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Switzerland fighter replacement plan restarted

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    #21
    I recollect that around 2010 the F-5 replacement programme was launched and that some time later Boeing withdrew from the competition. Unless I am mistaken there was a problem with the Superhornet wingspan exceeding the maximum that could be accomodated in bunkers dug into hillsides. What has changed? Would the cost of enlarging those bunkers be added to any quote from Boeing when evaluating Superhornet?

    Looking at CPFH, it seems a big jump from F-5 CPFH (I guess under $5,000) to at least double that (if not triple or more) for all the types offered except Gripen E. I do not know how many hours a year Swiss F-5's were flown on missions that did not warrant the capability of the Hornets but having to fly air patrols at a CPFH increased by 100% or 150% or 200% compared to F-5 (or possibly even more) seems a massive waste of money to me if it can be avoided. Of the companies invited to quote for supplying fighters only SAAB can offer a product that might not cost several times more to fly each hour than F-5.
    Sum ergo cogito

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      #22
      F-16V would be a good choice.
      "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

      Comment


        #23
        They basically need a low cost QRA and air policing fighter. Why don't they look into uprading their existing F-5s to say a standard similar to thailand's F-5ST Super Tigris? Low operating costs with modern radar, missile and HMD.

        http://alert5.com/2017/08/02/rtaf-f-...igris-program/

        Comment


          #24
          Originally posted by SpudmanWP View Post
          What specific ALIS concern?

          I can operate for long periods "off the net" and can filter outgoing data to ensure that any sensitive data is not "passed up the chain".
          The figure I've seen is 30 days in degraded conditions.

          "Operational autonomy" doesn't mean "operational autonomy for 30 days".

          I'm not commenting on high level maintenance conducted in foreign territory.

          Comment


            #25
            Originally posted by Spitfire9
            I recollect that around 2010 the F-5 replacement programme was launched and that some time later Boeing withdrew from the competition. Unless I am mistaken there was a problem with the Superhornet wingspan exceeding the maximum that could be accomodated in bunkers dug into hillsides. What has changed? Would the cost of enlarging those bunkers be added to any quote from Boeing when evaluating Superhornet?
            The small bunkers too narrow/hangars too low issues was not specific to the Super Hornet. It applied to the Rafale and Eurofighter too, and 500 millions were expected to be added to the quote should one of these aircraft be chosen.
            I'm not 100% sure why Boeing left the competition, but I believe I've read something about tech transfer as being the reason. We'll see if Boeing/LM answer the RFI positively.

            Comment


              #26
              How so? They are flying F-5s and F-18s now without an issue.
              Its just not as practical Spud. It was a dumb move then and a dumb move now if they decide on anything outside the EU.

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                #27
                Corsair: it was specified in the RFP and underlined here that the concept of operation is compatible with the off-line optional mode of ALIS. One again, it his annoying that we have to re-write the same points when the old threa is not gone!

                For the maintenance issue, please remind that this is a factor of cost ( low cost - how awkward?). If Swiss want to be fully autonomous... Yes they can!

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                  #28
                  I'm not commenting on high level maintenance conducted in foreign territory.
                  Any country is welcome to setup their own MRO&U and depot facilities. They can even shut off their national ALIS feed but will have to be willing to then stock their own parts. Without JPO ALIS feedback the PHM will be less accurate and they will have to start doing a lot more preventative and manual maintenance.

                  All of these things cost more money, but they are free to do it.
                  "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                  Comment


                    #29
                    Originally posted by Spitfire9 View Post
                    I recollect that around 2010 the F-5 replacement programme was launched and that some time later Boeing withdrew from the competition. Unless I am mistaken there was a problem with the Superhornet wingspan exceeding the maximum that could be accomodated in bunkers dug into hillsides. What has changed? Would the cost of enlarging those bunkers be added to any quote from Boeing when evaluating Superhornet?
                    Nothing has changed, the larger aircraft would require enlargement of the caverns (not sure about the F-35 actually). Surely the cost would be added. There's not really another option.

