F-35A versus Saab Gripen NG

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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uroxen

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Unread post26 Dec 2020, 00:38

This is perhaps a bit late to chime in but i noticed some issues with translations of Swedish information in English which may resolve some misunderstandings about Flygsystem 2020 and the cost per flight hour.

ricnunes wrote:
madrat wrote:Before Gripes NG was revealed, the only information in the public sector pointed to FS2020. Only when Saab failed to find investment did Gripen E become the public face of the program. Saab intentionally remained vague on exactly what Gripen NG would be, but what they were revealing pointed at what FS2020 seemed to possess, not what eventually was Gripen E. In fact, they just kind of glass over the whole original NG premise, which was to be supercruising and stealth not an improvement on an already low RCS.


@madrat,

My understanding is that FS2020 and Gripen NG were/are two quite different concepts/aircraft.

The Gripen NG is in fact the Gripen E/F while the FS2020 - and like linkomart also stated - would be a bit larger and 'stealth' aircraft equipped with internal weapons bay.
Basically like this:
Image

Yes, the FS2020 would somehow be based on the Gripen - and I stated this in my previous posts - but it would be a quite different aircraft although with 'same starting point', just like and hence my analogy between the F-5 and Hornet :wink:

I'm not disputing that due to the lack of funds the FS2020 program never went ahead and as such another different, simpler and cheaper program - the Gripen NG - was selected instead. But then again it seems that FS2020 and Gripen NG are (or were to be in the case of FS2020) two very different programs although with the same origin ('baseline' Gripen).


Flygsystem 2020 was the name for R&D activities to bridge the gap between research by the commercial sector and military applications. The name of the project is derived from the scope of the project that the technologies investigated should have a technological readiness level that makes them relevant by 2020. The lack of further updates on the project is not caused by this project being extremely secret but simply because work was conducted in multiple projects focused on the 8 target areas funded by FS2020. Since then the FS2020 seems to have spawned a mythology on it's own with design sketches from the concept studies and work on model based design being interpreted as the foundational groundwork for an entire aircraft (the GFF pictures provided here can for example be found here: That picture is from the Generic Future Fighter project which was funded by Flygsystem 2020. . http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/di ... TEXT01.pdf)

The proposition funding Flygsystem2020 run by Google translate below.

Source: https://data.riksdagen.se/fil/93C6B09F- ... C75DEFF16F
Research areas
Aircraft
Background: There are currently no civically funded R&D activities within
the aviation area in Sweden that can exclusively support or replace the specific
military need in an acceptable manner. A prerequisite for being able to use
and further develop the strategic national competence, regarding design
and development of flying military vehicles, is therefore that of the Armed Forces
technology development activities can be kept at a reasonably acceptable level
economic and resource level, while making further efforts
made to strengthen the conditions for international military cooperation programs (Neuron, ETAP, LOOP, etc.) as well as civil-military "dual-use projects",
such as the already established collaboration between FMV and Vinnova concerning
the National Aeronautical Research Program (NFFP) and others similar
efforts and projects.

Results from the aeronautical technology RTD operations form the basis for one
several established long-term international collaborations, such as ETAP, GARTEUR, NEURON and some Swedish-American collaborations under the TRDP agreement (with USAF and US Navy).
Aim: To ensure an overall national excellence in flying
military vehicles (both manned and unmanned) divided into both
the defense authorities, the aviation industry concerned and universities and colleges
(U&H) and specialist consultants and companies (SME) with operations within one
or several of the aeronautical disciplines. The purpose is also to be developed
results must be able to be utilized in the future network-based Swedish and
International Defense (NBF), as well as for support to the now established international peacekeeping task forces, with Swedish participation (NBG
etc.) and that the results in terms of competence should support future upgrades
of the JAS 39 Gripen system and other relevant aviation-related projects of
national interest.

