New Libyan AF?

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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post20 Oct 2011, 23:02

Well, the mad dog has finally been put down. Security will now be a major issue as everyone attempts to rebuild.

I seriously doubt that the current mishmash of Soviet weapons that remains will cut the mustard when all that oil money starts to burn a hole in the new government's pocket, and they will probably be looking to put together a small air-force among other things.

So, let's have a little fun here and conduct our own "FX" competition. Manufacturers are invited to submit tenders for around 20 modern, multi-role fighters. Technology transfer is not an issue because Libya does not have the infrastructure to manufacture advanced technical components. Maintainability in a harsh environment with minimal personnel/expertise should be of paramount importance, but political considerations will also be a major factor.

Personally, I think that a Gripen two-seater variant fits the bill, but Gripen sales are subject to American approval and Sweden can be a little twitchy on human-rights issues; so the new Libyan government will have to behave itself for such a deal to work.
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weez

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Unread post21 Oct 2011, 01:42

I was about halfway through your posting and I was already thinking Gripen. When I got to your last paragraph I was like, "crap!"

The airplane really does seem like a good option for small air forces or countries who are getting serious about modernization. Hungary and the Czech Republic immediately come to mind. You do bring up a good point regarding the American approval issue as well as Sweden's politically neutral stance which make me extremely dubious that it would ever pan out. Their limited participation with the aircraft over Libya is encouraging, however. Anyway, to play along my vote would be for 16 Gripen C's and 4 D's for training/transitioning. The airplane is much cheaper than other options in both initial costs and from a maintenance perspective. It is rugged and able to operate from austere airfields but brings to the table 4+ generation tech in a highly maneuverable platform. On a side note, wouldn't Gripen be a great fighter for a new and improved New Zealand AF?!? I digress....

I'd be willing to bet that geogen will weigh in at some point. He seems to like these hypotheticals and I know that he's a fan of Gripen as well. Nice idea and should make for some interesting discussion.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post21 Oct 2011, 02:40

You're right weez. The Gripen is the ideal platform for most of the world's air-forces. The simple support structure is low-cost and easy to move for the odd joint expeditionary action (which is about as intense as it will ever get for most AFs). It's the perfect fighter for Africa, Latin America, and pretty much anyone who doesn't plan to engage in regular offensive operations (for which it is a bit too small); the fact that it doesn't already have a lot more customers can only be explained in terms of politics.

As for your C/D mix, I somewhat disagree. Many AFs are starting to find that the 2 seat versions of newer fighters are more practical because of the reduced workload for pilots on missions that have become more complicated than during the cold war.
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weez

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Unread post21 Oct 2011, 03:25

As for your C/D mix, I somewhat disagree. Many AFs are starting to find that the 2 seat versions of newer fighters are more practical because of the reduced workload for pilots on missions that have become more complicated than during the cold war.


Okay, I can see how two seaters can be useful from a workload perspective, especially for complex strike missions with multiple targets. I wonder, however, how practical that would be for our budding hypothetical new Libyan Air Force? Also what are the costs of, "factory fresh," C's vs D's?
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TC

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Unread post21 Oct 2011, 18:11

It wouldn't surprise me if they ended up with a fleet of Rafales.
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Unread post21 Oct 2011, 22:38

Well, us swedes may be twitchy when it comes to human-rights issues, that is certainly true. At the same time, all Swedish governments have if not flat out broken those rules they have at least seriously bent them. According to Swedish law we're not allowed to export to ANY country who is in a state of war. I don´t remember any reports about exports to the US being stopped during the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. One explanation was that countermeasures for aircraft is not technically weapons but that don't justify the Excalibur artillery grenades and those were shipped too..

Another case that's probably more applicable here would be Thailand, they have in recent years bought some Gripens and I think an AEW-aircraft too. There were reports in Swedish media that the US weren't willing to sell Vipers because of human-right issues but the Swedish government had no problem. Don't really know how/why or even if Lockheed were denied to push the F-16, I only read about it in papers, but I´m sure some of you might have an explanation or at least know where to dig for one.

As always when there's a massive sale of weapons the lefties freak out, most of the time they have very little to show for their effort but still, on occasion they have at least managed to stall deals for a while which in some cases could explain why the purchasers went with some other alternative. But here, I dunno, the "leftier" they were, the more they supported this so called "arab spring" so it's hard to tell. As long as the Libyans have an election that at least resembles something that could be called democratic and the government can keep sh*t reasonably calm without resorting to oppression and killing a deal could possibly be pushed through without much hassle from the commies. The far righters probably don't like us arming Muslims but then again, there's always the chance they'll turn on each other down the line so they'll probably won't bother. All in all, I think a deal could be done if the Libyans keep calm. God how I hate Swedish politicians.

But I agree with TC, they'll most likely end up with Rafales. The French will push it hard, they need to sell it, they still hold quite a lot of influence in northern africa and imported a lot of oil from Libya. The only thing I can see as a negative is that Khadaffi were interested and the french were willing to sell. Depends how much was off set by the french taking lead (in the media at least) in the effort to remove Khadaffi later on.
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weez

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Unread post22 Oct 2011, 01:34

France needs to win that Indian bid if they ever hope to sell ANY Rafales. A few airplanes to Libya isn't going to cut it. Gripen is more bang for the buck IMO.
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Unread post22 Oct 2011, 01:36

Well for one France was out ahead on getting support to the Rebels. They may look kindly to this.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post22 Oct 2011, 02:08

SpudmanWP wrote:Well for one France was out ahead on getting support to the Rebels. They may look kindly to this.


