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SAAB Gripen and Gripen NG thread #4

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  • Robbiesmurf
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jul 2014
    • 587

    Originally posted by MSphere View Post
    The C-130E Tp84 #84002 was converted to serve as tanker aircraft.

    Looks like a 900E series pod. Do you have the specifications?
    Actually, it looks like a 904E pod..
    Last edited by Robbiesmurf; 19th February 2016, 14:44.

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    • Spitfire9
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jul 2008
      • 2834

      If Slovakia acquires Gripen it will be a purchase rather than a lease

      From Singapore SAAB briefing:

      During the briefing, Saab officials confirmed that they expect to add Slovakia to the list of Gripen export fighter customers at some stage after the general election timed for next month.

      The Slovakians are currently in negotiation with Saab to acquire 8 new C/D variant aircraft, said Richard Smith, the head of Gripen sales, on Feb 18.

      Negotiations are ongoing as they head into an election and most likely the contract will be signed after the election is over, said Smith.

      The Gripen sales boss said the deal would be a purchase and not a lease.
      http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...on-may-18.html
      Sum ergo cogito

      Comment

      • swerve
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jun 2005
        • 13610

        Originally posted by Loke View Post
        Sweden operates a tanker. Norway has access to tankers through NATO.
        Norway is now in a consortium with Poland & the Netherlands (with Belgium on the fringes, last I heard) to jointly buy & operate a few A330 MRTT, so Norway will no longer need to rely on using tankers provided by allies.
        Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
        Justinian

        Comment

        • Vnomad
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • May 2011
          • 2859

          Originally posted by Loke View Post
          what are "all the performance upgrades" you are referring to?
          Everything required to bridge the gap with its larger siblings - increased payload, increased range, AESA, GaN-based EW system, sensor fusion, IRST etc.

          I think it's difficult to predict Gripen E costs at this point in time; it really depends on how many customers they manage to get by the time Finland is doing the evaluation. Due to Brazil now being a partner in the Gripen project, there is a good chance that several South American countries will go for Gripen E. There are also several opportunities in Asia, of which the biggest would be India. If India decides to go for Gripen, it could change things, in particular when it comes to upgrade costs.
          The only South American countries in the market for a fighter jet over the coming decade are Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, none of which have the budget for something like the Gripen E. They'll go either for a cheap type like the FA-50 or JF-17, or second-hand fighters (most likely retiring F-16s).

          India again is a very long shot. They've already got two types of cost-effective workhorses in the Tejas and Su-30MKI. The govt. will find it hard to justify a Gripen E acquisition without some sort of competition (SH? Viper?), which will inevitably take years to finalize (MMRCA redux), and is therefore something they'll want to avoid. The only aircraft that they can justify as a single-vendor purchase is ironically the F-35 itself, offering capabilities (read: stealth) not currently available from other sources.

          Comment

          • Broccoli
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jul 2012
            • 272

            Originally posted by Loke View Post
            No doubt even in 2025 F-35 will still be a rather expensive a/c; however I think the price will come down quite a lot compared to where it is today. The other important factor to consider in the "bang for the bucks" is not just the "bucks" but the "bang". If they can afford the "right" number of F-35 then it can stand on it's own without any further support. However if they go for Gripen, then, looking post 2030, I think more is needed; more fighter jets, but also other equipment.

            To be a credible deterrent I think Finland could do the following:

            1. Enter a defence alliance with Sweden
            2. Buy 50-60 Gripen E
            3. Together with Sweden buy and jointly operate 4 Erieye ER
            4. Together with Sweden develop, buy and jointly operate 12 (?) Gripen G; a Gripen "Growler" platform
            5. Together with Sweden operate a few tankers

            If they go for F-35, they could probably drop the Gripen G (which would be quite expensive) and perhaps also drop the Erieyes, and still have a credible deterrent. Which one is cheaper?

            Of course the best deterrent would be to enter NATO; then it does not really matter what they buy, Gripen or F-35 (or the SH).

            But a Swedish-Finnish defence alliance could also offer some deterrent, with 110-120 Gripen E; 4 Erieyes, a few "Growlers", and a tiny tanker fleet.
            Finland is currently looking across the pond so to speak. Finnish come the news about F-15's visiting Finland for training (it come as a surprise to most parliament members) and yesterday it was revealed that 20 or so Strykers are going to visit Finland in next summer... these visits from US military are a clear messages to our eastern neighbor.

            Apparently our military leaders don't trust European cooperation very much.
            Last edited by Broccoli; 19th February 2016, 17:14.

