Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

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Tiger05

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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 11:27

ricnunes wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:From what I can see too, theres going to be more F-35s in Europe than Rafales, and F-35s have the Italian FACO

Makes ya wonder what counts as the "European fighter" that's built and operated there. The order is looking like Tiffie. F-35. Gripen of all stripes and then rafal in terms of sheer number


Also true. And I'm willing to bet that soon there are probably more F-35s on Europe than Typhoons.
You have Finland in where there's a good chance for the F-35 to become with winner. Who knows about Switzerland?
Perhaps more orders from European countries that already ordered the F-35 in the future?
And then new countries such as for example Portugal. Yes, according to what I've talked about with some Portuguese Air Force staff, the only future fighter aircraft that is in consideration is the F-35.
Basically the plan is modernizing the current F-16 fleet to the F-16V standard and circa 2035 purchase the F-35.
Resuming, no-one in the Portuguese Air Force is even giving a slight consideration about aircraft like the Typhoon, Rafale, SH or Gripen.


I would add Spain as well. The Ejercito del Aire's F/A-18s and the Armada's AV-8Bs will need to be replaced in the next decade and IMO the F-35 will be the favorite to succeed them. They already expressed strong interest in the F-35. Germany shouldnt be completely dismissed as an export prospect yet. Wait and see. In the longer term, countries like Poland, Greece, Romania and Portugal are all solid prospects. Ultimately, it wouldnt surprise me if there will be 500-600 F-35s flying in Europe. And thats a rather conservative estimate as existing European F-35 operators could possibly place follow-up orders in the future as you said.

Frankly, its looking good for air power in Europe. 500-600 F-35s complemented by ~1.000 4.5 gen fighters (Typhoons/Rafales/Gripens/F-16Vs) will be a force to be reckoned with and probably enough to keep the Russian Bear well at bay... If anything, its actually the Russians who should be worried by the rapid modernization of European AFs, not the other way around. They are being left in the dust. How many fifth gen fighters will Russia have in service by the 2030s? They will be lucky if they end up having more than 100 Su-57s in service by that time...
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 11:38

Unlike the Dutch & Belgians, the PIGS have much bigger financial difficulties and can't afford to replace their F-series fleets. Not when Frau Merkel or her successors holds their purse-strings. They can't even approve an interest free loan from US without breaching EU rules. At least the Brits can print more pounds.
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marsavian

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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 11:48

Germany shouldnt be completely dismissed as an export prospect yet.


They would need a coalition government which is less EU-centric to swing the balance. Macron would be as sore as hell as he knows all current Eurofighter/Rafale developments/investments will directly feed into NGF (and Tempest) and mean less initial cost for France. EU politics will probably decide Germany BUT Italy is definitely in play now for Tornado replacement as the current coalition is about the most anti-EU you can get plus Italy build their own which takes care of the job issue. Italy having an all F-35 air force is the more likely outcome now even if the air force overall shrinks slightly but the F-35 is so capable that would not be a problem. Typhoon will probably make its last European stand with the Germans.

probably enough to keep the Russian Bear well at bay


Having Russia as a neighbor is like having a big brutish gangster constantly demanding protection money from you on your block. Less reason to be frightened or intimidated if you have a bigger better more accurate gun than him ;).
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 11:53

Can't underestimate budget difficulties. First time EU has rejected Italy budget plans for 2019. Already this is feeding into plans for F-35 acquisition slowdowns. The difference is with an EU program, both Merkel and Macron can push for a special budget for this.
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 12:04

weasel1962 wrote:Unlike the Dutch & Belgians, the PIGS have much bigger financial difficulties and can't afford to replace their F-series fleets. Not when Frau Merkel or her successors holds their purse-strings. They can't even approve an interest free loan from US without breaching EU rules. At least the Brits can print more pounds.


Spain & Portugal arent doing that bad... Their economies actually rebounded quite nicely. Spain has already announced that it will boost its defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024 to meet NATO-agreed spending goal. Greece's economy, however, remains troubled but it seems the worst of the economic crisis is behind them. IMO they are a probable future F-35 operator in the mid/longer term.
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marsavian

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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 12:26

weasel1962 wrote:Can't underestimate budget difficulties. First time EU has rejected Italy budget plans for 2019. Already this is feeding into plans for F-35 acquisition slowdowns. The difference is with an EU program, both Merkel and Macron can push for a special budget for this.


Sure Italy's defence budget has been reduced slightly for social redistribution purposes but ultimately even this coalition is not going to create job losses by cutting squadrons and bases. The air force may become a little smaller and cheaper but it should be all F-35 eventually when all the Tornados and Typhoons are retired unless a more Euro centric government gets elected which is unlikely as they have had decades of power and not been very successful economically.

Germany's potential future choice of Typhoon as a strike fighter in the 2020s would be bizarre and they would probably need Danish/Italian F-35 growler type support in unpermissive environments, their military were right to favor F-35 initially before being silenced.
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 14:57

Tiger05 wrote:I would add Spain as well. The Ejercito del Aire's F/A-18s and the Armada's AV-8Bs will need to be replaced in the next decade and IMO the F-35 will be the favorite to succeed them. They already expressed strong interest in the F-35.


