ThePointblank
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Switzerland Restarting Fighter Competition

Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:03 am

https://www.reuters.com/article/swiss-a ... SL8N1U242W

Bids to be delivered by January 2019, with a decision to be made by 2020. Aircraft to start delivery by 2025, and they are looking at 30-40 aircraft to replace the F-5 and F/A-18 fleet.

Bidders include:
1. Dassault - Rafale
2. Airbus - Eurofighter
3. Boeing - F/A-18 Super Hornet
4. Saab - Gripen E
5. Lockheed Martin - F-35
Last edited by SQ22 on Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Typo fixed
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:05 pm

Are most of the competitors even in production by then?

The Eurofighter Typhoon isn't built by Airbus alone.
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texl1649
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:20 pm

I’d pull for the Saab here. It would be interesting to see if a package with cargo/tanker with kc390 might even make sense.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:44 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I’d pull for the Saab here.

While the Gripen E is unlikely to have the lowest production costs it may have the lowest sustainment costs of the contenders which would likely give it an edge in the selection. It struggled last time the competition was run but the E has a longer endurance than the C so will likely far better this time.

texl1649 wrote:
It would be interesting to see if a package with cargo/tanker with kc390 might even make sense.

Offering that would be a waste of time and resources. There won’t be any additional points awarded and the Swiss don’t operate an aircraft of that size today and have never operated an aircraft that size.

Dutchy wrote:
Are most of the competitors even in production by then?

All the aircraft should be in production by the time the airframe is selected and as such will be able to last until delivery although the Eurofighter may struggle if the aircraft has to come from the German production line. A top up order from Germany for Eurofighters to replace the Tornado now seems likely and this will save that line which was running out of frames to manufacture.

Dutchy wrote:
The Eurofighter Typhoon isn't built by Airbus alone.

While it has production lines in Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy and different manufacturers from each nation have geographical responsibility for production and export the overall program is managed by Airbus. In the case of the Swiss contract I believe it is German Airbus that has the right to offer the aircraft.
 
texl1649
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:14 am

I agree overall but I do think the pending protracted American withdrawal from European defense will necessitate some different thinking in sustainment and cargo missions in Europe. Options won’t hurt.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:00 am

texl1649 wrote:
I agree overall but I do think the pending protracted American withdrawal from European defense will necessitate some different thinking in sustainment and cargo missions in Europe. Options won’t hurt.

Switzerland is not a member of NATO nor a member of the EU (although they do have treaties that allow them access to the single market). In that context the Swiss are likely to continue on the same path they have gone for generations which is neutrality, a conscious decision to have a modicum of defence capability and the best male tennis player the world has ever seen.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:33 am

My guess would be the Gripen E or Rafale.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:37 am

texl1649 wrote:
I agree overall but I do think the pending protracted American withdrawal from European defense will necessitate some different thinking in sustainment and cargo missions in Europe. Options won’t hurt.

The Swiss don't even operate airlifters; the biggest transport aircraft they operate are a Beechcraft King Air, a DHC-6 Twin Otter, and Pilatus PC-6 Porter's.

The Swiss don't have a need for such aircraft as the Swiss military doesn't do overseas deployment, nor are they tied to any of their neighbours in any mutual defence agreements. The Swiss are primarily a territorial defence military, focused on the defence of Swiss territory.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:26 am

This feels like deja-vu...
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VSMUT
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:58 am

texl1649 wrote:
I’d pull for the Saab here. It would be interesting to see if a package with cargo/tanker with kc390 might even make sense.


They already decided to go for a lease arrangement with the German Luftwaffe for A400Ms, although the deal hasn't been concluded yet. Most probably they will just be buying flying hours from German owned and operated aircraft, similar to how NATO runs the shared C-17 operation.


ThePointblank wrote:
The Swiss don't even operate airlifters; the biggest transport aircraft they operate are a Beechcraft King Air, a DHC-6 Twin Otter, and Pilatus PC-6 Porter's.

