F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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kimjongnumbaun

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Unread post11 May 2021, 04:41

Fox1 wrote:I always thought the little Gripen would make for an outstanding trainer or for DACT if it was a bit cheaper. It is basically a European F-20 Tigershark. But this thing is no competition to the F-35. Hell, it can't even compete with the latest models of the F-16.



That's been blown out of the water after the Canadian aggressor squadron chose the F-16 instead.
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ricnunes

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Unread post11 May 2021, 11:03

Fox1 wrote:I always thought the little Gripen would make for an outstanding trainer or for DACT if it was a bit cheaper.


Here, I fixed it for you:
"I always thought the little Gripen would make for an outstanding trainer or for DACT if it was much cheaper."

With an acquisition cost per unit higher than the F-35A that would be one hell of an expensive aircraft for DACT roles!

Better of with used F-16s (like Kim mentioned above) or if someone wants a more modern aircraft for DACT than something like a T-7 Red Hawk would probably be a far better (economical) and logical choice.


Fox1 wrote:It is basically a European F-20 Tigershark.


I don't know how much would a F-20 Tigershark cost back then specially compared with other front line fighter aircraft if it ended up entering in service but using your analogy above something tells me that the Gripen would be a "very expensive European F-20 Tigershark".


Fox1 wrote:But this thing is no competition to the F-35. Hell, it can't even compete with the latest models of the F-16.


I fully agree with you above!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post11 May 2021, 12:13

ricnunes wrote:
Fox1 wrote:It is basically a European F-20 Tigershark.


I don't know how much would a F-20 Tigershark cost back then specially compared with other front line fighter aircraft if it ended up entering in service but using your analogy above something tells me that the Gripen would be a "very expensive European F-20 Tigershark".


I know F-20 cost projections were very favourable, but I think those were too optimistic, just like with Gripen. Both have similar weak points, basically payload and range compared to competitors. That's a deal-breaker for many users when other solutions offer better performance at about similar costs. Since most of the costs of modern aircraft come from avionics, small size does not lower acquisition costs that much. It doesn't do that much for operating costs either since much of those costs are not directly related to aircraft size (personnel costs for example). I think F-20 would've had similar cost issues as Gripen has had. It would've been a good aircraft and cheaper than competitors, but not substantially so, while having significantly lower payload and range/endurance.
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madrat

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Unread post11 May 2021, 13:10

F-20A was a fairies tale that had way too much marketing and no actual customer. It should have at least been given a token DACT order for the services, 2-3 dozen at least. I'm not so sure they shouldn't have tried to push less about top end speed and focused on a more fuel mizer engine. There is no denying the Northrop ideas for integrated maintenance panels and ease of maintenance impacted the ecosystem.

Israel F-21A was purchased around the same timeframe. Money was there to spend.
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mixelflick

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Unread post11 May 2021, 15:33

madrat wrote:F-20A was a fairies tale that had way too much marketing and no actual customer. It should have at least been given a token DACT order for the services, 2-3 dozen at least. I'm not so sure they shouldn't have tried to push less about top end speed and focused on a more fuel mizer engine. There is no denying the Northrop ideas for integrated maintenance panels and ease of maintenance impacted the ecosystem.

Israel F-21A was purchased around the same timeframe. Money was there to spend.


I think you're right, but wasn't the F-404 used already pretty stingy on fuel consumption? Was there another engine during that time with similar power but with a lower fuel consumption?

The F-404's power (especially given its size) still astounds me. Stand at the tail end of an F-15 or 16 and observe the size of the F-100/F-110, then do the same at the back of an F-18. Holy smokes, the F-404 looks like a toy. Yet the latest iterations reportedly put out up to 26,000lbs of thrust!?

Crazy..
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ricnunes

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Unread post11 May 2021, 17:30

hornetfinn wrote:I know F-20 cost projections were very favourable, but I think those were too optimistic, just like with Gripen. Both have similar weak points, basically payload and range compared to competitors. That's a deal-breaker for many users when other solutions offer better performance at about similar costs. Since most of the costs of modern aircraft come from avionics, small size does not lower acquisition costs that much. It doesn't do that much for operating costs either since much of those costs are not directly related to aircraft size (personnel costs for example). I think F-20 would've had similar cost issues as Gripen has had. It would've been a good aircraft and cheaper than competitors, but not substantially so, while having significantly lower payload and range/endurance.


