Swiss Lightning?

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Unread post20 Jun 2019, 10:07

rheonomic wrote:What are the odds the procurement goes through this time instead of getting cancelled in a referendum?

I am wondering too... I have the feeling that this new competition might just be a fool's errand. Given the strength of the anti-military lobby in Switzerland and the general disinterest in defense matters from the Swiss population, they might be crazy enough to reject this procurement of new jets. If that were to be the case, this would not bode well for the future of the Swiss AF's fighter component. :|
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Unread post20 Jun 2019, 13:56

rheonomic wrote:What are the odds the procurement goes through this time instead of getting cancelled in a referendum?

If your'e gonna win the lottery you gotta buy a ticket
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Unread post20 Jun 2019, 16:15

XanderCrews wrote:
SH got discluded on the first round because it woudn't fit into their mountainside hangars.

Any sources for that claim?

AFAIK SH was invited but they choose to withdraw:
“After a thorough review of Switzerland’s requirements for partial replacement of its Tiger fighter aircraft, Boeing has decided not to enter the competition due to the disparity between the requirements for an F-5 replacement aircraft and the next-generation capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet ... ce-223401/

"too big" and "next-generatoin capabilities" don't sound like the same thing to me...

I suspect the real reason SH dropped out from the first round was that they believed the SH would not fit into the budget...? and/or could not meet requirements in terms of ToT and/or industrial offsets -- but I would guess mainly the budget -- and history proved them to be right for the first round.
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Unread post20 Jun 2019, 17:07

loke wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
SH got discluded on the first round because it woudn't fit into their mountainside hangars.

Any sources for that claim?

AFAIK SH was invited but they choose to withdraw:
“After a thorough review of Switzerland’s requirements for partial replacement of its Tiger fighter aircraft, Boeing has decided not to enter the competition due to the disparity between the requirements for an F-5 replacement aircraft and the next-generation capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet ... ce-223401/

"too big" and "next-generatoin capabilities" don't sound like the same thing to me...

I suspect the real reason SH dropped out from the first round was that they believed the SH would not fit into the budget...? and/or could not meet requirements in terms of ToT and/or industrial offsets -- but I would guess mainly the budget -- and history proved them to be right for the first round.

Hornet vs. Super Hornet
(click to view full)
Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet offered the advantage of some commonalities with Switzerland’s existing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet, even if the actual commonality rating is under 30%. It’s also a mid-tier aircraft, with likely flyaway costs of $60-75 million for a new customer. It was difficult to imagine a scenario in which the original Swiss budget yielded enough Super Hornet aircraft, and as is often the case in Europe, opposition to sales from American firms was expected to be a factor.

"Concerns were also expressed about the ability to fit these aircraft into the Swiss aircraft shelters, many of which are carved into mountainsides; indeed, there had been rumors that the Super Hornet would be excluded from the competition on those grounds alone.

The Super Hornet offered solid performance, and was a legitimate competitor, with pricing that could match or beat competitors like the Rafale and Eurofighter – but it was flying into strong headwinds. In the end, the questions became moot. Boeing looked at the RFP requirements, and bowed out."

source Defense industry daily aggreagator site

And isn't boeing offering BLOCK III now? So they somehow found a way to "forgive" themselves for the "disparity"
of having to replace the lowly F-5 :roll:

I'd believe that the hangar space issue was more real than Boeing just not having the heart to sell airplanes :roll:
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Unread post25 Jul 2019, 17:29

Lockheed Martin posted a "highlight reel" of the F-35 over Switzerland ... 92832?s=20


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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 05:07

Making the case for the F-35???

Swiss seek package deal of ground-based weapons, combat aircraft
By: Sebastian Sprenger

COLOGNE, Germany — The Swiss government plans to make the integration of combat aircraft and ground-based air defense assets a key benchmark in its planned $8 billion Air 2030 program, according to officials.

Program leaders disclosed the desire for a high degree of interplay between the two competing missile-defense offers and four possible aircraft types during a news conference in the capital Bern earlier this month. The comments reveal a new front in the selection criteria for one of Europe’s most prized defense acquisitions, where the air and ground portions had always existed as separate tracks.

Fear of fratricide in Switzerland’s small and crowded airspace is one of two key factors driving the need for close integration between ground and aerial assets, said Swiss Air Force Col. Marco Forrer. Given the country’s alpine terrain and the requirement to hit targets more than 50 kilometers away and over 12 kilometers high, official are concerned about erroneously downing civilian planes, he said.

“That’s why BodLuv has to be integrated into the Air Force operational picture and command-and-control network,” Forrer said, referring to the German-language acronym for the ground-based program Bodengestützte Luftverteidigung.