The Swiss don't have a need for such aircraft as the Swiss military doesn't do overseas deployment, nor are they tied to any of their neighbours in any mutual defence agreements. The Swiss are primarily a territorial defence military, focused on the defence of Swiss territory.


Wrong on both accounts. They have contract civilian operated airlifters, and they also have multiple overseas deployments.
Swiss peacekeeper missions are, or have been deployed in multiple locations across the Balkans, Morocco/Western Sahara, Georgia and the Korean DMZ. They also contribute a lot to the OSCE.
 
texl1649
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:42 pm

I apologize if this is veering off topic but I don't think the Swiss will want/be able to reliably lease cargo capacity from the Luftwaffe. The German Air Force is simply a poorly maintained mess. And the Swiss, while yes not a part of the EU/Nato (not sure how that was surfaced as a relevant topic), remain a part of Europe that is shifting in it's border/security postures as it hasn't done since at least 1989. They also, yes, do deploy on various missions.

The Germans (whom the Swiss have historically leased capacity from) do seem to be moving to get new C-130J's, but the A400 and Transall/older Herc fleets are anything but reliably available, and will face growing demands I believe over the next 10 years.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/g ... eath-25157

https://www.dw.com/en/german-air-force- ... a-37464284
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:20 pm

texl1649 wrote:
And the Swiss, while yes not a part of the EU/Nato (not sure how that was surfaced as a relevant topic), They also, yes, do deploy on various missions.


Switzerland not being a part of NATO/EU makes a big difference. They have no defence ties to either organisation so no requirement to support, in whatever material way, the military aims and goals of either. They also don’t contribute great bodies of men and equipment to international operations and are hardly setting the world afire with global peacekeeping commitments. Below is a graphic showing Swiss Uniformed deployments in support of peacekeeping missions, including uniform OSCE work.

Image

(note Swiss Peacekeepers couldn’t even carry weapons for self defence until 2001…)

In the context of air transport, the Swiss simply don’t fly around enough stuff/people to need a permanent fleet, contracted solutions are more than sufficient for their needs.

texl1649 wrote:
remain a part of Europe that is shifting in it's border/security postures as it hasn't done since at least 1989.

In the Swiss context the role of the military is the following,

The Federal Constitution and the Military Act assign three central missions to the Swiss Armed Forces: defense; support of the civilian authorities; and the promotion of peace within an international context.

http://www.providingforpeacekeeping.org ... itzerland/

and that role for promoting peace in an international context didn’t happen until 1991 and even in 2015 at the Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping Switzerland did not pledge troops for future missions. Switzerland does contribute money to the UN though and likely sees that as a better means of assisting international peacekeeping efforts than deployments of troops.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:28 pm

Defence-aerospace has translated the below from the RFQ released.

Air2030 – Issuance of RFQs to Government Agencies of Combat Aircraft Manufacturers

The first Request For Quotations for the next fighter jets has been sent to the government agencies of the manufacturers. armasuisse expects offers in response by the end of January 2019.

On the basis of the requirements published by the DDPS on 23 March 2018, armasuisse, on July 6, 2018, sent the request for quotations for the next combat aircraft to the governmental agencies of the five manufacturers concerned:
-- Germany (Airbus Eurofighter),
-- France (Dassault Rafale),
-- Sweden (Saab Gripen E), and the
-- United States (Boeing F / A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed-Martin F-35A).

After making contact with their government agency, manufacturers have the option to submit their offer to armasuisse until the end of January 2019.

Tenders must include the following information:

-- calculation of the number of aircraft required by the manufacturer to fulfill the missions of the Swiss Air Force (and in particular to fly four planes permanently for four weeks);

-- price for 40 and 30 aircraft, logistical costs and guided missiles included, as a basis for the subsequent determination of the required number;

-- information and proposals for cooperation between armed forces and procurement authorities;

-- indication as to the possibility of offsets and other compensation.

