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Thread: Finnish fighter replacement revisited

  1. #31
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    What does the $100 per-plane budget cover (URF, WSC, etc)

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    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  2. #32
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    The $80 mil number is the URF/REC Flyaway price. Every customer knows this
    How could anyone seriously believe this ?

    Treaty ally cost and export prices are 2 different animals. Unless the US govt is subsidizing the F-35 by 10's of millions, there is no way that the cost is under 100 or anywhere near the cost of Rafale or Gripens.

    How much more lines of code is there in the F-35 compared to a Rafale or Gripen ? The stealth coating ect. This is just not possible. This is like saying an iPhone X is costing slightly less than a Samsung S6. Its just not reality. And if sub 100 prices are kicking around, its because someone is subsidizing it.

  3. #33
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    Given that the F-35 is cheaper than the Rafale & Eurofighter, close to the Gripen & Super Hornet,
    Its not possible. Listen to what you just said.

    Again. This is IPhone X for less money than a BlackBerry Torch in the case of the Eurofighter or Hornet.

  4. #34
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    How could anyone seriously believe this ?
    Believe what, that the $80 will be achieved? That is for the future to see. I was just pointing out what classification the $80 belongs to.

    Treaty ally cost and export prices are 2 different animals.
    Yes and no. Partner & FMS sales are made at the same price that the US pays for the system. FMS "may" include fees but those are optional. This is why FMS sales are "estimates" because they depend on what the price is in any given year rather than a "promise" given years before actual procurement.

    there is no way that the cost is under 100 or anywhere near the cost of Rafale or Gripens.
    The URF is already well under $100 mil in the latest batch of F-35As. Per the Indian deal, the Rafale is north of $100mil for the "bare fighter" and that was before the $50 mil per fighter "customization".

    This is just not possible.
    The reason is simple, economies of scale. LM makes more in one year (by 2020) than nearly 5 years of Rafale production. On the development side, since the USG & Partners have already paid for the basic development, it's cost is not included in Partner & FMS sales (as per all FMS contracts).


    I'll have to dig around, but a recent governemnt (not the US) report did an apples/apples comparison of the F-35/Eurofighter/Rafale/Gripen/SH and showed that the F-35 cheapest overall.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  5. #35
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    Denmark is budgeting around $97 million per unit for a fleet of 27 aircraft, 17 of which will be delivered in block 4 configuration and the remaining that will be converted to it. This unit price also includes spares, simulators and other services.

    http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/...rement-process
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  6. #36
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    @Spud

    Just answer one of the actual realities about the cost and the man hours into the jet.

    Code. How much more code does the F-35 have compared to the Hornet ?

    Coating. A Hornet just has paint. Every F-35 has special coating. It costs way more by the gallon. Its just a raw cost that no amount of accounting gimmicks can overcome.

    Fighter pricing is all politics. The F-35 pricing is all poltics. Somehow, they are getting away with these numbers in the news. But those numbers aren't meant for hardcore enthusiast consumption. Even volume wise. Its not like there hasn't been high volumes of these other fighters.

    On the development side, since the USG & Partners have already paid for the basic development,
    Then you have to add that per jet to get a fair price compared to the Rafale or anything.
    Last edited by KGB; 29th November 2017 at 05:02.

  7. #37
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    man hours into the jet
    The CPFH is about 14% above that of the F-16

    How much more code...
    Why does that matter? That plays no part in the F-35's cost to produce. If anything, it makes it less expensive since it has less specialized chips.

    Every F-35 has special coating..
    Yes it does, which makes it more survivable & better able to do its job without extra help.

    Fighter pricing is all politics.
    No it's not. It's all based on what it costs to create (in the US anyway) with a little profit thrown in.

    Its not like there hasn't been high volumes of these other fighters.
    Care to state when the Gripen, Rafale, Eurofighter, or Superhornet was produced at rates approaching that of the F-35 at FRP (100+ per year).

    Then you have to add that per jet to get a fair price
    Why? I quoted the price that customers are paying for it. It's not like the Rafale, Eurofighter, and Super Hornet's dev is not already paid for.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  8. #38
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    There is literally one threat why we need the fighters in the first place, makes no sense to buy our hardware from the said threat.
    Well I don't know, Finland was happy to buy MiG-21Fs from the USSR twenty years after their last bloody war with each other and armed them with R-13 missiles. And then again in 1978 for the 21bis and R-60.

    They also gave the MiG-23MF a good inspection in the late 1970s.

    Is Russia more of a threat to Finland nowadays than the USSR in the depths of the Cold War?
    Last edited by Cherry Ripe; 29th November 2017 at 12:28.

  9. #39
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    That was because of the Cold War, & how WW2 had ended for Finland. Finland was still bound by treaties with the USSR, & required to perform a delicate balancing act between east & west.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  10. #40
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    As a Finn i do know, you dont. As Swerwe already explained, buying soviet stuff was a necessity because of the political situatition we found ourselves after the lost WW2, we were firmly in SU's sphere of influence. Things changed after SU collapsed.