            Comment

            • Spitfire9
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jul 2008
              • 2834

              Originally posted by Vnomad View Post
              The only South American countries in the market for a fighter jet over the coming decade are Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, none of which have the budget for something like the Gripen E. They'll go either for a cheap type like the FA-50 or JF-17, or second-hand fighters (most likely retiring F-16s).
              If they might go for retiring F-16's, why not surplus Gripen C's? Seems to be what Slovakia may do (but OK, that gives commonality with Czech Republic fighters)?

              Originally posted by Vnomad View Post
              India again is a very long shot. They've already got two types of cost-effective workhorses in the Tejas and Su-30MKI. The govt. will find it hard to justify a Gripen E acquisition without some sort of competition (SH? Viper?), which will inevitably take years to finalize (MMRCA redux), and is therefore something they'll want to avoid. The only aircraft that they can justify as a single-vendor purchase is ironically the F-35 itself, offering capabilities (read: stealth) not currently available from other sources.
              You say India already has the cost effective Tejas. 2+ years since IOC was declared the IAF has a grand total of zero and it is still in the throes of development. It sounds like Tejas Mk2 will not be around for close on a decade (if at all) so I can see a Gripen production facility in India if Mk2 is shelved or cancelled. I can also see a SH line if Rafale remains too expensive. Both companies could provide TOT useful to AMCA. I don't see F-35 being built in India.
              Sum ergo cogito

              Comment

              • Vnomad
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2011
                • 2859

                Originally posted by Spitfire9 View Post
                If they might go for retiring F-16's, why not surplus Gripen C's? Seems to be what Slovakia may do (but OK, that gives commonality with Czech Republic fighters)?
                They're fewer in number and aren't available with the variety of upgrade options that the F-16C/Ds offer.. but yes, Gripen Cs should be viable too.

                You say India already has the cost effective Tejas. 2+ years since IOC was declared the IAF has a grand total of zero and it is still in the throes of development. It sounds like Tejas Mk2 will not be around for close on a decade (if at all) so I can see a Gripen production facility in India if Mk2 is shelved or cancelled. I can also see a SH line if Rafale remains too expensive. Both companies could provide TOT useful to AMCA. I don't see F-35 being built in India.
                So.. are you saying that because its not been produced in numbers over the last two years, it'll never be produced in numbers? Also, how many years will it take to set up a Gripen E production facility in India? Never-mind the fact that IOC for the Gripen E is scheduled for 2023. And why forget the Su-30MKI - there's a squadron a year production that can be extended much further (with high domestic content). And the question will that point will be why Gripen, why not the SH, why not the F-16? Why any of them? Result: long delays.

                None of them are going to be built in India. That's what the now-dead MMRCA was for. In each case, the actual domestic input will at best consist of various degrees of assembly. And in that context, a F-35 FACO line is still very doable. Plus there's the availability of the B-variant for the IN's STOBAR carriers.

                Comment

                • Spitfire9
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jul 2008
                  • 2834

                  Originally posted by Vnomad View Post
                  So.. are you saying that because its not been produced in numbers over the last two years, it'll never be produced in numbers? Also, how many years will it take to set up a Gripen E production facility in India? Never-mind the fact that IOC for the Gripen E is scheduled for 2023.
                  No but when will Tejas Mk1 be produced in numbers? Although a perfectly good replacement for MiG-21, it seems to have very modest capabilities. That's why a Mk2 version was proposed, wasn't it? IAF may consider Gripen E as a very good substitute for Tejas Mk2 with an earlier (and more reliable) IOC. In partnership with SAAB a more capable light fighter than Tejas Mk1 could be produced without near indefinite delays. Either Gripen E or Tejas Mk2, with SAAB TOT. If India does not have the know how to develop Tejas Mk2, I think AMCA is a distant dream.

                  Originally posted by Vnomad View Post
                  And why forget the Su-30MKI - there's a squadron a year production that can be extended much further (with high domestic content). And the question will that point will be why Gripen, why not the SH, why not the F-16? Why any of them? Result: long delays.
                  Yes, more Su-30MKI can be built but that does not fix the need for a good light fighter and a good medium fighter. SH would be the cheapest medium fighter to manufacture, I think. The redundant tooling to make it should be available in 2/3 years, so that should be much cheaper than setting up with new tooling. Cheaper to operate than Rafale and Typhoon, too.