Evaluation and analysis of costs and effectiveness

Then, the indications of the manufacturers will be analyzed in detail. To do this, the DDPS has defined a weighting of the four main evaluation criteria concerning the effectiveness of the system:
-- effectiveness (operational, endurance) 55%
-- product support (ease of maintenance, autonomous assistance) 25%
-- cooperation 10%
-- direct compensations (offsets) 10%

This weighting will also apply to the surface-to-air defense system (DSA) for which the request for tenders should be sent at the end of the summer.

This time, the comparison of candidates for the new combat aircraft and of the new ground-to-air defense system will be based, in addition to the overall effectiveness, on the acquisition and operating costs.

Next steps

From May to July 2019, fighter jets will undergo, one after the other, in-flight and ground tests in Payerne, after which a second request for proposals will be sent by armasuisse in November 2019, with responses expected by the end of May 2020.

The observations made during the flight and ground tests, as well as the evaluation of the initial quotations, will be included in this second request for proposal. It will ask manufacturers to submit their best possible offer for Switzerland.

The evaluation report will be drawn up from June to the end of 2020, and then submitted to the Federal Council at the same time as the surface-to-air defense system, in order to decide on the model.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... hters.html

So the project will include the acquisition of air to air weapons to support the new aircraft. The Swiss will also run a second competition to acquire new Surface to Air missiles, not sure if any of the manufacturers will try tie in the new SAMs with the fighter purchase though.

The breakdown of how the competition will be assessed also seems pretty reasonable to me,

effectiveness (operational, endurance) 55%
product support (ease of maintenance, autonomous assistance) 25%
cooperation 10%
direct compensations (offsets) 10%.

The original report in French can be found here, http://www.ddps.ch/air2030
 
aviationaware
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:26 am

Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
The Eurofighter Typhoon isn't built by Airbus alone.

While it has production lines in Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy and different manufacturers from each nation have geographical responsibility for production and export the overall program is managed by Airbus. In the case of the Swiss contract I believe it is German Airbus that has the right to offer the aircraft.


100% correct.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:28 pm

The Swiss socialist party is proposing that the Swiss Air Force procure lead In trainers such as the M-346, L-159 or T-50 instead of a dedicated fighter aircraft with the intent to wait until FCAS or tempest is available to acquire. A plan doomed to fail…

A google translate of a portion of the article is below.

Air2030, la grande farce du Parti Socialiste !

The Socialist Party wants to give voice to the Air2030 project. For him, the model proposed by the DDPS is too expensive and does not correspond to a modern army. For this, the PS proposes its own model and we will see, that this one is in itself a vast humbness. It seems that PS who found that the police of the sky was useless, there is little, returned his jacket history of pleasing for the next Federal elections.

The socialist proposal:

For the PS planes proposed in the framework of the project Air2030 are too expensive and especially exceeded! In fact, the Socialists propose to evaluate the following aircraft: the M-346 of the Italian Leonardo, the Aerovodochody L-159 and the South Korean KAI T-50. These planes cost between 10 and 20 million euros each. For comparison: the jets that Switzerland wants to buy (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen, F-35, Super Hornet) cost 100 million and more each according to the PS. Note that the PS also seeks to wait until the arrival of future aircraft such as Scaf and Tempest. The number of light jets to be purchased "also depends on the type purchased," says PS Zurich's security officer Priska Seiler Graf. "The order of magnitude is a dozen aimed at ensuring airspace security in the air force while awaiting the retirement of F / A-18s.

http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/archive/201 ... 66748.html
 
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Slug71
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:22 am

Ozair wrote:
The Swiss socialist party is proposing that the Swiss Air Force procure lead In trainers such as the M-346, L-159 or T-50 instead of a dedicated fighter aircraft with the intent to wait until FCAS or tempest is available to acquire. A plan doomed to fail…

A google translate of a portion of the article is below.

Air2030, la grande farce du Parti Socialiste !

The Socialist Party wants to give voice to the Air2030 project. For him, the model proposed by the DDPS is too expensive and does not correspond to a modern army. For this, the PS proposes its own model and we will see, that this one is in itself a vast humbness. It seems that PS who found that the police of the sky was useless, there is little, returned his jacket history of pleasing for the next Federal elections.