  11. #41
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    @cherry ripe

    Is Russia more of a threat to Finland nowadays than the USSR in the depths of the Cold War?
    Its not even close. But the attitude of the western establishment to Russia is worse. And governments that aren't in DC are weaker than ever. Finland will probably fall into line and buy whatever DC tells them to.

  12. #42
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    man hours into the jet
    The CPFH is about 14% above that of the F-16


    How much more code...
    Why does that matter? That plays no part in the F-35's cost to produce. If anything, it makes it less expensive since it has less specialized chips.


    Every F-35 has special coating..
    Yes it does, which makes it more survivable & better able to do its job without extra help.


    Fighter pricing is all politics.
    No it's not. It's all based on what it costs to create (in the US anyway) with a little profit thrown in.


    Its not like there hasn't been high volumes of these other fighters.
    Care to state when the Gripen, Rafale, Eurofighter, or Superhornet was produced at rates approaching that of the F-35 at FRP (100+ per year).


    Then you have to add that per jet to get a fair price
    Why? I quoted the price that customers are paying for it. It's not like the Rafale, Eurofighter, and Super Hornet's dev is not already paid for.
    @Spudman

    There's just no way. You say code doesn't matter. The more code there is, the more processing power there needs to be. Look at the price of computers or phones or anything with processing power. The faster, top of the line stuff costs way more. It just has to. Bigger screens also.

  13. #43
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    My phone has more processing power than most fighters flying today. Its cost is MINUSCULE compared to PCs 20-30 years ago. I remember seeing a 486 PC from the late '80s that cost $5000 ($10.8k in today's dollars). My new PC is a BEAST (8c/16t @ 4Ghz), 16GB RAM, 500GB M.2, 8TB Raid10 SSHD, 1070GPU, Dual 27" 1080P and cost less than $3k. It has to power to run multitudes of what is needed in the F-35. The computers in the F-35 are much cheaper than is in the F-22 or any other fighter when the functions that it does are compared. One of the reasons why the F-35 uses C++ is to keep the processors cheap and the development time low.

    Btw, a majority of the code for the F-35 is actually running in the ALIS system (ground-based) rather than on the F-35 itself.

    Numbers don't lie, no matter how you want to twist them. Several countries have compared the F-35 to Rafale, Eurofighter, et al and the F-35 came out on top, including price. Don't get caught up in early LRIP pricing but look at the trend in pricing (getting cheaper every day).
    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 29th November 2017 at 19:29.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  14. #44
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    As a Finn i do know, you dont. As Swerwe already explained, buying soviet stuff was a necessity because of the political situatition we found ourselves after the lost WW2, we were firmly in SU's sphere of influence. Things changed after SU collapsed.
    Not quite so simple actually.

    Finish delegation visited UVZ in the 1990s to check out the T-90, and by insider accounts were quite happy with it. But due to politics, it was not considered, the only real "contender" was the Leo2.
    Trade between Finland and Russia has grown hugely from those days, even accounting for past few rocky years. While arms wise Finland has moved away, in almost every other sense the countries are closer than they were in Soviet times.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  15. #45
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    I thought it was obvious that we are talking about weapon systems and particurarly fighters, so it is quite so simple. Other goods are different matter.

  16. #46
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    One of the reasons why the F-35 uses C++ is to keep the processors cheap and the development time low.
    I thought it was to generate bugs during development (error prone language)... How naive i was...

  17. #47
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    If you have decent error handling and a good IDE then it's manageable.

    I almost forgot, it makes extensive use of VMs & middleware (makes errors less likely and easier to recover from) and even it's 8x20 display is actually two 8x10s side by side. They are electrically separate so if one goes down completely, the other can take over the duties.

    On a related note, the build rate for the F-35 by 2020 can be up to 160.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  18. #48
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    I thought it was obvious that we are talking about weapon systems and particurarly fighters, so it is quite so simple. Other goods are different matter.
    I am sure you understand the other goods are connected with having finland in peacefull orbit. Finland not rich enough that one side it buys expensive fighters and on other side it face business difficulties on global scale. there are very recent examples of such countries.

  19. #49
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    The reason is simple, economies of scale. LM makes more in one year (by 2020) than nearly 5 years of Rafale production. On the development side, since the USG & Partners have already paid for the basic development, it's cost is not included in Partner & FMS sales (as per all FMS contracts).
    Do note that USAF F-35 procurement will be cut. Most probably this will happen by the way of reduced acquisition rate, this will drive the unit cost up.

    Any way, in case of Finland, role of currency exchange rate will have big impact. A weak Euro would make Rafale/Eurofighter more attractive, on the other hand exchange rate of 1.20 or higher would make them prohibitively expensive compared to US alternatives.

