keesje
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European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sat May 28, 2005 10:13 pm

After lloking at the development history of the Panavia Tornado & Eurofighter i have the feeling Europe is paying a huge amount of money to get average fighter aircraft after very lenghty development periods..

The Tornado Multi Role Combat aircraft proved a poor air to air fighter, making it less Multi Role but more a good attack aircraft. The ADV will be retired years before the IDS. As a result Germany was left without an aircraft to challenge the mig29/Su27´s for to many years..

The current Eurofighter (have we passed the E25 Billion border?) is extermely expensive, late has limited stealth, no trust vectoring, no phased array radar, and no real air to ground capabilities yet. More bllions needs to be put in to make this 1986 (first flight) aircraft that what it was supposed to be 10 years ago.

The conflicts of the last 15 years showed requirements very different from the Eurofighter can offer.

Many countries, parties and local industries demanding to have their part have left Europe with poor value for money IMO. Nothing to blame Singapore for leaving out the Eurofighter.

IMo in the future the European fighter business has to be consolidated around a few parties that compete in a clear competition & put out good aircraft in time, on budget.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
LMP737
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sat May 28, 2005 10:51 pm

The countries of Europe seem to be in a catch 22 when it comes to developing and building fighter aircraft. One one hand it's extremely expensive to develop a front line fighter, just look at the F-22. So exepensive as to make it prohibitively expensive for one country to absorb the entire cost on it's own. It would probably be cheaper to buy the fighter from someone else and let that country absorb the R&D costs. However that's politically unacceptable. Not building the fighter in ones country means lost jobs. Jobs means votes, something most politicians are aware of.
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STT757
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sat May 28, 2005 11:20 pm

The US is having problems with developing new weapons systems also, such as the now cancelled Comanche and the F-22. The Navy is also having problems with the high costs of ship building with their new DD-X destroyer and the new Virginia class submarine.

It's a shame the Navy is only going to have 3 Seawolf class submarines out of an original order of 30+, they should have atleast 6 Seawolf Subs split between the Pacific and Atlantic.

The US and Europe should try to see if they can share some work in the future without worry about National Defense/Pride etc..

For example the US and European contractors can work towards developing an aircraft and it's engines cooperatively, and leave the Weapons, communications and radar systems to their own Domestic Contractors to develop.

Another place is with ship building, the US needs more than 11 aircraft carriers but the next generation Nimitz class are going to be expensive. The Navy operating a fleet of 10-11 Nimitz sized Super Carriers and a fleet of 4-5 smaller carriers perhaps based on the new Royal Navy design could save some money and expand the US Navy's aircraft carrier fleet.

The smaller carriers could operate about 55 aircraft (JSF's, EA-18Gs, E-2C's) to complement existing carrier battle groups or Marine Expeditionary forces.
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dl021
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 4:29 am

The issue here is that the European governments look at the projects as a national jobs program, and not as a military endeavour first.

The SEPECAT/Panavia/EuroConsortium problems have been exacerbated by the different national governments all pulling for what they want, without wanting to pay for it, and wanting all the jobs in their country.

By the time its all over the things are being assembled in two or three places, when it should be assembled in one, and they are airplanes designed by committee. At least the French designed the Rafale for their own needs and by keeping it in country they were able to get something tailored for their needs (even though this may work against them in the export field), even though budget issues kept this project delayed.

When the US builds an airplane, yes there is jockeying for assembly and jobs, but the main issues are this....will this airplane meet the requirements for its mission? Elsewhere it seems more muddied.
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KennyK
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 7:30 am

In Europe we have tendency to make multi-national aircraft development programs stretch......... out as long as possible. Usually due to one participating government or other wanting to change the specs, or not having money available or a hundred and one other reasons. There are also squabbles about who's going to make what.

I was hopping that the A400 program was going to be run more commercially and thus efficiently than other programs, it appears not to be so.

The only way Europe can succeed is to put the political bickering aside and produce a military aircraft like a commercial product. That way we might get an aircraft on time, in budget and capable of doing its job.

Maybe Airbus should expand its military division and produce the next generation fighter aircraft for Europe and sell them like they do an A320.
 
atmx2000
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 12:19 pm

Quoting KennyK (Reply 4):
Maybe Airbus should expand its military division and produce the next generation fighter aircraft for Europe and sell them like they do an A320.

Well, there's the small issue of getting European governments to pony up the money for large military purchases.
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Wiggidy
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 1:42 pm

"The conflicts of the last 15 years showed requirements very different from the Eurofighter can offer."

