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Finnish fighter replacement revisited

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    #81
    Acquiring F-35 would imply quite significant changes in Finland security policy (negative ones in my opinion) and I don't know if they would be ready for such.
    Finland already made those changes in the early 90's, when they bought Hornets. They later were among the first and only nations to be granted export permit for JASSM.

    US is, and has been for a long time the primary partner in Finnish defence policy, although the co-operation with Sweden is also increasing. Finland isn't a NATO member and will not be in foreseeable future, but is instead pursuing closer bilateral relations and is increasingly more aligned with the US.

    For this reason alone, I see the F-35 or F/A-18 as the leading candidates, with F-35 in the lead. If F-35 isn't suitable because of costs, risk levels, operational requirements or anything else, F/A-18 is the runner-up because of savings and ease of intergration due to commonality with existing infrastructure, operations and training and because of joint capabilities made possible by Growler.

    Rafale and Eurofighter do stand a credible chance, because of potential of strategic defence partnership with France or UK and because they're well suited for the requirements, and for a smaller (non-aligned) airforce that operates a single fighter type due to their platform flexibility.

    I see Gripen as being the least likely choice. It's probably the least expensive choice in life-cycle costs, but there has been strong signalling that the acquisition will be based first and foremost on performance metrics, where Gripen will be trailing the other candidates. Sweden and Finland have a mutually beneficial defence partnership that will continue to grow, but it can do so without the boost provided by an acquisition of this scale.
    Last edited by pesko; 9th May 2018, 12:38.

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      #82
      ALIS is also a missino preparation system, fully controlable by the USA. Finland claim to be a neutral control.Every combat capability american?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...e_Finnish_Army

      probablu not up to date, still good page as an example...

      Comment


        #83
        ALIS is also a missino preparation system, fully controlable by the USA. Finland claim to be a neutral control.Every combat capability american
        No, first off no one outside of Lockheed has access to the full coding of ALIS, not the USAF, not the USN, not DoD.
        Second, Finland would have it's own CPE for for Finland specific mission data and diagnostics. Just like every other operator.
        Third, Even if the US cut off the Finnish CPE from the ALOU, it would not impact combat capability immediately. Updates and maintenance diagnostics would be impacted. Worst case scenario, maintenance would have to be tracked like legacy fighters and there would be no system updates or new mission data files (provided Finland did not have capability to create their own).

        These concerns, largely unfounded to begin with, have been addressed:
        https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-conce-430823/


        What other Bogyman arguments do you have?
        Last edited by FBW; 9th May 2018, 13:13.

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          #84
          pesko !

          I am for the Gripen. It can make so much faster sorties from a highway strip...and fully able to use AMRAAM, Sidewinders and JASSM.
          If it looks good, it will fly good !
          -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


          http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

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            #85
            all those capabilities are already fielded with their F/A-18. I am not sure that Finnish mod has put an RFP that can be simply resumed to a quest for yet another SLEP contractor. They are on the run for new capabilities. So, even if Swedish defense sector offer plenty of opportunity in advanced systems, I do agree with Pesko that their line here is quite thin.
            Last edited by TomcatViP; 9th May 2018, 13:17.

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              #86
              These concerns, largely unfounded to begin with, have been addressed:
              https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-conce-430823/
              What i read is "could", "begins studying options", etc. Nothing assertive.
              Egypt already couldn't use its F-16 for missions above Lybia due to USA not delivering MDFs (private info). So it is fairly natural that independant countries worry, isn't it?

              Comment


                #87
                Finland has absolute no concerns with ALIS or whatever points Hallow makes in the future (private info)
                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                Comment


                  #88
                  I am not sure that Finnish mod has put an RFP that can be simply resumed to a quest for yet another SLEP contractor. They are on the run for new capabilities.
                  Yes, they have outruled SLEP as too expensive and lacking in capabilities. By F/A-18 I mean E/F Super Hornets, which I see as the runner-up should F-35 for whatever reason not make it.

