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Thread: Finnish fighter replacement revisited

  1. #91
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    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 at 15:28.

  2. #92
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    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.
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  3. #93
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    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.

  4. #94
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    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).

  5. #95
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    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."

  6. #96
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    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 at 17:00.
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  7. #97
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    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.

  8. #98
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    Quote 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 Hallow’s “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 at 17:43.

  9. #99
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    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?

  10. #100
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    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.

  11. #101
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    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.
    With what counterparty? Alliance membership?

    (with added costs)
    Ah, good news considering F-35 is probably already at the very high end of their 7-10 G$ range.
    They must be very interested in the outraging quote proposed to Belgium...

    isn't a threat to their sovereign control and self-sustainability.
    You are entilted to your own analysis. LM cancelling vulnerability tests (and not rescheduling them, publicly at least) is also a good sign for the system's security, eh? Furthrmore, your so-called ALIS independance, is in fact a mere buffer to cope with deployment ops and log issues... not a standalone capability.

    for up to 30 days (...) for disconnected operations for a period of time
    Finland sure counts on 30-days limited reliance in case of war, right?

    ...and maintenande hubs? How do they go towards self-reliance?
    Last edited by EC 5/25 Corsair; 9th May 2018 at 19:13.

  12. #102
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    With what counterparty? Alliance membership?
    Have you read anything about the reprogramming labs? Partner nations want to control aspects of their data and mission files (Italy and Netherlands partner on the lab, but in separate sections). If Finland wanted to set up their own, they could include that as a stipulation. FMS customers have a separate lab, Israel has opted for some independent control, as well as Denmark. If this was a serious concern, which it isn't, Finland could address it in their request.
    Ah, good news considering F-35 is probably already at the very high end of their 7-10 G$ range.
    They must be very interested in the outraging quote proposed to Belgium...
    Now we are in the business of predicting bids? Or are we still operating on the fallacy that other aircraft are cheaper to procure? That horse has been beaten to death, and if recent contracts are any prediction, quite the opposite is true.

    You are entilted to your own analysis. LM cancelling vulnerability tests (and not rescheduling them, publicly at least) is also a good sign for the system's security, eh? Furthrmore, your so-called ALIS independance, is in fact a mere buffer to cope with deployment ops and log issues... not a standalone capability.
    How is the ability to operate without ALIS "so-called" it came up due to ALIS reliability issues (still unresolved). Every time the fallacy that the F-35 could be grounded by the U.S. (or foreign hacking), JPO has actively refuted this. The coding is proprietary to L-M not the DoD. If the aircraft can operate without ALIS then it is the very definition of a Standalone capability as the USMC has stated that it may need to operate outside of the network in austere conditions. For the most part, it makes no sense not to be connected to ALIS. This has been brought up in UK Parliament, Australian Parliament. Again the worst case scenario for being denied access to ALIS would be going back to manpower intensive maintenance logging and troubleshooting (and having to maintain an expensive ready stock of spares) MDF would not be updated but the ones in Finnish SOU at squadron level and data stored in the CPE would be available.

    Finland sure counts on 30-days limited reliance in case of war, right?
    Right, and now we are entering into fantasy conversation. This is another canard. How many nations that have forces in Europe (outside of Russia, and U.S.) maintain even a 30 day war reserve stock of ordinance and parts for their fleets? In a high intensity conflict, there isn't an air force in Europe (outside of the above) that could sustain a 30 day war (Libya was far from a high intensity conflict and both France and UK depleted stocks of PGM). Can you honestly state that France, Eurofighter Consortium nations would be able to support Finland with weapons and parts for a conflict even half that long? Recent events and readiness reports suggest otherwise.

    ..and maintenande hubs? How do they go towards self-reliance?
    Those hubs are for heavy maintenance. Partner nations decided to pool resources into those hubs for cost reasons. Here is the work performed:
    "Heavy maintenance entails repairing large structural components like bulkheads, spars and wings, which require more advanced facilities and technical acumen....engine overhaul" -https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/italy-turkey-will-lead-f-35-maintenance-in-europe-407030/
    How often do you think spars and bulkheads need replacing?
    Last edited by FBW; 9th May 2018 at 20:42.

