Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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talkitron

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Unread post15 May 2018, 14:02

loke wrote:Wrong -- the main reason why those rich ME countries are buying Typhoon/Rafale is because they want to have equipment from both Europe and the US.

Also wrong from another perspective -- the reason why F-15/SH are being sold in the ME and not F-35 is not because there is a lack of "acknowledged superiority" but simply because Israel and the Jewish lobby in the US are blocking sales of F-35 to ME countries (apart from Israel itself of course). Had the ME countries been allowed to buy F-35 then they would have done so, instead of F-15/SH. They may still have bought Rafale/Typhoon in addition of course (see paragraph above).


I didn’t state what you say twice is “wrong”. Indeed I agree with your claims.
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lrrpf52

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Unread post15 May 2018, 22:56

f4u7_corsair wrote:
frequently violates Finnish air space

Once last year.

There are undetected overflights the Russians have run doing low-level reconnaissance in central Finland.

Pure fantasy...

an impressive AWACS and systems air defense network that has never existed for the Baltic region before

If you exclude Swedish, NATO and US assets (which are all close Finland partners), then yes, of course.
Finnish ground-based radar coverage is actually surprisingly good.

They also have the country populated with Russian ex-pats (...)

Russian influence operations is something acknowledged and certainly dealt with.

Sounds like you mixed Tom Clancy with a bit too much of the wrong kind of medication. You're describing a near-state of war. Russia is no innocent, but the situation is far more normalized than what you seem to believe.

I've seen a Russian low-level flight with my own eyes out on a lake near Joutsa in the summer of 2010.

By the way, my family is Finnish, grandfather and great uncles fought the Russians in Talvisota, Continuation War, and I've spent many years working with the Finns and other coalition partners in the Baltic since 2005. My oldest son just did his Finnish Army service last year as well.

Unless Finnish Air Force F/A-18s sprouted F-14 style engine nacelles and intakes from side profile, with huge radomes and tall vertical stabs doing nap of the earth, there's no way it was a FiAF F-18. There's a huge difference in the side profile of a Hornet and a Flanker, and I've been doing aircraft recognition since the 1970s.

A single fighter has never had the AWACS capability that the F-35 does, so that is what I was referring to regarding unprecedented regional SA for the Finnish Air Force, not US and Swedish Air Force assets that aren't OPCON to FiAF.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post16 May 2018, 01:26

loke wrote:As said before, the F-35 is such a much better deal than the others that there will be no excitement.

I am struggling to see why Dassault and Eurofighter bother to participate. They are both more expensive and less capable, in particular the Typhoon has many weak points. Why would anybody pay more to get less (unless there is a political angle)

I am also not sure why Boeing is bothering with this. Roughly the same cost but much less capable.

The only thing that can prevent F-35 from winning would be some very surprising political development over the next few years, that would compell Finland to buy European instead of US. For instance if Trump is pulling the US out of Europe/NATO, and the EU responds with creating their own defence alliance. Perhaps then the pressure from Brussels would become too big for Finland to ignore.

Otherwise, I do not see this happening.


I think after a few more sales of the F-35. The writing will pretty much be on the wall and the fighter market for 4.5 Generation Fighters will quickly tank! :shock:
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bojack_horseman

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Unread post16 May 2018, 01:36

loke wrote:For instance if Trump is pulling the US out of Europe/NATO, and the EU responds with creating their own defence alliance


The EU formerly became a military alliance in December 2009.

I doubt Finland's membership of this makes any difference in its defence procurement.
It hasn't thus far in the last decade
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magitsu

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Unread post16 May 2018, 07:52

lrrpf52 wrote:I've seen a Russian low-level flight with my own eyes out on a lake near Joutsa in the summer of 2010.

Probably flight to an air show in Tampere. Makes zero sense otherwise.
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loke

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Unread post16 May 2018, 08:12

bojack_horseman wrote:
loke wrote:For instance if Trump is pulling the US out of Europe/NATO, and the EU responds with creating their own defence alliance


The EU formerly became a military alliance in December 2009.

