Swiss Lightning?

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magitsu

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 19:40

Early predictions of convincing yes turned out to be optimistic. Ended up being a nail-biter but the right result that doesn't make them a fighter acquisition pariah.
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talkitron

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 20:30

Sounds like politicians will decide whether to respond to the results. Buying the Gripen or F-16V could be a good response.
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magitsu

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 20:32

Victory this small is quite embarrassing, given it was the 2nd time around to make a convincing effort. So it's indeed interesting to see how it will be interpreted in the final decision.

Gripen or F-16 aren't in the Air 2030 competition. Eurofighter, Rafale, Super Hornet or F-35 for $6.5 billion, 30-40 units. Certainly they can do something a bit unexpected seeing as Gripen pick in 2014 was politicians doing too.
Last edited by magitsu on 27 Sep 2020, 20:43, edited 1 time in total.
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ricnunes

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 20:40

magitsu wrote:Victory this small is quite embarrassing, given it was the 2nd time around to make a convincing effort. So it's indeed interesting to see how it will be interpreted in the final decision.

Gripen or F-16 aren't in the competition.


Precisely.
The aircraft in the Swiss competition are: Super Hornet, F-35, Rafale and Typhoon.

If cost is a major factor specially by looking at the referendum result (which I trend to agree) then I would say that the F-35 has a very good chance of winning. It's much cheaper in terms of acquisition than the Rafale and Typhoon and in this metric its probably slightly cheaper than the Super Hornet. In terms of sustainment cost the F-35 cost is driving down while the Super Hornet, Rafale and Typhoon production lines will eventually close (and being replaced by more advanced aircraft) which means that the sustainment costs for these aircraft are likely to go up.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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magitsu

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 20:47

Some comments/analysis:

Lukas Golder of the GfS Bern research institute said on Sunday that the high turnout of urban voters, who are generally more critical of the army, may have driven the close result. The cost of the plan and the current “pandemic effect” were also decisive, he said.

Defence Minister Viola Amherd welcomed the victory and said the government would now proceed with the evaluation of four fighter models bidding for the contract: the Lockheed-Martin F-35, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, and Airbus’s Eurofighter Typhoon.

In principle, voters will have no further say on the type of new fighters to be purchased. However, the Group for a Switzerland without an Army (GSoA), which led the opposition campaign, has already said it will launch a people’s initiative to challenge the government’s choice. Amherd said this will not derail her plans to finalise the contract by 2021.

Other opposition figures were both enthused and disappointed by the nearness of the loss on Sunday, which Green Party president Regula Rytz said was a “sensational” victory in itself.

Roger Nordmann, vice-president of the leftwing Social Democrats, said the tiny margin of victory showed that the army suffers from a “credibility problem”. However, he praised Amherd for the manner of the campaign.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-set- ... e/46057020

So they achieved the main objective, but emboldened the opposition. Scary result, but good enough for now. Imagine if other countries had basically their Air Force's existence on the line in this way.
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Unread post28 Sep 2020, 15:09

I'm inclined to agree with Golder's assessment. Coronatime is a pretty weird time to vote on whether you want to get a new fighter aircraft type, since someone will inevitably spin that you can't bomb a pandemic out of existence. And they did do just that.
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weasel1962

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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 01:03

For the record. DSCA swiss F-35A & F-18E/F notices.

https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/switz ... nd-weapons
WASHINGTON, September 30, 2020 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.58 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Switzerland requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; forty-six (46) Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines; forty (40) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II+ (Plus) Tactical Missiles; fifty (50) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six (6) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATMS); four (4) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical Guidance Units; ten (10) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units; eighteen (18) KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82, Inert; twelve (12) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and eight (8) GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F‑35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center access; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; flight test instrumentation; aircraft ferry and tanker support; Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40 inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); Cartridge, 25 mm PGU-23/U; weapons containers; aircraft and munitions support and test equipment; communications equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $6.58 billion.