The socialist proposal:

For the PS planes proposed in the framework of the project Air2030 are too expensive and especially exceeded! In fact, the Socialists propose to evaluate the following aircraft: the M-346 of the Italian Leonardo, the Aerovodochody L-159 and the South Korean KAI T-50. These planes cost between 10 and 20 million euros each. For comparison: the jets that Switzerland wants to buy (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen, F-35, Super Hornet) cost 100 million and more each according to the PS. Note that the PS also seeks to wait until the arrival of future aircraft such as Scaf and Tempest. The number of light jets to be purchased "also depends on the type purchased," says PS Zurich's security officer Priska Seiler Graf. "The order of magnitude is a dozen aimed at ensuring airspace security in the air force while awaiting the retirement of F / A-18s.

http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/archive/201 ... 66748.html


I bet the French and Germans are happy to hear that.
Not really sure how going with a Lead-in fighter / trainer for the interim will work out though.
Could be good news for the FCAS though.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:43 am

Slug71 wrote:

I bet the French and Germans are happy to hear that.
Not really sure how going with a Lead-in fighter / trainer for the interim will work out though.
Could be good news for the FCAS though.

Noting that the Swiss Socialist Party are the second largest party in the country, at least by votes last election, this suggestion shouldn’t be a surprise.
The SP supports classical social democratic policies. To that rule, the SP stands for a government offering strong public services. The SP is against far-reaching economic liberalism, in favor of social progressivism, environmental policy with climate change mitigation, for an open foreign policy, and a national security policy based on pacifism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_De ... witzerland

The thing to note though is if they suggest this downgrade for this competition why wouldn’t they also suggest similar for the later selection? I doubt the party officials really understand FCAS or Tempest or what those aircraft will bring capability wise, it is more likely a justification to delay or reduce defence spending today and then do the same again in another 20+ years.

As for using a lead in trainer, perhaps the T-50 would have the speed for the air policing mission (but likely not the fuel required to maintain that speed) but the M-346 and L-159 would be wholly inadequate in that role.

If this idea actually caught on, the Boeing T-X is probably a couple of years too late in being considered but this change would almost certainly require a new competition and selection criteria anyway so perhaps not.
 
agill
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:25 pm

Ozair wrote:

If this idea actually caught on, the Boeing T-X is probably a couple of years too late in being considered but this change would almost certainly require a new competition and selection criteria anyway so perhaps not.


Well the T-X doesn't have any weapons so I doubt it would be a candidate.
 
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Slug71
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:37 pm

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:

I bet the French and Germans are happy to hear that.
Not really sure how going with a Lead-in fighter / trainer for the interim will work out though.
Could be good news for the FCAS though.

Noting that the Swiss Socialist Party are the second largest party in the country, at least by votes last election, this suggestion shouldn’t be a surprise.
The SP supports classical social democratic policies. To that rule, the SP stands for a government offering strong public services. The SP is against far-reaching economic liberalism, in favor of social progressivism, environmental policy with climate change mitigation, for an open foreign policy, and a national security policy based on pacifism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_De ... witzerland

The thing to note though is if they suggest this downgrade for this competition why wouldn’t they also suggest similar for the later selection? I doubt the party officials really understand FCAS or Tempest or what those aircraft will bring capability wise, it is more likely a justification to delay or reduce defence spending today and then do the same again in another 20+ years.

As for using a lead in trainer, perhaps the T-50 would have the speed for the air policing mission (but likely not the fuel required to maintain that speed) but the M-346 and L-159 would be wholly inadequate in that role.

If this idea actually caught on, the Boeing T-X is probably a couple of years too late in being considered but this change would almost certainly require a new competition and selection criteria anyway so perhaps not.


My thoughts exactly.

The Boeing T-X was the first thing that came to mind when I read that. You're probably right about timing though.
Is the L-159 even in production still?
Of those options, only the T-50 makes sense for what they want.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:13 pm

agill wrote:
Ozair wrote:

If this idea actually caught on, the Boeing T-X is probably a couple of years too late in being considered but this change would almost certainly require a new competition and selection criteria anyway so perhaps not.


