Finnish DefMin Interest in F-35s NOT Gripens

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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Dec 2020, 14:19

'hornetfinn' said above
"...Now if somebody designed a modern fighter without all these systems, it would have insane kinematic performance. Of course it would be horrible combat aircraft these days, but it would be magnificent airshow aircraft."

:devil: Yeah but would the pilot be able to survive the crushing G forces required to show the magnifico performo? :mrgreen:
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hornetfinn

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Unread post22 Dec 2020, 07:25

spazsinbad wrote:'hornetfinn' said above
"...Now if somebody designed a modern fighter without all these systems, it would have insane kinematic performance. Of course it would be horrible combat aircraft these days, but it would be magnificent airshow aircraft."

:devil: Yeah but would the pilot be able to survive the crushing G forces required to show the magnifico performo? :mrgreen:


Sure there is that tiny problem with flesh and blood... :D Of course that whole idea nonsense as I doubt eanybody would use billions for that. While we are it, we might as well get rid of that restriction and use artificial or remote pilot. It would sure be cool RC aircraft, but I think people would actually prefer real combat aircraft even in air shows.
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ricnunes

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Unread post22 Dec 2020, 14:30

hornetfinn wrote:I think all the competitors have pretty extensive aircraft combat survivability features with reduced signatures, EW systems, advanced sensors, MLD/MAWS, networking, countermeasures systems and traditional things like ballistic survivability.


Of course they do but what good are these extensive features if the aircraft carrying them are already outdated??

All these 'extensive aircraft combat survivability features' still makes all these competitors far less survivable compared to the F-35 and against modern/future threats and even worse, adding those features to 4th gen fighter aircraft makes them far more expensive hence being no surprise (IMO) that these aircraft (including the 'cheap' Gripen) are actually more expensive than the F-35 when it comes to cost per unit.

In the end adding such 'extensive aircraft combat survivability features' to 4th gen fighter aircraft is akin to getting back to the interwar era (the 1920's and 1930's) and modify the existing biplane fighter aircraft and add 'extensive aircraft combat survivability features' like reinforced airframes, more powerful engines, enclosed cockpits, more weapons (namelly more machine guns or even cannons), etc... instead to going ahead with more advanced monoplane aircraft. But wait! They did try that back then with aircraft like the Gloster Gladiator. But guess what? When the 'sh*t hit the fan' (WWII) and even just before it these improved and still existing biplanes were already relegated to 2nd line/secondary roles and most of them were already replaced by more advanced monoplanes like the Hurricane or better yet like the Spitfire.
Of course and back then some poorer countries like Italy still extensively used improved biplanes like the Fiat C.R.42 during the early stages of the war but when these aircraft faced the more advanced monoplanes the result was often 'catastrophic' for the biplanes.

Make no mistake, this is basically the same/similar situation regarding 4th gen fighter aircraft when compared to 5th gen fighter aircraft like the F-35. As such it's no surprise that European countries, China, Russia, etc... are developing their own 5th gen fighter aircraft. Or and resuming:
"History has a way of repeating itself"
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post22 Dec 2020, 18:45

jakobs wrote:
magitsu wrote:Outside of the HX competition's official scope the new fighters' maintenance must not surpass 10% of yearly FDF budget ( roughly 300M€ can be expected). Many consider this the toughest one to meet.


If this definition is used:
Cost per flying hour (CPFH) is a well-known DoD cost metric. As the name suggests, CPFH is calculated as an aircraft fleet’s costs divided by its flying hours


Then that would amount to 23.438 € per flight hour, or ~28.729 $. They should all be able to stay within that amount IMO.
(200 hours a year and 64 units).



The entire point of the Gripen is to save money.

If the Gripen does not save money, what is its point?

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hornetfinn

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Unread post23 Dec 2020, 08:36

ricnunes wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:I think all the competitors have pretty extensive aircraft combat survivability features with reduced signatures, EW systems, advanced sensors, MLD/MAWS, networking, countermeasures systems and traditional things like ballistic survivability.