Forrer added that a high level of integration also is crucial to keeping costs down, enabling air defenders to engage targets with greater precision and — hopefully — fewer misses. ... -aircraft/
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Unread post16 Sep 2019, 17:51

I found an Italian's article about Switzerland F-35. The language is Italian. (I used Google Translate.) ... -svizzera/
This new article adds Rafale, Typhoon, F/A-18EF. ... et-legacy/
The underline is my favorite part. 8)
The article says that the Range or Radius of the F-35 is longer than the competitors. :shock: (!?)
How much is the range for Rafale, Typhoon, F/A-18EF, (Gripen E?)? :devil:
Official presentation of the F-35 to Switzerland
June 13, 2019 Gianluca Conversi
“In the short term, the stealth technology of our fifth-generation platforms, F-22 and F-35, is the price of combat admission. The lethality of advanced air defense systems continues to grow against fourth-generation aircraft ". General Mark Welsh, former Chief of Staff, US Air Force
The Swiss Army "defends the country and protects its population".
In order to continue to fulfill this constitutional mandate, the Air Force must renew almost all of their resources for the protection of Switzerland from air threats. The F / A-18 Hornet fighter planes will reach the end of their lives in 2030, while, now, the remaining F-5 Tigers can be used for the air police service only during the day and in good visibility conditions, not having anyway no chance of success against an opponent with even slightly more modern aircraft. For this reason, the Swiss Federal Council has authorized the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) to plan the renewal of all the vehicles currently in service or missing (such as medium-long range air defense) for a maximum amount of CHF 8 billion.

As for the replacement of the two combat aircraft, the few and older light fighters Northrop F-5E Tiger II in service since 1978 and the more modern McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) F / A-18C / D Hornet bi-reactor, the DDPS has pre-selected 5 aircraft manufacturers to present an offer that includes 100% industrial offsets for Swiss industries, logistics support, training and of course the purchase of "up to" 40 aircraft. The evaluation coordinated by Armasuisse, called Air2030, involved the analysis of the bids received, the ground and flight tests from the Payerne base of the aircraft offered with Swiss personnel (still in progress), the compatibility check of tracks, junctions, hangars, shelters (including the famous Meiringen caves), analysis of the data collected and the subsequent presentation to the Federal Council by September 2019 to arrive at the conclusion of the final contract by mid-2020.

The planes will have to enter quickly, hopefully starting from 2025, the year in which the " phase-out " of the surviving Hornets will begin. Eurofighter (via Airbus), Boeing, Dassault, Lockheed Martin and Saab are the manufacturers involved in the Swiss requirement with their EF-2000 Typhoon jets, F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, Rafale, F-35A and Jas-39E Gripen NG. Lockheed Martin's other best-selling plane was not selected, the F-16 in its most recent and “gadget” version V. The official press conference on the sidelines of the Axalp 2018 aviation shots held by the new Swiss "Divisional" Air Force Commander Bernhard "Beni" Müller has well described the international political-military framework with the return of power politics and the way to go to get to the renewal of the combat aircraft fleet.

Müller's intervention continued, recalling that fighter planes remain in service for at least thirty years and that it is not possible to predict today, in such a broad temporal mirror, what the world situation could be when entering service of new means and in which technological scenario would also be called upon to work, consequently which security policy can be implemented now and which airplanes will be suitable for tomorrow's challenges, ie after 2030. All this introduces the presentation of the fourth candidate whose evaluation is in the final phase, that is the only true fifth generation aircraft currently in service in the world and able to carry out the tasks of the "after 2030": the Lockheed Martin F-35. Last June 7th we attended the day that Lockheed Martin, Armasuisse (the body that coordinates purchases of defense equipment) and Schweizer Armee dedicated to Media and Aviation Enthusiasts (official Media Day in the morning and Spotters Day in the afternoon).

Information of respect for the public and the media is held in high regard at every level; both the Armed Forces and Armasuisse produce regular reports and the selection of candidates for the new combat aircraft has been widely publicized; participation in events, public, was addressed in a structured, professional, transparent manner and shared with the media well in advance. With the exclusion of the public media, it was possible to register through dedicated websites for Media Day and Spotters Day of each demonstration until reaching the maximum number of candidates envisaged by Armasuisse; registrations took place within a specific time frame and no waivers or favors were granted to anyone. A confirmation e-mail with the instructions, once the ritual checks have been completed, has arrived to the registered guests. Certainly, as far as public relations are concerned, Switzerland has adopted an admirable policy that deserves to be replicated.