Sure but it is pretty worthless in that it does not really intimidate Russia.
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f4u7_corsair

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Unread post16 May 2018, 09:25

magitsu wrote:
lrrpf52 wrote:I've seen a Russian low-level flight with my own eyes out on a lake near Joutsa in the summer of 2010.

Probably flight to an air show in Tampere. Makes zero sense otherwise.

Pretty much ; I know a Flanker is recognizable and I don't question your ID skills. But considering this was a reconnaissance penetration flight is frankly hair stretched. Makes even less sense considering Joutsa is 40-ish nm away from Tikkakoski and its C2 assets. There also was LLv 21 at Pirkkala at the time... You can be certain such a flight would have created a big fuss.

There was an airshow in Pirkkala in July or August 2010, by the way.

A single fighter has never had the AWACS capability that the F-35 does, so that is what I was referring to regarding unprecedented regional SA for the Finnish Air Force, not US and Swedish Air Force assets that aren't OPCON to FiAF.

F-35 has a quite remarkable SA bubble, but it cannot substitute an AWACS, come on..
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loke

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Unread post16 May 2018, 10:09

f4u7_corsair wrote:
A single fighter has never had the AWACS capability that the F-35 does, so that is what I was referring to regarding unprecedented regional SA for the Finnish Air Force, not US and Swedish Air Force assets that aren't OPCON to FiAF.

F-35 has a quite remarkable SA bubble, but it cannot substitute an AWACS, come on..

Some of those who have flown it has actually referred to it as a "mini AWACS"...

It cannot substitute an AWACS but not all countries can afford an AWACS!
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magitsu

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Unread post16 May 2018, 14:51

Finland can't afford even a tanker.
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ricnunes

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Unread post16 May 2018, 15:43

loke wrote:
f4u7_corsair wrote:
A single fighter has never had the AWACS capability that the F-35 does, so that is what I was referring to regarding unprecedented regional SA for the Finnish Air Force, not US and Swedish Air Force assets that aren't OPCON to FiAF.

F-35 has a quite remarkable SA bubble, but it cannot substitute an AWACS, come on..

Some of those who have flown it has actually referred to it as a "mini AWACS"...

It cannot substitute an AWACS but not all countries can afford an AWACS!


I fully agree with you loke! For example how many NATO countries have their own AWACS? (this is a rhetoric question, BTW)

Or resuming, the F-35 will significantly bolster "AWACS capabilities" for those (most) countries that don't have their own dedicated AWACS aircraft.
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lrrpf52

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Unread post16 May 2018, 17:04

magitsu wrote:
lrrpf52 wrote:I've seen a Russian low-level flight with my own eyes out on a lake near Joutsa in the summer of 2010.

Probably flight to an air show in Tampere. Makes zero sense otherwise.

I can't find any evidence of either MiG-29 or Su-27/Su-30 flight demos in Finland in either summer of 2010 or summer of 2012. I checked Tampere-Pirkkala Air Show, Kauhava (family is from this area), and Jämijärvi.

In 2010, Tampere-Pirkkala had F-16C50s from Spangdahlem, a Tornado, KC-135R, FiAF F-18 demo, Midnight Hawks. There may have been a MiG or Sukhoi there, but I can so far find no evidence of that.

https://www.milavia.net/airshows/calend ... pe-FI.html

Same for 2012. On the Milavia website that lists featured aircraft and covers air shows, there is no mention of any Russian fighters in Finnish air shows for both 2010 and 2012, but it does mention airshows that did have Su-30MK, none of which were in Finland.

https://www.milavia.net/airshows/calend ... urope.html

I'm not saying definitively that there was no Russian MiG or Sukhoi for a static or flight demo in the summer of 2010 or 2012, but I don't recall any mention of this in the news at the time, or talk of it among aviation buff circles, or my FiAF buddies. It may very well have been, but that would still bring into question the use of Nap Of Earth egress. This thing was trucking along headed due East at no more than 200ft AGL.