                    Originally posted by Spitfire9 View Post
                    Looking at CPFH, it seems a big jump from F-5 CPFH (I guess under $5,000) to at least double that (if not triple or more) for all the types offered except Gripen E. I do not know how many hours a year Swiss F-5's were flown on missions that did not warrant the capability of the Hornets but having to fly air patrols at a CPFH increased by 100% or 150% or 200% compared to F-5 (or possibly even more) seems a massive waste of money to me if it can be avoided. Of the companies invited to quote for supplying fighters only SAAB can offer a product that might not cost several times more to fly each hour than F-5.
                    Since this is an F-18 replacement, you need to compare with F-18 cost.
                    F-5s don't fly real missions anymore, they are used as training aircraft, sparring partners, aggressors to conserve Hornet airframe hours.

                    Swiss F-5s have pretty low airframe hours. I can't remember the exact number, but it was something around 3000 hours I think... Old age and number of take-offs/landings are probably of more concern. Plus of course short transit times and hard use in many training fights. Switzerland is not the US where you need to fly 30min to reach training air spaces or fly 10 hour missions over sand without anything happening. Several retired airframes had cracks despite the rel. low hours.
                    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
                    Yngwie Malmsteen

                    Comment


                      #30
                      ^ The F-35 is not a bunker jet. This sounds like a perfect application for a 4+ gen workhorse.

                      Comment


                        #31
                        Before we talk about what fighter the Swiss could buy we need to consider the main barrier to it happening the GSoA (Group for a Switzerland Without an Army), they have enough members now to get a referendum on blocking any fighter procurement. It was them who got the referendum to block the Gripen procurement which was also their first victory.

                        With their level of support they will almost certainly get another referendum making this a public political issue! Any choice will have to be sold to the Swiss public in a manner that can deflect any arguments made by the GSoA!
                        Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

                        Comment


                          #32
                          Any country is welcome to setup their own MRO&U and depot facilities. They can even shut off their national ALIS feed but will have to be willing to then stock their own parts. Without JPO ALIS feedback the PHM will be less accurate and they will have to start doing a lot more preventative and manual maintenance.

                          All of these things cost more money, but they are free to do it.
                          For the maintenance issue, please remind that this is a factor of cost ( low cost - how awkward?). If Swiss want to be fully autonomous... Yes they can!
                          It seems that we agree that the F-35 would be outright much more expensive than its counterparts to achieve the same level of operational autonomy then.

                          Comment


                            #33
                            Before we talk about what fighter the Swiss could buy we need to consider the main barrier to it happening the GSoA (Group for a Switzerland Without an Army), they have enough members now to get a referendum on blocking any fighter procurement. It was them who got the referendum to block the Gripen procurement which was also their first victory.

                            With their level of support they will almost certainly get another referendum making this a public political issue! Any choice will have to be sold to the Swiss public in a manner that can deflect any arguments made by the GSoA!
                            This time, the referendum will happen before the final decision by the government. Swiss people will vote on the whole concept of air defense modernisation and maximum budget, not on any aircraft type or number of aircraft.

                            Comment


                              #34
                              This time, the referendum will happen before the final decision by the government. Swiss people will vote on the whole concept of air defense modernisation and maximum budget, not on any aircraft type or number of aircraft.
                              If I read you correcly, (a) a fighter purchase (b) the maximum to be spent on it would need to be approved before going any further. That is a LOT more sensible than going through a complex and expensive selection process then asking the electorate if it was all going to be a complete waste of time and money.
                              Sum ergo cogito

                              Comment


                                #35
                                It seems that we agree that the F-35 would be outright much more expensive than its counterparts to achieve the same level of operational autonomy then.
                                That's the price you pay, pun intended, in order to lower the lifetime O&S costs.
                                "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  Yes. The referendum will happen in spring 2020, while the aircraft and SAM system will be chosen at the end of the same year by the government. I'm actually not sure if the budget itself will be voted on, but there isn't much room here unless cut are done in othe critical part of the army.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Yes. The referendum will happen in spring 2020, while the aircraft and SAM system will be chosen at the end of the same year by the government. I'm actually not sure if the budget itself will be voted on, but there isn't much room here unless cut are done in othe critical part of the army.
                                    Thats a huge plus for the most capable (and expensive) platforms. With the Swiss MOD not having to go through a gruelling referendum AFTER the platform has been chosen they can aim for the most capable ones, unlike the last time when they choose the cheapest.
                                    sigpic

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      12th July 2018, 16:55 #33 Spyhawk Spyhawk is offline
                                      Rank 42 Registered User
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                                      166
                                      Before we talk about what fighter the Swiss could buy we need to consider the main barrier to it happening the GSoA (Group for a Switzerland Without an Army), they have enough members now to get a referendum on blocking any fighter procurement. It was them who got the referendum to block the Gripen procurement which was also their first victory.

