Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 16:51

In an airframe like the F-15, losing a few hundred lbs of fuel isn't much of an issue. In the Gripen though, the 2 seater gives up fuel... which is already in short supply.. about 7,500lbs. Start hanging weapons on it (an undoubtedly, EFT's) and drag gets ratcheted up.

Wouldn't want to be flying that bird regardless of its magical E/W suite, I'd have my eyes on my fuel gauge the entire time..
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ricnunes

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 18:03

f4u7_corsair wrote:I know that you don't value good faith and reason indeed, kinda like when I reminded you the 2000 had multirole variants contrary to your beliefs/dogma and you didn't even bother to ACK.


In case you haven't noticed that thread was locked in the meanwhile as such I didn't get the chance to reply - but then "please feel free" to continue using twisted rhetoric to back up your claims! :doh: :roll:

f4u7_corsair wrote:Also: the guy in the back is not always a sensors operator. I'm talking about its tactical (and doctrinal) value. Not his button-pushing value.


And I'm talking about how technological development such as better and more automated sensors together with sensor fusion and even automated flight envelops, etc, etc, etc... replace the need of a second crewman.

If the Brazilians which in this case are the ones developing the Gripen -F, developed it in order to have a second crewman as a weapons/sensors operator "right now" (or by the time when the Gripen -F enters in service) then I would probably haven't said anything since I can admit that having a second crewman today might give some advantages specially when you don't have the technological levels of the F-35!
However this is not the case. The Gripen -F is to be a training version (the second crew position will be for the flight instructor) of the Gripen -E with an eventual and future plan of "upgrading" the -F in order to give a second crew position the role of a Weapons/Sensor Operator, this in a time where everyone else seems to be planning go with the automation/single crew/pilot route (including the French, no?).

f4u7_corsair wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:
f4u7_corsair wrote:a second guy in the backseat will always be valuable in a heavy tactical environment.

That value must be weighed against the value of much more fuel (which gives you more range, AB time, maneuvering energy, etc), lower operating costs, lower construction cost, etc.

2-seaters usually lose a marginal fraction of fuel (200-500 lbs), I don't see such a loss being relevant unless in a few specific cases. Same for other metrics.


And there's another disadvantage regarding having a two-man crewmen in fighter aircraft which is:
- Pilot training is very expensive! It takes millions of dollar to properly train a single flight pilot. Such cost - pilot training - is part of the overall sustainability cost of an aircraft. Needless to say that for a two-man crewmen fighter aircraft the required cost regarding pilot training doubles!
And this not to mention that if a two-man fighter aircraft is lost the loses in manpower could potentially be twice than they would be with single-seaters.

Or putting into another perspective: two-man crewmen in fighter aircraft has the advantages when it's not technologically possible to replace the second crewman with automation - As such and apparently the Gripen isn't as advanced as its followers often claim :roll:
Last edited by ricnunes on 09 Feb 2019, 18:24, edited 1 time in total.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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ricnunes

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 18:11

element1loop wrote:
ricnunes wrote: ... But no, Sensor Fusion does not replace the pilot in the decision making process indeed but as sure as hell that the F-35 sensor fusion replaces the SECOND crewman on board of a fighter aircraft. ...


To take it a step further the advanced automated auto-pilot could largely replace the pilot (most of the time) too, who is then freer to act as a 'third' crew member, to two F-35 'virtual-crew'.


Yes indeed!
That's basically what automation (which was actually my point earlier) allows to do:
- It allows a single crewman to perform roles that in previously required two or even like you said, three (3) crewmen.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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vanshilar

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 20:45

magitsu wrote:Take a look at this article. Gripen fanboys are in full overdrive. Muh EW!

https://nordic.businessinsider.com/swed ... ?r=DE&IR=T


Harhar:

If Russia somehow cracks the code of detecting stealth-shaped fighters, the US's F-35, the most expensive weapons system in history, is cooked.


"If Russia somehow cracks the code of reinforcing its buildings to withstand a nuclear blast, the U.S.'s nuclear program is wasted."

"Hey, if NASA somehow cracks the code on faster than light travel, we could all retire at Alpha Centauri if we wanted."
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juretrn

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Unread post09 Feb 2019, 21:59

Stealth (reduced RF signature) is a physical property of the F-35.
EW, on the other hand, is a thing constantly in flux, and is subject to enemy SIGINT and other kinds of spying. (uh-oh someone leaked our algorithms)

So which one can be cracked then????
Russia stronk
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magitsu

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 14:21

Boeing has confirmed that their offer includes Growlers. Number is unknown.

Based on negotiations in preparation for the RFQ, the project believes that the suppliers for the most part meet Finnish minimum requirements in life cycle costs, security of supply and industrial co-operation. The rest is up to detailed study of the answers. There's a personnel of 70 doing that.