  13. #103
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    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.
    Nope, Rafale and Typhoon will not make it -- the FiAF seems to put emphasis on the fighter having to fit within the current operational budget, and at the same time they want 64 a/c.... Rafale and Typhoon are too expensive. In addition of the fighters that meet the first 4 criteria, the fifth (capability) will determine who will win.

    Thus most likely the following will be short-listed:

    F-35
    SH/Growler
    Gripen E.

    When they are ranked according to capability, F-35 will win.

  14. #104
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    Oh, thanks Loke. I'll give a call to Lauri Puranen and tell him to ditch them off the programme. Too bad because they just sent their RfQ, what a load of paper watsed!

    FBW: bids are hard to eyeball I concur. But it's equally fallacious to assume the F-35 quote will be well within the range of the HX budget, especially more if you think Finland can afford to go shopping and put the "independant control" option in its cart. Oh, and of course JPO will refute any vulnerability claim, come on... we talked about Egypt last page. I think it's also useful to wonder why UAE didn't go the F-16 route to perform its first strikes in Libya in '14. But I'm not gonna go off topic.

    Right, and now we are entering into fantasy conversation. This is another canard. How many nations that have forces in Europe (outside of Russia, and U.S.) maintain even a 30 day war reserve stock of ordinance and parts for their fleets? In a high intensity conflict, there isn't an air force in Europe (outside of the above) that could sustain a 30 day war. Can you honestly state that France, Eurofighter nations would be able to support Finland with weapons and parts for a conflict even half that long? Recent events and readiness reports suggest otherwise.
    That's frankly the worst argument you could pick.

    "We think you don't have enough ressources to sustain yourself for 30 days, so let us sell you a system that's unable to work reliably and independantly past that period".

    Please. Go sell that argument to a Finn and I'd be glad to watch him scoff at you, if not more.

    You'd be surprised to see the level of resilience Finnish achieve. These guys have consistently kept preparing themselves for territorial defense since the CW, with little to no downtempo, while the rest of Europe was embrassing that peace dividend that ended up being more destructive than anything else (even including for Finland's closest defense partner).

    Finns talk and communicate little. Yet when Russians are kicking off Zapad every four year or so, Finns are doing the same kind of exercice (volume wise) yearly. So, high intensity air ops for 30+ days, probably not (and I'd be keen to say nor the Russians.. and the Americans would probably be digging in their rusty Mk8x stocks at that time)... but it is certainly against the Finnish strategic thinking, planning and readiness preparation to assume they will automatically need foreign support as long as a conflic goes beyond a month long.

    Even so, would the US actively support Finland if they are involved into a conflict, while being out of NATO, which Finland is not ready to join? Doubts arise from the audience.

    How often do you think spars and bulkheads need replacing?
    Right. Because high level maintenance visit is only performed because a spar needs to be replaced and not following a precise schedule. /s
    Where's the F135 hub in Europe, by the way...?
    Last edited by EC 5/25 Corsair; 9th May 2018 at 21:09. Reason: ******* poor spelling and grammar, sorry

  15. #105
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    Look Corsair, it is sad to say but Rafale would have had a chance if it was undoubtedly over passing the capacity now fielded by the Fin AF. On other words, what worth billion the non-uS offer does have?
    Given the recent upgrade of their C and Ds, there is not much left to emphasize. As I wrote above, this RFP is not all about looking for another SLEP! You can't re-skin a cat and call it a Tiger.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 10th May 2018 at 13:56.

  16. #106
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    Your point doesn't make sense. If F-35 was bringing zillions of new features and/or the 4 other contenders featured way too little gap as you claim (and let's be real, it's not the case unlike you might think), they would have gone for OTS F-35. I'm not gonna go over the SLEP parallel... pedantically ignorant at best. But that point of yours fails considering the (1) pragmatic nature of Finns that would not seem compatible with your assessement, i.e. why bother with RFP if the solution is so obvious? Makes even less sense considering Finland is way less US-tied than nations who made the direct choice (2) they are not looking for aircraft as their current state but with specific requirements. Hint: Gripen E is slowly maturing, and Rafale big update will be underway at the time of the selection, to give only two examples.

    It would be too easy if the F-35 already won such in advance (as you would like), right?
    Last edited by EC 5/25 Corsair; 9th May 2018 at 21:33.

