mxaxai
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Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:41 pm

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-453763/

So Finland now has a plan for their 4th-gen fighter replacement too. Bids are requested from all usual suspects, including one for newer F-18s. Not doing so would be unwise, obviously, since you can't hold a competition with only one entrant.

Unlike the Belgian one, this rfp doesn't seem to be public.

He stresses that the defence ministry has no favourite among the bidders and "none of the candidates have a better or worse status".

Preliminary offers are expected by the end of January 2019, with improved bids leading to a final decision in 2021. Deliveries are forecast to begin in 2025.

Helsinki's five-strong shortlist includes the Boeing F-18, Dassault Rafale, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab Gripen, as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon in a bid led by BAE Systems.
 
texl1649
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:43 pm

Interesting. I think a fleet of around 55-60, including 2 seaters, and their Hawks have to be about 30 years old too. I sort of wish more air forces would try a combined bid for planes/support and training systems as it would be interesting to pitch the Boeing vs. Lockheed entrants more across the board.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:47 pm

That project has been going on for years already.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:34 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
That project has been going on for years already.

Correct, I have been posting relevant articles in this thread, viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1348495&p=20547673&hilit=finland#p20547673 but I guess they can go in here now.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:23 pm

Well this seems to be the first "official" confirmation and the first proper timeline for the competition. I also didn't find your posts with the search function, apologies.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:14 am

mxaxai wrote:
Well this seems to be the first "official" confirmation and the first proper timeline for the competition. I also didn't find your posts with the search function, apologies.

All good, the search function is awful and I can never find anything with it either.

It is probably a good thing that we have a dedicated tread now anyway. It will be an interesting competition given Finland has operated a US aircraft for the last 25 years, has growing ties with Sweden and isn't a member of NATO. It will also be interesting to see if Dassault last out the competition given they have withdrawn from Canada due to security issues and didn't submit a compliant bid for Belgium.

I see it as a contest between the F-35 and Gripen, with the SH as an outsider. The first two based on acquisition and operating cost with the SH because the Fins have the classic Hornet.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:03 am

Ozair wrote:
I see it as a contest between the F-35 and Gripen


Agreed, my impression too.
 
estorilm
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:16 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I see it as a contest between the F-35 and Gripen


Agreed, my impression too.

Strange that the super hornet was never much of an upgrade proposition for anyone outside of naval ops. I guess the price point was just oddly-high and pushes it into the realm of more capable jets that don't carry with them the added costs of a carrier-capable aircraft? :(
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:00 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I see it as a contest between the F-35 and Gripen


Agreed, my impression too.


For political reasons it is likely to be F-35 (or SuperHornet) assuming the decision is made after Trump. Finland wants to buy protection from the US by buying American hardware, as it is not officially in Nato, although as close as can be. I do not know whether it would be a political suicide in Finland to buy something from Trump. At least I have not heard Trump tweeting insults against Finland (as towards Germany, Sweden, Canada, UK, France...)

Otherwise Finland cannot buy inferior weapons by political reasons, as it is quite vulnerable with a long border with Russia.

There are, however, specific features because of which F-35 is not so obvious candidate as in some other countries:
- Finland will not carry nuclear bombs
- Finland needs a fighter that can be used from ad hoc air bases made instantly on any road strip as the known air fields may be bombed within the first hours. F-35 yet has to prove its capacity for this.
- After a mission the fighter must be rapidly serviced and be soon ready for the next mission
- Finland is not interested in long range strike fighters but capable multi-role interceptors that may also help local ground forces.
- Best available missiles (currently Meteor) should be installable (situation may vary until next decade)
- The Russian may develop detection capacity that makes stealth properties obsolete close to its borders (and certainly within)

I guess that single engine is no more a major issue in Finnish conditions, though double engine is always better. I do not think that any of the double engined contenders is ruled out a priori. All have virtues and defects, and most of them need some adaptations for Finland.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:26 pm

estorilm wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I see it as a contest between the F-35 and Gripen


Agreed, my impression too.

