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Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon  
User currently offlinefvtu134 From Russia, joined Aug 2005, 173 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5300 times:

Some interesting process coming up.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...h-f-16-replacement-process-393103/

Obviously the original 160 F-16's have been reduced to a current active fleet of 54 and there has been talk for numerous years of one active base to be cut. While there may be a lot of discussions across the language barrier about which base that should be (Florennes in the south, and Kleine Brogel in the north - which also has the US Nuke presence), it is clear that as with many air forces these days the budget available and the cost of flyaway aircraft, the result will be a smaller number of active aircraft.

At the same time, the various influences will come into play again. BAF has had a lot of cooperation with the Dutch Air Force, doing joint F-16 operations in Serbia and now in Afghanistan. On the other side, Belgium has all but handed over its entire Alpha Jet fleet to the French under the joint Fighter Training program which is at Cazaux. This means that both the cooperation with the Dutch (who have recently confirmed going ahead with the F-35) and the French (who will undoubtadly strongly push for the Rafale) will mean that some strong lobbying will take place.

While in my personal opinion and in view of other European/Nato partners, the F-35 seems the logical choice, and at the same time the Rafale, being a twin engined aircraft, seems to much aircraft, recent competitions have shown that the actual price difference is minimal. As such it will make for an interesting competition where politics and lobbying will never be far away.

Finally, for a while I have thought that Belgium might take the decision to go for budget and end up with Gripen (NG) as there is NATO precedent with Czech and Hungary, and even further cooperation possibilities with Swiss and Swedish air Forces also operating the type.

Obviously I'd be interested in getting other views on this subject without drifting to much into the politics. We are here for the love of aircraft (even if some of them look a bit funny) so lets stick to that.

FVTu134


who decided that a Horizon should be HORIZONtal???
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5187 times:

The choices depend on how many engines they want.

Single engine candidates are;

JAS-39E/F (Gripen NG)

F-16E/F/V

F-35A

FS-2020

Twin engine fighters include;

Rafale

Eurofighter

F/A-18E/F

F-15SE

TFX (Turkey)

Out of these choices, the JAS-39E/F may be the lowest cost option.


User currently offlinemrg From Germany, joined Jul 2013, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4776 times:

I think that the Belgians should keep their F-16s flying as long as possible, or at least until the Yanks and perhaps the Brits can put forward some real life data regarding F-35 operating costs. Everything I've read thus far indicates that the F-35 is going to be significantly more expensive to maintain than the F-16. Having that data will allow planners to decide how many planes they can realistically afford to buy and operate. Other than going for the F-35, the Rafale might be a good choice.

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7119 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

The other questions worth asking, do the Belgium's actually have a real requirement for an air combat force, just keep some helicopters and transports.

User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3384 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (8 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4715 times:
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Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
The other questions worth asking, do the Belgium's actually have a real requirement for an air combat force, just keep some helicopters and transports.

what they need is a few P-8s equipped with missiles


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4369 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4621 times:

The F16 is tough act to follow, in fact I think the best replacement is an updated version.


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4411 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
The other questions worth asking, do the Belgium's actually have a real requirement for an air combat force, just keep some helicopters and transports.

The Belgium's? Who are they? 
Quoting Max Q (Reply 5):
The F16 is tough act to follow, in fact I think the best replacement is an updated version.

Yup, it's called the F35.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4327 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
The other questions worth asking, do the Belgium's actually have a real requirement for an air combat force, just keep some helicopters and transports.

NATO obligations would say they do.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
NATO obligations would say they do.

And with how closely the Belgians work with the Dutch under the Deplayable Air Task Force agreement, very likely that the Belgians will purchase the F-35 to remain interoperable with the Dutch Air Force.


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4369 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 6):

The F16 is tough act to follow, in fact I think the best replacement is an updated version.

Yup, it's called the F35.

Disagree, the F35 is not an answer, it's a problem.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 565 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 9):
Disagree, the F35 is not an answer, it's a problem.

In internetland it seem to be. In the real world it's the answer to a viable replacement for legacy fleets.


User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4168 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):

that's exactly what I think. This might allow for a larger buy from the Netherlands, who knows together with Norway and Denmark as well to keep price down (just like with F-16 back in the day).

The Belgian Air Force has a very good track record with their F-16s during a number of deployments. Unlike those European nations that fly Gripen, they are actually willing and able to send out fighters and make a difference in conflicts.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7119 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4142 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
NATO obligations would say they do.

NATO obligatrions haven't stopped them from cutting there navy back to nearly nothing, so I can't see why supplying transport aircraft wouldn't be enough to meet this apparent obligation?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
NATO obligatrions haven't stopped them from cutting there navy back to nearly nothing, so I can't see why supplying transport aircraft wouldn't be enough to meet this apparent obligation?

Benelux Deployable Air Task Force obligations.

Belgium has pooled parts of their air force with the Netherlands, meaning close cooperation exists between the operations and maintenance units exist between the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Both the Dutch and the Belgian air forces had accomplished aircraft and weapons upgrades on identical schedules, so the aircraft were completely interoperable. This allowed DATF pilots to plan their missions together and enabled maintenance specialists to pool their expertise for solving system anomalies. This enhanced flight-line operations and generated higher mission-capable rates for both forces.