Im not entirely sure what you mean by this statement. Do you mean air superiority versus ground attack, SEAD, CAS etc? Because if that is what you mean then the Eurofighter is perfectly suited for this role. Dont forget that it is a multi-role aircraft with 13 hardpoints and a 7500-8000kg (according to what resource you look at) payload. I believe that's more than f-15c, f-16, f-22, and f/a-18.
In the air superiority role, the Eurofighter achieved a 4.5:1 kill ratio in exercises against Russian built SU-35 fighters. That's second only to the F-22. It was also second only to the Raptor in BVR combat rating (82%).
So In my opinion, the Eurofighter is right in its place as a next gen fighter. No it's not stealth, and it doesn't incorporate thrust vectoring, but it has everything necessary for a superior multirole fighter. Superior, dare I say, than even the US's commonly used multirole fighters (f-16, f/a-18). Not to mention it cost nearly $300 million less than a f-22 each.
That being said, Im just responding to the statement above. I agree the program has cost a tremendous amount of both time and money, but I think that the results will pay off. Any clarifying appreciated, check my numbers, thanks
-Wes
 
dl021
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 9:17 pm

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 6):
Not to mention it cost nearly $300 million less than a f-22 each.

The F/A-22 is twice the price of the Typhoon....but not $300 million more.

It's also twice the airplane.
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keesje
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Sun May 29, 2005 9:56 pm

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 6):
Dont forget that it is a multi-role aircraft with 13 hardpoints and a 7500-8000kg

But just dumb bombs for now  Sad

the Eurofighter achieved a 4.5:1 kill ratio in exercises against Russian built SU-35 fighters

Honestly don´t think so. The USAF F15 weren´t expecting the threatment they got from IAF MKI`s. See this & realize the F15´s were mainly beaten BVR (Radar/Missiles)..http://www.flightlevel350.com/public_viewer.php?cat=132&pic=2738

IMO strike capability (e.g. powerfull air ground radar), huge range & a comfortable 2 men cockpit is what would be needed in the conflights we saw during the last 15 years.

Air to Air requirements are on the backburner atm.

You can pick up the signals: Super Hornet, IDS´s outliving ADV´s Tornado´s, the YF23 pulled out of the museum, cuts on the F22 program, the Fench going for 2 crew Rafales, etc..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
saintsman
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Mon May 30, 2005 3:00 am

I personally would rather see lots of 'cheap' aircraft rather that one expensive aircraft.

Modern day fighters are just so expensive. Yes I know they have lots of capability but they can still get shot down. That's an awful lot of money lost. Much better to have 20 cheaper aircraft than one expensive one. If there are 20 aircraft attacking a target I would say the odds of the mission being successful would be better than a single aircraft costing 20x the price.

I know the arguement is that there will probably be more casualties, but when you send the troops in on the ground a lot of them will be killed. If it's okay for them to die then it's okay for aircrew. It is their chosen profession after all and they know the risks.

As for the governments, more aircraft would mean more jobs, so they should be happy too.

Just because you have the most expensive fighter aircraft in your arsenal doesn't mean you will always win.
 
Wiggidy
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Mon May 30, 2005 9:32 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 8):
the Eurofighter achieved a 4.5:1 kill ratio in exercises against Russian built SU-35 fighters

Honestly don´t think so

What I said is true, "In other words statistically one Eurofighter would be lost for every 4.5 Su-35 fighters shot down. This compares extremely favourably to the other aircraft (see also the BVR Combat Rating table); F-16C Falcon (0.3:1), F-15C Eagle (0.8:1), F-18C Hornet (0.3:1), F-18+ (0.4:1, NB this is not the current F-18E/F which is apparently a downgraded version of the F-18+ used in the studies) and Dassault Rafale (1:1). Only the LM/Boeing F-22 Raptor bettered the Eurofighter's performance with a combat exchange ratio of 10.1:1." at least according to this source: http://www.eurofighter.starstreak.net/Eurofighter/tech.html

Also, according to strategypage.com: "The cutbacks push the price to $370 million per F-22, compared to $58 million for the Eurofighter". Ive also seen the EFA-2000 price tag anywhere from $56-59 million but not much on the raptor costs.

These are internet sources of course, so like we all know they may be prone to error.
-Wes
 
atmx2000
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Mon May 30, 2005 11:52 am

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 9):
Modern day fighters are just so expensive. Yes I know they have lots of capability but they can still get shot down. That's an awful lot of money lost. Much better to have 20 cheaper aircraft than one expensive one. If there are 20 aircraft attacking a target I would say the odds of the mission being successful would be better than a single aircraft costing 20x the price.

Of course people might have once thought the same thing about dumb bombs versus smart bombs.

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 9):
As for the governments, more aircraft would mean more jobs, so they should be happy too.

But why do you think the expensive plane costs so much? Lots of man power put in during the development phase as well as more specialized manufacturing in the manufacturing phase. IMHO, those engineering and more demanding/skilled manufacturing jobs and manhours are worth a lot more than the plane jane assembly jobs.