Well the T-X doesn't have any weapons so I doubt it would be a candidate.

Hence why the T-X would likely a couple of years too late. Once the airframe is up and running with the USAF the time required to develop a light attack variant should be minimal.

Slug71 wrote:

My thoughts exactly.

The Boeing T-X was the first thing that came to mind when I read that. You're probably right about timing though.
Is the L-159 even in production still?
Of those options, only the T-50 makes sense for what they want.

The L-159 is going through an update with a modernized version entering service with the Czechs and a new variant was offered for the USAF Light Attack competition. https://www.janes.com/article/81774/far ... attack-jet

I have no doubt Aero Vodochody would manufacture more if and when required.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:22 pm

The flight demonstrations for the Swiss fighter replacement program are about to begin despite some uncertainty with the program going forward. The first is the Eurofighter, then SH, then Rafale, F-35 and finally the Gripen over the next three months.

The F-35 and other warplanes descend on Switzerland this spring

The Swiss have kicked off flying season for the five types of combat aircraft under consideration to replace the country’s aging fleet, with several demonstrations scheduled between now and early July.

The probes are part of the Swiss “Air 2030” program, an $8.2 billion project to buy new aircraft and ground-based equipment for policing the country's airspace. The evaluation phase began in earnest earlier this year, as Swiss officials took the contender aircraft for a spin in the simulators of their respective home countries. Now they want to see how the planes fare in the famously neutral nation, whose alpine terrain makes engine thrust and maneuverability handy attributes.

Bringing the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Lockheed Martin F-35A and the Saab Gripen E to the Payerne air base near Bern is a “significant effort” for the vendors and governments involved, said an industry official from one of the competing teams. But the payoff — an estimated $6 billion of the total Air 2030 budget — is winning “one of the big, promising campaigns out there,” that official said.

All contenders must complete eight test flights each, including one at night. The mission profiles are the same for all parties to ensure equal treatment, according to the Swiss defense ministry.

Notably, the Swiss requirement for competitors is only to bring one or two aircraft specimens, according to a spokesman for Armasuisse, the defense ministry’s acquisition arm. Lockheed Martin expects to bring four of its fifth-generation, stealthy jets to Switzerland for demonstrations beginning in early June.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... is-spring/

More at the link.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:12 am

The Payerne air base offers limited places for plane spotters.

I guess they are all booked by now.

The different jets are demonstrated on different days.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:30 am

flyingturtle wrote:
The Payerne air base offers limited places for plane spotters.

I guess they are all booked by now.

The different jets are demonstrated on different days.

It isn't just different days, the evaluation period extends over a three month period. The Eurofighter is there now and then the SH arrives at the end of April for a couple of weeks, before the Rafale comes in mid May followed by the F-35 and finally the Gripen which won't finish until late June.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:44 am

Thanks for the correction, Ozair!
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu May 16, 2019 11:56 pm

The Swiss have delinked the Air defence and fighter deals given the fighter deal will apparently have to go to a public vote again. Related they have also reduced the offset requirement from 100% to 60% which should make the respective manufactures happy and will make it easier to meet the target.

Swiss carve out fighter jet purchase, set 6 billion Swiss Francs budget

The Swiss government will split off its purchase of new fighter jets from its order of new surface-to-air defenses, it said on Thursday, setting a budget of 6 billion Swiss francs ($5.96 billion) for the jets alone.

The neutral Alpine country had previously agreed to spend up to 8 billion francs for a combined package under its Air2030 program, but has now divided the plan so that voters could decide separately on buying new jets in a likely referendum.

European aerospace group Airbus, France's Dassault, Sweden's Saab, and Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the United States submitted bids in January to replace the aging Swiss fighter fleet.

Switzerland's stable of Boeing McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C and D Hornets and Northrop F-5 Tigers is scheduled to be retired within years. Airbus's Eurofighter, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault's Rafale, F-35As made by Lockheed Martin and Saab's Gripen E are in the running.

