Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 08:54

magitsu wrote:Yeah, it's humorous to think about this:
Saab was happy to go into some detail about how they envision missions to be flown, illustrating with a typical high-end SEAD/DEAD mission against S-400 batteries where the aim was to take out two 92N6E “Grave Stone” radars. The batteries where in turn protected by a number of other ground-based air defence systems, including a Nebo-M (no doubt chosen for the express purpose of raising questions about the viability of the F-35 in the same scenario), Pantsirs, and a pop-up Buk-M1-2 (or M2, just the ‘SA-17’ designation was shown). In addition two pairs of Su-35s were flying CAP under the guiding eye of an A-100. The approach for this mission was rather straightforward. Two Gripens did a hook to the north where they feigned an attack through using the EAJP EW-pods and swarms of LADM cruising around presenting jamming and false targets, thereby drawing two Su-35s north.

When we know about Saab's / Swedish Air Force's amount of experience in SEAD/DEAD. 100% simulator based. :mrgreen:


Their scenario definitely raised my eyebrows with how they predict it would go.

At the same time the main striking force consisting of a four-ship Gripen with 7 Meteors and 2 IRIS-T on each acting as fighter escort and two additional Gripens doing the actual strikes with six SPEAR and six LADM each (plus pairs of Meteors and IRIS-T for self-defence) headed east towards the target. With the LADM and the internal EW-systems providing jamming and the escorting Gripens dealing with the fighters (of which one pair was out of position, as you might remember), the strike pair launches their full dozen of SPEARs which, together with escorting LADMs, go out and hunt down the two radars. Not even the pop-up Buk appearing behind the strike aircraft can ruin the day.


So why were there only 4 Russian jets in the whole area and why didn't the they launch additional aircraft in that case to deal with such an attack? If there was such long range radar systems, they likely had at least half an hour to do that during the attack before those two radars were destroyed. They could've also chased the Gripens after the attack even if they couldn't stop the attack on the S-400 radars.

Another thing is that somehow the Russian systems and users were totally unable to deal with false target generation. It's not exactly a new invention and there are a lot of ways to counter the effects. There are several ECCM strategies to counter DRFM false target generation and other DRFM techniques in the radars. Saab is clearly putting all the faith in their EW systems to be able to simultaneously counter every single radar in the combat area. Somehow I find that hard to believe in such a complex situation against so powerful systems. They'd also have to be able to constantly update their systems to be smarter than Russian radars. A new GaN AESA radar would just laugh at DRFM signals which would totally confuse 1990s PESA radars.

Also why didn't the Russian systems have any kind of sensor fusion system or at least be able to correlate tracks from multiple radars? That'd instantly give a lot of ability to counter false targets even if all the radars were fed such false targets. It'd be really difficult to feed every radar similar false targets that would confuse sensor fusion system if the fusion systems takes into account the possibility of false targets. I'd think that such large systems would already have sensor fusion system, at least a fairly simple track correlation type.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 12:39

Not even the pop-up Buk appearing behind the strike aircraft can ruin the day.


Now I really wonder how that was simulated? Was the Buk out of range or did it not use optical/thermal sight for identificationa and to counter EW (or could it not for some reason like weather)? Could the Gripen self-protection systems really counter SA-17 popping up behind it and fairly close? I'd say that SA-17 popping up behind any 4th gen fighter aircraft would give serious fits no matter what the EW and self-protection capabilities are.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 15:00

Some very interesting interview videos with Lt. Col Martin "Tintin" Tesli of Norwegian Air Force can be found here:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLO3-t4nT9qWelIUUMYn2xwhjoPfu-WDad


and
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steve2267

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 15:09

In the simulations the finned hornet refers to above... the Russian missileers discounted all the false targets as ghosts, and were holding their forces in reserve as they were more concerned with the Norwegian, Polish, Danish and Dutch Lightnings streaking in undetected.
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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go4long

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 15:24

steve2267 wrote:In the simulations the finned hornet refers to above... the Russian missileers discounted all the false targets as ghosts, and were holding their forces in reserve as they were more concerned with the Norwegian, Polish, Danish and Dutch Lightnings streaking in undetected.


"Just let them run out of fuel while we worry about targets that we can't see."
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hythelday

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Unread post25 Nov 2021, 17:22

hornetfinn wrote:
Not even the pop-up Buk appearing behind the strike aircraft can ruin the day.


Now I really wonder how that was simulated? Was the Buk out of range or did it not use optical/thermal sight for identificationa and to counter EW (or could it not for some reason like weather)? Could the Gripen self-protection systems really counter SA-17 popping up behind it and fairly close? I'd say that SA-17 popping up behind any 4th gen fighter aircraft would give serious fits no matter what the EW and self-protection capabilities are.