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 10):
"The cutbacks push the price to $370 million per F-22, compared to $58 million for the Eurofighter".

The F-22 numbers aren't manufacturing costs or acquisition costs. They reflect the R&D component that has already been spent being tacked onto the per plane manufacturing costs by dividing R&D expenditures by planned F-22 deliveries. If the USAF were to acquire ten fold less planes, this number would be something like $3 billion per plane. Yet this isn't what the USAF would be paying to acquire each plane.

The development costs would matter if the US were trying to sell the F-22 for export, however.
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keesje
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Mon May 30, 2005 5:30 pm

EF - SU-35 rate : 1 : 4.5
EF - F-15C rate : 0.8 : 1

Now Indian Su32 teach US F15C a lesson in air combat (90% victory, Cope India 2004).

Conclusion : always look at statistics with care..

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
NoUFO
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Mon May 30, 2005 5:59 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 8):
the Eurofighter achieved a 4.5:1 kill ratio in exercises against Russian built SU-35 fighters

Honestly don�t think so.

He is right. There was also an older Swedish investigation that came to the conclusion that Typhoon has an 8.x:1 kill ratio against the Su-27 (F-22: 9.x:1, F-15: 1:1, Rafale 1:1). I have mentioned this several times to you Keesje, saying that I could not comprehend why in the world you back Rafale so much, a fighter that needed just about the same time for development, is at least as costy as the EF 2000 and in the end comes close to being a "jack of all trades - master of none", whereas you barely miss a change to bash the Typhoon.

You always mention the "cool" phased array radar Rafale comes with, not mentioning that the radar is still inferior to Typhoons Captor.

Typhoon was first and foremost designed to battle against Mig-29 and Su-27 (with a secondary air to ground role), and the fighter is obviously easily capable of doing so. I have talked to pilots who flew the Mig-29 before, and although they are somewhat biased toward the Migs, saying the pilots are excited about the Eurofighter would be an understatement.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 8):
But just dumb bombs for now

Wrong again. There's only a small number of European build "smart" bombs available, true, but no one keeps you from mounting an American made GBU-whatever under the wing.

Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
Nothing to blame Singapore for leaving out the Eurofighter.

You never listen to other peoples arguments but rather make some up that fit your agenda, do you?
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said the Typhoon is a "very capable aircraft ... (but) the committed schedule for the delivery of the Typhoon and its systems did not meet the requirements" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
The Tornado Multi Role Combat aircraft proved a poor air to air fighter, making it less Multi Role but more a good attack aircraft. The ADV will be retired years before the IDS. As a result Germany was left without an aircraft to challenge the mig29/Su27�s for to many years..

Well, I didn't know, German Air Force used Tornados as interceptors.

Give it up. Typhoon will will fly for at least the next 25 years to come. It's laughable to think about an approach to European's next generation fighter.
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NoUFO
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Appr

Mon May 30, 2005 6:29 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 12):
EF - SU-35 rate : 1 : 4.5

It's the other way around. Try Wikipedia.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 12):
EF - F-15C rate : 0.8 : 1

Where does this come from? This contradicts two different studies on todays fighter aircraft.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 12):
Now Indian Su32 teach US F15C a lesson in air combat (90% victory, Cope India 2004).

Conclusion : always look at statistics with care..

Apparently you didn't, otherwise you would have noticed the Su-32 is a heavily armoured ground attack fighter which isn't even in service neither in India nor elsewhere.

[Edited 2005-05-30 11:32:06]
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GDB
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Tue May 31, 2005 12:25 am

Tornado was a successful programme, it produced what the end users wanted, a strike aircraft, with plenty of range and weapon load for it's relatively compact size.
Or is 992 aircraft built a 'failure' all of a sudden?
(In 1984, just before the RAF sent Tornado GR.1s to a big US bombing competition, a senior USAF staffer gave the Tornado a slagging off, 'it's just not a good airplane', the RAF Tornado's came out on top in this competion!)

The RAF got the ADV version for the unique UK AD requirements, that is long range, good loiter, heavy weapon load, for the exacting task of defending the UK and surrounding area from heavy Soviet bomber attack.
F-14 was way too expensive, a maintenance hog with a poor engine/intake system initially, AIM-54 missiles were not what the RAF wanted, they wanted far more numerous BAe Skyflash AAM's, that could be afforded in sufficient numbers.

F-15, maybe a two seater with the weapon system intended for Tornado ADV shoehorned in, had attractions, not least in also replacing two RAF AD squadrons in RAF Germany, but still highly costly and adding another type to the inventory.
Had Tornado not happened at all, this would likely been what would have been procured.