Sub-areas: Advanced technical studies and demonstrations are carried out within eight
key technical areas, taking into account the target image "flight system 2020" (FS 2020):
- Concept studies (overall), which include: system architecture, sensor architecture, weapon architecture
- Aviation technology, which includes advanced control team design
Propulsion and power supply
31
2007/08: RFR8 3 RESEARCH - MAIN ACTORS
- Integrated base aircraft systems
- Intelligent operator support (autonomous behavior)
- Protection technology, which includes: signature matching technology, ruggedness,
ABC
- Functional materials / miniaturization
- Sensor integration.
Client: The Swedish Armed Forces.
Collaboration: Saab, Volvo, FOI, KTH, Chalmers, LiTH, LundTH, ACAB,
Ångström et al.


twintiger wrote:The last time that Swedish Defense Forces specifically defined their CPFH for the Gripen was in their Annual Report from 2005:
https://www.forsvarsmakten.se/siteasset ... vuddok.pdf

Looking at the Gripen (A&C) CFPH for BY2005 it was 35,882 SEK, this equals 43,195 SEK or USD 4,970 today. This is in the same ballpark as the Jane's 2012 CPFH for the Gripen C of USD 4,700 (BY2012).
https://www.ftm.nl/upload/content/files ... 281%29.pdf

So far so good.

But then look at the breakdown of some of the other aircraft costs in the Swedish Armed Forces 2005 Annual Report - notably the JA 37 Viggen, particularly its Maintenance Costs. 679k SEK for 14 Viggen flights is only USD 78,000. As the Swedish Defense Annual Reports separately cover personnel costs, does this confirm that the CPFH for the Gripen C just includes Maintenance Assets and Fuel costs, but excludes personnel costs and other base costs?

If you apply that same criteria to the F-35A, you should only include Unit Operations and Maintenance costs from the 2020 DoD report to the US President. That would result in a current Basic CPFH for the F-35A of USD 15,429 (BY2012) compared with the Gripen of USD 4,700 (BY2012), using Jane's criteria.


It's a bit more complex than that. Viggen was being gradually retired between 199 and 2005 with 2005 being the final year of service with only a handful of flight hours by AJS-37 Viggen. If you look at older reports such as the 2002 report you see that the full cost per flighthour for JA-37 is significantly reduced as "Seen over a longer period of time has the cost per hour for JA 37 and AJS 37 drastically decreased as a result of dismantling and recovery of spare parts and replacement units used for remaining aircraft" (from the 2002 annual report: https://www.forsvarsmakten.se/siteasset ... 2/ar02.pdf). Historically the cost to operate Viggen was a around 30 000 SEK which you can see in the above link, meaning that they saved around 25 % of the cost by using consumables from aircraft being retired.
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Unread post04 Jan 2021, 21:27

The first Saab F-39E Gripen fighter arrived on a ship in the port of Navegantes, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, on 20 September. The Brazilian variant of the Gripen E/F will be used for a flight-testing campaign, Saab said on 23 September, according to a report from Flight Global.

“It will be used for the verification of Brazilian specific functionality, such as communication system and weapon integration,” says the company. “The aircraft will also be used as a common test asset for the whole Gripen E/F test program.”

The Gripen E/F test program started in 2017 in Linkoping, Sweden, and is ongoing. The “F” variant of the Gripen is a two-seat aircraft.

“Activities in Brazil will include testing of flight control system, environmental control system as well as tests in the aircraft in tropical climate conditions,” says Saab. “In addition to the testing that is common for the Gripen E program, unique features of the Brazilian aircraft, such as weapons integration as well as the Link BR2 communication system – which provides encrypted data and voice communication between the aircraft – will be tested in Brazil.”

In 2014, Brasilia ordered 36 Gripen E/F fighters, called the F-39E/F by the Brazilian air force. The deal includes in-country production of 15 examples of the aircraft, as well as a technology transfer agreement that will see more than 350 Brazilian engineers and technicians trained on the fighter.