I google translated this part, because it's probably the best assessment I've seen in a newspaper article. Kudos to Joonas Kuikka of Turun Sanomat!
There is only one favorite for performance evaluation. American Lockheed Martin's F-35 is a future fighter in the US Air Force. It has stealth technology in its surface materials and design that others don't have.

Other fighter manufacturers are happy to say that stealth technology is only one feature or characteristic, and is not the only way to avoid fighter detection on the radar.

However, that's cutting corners. If that were the case, why did China want to build a stealth fighter? Why is Russia trying to build one, with less success? Why did Israel buy F-35 in the Middle East crisis and use it already in battle? Why did China's neighbor Japan buy F-35 and place an order for more?

F-35 also gets the features that other manufacturers try to avoid detection with. In addition, it has a huge intelligence and information sharing capacity, for which all tactical applications are not yet known.

In Finland, the fighter is within reach of ​​the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems immediately when it rises to the air, anywhere in the country. Therefore, it is important to fly on a plane that the radar of the opponent does not detect from far, not necessarily even from close by.

https://www.ts.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/44760 ... i+rannalle
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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 17:18

Here's rather hilarious reply to the Swedish AF commander's EW-magic testimonial by a Russian defense committee member. https://ria.ru/20190209/1550632737.html
The original EW-article https://nordic.businessinsider.com/swed ... ?r=DE&IR=T

The statement by the Swedish Air Force commander Mats Helgesson about the ability of the Saab Gripen E fighter to defeat the Russian Su in an air battle is boasting and stupidity, said Igor Korotchenko, a member of the Public Council under the Russian Defense Ministry, chief editor of the National Defense magazine.


“This is a boastful and stupid statement, if only for the reason that Gripen belongs to the class of light fighters in dimensionality - conditionally speaking, the MiG-29 and MiG-35. And, say, the Su-30SM and Su-35 are heavy fighters. The tactical-technical parameters of the aircraft and the professional skill of the pilot are important in a real air combat. Much depends on the specific conditions, pilot training, readiness to act in various air combat modes. Therefore, no one will initially make any boastful statements, "Korotchenko told RIA Novosti.

The expert added that such statements indicate the inferiority complex of the Swedish Air Force.
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hythelday

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 18:52

May I note that Igor Korotchenko is quite an idiot and is a russia stronkist in a terminal phase.
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magitsu

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Unread post10 Feb 2019, 19:26

hythelday wrote:May I note that Igor Korotchenko is quite an idiot and is a russia stronkist in a terminal phase.

Sure, but he's right in this matter. Too many variables for anyone to start boasting.
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steve2267

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 18:14

Finnish interview of Billie Flynn. Just over one minute video. Billie briefly recites is CV, over 5000 hours in 80 jets, flew the Typhoon in Germany, says the F-16 is like a Ferrari and hints with a smile that he was not always safe, but that the most impressive jet is the F-35. Then the helmet and Ironman... yada yada...

https://siivet.fi/sotilasilmailu/f-35-k ... astattelu/
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 22:55

The US Department of Defense roughly outlined the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II’s Tier II global repair network.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... wo-455712/

Tier II servicers within the F-35’s maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade network are eligible to fix nearly 400 repairable components, including avionics, power systems, landing gear, egress and canopy systems, pumps, valves and power systems [...]
The first tranche of repair services will begin in 2021 and will serve all F-35s globally until 2025, says the Pentagon. Initially, components will be repaired in the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Israel. [...]
The second tranche of servicers will focus on regional needs and will begin repairing parts in 2025. Those countries are Australia, Japan and South Korea.


I don't know how much work is done on Finnish Hornets in-house, but I bet this will be the weakest side for the F-35 case (not the cost and certainly not performance). While others will offer everything they can, including assembly in Finland, LM will have to throw around terms like "regional hubs" etc. No doubt a big consideration for a "not so much aligned" Finland unlike NATO/bilateral defense treaty nations; competition will also point this out. This probably will be the case in the Swiss eval too, as they have specifically stated that Logistics & Support people will give out their own assessment.
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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 23:25

Funny that I was being laughed at on this forum when I raised this very issue.

Beyond a "mere" logistics problem, it is a matter of operational autonomy and independence, stemming from, as you mentioned, the Finnish "not so aligned" status (and I don't see Finland joining NATO in a near future).

They do a lot in-house on their Hornets.

And they want to keep it the same for HX - if not more.
They also want 30% industrial compensation (was 15% for Hornet).
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magitsu

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 02:22

There's indeed quite a lot of domestic work being done on the Hornets, since the production line ceased immediately after the Finnish lot ended. The C models were built in Finland. At some point they added instrumentation to track wear and tear. Some wings were changed, but not for all of them since it was too expensive. They also rebuilt one crashed D with a Canadian front-end, moniker Frankenhornet. Unfortunately it also crashed (faulty tail servo) just before it was accepted back to FiAF.