The DATF between the Belgians and the Dutch requires that when there is a need for fighter jet deployment, it is agreed that both the Belgians and the Dutch mutually deploy their fighters together. Basically, on deployment, Belgian and Dutch F-16's operate together as one unit, although Belgian F-16's will be flown by Belgian pilots, and vice versa. Luxembourg provides the security detail for the deployment as part of the DATF.

This agreement is best shown during Operation Joint Forge. During Operation Joint Forge the Dutch and the Belgians worked side-by-side to staff operating rooms, intelligence cell, maintenance shops, cook house, security patrols, bomb dump, and flight line. The only area not shared is the photo reconnaissance interpretation cell, since the Belgians did not bring reconnaissance aircraft. The Dutch and Belgian pilots, however, still fly aircraft only from their respective air forces. Cooperation is simplified because of similarity in aircraft type, both air forces operate the F-16.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
Belgium has pooled parts of their air force with the Netherlands, meaning close cooperation exists between the operations and maintenance units exist between the Netherlands,

I think it makes sense to operate the same type as the Netherlands. Unfortunately I don't think it makes sense for the Netherlands to operate the F-35. Still, if the Netherlands wants to downgrade its defence capability by spending an inordinate proportion of its defence budget on F-35, Belgium will need to do the same to maintain interoperability.

Of course it is possible that Belgium may decide it does not want to skew its defence towards an offensive air capability at the cost of other army, navy and air force capabilities due to the overall defence budget being finite.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7119 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (8 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3920 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
Benelux Deployable Air Task Force obligations.

So really its got nothing to do with NATO at all.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (8 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3855 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
So really its got nothing to do with NATO at all.

That is a very simplistic view of things. NATO has requirements for all of its members to contribute based on the language of article 3 and supported by many subsequent agreements on just how that will be done. It took a special agreement for NATO to extend air policing services to the Baltic states, which have no air force. To suggest that Belgium, a rich nation by any standards, would not meet with resistance from other NATO members if they simply decided not to contribute in kind to the integrated air defense of Europe is not really based in reality.

At some point decisions like those would bring into question the overall integrity of NATO. It would presumably bring back to the table numerous agreements between the various NATO powers that cover air and missile defense and would be met with a very hostile response from everyone. Can Poland opt out too? They have the same GDP and a lot more mouths to feed.

As you point out Belgium has basically no navy. It basically has disestablished its Army. If it were to get rid of its air force too then what message does that send to the rest of NATO? At some point it ceases to become an alliance and becomes a series of military welfare cases.

As it stands now the Air Force in Belgium is their one real buy into NATO. I don't see dumping that capability going over well at all either in Europe or outside of Europe.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 16):
To suggest that Belgium, a rich nation by any standards, would not meet with resistance from other NATO members if they simply decided not to contribute in kind to the integrated air defense of Europe is not really based in reality

I take a contrary view. It would be a squandering of defence finances for each alliance country to have a scaled down version of the USAF eg 2 C-17, 2 F-22, 8 F-35, 10 F-15, 10 F-18 etc That would be stupidity in the extreme. It makes far more sense for countries to procure equipment to suit their own defence needs and budget and to make those resources available to NATO. In the case of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands the sensible F-16 replacement would be F-16 or Gripen (since F-35 has proved to be far costlier than expected - it was supposed to have roughly the cost of the F-16 that it would be replacing in these countries).

What is so precious about small countries having a first day strike capability when the largest NATO member can provide the F-35 in large numbers? It's not as if NATO operations would have to be curtailed because Denmark or Belgium or Netherlands could not lend a handful each of F-35's.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (8 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

Quoting art (Reply 17):
In the case of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands the sensible F-16 replacement would be F-16 or Gripen (since F-35 has proved to be far costlier than expected - it was supposed to have roughly the cost of the F-16 that it would be replacing in these countries).

The problem is that I take issue with your basic presumption that something else (in this case Gripen) is inherently a "better" or more "sensible" F-16 replacement. You offer absolutely no support for that position. Is it based only on cost because a Gripen NG is not actually all that much cheaper than an F-35.

Even if I were to accept your presumption that Belgium and the Netherlands have no need for first day strike capability (which I really don't) what if they simply assessed that the F-35 was a better and more survivable options as an air defense fighter and offered them better protection even in marginally smaller numbers? Is that really out of the realm of possibility?

Perhaps they took into account that they would not be buying a lot of any fighters (again the NG is not projected to be that much cheaper) and that they wanted to be able to add on later if their security situation changed and thus the F-35's much longer production run appealed to them.

Maybe they looked at the munitions integrated on the Gripen and decided they were uncomfortable with it. Belgium in particular maintains basically very small war stocks and relies upon allies (read the US) to provide weapons when needed so this could be a very major issue for them. They might be uncomfortable that weapons integrated with the Gripen will be readily available 15 years from now.

Beyond people just saying so until they are blue in the face I fail to see what makes the new model Gripen a better solution for these nations and I object on many levels to the presumption that everyone involved with making these decisions in these nations (Norway, Netherlands, Japan ect) are either incompetent or I suppose corrupt. If someone is going to make those claims, which you are when you basically claim they made a poor decision, then you need to back that up with something more than your claim that a "first day of the war" strike plane is not needed.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 18):
The problem is that I take issue with your basic presumption that something else (in this case Gripen) is inherently a "better" or more "sensible" F-16 replacement. You offer absolutely no support for that position. Is it based only on cost because a Gripen NG is not actually all that much cheaper than an F-35.