                  Long delays: yes. How long to get an affordable medium fighter into local production with SH?
                  Last edited by Spitfire9; 19th February 2016, 19:09.
                  Sum ergo cogito

                  Comment

                  • Vnomad
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2011
                    • 2859

                    Originally posted by Spitfire9 View Post
                    No but when will Tejas Mk1 be produced in numbers? Although a perfectly good replacement for MiG-21, it seems to have very modest capabilities. That's why a Mk2 version was proposed, wasn't it? IAF may consider Gripen E as a very good substitute for Tejas Mk2 with an earlier (and more reliable) IOC. In partnership with SAAB a more capable light fighter than Tejas Mk1 could be produced without near indefinite delays. Either Gripen E or Tejas Mk2, with SAAB TOT. If India does not have the know how to develop Tejas Mk2, I think AMCA is a distant dream.
                    Produced in numbers from 2018, I think. Which is still years before any domestically assembled Gripen E will be available. For most run-of-the-mill missions its more than sufficient; it can lase a target, employ PGMs, radar is decent (esp. EL/M-2052), Derby ER/Astra 2 give it a 100km+ reach, data-links allow pairing with the heavy Su-30s or supporting AEW&CS, and with the DASH-Python 5 combo it can hold its own in any dogfight. How much capability do you expect from an aircraft costing $25 mil flyaway?

                    This, for the record, is exactly the market that Saab will find hard to compete in, as it moves up the value chain, from a modest light weight fighter to an advanced medium weight fighter.

                    Yes, more Su-30MKI can be built but that does not fix the need for a good light fighter and a good medium fighter. SH would be the cheapest medium fighter to manufacture, I think. The redundant tooling to make it should be available in 2/3 years, so that should be much cheaper than setting up with new tooling. Cheaper to operate than Rafale and Typhoon, too.
                    There'll already be a good light fighter in full production long before any of the above can start deliveries to India. Hankering after a medium fighter (just because of its weight) doesn't make sense, unless its genuinely cheaper to acquire than the Su-30, which isn't the case for any of them (including the Gripen E).

                    Which leaves the question of capability. Yes there are some missions that the IAF's current fleet would struggle to perform within a tolerable level of risk (even after upgrades). Eg - SEAD/DEAD against new gen threats, OCA in the presence of hostile AWACS, deep strike/recce and so on. There is an aircraft explicitly designed for such high-threat environments but it isn't the Gripen E. Or the Super Hornet.

                    Long delays: yes. How long to get an affordable medium fighter into local production with SH?
                    Hard to say. The SH assembly line can't be moved until production ceases which should be in 2019 (assuming the Congress' pushes ahead with supplementary orders). Add in another 2-3 years to move it, train new workers and I'd say 2022 earliest. With fighters delivered 2024 onwards. And that's an optimistic assessment. The whole process is likely to get bogged down at the first stage itself - where they need pick between the SH, F-16 & Gripen. Much simpler just to upgrade and build more Sukhois.
                    Last edited by Vnomad; 19th February 2016, 21:16.

                    Comment

                    • JSR
                      JSR
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Aug 2011
                      • 4977

                      Originally posted by Broccoli View Post
                      Finland is currently looking across the pond so to speak. Finnish come the news about F-15's visiting Finland for training (it come as a surprise to most parliament members) and yesterday it was revealed that 20 or so Strykers are going to visit Finland in next summer... these visits from US military are a clear messages to our eastern neighbor.

                      Apparently our military leaders don't trust European cooperation very much.
                      Finland will sink and swim with EU.
                      Even India can visit Finland for exercise. it does not mean anything.

                      Comment

                      • alexz
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Nov 2010
                        • 325

                        Originally posted by Vnomad View Post

                        This, for the record, is exactly the market that Saab will find hard to compete in, as it moves up the value chain, from a modest light weight fighter to an advanced medium weight fighter.


                        There'll already be a good light fighter in full production long before any of the above can start deliveries to India. Hankering after a medium fighter (just because of its weight) doesn't make sense, unless its genuinely cheaper to acquire than the Su-30, which isn't the case for any of them (including the Gripen E).

                        Which leaves the question of capability. Yes there are some missions that the IAF's current fleet would struggle to perform within a tolerable level of risk (even after upgrades). Eg - SEAD/DEAD against new gen threats, OCA in the presence of hostile AWACS, deep strike/recce and so on. There is an aircraft explicitly designed for such high-threat environments but it isn't the Gripen E. Or the Super Hornet.
                        As the gripen moves up the value chain, its former advantage as a lightweight fighter becomes its greatest liability. Suddenly it costs as much as the latest f-16, f/a-18 but with lower kinematic and weapons carrying capability (regardless of the supposed advancement in avionics, which is more evolutionary rather than revolutionary when compared to say the latest f-16v).