Of course they do but what good are these extensive features if the aircraft carrying them are already outdated??

All these 'extensive aircraft combat survivability features' still makes all these competitors far less survivable compared to the F-35 and against modern/future threats and even worse, adding those features to 4th gen fighter aircraft makes them far more expensive hence being no surprise (IMO) that these aircraft (including the 'cheap' Gripen) are actually more expensive than the F-35 when it comes to cost per unit.


Sure and that's pretty much what I was trying to say in my post. Especially when it comes to acquiring new aircraft like Finland is doing. However I'd say that adding all those aircraft combat survivability features is very important to keep existing 4th gen aircraft relevant for the rest of their service life. Most threats now and in the near future (say next decade) can be dealt with upgraded 4th gen aircraft. So those upgraded 4th gen aircraft still have value left in them. But there are already threat environments and systems that can be murderous to even the most upgraded 4th gen aircraft and those environments and systems will be getting increasingly prevalent. I don't see any reason for anybody to acquire new 4th generation fighters if they can buy 5th gen fighters because the expected service life will be something like 30-40 years. I'd be really, really surprised if Finland or Switzerland would go for something else than F-35. Naturally countries like France and Sweden will use their Rafales and Gripens and wait for their "own" next gen fighter. But I hope neither of them has to use them in actual combat in 2040 or so...
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Unread post12 Jan 2021, 21:02

The battle for the air force's new fighter plane will be decided in the spring - expensive weapon systems a stumbling block for manufacturers

Thomas von Bogumil

In the next few months, the competition for the air force's new fighter plane will be decided. The Finnish Defence Forces is expected to request the final quotations from the five competing plane manufacturers during January. The government is expected to give the go-ahead within a couple of weeks.

Manufacturers now have one last chance to improve their quotes, which must be submitted by the end of April. The winner of the competition will be decided by the end of the year.

The total budget for the project is still a maximum of EUR 10 billion. Of that amount, the Ministry of Defense has now earmarked EUR 600 million for rebuilding work at the air bases, new simulators, data connections and other necessary expenses over a five-year period, when the plan is put into use.

Such renovation work and upgrades are necessary, regardless of which type of plan is chosen, the ministry states. The purchase of the new plans, including weapon systems and other related equipment, thus leaves EUR 9.4 billion.

"We must have a sufficient arsenal of weapons in stock"

Each of the five manufacturers is expected to offer a comprehensive system solution, both sufficient planes and sufficiently versatile weapon systems, that meet defense requirements.

Program director Lauri Puranen at the Ministry of Defense, together with her colleagues, conducted a final round of negotiations with the manufacturers at the end of last year. For some manufacturers, it has been tricky to take into account the amount of required armament.

Finland is responsible on its own for its defense solutions, which means that we must always have a sufficient arsenal of weapons in stock. This may have surprised some candidates, who exceeded the budget limit, says Lauri Puranen.
In addition, the new aircraft must not be significantly more expensive to operate than the Air Force's current Hornet aircraft. For the five manufacturers, it is therefore important to optimize and prioritize.

Finland originally purchased 64 Hornet aircraft in the early 1990s, and this figure has been used as a reference at the beginning of the procurement process. At this stage, manufacturers are still free to offer either more or less than 64 planes, provided that the requirements of the defense can be met.

It is thus possible that all five manufacturers offer less than 60 planes, but with more effective weapons.

Of the five manufacturers, Boeing and Saab have also come up with their own special offers: Saab participates in the race with its newest fighter plane, the JAS Gripen E, plus two reconnaissance and surveillance planes of the GlobalEye type. In addition to Super Hornet, Boeing also offers a number of Growler aircraft, specially equipped for electronic warfare.

Precious precision weapons

The issue of armaments is also tricky from other points of view. The new planes must be able to be used for both air combat, reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare, as well as attacks on targets at sea or on the ground, also over long distances.