“So far more than 230 engineers have been trained in Sweden and are already back in Brazil, most of them working at the Gripen Design and Development Network at Embraer’s plant in Gaviao Peixoto,” says Saab.

“The Brazilian and Swedish engineers there are involved in development work for the Gripen E/F, in areas such as vehicle systems, aeronautical engineering, airframe design and systems installation, system integration, avionics, human-machine interaction and communications.”

The first F-39E, which just arrived in Brazil, was built in Sweden and has been undergoing flight tests there. Saab says the F-39E program is moving forward as scheduled. The first aircraft is set to enter service with Brazilian air force in 2021.



wow 15.

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optimist

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Unread post06 Jan 2021, 13:06

Why do I think that the 15 will be mostly kits, just assembled in Brazil? Is there any info of anything substantial that will be produced in Brazil? Google is letting me down.
The difference between make and assemble from parts provided?
"Saab Aeronáutica Montagens, a new manufacturing plant located near Sao Paulo, has begun producing Gripen E/F aerostructures, including the tail cone and front fuselage for the single-seat Gripen E version of the jet. It will eventually also make the brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater “F” model, Saab stated."
https://www.defensenews.com/global/the- ... %20Tuesday.
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Unread post06 Jan 2021, 16:26

optimist wrote:Why do I think that the 15 will be mostly kits, just assembled in Brazil? Is there any info of anything substantial that will be produced in Brazil? Google is letting me down.
The difference between make and assemble from parts provided?
"Saab Aeronáutica Montagens, a new manufacturing plant located near Sao Paulo, has begun producing Gripen E/F aerostructures, including the tail cone and front fuselage for the single-seat Gripen E version of the jet. It will eventually also make the brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater “F” model, Saab stated."
https://www.defensenews.com/global/the- ... %20Tuesday.



yuuup! and that came up earlier in the thread too. the difference between "MADE in" and "ASSEMBLED in" brazil. People whohave been in this "game" for a while know the very critical difference.
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 09:50

Australia 'made' their fa-18a many years ago. Unfortunately we can't even refabricate a bracket for it. It has to be OEM from the US
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 16:49

XanderCrews wrote:yuuup! and that came up earlier in the thread too. the difference between "MADE in" and "ASSEMBLED in" brazil. People whohave been in this "game" for a while know the very critical difference.


I believe that I missed that discussion (the diference between "Made in" and "Assembled in").

However my perception is that is most cases worldwide (outside the USA, Russia, France and partially China) there's hardly any diference between "Made in" and "Assembled in" since most aircraft parts are made outside the company and the country where most of these aircraft including both military and civilian are finally assembled (or for those who prefer, "made in").

Regarding Brazil and Gripen case, if I had to caracterize then I would say that they will "assemble" and not "make/build" their Gripen fighter aircraft, this even if they will build a small percentage of the aircraft parts.
Resuming, the percentage build in Brazil is IMO too/very small compared to the overall aircraft parts which IMO means "Assembled in" and not "Made in".

I don't know if my perception is accurate enough or not but here are my 2 cents...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 18:08

optimist wrote:Why do I think that the 15 will be mostly kits, just assembled in Brazil? Is there any info of anything substantial that will be produced in Brazil? Google is letting me down.
The difference between make and assemble from parts provided?
"Saab Aeronáutica Montagens, a new manufacturing plant located near Sao Paulo, has begun producing Gripen E/F aerostructures, including the tail cone and front fuselage for the single-seat Gripen E version of the jet. It will eventually also make the brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater “F” model, Saab stated."
https://www.defensenews.com/global/the- ... %20Tuesday.