Strange that the super hornet was never much of an upgrade proposition for anyone outside of naval ops. I guess the price point was just oddly-high and pushes it into the realm of more capable jets that don't carry with them the added costs of a carrier-capable aircraft? :(

I don't think the price point was overly high but I do believe the baggage from being carrier capable was probably more than nations wanted to take on. The Super Hornet also peaked a little early for replacement of classic Hornets. Noting as well that for the three largest operators of the classic Hornet, the USA, Australia and Canada, the F-35 was the designated replacement.

The remaining operators are
Malaysia, yet to replace the classic Hornet although they have an on again off again competition.
Finland, obviously looking to replace the aircraft.
Spain has identified a need to replace the aircraft and this will likely be F-35 or more Eurofighters.
Kuwait has signed for both Eurofighters and Super Hornets.
Switzerland is running a replacement competition.

Australia used the Super Hornet as an F-111 replacement and plans to operate the aircraft until at least 2025 when a decision will be made whether to retire the fleet for a final order for 28 F-35s.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:19 pm

YIMBY wrote:
For political reasons it is likely to be F-35 (or SuperHornet) assuming the decision is made after Trump. Finland wants to buy protection from the US by buying American hardware, as it is not officially in Nato, although as close as can be. I do not know whether it would be a political suicide in Finland to buy something from Trump. At least I have not heard Trump tweeting insults against Finland (as towards Germany, Sweden, Canada, UK, France...)

The next US Presidential election in late 202 but I’m not sure yet whether Trump can be discounted from winning that. The Democrats will have to come up with a viable candidate. Frankly though I don’t think whether Trump is there or not will materially impact this selection. A fighter aircraft is acquired for 30+ years and in that timeframe the US will likely swing back and forth politically with marginal impact at best on military relations. For all Trump’s bluster on NATO no nation has withdrawn and European members are slowly acknowledging they need to increase their commitments and in some cases doing so.

YIMBY wrote:
There are, however, specific features because of which F-35 is not so obvious candidate as in some other countries:
- Finland will not carry nuclear bombs

Sure but as of today the F-35 isn’t certified anyway (that happens in approx. 2021) and Canada, Australia, Norway, Turkey, Japan, South Korea don’t have a nuclear weapon requirement.

YIMBY wrote:
- Finland needs a fighter that can be used from ad hoc air bases made instantly on any road strip as the known air fields may be bombed within the first hours. F-35 yet has to prove its capacity for this.

I don’t see the F-35 as being disadvantaged in this regard against their competitors. The jet has already been tested on very icy runways and has the Norwegian drag chute option which should further improve landing on runways. If the Finns are really concerned, and make that clear in the requirements, LM could offer both an F-35A solution for standard usage and an F-35B solution which would provide the best option for airbase survivability.

YIMBY wrote:
- After a mission the fighter must be rapidly serviced and be soon ready for the next mission

There are standard sortie requirements for the program and again what the F-35 is capable of is no worse than its competitors. They are all fighter aircraft that have been designed to be hot turned in time of war.

YIMBY wrote:
- Finland is not interested in long range strike fighters but capable multi-role interceptors that may also help local ground forces.

I doubt there is a better multi-role aircraft in service today than the F-35. It has an excellent blend of manoeuvrability, payload, range and sensors to succeed in most mission sets.

YIMBY wrote:
- Best available missiles (currently Meteor) should be installable (situation may vary until next decade)

The Meteor is slated for integration on the F-35B,
The UK MOD awarded today a £41 million contract to the missile developer MBDA for the integration of the missile on the new aircraft. The Meteor will provide the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy with one of the most advanced air/air missile of its class, that can engage with targets moving at very high speed and at a very long range. The Meteor will enter service on Typhoon with the RAF in 2018 and the F-35B from 2024 and will be used on a range of missions including protecting the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.

https://defense-update.com/20170421_f35_meteor.html

The F-35 will almost certainly also be capable of carrying the modified Meteor that the UK and Japan are working on, as well as obviously new US 5th gen missiles that are expected to emerge in the mid to late 2020s.