    I'll have to dig around, but a recent governemnt (not the US) report did an apples/apples comparison of the F-35/Eurofighter/Rafale/Gripen/SH and showed that the F-35 cheapest overall.
    If you're talking about Danish evaluation, it was not apples to apples as it assumed enormous cost savings from F-35 maintenance model. The result is not relevant for Finland, which is not JSF partner nor member of NATO, and will have her own maintenance set up, just like Israel.

  20. #50
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    Finish delegation visited UVZ in the 1990s to check out the T-90, and by insider accounts were quite happy with it. But due to politics, it was not considered, the only real "contender" was the Leo2.
    Trade between Finland and Russia has grown hugely from those days, even accounting for past few rocky years. While arms wise Finland has moved away, in almost every other sense the countries are closer than they were in Soviet times.
    T-90 inquiries may have been part of studies to see what arms purchases Finland could make to write off Russia's post-Soviet debt. Considered major items were tanks, helicopters and missiles. In the end, only major acquisition was the Buk deal (which the Russians almost immediately began to regret). The Army was extremely cash-strapped in the '90s and couldn't afford any new equipment. The plan was to modernize T-72, but then European countries began dumping used Leopard 2's at fire sale prices, so the plan was scrapped. Confused state and chaos within Russian arms industry in immediate post-Soviet era didn't really help. "Nobody knew anything, or could point us to a person who could have helped".

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yama View Post
    Do note that USAF F-35 procurement will be cut. Most probably this will happen by the way of reduced acquisition rate, this will drive the unit cost up.
    l.
    The program of record has not changed, the procurement schedule has been extended. Even with the reduced buy rate, the production ramp up coming in the 2020's is more critical for driving down unit cost than overall numbers (which again, have not changed).

  22. #52
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    The program of record has not changed, the procurement schedule has been extended. Even with the reduced buy rate, the production ramp up coming in the 2020's is more critical for driving down unit cost than overall numbers (which again, have not changed).
    It only means that ultimate decision will be done in the future, probably by some other bunch of politicians who will suck the blame.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yama
    Do note that USAF F-35 procurement will be cut. Most probably this will happen by the way of reduced acquisition rate, this will drive the unit cost up.
    The build rate is secure for the near future or at least the next 10 years. Its not going to impact Finnish/Belgian/Spanish/Polish acquisitions. There may be a scaling down post-2030 but by that time most of the (Western) competition will be out-of-production.

  24. #54
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    The build rate is secure for the near future or at least the next 10 years
    10 year too long time to maintain build rate. alot of turnover in production workers. It is built in state with high population growth. 100% inflation minimum.
    https://www.census.gov/library/stori...on-trends.html
    For each year between 2010 and 2016, Texas has had the nation’s largest annual population growth
    Plus 50% components imported. that alone add to alot of transport/handling costs that will surely increase in costs. Energy industry cant survive
    Already expensive US weopon exports forcing Arabs to eat Russian grains and soon the water/ medicines.
    This whole scenario assume everything else remain static in economic system. Aircraft industries should only be build at place where population growth is static as its labor intensive.

  25. #55
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    Press conference on the Finnish competition:

    https://areena.yle.fi/1-50001494

    Summary in English (from f-16.net):

    * 64 planes needed
    * 7 - 10 Billion € (8.5 - 12 Billion $)
    * The most important criteria in the competition is performance
    * Performance advantage against potential regional threats required for the next 30 years (current performance + development potential)
    * Development potential is important (EW, Sensors, Weapons), future development path by manufacturer + main user evaluated
    * Performance through out the whole life cycle evaluated based on development potential
    * Finnish Air Force not willing to solely pay integration costs for future sensors, weapons etc.
    * Five evaluation areas
    * 4 of the 5 evaluation areas will have minimum threshold criteria that need to be met in order to get evaluated in the fifth (performance)
    * In the Fifth evaluation area (military performance) candidates will be graded and the best performing candidate will be selected
    In other words: the winner is the F-35! Finland will get one of the most potent air forces in Europe...

  26. #56
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    In other words: the winner is the F-35! Finland will get one of the most potent air forces in Europe...
    That is your opinion of best perfroming candidate. (which in itself is highly disputable, even if you manage to use good performance index, the other questin is "when")?

  27. #57
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    "disputable", meh... "highly disputable", nope

    "When", 3 years after the order is placed.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  28. #58
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    So putative block IV that's it? We agree on that point. F-35 will enter maturity more or less after full block 4.

    PS apologize if i was too harsh recently. Personal reasons.

  29. #59
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    By "3 years" I was referring to when Finland could get it.

    If you're talking "maturity", now... Block 3F.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  30. #60
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    I made poll at a finnish science site about what we should purchase...and 46% favoured Gripen and 1% F-35.

    I estimate FA-18 Super Hornet is more popular than F-35. High cost to maintain and operate the F-35 is scaring the folks alot.

    Rafale and Eurofighter are in the race too. 8% preferred an indigenous design ( which we don't have ).

    But it is not for the people to decide...the AF and politicians will choose the most fitting one for Finland.
    Last edited by topspeed; 7th May 2018 at 14:46.
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