So and by looking at the following picture that I found over the web (which shows the Gripen parts that Brazil plans/expects to manufacture):
Image
whose source is this:
https://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/en/th ... ghter-jet/

And by reading the article shared by optimist, it seems that compared to what was planned Brazil will only manufacture (fuselage) parts 1- and 7- for the Gripen E while it should manufacture parts 1-, 5-, 6-, 7- and 8- for the Gripen F
So the closest thing to a Gripen manufactured in Brazil will be the Gripen F which I believe is something that here we already knew about and which will be the vast minority of all manufactured Gripen E/F (I can only imagine how much will it cost each Gripen F, knowing beforehand that each Gripen E is already expensive) and even with all that, Brazil should manufacture less than 50% of all Gripen F components.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 18:59

its nearly all structural parts on an airplane that claims it will survive entirely by avionics/electronics on a 21st century battlefield.

Brazil isn't making anything thats ground breaking or that matters, its none of the cutting edge tech like Saab and internet fans made it sound like.

the high tech 21st century speed brakes. Shornet, F-35, and F-22 don't even have speed brakes...

truly groundbreaking stuff. Gotta wonder how Brazil will parlay its speed brake manufacturing experience into tomorrows highly advanced air machine.
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 19:33

XanderCrews wrote:Brazil isn't making anything thats ground breaking or that matters, its none of the cutting edge tech like Saab and internet fans made it sound like.

the high tech 21st century speed brakes. Shornet, F-35, and F-22 don't even have speed brakes...

truly groundbreaking stuff. Gotta wonder how Brazil will parlay its speed brake manufacturing experience into tomorrows highly advanced air machine.


Exactly!

Then I eager you to imagine what's being told to the Brazilians by the Brazilian authorities, media and Embraer about how amazing this "tech transfer" and "Gripen being made in Brazil" is and how Brazil will now be able to develop their own fighter aircraft from scratch, etc... It's gold comedy!

Just to give you an idea, I have this good friend of mine which is Brazilian and as such knows that I'm a military aviation enthusiast and due to this he asked my opinion about the Brazilian Gripen deal. When I explained to him the real deal behind the Brazil/Gripen deal (such as pointing him that more than 30% of the aircraft is British, the engine is American, the radar is Italian, etc, etc...) his reaction kinda reminded me a bit when someone takes a candy from a kid :mrgreen:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 21:16

ricnunes wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:Brazil isn't making anything thats ground breaking or that matters, its none of the cutting edge tech like Saab and internet fans made it sound like.

the high tech 21st century speed brakes. Shornet, F-35, and F-22 don't even have speed brakes...

truly groundbreaking stuff. Gotta wonder how Brazil will parlay its speed brake manufacturing experience into tomorrows highly advanced air machine.


Exactly!

Then I eager you to imagine what's being told to the Brazilians by the Brazilian authorities, media and Embraer about how amazing this "tech transfer" and "Gripen being made in Brazil" is and how Brazil will now be able to develop their own fighter aircraft from scratch, etc... It's gold comedy!

Just to give you an idea, I have this good friend of mine which is Brazilian and as such knows that I'm a military aviation enthusiast and due to this he asked my opinion about the Brazilian Gripen deal. When I explained to him the real deal behind the Brazil/Gripen deal (such as pointing him that more than 30% of the aircraft is British, the engine is American, the radar is Italian, etc, etc...) his reaction kinda reminded me a bit when someone takes a candy from a kid :mrgreen:



:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Unread post07 Jan 2021, 22:10

Ok everyone, I wanted to post the much talked about and debated CPFH. I'm going to post sources and the year they were made. I know that some of these have been posted throughout the thread I wanted to condense them in one post. I ask and encourage anyone with any other data to please contribute it. Preferably with a link and other such references. These are in no particular order, its a list of what I have encountered the last decade+.