Hate to break it to Keesje, but at least the RAF are not planning to intergrate dumb bombs on to Eurofighter, Paveway IV will be first, on to later Tranch 1's, with Stormshadow, ALARM, Brimstone on to Tranche 2's onwards.
Eurofighter has always been multi role, I remember reading a Flight International article on it in 1987, where MoD sources (in the context of the then cold war strength RAF), stated that after the F-4M's in RAF Germany were re-equipped, the three strike/attack Jaguar squadrons would follow, along with remaining UK based F-4s and eventually, Tornado F.3s.

So good job the UK held out for the Eurofighter with increased fuel capacity, not only for then then UK AD requirement, but now for the attack role.

Jaguar was a success too, it wasn't a massive export hit due to being not a multi role role aircraft, but served successfully in combat in the UK and France, still being built in India.

F-22 is clearly a fantastic plane, but it has a fantastic price tag too, with more uncertainty over the years than even Eurofighter had.
 
AirRyan
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Tue May 31, 2005 12:59 am

Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):
The Navy is also having problems with the high costs of ship building with their new DD-X destroyer and the new Virginia class submarine.

The Virginia and Texas are well underway, I don't think there is anything major there that is slowing down that program.

I too think something needs to be done, because we couldn't win WWII if fought today when it takes 15+ years to bring a new combat jet online. The F-14 went from pre-CAD drawing board to first flight in a little over a year, yet the dim-wits keep constantly changing design and mission requirements, hence we have the F-22 and Typhoon. Irresponsible, myopic consumption of taxpayers dollars.
 
keesje
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Tue May 31, 2005 5:42 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
it produced what the end users wanted, a strike aircraft,

It was initiated as a multi role aircraft (MRCA) . Not as a striker aircraft

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
The RAF got the ADV version for the unique UK AD requirements

... when it became clear the original Tornado design had become pretty useless as an interceptor.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
Well, I didn't know, German Air Force used Tornados as interceptors.

They used Phantoms. Western Europe F16´s usually had a party exercising air to air against German/ UK IDS Tornado´s. Ask the crews.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
Typhoon will will fly for at least the next 25 years to come

Well at least the airforces stuck with it..

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 13):
You never listen to other peoples arguments but rather make some up that fit your agenda, do you?

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said the Typhoon is a "very capable aircraft ... (but) the committed schedule for the delivery of the Typhoon and its systems did not meet the requirements" of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Exactly, Singapore wanted a real Multirole Aircraft from the start, not future Tranch 2/3 promises.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
GDB
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:22 am

The RAF wanted a strike aircraft, replacing Vulcan, most Jaguars, Buccaneers.
Germany and Italy replaced strike roled F-104's.
MRCA was just a series of words, it was always a strike aircraft.
Anyway, attack, recon, close support, SEAD, that is a lot of roles, the design dated to well before F-16/F-18 etc, so comparing is false.
(Nearly 10 years later, yes they would have gone for a big, fixed supercritical wing with lerx, but this was the late 60's not the mid 70's)

The RAF did not want an interceptor in the sense you are thinking, they wanted all weather, two crewed, lots of loiter (NOT a high speed dash to target), big radar, good ECM/ECCM, lots of missiles.
And that is what they got.
They might have loved the Lightning, but that was designed just to defend V-Bomber bases in the context of a war rapidly going nuclear, the old 'trip wire' concept.

A replacement needed to address the now increased threat of Soviet conventional attack on the UK, all those TU-16's, TU-22's, TU-22M's, and SU-24's. that emerged in the early 70's, that is why RAF F-4's were quickly switched to interception once Jaguar became available, from 1974.
F-4M had what the RAF wanted for AD, a replacement would need to have the same, but more modern, features.

If Germany wanted something more agile, why buy F-4F's so late in the day?
Better to have got Tornado for the strike/recon role, then replace AD assigned F-104's with perhaps F-16's, just as much of Europe did.

You would not try to re-cast the whole Tornado design for just 28 RAF aircraft based in Germany, (19 and 92 Sqns), this role, a tiny rather symbolic one, was not a priority.

Tornado was mainly intended to provide low level, all weather strike against a Soviet attack, but much more affordable than say F-111, or dare I say it, TSR-2.
 
NoUFO
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Appr

Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:38 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 17):
Exactly, Singapore wanted a real Multirole Aircraft from the start, not future Tranch 2/3 promises.

In this case they should remove Rafale from their shortlist, too. The fully capable Rafale which will comply with the F3 standard, is going to be delivered in 2007 at the earliest, and the first squadron will be in service in 2008.

The Rafale M currently in service at Aeronavale, are F1 standard with air-to-air capability only.
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sebolino
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RE: European Fighter Aircraft Next Generation Approach

Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:44 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 19):
The Rafale M currently in service at Aeronavale, are F1 standard with air-to-air capability only.

I fail to see the link with Singapore.
The French Airforce has already the Rafale F2.

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