                        When even the superbly capable su-30mki is cheaper than the gripen e, you should ask why do you even bother with the gripen e?

                        Comment

                        • obligatory
                          Senior Member
                          • Oct 2008
                          • 7043

                          the largest cost by far over lifetime is operational cost,
                          Su-30 is nice, if and when it works, it doesnt do any good under maintenance tho

                          Comment

                          • Halo
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Apr 2009
                            • 212

                            Finlands choice

                            Will be extremely interesting to follow Finlands choice, will they go for something like 25-30 F35 at one airbase and little goodwill with Uncle Sam, or 40 gripens at 3 basis + AEW, MPA & a tanker or two? Given the budget, number of bases and number of trainers I think that even 25-30 F35 would be extremely optimistic.

                            Comment

                            • Halo
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 212

                              @alexz,
                              Superior EW, breaking the cost curve, superior availability and flexibility for ground survival. The improvements of radars, that erode some of the benefits of the 2nd generation of VLO aircraft (F35, PAK-FA) and ever better PGM's. I fail to see how these developments reduce the prospects for Gripens market niche (High end sensors on medium-light fighter).

                              You keep returning to "carry 5 tons 2000km" with maintained performance..... Probably very interesting in Pacific but pretty irrelevant to for Europe.

                              Comment

                              • Broccoli
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jul 2012
                                • 272

                                Originally posted by JSR View Post
                                Finland will sink and swim with EU.
                                Even India can visit Finland for exercise. it does not mean anything.
                                Russia has been lately sending all sort of warnings to Finland but apparently it's not working anymore. Before 2020 Russia is probably going to have another NATO country on it's border.

                                Comment

                                • Broccoli
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jul 2012
                                  • 272

                                  Originally posted by Halo View Post
                                  Will be extremely interesting to follow Finlands choice, will they go for something like 25-30 F35 at one airbase and little goodwill with Uncle Sam, or 40 gripens at 3 basis + AEW, MPA & a tanker or two? Given the budget, number of bases and number of trainers I think that even 25-30 F35 would be extremely optimistic.
                                  Budget is between 6-10 billion and when Finland buys F-35's the A model is probably one of the cheapest fighters country can buy (80-100 million). Eurocanards are only getting more expensive and air force personnel are heavily against purchasing two different fighters since it increases cost of training, etc. Some politicians are saying that Finland should buy to different fighters or only Gripen but our air force leadership clearly disagrees.

                                  Comment

                                  • Agrippa
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Feb 2013
                                    • 49

                                    AvWeek report that SAAB has already started building white-tail Gripen C/D's in anticipation of a Slovakian order. Confident move.

                                    http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/...ahead-contract

                                    Comment

                                    • Halo
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Apr 2009
                                      • 212

                                      F35 has only been cheapest at one point and location, Nov 2008 in Norway, it will always be a lot more expensive to buy and even more so to operate compared to Gripen, we can discuss weather it will be 50 or 200% more over the lifecycle..

                                      BTW, F35 is on its way to kill off the Norwegian army even before any "new tankers", Finland can not effort a Norwegian fate.

                                      Comment

                                      • Halo
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Apr 2009
                                        • 212

                                        What differences can you spot between the Gripen Demo and the pictures released of Gripen E?
                                        New air intake by tail fin, bigger wingtip pods, still has non conformal antennas on tailfin and pitot tubes, cannon casing is different, what else?

                                        Comment

                                        • alexz
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Nov 2010
                                          • 325

                                          Originally posted by Broccoli View Post
                                          Budget is between 6-10 billion and when Finland buys F-35's the A model is probably one of the cheapest fighters country can buy (80-100 million). Eurocanards are only getting more expensive and air force personnel are heavily against purchasing two different fighters since it increases cost of training, etc.
                                          With that kind of budget, finland could get probably 1 sqn of f-35 and 3 sqns of brand new gripen c/d plus 2-4 erieye-ng aew&c, if the commonality with sweeden is paramount. So it would be a mix of high end and cost effective low end platforms. A two tier fighter force imo would actually help in training fighter pilots, giving rookie pilots a 2seater platform and cheaper flight hours (on the gripen c/d) compared to the f-35 to build experience. When a f-35 is included in the consideration, I can't see the gripen e/f as being something cost effective when compared to the f-35.
                                          Last edited by alexz; 20th February 2016, 09:14.

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