  17. #107
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    No like or dis-like on my side. don't venture on that field. thanks. it's all about being rationale.

  18. #108
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    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.
    No, you obviously did not read. All I said was that Finland has requirements concerning sustaining the plane, which are somewhat more extensive than JSF partners/NATO countries have, due to simple fact that Finland is neither. Nothing more, nothing less. If a manufacturer is willing to provide a support package which fits those requirements (and I believe LockMart is on record saying that they are), then their plane is in the contest. If not, then they're out, simple as that.
    I very much doubt it is going to be a stumbling block for any of the contestants, only question is whether it brings some extra cost.

  19. #109
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    Nope, Rafale and Typhoon will not make it -- the FiAF seems to put emphasis on the fighter having to fit within the current operational budget, and at the same time they want 64 a/c.... Rafale and Typhoon are too expensive. In addition of the fighters that meet the first 4 criteria, the fifth (capability) will determine who will win.

    Thus most likely the following will be short-listed:

    F-35
    SH/Growler
    Gripen E.

    When they are ranked according to capability, F-35 will win.
    First off, the FiAF is already operating a 64 strong fleet of F/A-18C, which is by no any means an inexpensive aircraft to operate. The next aircraft should cost about the same amount or slightly more to operate, according to them. All of the candidates should be able to meet this criteria in O&S costs.

    Secondly, it's been already said by the FiAF that all of the aircraft are about the same in acquisition costs. Don't believe every figure you read in the Internet.

    Thirdly, it's been often misreported that the acquisition will be of 64 aircraft. Nope, this is a number that has been set according to the current requirements for a fleet of F/A-18C and to set a common baseline. It has been said, that the proposed solutions can include a number of different airframes, weapons, sensors and other platforms. They've also repeatedly stated that they're not looking to replace 64 aircraft verbatim, but are looking for a solution that provides the best capability possible.

    Finally, the judging criteria includes not only performance metrics but a prerequisite in the value of defence partnership, this should not be overlooked in the current context. I agree with the first two choices, but the defence partnership criteria might favout EF or Rafale. I don't see a proposition that favours Gripen.
    Last edited by pesko; 9th May 2018 at 23:25.

  20. #110
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    First off, the FiAF is already operating a 64 strong fleet of F/A-18C, which is by no any means an inexpensive aircraft to operate. The next aircraft should cost about the same amount or slightly more to operate, according to them. All of the candidates should be able to meet this criteria in O&S costs.

    Secondly, it's been already said by the FiAF that all of the aircraft are about the same in acquisition costs. Don't believe every figure you read in the Internet.

    Thirdly, it's been often misreported that the acquisition will be of 64 aircraft. Nope, this is a number that has been set according to the current requirements for a fleet of F/A-18C and to set a common baseline. It has been said, that the proposed solutions can include a number of different airframes, weapons, sensors and other platforms. They've also repeatedly stated that they're not looking to replace 64 aircraft verbatim, but are looking for a solution that provides the best capability possible.

    Finally, the judging criteria includes not only performance metrics but a prerequisite in the value of defence partnership, this should not be overlooked in the current context. I agree with the first two choices, but the defence partnership criteria might favout EF or Rafale. I don't see a proposition that favours Gripen.


    You have to see that fuel prices have 50 folded in 100 years...and in next 40 years when the next fighter is at the end stages there may be 100 fold increase in fuel price .....so the size does matter...especially as we are not oil producer like Norway.

    https://www.theaa.com/public_affairs...te_gallons.pdf

    Also our Jyrki Laukkanen sees the Gripen as a strong candidate...and he is the leading aviation expert. He is more concerned about the plane than the fuel cost.
    Last edited by topspeed; 10th May 2018 at 05:35.
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    First off, the FiAF is already operating a 64 strong fleet of F/A-18C, which is by no any means an inexpensive aircraft to operate. The next aircraft should cost about the same amount or slightly more to operate, according to them. All of the candidates should be able to meet this criteria in O&S costs.

    Secondly, it's been already said by the FiAF that all of the aircraft are about the same in acquisition costs. Don't believe every figure you read in the Internet.
    Nope, Typhoon and Rafale are significantly more expensive than F-35, SH and Gripen. Also please do not focus only on acqiusition costs, operating costs and costs for upgrades are also very important (i.e. life cycle costs).