                  I am for the Gripen. It can make so much faster sorties from a highway strip...and fully able to use AMRAAM, Sidewinders and JASSM.
                  I haven't seen any evidence that Gripen can sustain any greater sortie generation rates for similar loadouts and missions than the other candidates, and it has worse endurance under realistic weapons load and a lower weapons capability that lead to lower mission effectiveness. Super Hornet, Rafale and Eurofighter have similiar STOL capabilities, and it's not really that much of an issue for F-35, as the FiAF doesn't operate from 800 meter highway strips like SwAF used to, but from much longer ones.

                  JASSM isn't integrated for Gripen and neither is any other cruise missile in full capacity. Besides that, I don't think the reuse of weapons is a big issue. NASAMS batteries can take over the A2A stock as they don't have dedicated missiles and Hornets will be around until the end of planned lifetime for JASSMs and many of the other weapon systems. It's of course a plus if JASSMs can be used by the new plane, but that will require US approval and support in any case.

                  Finland has absolute no concerns with ALIS or whatever points Hallow makes in the future (private info)
                  Well, Finland is independent in name only. They are already heavily integrated and partly dependant on US & NATO systems. I don't think ALIS is an issue, but independent depot capability and sufficient spares storage would definitely be in their interest.
                  Last edited by pesko; 9th May 2018, 14:00.

                  Comment


                    #89
                    To clarify: FAF has minimum requirements for 'maintenance security', ie. ability to maintain the planes in times of crisis. It is not explicitly told what those minimum criterias are, but basically FAF expects to have ability to independently operate the plane for at least some time without outside support. If the supplier can't guarantee this, it is out of the contest. Same minimum criteria applies for acquisition and supports costs, and industry co-operation. Ie. if the plane is too expensive or manufacturer unwilling to co-operate with domestic aviation industry, it is out.

                    In regards to F-35, it likely means that Finland is looking forward for somewhat similar deal what Israel has.

                    Comment


                      #90
                      Finland is nowhere close to Israel when it comes to ties and partnerships with US.

                      I frankly consider maintenance security & independancy to be well jeopardized with F-35: the implications are entirely different than with the current legacy Hornet fleet (which are largely serviced by Patria/Millog...) namely with ALIS and the maintenance hubs, which will be in Europe but outside of Finland, implying significantly decreased control on med-high level servicing. Works for NATO and EPAF.. but Finland? Skeptical.

                      Most of the other contenders have better cards than LM on this topic. Same for industry cooperation. Finland will be a (late) dwarf in the F-35 program. It will have much better opportunities with BAE/Dassault/Saab (probably Boeing too).
                      Last edited by EC 5/25 Corsair; 9th May 2018, 15:16.

                      Comment


                        #91
                        What i read is "could", "begins studying options", etc. Nothing assertive.
                        Egypt already couldn't use its F-16 for missions above Lybia due to USA not delivering MDFs (private info). So it is fairly natural that independant countries worry, isn't it?
                        If your going to present yourself as an "informed critic" it would help to stay educated on the topic. No? Italy, and Norway, are implementing a system to filter sensitive data, as well as their own reprogramming lab. This is not a "could" or "might". Australia is looking at the same thing.

                        As far as Egypt goes (or other ME customers), they have always had concessions attached for access to US technology. Most are due to agreements with Israel. You seem to be unaware that customers such as Egypt and UAE agree to restricted access and sovereign control to be cleared for advanced weapons (with very good reason).
                        Yet have they used their F-16's for strikes in Libya? Yes. So perhaps your overstating the issue just a bit. I don't think that is by accident either. There are 26 countries operating F-16's (and nine operating the contemporary Mirage 2000), your constant harping on US restrictions belie reality; most nations have no issue with how, when, and where they operate US sourced fighters.

                        FAF has minimum requirements for 'maintenance security', ie. ability to maintain the planes in times of crisis. It is not explicitly told what those minimum criterias are, but basically FAF expects to have ability to independently operate the plane for at least some time without outside support. If the supplier can't guarantee this, it is out of the contest.
                        Despite Hallow's claims, the aircraft can be operated without ALIS, and Finland could include stipulations for their own lab for programming.