"It is clear to the government that public expectations to decide on the procurement by referendum pertain only to the fighter jets," the cabinet said while asking the defense ministry to draw up a plan for this by early September.

The two weapons systems remain interlinked, however, so the deals should proceed in parallel, it added. It also decided that offset deals should cover 60 percent of the purchase amount rather than 100 percent as first planned.

...

https://news.yahoo.com/swiss-carve-figh ... nance.html

More at the link.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri May 17, 2019 5:42 am

Sweden will replace its SAAB 105 trainer with new turboprop-powered advanced trainer around 2025, perhaps an order for Pilatus PC-21 if Switzerland chooses Gripen? :crossfingers:
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art
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri May 17, 2019 1:29 pm

I wonder how many radar modes Typhoon and Gripen E can demonstrate at the moment. If very limited this could work against their selection. Perhaps not if the Swiss are convinced that they will be fully developed by the time a selection is made.

If the performance of Gripen E is judged to be adequate I think that Gripen E will be the least expensive to procure and the least expensive to operate. If Sweden has a need for the kind of trainer that Pilatus can offer, I don't see how any other competitor can match that.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Fri May 17, 2019 10:17 pm

art wrote:
I wonder how many radar modes Typhoon and Gripen E can demonstrate at the moment. If very limited this could work against their selection. Perhaps not if the Swiss are convinced that they will be fully developed by the time a selection is made.

I doubt it will play that big a factor. The Swiss aircrew are just sitting in the back and while their opinion will be valued most of the evaluation would be based on technical data provided.

art wrote:
If the performance of Gripen E is judged to be adequate I think that Gripen E will be the least expensive to procure and the least expensive to operate. If Sweden has a need for the kind of trainer that Pilatus can offer, I don't see how any other competitor can match that.

F-35 will be the least expensive to acquire without doubt but will have a higher operating cost than Gripen E.

I don't see an upcoming trainer as a factor in the selection criteria, the competitions are not linked and we have seen that the Air Defence selection was also de linked from this contract. It may help in the offset area but even then SAAB adding the trainer contract to any bid changes their bid away from the criteria that the others will be using, making it more costly. The team evaluating the fighter bids would also likely not have an ability to evaluate a training aircraft.
 
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Tue May 21, 2019 5:49 pm

I don't know if it has been covered elsewhere, but I'll tuck that information in here:

- when Switzerland decided to order F-18C/D about thirty years ago, Boeing envisioned 5000 operating hours per jets until replacements
- the Swiss license manufacturer (RUAG Aerospace) already beefed up certain structures with titanium to make the jets fit for the maneuvers that are flown in a quite alpine country. Also, 700 joints and 1800 "holes" (I suppose those for rivets) have been modified, in comparison to US jets
- vibration tests have not been carried out, and unforeseen vibrations have led to additional aging near the wing tips and in the vertical stabilizers

After the popular referendum that rejected the Gripen jets (2014), the F-18 are slated to fly 6000 hours. Compounding the problem are the four crashes that occurred to the F-18 fleet.

When the first F-18 were in the halls of RUAG for their life-extending maintenance, they found out that none of the jets was alike the other. During manufacture, holes haven't been drilled in the exact same places, requiring changes to replacement parts. Also, rivets haven't been put in properly in many instances.

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/sonntagsze ... y/31716911 (in Germish)


David
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flyingturtle
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:18 am

This just in - surprisingly, Saab has retracted its Gripen E offer.

The reason is that the Swiss Air Force only wants to evaluate planes that already are in operational duty - the Gripen E isn't.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:17 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
This just in - surprisingly, Saab has retracted its Gripen E offer.

The reason is that the Swiss Air Force only wants to evaluate planes that already are in operational duty - the Gripen E isn't.