I fully agree. Afterall more F-16s were procured (worldwide) instead of the F-20!


madrat wrote:F-20A was a fairies tale that had way too much marketing and no actual customer.


I agree with the above as well. The "fairy tale that has way too much marketing" thing reminds me of something that starts with a 'Gri' and ends with a 'pen' :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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wrightwing

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Unread post12 May 2021, 01:04

The F-20 would've made for a heckuva adversary aircraft, but that's about it.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post12 May 2021, 05:14

wrightwing wrote:The F-20 would've made for a heckuva adversary aircraft, but that's about it.



Honestly, to really exploit the power of the GE F404. The F-5G/F-20 would have needed a new and larger wing.........


Yet, in the end you would have something very similar to the existing F-16. Which, made the whole endeavor really moot. :?
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steve2267

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Unread post12 May 2021, 06:55

The aero guys @ Northrop were no slouches. If it needed a bigger wing, ya think they woulda stuck one on there? Perhaps the existing structure / fuselage size & layout precluded a bigger wing. Gums has spoken very highly of the F-20. He would seem to disagree with many that dismiss it out of hand.
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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Corsair1963

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Unread post12 May 2021, 10:08

steve2267 wrote:The aero guys @ Northrop were no slouches. If it needed a bigger wing, ya think they woulda stuck one on there? Perhaps the existing structure / fuselage size & layout precluded a bigger wing. Gums has spoken very highly of the F-20. He would seem to disagree with many that dismiss it out of hand.



It's my understanding they did plan on a bigger wing for the production version. As the standard F-5 wing was not adequate to really exploit the added performance of the F404. Yet, it was canceled well before it got to that stage....


As a matter of fact the smaller F-5 wing was a big handicap to the F-20. Especially, when compared to the F-16..... 8)


Yet, clearly Gums knows more about the subject than most here.....(if not all)
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Unread post12 May 2021, 11:15

wrightwing wrote:The F-20 would've made for a heckuva adversary aircraft, but that's about it.


I think it would've also been pretty good short-range interceptor for smaller countries as it had very fast scramble time (laser INS), good radar and avionics in general plus AIM-7 capability. Problem was that F-16 was superior attack platform and naturally it was much more suitable for USAF needs. Of course all the bells and whistles in F-20 could easily be installed on F-16 and that definitely happened pretty quickly with later block F-16s. F-20 would've worked pretty well for many countries, but F-16 was better overall, had higher upgrade potential and wasn't significantly more expensive. No wonder why it prevailed over F-20 even though F-20 had some strong points. Very similar to Gripen A-D vs competitors.

F-35A has similar advantages over Saab Gripen E, although even more pronounced. It's like nearly invisible F-15E being compared to F-20 with that F-15E also having similar costs.
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ricnunes

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Unread post12 May 2021, 14:02

steve2267 wrote:Gums has spoken very highly of the F-20. He would seem to disagree with many that dismiss it out of hand.


I don't know if with that "many" you're including me or not but from my part I didn't dismiss it [F-20] out of hand.
What I did was to say that the F-16 was superior while costing only a little bit more (and I would say that there's a chance that it may have not been more expensive at all) which means that the F-20 was redundant (and thus canceled).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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basher54321

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Unread post12 May 2021, 17:50

As the F-5G it probably would have done well on the FMS market under the original Carter policy - but when Reagan allowed the F-16A to be exported the F-5G/F-20A looked like a dead duck without any significant political support.

Bypassing that the F-16 was in production, operational, with logistics chains, economies of scale on its side, and mounting numbers of customers. A requirement for some of the FMS customers seemed to be the prestige of flying what the USAF were flying!

The USAF had already had the LWF foisted on them so can imagine how popular a lightweight F-20 was at the time, especially with Sprey and the Reformers backing it. :doh:

Gums was impressed by the Human interface in the cockpit - the radar also had more modes like TWS that the F-16A didn't have at the time - although the radar antenna was tiny so range maybe an issue in the 3 jets that existed.

F-20s competed against the F-16N for an aggressor role in the USN to simulate MiG-29s - but looks as though GD might have offered the F-16 at the same unit cost as the F-20.