I sure hope they showcased this neat trick to the Finnish Air Force too. Along with the "black belt in killing Flankers".
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magitsu

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Unread post27 Nov 2021, 17:49

Frisk tries his best to see how Super Hornet could still be relevant:
https://corporalfrisk.com/2021/11/27/th ... ed-to-die/

Michael Paul of Raytheon Intelligence & Space part was interesting. Boeing's & Frisk's lede of "increased interest in Europe" was a bit too far fetched for me. But I guess we can play along since the HX final line is already in sight. The more meaningful open questions/risks of the Boeing package are clearly in the tail end of the life cycle, not what's happening right now. Though it's a bit ominous for them that the start date for HX isn't even today but 25 or better yet 2030 when the deliveries conclude. It would'be been a great deal 10 years ago with or without Growler, which Paul and many others guess perhaps wouldn't have been possible then for Finland.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 10:43

I've been thinking really hard how F-35 could possibly lose the Finnish competition. I think only way for that to happen would be that LM does something really stupid or even criminal. What do others do that F-35 doesn't can't do way better? Only things that pop to my mind could be:

Boeing: Growler does have more comprehensive EW coverage than F-35. Problem is that it doens't help that much with non-VLO Super Hornet.

Saab: Possibly offers more weapons and does offer those two GlobalEyes. Problem is that only two GlobalEyes are very vulnerable and otherwise Gripen has way less capable sensors and thus SA than F-35. Being non-VLO means that they can't even get close to enemy without being seriously threatened.

EF Typhoon: Possibly slightly better raw performance in air-to-air configuration. Meteor and new radar might give better reach. Problem is survivability without VLO stealth. Seriously less capable in all other missions and expensive.

Rafale: Can't really think of anything special. It's good and capable 4++ gen fighter and might actually be better than other 4th gens in the competition but doesn't really have any special strengths that might help against F-35.
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magitsu

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 11:12

Arrogance is probably among the rare possibilities, since previously General Dynamics' F-16 failing in industrials and not meeting the technical spec fully looked a bit like that.

Offering 64 and current Hornet level flight hours should mean that in military performance there's little chance to lose.

Even the qualifying ladders look like that there would be extreme reluctance for Finland to disqualify anyone. For example it didn't happen with Gripen unlike in Switzerland. Doing so at the last minute after years of negotiations would probably require the tenderer going intentionally against the previous advice given.
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loke

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 12:11

Three things that could stop F-35 from winning:

1. LM or other main F-35 suppliers are involved in something either highly criminal or with some massive negative political repercussions.

2. Meteoric strikes knock out a significant number of F-35 production sites (there are many of those!)

3. A coup in the US leading to a dramatic change in the political situation. The US pulls out of Europe and voids defense agreements with European countries including Finland; the US devolves into a civil war like situation, causing severe supply chain disruptions.

All scenarios above are highly unlikely, at least on timescales relevant for the Finnish decision.
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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 15:43

All except that last one, obviously.
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hkultala

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 16:25

loke wrote:Three things that could stop F-35 from winning:
3. A coup in the US leading to a dramatic change in the political situation. The US pulls out of Europe and voids defense agreements with European countries including Finland; the US devolves into a civil war like situation, causing severe supply chain disruptions.


What defence agreements are you talking about?

Finland is not member of NATO.
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magitsu

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 16:30

Most interesting:
According to Lieutenant Colonel Per Erik Sørgaard, head of ØRLAND's F-35 service center, the fighter's global maintenance system is costing all users.

- The costs of the system are divided according to how many planes the user has and how many hours they fly. There are some other rules for sharing costs, Sørgaard says.

According to the maintenance manager, the maintenance system gives Norway predictability in costs, but at the same time it reduces the flexibility of use. Due to the system, the Norwegian Air Force's operational F-35 fleets have to plan the use of their aircraft in advance, usually every two years.

- We do not want to order more flight hours than we can use, as this would increase the costs of the system in accordance with the cooperative principle. The plans need to be realistic, Sørgaard says.

The implications aren't all positive...

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF ONE FLIGHT HOUR? It can be calculated in many ways. The lowest figure is obtained by calculating only the price of fuel and spare parts in the cost per flight hour.

The Norwegian Air Force has ended up with a figure that many competitors consider far too low to be true.

- I would say that the latest calculation is NOK 110,000 per flight hour, says Lieutenant Colonel Sørgaard.

At the current exchange rate of the Norwegian krone, the hourly rate would therefore be around EUR 10920 ($12,15k).

- It is a rather narrow calculation, which includes maintenance, labor and fuel costs. If you compare the price per flight hour to the F-16, the figures are close, Sørgaard says.

According to Frank Knutsen, the NOK 110,000 flight hour price is based on the fact that a ready-made, well-functioning base and maintenance system has already been built around the aircraft.

In other words: the price holds if things go smoothly and the system doesn’t clog up.


Calculating flight hour costs is a complicated math. It is done differently in different countries.

Manufacturer Lockheed Martin has announced plans to drop the F-35’s hourly rate to $ 25,000 by 2025. This target is expressed in 2012 dollars. Taking into account inflation in the United States, the amount in current currency rises to close to EUR 30,000.