Gripen not much cheaper than F-35?

A new Gripen E has a price tag of about $60 million. A new F-35 is >$100 million.

There are no absolute figures for CPFH but figures available indicate that the Gripen number is considerably less than $10,000 while the F-35 is more than $25,000.

Based on those figures acquisition and use of aircraft for 6,000 hours numbers are:

F-35: more than $250 million

Gripen: less than $120 million

Compared to the Gripen E the F-35 will make about twice as big a hole in an air force's budget.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7119 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 months 1 day ago) and read 3697 times:

Quoting art (Reply 17):
In the case of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands the sensible F-16 replacement would be F-16 or Gripen

Add Norway to that list.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 18):
Is it based only on cost because a Gripen NG is not actually all that much cheaper than an F-35.

As far as I know the only people who have said Gripen is as expensive as F35 are the Norwegians, but we know (gotta love wikileaks) the Americans basically blackmailed Norway into buying F35, so any comments Norway makes aren't to be trusted.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 months 20 hours ago) and read 3643 times:

Quoting art (Reply 19):
Gripen not much cheaper than F-35?

A new Gripen E has a price tag of about $60 million. A new F-35 is >$100 million.

Ask the Swiss that:
http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordo..._motor/flygplan/article3601869.ece

The Swiss are paying $110 million per Gripen E, the Swedish are apparently paying anywhere from $127 million to $143 million.

Quoting art (Reply 19):
There are no absolute figures for CPFH but figures available indicate that the Gripen number is considerably less than $10,000 while the F-35 is more than $25,000.

The Swiss also disagree with that number:
http://www.bernerzeitung.ch/schweiz/...ute-OccasionsGripen/story/18471087

The Swiss are saying $26,800 dollars per flight hour.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (8 months 19 hours ago) and read 3604 times:

Quoting art (Reply 19):
A new Gripen E has a price tag of about $60 million. A new F-35 is >$100 million.
http://www.thelocal.se/20131009/50684

This story would indicate the Swiss are paying a unit price for each fighter of $122.5 million. This story is from the perspective of the selling side of the transaction and for what its worth it suggest that the zero profit construction price is $119 million per unit. $60 million per plane is a nice thought but I don't think anyone is getting that price. That is more in line with the price of Gripen C/D I believe.

Moreover you fail to address any other point than cost (and you addressed that point poorly as you provide zero sources at all for your price figures yet you state them as fact) that was raised. It seems your stance boils down to F-35 = Bad. Your inability to even consider that their might be merits in an F-35 purchase for those nations makes me wonder if you really are taking an honest intellectual look at things.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 months 17 hours ago) and read 3573 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
The Swiss are saying $26,800 dollars per flight hour.

IIRC correctly historical CPFH figures sourced from Swedish AF records are less than $5,000 for Gripen C. I tend to believe the Swedish air force records (records=facts rather than fantasies). However I would find a full account of how that grows to $26,800 for the Swiss to operate Gripen E extremely entertaining to read. So would the Thais, Czechs, Hungarians etc no doubt.

My opinion? Any source that claims a single engined light fighter costs more than $25,000 per flying hour is talking nonsense.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 843 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3539 times:

Quoting art (Reply 23):

IIRC correctly historical CPFH figures sourced from Swedish AF records are less than $5,000 for Gripen C. I tend to believe the Swedish air force records

The problem with CPFH is how a nation operates an aircraft can significantly adjust the CPFH. The USAF has a CPFH for the F-16C Blk 52 as being approximately 21K. Why so much? Because the USAF is the most operationally proficient air force is the world by regularly flying more hours and training in a more realistic environment that anyone else.

If you fly an air force the way the Swedes do, not much training, minimal flight hours, small mission scope, then you can get lower. Also pretty sure that Gripen 5K CPFH figure comes from the Empire Test School and therefore not representative of aircraft in true air force service.

Quoting art (Reply 23):
Any source that claims a single engined light fighter costs more than $25,000 per flying hour is talking nonsense.

When you add enough stuff to make Gripen E comparable to an F-16 Blk 52 then you raise the cost per flight hour significantly!


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (8 months 10 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

Quoting art (Reply 23):
IIRC correctly historical CPFH figures sourced from Swedish AF records are less than $5,000 for Gripen C. I tend to believe the Swedish air force records (records=facts rather than fantasies). However I would find a full account of how that grows to $26,800 for the Swiss to operate Gripen E extremely entertaining to read. So would the Thais, Czechs, Hungarians etc no doubt.

Indeed, as Ozair said, how an operator flies their aircraft will GREATLY affect the CPFH numbers. The Swedes don't fly as much as other nations do, nor do they train as extensively in their fighters.

Even different users will have different CPFH numbers for the exact same fighter; the key difference is usage scenarios and planned usage. Also, within countries method of calculation can change over time or depending on the reason it is being calculated. For example what fixed costs are included if any or is it only the marginal cost of a flight hour.

Fuel cost is a constant across the board, the only variable how much is burned. I've seen Gripen (not NG) costs as low as $4,700/fh, but to make a true comparison you'd have to know how that was calculated and then apply it to the other planes in question.