In Switzerland, the sharing (always within certain limits) of sensitive decisions that touch on the one hand national security, industry and employment - not to forget the impact on tax payers - takes place with the appropriate emphasis and sharing with the citizens of the Confederation who in many situations are called to the polls to choose or reject the choices of the Federal Council by referendum, also to validate or reject the purchase of combat aircraft. In 1993, 57.2% of Swiss voters voted in favor of buying 34 F / A-18 Hornets (4 two-seaters) but, called to the polls in May 2014, the purchase of 22 Saab Jas-39C / D fighters Gripen was rejected by 53.4% ​​of voters. The hot controversies surrounding the Joint Strike Fighter were of that time and analysts at the time believed that the scenario in which the vote was organized influenced the outcome of the vote. Five years later, the Gripen E is still a prototype, the Eurofighter Tranche 4 (advocated by Airbus for the German Luftwaffe) does not fly at all.

The Super Hornet in the Block III version is being industrialized and can guarantee 60% compatibility with the current structures that support the current legacy Hornet fleet, while the Dassault Rafale (F4 version) is driven by government pressure very strong and from the recent purchase of 19 Pilatus PC-21 trainers by the Armée de l'Air which could (around 2030 ... coincidence?) replace the obsolete Alpha Jet E of the Patrouille de France with the Swiss turboprops. The ones listed above, no matter what the builders say, are fourth-generation planes or, as it is usually called, of fourth plus (4+).

The F-35 for Switzerland
Unlike previous builders who sent a pair of aircraft including two-seater aircraft, Lockheed Martin and USAF brought 4 F-35A Lightning II from 34th Fighter Squadron "Raw Rams" to Hill AFB, Utah, to Switzerland. preceded by a Boeing C-17A "Globemaster III" cargo of the 437Th AW / 315Th "Charleston" of the "Air Mobility Command" which dumped men and materials.

The 4 F-35As arrived in Payerne on the evening of May 31 last came from the Aviano base where they arrived along with 8 other aircraft.

The press conference for the presentation of the F-35 SI aircraft was carried out surrounded by a massive multi-level marketing effort (information brochures, aircraft models, flight simulators, helmets and ALIS, various gadgets, leaflets but also accompanied by a sumptuous catering service not only for media and authorities but also… hear hears… for spotters and simple citizens who have approached the Payerne base networks.

A scenario of this type very difficult to see in our latitudes.

According to many, Lockheed Martin has largely outclassed, at least at the commercial level, the presentations of Airbus, Boeing and Dassault and we will see what Saab will do as the last contender to present its own aircraft.

The press conference was attended by Steve Callaghan of Lockheed Martin, Program Director F-35 & Navy, of the USAF military Colonel David Buchanan (USAF) of the Joint Program Office (JPO), Colonel Drew “Growler” Allen of the USA Integration Office , Colonel Michael Miles of the 388th Maintenance Group commander, Hill AFB and John "Bama" Montgomery of Northrop-Grumman Airborne C4ISR Systems.

Other executives from Pratt & Whitney (engine supplier) and Lockheed contributed to the Media Day.

Lockheed Martin speakers understood the Swiss requirement and reaffirmed how important it is for Switzerland to maintain political and military neutrality, but in an increasingly turbulent world that is continually evolving, the F-35 is the best platform that is offered to Swiss armed forces to adapt and better face these threats now as in the decades to come. Peace and stability are too important not to be guaranteed and the F-35, with its revolutionary technology, allows nations that are endowed, small or large, to maintain Peace through this strength which is the 5th generation aircraft offered.

Selecting the JSF, Switzerland would obviously enter the group of 13 nations that currently have ordered it and in a world where threats are increasingly sophisticated, the F-35 offers the air-policing mission (primary for the Schweizer Luftwaffe) just as sophisticated responsiveness.

The pilot's intervention by Colonel Drew "Growler" Allen, focused on the technical capabilities of the aircraft and its peculiar characteristics that allow a rapid take-off and the achievement of the cruising altitude in a very short time thanks to the most powerful engine ever mounted on a fighter plane that within a few years should exceed 41,000 pounds of thrust thanks to new investments and improvement projects for this already efficient and reliable product by Pratt & Whitney.

The other aspect emphasized, is the ability of the F-35 to remain in flight longer than all the other contenders, reducing the number of daily sorties; in fact, none of the contenders can go further and stay in the air more than what can be obtained from the F-35.

Switzerland does not have a supply company, so the autonomy of the new fighter can be crucial.

Colonel David Buchanan, in addition to illustrating the "state of the art" of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, stressed that the $ 80 million unit cost is competitive with 4th generation legacy aircraft.

More than 400 aircraft delivered, will be 868 in 2022 and over 500 in Europe by 2030; over 200,000 hours flown, 850 pilots and 7500 trained airmen located on 17 bases that will become 30 in 2022 make it already a best-seller.

With regard to industrial opportunities, it has been specified that 25% of each aircraft flying in the world mounts components manufactured in Europe and even Swiss aircraft will surely have “Made In Switzerland” parts on board.