                                      With their level of support they will almost certainly get another referendum making this a public political issue! Any choice will have to be sold to the Swiss public in a manner that can deflect any arguments made by the GSoA!
                                      This time, the referendum will happen before the final decision by the government. Swiss people will vote on the whole concept of air defense modernisation and maximum budget, not on any aircraft type or number of aircraft.
                                      Thanks I remember now, in effect they are banking on the Swiss public baulking at the idea of no air defences whatsoever!
                                      Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        With the Swiss MOD not having to go through a gruelling referendum AFTER the platform has been chosen they can aim for the most capable ones, unlike the last time when they choose the cheapest.
                                        I think that what aircraft and SAM are chosen will depend on:

                                        (a) entire budget for SAM's and aircraft (I assume the 8 billion Swiss franc spend mentioned is not set in stone)

                                        (b) cost of minimum acceptable performance demanded from both systems

                                        I guess the Swiss armed forces will then argue between themselves for the best air defence system at the cost of a better performing fighter and vice versa.
                                        Sum ergo cogito

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          The procedure of acquisition is actually detailed in the official report (section 2.6.1, in French).

                                          2.6.1 Evaluation
                                          Combat aircraft

                                          Since November 2017, interviews have been held with aircraft manufacturers, in a first
                                          time with the ministries of defense and then in the context of mixed groups (representatives
                                          ministries of defense and manufacturers). In July 2018, a first call
                                          tenders called request for proposal will be sent to manufacturers. These will have to submit
                                          offers for 30 and 40 fighter planes (including guided gears and a logistic package
                                          defined by the end of January 2019 and calculate how many aircraft would be needed to
                                          be able to have four airplanes permanently in the air for four weeks.

                                          This first step will not fix the final number of aircraft. The call for tenders for 30
                                          to 40 aircraft must provide a basis for a reliable cost comparison. The second
                                          approach allows to establish the optimal ratios between the number of planes and the package
                                          logistics - there is indeed an inverse relationship between the number of aircraft and the cost of
                                          logistics: more logistics can achieve the same degree of presence
                                          in the air with a reduced number of aircraft since downtime
                                          on the ground can be reduced. The other objective of this second approach is to define the
                                          minimum number of aircraft required for each model.

                                          Between May and July 2019, combat aircraft must be tested one after the other
                                          in Swiss. Compared with the 2008 evaluation and based on the experiences of
                                          the time (which show which data are worth checking), the test program
                                          is optimized, which makes it faster. The planes must be based in Payerne, but
                                          take off and also land at Meiringen to allow noise measurements at both
                                          locations. The tests carried out in Switzerland are a sine qua non requirement; if this requirement does
                                          may be filled, the aircraft concerned is rejected.

                                          In November 2019, a second call for tenders will be launched and to which
                                          by the end of May 2020. From June to the end of 2020, the evaluation report will be drawn up and
                                          submitted to the Federal Council for the choice of aircraft model, together with the report
                                          on the ground-air defense system.

                                          Ground-to-air defense system

                                          Preparation of the evaluation began in September 2017 with a market analysis
                                          ground-to-air defense systems, which resulted in an initial (long list) selection of
                                          systems to consider. For this market analysis, interviews were conducted with the
                                          ministries of defense in countries where these systems are manufactured or used. the
                                          In spring 2018, the list was reduced to three short list systems, which are currently
                                          evaluated.

                                          The evaluation of the ground-to-air defense is carried out in parallel with the evaluation of the new
                                          combat aircraft. However, it is not the systems in their entirety that are
                                          tested in Switzerland, but only the sensors.
                                          Unsurprisingly, the approach used to define the number of minimal aircraft required (4 aircraft continuously airborne for 4 weeks) is a long time requirement of the Swiss Air Force. It will advantage whichever system designed to
                                          sustain high sortie rates with minimum support over long period of time.

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