https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/switz ... nd-weapons
WASHINGTON, September 30, 2020 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of forty (40) F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $7.452 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Switzerland has requested to buy up to thirty-six (36) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft; seventy-two (72) F414-GE-400 engines (installed); four (4) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft; eight (8) F414-GE-400 engines (installed); sixteen (16) F414-GE-400 engines (spares); forty-four (44) M61A2 20MM gun systems; twenty-five (25) Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR)/other targeting pod; fifty-five (55) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electric Warfare Countermeasures Receiving sets; fifty-five (55) AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures systems; forty-eight (48) Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS); forty-eight (48) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); two hundred sixty-four (264) LAU-127E/A guided missile launchers; forty-eight (48) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting Processor – Networked (DTP-N); twenty-seven (27) Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems; forty (40) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles; fifty (50) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six (6) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Special Air Training Missiles (NATMs); four (4) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical guidance units; ten (10) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder CATM guidance units; eighteen (18) KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82, Inert; twelve (12) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and eight (8) GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). Also included are AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; High Speed Video Network (HSVN) Digital Video Recorder (HDVR); AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); AN/AVS-11 Night Vision Cueing Device (NVCD); AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems; AN/ARC-210 Communication System; AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder; AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; launchers (LAU-115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU118A); Training Aids, Devices and Spares; Technical Data Engineering Change Proposals; Avionics Software Support; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); Data Transfer Unit (DTU); Accurate Navigation (ANAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation; KIV-78 Dual Channel Encryptor, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CADs/PADs); Technical Publications; AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loader (SKL); Aircraft Spares; other support equipment; Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); aircraft ferry; transportation costs; other technical assistance; engineering technical assistance; contractor engineering technical support; logistics technical assistance; Repair of Repairables (RoR); aircrew and maintenance training; contractor logistics support; flight test services; Foreign Liaison Officer (FLO) support; auxiliary fuel tanks, system integration and testing; software development/integration; and other related elements of logistics and program support. For AIM-9X: containers; missile support and test equipment; provisioning; spare and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical data; and U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. For GBU-53/B SDB II and GBU-54: Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40-inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); weapons containers; munitions support and test equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $7.452 billion.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 01:21

:applause: Nice find thanks 'veasali' (schwyzer-deutsch methinks) for 'little weasel'. :D 1 BILLION difference. COOL. Cheap F-35s.

Another story 'bout'it:
"...the potential packages are not a sign that Switzerland has decided the Lockheed Martin F-35 or Boeing produced F/A-18 are their fighter of the future. Rather, the announcement is a bureaucratic move by State and DSCA to make sure that, should the jets be selected, there will not be delays in getting the stealth fighter cleared. The DSCA has previously done so with F-35 requests from Belgium and Canada.

The F-35 package comes with an estimated price tag of $6.58 billion, while the F/A-18 package with a price tag of $7.452 billion. Both those totals, if they represent final figures — and DSCA notifications often do not — would exceed the approved $6.5 billion budget for the program...." https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... -billions/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 06:42

spazsinbad wrote::applause: Nice find thanks 'veasali' (schwyzer-deutsch methinks) for 'little weasel'. :D 1 BILLION difference. COOL. Cheap F-35s.


Yeah, that definitely looks cheap. Especially considering that with F-35 they'd get more IRST/FLIR/targeting pods (40 vs 25). Not to mention better performance all around. With that 900 million USD difference, the Swiss could buy a lot of weapons for F-35s. Only way Super Hornet is competitive here is if it has really significantly lower operating costs and I seriously doubt that.

Of course these are not the final costs, but I'd think the relative price difference will remain as the costs should be quite easy to calculate.
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noth

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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 08:27

hornetfinn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote::applause: Nice find thanks 'veasali' (schwyzer-deutsch methinks) for 'little weasel'. :D 1 BILLION difference. COOL. Cheap F-35s.


Yeah, that definitely looks cheap. Especially considering that with F-35 they'd get more IRST/FLIR/targeting pods (40 vs 25). Not to mention better performance all around. With that 900 million USD difference, the Swiss could buy a lot of weapons for F-35s. Only way Super Hornet is competitive here is if it has really significantly lower operating costs and I seriously doubt that.