This is certainly the weak link in Lockheed Martin's proposal, so 100% offset will have to be achieved through other programs.

In the short Question Time that closed the official part and preceded the visit to the track to photograph one of the 4 planes present in the base and attend the take-offs and landings of the second morning mission (each test mission includes 4 F / A-18 Hornet side by side 2 aircraft under evaluation), we asked the JPO about the future of Cameri, home to one of the 3 plants able to produce complete airplanes under the JSF program.

Officially, all sites produce important parts of the F-35, results of very complex agreements. The production of aircraft outside the Fort Worth, TX line is essentially the result of agreements between governments and at the moment, in addition to Italian aircraft (28 products between 2022 and in production) for the Novara plant, only 29 F are certain -35A in production for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, while the "long lead materials" intended for the manufacture of post-2022 Italian aircraft are not yet ordered.

So under-employed, with a handful of planes a year (FACO could, at full capacity, produce between 15 and 24 per year) the use of the sophisticated Cameri plant co-managed by Leonardo and Lockheed Martin on behalf of Italian Defense would seem, if not adequately sponsored, a great opportunity for now wasted at the expense of employment, induced and country-system country credibility, forcing AM and MM to receive very slowly the planes they would need.

The press conference ended with the "recap" of the points in favor of the F-35 that Armasuisse and legislators should consider as key points in the final choice:
    ・F-35 to support Swiss air defense for the next 40 years with spiral development aimed at keeping them constantly up-to-date.
    ・The most performing aircraft for Swiss Air Policing missions.
    ・Planned modernization and logistic support.
    ・Economics of scale and sustainability.
    ・Industrial participation in support of Swiss neutrality.
    ・Opportunities for integration and cooperation with US and regional operators equipped with the same aircraft.
During the missions we were able to attend, we found no problems with the airplanes presented in flight, just as the exit and return to the hangars occurred without any particular problems; after all, the F-35A is much more contained in terms of maximum dimensions compared to the current legacy Hornets which, like the "big brother" Super Hornet, have the possibility to fold their wings to reduce the overall dimensions:
    F-35A L: 15.67m W: 10.70m H: 4.33m
    F/A-18C / D L: 17.07m W: 11.43m H: 4.66m
    The other contenders:
    Rafale L: 15.27m W: 10.86m H: 5.34m
    Typhoon L: 15.96m W: 10.95m H: 5.28m
    F/A-18E / F L: 18.31m W: 13.62m H: 4.88m
    Gripen E L: 15.2m W: 8.6m H: 4.5m
The tests continued with some missions on the Alpine base of Meiringen where the narrowest spaces and the shelter in the caves can become elements of a certain relevance when all the data collected during the selection process will be compared.

The F-35 closed the demonstration phases on the ground and in the air, because Armasuisse, in a note dated June 13, invited Saab not to participate in the Gripen E evaluation which is not yet operational and is still subjected to tests by Saab; as is known, among the requirements of Air2030 there is the condition that the aircraft admitted to the ground and in-flight assessment sessions are operational during 2019, and the Gripen E is not.

As reported by the prestigious newspaper Tages Anzaiger , which came into possession of a letter from Armasuisse sent to the 5 builders last January and signed by the director of the Darko Savic organization, the Swiss armaments management would have strongly warned the participants not to send non-aircraft able to satisfy the tests required in the requirements.

Savic would also have explained that neither his management nor the Swiss people would have accepted justifications for the inadequacy of certain apparatuses provided on the plane and still not ready or being defined.

If one of the requirements was to test real aircraft, in flight and not prototypes not yet certified, it would mean for Armasuisse that they are not mature and reliable aircraft to perform the tasks required of them when they enter service. The exclusion from the tender, is specified by Tages Anzeiger, could also have been taken to flight tests in progress.

The consequences of this resounding breakthrough could mean that Saab is out of Air2030 and certainly represents a heavy setback for the Swedish manufacturer in terms of image and marketing of Gripen E.

In a communiqué issued immediately after the exclusion from flight testing, Saab states that "Gripen E is the best choice for Switzerland and the offer presented in January is still valid. Saab is ready to deliver at least 40 fighter planes on time in compliance with the requirements and with all the equipment indicated in the offer ”.

Except for sensational developments, the Gripen E is today excluded from Air2030 which, according to a survey commissioned by the same newspaper, would see the F-35 winner today followed by Super Hornet and Rafale.

Other Swiss articles and's Swiss page have something similar as well. ... -air-base/
The aircraft can be dispatched rapidly and climbs quickly. “With a high thrust engine and internal weapons, the F-35 is able to remain airborne longer than any of its competitors,” Alan Norman, Lockheed Martin F-35 Chief Test Pilot, explained to The Aviation Geek Club.

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