Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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magitsu

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Unread post14 Apr 2019, 23:07

No idea yet how the new government will form as the result was historically even. Three top parties snagged roughly 18% each.

The previous Minister of Defense fell out of even the parliament!
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post15 Apr 2019, 00:45

Would someone be kind enough to send me the full Jane's article, in PM please? Thanks.

magitsu wrote:Today it was confirmed that JASSM plays no part in the requirements. Which wasn't surprising given its shelf life of 15 years and no ready integration to any of the competing platforms.

Can you link the source please?

Also, isn't the SDP+Kok coalition the most likely one? Probably not the most result-producing one regarding defence though, especially NATO. I would need a refresher on parties' stance on EU & US cooperation specifically. I believe no one will form one with PS..
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magitsu

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Unread post15 Apr 2019, 01:07

When asked if the missile acquisition is linked or does it also affect future fighter purchases, Keränen answers:

- JASSM missiles have not been set as requirements in the HX project because each candidate has its own offer for far-reaching fire. The integration of new weapons is usually quite expensive, so the integration of the JASSM missile is not set as a threshold requirement.

https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006066689.html

PS probably isn't the first to get called to dance, but eventually they will if the easiest looking SDP+KOK (maybe also SDP+Greens+Center et al) doesn't work. The problem in that one is that SDP likely wants Left as their wingman, which would be bad for Kok if they don't get one too. Christian and Swedes aren't comparable and the whole lot is too big if the larger than Left Green Party is in the mix.
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jurryaany

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Unread post18 Apr 2019, 10:07

Elections for parliament were held on Sunday.

The results aren't majorly surprising, but do signify a major shift. the center-left Social Democratic party barely edged out to become the largest, and they plan on forming a centrist left-right coalition to form a cabinet.

This coalition is to include a number of parties that have in past criticized the H-X program:

On the other hand, inappropriate US pressure on Finnish authorities to purchase the F-35 or F/A-18 Super Hornet combat aircraft rather than one of their European competitors—France’s Rafale, the British-made Eurofighter, or Sweden’s Gripen—could easily backfire. In January, Finland’s outgoing defense minister criticized the Social Democrats, Greens, and Left Alliance for suggesting that the government’s plan to purchase sixty-four of the new multirole fighters—at an estimated cost of $13 billion—should be revisited. The Finns Party reportedly also is interested in reducing the aircraft number.


Source: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/n ... ll-country

The far-right Finns Party has been excluded from coalition talks, however the Social Democrats won and the Greens and Left Alliance are invited. Only the center-right National Coalition has so far not criticized the program, and they too are critical to the cabinet formation period ahead.

I don't expect to see a change to the program, but it's important to know that there's political will among some to change its direction, and that a hiccup could be just around the corner.

Further reading: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/01 ... -purchase/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Finn ... y_election
https://www.reddit.com/r/MilitaryProcurement/
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magitsu

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Unread post08 May 2019, 09:12

Review of the blogs on the HX programme during the past 12 months
https://www.defmin.fi/en/administrative ... .9822.news

Left-centrist government should be taking over within a month if the negotiations are successful. This ends conservative party's two decades in the government. Not a good change for def-sec matters, as it increases risks. Initial assessment is that Gripen's chances improved.
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jakobs

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Unread post12 May 2019, 21:07

magitsu wrote:Review of the blogs on the HX programme during the past 12 months
https://www.defmin.fi/en/administrative ... .9822.news

Left-centrist government should be taking over within a month if the negotiations are successful. This ends conservative party's two decades in the government. Not a good change for def-sec matters, as it increases risks. Initial assessment is that Gripen's chances improved.


Well good luck to get all of the 64 airframes with the new government :lmao: . The only party in the possible upcoming coalition who supports such a high number of jets just got their asses handed to them with a high hat in the general election...
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loke

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Unread post13 May 2019, 08:47

I think costs will be the key to this deal -- by the time Finland purchase their fighters the F-35 costs will be even lower than today. The acchilles heel currently is the operating costs of the F-35 which is still quite high. If they can reduce the operating costs to an acceptable level by 2025 then this change of government will not at all mean that F-35 will not be chosen -- au contrair it will make the F-35 a certainty since no doubt the Finnish Air Force will argue that a reduction in airframes (if that happens) makes it even more important to choose the most capable airframe, which in this competition is the F-35.