Of course these are not the final costs, but I'd think the relative price difference will remain as the costs should be quite easy to calculate.


They're not interested in buying a lot of weapons, especially air to ground ones. The mission is really limited, which is why F-35 is looking overkill to many a politician out there. Air to ground has basically been abandonned or will be doled out to UAVs.
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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 09:13

noth wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote::applause: Nice find thanks 'veasali' (schwyzer-deutsch methinks) for 'little weasel'. :D 1 BILLION difference. COOL. Cheap F-35s.


Yeah, that definitely looks cheap. Especially considering that with F-35 they'd get more IRST/FLIR/targeting pods (40 vs 25). Not to mention better performance all around. With that 900 million USD difference, the Swiss could buy a lot of weapons for F-35s. Only way Super Hornet is competitive here is if it has really significantly lower operating costs and I seriously doubt that.

Of course these are not the final costs, but I'd think the relative price difference will remain as the costs should be quite easy to calculate.


They're not interested in buying a lot of weapons, especially air to ground ones. The mission is really limited, which is why F-35 is looking overkill to many a politician out there. Air to ground has basically been abandonned or will be doled out to UAVs.


No, but they definitely seem intrested in getting some air-to-ground capability as these DSCA notices have small amount of JDAMs and SDB IIs. They will also need new MRAAMs at some point, although they now have almost new AIM-120C-7s which they can use for both aircraft. But they have about 150 of those which means they have less than 4 missiles for each aircraft. Of course that's enough for anything less than actual war, which is very unlikely for Switzerland. But my point was that with the same money, they would get far superior capabilties with F-35 than with Super Hornet. Or they can save money in doing so.

F-35 might seem like overkill in capabilities, but it also seems that only Gripen E has any hope of being cheaper option in their competition. Besides, all other competitors also emphasize their air-to-ground and multirole capabilties.
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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 10:41

agree with hornetfinn. Munitions in Swiss F-18s/F-5s can be used for the F-18E/F or F-35s. There is no need for substantial increases in munition stocks. What may happened as older munitions hit shelf life would then be better replacements. The 150 120C-7s replaced approx same numbers of 120As bought in the 90s. They also have 100+ AIM-9Xs. Its enough for peacetime.

The Swiss air force also operate a few hundred AGM-65s. SDB IIs/LJDAM capability will supplement/replace that capability. Again, the purchase is more to validate the capability.

A C-17 can deliver ~300 AIM-120s per sortie. It wouldn't take long to stock up in an emergency.
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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 11:15

Mavericks are no longer in the Swiss AF inventory and havent been for a long time. The Swiss AF lost its air-to-ground capability when its Hawker Hunters were retired in 1994. Swiss AF fighters have been limited to air-to-air for the last 25+ years. They could have just dropped the "A" in the F/A-18 designation and simply call them F-18C/D. Thats what the Finns did. :)

Now it seems that the Swiss are taking baby steps towards restoring that lost capability. Thats interesting...
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marauder2048

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Unread post01 Oct 2020, 20:27

Tiger05 wrote:Mavericks are no longer in the Swiss AF inventory and havent been for a long time. The Swiss AF lost its air-to-ground capability when its Hawker Hunters were retired in 1994. Swiss AF fighters have been limited to air-to-air for the last 25+ years. They could have just dropped the "A" in the F/A-18 designation and simply call them F-18C/D. Thats what the Finns did. :)

Now it seems that the Swiss are taking baby steps towards restoring that lost capability. Thats interesting...


If you go back to the "original" Swiss fighter competition from 2009, all of the contenders were evaluated
for their performance in the strike role.
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weasel1962

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Unread post02 Oct 2020, 00:39

When an ATFLIR is inducted onto a hornet, that's a statement by itself. I think A2G has always been politically sensitive in the Swiss context. The Swiss military imho recognized the need for A2G, even to the extent of considering that for its F-5s. Yes, air policing has been primary function of Swiss fighters in the past decades. Regardless, the replacement fighter will be A2G capable.
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