The impact of the current Hornet planes has increased significantly since 2016, when they were equipped with new American precision weapons, among them long-range JASSM missiles.

Can the new fighter planes be equipped with the same weapon system, or must Finland buy completely new, corresponding systems?

- It depends, some of our systems can currently only be integrated and used on other American platforms.
But in this competition we do not take such factors into account, no candidate can refer to our current weapon systems and use it as a competitive advantage, says Puranen.

The Defense Command is looking for a plane type that can be in operational service until the 2060s and that can also be updated with new weapon systems, sensors and software as needed.

All detailed information about armament options for the new planes is non-public while the competition is in progress.

Assembly in Finland?

The same applies to the manufacturers' service and maintenance programs for each fighter type. All five planes must be able to be maintained in Finland, even in times of crisis.

Most of the Air Force's Hornet aircraft were assembled in Finland by the Patria Group, which thus gained very valuable insights into the aircraft type and its technology.

The question is whether it will be relevant at all to assemble even part of the new fighters in Finland. Lauri Puranen reminds that an assembly plant entails an extra cost that must be taken into account in the purchasing budget of 10 billion euros.

Particularly American Lockheed Martin's F-35 is interesting in this regard. For the production of the F-35, Lockheed Martin remains for the time being with only three factories, located in the USA, Italy and Japan.
One solution, which Lockheed Martin has presented during the ongoing tender competition for the Swiss Air Force, is to have 4-5 planes assembled in Switzerland, at extra cost.

In addition, the Swiss defense industry would be able to handle engine service and maintenance, as well as manufacture spare parts for the F-35.

Could such a solution be imagined for Finland as well?

- There are different alternatives, but the main thing is that we get Finnish aviation technical staff and domestic companies that understand the plane, its systems and service needs, says Lauri Puranen.

https://svenska.yle.fi/artikel/2021/01/ ... nsystem-en

Analysis: Increased A2G weight from Hornet, the offers of assembly not treated as a gift but will be weighed whether they are cost-effective - the main thing is to just produce knowledge for independent enough maintenance ability

It will be noted in the BAFO request whether the participants are allowed to disclose about their offer. Yesterday Puranen told that within the Ministry of Defence it's being discussed that the vendors would be allowed to disclose something about their eventual bids.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post12 Jan 2021, 23:06

I can be wrong but the 2060s thing to me is the biggest hint. :mrgreen:
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Unread post12 Jan 2021, 23:56

XanderCrews wrote:I can be wrong but the 2060s thing to me is the biggest hint. :mrgreen:

It shouldn't be taken too seriously, since officially they only need to pass the previous stages as pass/fail and the war gaming will be ranked. There 2060s doesn't matter in the slightest. Instead Aircraft Combat Survivability x the number of sorties it can produce is key.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 09:23

magitsu wrote:There 2060s doesn't matter in the slightest. Instead Aircraft Combat Survivability x the number of sorties it can produce is key.


Sure but if you use the 'Aircraft Combat Survivability x the number of sorties it can produce' formula by 2060's for any competing aircraft other than the F-35 you'll get:

[zero (0) or very close to zero] x [whatever number of sorties it can produce] = [zero (0) or close to zero]


Unless that formula only takes the present into account and completely ignores the future...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 11:55

ricnunes wrote:Unless that formula only takes the present into account and completely ignores the future...

Impossible to know what kind of configs and weapons are available much further in the future. The only possibility is to evaluate the expected 2025 configs, which are pretty much set. They could add some risk factor if some provider doesn't feel plausible with their presented development path, but that's about it.

Since it's government to government deal, any change in policies could change things. Availability of certain tech, mainly through Tempest/FCAS for the Eurocanards in the competition. For Gripen whether Tempest completes is also important because they likely won't be able to afford to operate both Gripen and Tempest in the 40s.

There's an expectation that much of the Finnish defense system will be rebuilt around the capabilities of the HX. Instead of the other way around (smallish system simply serving the needs of the whole). Joint from the start unlike F-18 which came in with only air to air configuration.
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 14:03

magitsu wrote:
ricnunes wrote:Unless that formula only takes the present into account and completely ignores the future...