    Check official figures from e.g. the Danish competition, it clearly shows that Typhoons is more expensive. Rafale is probably in a similar ballpark.

    Both are great a/c, in particular the Rafale is very impressive. However it is also more expensive than F-35/SH.

    Look at the Swiss competition. Rafale won clearly the technical eval, and the Swiss air force clearly preferred it, but it was just way too expensive. Had the cost difference been minimal clearly Rafale would have won in Switzerland.

    Official Danish numbers:

    Typhoon life cycle costs per a/c: 2.1 billion
    F-35 life cycle costs per a/c: 1.51 billion
    SH life cycle costs per a/c: 1.59 billion

    The life cycle costs of SH and F-35 are quite similar (5% difference) however Typhoon is 40% above the costs of F-35. I would say that is significant, in particular if you take into account that the F-35 is much more capable than the Typhoon. You need some pretty good reasons to buy a less capable platform at a 40% higher cost!

    I am not sure about the Rafale, perhaps a bit cheaper than the Typhoon, OTOH Finland would probably go for the F4.2 version with significant upgrades which may push the price up a bit?

    In any case my understanding is that they will use the first 4 criteria to "shortlist", and then pick the most capable a/c. This is different from many other competitions that will typically shortlist and then pick the cheapest of those shortlisted (since all shortlisted will meet minimum criteria).
    The F-35 is clearly the most capable, and also quite cost-efficient.

    Only if Saab manage to convince them that Gripen E life cycle costs will be significantly lower (e.g. 30-40%) than the F-35, will Gripen E have a chance since a larger number could be purchased. However I believe this to be unlikely.

    Since the SH is not cheaper than the F-35 and less capable there really are no reasons to select that one either. Thus the only fighter remaining is the F-35.

    Another thing that could potentially turn things around could be politics -- if, hypothetically, Trump keeps pulling the US further away from Europe, and EU at the same time decides to pull their act together and become independent, one may imagine a deal whereby Finland is leasing 64 Gripen E for, say, 10-15 years and then buys the 5. gen European a/c that should be available from 2035 or so*... however the chances of this happening is very low (but then again most people would have said 3 years ago that the chances of UK leaving EU and Trump becoming president were also very low!)

    (*Belgium could do the same, BTW...!)
    Last edited by Loke; 10th May 2018 at 09:37.

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    I'm aware of those figures, but it's really a moot point to argue about it. FiAF and MoD have explicitly stated that all of the candidates are able to fit within the budget (both acquisition and O&S) and were able to complete the scenarios given in the RFI.

    I don't mean to say that Gripen doesn't have any chance, of course it does and it has its merits. I just don't see it as a likely winning candidate, the outline of the competition and the performance criteria favor the other candidates more.

    I agree that if the F-35 passes the qualifying criteria it's almost certainly the winner of the performance evaluation. I do see some question marks with it in regard to this competition and FiAF though.
    Last edited by pesko; 10th May 2018 at 12:28.

  23. #113
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    I'm aware of those figures, but it's really a moot point to argue about it. FiAF and MoD have explicitly stated that all of the candidates are able to fit within the budget (both acquisition and O&S) and were able to complete the scenarios given in the RFI.

    I don't mean to say that Gripen doesn't have any chance, of course it does and it has its merits. I just don't see it as a likely winning candidate, the outline of the competition and the performance criteria favor the other candidates more.

    I agree that if the F-35 passes the qualifying criteria it's almost certainly the winner of the performance evaluation. I do see some question marks with it in regard to this competition and FiAF though.


    -----

    Gripen can almost reach the Soviet plane speeds. F-35 hardly even half of that. How could it ( F-35 ) be an interceptor ( as it needs F-22 cover ) ?
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    Danish numbers were heavily criticized. F-35 life cycle cost is impossible to compute (see Uk lawmekers inquiries), and the way danish estimated other lifecycles was -at best- disputable as they did not use the same sources, numbers etc. For each plane.

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    Gripen can almost reach the Soviet plane speeds. F-35 hardly even half of that. How could it ( F-35 ) be an interceptor ( as it needs F-22 cover ) ?
    Appropriate post from someone with the tag "topspeed".

