranslation.com partly(Every 1,000km, 4+Gen, Stealth, Coating parts).)
The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II strikes stealthily and unexpectedly
02/14/2020 TEXT BY MARKUS KASESMAA PHOTOS AND VIDEO BY RAMI MARJAMÄKI
The pilot phase of Finland's next multi-tasker fighter selection process came to a close as US fighter tests began at Satakunta Airport in Pirkkala last week. First up was Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II, which continued the HX evaluation event in the wake of the pan-European Eurofighter Typhoon , Dassault Rafale from France and Saab Gripen E from Sweden. Test flights will end in late February with the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The F-35 fighter jets that arrived in Finland departed from Luke Air Base in Arizona, USA. Storm rushes in North America and the Atlantic delayed the schedule as flight plans were repeatedly repeated.
For longer periods of transitions in addition to weather and air surveillance is enough more to the program. Fighter planes refueled approximately once every thousand kilometers. Squadron completed the tanker plane, which was fuel on several occasions.
    The engine made by Pratt & Whitney can be serviced by opening the service doors under the machine frame. The engine can be changed within a couple of hours if necessary.
The F-35 DIFFERS from the other candidates in that it is marketed as the only fifth-generation fade-out, when the others represent, in their own interpretation, the fourth or the 4+ generations.
In any case, the design of the machine has from the outset focused on structure and materials that are difficult to detect when investigating. In addition, the machine is fully loaded with the latest radar and sensor technology. Communication between machines and other parties is reported to run smoothly.

The stealth abilities complement the missile-mounted missiling, which means that weapons hanging on the wings do not facilitate the radar surveillance by the enemy.
According to the manufacturer, the F-35 has clearly outperformed its opponents in military training, but are there so many benefits of stunning features that have been suggested?
"That is what we are trying to find out. There is a lot of discussion in the public and against this, but it would seem that everyone is going in a stealth direction, also when the following machines are being made, "commented HX project director, Colonel Juha-Pekka Keränen, the Air Force HX-Challenge Media ceremony for the technology world.

The embedded configuration in a single package also has an impact on armament.
“The amount of airguns I am going to bring is probably the same amount, but when there is mixed load, that is, missiles and bombs, then there is less weapon load. It is based on the fact that the ability to survive in combat is so significant that it is worth taking the risk. Let's fly more flights then, ”says Keränen.
A lot of operations are carried out in Finland from road bases, and the suitability of fighter candidates for them is also tested in Pirkkala. The runway length requirement for ascent and descent is easily raised, but is not in fact the most essential feature.
"I have always said that the most important thing is the direction of stability, I land, not so much the length of the runway. Here we test how directional the machine is when it lands. Yes, we usually have quite a lot of dimensions on all roads, ”Keränen emphasizes.
    The F-35 is covered with a single-layer, durable special coating. The scratched and worn part may not need to be renewed but may be repaired by tape or painting.
THE HX PROJECT has set the purchase price of THE machines at EUR 10 billion, and the life-cycle cost must follow Hornets. These criteria are not compromised. Accessing them is a challenge for fighter manufacturers. According to Locheed Martin, the F-35 fits within the frames demanded by Finland.
The development of a new fighter has been a top-notch project, but the unit price of the machines will decrease as production increases. Next year, when a decision is made on Finland's new multi-purpose fighter, the purchase price of the F-35 will be around € 74 million. In fighter trades, however, price is a volatile concept, as the composition of the amount is a matter of trade between the partners. The same applies to life-cycle costs and, for example, flight hours, which also fall as the fleet increases.
Currently, some 500 versions of the F-35 have been manufactured and sold in more than ten countries. The order backlog is about 4,000 machines. Thanks to a large customer base, machine development is not just a task for a few.

There are concerns about the AVAILABILITY OF SPARE PARTS , but Stephen Sheehy , director of maintenance strategy for Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics business unit , says there are no problems with the maintenance of the F-35 in Finland.
    Stephen Sheehy praises the serviceability of the F-35. The design is centered on easily and quickly replaceable modules. The machine has nine service panels that open with a few screws.
“When the machine lands, it connects to a laptop that performs system tests. For example, information on what spare parts are needed passes immediately. It only takes three technicians to service the F-35, ”Sheehy says.
Spare parts, in turn, can move from one country to another when needed. In Sheehy's example, the broken part in Finland is repaired here, while another European country is getting a replacement part to replenish. The original repaired part, in turn, can be shipped elsewhere or stored as a backup.

THE F-35 HAS A powerful engine and is described as easy to fly.
“The F-35 is very comfortable to fly. Very smooth and autopilot works just fine. I've flown (F-35 has) a little more than four years and I flew the F-16 as a prior. The planes are very similar, ”describes F-35 pilot Lieutenant Colonel Brian Healey.