Impossible to know what kind of configs and weapons are available much further in the future. The only possibility is to evaluate the expected 2025 configs, which are pretty much set. They could add some risk factor if some provider doesn't feel plausible with their presented development path, but that's about it.


While it would be at least extremely hard to guess for sure (but not impossible, I would say) what will be the exact weapons and configuration in 2060 for instance, it's basically a 'no-brainer' to figure out that:
1- Independently of whatever threats that will popup in the future, these will be far more deadly than present threats.
2- Threats that are entering in service today and are coming up in the near future are already and extremely deadly for 4th gen fighter aircraft like the Typhoon, Gripen, Super Hornet and Rafale and only 5th gen fighter aircraft like the F-35 are expected to survive well in this setting so anyone can IMO easily imagine in the mid or long term future that 4th gen fighter aircraft will inevitably become completely obsolete and this already in the foreseeable future. And this is not a 'prediction', this is a simple and plain FACT! Just like WWI biplanes became obsolete and after that WWII monoplanes also became obsolete and so on, 4th gen fighter aircraft are already becoming obsolete and will inevitably become obsolete (and quite soon) and this even if you stick 'extras' such as weapons like advanced cruise missiles, advanced jammers, etc...


magitsu wrote:Since it's government to government deal, any change in policies could change things. Availability of certain tech, mainly through Tempest/FCAS for the Eurocanards in the competition. For Gripen whether Tempest completes is also important because they likely won't be able to afford to operate both Gripen and Tempest in the 40s.


Well and will all due respect, that's even and much worse (IMO) then trying to guess what threats that will popup in 2060!
For starters, that would be IMO a violation of the competition itself - Finland would buy for example a Typhoon only to buy from the same manufacturer and some years later (let's say 15 years from now) and apparently even without a competition or much of a competition a Tempest or a FCAS??
Doesn't make much sense to me, unless Finland intends to have the HX as a temporary stop-gap fighter aircraft until a more capable 5th gen fighter aircraft like again the Tempest or a FCAS could be purchased, something which again IMO doesn't seem to be the case regarding HX whose objective seems to be to adquire a fleet of fighter aircraft that can operate for several decades to come (and not only until 15-20 years from now). Correct me if I'm wrong?
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 14:47

ricnunes wrote:1- Independently of whatever threats that will popup in the future, these will be far more deadly than present threats

Yeah, that's why they are seeking max capability package for set price instead of set number of jet frames. Because they clearly provide different amount of capability and will look better or worse depending on the candidate in the future.

I don't mean anything interim and/or replacement ahead of time. Just that Sweden's full Tempest participation can be another threat to Gripen's existence, making it even more impossible to choose.

It's due to the same competition fairness which you said, why I brought up the need to assess what's available in 2025 instead of what might be in the long very term. The development roadmaps can only be assessed on a level of plausibility - not take into account their would be specific specs.

Clearly F-35 is a favorite, but all of them have to be comparable to a degree since we are even in at this point. It's complete mystery for example how much value would 12(?) Growlers or 2 GlobalEyes add compared to single type fleet. Another thing that allows for different approaches is the amount and types of armament. Some will offer more stealing resources from the frames.
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 15:27

magitsu wrote:I don't mean anything interim and/or replacement ahead of time. Just that Sweden's full Tempest participation can be another threat to Gripen's existence, making it even more impossible to choose.


Just like the Tempest is a threat to the Typhoon existence and the FCAS a threat to both Typhoon and Rafale existence.

In the end, it's not a matter of the 'X' 5th gen fighter aircraft being a 'threat to the existence' of the 'Y' 4th gen fighter aircraft but more with the FACT that the 'Y' 4th gen fighter is already obsolete or becoming obsolete while the 'X' 5th gen fighter aircraft is clearly and beyond any doubt the future.


magitsu wrote:It's due to the same competition fairness which you said, why I brought up the need to assess what's available in 2025 instead of what might be in the long very term. The development roadmaps can only be assessed on a level of plausibility - not take into account their would be specific specs.