Cheap or not? Depends on which point of view one looks from.

https://www.is.fi/ulkomaat/art-2000008424515.html
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loke

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Unread post30 Nov 2021, 17:30

hkultala wrote:
loke wrote:Three things that could stop F-35 from winning:
3. A coup in the US leading to a dramatic change in the political situation. The US pulls out of Europe and voids defense agreements with European countries including Finland; the US devolves into a civil war like situation, causing severe supply chain disruptions.


What defence agreements are you talking about?

Finland is not member of NATO.

For Finland "Security cooperation" is the more precise term.

https://www.state.gov/u-s-security-coop ... h-finland/

Finland is of course note member of NATO, but still relies on the US for their security.
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barrelnut

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Unread post04 Dec 2021, 16:35

So, it seems that the Finnish Air Force has concluded the evaluation process and is delivering it's proposal (winner of the competition) to the Ministry of Defense in coming days.

The final selection is expected to happen before Christmas.

Link in Finnish:
https://www.hs.fi/politiikka/art-200000 ... 54a1736692

Google translation below:

WHEN IT IS THE LARGEST ARMS TRADE IN FINNISH HISTORY, statements are not made recklessly.

The words of Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen (center) are dripping slowly, and the breaks are long in some places. Kaikkonen’s usually thoughtful style is emphasized when he talks about fighter procurement.

In the very near future, the Minister is due to submit a proposal to the Government on which multi-purpose fighter Finland will replace its current 64 Hornetia. In other words, the trade, which has been prepared for years and is worth billions of euros, is at a delicate stage.

The decision is due to be made in December, but the exact date has not been announced to the public. Kaikkonen now agrees to specify that the goal is to get the matter done “before the Christmas holidays”.

He also says that the work of evaluating the candidates' bids has been completed.

“At this point, various checks and verifications are still being made to make sure everything is in place. I believe that in the near future we can expect a presentation from the Defense Forces to the Ministry of Defense, ”says Kaikkonen.

DECISION-MAKING on the selection of fighters is carried out by the Defense Forces first giving the Ministry of Defense its assessment of the results of the performance comparison of the aircraft. The winner is the Defense Forces' proposal for Finland's next fighter.

Kaikkonen, for its part, makes its own judgment on the basis of the Defense Forces' assessments and then submits its proposal to the Government. The Government makes a decision on fighter jets in plenary session, ie with the power of the entire government.

The matter has also been discussed in the Committee on Foreign and Security Policy. The President of the Republic is therefore also likely to play the role of Chief of Staff and Director of Foreign and Security Policy with the Government.

Could Kaikkonen present anything other than what the Defense Forces are proposing to the government?

“Of course, I want to go through the Defense Forces’ view on this issue and the rationale for it very carefully. But yes, I am pretty much confident in the expertise we have in this project, ”he says.

"If someone turns out to be the best in this comparison, then yes, it is strong in my own thinking as well."

In their own decisions, KAIKKONEN and the Council of State can still make judgments on the basis of security policy, for example, which is always associated with billions of arms sales.

There has been a public debate, for example, about whether Finland will continue with the US plane or whether it will decide to switch to European, and what the message would be in this case.

Kaikkonen emphasizes, as before, that the most important security policy consideration was made at the stage when the machine candidates in question were selected for the competition.

“There are other machine manufacturers in the world. The four countries that have been selected for this are all our good partners. All on a slightly different basis, but the machine can be bought from any of these four countries. ”

There is still a signal value in the store.

"Yes, of course, this sends a message that Finland is taking care of its defense."

The Minister of Defense will not anticipate the intensity of discussions within the government at the final stage. He only points out that the project has been committed to in the government's program and that parliamentary support has been extensive.

Five multipurpose fighters are available to replace the end-of-life Hornet fighters: the US Boeing F / A Super Hornet, the French Dassault Rafale, the Swedish Saab Gripen, the pan-European Eurofighter Typhoon and the US Lockheed Martin F-35.

Final bids were submitted in the spring. The Defense Forces have indicated in the assessment that it will first be considered whether the fighter candidates meet certain mandatory criteria.

They relate to security of supply, the life cycle costs of machines, ie the cost of use and maintenance, and industrial cooperation. These parts of the tenders have been evaluated on the principle of acceptance or rejection.

For example, life-cycle costs should not exceed 10% of the annual defense budget, ie around € 250 million. Industrial co-operation must be 30% of the purchase price.

The successful candidates are to be taken to the final stage of the competition, ie the performance comparison from which the winner will be selected.

Kaikkonen does not disclose whether all the machine candidates made it to the final stage or whether the race is just a trade for some of them.

“It can be said, of course, that the criteria are genuine. There has always been the possibility that someone or some of the machines will not pass the criteria, and if they do not, they will not be selected and will not be able to win the tender. ”

"Yes, everyone is serious, I understand, and everyone [has] had a desire to win the competition, which is, of course, a good thing for the buyer."
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