I agree!
Moreover in the case of Spain, the only viable and available replacement for the AV-8B is the F-35B. And I believe that a F-35B for the Armada (Spanish Navy) would likely lead to a F-35A for the Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force).


Tiger05 wrote:Frankly, its looking good for air power in Europe. 500-600 F-35s complemented by ~1.000 4.5 gen fighters (Typhoons/Rafales/Gripens/F-16Vs) will be a force to be reckoned with and probably enough to keep the Russian Bear well at bay... If anything, its actually the Russians who should be worried by the rapid modernization of European AFs, not the other way around. They are being left in the dust. How many fifth gen fighters will Russia have in service by the 2030s? They will be lucky if they end up having more than 100 Su-57s in service by that time...


I also trend to agree here. And what's also interesting here is that from how things are shaping up, Russia will not only become overwhelmed by 5th gen fighter aircraft from the west but will likely be overwhelmed by 5th gen fighter aircraft from the Southeast or more precisely from China with their J-20s and who knows J-31s as well (and then there's also Japan here with their F-35s).
I believe that this "issue" regarding China is also of interest because contrary to many beliefs, Russian and China are not allies (they even had a border war after WWII when China was already run by a communist regime as well as Russia/USSR).
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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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 15:07

Tiger05 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Unlike the Dutch & Belgians, the PIGS have much bigger financial difficulties and can't afford to replace their F-series fleets. Not when Frau Merkel or her successors holds their purse-strings. They can't even approve an interest free loan from US without breaching EU rules. At least the Brits can print more pounds.


Spain & Portugal arent doing that bad... Their economies actually rebounded quite nicely. Spain has already announced that it will boost its defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024 to meet NATO-agreed spending goal.


I also agree with Tiger here.
Moreover and regarding Portugal, I would like to add the following:
- For example the current Portuguese F-16 fleet was basically purchased in exchange for the leasing of the Lages Air Base in the Azores islands to the USA for a certain number of years. So, there's nothing that prevents the Portuguese government of doing a similar deal (further extension of the of the Lages Air Base leasing) in exchange for a number of F-35s.
Such measure wouldn't have a significant (or namely immediate) impact on the Portuguese national/government budget.
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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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 17:07

aasm wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:Frankly, its looking good for air power in Europe. 500-600 F-35s complemented by ~1.000 4.5 gen fighters (Typhoons/Rafales/Gripens/F-16Vs) will be a force to be reckoned with and probably enough to keep the Russian Bear well at bay... If anything, its actually the Russians who should be worried by the rapid modernization of European AFs, not the other way around. They are being left in the dust. How many fifth gen fighters will Russia have in service by the 2030s? They will be lucky if they end up having more than 100 Su-57s in service by that time...


Definitely their AV8B. However, Spain expressed great interest in FCAS.


Probably as a Typhoon replacement in the 2040s. Their F/A-18s wont last that long and will need to be replaced in the next decade. The only realistic options will be F-35s or more Typhoons. And maybe Super Hornets since they already are a Hornet operator.
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 18:33

AAAhhh Belgium - you've dun it again....
Belgium Selects F-35 over Typhoon
27 Oct 2018 Jon Lake

"On October 25 Lockheed Martin announced that Belgium had selected the F-35A Lightning II to meet its Air Combat Capability Programme (ACCaP) requirement. Thirty-four F-35As will replace Belgium's fleet of 58 F-16A/B MLU fighters by 2023....

...Belgium’s foreign minister, Didier Reynders, said that the U.S. bid had been the “best from the price and operational standpoint," though the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency approval of the sale in January was estimated at $6.53 billion for 34 F-35As, 38 Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines, and other equipment, training, logistics, and support.

Factors influencing the decision are understood to have included a desire for commonality and interoperability with the Netherlands, although some believed that selection of the rival Eurofighter Typhoon would have provided Belgium with a complementary and synergistic asset that could operate alongside the Netherlands F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to the benefit of both Benelux air forces. Teaming fourth- and fifth-generation fighters is increasingly being seen as more effective than operating stealthy aircraft alone, with fifth-generation aircraft providing situational awareness and an ability to operate in the most contested airspace, while current-generation fighters can provide greater firepower, persistence, and agility…. [wut?]

...Some Belgian media reports suggested that the Belgian Air Force had manipulated the fighter competition so that only the F-35 could win, but such allegations have been vigorously denied, and the truth is that the F-35A’s formidable operational capabilities swung the decision....

...Selection of the F-35A was greeted with dismay in France, where the French business journal La Tribune spoke of “betrayal,” while Airbus expressed sincere regret, noting that it remained firmly convinced that the Eurofighter would have represented a superior choice for the country both in terms of operational capability and industrial opportunities and would have provided more than €19 billion in direct contributions to the Belgian economy."

Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... er-typhoon
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 19:05

aasm wrote:
viper12 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:If one checks in terms of serviceability, won't be surprised if the F-35 already has more flying than the Typhoon.


Done ; 4 out of 128 in Germany : https://www.dw.com/en/only-4-of-germany ... a-43611873


Same as when F-35 fleet is grounded for leaks... nothing to talk a lot about except on non specialized press...


Talk about comparing apples to oranges...

If you cared to read the article, they don't even have enough missiles to arm more than 4 Eurofighters...
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 19:41

barrelnut wrote:Congrats to Belgians, looking forward to us Finns to make the same decision.

Decision is by the end of 2021, which will probably favor F-35 even more. Though it's most important for completely unproven Gripen E.
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 20:33

ricnunes wrote:
noth wrote:I suspect aasm's gripe over the software is not having access to all the source code, not the fact that the SDK is available. That's his Open vs Closed argument. It's been a complaint raised by many a critic of the program who isn't American, especially as the British were to have access originally but were then denied. Or at least that was one of points of being a Tier-1 partner.


No, he explicitly mentioned "open-architecture" as a means of being able to communicate with any other platforms (which he claimed the F-35 couldn't do). Just look at his last post.
But even if that was to be the case than it would be a faulty argument since there's a snowball's chance in hell that if the NGF comes into fruition that the French and Germans would be giving their source code to any potential customer.

However I definitely note that you're talking about program partners and not "simple customers". But then again the origins/genesis of both the F-35 and the NGF are quite different. For example, for the NGF to even have a chance to at least exist it needs both France and Germany onboard and if one of the nations ditches/abandons the program (NGF) than it will never exist (And even if they don't abandon it there's also a chance that it might never exist).
The case with the JSF/F-35 and Britain was different. The JSF project would always exist independently if Britain was "onboard" or not. Or more precisely, the JSF was/is an American program where nation partners were joining down the JSF "development road".


noth wrote:As for ADA vs C++, good luck hiring ADA programmers, and seeing the problems holding back the deployment of Block 3F, I can't imagine how difficult it'd be doing it all in ADA.


You're absolutely right!

Moreover, and while I admit I'm not familiar at all with ADA except that I know that ADA is based on Pascal (and also having been familiar with Pascal on what now seems to be "another age") but being myself well familiar with C/C++ (and with some of its derived languages such as Java or C#) I fail to realize the advantages of using a Pascal based language over C++. Well, this is not to say that there aren't advantages of ADA over C++ but these certainly are offset by the advantages of C++ over ADA, namely like you said C++ being a much widespread language which means it's much, much easier to to hire C++ programmers over ADA ones.
If someone wants to use a more modern language than C++ than I guess that C# would be a better choice. But this last point is my 2 cents...

I do not know anything about software languages - found this quote - four page PDF of article attached.
Software Everywhere
Sep 2018 DAVID SMITH; AEROSPACE TESTING INTERNATIONAL

"...F-35 DELAYS CAUSED BY UNREALISTIC GOALS AND C++
Tucker Taft, director of language research at AdaCore, says that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has become too complex because every one of the high number of stakeholders in the project is demanding ambitious requirements. “All the amazing technical qualities can be in conflict and they keep changing their minds.”

The F-35 has taken more than two decades to develop and has been plagued by huge time and cost overruns. The lifetime costs stand at an estimated US$1.5tn, partly because of the enormous price tag for software development and testing. As recently as January 2018 the Pentagon was forced to admit that there are still close to 1,000 software faults on the jet, but won’t say precisely what they are.

“The software development keeps getting the blame, but the whole project management can be seen as at fault,” Taft says. “The program has goals that are almost impossible to reach. The lesson is to put a stake in the ground and say we will build it this way and stick to it.”

Over-ambition may bear some of the blame, but it is undeniable that software development has also contributed. Taft believes that writing the software in C++ has also caused the overruns. “When you factor in the cost of debugging later on, it’s worth doing a little more training to use a language that’s less problematic, such as Ada,” he says...."

Source: AEROSPACE TESTING INTERNATIONAL Magazine September 2018
Attachments
SOFTWARE Aerospace Testing International Sep 2018 pp4.pdf
(2.84 MiB) Downloaded 198 times
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 21:10

Who would of thought that a director of a company would blame high cost and delays on NOT using his company's product?

Guess he forgot about the high cost of the F-22's recent updates, funny that.
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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 22:47

aasm wrote:
viper12 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:If one checks in terms of serviceability, won't be surprised if the F-35 already has more flying than the Typhoon.


Done ; 4 out of 128 in Germany : https://www.dw.com/en/only-4-of-germany ... a-43611873


Same as when F-35 fleet is grounded for leaks... nothing to talk a lot about except on non specialized press...



LOL The F-35 fleet can be grounded and grounded at will.

Can Germany have their fighter fleet up and at them again with a word or are there bigger issues they're dealing with?? that even when the boss says "ok fly again" they simply don't have the ability?

You really want to compare "safety first" fleet wide groundings after a crash to systemic and years long problems of service neglect?
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