If the numbers you are comparing are not even close to being apples-to-apples then they do not indicate anything becasue they are too dissimilar.

The problem is that there are simply far too many people who just don't know any better & so for example, they happen to come across those numbers & see that the CPFH of the F-35A is ~$24,000 and read on that the CPFH of the Gripen is ~$5,000 AND NOT KNOWING that the two numbers are not equivalent representations of the true/actual CPFH of the F-35A & Gripen, and are fooled/mislead into believing that the Gripen CPFH is a fifth that of the F-35A & F-16C.

Don't get me wrong, the CPFH of the Gripen SHOULD be lower than that of the F-35A & F-16C but there is no way it is a fifth of a F-16, in fact in a true apples-to-apples comparison, the difference is likely less than 20%

[Edited 2013-11-27 17:17:39]

User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (8 months 1 hour ago) and read 3411 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 22):
This story would indicate the Swiss are paying a unit price for each fighter of $122.5 million.

The value of the contract is reported as being 3.1 billion Swiss Francs ($US 3.2 billion). If the unit price for each Gripen were $122.5 million that would leave about $500 million to cover the cost of all support systems, training, spares etc and the lease of intermediate Gripen C/D aircraft. In other words the split between hardware and support costs would be about 85/15. I have never come across a contract for fast jets with this kind of split and do not believe it to be the case here hence I do not think the unit price for each fighter will be anything like $122.5 million.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 27, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting art (Reply 26):
I have never come across a contract for fast jets with this kind of split and do not believe it to be the case here hence I do not think the unit price for each fighter will be anything like $122.5 million.

Again, the source I reference has the cost to build the jets at $119 million a piece to build. Another source quoted states the prices as $110-$147 million. You have provided exactly zero support for the price tag you used.

And again you have not addressed any other point than price, which you continue to address poorly without any cited sources at all. Feel free to do so at any point.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 27):
And again you have not addressed any other point than price, which you continue to address poorly without any cited sources at all. Feel free to do so at any point.

Spent some time looking for sources:

2008

Babelfished from interview with Marketing Director Bob Kemp.


Surprisingly he said that the future Gripen NG will cost even less than the aircraft's generation C / D, by making greater use of electronic technologies COTS (civilian technologies harnessed for military use - Conventional Off The Shelf) and, especially, by employing the engine GE F-414 American standard, unlike the previous Gripen, he used an improved version of Volvo Aero turbine GE F-404. Using the new engine will reduce by 20% the cost of motorization.

Our proposal of 48 Gripen NG went to Denmark by 20 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $ 3.39 Bi), including training , Spare parts and logistics

http://forum.keypublishing.com/showt....php?85882-Saab-JAS-39-Gripen-info



2008

According to Saab Gripen communications director Owe Wagermark, the price Saab is asking for the package is well within the €5.6 billion budget earmarked for the procurement of 85 F-35As

http://defense-update.com/newscast/0...260808_gripen_for_netherlands.html


April 2010:

Officials at Sweden's Embassy in Bucharest tendered Sweden's revised offer on April 15.

This new offer includes delivery of 24 new NATO interoperable Gripen C/D type fighters, including training, support, logistics and 100 percent offset for $1.3 billion

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...aab-Offers-Gripens-Used-F-16-Price


2011

the Royal Thai AF intends to procure an additional 6 Gripen fighters together with associated equipment, spare parts and training, and a 2nd Saab S340 Erieye AEW system aircraft, for about $500 million.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...buying-jas-39-gripens-awacs-04022/


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1678 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3326 times:

Quoting art (Reply 28):
2008

Babelfished from interview with Marketing Director Bob Kemp.


Surprisingly he said that the future Gripen NG will cost even less than the aircraft's generation C / D, by making greater use of electronic technologies COTS (civilian technologies harnessed for military use - Conventional Off The Shelf) and, especially, by employing the engine GE F-414 American standard, unlike the previous Gripen, he used an improved version of Volvo Aero turbine GE F-404. Using the new engine will reduce by 20% the cost of motorization.

Our proposal of 48 Gripen NG went to Denmark by 20 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $ 3.39 Bi), including training , Spare parts and logistics

Key Publishing forum isn't the most reliable source. And even then, many of the users who saw that post doubted the numbers.

Quoting art (Reply 28):
2008

According to Saab Gripen communications director Owe Wagermark, the price Saab is asking for the package is well within the €5.6 billion budget earmarked for the procurement of 85 F-35As

http://defense-update.com/newscast/0....html

Doing the conversion, that's around $90 million USD in 2008. Adjust for inflation, that's closer to $95 million USD.

Quoting art (Reply 28):
April 2010:

Officials at Sweden's Embassy in Bucharest tendered Sweden's revised offer on April 15.

This new offer includes delivery of 24 new NATO interoperable Gripen C/D type fighters, including training, support, logistics and 100 percent offset for $1.3 billion

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...Price

Not comparable because the aircraft were leased.

Quoting art (Reply 28):
2011

the Royal Thai AF intends to procure an additional 6 Gripen fighters together with associated equipment, spare parts and training, and a 2nd Saab S340 Erieye AEW system aircraft, for about $500 million.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...4022/

Gripen C/D's, not Gripen NG.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 30, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3322 times:

So we have a 5 year old price proposal that was rejected and then when the aircraft were actually sold they went for a much higher number. We have a 2008 price that when adjusted for inflation is still pretty high and actually closer to the prices others have quoted than your price. We have some prices for the wrong aircraft all together.