The 4th unfinished F-20 supposedly had some major changes to deal with the ADF requirement around 1986 where it was competing against the F-16C - but in the end they ditched the whole thing and modified operational F-16A Block 15s instead which the first was ready in 1989. No idea how many years it would have taken F-20 to get operational considering any number of outstanding issues that needed to be sorted out.
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Unread post12 May 2021, 21:25

Back of the napkin:

F-16A Block 10 (?), no external tanks or armament, with 50% internal fuel:
T/W: 1.20
Wing loading: 66 lb/ft^2

F-16C Block 50, no external tanks or armament, with 50% internal fuel:
T/W: 1.32
Wing loading: 75 lb/ft^2

F-20A, no external tanks, with 50% internal fuel:
T/W: 1.23
Wing loading: 77 lb/ft^2

Yeah, a bigger wing is going to do loads of good for the Tigershark.

(Might improve wing loading slightly, but at expense of increased weight, drag, and potentially screwing up the area ruling.)
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 May 2021, 23:19

go4long wrote:So it is appearing that Saab has once again lost out on a Gripen sale that everyone thought was a slam dunk in Argentina.


They didn't realize there's an arms embargo that made it a foregone conclusion the entire time?

You're not going to spoil the end to world war II are you? I think Japan's got this one in the bag...

LOL Slam dunk.

But of course, the Saab fanboys on BF4C say that it is a sign of how good the Gripen is that the UK blocked the sale because they didn't want Argentina to have it. Of course, if it was so good you would think they would...buy some? but no, just blocking the sale is a sign of the overwhelming success of the Gripen in the BF4C Gripen Fan Boy's eyes...oi


F/A-50 must be just as amazing then as well :mrgreen:


Janes:

30 OCTOBER 2020

UK bars South Korea from selling FA-50 to Argentina
by Gareth Jennings

The United Kingdom has effectively barred the sale of the FA-50 Fighting Eagle to Argentina, with the South Korean manufacturer informing the South American nation that it is unable to supply the light fighter and strike jet with its British-made parts.

The South Korean FA-50 has fallen foul of a UK arms embargo on Argentina, with its manufacturer informing the South American nation that the aircraft’s British made parts mean it cannot be sold as requested. (KAI)
The South Korean FA-50 has fallen foul of a UK arms embargo on Argentina, with its manufacturer informing the South American nation that the aircraft’s British made parts mean it cannot be sold as requested. (KAI)

In a letter dated 28 October, a senior official at Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) told Argentina’s ambassador to the Republic of Korea that the FA-50 cannot be exported due to the UK government’s arms embargo on the country. As KAI Senior Manager and Chief, International Business Strategy Department, Martin Chun, noted in his letter to Ambassador Alfredo Carlos Bascou, the FA-50 includes six major components that are sourced from the UK.

“It is our regret to inform you that the UK export license issue is not resolved to date. Although KAI did not yet find a solution, KAI is making a reasonable endeavour to resolve this UK E/L [export licence] issue,” the letter posted online said. KAI had not responded to a request for confirmation by the time of publication, while an Argentine source familiar with the procurement told Janes he believed the letter to be genuine


Has nothing to do with the Gripen's performance, and everything to do with an arms embargo, though I know theyll never believe such a thing. there are long lists of things that the UK will not authorize for argentina, having nothing to do with Gripen performance or lack thereof.

In typical Gripen fan boy fashion, striking out is the same thing as a homerun. in terms of theoritical sales Gripen NG/E has always been spectacular, its that pesky reality thats the problem, which is why most of them never touch the stuff.

go4long wrote:
magitsu wrote:This is an interesting tangent.

Apparently Gripen doesn't quite yet satisfy the HX (Finnish) requirements. So today [edit: actally 15 Apr, so next thursday] the Swedish government supposedly signed a conditional investment plan, which would co-fund the needed development should Finland pick Gripen.


Interesting parallels to draw here on the Canadian 2/5 eyes problem. Basically saying that they know they can't do it now, but if you'll just buy it they'll do it later...or just let you do it later.
[/quote]

Saab/Sweden are not eyes nations thus are not even allowed or authorized to add it the 2/5 eyes feature to any Gripen's Canada purchases-- only Canada can do that. Which means they're going to have to be custom built in house to do thing that F-18E/Fs and F-35s come with straight from the factory, and even then they'll come up short especially short of F-35 but even Super Hornet surpasses Gripen E.

Its truly spellbinding how bad Gripen E has fallen short of expectations for those of us who remember what they were, and/ordon't hand-waive all the shortcomings. its a gen 4.5 fighter that still isn't in service. breathtaking


Regarding the last posts about F-20 and F-16, I'll say it again "F-16s are really hard to beat" that's been a fact for decades and continues to this day.
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