                        Again, the concerns were addressed long ago:
                        t is also possible to work off-line on ALIS without connecting to the CPE or the ALOU for up to 30 days, depending on the squadron’s operational tempo, by keeping information stored on the SOU. “The system is designed for deployability, for remote operations, for disconnected operations for a period of time,” Scott said.
                        https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...nance-backbone
                        Last edited by FBW; 9th May 2018, 15:28.

                        Comment


                          #92
                          Finland is nowhere close to Israel when it comes to ties and partnerships with US.

                          I frankly consider maintenance security & independancy to be well jeopardized with F-35: the implications are entirely different than with the current legacy Hornet fleet (which are largely serviced by Patria/Millog...) namely with ALIS and the maintenance hubs, which will be in Europe but outside of Finland, implying significantly decreased control on med-high level servicing. Works for NATO and EPAF.. but Finland? Skeptical.

                          Most of the other contenders have better cards than LM on this topic. Same for industry cooperation. Finland will be a (late) dwarf in the F-35 program. It will have much better opportunities with BAE/Dassault/Saab (probably Boeing too).


                          That settles it then....if Finland cannot independently operate a jet it means that Finland is no longer independent...Russia will consider this as a threat and starts a war. Swedish jet won't have this problem ? Dwarf countries who geopolitically are located too close to their aggressors cannot do what ever they wish.

                          We still need a plane that we can poke the BEAR with if it gets too hostile right ?

                          I also find it peculiar that Finland needs 64 multibillion jets..as Denmark, Norway get away with 2/3 or less that amount ?
                          I mean the days of the Paris Treaty are gone and the prices of the planes have 10 000 folded in half a century or 70+ years.
                          If it looks good, it will fly good !
                          -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                          http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                            #93
                            I mean the days of the Paris Treaty are gone and the prices of the planes have 10 000 folded in half a century or 70+ years.
                            certainly it has increased manifold compared to Auto prices over 70 year period. but cars usually carry they same 4 or 5 passenger at similar constrained speed with essentially same fuel tank size. while Fighters have to carry as much payload as bombers of 70 years ago to higher speed and altitude with longer distance. on top of that long range sensors. diving test of cars is same. Pilots need advanced simiulators and much more advanced trainers.
                            Finland is nowhere close to Israel when it comes to ties and partnerships with US.
                            EU is facing lower currency and higher commodities prices due to Middleast and on top of that there are unofficial trade sanctions. I fully expect that Germany will impose EU wide austerity carefully designed without any one knowing to hedge against inflation.

                            Comment


                              #94
                              Corsair:
                              maintenance hubs, which will be in Europe but outside of Finland, implying significantly decreased control on med-high level servicing.
                              Maintenance hubs are mainly a measure by the JPO to help the program to be more cost-effective. Obviously, trust among partners is at the base of this system just like it does among airlines. It remains to you to prove that Finland could feel deceived by this when the country has been operating among NATO partners for years. The main issues are on the diplomatic fields when you have some political divergences (none that I can see here) and on economical grounds with the sustainment of national industries (just as mandated in the latest Swiss RFI).

                              Comment


                                #95
                                ALIS can be configured as to what info is passed up to the LM database. The issue is a non-stater.
                                "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                                Comment


                                  #96
                                  Maintenance hubs are mainly a measure by the JPO to help the program to be more cost-effective. Obviously, trust among partners is at the base of this system just like it does among airlines. It remains to you to prove that Finland could feel deceived by this when the country has been operating among NATO partners for years. The main issues are on the diplomatic fields when you have some political divergences (none that I can see here) and on economical grounds with the sustainment of national industries (just as mandated in the latest Swiss RFI).