There has still been no effort to address anything but price, and efforts to address that continue to be poor at best.


User currently offlineSAS A340 From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 775 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3253 times:

FXM writes in their press release:

"Media information today on (Feb 2013) alleges that Switzerland total project budget of 3,126 billion Swiss francs would be the procurement budget. This is not true. The total project budget includes, in addition to the procurement of 22 pieces of JAS 39 Gripen also records as logisitik, weapons and reconstruction. "
Within The total budget it also includes 11 Jas Gripen c/d over 5 years to train with for the supply of Gripen E.
It is difficult to calculate the prize per unit when many parameters included with it but are said to be around $ 80 million apiece.
Worth mentioning is also the price of 22 gripen E is fixed and any increased expenses burdened Swedish taxpayers in the end.



It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 30):
There has still been no effort to address anything but price, and efforts to address that continue to be poor at best.

Our proposal of 48 Gripen NG went to Denmark by 20 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $ 3.39 Bi), including training , Spare parts and logistics - SAAB Marketing Director Bob Kemp.

Hague, August 26, 2008: Saab is offering the Gripen NG (Next Generation) multi-role fighter to the Netherlands, in response to the Dutch request for proposals for a successor to the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16. Saab is offering 85 Gripen NGs, and a comprehensive logistical support package including spares, training and simulators.

According to Saab Gripen communications director Owe Wagermark, the price Saab is asking for the package [of 85 Gripen E] is well within the €5.6 billion budget earmarked for the procurement of 85 F-35As.


Real life package cost quotes not good enough for you or do you think these reports are inaccurate?

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 27):
Again, the source I reference has the cost to build the jets at $119 million a piece to build. Another source quoted states the prices as $110-$147 million. You have provided exactly zero support for the price tag you used.

Er... I have identified sources. What are your sources indicating Gripen E will cost $110 million to $147 million to build?

Unlike most companies producing fast jets for their governments, SAAB has a good reputation for discharging Gripen contracts with the Swedish government on budget and on time (more or less - with minimal delay). SAAB say that the cost of the GE F-414 engine to be used in Gripen E is lower than the cost of the Volvo version of the GE F-404 used in the Gripen C. Gripen E rear fuselage, central fuselage and wing design are handled by AKAER in Brazil. Why should the cost of building Gripen E be 2 or 3 times the cost of building Gripen C?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 25):

Agreed CPFH is an imprecise science. Janes does not give a precise CPFH for F-16, Gripen, F-18 etc but rather a range. Janes estimates Gripen CPFH range as lower than all the other aircraft in its comparison.


User currently offlineSAS A340 From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 775 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3235 times:

Quoting art (Reply 32):
According to Saab Gripen communications director Owe Wagermark, the price Saab is asking for the package [of 85 Gripen E] is well within the €5.6 billion budget earmarked for the procurement of 85 F-35As.

If I do not remember totally wrong,the Netherlands has greatly reduced the number from 85 to 37 in order to stay within budget right?



It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3212 times:

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 33):
If I do not remember totally wrong,the Netherlands has greatly reduced the number from 85 to 37 in order to stay within budget right?

I think you are right.

It would make sense to operate the same type as the Netherlands and save as much money as possible by pooling resources but I wonder how many F-35's the Belgian F-16 replacement budget would cover.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 35, posted (7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3072 times:

Quoting art (Reply 32):
Er... I have identified sources. What are your sources indicating Gripen E will cost $110 million to $147 million to build?
Quoting art (Reply 32):
Real life package cost quotes not good enough for you or do you think these reports are inaccurate?

Again, there were two different 2013 sources on prices quoted above. These would easily trump anything in 2008 since we are 5 years down the road and actually starting to be serious about building the thing. Moreover recall how that whole process went. SAAB and Norway disagreed about if that price was realistic. In particular they worried that cost would grow greatly from what was proposed to them once the final market for the Gripen NG was set and that the ability to spread R&D would be limited. And sure enough by 2013 the cost of a Gripen (as per these sources already linked) is substantially higher and it looks like a terribly vulnerable program.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 22):
http://www.thelocal.se/20131009/50684
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordo..._motor/flygplan/article3601869.ece

I would put a lot more faith in those numbers than anything else because they are far more current and are far more inline with the cost almost every other fighter being built in the Western world. Unless someone believes that SAAB has some sort of magical formula no one else has. AESA radars are expensive. The software for the same is very expensive to do right. You want electronic warfare systems...that cost money to. Either you pay the production price plus R&D load to get it from someone who has done it before (like they do with the engines) or you embark on the great unknown and do it yourself. All of that cost money.

I would also not this is pretty much exactly what the Norwegian government was afraid of with that program. Orders would not come, cost would rise and they would end up with a less capable aircraft (or no aircraft at all) and not save any real money over having F-35's. Everyone wanted to pile on them for saying that SAAB's cost were BS when they were pitched but now they look to be pretty much on target.