Probably not quite as extensive as in Canada. But two decade older Hornets certainly require a bit more buff to fly to 2030 as well... :D Canada must have heavier maintenance setup since they've done actual SLEPs. Finnish Hornets will reach end of life with just 4.5k hours (maybe even 3k, because they need to leave room if there's an actual war time need).

If I remember right Finnish maintenance has done some work for the Swiss too.

Industrial cooperation yes, but no offsets (those are barred by EU rules). They actually have to be more directly related to the military than before. WIth Hornets some damn symphony orchestra visits were famously included in the offset calculations. Or maybe LM will include the Fort Worth ceremony, which seems to have been quite an experience at least for the Dutch. :wink:

It's a bit complicated situation, because on the other hand if someone offers e.g. actual production lines you kind of get the feeling that you are baited to pay for something that will never get any work after that. But that is one proven way of building domestic maintenance ability. Even Japan did the same with F-35 by turning their FACO into maintenance hub. Finnish offer clearly won't include a similar one, but we'll see.

Finnish security of supply need is probably something closer to Israel than countries like Belgium.

Norwegian F-35 maintainer (AIM Norway) is owned by the same company (Kongsberg) that owns half of the Finnish Hornet maintainer (Patria, 50,1% the Finnish state). Patria on the other hand maintains Finnish and Norwegian NH90 helicopters. So this is probably the key take away.

Also like I pointed earlier on this page: "the project believes that the suppliers for the most part meet Finnish minimum requirements in life cycle costs, security of supply and industrial co-operation." That is their assessment based on the preceeding negotiations, but detailed study of the RFQ will confirm it.

There's a requirement of domestic capability to repair battle damage and electronics to a reasonable degree. What it actually means is anybody's guess, but it certainly sounds like a formidable maint setup.

It's a big open question, but in the end this is the largest ongoing fighter competition in Europe. Money motivates.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 19:02

steve2267 wrote:Finnish interview of Billie Flynn.

https://siivet.fi/sotilasilmailu/f-35-k ... astattelu/


This magazine had a marvelous article in its 1/2019 edition.
I believe some of the following details haven't appeared anywhre in public.

They interviewed LM's Director Sustainment Strategies & Campaigns Steve Seehy.

**
Easy maintenance
- No more black boxes, instead hard drive sized modules that receive maintenance
- Easy access from gun & wheel wells and from behind the seat

In the Field
-PMA, Portable Maintenance Aid, the only maintenance appliance that a mechanic needs at a standby station. Road base mentioned.
-PMA enables starting internal APU that can be used to test systems, move fuel from one tank to another etc.
-Six separate hydraulic systems with actuators, one of them can be faulty and the computer compensates with the rest
-Weapons launch system pneumatic, more reliable at high Gs. No tedious cleaning up needed

ALIS
-PMA is connected to the ALIS after being removed from the fighter to transfer data
-Suggests a capable mechanic to perform the job
-All data to Fort Worth, from where it's selectively distributed forward
-Helps to locate possibly faulty parts or those that fail quality criteria
-Pilots have two simulators, PTA (Pilot Training Aid) and FMS (Full Mission Simulator), mechanics have their own ASMT-simulator (Aircraft System Maintenance Trainer).

Stealth
-Rate of repair 10 times faster than it used to be (vs. F-22?)
-Opening hull access panels doesn't require fixing the stealth coating
-Over 10 maintenance hours on avg before stealth coating needs to be touched

Life cycle costs
-DAS-camera system problems (there seems to have been a real need for change, not just improvement & savings)
-Starting from Lot 15 DAS-manufacturer changes. Twice the performance, 5x more reliable, 45% more affordable
-Access to spare parts has been improved by changing contract terms with subcontractors

Maintenance setup
-All maintenance and fixes could be made in Finland, no reason why fighters should be sent to Italy !!!
-In some very big modifications LM's field teams would assist the Finns. The need is theoretical, no such needs or changes are known.
-Less maintenance need than in the current gen planes, including current Hornet
-Sign of mature system: 9 maintenance hours per flight hour. F-35 current need 6.3 hours per 1 flight hour.
-70% of parts haven't yet broken or become faulty by November 2018. Flight hours 170 000, European share 9000h. System is considered mature at 200 000h
-The parts that have broken or become faulty lasted 26% longer than estimated
-Reliability better than expected based on previous plane types
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Unread post14 Feb 2019, 04:51

-All maintenance and fixes could be made in Finland, no reason why fighters should be sent to Italy !!!

Then why the hubs?
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