YIMBY wrote:
- The Russian may develop detection capacity that makes stealth properties obsolete close to its borders (and certainly within)

While I am on the record as stating that is unlikely and against the trend of military procurement and development coming out of Russia and China consider how this would actually work. A radar that is better equipped to detect the F-35 with a low RCS is almost certainly going to detect a higher RCS target, the F-35s competitors, from a longer distance. The other side is even if you take the stealth capabilities away from the F-35 it still exceeds its competitors in payload range, sensor fusion and capability and offers a platform that will likely still be in service with its primary operating nation after Finland has identified its replacement.

YIMBY wrote:
I guess that single engine is no more a major issue in Finnish conditions, though double engine is always better. I do not think that any of the double engined contenders is ruled out a priori. All have virtues and defects, and most of them need some adaptations for Finland.

I don’t see engines being an issue for any of the platforms. The F135 has already demonstrated flight reliability numbers exceeding twin engine arrangements so it shouldn’t be a factor in their decision, noting plenty of other nations operate F-35s or other single engine aircraft in similar conditions.
 
Jorg747
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:21 am

mxaxai wrote:
I also didn't find your posts with the search function, apologies.

Ozair wrote:
All good, the search function is awful and I can never find anything with it either.


Try searching the forum this way:

finland f/a-18 site:www.airliners.net/forum/
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:16 pm

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
For political reasons it is likely to be F-35 (or SuperHornet) assuming the decision is made after Trump. Finland wants to buy protection from the US by buying American hardware, as it is not officially in Nato, although as close as can be. I do not know whether it would be a political suicide in Finland to buy something from Trump. At least I have not heard Trump tweeting insults against Finland (as towards Germany, Sweden, Canada, UK, France...)

The next US Presidential election in late 202 but I’m not sure yet whether Trump can be discounted from winning that. The Democrats will have to come up with a viable candidate. Frankly though I don’t think whether Trump is there or not will materially impact this selection. A fighter aircraft is acquired for 30+ years and in that timeframe the US will likely swing back and forth politically with marginal impact at best on military relations. For all Trump’s bluster on NATO no nation has withdrawn and European members are slowly acknowledging they need to increase their commitments and in some cases doing so.



A sad fact is that currently the American are not very reliable trade partners. That does not help the contenders very much, however. Particularly Gripen is very dependent on American components.

It may be hard to believe, but in the future there may be some one even more extreme than Trump. Evil and incompetent leaders may arise in Western Europe, too (and not that I like our current leaders, but I will criticize them loudly in other forums.).

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
- Finland needs a fighter that can be used from ad hoc air bases made instantly on any road strip as the known air fields may be bombed within the first hours. F-35 yet has to prove its capacity for this.

I don’t see the F-35 as being disadvantaged in this regard against their competitors. The jet has already been tested on very icy runways and has the Norwegian drag chute option which should further improve landing on runways. If the Finns are really concerned, and make that clear in the requirements, LM could offer both an F-35A solution for standard usage and an F-35B solution which would provide the best option for airbase survivability.


F-35B would certainly meet the requirements of operation from short auxiliary fields. Would that be sufficiently competitive then, given the added weight etc, and smaller number due to higher price?

Is it realistic to have a fleet of two types,
1) F-35A for "standard usage" i.e. peace time air policing and training, and
2) F-35B for war time missions?

Wouldn't there be better and cheaper candidates for the standard usage? (Even advanced trainer as a cheap solution or Eurofighter because of speed?)

What about F-35C? Is it exportable?

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
- After a mission the fighter must be rapidly serviced and be soon ready for the next mission

There are standard sortie requirements for the program and again what the F-35 is capable of is no worse than its competitors. They are all fighter aircraft that have been designed to be hot turned in time of war.