Quoting art (Reply 32):
Unlike most companies producing fast jets for their governments, SAAB has a good reputation for discharging Gripen contracts with the Swedish government on budget and on time (more or less - with minimal delay). SAAB say that the cost of the GE F-414 engine to be used in Gripen E is lower than the cost of the Volvo version of the GE F-404 used in the Gripen C. Gripen E rear fuselage, central fuselage and wing design are handled by AKAER in Brazil. Why should the cost of building Gripen E be 2 or 3 times the cost of building Gripen C?

Let's address this as well.

The first Gripen, was first ordered in 1982 and would fly 6 years later. The first aircraft promptly crashed and they had to go out and get someone to rewrite the FBW control laws for them because they screwed it up and didn't know how to do it. Another then crashed because they still didn't have the control laws fixed. The thing would finally enter service in 1997 and by 2003 you could finally get one that could refuel in flight (a pretty basic requirement for everyone). So by my math it took 15 years from order to operational for an aircraft that is basically an F-16. It took 21 years to get one that could be refueled in the air and this for an aircraft that entered service 17 years after the F-16.

I mean I guess you could call that on time (I have no idea what the contract terms were) but this was not a JSF or even F-15 level program. You were using an off the shelf engine and basically an off the shelf radar. Yet the program still took 15 years. By contrast the F-35 program, which everyone wails about being late, is in year 12 and should achieve IOC in year 14 and basically every single part of that aircraft is brand new technology.

I am not knocking SAAB for this. I am just pointing out that they are hardly pooping out advanced aircraft like a well oiled producer of IKEA furniture. They took lots of time with what was about as simple of an aircraft development program as you can get. Their timetable was pretty much in line with what F-35 will take and with Eurofighter and Rafale did take. The larger point here is that I don't think SAAB has any magical formula. They build a cheaper fighter by building what was basically an early model F-16 years later. If you start putting the latest and greatest on it in terms of radar and avionics it will end up costing pretty close to what all the other top end fighters cost.

They have run into the exact problem many predicted. The only way to get people to buy GripenNG is to get them to convert out of existing 4th generation aircraft. To do that Gripen needs to offer a lot more than the C/D did. Doing that will cost a lot of money and at that point most nations that can swing it will go with F-35 or an already existing Rafale or Eurofighter.

Quoting SAS A340 (Reply 31):
Worth mentioning is also the price of 22 gripen E is fixed and any increased expenses burdened Swedish taxpayers in the end.

And that is a lovely sentiment for export buyers right up to the moment that the Swedish taxpayer says no more and the whole program potentially shudders to a halt.

We can argue about the price particulars all day. It is not a $60 million airplane as Art originally stated. It might be an $80 million airplane. It might be a $120 million airplane. No one will no for sure until it is built and tested. While a fixed price contract is nice in theory I have seen a lot of them end up with the producer simply saying they can't deliver at price and walking away. See the A400M for this when Airbus determined they could not deliver under the original contract.


And once again I feel compelled to point out that Art has not addressed anything but price. At this point I presume that is occurring because there is simply no response to the fact that for those nations the F-35 represented a better solution to most other potential concerns (ability to buy more in the future, more weapons options, better air to air option ect). Heck, I was even nice and conceded that I would not make you defend the usual silly statement made by people here that "nation X does not need a first day of a war strike platform" in an attempt to discount all the benefits of low observability and you still have not addressed anything but price.


User currently offlinefbwless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 35):
SAAB and Norway disagreed about if that price was realistic. In particular they worried that cost would grow greatly from what was proposed to them once the final market for the Gripen NG was set and that the ability to spread R&D would be limited.

The offer to Norwegian air force was fixed price with fixed configuration. Cost increases had to be dealt with by SAAB and Swedish Gvmt. The LM F-35 offer was just a loose proposal with a lot of TBDs in the configuration. In retrospect any worries about cost increases is in this matter is just laughable.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 35):
The first Gripen, was first ordered in 1982 and would fly 6 years later. The first aircraft promptly crashed and they had to go out and get someone to rewrite the FBW control laws for them because they screwed it up and didn't know how to do it. Another then crashed because they still didn't have the control laws fixed. The thing would finally enter service in 1997 and by 2003 you could finally get one that could refuel in flight (a pretty basic requirement for everyone). So by my math it took 15 years from order to operational for an aircraft that is basically an F-16. It took 21 years to get one that could be refueled in the air and this for an aircraft that entered service 17 years after the F-16.

First crash was on a test flight and caused by PIO very similar to the F-22 crash. If you look back 20-30 years it was much more common with test flight crashes so big deal there.
Second crash happened 4 years later with the same test pilot and again PIO (I witnessed it) and sure it was a near disaster and bad PR. The control system had to be redesigned yet again, but still it wasn't much worse than that. Not a single fatality from either before EIS or after is a pretty good record.
Air refueling was not a priority in Swedish air force with no air tankers in the fleet, so it's not a basic requirement for everyone.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 35):
And that is a lovely sentiment for export buyers right up to the moment that the Swedish taxpayer says no more and the whole program potentially shudders to a halt.

Development contracts between FMV and SAAB are continuing with or without the Swiss contract. Those political parties opposing the Gripen E are just a few very small ones, so there is no chance that the development will stop. The swedish taxpayers are very much in favour of the Gripen so in any case there will not be any debate to stop it.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 37, posted (7 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2816 times:

Quoting fbwless (Reply 36):

The offer to Norwegian air force was fixed price with fixed configuration. Cost increases had to be dealt with by SAAB and Swedish Gvmt. The LM F-35 offer was just a loose proposal with a lot of TBDs in the configuration. In retrospect any worries about cost increases is in this matter is just laughable.