If you want to purchase a fighter fleet that needs to be relevant into the future then you should assess it against what might be the threats in the long(er) term future probably even more than against current day threats but I digress...

And 'plausibility' dictates that something which already struggles against modern current-day or near-future threats will inevitably become obsolete 'tomorrow'.


magitsu wrote:It's complete mystery for example how much value would 12(?) Growlers or 2 GlobalEyes add compared to single type fleet. Another thing that allows for different approaches is the amount and types of armament. Some will offer more stealing resources from the frames.


It doesn't matter how good a support is being it in the form of AWACS or EW aircraft or others or the amount of advanced weaponry that you can give to your obsolete or near obsolete fighter aircraft fleet, in the end you'll still end up operating an obsolete fighter aircraft fleet. For instance if you put advanced sensors and weapons on a cold war era F-104 Starfighter and couple it together with AWACS or EW, you'll still end up operating an obsolete fighter aircraft that's better than the 'un-upgraded' version but is it capable of dealing with upcoming threats? No, absolutely not.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 16:28

If it was so simple, there wouldn't be need for a competition. None have withdrawn, so they feel like spending millions each to participate is worthwhile.

Sweden possibly phasing Gripen out early is slightly more dangerous than Typhoon (large customer base). Rafale won't be since it has nuke role, which tend to be the most conservative due to required investment per frame. They've kept using Mirages for long.

Operationally they are semi-obsolete yes. But in the scenario above if the main and only other significant user Sweden would fold, the maintenance for theoretical Finnish Gripen fleet would be very expensive (it could be the largest E/F fleet to begin with since Sw is only 60 E + bunch of C/Ds). Much more so than if Germany, the UK etc. would rotate out their Typhoons for secondary roles.
Fighters tend to be flown to the full lifetime amount of their frames. But Sweden has already done the unthinkable with Gripen A/B/C/D, for which many will be retired with a flight hours left and a lot of them were leased because it was such a big political drawdown from what was planned. Is there even another notable case of fighter leasing?

Not that it really matters because F-35 should win hands down unless they inexplicably manage to get disqualified by not fulfilling the previous pass/fail ladders.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 17:30

magitsu wrote:If it was so simple, there wouldn't be need for a competition. None have withdrawn, so they feel like spending millions each to participate is worthwhile.


I can agree that these subjects/issues can be quite complex. However the 'complex' issue that you mentioned above (competition) can actually be explained with a single word:
- Politics :wink:

Resuming, the only reason why there's a 'competition' in Finland or also in Canada or in other countries or even if some of these (western) countries end up buying something other than the F-35 than this would be and again, explained thru the word above (Politics)


magitsu wrote:Sweden possibly phasing Gripen out early is slightly more dangerous than Typhoon (large customer base). Rafale won't be since it has nuke role, which tend to be the most conservative due to required investment per frame. They've kept using Mirages for long.


Well, regarding the Gripen there's still Brazil :mrgreen:
And I'm sure that Brazil will operate the Gripen (E/F) for many decades to come.

I would agree that the Gripen is in a 'more dire' situation compared to the Typhoon or Rafale in part due to its smaller user base. However the number of Typhoons and specially Rafales ever built and in service around the world is nothing to write home about! For instance only 201 Rafales seem to have been built so far (or at least until 2019) and with very small quantities exported (36 for both India and Qatar and 24 for Egypt). Typhoon is a bit better in this regard with 571 aircraft built so far but then again this pales in comparison with more than 3000 F-35's that will be built.
Resuming, aircraft like the Typhoon and Rafale (and also the Gripen) are only 'useful' for the countries that actually developed and build them (Typhoon for UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, Rafale for France and Gripen for Sweden and partially Brazil) since they are actually 'Jobs programs' or if we want to resume (again) to a single word: 'Politics'
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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