What I noticed was that after the Georgian invasion in 2008, things started to cool down regarding European-Russian relations. I was working with the Estonian Defense Forces when that happened, along with partners from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for the Erna Raid exercise. ChiComs were there too with their new digital camo uniforms, and even they got the cold shoulder treatment from everyone at Erna.

Either way, Finnish Air Defense isn't going to report every penetration of their airspace in the open, especially if it's NOE. They aren't going to do anything about it because they have restrictive ROE, dictated by a parliament filled mostly with peaceniks. World War II devastated the prime age male population of not only Germany and other European nations, but Finland as well. The national culture changed dramatically towards weaker people with poor decision-making skills, as evidenced by many decisions of Finnish parliament since that time.

Roll the interviews with Finnish Finance Minister and Parliament during the Greek bail-outs if you want an example of complete incompetence, or the lackluster reign of Tarja Halonen, or anything Alexander Stubb touched. It reminds me a lot of 1930s Europe where nobody wanted to admit or face the reality of the rise of Hitler, and the betas gathered round to make each other feel good and reassure themselves that all would be peaceful moving forward.

If you think US Presidential elections are bad, you haven't seen the Finnish process. The level of amateurishness and incompetence was so strikingly insane, that it exceeded the comical in 2012. The coverage on YLE with an initial 8 candidates looked like a low income high school comedy hour, it was so embarrassing. They asked the candidates to write down on provided notepads what their first 6 actions would be if they were to win the presidency.

Answers ranged from taking Zumba classes to swimming their normal swim routine in the harbor and eating doughnuts, to some political double-speak from Niinistö. Timo Soini was the only one who made any sense, saying he would first go around to all the military and thank them for their service, find out what they needed, then go thank the voters for their confidence in him. I've never seen anything like it in a presidential election, it was so crazy.
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lrrpf52

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Unread post16 May 2018, 17:14

magitsu wrote:Finland can't afford even a tanker.

Aerial refueling doesn't make much sense for FiAF, as the border is so close and their main mission is air defense.

They aren't forward-deploying squadrons of F/A-18s to prosecute CAP or strike sorties as part of a US-led coalition in some cesspool.

Image

There's a lot of loiter time even for a Hornet, since most take-off locations are within 90nm of the Russian border.

F-35B would make a lot of sense for them with STOVL, since they regularly launch and recover Hornets off the highways. I've seen it firsthand several times. You would no longer need the widened highway maintenance requirements currently being sustained, which are satellite image giveaways for likely launch/recovery locations.

With STOVL, you could park in remote barns and launch from very camouflaged locations. Biggest obstacle is initial cost to purchase F-35B versus F-35A.
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magitsu

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Unread post16 May 2018, 17:17

lrrpf52 wrote:Either way, Finnish Air Defense isn't going to report every penetration of their airspace in the open, especially if it's NOE.

Nope. They have a practice of reporting exactly every airspace violation in public.

Yes, air refueling would be a luxury. Now the capability is maintained for international practices and Nato compatibility (NEL) since AF unit is occasionally allocated to JEF and other international response duties.

Last week two Hornets came back from USA after almost a year there for JASSM integration and test launches. They used Omega Tanker, which is a private company that offers air refueling services.

Affording to maintain F-35Bs could be trickier problem than buying them. There's quite a big push to get "64" since the whole country is meant to be defended, at least officially.
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sunstersun

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Unread post17 May 2018, 21:44

If the Gripen loses in Finland, that plane is toast.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post18 May 2018, 07:15

magitsu wrote:
lrrpf52 wrote:Either way, Finnish Air Defense isn't going to report every penetration of their airspace in the open, especially if it's NOE.

Nope. They have a practice of reporting exactly every airspace violation in public.


Exactly. Besides Finland was then already filled with cameras and a lot of people would recognize a Sukhoi or MiG and would also know that NOE flying was something very much out of the ordinary. There is just no way this kind of activity would stay secret in Finland.
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