Actually their worries remain well founded. They were worried they might not end up getting anything at all out of the Gripen NG program. It was clearly not believed that the proposed price was at all realistic. And sure enough the prices when actually sold were much higher. If you don't think that SAAB/Sweden would have been back at the negotiating table if they stood to lose multiple 10's of millions on each fighter delivered then you are living in fantasy land I think.

Quoting fbwless (Reply 36):
First crash was on a test flight and caused by PIO very similar to the F-22 crash. If you look back 20-30 years it was much more common with test flight crashes so big deal there.
Second crash happened 4 years later with the same test pilot and again PIO (I witnessed it) and sure it was a near disaster and bad PR. The control system had to be redesigned yet again, but still it wasn't much worse than that. Not a single fatality from either before EIS or after is a pretty good record.
Air refueling was not a priority in Swedish air force with no air tankers in the fleet, so it's not a basic requirement for everyone.

You seem to miss the point. The point is not that Gripen had more problems than anyone else. It is that SAAB had the same problems as everyone else (which you basically stated in your reply) and had them on a much less complicated platform than many other western fighters.

This is important because for SAAB to deliver what they have been promising for the cost they were initially throwing out there they would have to be orders of magnitude better than everyone else working on the same problems. The fact is they are not so expecting them to produce a miracle fighter that cost far less than everyone else is pretty silly. If it cost less then it will largely be because it is less capable.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (7 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2748 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 22):
Quoting art (Reply 19):A new Gripen E has a price tag of about $60 million. A new F-35 is >$100 million. http://www.thelocal.se/20131009/50684

This story would indicate the Swiss are paying a unit price for each fighter of $122.5 million.

"According to the terms of a deal struck between Sweden and the Swiss government, Switzerland has set aside a total project budget of 3.1 billion Swiss francs, or roughly 21.5 billion kronor ($3.3 billion) for the purchase 22 Gripen E fighters, Ny Teknik magazine reports.

The Swiss will also rent eleven Gripen C and Gripen D planes for five years as part of the deal.

But "secret" documents about the deal reviewed by the magazine reveal that Switzerland will actually pay only 17.7 billion kronor for the fighters.

The new figures mean that the price for each Gripen to be sold to Switzerland as a part of the deal will sink by about about 20 percent, from one billion kronor to 800 million."

It was never proposed to charge one billion kronor (> $150 million) for each aircraft. The price included spares, training, logistical support etc and provision of interim Gripen C/D aircraft as well as supply of 22 Gripen E. Since the flyaway cost per aircraft is not about one billion kronor, I fail to see any value in a claimed 20% reduction in price.

This report seems to confuse deal cost / 22 with flyaway price per airframe.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 39, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

Art,

Do you have any intention of addressing anything but price? I think we can all agree that the price of aircraft is not easy to determine.

They key phrase from that article is really this in my mind.

"The new figure also means a drastic reduction in the overall proceeds of the deal, which is still awaiting approval by Switzerland, as the cost of building the planes is estimated to be around 17.2 billion kronor. "

That translates to $119 million a piece as the supposed cost to build the aircraft. And honestly, that is pretty reasonable. The original Gripen, using a legacy engine design and what was basically a derivative radar that worked on well established software principals. You are now using another legacy engine but a new radar that works in a very different way. At present there are only 82 orders for the aircraft. If you spend another $2.5 billion on R&D that means each aircraft carries an R&D load of $30 million dollars or so that basically just gets added onto the cost of each airplane.

I think anyone looking in on this can also agree there is no way Gripen NG is coming in at $60 million. I mean $90 million, $110 million, $130 million, it really does not matter that much. Any capable fighter is terribly expensive. It is certainly close enough to an F-35 that you might make a decision no just on cost but on the numerous other factors you continue to refuse to address don't you think?


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2685 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 39):
Do you have any intention of addressing anything but price?

Not really. I think what matters to Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands etc governments is to acquire an F-16 replacement at an affordable cost - not something that requires big sacrifices elsewhere in the defence budget or something that will end up as a hangar queen.

Dassault seems able to build a twin engine fighter at a rate of one a month and sell it to the French government for way less than $100 million a pop. Eurofighter also sells to its govts for far less than $100 million a pop. I think SAAB gets more bangs per buck in its construction approach which I understand to be to buy "off the shelf" if possible. Gripen has one engine so I find it inconceivable that Gripen E will cost more to build than Rafale and Typhoon. Perhaps SAAB got it wrong when IIRC they said Gripen E will have a similar production cost to Gripen C. Perhaps not. Only way for me to know will be when some have been produced at a published contract price and SAAB's accounts show them being sold at a profit.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 41, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2664 times:

Quoting art (Reply 40):

Dassault seems able to build a twin engine fighter at a rate of one a month and sell it to the French government for way less than $100 million a pop

The problem here is that the basis on which you address this is one that is not in line with reality. Yes, the flyaway cost of 1 Rafale is just under $100 million depending on the variant. But the program cost is something on the order of $329 million a plane.

Eurofighter cost $120 million a copy per the latest German contract in flyaway and based on the British NAO report the program cost is something between $200 and $250 million per copy they are getting.