                                  Yes I don't think you really get the whole picture that easy. Finland had to fight the independecy from Russia...and then a bloody civil war...where Soviet gunned trains were helping the Reds and an old Czar officer leading the Whites. Then again 1939 -1944 hundreds of thousands dead in the clash. After that we build a trust with the Soviets to that extent that Soviet leader Yeltsin promissed us 200 Mig-31s to compensate the the dept that had ensued the bilateral trade. Instead we chose to the FA-18...which is more reliable than the Mig-21s that we operated with Saab Drakens before them. Anyhow none of the Drakens were lost. Only reason why the Gripen was not last time chosen was as it was a prototype. Now the e-model looks pretty hot...to me. There are lotsa commies in Finland...they are a legal party. Certainly there is lotsa suspicion against a situation where the finns are just like before WW II allied with someone who promissed us immunity if they let us help us. As we turned out to be allied with the WW II looser the left did get a pretty good leverage in the politics. Now a minority they do cause a lot of noise in the opposition...and the country is loaded with ex-soviets..as tourists but also land owners. So we do have to be really careful not to express too much passion for NATO gear....who Putin has decleared an enemy. So we could end up buying the Gripen...as it is abit smaller and it can kill adversaries just a little bit..but not so much ??? Anyway it is also a monetary issue...Finland has never been so broke as now ( in dept that is ). Saab claims their fighter is 3 x cheaper in the long run.

                                  This is a tough call.
                                  Last edited by topspeed; 9th May 2018, 17:00.
                                  If it looks good, it will fly good !
                                  -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


                                  http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                    #97
                                    Maintenance hubs are mainly a measure by the JPO to help the program to be more cost-effective. Obviously, trust among partners is at the base of this system just like it does among airlines. It remains to you to prove that Finland could feel deceived by this when the country has been operating among NATO partners for years. The main issues are on the diplomatic fields when you have some political divergences (none that I can see here) and on economical grounds with the sustainment of national industries (just as mandated in the latest Swiss RFI).
                                    The issue is not "trust" or "political divergence", having a degree of self-sustainability is simply strategic requirement by FDF.

                                    Comment


                                      #98
                                      Originally posted by Yama View Post
                                      The issue is not "trust" or "political divergence", having a degree of self-sustainability is simply strategic requirement by FDF.
                                      And again, have you read the links to the articles from the last two pages? Your presenting self-sustiability as problematic for Finland to choose the F-35. What evidence have you presented to support this concern?

                                      As far as Hallows mission planning canard. Each unit has an SOU that allows off-line mission planning software that can be transferred to a brick to upload the data to the aircraft. It does not rely on constant connection to the ALOU. Finland can store their own data and mission information. At some point, to update MDF, parts supply, or maintenance data the CPE of each nation does have to be networked with ALOU. As stated, the system can deploy for at least 30 days before this becomes an issue.
                                      Last edited by FBW; 9th May 2018, 17:43.

                                      Comment


                                        #99
                                        And again, have you read the links to the articles from the last two pages? Your presenting self-sustiability as problematic for Finland to choose the F-35. What evidence have you presented to support this concern?
                                        Did you actually read anything I wrote?

                                        Comment


                                          Did you actually read anything I wrote?
                                          Yes, which is why I responded.

                                          FAF has minimum requirements for 'maintenance security', ie. ability to maintain the planes in times of crisis. It is not explicitly told what those minimum criterias are, but basically FAF expects to have ability to independently operate the plane for at least some time without outside support.
                                          At the top of the page I put a link specifically referring to the F-35's ability to operate without outside support, which was why I was puzzled when you brought up "self-sustainability" again.

                                          Finland does not need an agreement similar to Israel's which has a domestic defense establishment to support. Their desire to "customize" is largely driven by a desire to install Israeli hardware, comms. and weapons. Finland could negotiate to set up their own reprogramming lab (which would be a first for an FMS customer), or share space with one of the partner nations that are setting up labs. They can filter what data is shared with L-M as Italy is in the process of implementing.

                                          Or they could do none of the above, aware that the current ALIS (buggy and still falling short on logistics and maintenance) isn't a threat to their sovereign control and self-sustainability. Should they choose the F-35, I'd imagine it will be an FMS deal without any added stipulations (with added costs). They've operated F-18's for 25+ years, and they were the first to receive AN/ALQ-165.

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