My understanding from the link below is that it wasn't withdrawn from the competition, just won't be participating in the trials. That would likely disadvantage it though.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ss-458883/
 
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SAS A340
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 5:59 am

Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:26 pm

The Euro canard is most certainly out...... :thumbsdown:
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:16 am

SAS A340 wrote:
The Euro canard is most certainly out...... :thumbsdown:

I don't agree. The following from SAAB, which the Flightglobal article used, makes it clear that Saab's offer still stands and that the Gripen E will be in service by the time the Swiss acquire.

https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/ ... ght-tests/

It doesn't help their proposal but I don't think we can formally remove the Griepn from the Swiss acquisition program just yet.
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:49 am

Ozair wrote:
SAS A340 wrote:
The Euro canard is most certainly out...... :thumbsdown:

I don't agree. The following from SAAB, which the Flightglobal article used, makes it clear that Saab's offer still stands and that the Gripen E will be in service by the time the Swiss acquire.

https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/ ... ght-tests/

It doesn't help their proposal but I don't think we can formally remove the Griepn from the Swiss acquisition program just yet.

Here is the official confirmation the zgriepn has been excluded, using Google translate.

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... wX1FKx_Cvw
 
philzh
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:40 am

Ozair wrote:
F-35 will be the least expensive to acquire without doubt but will have a higher operating cost than Gripen E.

Even though the Gripen E, from all I read in our newspapers, is unfortunately well and truly out, I'm still very curious here… Please excuse my uninformed asking, but I was under the impression that the F-35 has significantly higher per-airplane prices than Gripen (hardly a neutral source, but https://bestfighter4canada.blogspot.com ... ripen.html).

Is it the case that the Gripen E is or will be a lot more expensive than the Gripen C?
 
Ozair
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:17 pm

philzh wrote:
Ozair wrote:
F-35 will be the least expensive to acquire without doubt but will have a higher operating cost than Gripen E.

Even though the Gripen E, from all I read in our newspapers, is unfortunately well and truly out, I'm still very curious here… Please excuse my uninformed asking, but I was under the impression that the F-35 has significantly higher per-airplane prices than Gripen (hardly a neutral source, but https://bestfighter4canada.blogspot.com ... ripen.html).

Is it the case that the Gripen E is or will be a lot more expensive than the Gripen C?

Gripen E was sold to Brazil at US$4.7 billion for 36 aircraft. Take out the local manufacture cost, some weapons integration costs and the total comes out around US$100 million per aircraft. Brazil then also has to fund the development of the F model. The build rate of the Gripen E is so low, likely approx 12 a year, that they don't get the advantage in ordering materials and systems in bulk quantities as well as Saab being happy to sell the local manufacture of the aircraft like they did with Brazil and have offered other nations such as Canada and Finland.

Conversely the F-35, while a larger and more complex aircraft, is being manufactured over 130 a year today and by the time the Swiss would be receiving them would be greater than 160 a year. That provides massive savings for nations that can tac onto the production line. Same thing happened with F-16. We know the US and partners will be paying less than US$80 million by Lot 14 and this cost reduction will go further once the US can negotiate a bulk buy order.

What that translates to is the entire expected Gripen E production run over the next ten years is less than a single year of F-35 production...

The operating cost will likely initially favour the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:01 pm

Ozair wrote:
Gripen E was sold to Brazil at US$4.7 billion for 36 aircraft. Take out the local manufacture cost, some weapons integration costs and the total comes out around US$100 million per aircraft. Brazil then also has to fund the development of the F model. The build rate of the Gripen E is so low, likely approx 12 a year, that they don't get the advantage in ordering materials and systems in bulk quantities as well as Saab being happy to sell the local manufacture of the aircraft like they did with Brazil and have offered other nations such as Canada and Finland.

Conversely the F-35, while a larger and more complex aircraft, is being manufactured over 130 a year today and by the time the Swiss would be receiving them would be greater than 160 a year. That provides massive savings for nations that can tac onto the production line. Same thing happened with F-16. We know the US and partners will be paying less than US$80 million by Lot 14 and this cost reduction will go further once the US can negotiate a bulk buy order.

What that translates to is the entire expected Gripen E production run over the next ten years is less than a single year of F-35 production...