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/1011755.pdf

By these same metrics the F-35 in its latest contracts has a flyaway cost of about $114 million when you add the engine and a program cost of $161 million to the US government per the latest GAO report.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653857.pdf

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....e-xml/awx_07_30_2013_p0-602401.xml


User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 42, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2601 times:

Even though a Gripen C/D is less capable than our current F-16AM and the Gripen E/F might get close to what we already do with our 25 year old fighters, you still got to take your hat off to SAAB and Sweden that with a population the size of London, they manage to sustain an industrial base that can deliver such high performance products like a supersonic fighter with latest generation avionics. That's a great achievement and I think it's a good priced aircraft for those nations that have less complicated needs (Sweden, Swiss, Czech, Hungary, South Africa, Thai).

It's just not what we need. Despite what some may or may not know, the RNLAF is (even though we have a historically low number of airframes) a first league air force which is combat proven and ready to go for all missions anywhere in the world. So are the Belgians, the Danes and the Norwegians. They all take their NATO commitments seriously and have developed significant capabilities over the years.

Now going with a less capable aircraft that is less costly to fulfill smaller ambitions is of course possible, but in my vision a irreversible step and getting to the same level of operational capabilities would take again a generation.

This is an investment for the next 40 years guys.


User currently offlinefbwless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2582 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 37):
Actually their worries remain well founded. They were worried they might not end up getting anything at all out of the Gripen NG program. It was clearly not believed that the proposed price was at all realistic. And sure enough the prices when actually sold were much higher. If you don't think that SAAB/Sweden would have been back at the negotiating table if they stood to lose multiple 10's of millions on each fighter delivered then you are living in fantasy land I think.

The offer from Sweden/SAAB was binding and as government backed it would have been a PR super disaster to get the order only to refuse to fulfill deliveries because of cost overruns. We will never know, right? But in your "real world" it seems to be fact.

The true fact is that Norway chose the F-35 based on capability figures that was played down in favour of the F-35 and also on cost that also favoured the F-35 making it "cheaper" than Gripen. It would have been fine just to say that they chose the F-35 based on capability alone, but now it just makes them look stupid.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 37):
You seem to miss the point. The point is not that Gripen had more problems than anyone else. It is that SAAB had the same problems as everyone else (which you basically stated in your reply) and had them on a much less complicated platform than many other western fighters.

The Gripen is based on an unstable design like all modern fighters, so obviously not a less complicated platform. The fbw and automated flight control system is of similar complexity that of the Rafale and EF Typhoon. You should study more facts before drawing your conclusions.


User currently offlinefbwless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 42):
It's just not what we need. Despite what some may or may not know, the RNLAF is (even though we have a historically low number of airframes) a first league air force which is combat proven and ready to go for all missions anywhere in the world. So are the Belgians, the Danes and the Norwegians. They all take their NATO commitments seriously and have developed significant capabilities over the years.

Good argument! But it is necessary to have a firm political agenda other than defending your homeland, and getting your taxpayers to agree with it. The F-35 will be very expensive and making it fit defense budgets will draw the numbers down to a point that there is a risk that defending the homeland is more and more difficult.

Poor NATO countries like Czech rep, Hungary, etc, not able to get the most capable and expensive fighter can choose a poor mans 4.5 gen fighter like Gripen that can do a lot for the buck.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 875 posts, RR: 11
Reply 45, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2573 times:

Quoting fbwless (Reply 43):

The Gripen is based on an unstable design like all modern fighters, so obviously not a less complicated platform. The fbw and automated flight control system is of similar complexity that of the Rafale and EF Typhoon. You should study more facts before drawing your conclusions.

It is a less complicated platform because it has a legacy engine and thus did not also require the management of a new engine development program. It is less complicated because it used a derived radar setup and did not necessitate that development. The aircraft did not initially do air to air refueling so that reduced complication.

You mistake what I am saying. I am not saying Gripen has been poorly run or that it is a poor aircraft. It is not. What it is is a limited aircraft. That is why it has not had success in first rate markets. They don't have nearly the development budget the Eurofighter, Rafael and F-35 have so it is a much more limited aircraft. As F27 said...

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 42):
That's a great achievement and I think it's a good priced aircraft for those nations that have less complicated needs (Sweden, Swiss, Czech, Hungary, South Africa, Thai).

But those who like to portray it as being cheated out of wins in other first rate contest are fooling themselves just a bit. That is not what Gripen is. When you sell Gripen to an F-16 operator (who bought them in the 1970's when they were first class aircraft) you are asking them to take a large step back in terms of their relative place in the worlds air forces.


User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 46, posted (7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2408 times:

Quoting fbwless (Reply 44):
Good argument! But it is necessary to have a firm political agenda other than defending your homeland,

This is what has been and is the agenda of the Netherlands.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 45):
But those who like to portray it as being cheated out of wins in other first rate contest are fooling themselves just a bit. That is not what Gripen is. When you sell Gripen to an F-16 operator (who bought them in the 1970's when they were first class aircraft) you are asking them to take a large step back in terms of their relative place in the worlds air forces.

Sure, but that's part of the game. Look at Boeing's video of 2 boys talking about what they could buy with 10$ from grandpa where one bought the F-35 and the other bought 3 Superhornets + 10 year support...


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