Dassault tried to argue the same manner in Switzerland -- that due the the higher capabilities of Rafale the Swiss should choose a smaller number of Rafale instead of the a larger number of Gripen. Did not work because in that case the delta was simply too big, to the advantage of Gripen. F-35 is of course more capable than Rafale, and at the same time much cheaper than Rafale -- thus in this case that argument will most likely work.
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magitsu

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Unread post13 May 2019, 09:28

loke wrote:I think costs will be the key to this deal -- by the time Finland purchase their fighters the F-35 costs will be even lower than today.

Yeah, they get external funding for the purchase, but the upkeep has to be paid from regular defense budgets. I believe it's somewhere around 10% of the FDF's yearly costs which the jets can't surpass. Which would amount to around 350 M€ or $400M per year at absolute maximum in 2025-30.

According to the HX program leader the current rate (of F/A-18 costs) is slightly less than 10%, around 200 M€ per year. https://www.uusisuomi.fi/kotimaa/244478 ... et-kavivat
He points out that the starting point is that the annual cost of the fighters should be at the same level as the current one, less than 10% of the EUR 2.4 billion defense budget. This would mean around EUR 200 million a year, which is EUR 6 billion in 30 years.
Last edited by magitsu on 13 May 2019, 09:42, edited 2 times in total.
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loke

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Unread post13 May 2019, 09:32

magitsu wrote:
loke wrote:I think costs will be the key to this deal -- by the time Finland purchase their fighters the F-35 costs will be even lower than today.


Yeah, they get external funding for the purchase, but the upkeep has to be paid from regular defense budgets. I believe it's somewhere around 10% from the FDF's yearly costs which the jets can't surpass. Which would amount to around 350 M€ or $400M per year in 2025.

How many flight hours per year are they aiming for?
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magitsu

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Unread post13 May 2019, 09:40

loke wrote:How many flight hours per year are they aiming for?

Current fleet of F/A-18's (56 C, 6 D) fly 9000 hours per year according to the Finance Ministry. (145h each 9k/62)
http://budjetti.vm.fi/indox/sisalto.jsp ... 43:495:505: (this link doesn't work when clicked, have to go through google by searching "valtiovarainministeriö hornet lentotunnit" and picking the top result)

Line: HN-lentotunnit (lkm). The columns are 2017 8797 hours, 2018 prediction 9000, 2019 estimate 8800 hours.

Each F/A-18 is supposed to fly 4.5k hours during their life in the FDF.
In 2010 HN-401 had flown the most, 2414 hrs. HN-414 had flown the least 931 hrs. (both are C) https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/arkisto/ ... 92099.html
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loke

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Unread post13 May 2019, 10:30

9000 hours with F-35 should be around 315 million USD (280 million Euro) if we assume 35k USD per flight hour.

35k USD corresponds to approx. 32kEuro; with a budget of 200 million Euro this would allow for 6,250 flight hours on the F-35.

Of course the aim is to lower the CPFH further; if they can get it down to 25kUSD as is the aim, then we would end up with approx. 8700 flight hour per year.
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magitsu

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Unread post13 May 2019, 10:34

Yeah, it doesn't need to be 200 million euro. Current FDF budget is already 3.1B so less than 10% of that already gives 300 million. Inflation will also lead to a bigger number in 2025-30. So 300 million eur is probably a reasonable target.
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optimist

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Unread post13 May 2019, 12:09

There is a lot more f-35 training done in a sim, than with legacy craft
Aussie fanboy
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magitsu

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Unread post13 May 2019, 18:25

The government is currently building their program (4th day). Upcoming Prime Minister Antti Rinne stated today that there's a budget frame inside which there's 1 billion eur per year for 10 years for this project (doesn't ofc mean that all of it will be spent come 2021 decision).
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loke

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Unread post15 May 2019, 12:12

In Sweden it is now suggested to maintain a huge number of Gripen C/D and operate in parallel with Gripen E, and participate in a European 5. gen fighter project. Once those 5. gen jets are available (2035+) the Gripen C will be replaced by 5. gen.

Here is an idea for Sweden to consider: they can offer a 12-15 year lease of 64 Gripen E/F to Finland, and a collaboration with Sweden on the European 5. gen fighter. Sweden keeps its approx. 100 Gripen C/D, and buys only 12-14 Gripen E in the near future; 64 Gripen E are then produced, and leased to Finland. When the 5. gen European fighter is ready, Finland transitions the leased Gripen E/F back to Sweden, who start replacing the oldest Gripen C/D with those airframes. In parallel Finland and Sweden start introducing 5. gen fighters some time after 2035. By 2040 or so Finland will have a 100% 5. gen fighter force. Until that time costs for the air forces are kept at a minimum due to the leasing arrangement. At the same time Finland can build an industry as a partner of the 5. gen fighter development program.
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