The operating cost will likely initially favour the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.


That's too bad. I thought Gripen was the best fit for the Swiss and their mission - I still think it is, but economics gets in the way.

But that's been the story of the Gripen - it should have been slightly cheaper than a F-16, but its low volume production never got it there. That the F-35 will be cheaper due to volume makes sense, although I have a hard time seeing the Swiss needing that much capability. But hey, if it's cheaper...
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:55 pm

Ozair wrote:
The operating cost will likely initially favor the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.


Wow, I would have expected that the F-35, given its complexity and stealth characteristics, would have been inherent more expensive to maintain than a 4th generation jet.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Switzerland Restarting Fighter Competition

Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:21 am

I vote for reinserting the Gripen in the competition! Not that I have a vote, but...

Uh... and F-35 being cheaper... I believe it when I see it :-)
 
ThePointblank
Topic Author
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:32 am

Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The operating cost will likely initially favor the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.


Wow, I would have expected that the F-35, given its complexity and stealth characteristics, would have been inherent more expensive to maintain than a 4th generation jet.

That is what happens when you have production runs that go into the thousands versus maybe at best a hundred. The difference in volume means manufacturers are more willing to give discounts for large orders of components, and there's efficiencies involved as well when you have such large, uninterrupted production runs.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:47 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The operating cost will likely initially favor the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.


Wow, I would have expected that the F-35, given its complexity and stealth characteristics, would have been inherent more expensive to maintain than a 4th generation jet.

That is what happens when you have production runs that go into the thousands versus maybe at best a hundred. The difference in volume means manufacturers are more willing to give discounts for large orders of components, and there's efficiencies involved as well when you have such large, uninterrupted production runs.


He says maintenance will cost less than a 4th generation jet, like the F-16. That surprises me because all the benefits you summed up, also goes for the F-16.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ozair
Posts: 3904
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Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:34 am

Dutchy wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Dutchy wrote:

Wow, I would have expected that the F-35, given its complexity and stealth characteristics, would have been inherent more expensive to maintain than a 4th generation jet.

That is what happens when you have production runs that go into the thousands versus maybe at best a hundred. The difference in volume means manufacturers are more willing to give discounts for large orders of components, and there's efficiencies involved as well when you have such large, uninterrupted production runs.


He says maintenance will cost less than a 4th generation jet, like the F-16. That surprises me because all the benefits you summed up, also goes for the F-16.

The details are here,

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/05 ... ttainable/

While the 25k is a stretch goal the program has the ability to reach it, perhaps not by 2025 but more likely before 2030. There are a number of things that assist that lower sustainment number, such as refined maintenance practises for both the aircraft and the engine and the airframe and engine being optimised for maintenance.

Also at the moment the maintenance units are being overstaffed to train additional personnel so the current costs don't provide an accurate reflection of the per hour costs of the jet. Once the above is rectified and the spares issues are solved the cost should reduce significantly as per the cost target projections.
 
texl1649
Posts: 964
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Switzerland Restarting Fighter Competition

Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:38 am

Lockheed isn’t likely to work to undercut their F-35 bid by a discounted support/equipment package for the F-16 though.
 
philzh
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 10:22 pm

Re: Swiss Restart Fighter Competition

Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:01 am

Ozair wrote:
The operating cost will likely initially favour the Gripen but I also expect, like the F-16, the size of the global F-35 fleet and their ability to buy in bulk will significantly reduce long term sustainment costs. The plan is to be below 4th gen aircraft sustainment costs by 2025.

Thanks a lot for a very informative post!
Having read a tiny little bit into it, I wonder if F-35 operating costs (the 25 by 25 rule you quoted on the F-35 thread) will be below or even near that of an admittedly still somewhat hypothetical Gripen-E – which, TBH, still seems like a pretty much perfect plane for the role it would have in Switzerland (the "Starting with Air Defence, let’s suppose you have a small-ish nation, where the Government does not have global dominance in its agenda." quote https://hushkit.net/2018/05/12/6th-generation-swede-the-saab-gripen-e/).

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