    What exactly is soviet plane speed? Name:  APN1510.jpg
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    There isn't a significant difference in the maximum speeds of any of the aircraft mentioned when armed, maybe 80 knots at 30,000 feet. The F-18E/F being the slowest in reality.

    Not that it matters, how often do you think Finland will be involved in intercepts or air combat at speeds much above mach 1?
    Last edited by FBW; 10th May 2018 at 13:18.

  26. #116
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    There is a very significant difference between a plane able to supercruise - or not-. Remember supercruise was part of the definition of 5th gen acording to LM?

  27. #117
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    There is a very significant difference between a plane able to supercruise - or not-. Remember supercruise was part of the definition of 5th gen acording to LM?
    Sorry Hallow, not biting. Show me the times/distances that any of the supercruisers can maintain speeds above mach 1 (along with at what loads/weights they don't need afterburners to cross transonic). Super cruise is a nice marketing pitch, until we see adaptive cycle engines and internal fuel fractions approaching .4 that about all it is.

  28. #118
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    Mach 1.6+ while carrying 4 AMRAAMs & fuel for 760nmi (ie more fuel for AB use) not fast enough for you?
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  29. #119
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    Less than some others. And i do not care really about 20 or 30 secs to cross transsonic. Supercruise is not a marketing pitch. It was part of fighters requirements in Europe (specially F-22) in order to cross western Europe quickly. There is no + to the mach 1.6, and afaik (i may be wrong) there is no clue that it is while carrying 4 AMRAAMS and fuel for 760 nmi. FBW you know perfe tly those data are not public. Adaptative cycle engines arent a new thing btw.

  30. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loke View Post
    Nope, Typhoon and Rafale are significantly more expensive than F-35, SH and Gripen. Also please do not focus only on acqiusition costs, operating costs and costs for upgrades are also very important (i.e. life cycle costs).

    Check official figures from e.g. the Danish competition, it clearly shows that Typhoons is more expensive. Rafale is probably in a similar ballpark.

    Both are great a/c, in particular the Rafale is very impressive. However it is also more expensive than F-35/SH.

    Look at the Swiss competition. Rafale won clearly the technical eval, and the Swiss air force clearly preferred it, but it was just way too expensive. Had the cost difference been minimal clearly Rafale would have won in Switzerland.

    Official Danish numbers:

    Typhoon life cycle costs per a/c: 2.1 billion
    F-35 life cycle costs per a/c: 1.51 billion
    SH life cycle costs per a/c: 1.59 billion

    The life cycle costs of SH and F-35 are quite similar (5% difference) however Typhoon is 40% above the costs of F-35. I would say that is significant, in particular if you take into account that the F-35 is much more capable than the Typhoon. You need some pretty good reasons to buy a less capable platform at a 40% higher cost!

    I am not sure about the Rafale, perhaps a bit cheaper than the Typhoon, OTOH Finland would probably go for the F4.2 version with significant upgrades which may push the price up a bit?

    In any case my understanding is that they will use the first 4 criteria to "shortlist", and then pick the most capable a/c. This is different from many other competitions that will typically shortlist and then pick the cheapest of those shortlisted (since all shortlisted will meet minimum criteria).
    The F-35 is clearly the most capable, and also quite cost-efficient.

    Only if Saab manage to convince them that Gripen E life cycle costs will be significantly lower (e.g. 30-40%) than the F-35, will Gripen E have a chance since a larger number could be purchased. However I believe this to be unlikely.

    Since the SH is not cheaper than the F-35 and less capable there really are no reasons to select that one either. Thus the only fighter remaining is the F-35.

    Another thing that could potentially turn things around could be politics -- if, hypothetically, Trump keeps pulling the US further away from Europe, and EU at the same time decides to pull their act together and become independent, one may imagine a deal whereby Finland is leasing 64 Gripen E for, say, 10-15 years and then buys the 5. gen European a/c that should be available from 2035 or so*... however the chances of this happening is very low (but then again most people would have said 3 years ago that the chances of UK leaving EU and Trump becoming president were also very low!)

    (*Belgium could do the same, BTW...!)

    Dont use the Danish evaluation if you want to prove a particular point related to costs, at least without reading the documents proper and getting a good idea of how they've come to those numbers. Half of this board could do a better job.
    Last edited by Sintra; 10th May 2018 at 16:32.

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