The world famous Janes study:

Image

$4700, 2012

$6,300-7,800, 2017

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/south-a ... -poachers/

Operational costs estimates have also witnessed significant escalation. In 2010, company representatives stated the Gripen NG’s per flying hour cost would be around US $5,000. Yet Saab has now increased this to US$10,000, and the Swiss military has estimated their costs at approximately US$21,000. , 2013

https://skiesmag.com/news/18883-fighter ... ipen-html/

The life-cycle costs of the Gripen compare very favorably with other fighters, according to Kemp. “At $3,500 to $4,000 per hour, our operating cost is about half that of an F-16,” he added. The Eurofighter, he insisted, costs “much more” to operate. , 2006

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... g-exercise

The draft also includes the operating costs: CHF 102 million per year (CHF 6 million included for the operation of real estate). The operating costs per hour are not explicitly mentioned in the template. Taking into account the listed annual costs for personnel (24 million), maintenance (51 million) and fuel (21 million), these are significantly more than Saab presented to journalists in previous presentations. Switzerland bases the calculation of the operating costs per hour on a flight operating time of 180 hours per year. With 22 gripen this results in costs of 24'242 francs per flight hour. On the occasion of a presentation in Sweden, Saab stated a price of less than CHF 10,000. There is still a need for explanation here. = $26,000, 2012

https://www.bernerzeitung.ch/schweiz/st ... y/18471087

sadly this one is behind a paywall.

Total financial expenses in accordance with the submitted draft contract after conversion to
ensure the 10-year operation of aircraft F-16 Block 70/72 is about the same as the total cost of providing
10 years of operation of aircraft JAS-39C/D.

Not CPFH, per se. Slovakia report:

https://rokovania.gov.sk/RPO/Material/1702/1



Fun fact, when the infamous janes study was published in 2012 that claimed the F-16 was $7,000 the USAF said in official documents the F-16 was $22,000 the next year... I highly doubt any of the aircraft rates on that chart are accurate at all. (but most already know this now)
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Unread post08 Jan 2021, 10:54

That Janes study is like comparing apples to pears and bananas. For Gripen they took into account only fuel costs and lubricants and some other very minor work to fly just one hour. Then for F-35 (and Super Hornet) they took whole lifetime operating costs divided by total number of flight hours. For Rafale and Eurofighter they got something in between. That way you could say that Ferrari costs a lot less to drive than Toyota Corolla. Just compare cost of fuel to drive one gentle hour in Ferrari and whole lifetime costs to drive Toyota Corolla (including all the services, tires, taxes, fixes, washing, loan costs, insurance).

Anyway, there seems to be enough evidence that F-35 and Saab Gripen E are not that far apart in acquisition or operating costs. I think Gripen is slightly (less than 25%) cheaper, but it's also so much less capable aircraft that it doesn't mean almost anything. A lot depends on what kind of missions and threat environment they are meant to be used. A simple air policing missions for a small nation is very different than going against modern IADS and 4th+ gen or even 5th gen fighters far away from home. For the latter Gripen would need a lot of additional stuff (targeting pods, EFTs, support jamming equipment, decoy missiles, long range cruise missiles) which F-35 doesn't really need or has far less need. There I think F-35 might well be cheaper and immensely more capable. For air policing I can see Gripen being cheaper and probably good enough (but so would be F-16 or even FA-50 or M-346FA).
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Unread post08 Jan 2021, 11:39

If it's going to compete in the air policing, drug interdiction, light attack jet aircraft market for small nations. It has some competition. It didn't make the top 8 jets and 2 props on this 'Top Ten' list.
https://www.airforce-technology.com/fea ... -aircraft/
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Unread post08 Jan 2021, 16:54

optimist wrote:If it's going to compete in the air policing, drug interdiction, light attack jet aircraft market for small nations. It has some competition. It didn't make the top 8 jets and 2 props on this 'Top Ten' list.
https://www.airforce-technology.com/fea ... -aircraft/



its kind of like how South Africa just uses Hawks now. the Gripen is a bit of a "bastard" its "too light for big boys and too heavy for the little guys." so I'm not surprised.

that price tag is enormous for someone who can instead go for a weaponized trainer.
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Unread post08 Jan 2021, 23:19

Or go for used F-16s if someone (some country) wants something "big enough" but for a fraction of the Gripen's cost. :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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