mileduets wrote:SeamanBeaumont wrote:Did this Blattmann guy do any research? The USAF per hour cost may be high but we don’t hear the same reports coming from Norway or Australia or Italy etc. Perhaps the Swiss was able to negotiate a fixed cost for flight hour of the aircraft and LM eats everything above that?
Also the weapons the aircraft uses are the same as the current aircraft. Even if the Rafale was chosen which I think was the other favourite it would have required a whole new set of weapons that aren’t even compatible with the Hornet fleet.
I guess Swiss could have kept the old hornets around, not sure it would cost less in the end given they would become a lonely operator, but that is an academic argument that is a bit hard to justify after you have run a multi year costly campaign to find a replacement aircraft and don’t like the result.
His other plan doesn’t make sense either, missiles aren’t a viable substitute for a fighter aircraft. I’m not sure what else will come in 2025, 2030 or even later that will be cheaper?
As a former chief of staff and air defence general I'm sure Blattmann is still pretty well informed, also informally by former collegues involved in the procurment process. N.b.: It was in his time as chief of staff that the Gripen got selected (and later voted down by the public).
His arguments somehow do make sense. Switzerland has neglected ground based air defence lately - the replacement process for the Rapier and Stinger missiles as well as the Oerlikon Bührle 35mm / Skyguard system has been pushed back repeatedly. A functioning drone / missile defence seems more urgent today and in the next few years than fighter jets (other than in an air policing role).
You haven't made a good case for Blattmann, I have seen the last Swiss evaluation where the Gripen scored the worst of all the aircraft, even les than the baseline Hornet, and yet was still selected.
If you looked at what Switzerland was most likely to face issues with going forward then fighters jets seems the wise choice to me. Say Switzerland in an incredibly unlikely scenario faces a UAV attack similar to Saudi Arabia, do you think the Swiss military and political establishment would or even could move quick enough to authorise the firing of a SAM or AA gun at the UAV?