One pilot compared the F-35 to an American muscle car - what do you think of the comparison?
“The F-35 is a fast machine. The engine is very big and powerful. I agree!" Healey grins.
    Brian Healey has been flying the F-35 for four years. “This is a completely new machine with all new technologies. It's been fun to test and use them, ”he sums up.
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Unread post03 Mar 2020, 15:46

Here's a Lockheed Martin spokesperson quote about the issue:
https://twitter.com/securitysplat/statu ... 7351164928

1/3 - statement from @LockheedMartin spox: "During Lockheed Martin’s HX Challenge evaluation at Pirkkala Air Base in Finland in February, the team planned to fly two F-35s for each test mission. One of the two jets experienced a mechanical issue...
2/3 that resulted in a single aircraft flying the test missions. The team was still able to fly and demonstrate the F-35s remarkable 5th generation capabilities for all of the planned test missions required to meet the challenge.
3/3 The F-35 Global Support Solution team rapidly sourced a spare part that allowed the team to repair the aircraft, and both aircraft departed Finland, returning to the U.S. on schedule."
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Unread post05 Mar 2020, 13:14

Four Page PDF of article attached below.
Gripen Makes Bid for Finland
April 2020 Jamie Hunter

"COMBAT Aircraft Journal reports from Tampere as Saab outlines its offering for Finland’s HX fighter competition, and assesses the Swedish bid that many back as a potential winner...."

Source: COMBAT Aircraft Journal April 2020 Vol. 21 No. 4
Attachments
GRIPEN for FINLAND HX Combat Aircraft April 2020 pp4.pdf
(1.09 MiB) Downloaded 270 times
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 07:03

Finns Analyzing Fighter Trials Data [probably best read at source]
03 Mar 2020 Tony Osborne

"Finnish procurement officials say they expect all five contenders in the country’s HX Fighter competition to remain in the race until the end. The comments by the Finnish defense ministry’s head of strategic projects, Lauri Puranen, emerged following the conclusion of the HX Challenge....

...in an interview with the Finnish business newspaper Kauppalehti, Puranen said the trials showed that not all the specifications promised by the manufacturers had been met. He said officials were “partially satisfied” and “partly not,” although not all trial data had been analyzed. “There will always been surprises, but it was known some machines will have shortcomings,” he told the newspaper....

...Puranen did not say which aircraft suffered shortcomings, although he questioned why four F-35s were sent for the deployment but only two arrived. He noted that one was subsequently unserviceable. “It [the F-35] could not fly all flights. The other flew all the flights,” he told the newspaper. Finnish media have questioned why such a large footprint was sent with the aircraft, as well as the tanker that supported the flight across the Atlantic. The F-35s were also joined by two U.S. Air Force C-17s carrying support equipment. None of the other fighters deployed had such a large footprint, even Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets, which also made the crossing. They were joined by a KDC-10 tanker from Omega.

The trials saw a total of 40 missions flown to test aircraft performance, systems and sensors against targets in the air and on the ground. “Through a joint effort we could create a comprehensive testing environment here in Finland,” said Col. Juha-Pekka Keranen, the Finnish Air Force’s HX Fighter program director. “Our geographical location and the candidates’ security requirements had imposed limitations on the testing of the most sensitive electronic warfare capabilities in Finland. However, we will be able to verify these vital capabilities in the candidates’ main operators’ own test areas,” Keranen said.

He noted that some of the candidates [SAAB?] may still have “aces up their sleeves” in terms of capabilities that could be released after the procurement has been made....

...Defense officials note that the process is still some way from a decision, with a final comparison only possible once the contenders have handed in legally binding best offers, due at the end of 2020. Finland wants the selected platform to be operational into the 2060s and will judge the bids on military capability, security of supply, industrial cooperation, procurement and life cycle costs, and security and defense policy implications....

...Helsinki is expected to make a selection in 2021."

Source: https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... rials-data
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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 08:03

spazsinbad wrote:
He noted that some of the candidates [SAAB?] may still have “aces up their sleeves” in terms of capabilities that could be released after the procurement has been made....


I actually think F-35 is most likely to have most aces up it's sleeves. Being by far the most produced fighter aircraft of the contenders it also has the most extensive upgrade program. Those aces could be things like:

- Upgraded EW/EA functions, maybe even NGJ
- AETP engine
- GaN radar
- Advanced EOTS
- Next gen DAS
- Laser weapons

I think all of those are planned to some degree to happen in the future. Of course some of those can and probably will be installed to other contenders also, but F-35 will have far more potential for upgrades in almost all areas. Only Growler is probably more powerful EW/EA platform (especially with NGJ), but Super Hornet is not VLO stealth and most of the advantages of having more powerful jamming capability are lost. It's also very unclear if a handful of Growlers is really better than 60+ F-35s with their integral EW/EA capabilities. GaN radar will possibly be installed on other contenders, but I think F-35 has the highest chance of actually getting it operational.
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madrat

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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 13:37

Any major upgrades to F-35 will be variant changes, not simple swaps of equipment. Might even require subvariants for export refreshes. Maybe we'll see F-35A2, F-35A2A, F-35A3, etc. I would hate to see too much rebranding jnto additional letter changes due to the three major variants they already have. It would be confusing to try to remember F-35D is really an F-35B refresh or the F-35H is an F-35C refresh.....
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Unread post06 Mar 2020, 15:20

I think F-35 is overall the best in performance, but the malfunction and the fact that only 2 of 4 aircraft arrived and the noticeably big logistics trail definitely raise eyebrows. Perception matters unfortunately.
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