Plus, as muir said, France pushes the Rafale like a patent medicine salesman. However, one wonders if Libya might look for some compatibility with the F-16 fleets of Egypt and other Arab countries as it realigns in that direction after years of Gadhafi trying trying to push them toward Africa.
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Unread post22 Oct 2011, 06:11

The conventional thinking might be that Libya needs a new fighter force ASAP to fulfill air sovereignty requirements now that the war is over and much of the old equipment is out of action.

My personal feeling is that Libya's new transitional unity govt which will evolve over time, should be focusing first on getting essential humanitarian and national infrastructure rebuilt and back to some credible state of operation. That would probably be their main priority, as one can be sure many anti-new-Libya voices will be waiting for any opportunity to pop up to let loose the next barrage of disinformation and anti-this and anti-that propaganda, etc.

In the same context, I think the 'west' in general and to a greater extent, the African Union, Arab League, IMF possibly and of course United Nations should be making this the primary focus of attention as well. Unfortunately, timing would seem to be the key to making it or breaking it now given the apparent forces still at play and different forces potentially wanting to embrace a counter-revolution etc. So it would seem that if the overwhelming primary support and intent is not behind a convincing reconciliation and redevelopment effort, then Libya could have a horrific time within, trying to rebuild and become a new and successful nation state.

As far as some interim 'Air Sovereignty Requirement' goes... perhaps some kind of mid-term 'Air-Policing' mission (similar to Nato air-policing in Baltic states) can be shared between a joint AU and Arab League deployment consisting of 12 aircraft or so, and rotate in every 6 months or year?

It would be a good opportunity for Northern Africa to cooperate better and build trust, decrease old cold-war frictions, etc.

I'm sure South Africa could be a key element in such a protocol, as well as a country such as Turkey?

As far as a possible mid-term acquisition of actual air sovereignty aircraft go, maybe at least some of the F-16s originally intended for Romania could be financed and transferred as an option. Perhaps they could be jointly serviced, trained and maintained by a consortium of Egyptian, Moroccan, Omani and Turkish F-16 resources?

As far as French jets go, if the easy to maintain M2000 were still in production, that would probably be a prudent option for anyone on this scale, much more than a highly complex and expensive Rafale. imho

Those would be my initial thoughts.
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TC

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Unread post22 Oct 2011, 21:33

The thread will not be locked, but, as some may have seen, personal attack comments WILL be deleted. Please keep your hits above the belt, everybody.

Back on topic, I still think it will be the Rafale. I believe that the US will want to stay out of this one as much as possible. It'd actually be a wise decision on our part, politically-speaking, to do so. The French are usually very willing to sell their aircraft, so it's not a far reach to think that they may offer the Rafale. The M2K is older and, while it's a good jet, the Libyans may not want a "hand me down". Now that Qaddafi doesn't control the purse strings, the Libyans may be willing to sacrifice quantity for quality.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong...
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geogen

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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 05:21

TC,

I concur with your general perception on this issue, but personally feel a Rafale deal would simply be too complex and expensive a proposition at this time to justify. The country has a major priority ahead of it now and there are many forces in play in the next year or two which wish to exploit the perspective/propaganda of 'imperialist or colonialist' objectives, whathaveyou.

Maybe at some point down the road, who knows. The rafale is no doubt a modern and highly relevant platform for decades to come and should be respected regardless of the politics. I'm sure even Beijing will be jumping at the opportunity now to be offering J-17 in exchange for bolstered oil contracts.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 05:51

geogen wrote:TC,

I concur with your general perception on this issue, but personally feel a Rafale deal would simply be too complex and expensive a proposition at this time to justify. The country has a major priority ahead of it now and there are many forces in play in the next year or two which wish to exploit the perspective/propaganda of 'imperialist or colonialist' objectives, whathaveyou.

Maybe at some point down the road, who knows. The rafale is no doubt a modern and highly relevant platform for decades to come and should be respected regardless of the politics. I'm sure even Beijing will be jumping at the opportunity now to be offering J-17 in exchange for bolstered oil contracts.


Given some of the documents recovered by the rebels, http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mai ... ya-embargo
I doubt the new government is going to be over-eager to do business with China on defense matters. But you are right about the time scale. Libya does have a few yeas to go before it starts modernizing its armed forces.
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yakuza

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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 10:29

I think it will be french,they wanted Rafales since 2007 but the mad dog played his games and the deal goes kaputt,frustrating sarkozy..

I think about a deal like taking the emirati 60 M2000-9 so UAE could replace them with new Rafale F4 (60 for 7B€),that´s the condition France can not fulfill till today(re-buy the mirage fleet),in the mid term Libyan AF then will be able to make the step to Rafale (M2k9 named mini-Rafale for it´s complexity).

no gripen no US plane IMHO,the Libyan army would be Franco-Russian like they always were,still with some American stuff(Chinook) and Hummvees(approved in 2007)
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Unread post24 Oct 2011, 00:10

Sooo...if Russia is likely, would we potentially be talking MiG-29SMT or something?? I've heard that Libya almost bought Su-35s. No political negotiations necessary, I would think.
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