Designed, sure, but is it proven that it can be hot turned from an ad hoc base, in snowstorm or -35 C temperature? There has been issues about F-35C maintenance in carriers.

Contenders are not free of issues either - Gripen, however, is specifically designed for this.

American design philosophy has traditionally been one mission a day, after which the pilots rest and the plane is maintained until next day, then flown again by the same pilot whose name is even written in the side of the fighter. Europeans plan to swap the pilot, reload weapons, get some fuel and fly again, all night long. Of course it also depends whether you are in the defensive or offensive side, i.e. if it is you or the adversary who decides when to fly.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
- Finland is not interested in long range strike fighters but capable multi-role interceptors that may also help local ground forces.

I doubt there is a better multi-role aircraft in service today than the F-35. It has an excellent blend of manoeuvrability, payload, range and sensors to succeed in most mission sets.



Every fighter is a compromise. No one excels in everything.

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
- The Russian may develop detection capacity that makes stealth properties obsolete close to its borders (and certainly within)

While I am on the record as stating that is unlikely and against the trend of military procurement and development coming out of Russia and China consider how this would actually work.


The rumours that I read tell Russia is investing significantly on surveillance and detection technology. No info how much and how successfully, though.

Ozair wrote:
A radar that is better equipped to detect the F-35 with a low RCS is almost certainly going to detect a higher RCS target, the F-35s competitors, from a longer distance.


From which distance?

There are other ways to hide from the radars than RAM or form, like active jamming. Growlers, e.g., are quite good in this, and the Russian certainly have their tricks.

You keep denying that there are other ways than radar to locate flying objects, some of which are more accurate than radars, depending on the conditions (like altitude, over whose territory you are flying, weather etc).

Ozair wrote:
The other side is even if you take the stealth capabilities away from the F-35 it still exceeds its competitors in payload range, sensor fusion and capability and offers a platform that will likely still be in service with its primary operating nation after Finland has identified its replacement.


Capability depends on the purpose. Stealth is a compromise that necessarily reduces speed, range, payload and/or maneuverability and increases the cost. You cannot exceed the laws of physics.

Sensor fusion is not a patent of LM. It is indeed the most trivial part of the design of the fighter and can be added to any plane (even a civil Cessna). Carrying all the sensors and antennas is harder, particularly if they are not allowed to spoil the stealthiness.

Finland (or Canada or whoever) will order such a number of planes that it is just noise to invest some tens of millions to redesign the systems to the state-or-art level - and even up to a billion would be conceivable. There is no need for backward compatibility with previously built planes.

Ozair wrote:

I don’t see engines being an issue for any of the platforms. The F135 has already demonstrated flight reliability numbers exceeding twin engine arrangements so it shouldn’t be a factor in their decision, noting plenty of other nations operate F-35s or other single engine aircraft in similar conditions.


Have all the engine issues finally been solved?
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:14 am

YIMBY wrote:

F-35B would certainly meet the requirements of operation from short auxiliary fields. Would that be sufficiently competitive then, given the added weight etc, and smaller number due to higher price?

Is it realistic to have a fleet of two types,
1) F-35A for "standard usage" i.e. peace time air policing and training, and
2) F-35B for war time missions?

Wouldn't there be better and cheaper candidates for the standard usage? (Even advanced trainer as a cheap solution or Eurofighter because of speed?)

What about F-35C? Is it exportable?

The F-35B does have a higher price but you can also operate the aircraft like a standard A model from conventional runways. In that context I wonder how much lower the maintenance would be if the aircraft spent the majority of its life operating in that manner. Saying that without operating and training for austere operations you might as well just buy the A model and take the lower acquisition and operating costs.

If you split that into two fleets, with Finland only looking at approximately 65 aircraft I’m not sure how much benefit there would be. If we said 40/25 A to B then perhaps the fleets become big enough to sustain the different versions. Perhaps specialist training with the Bee could be done with the UK or USMC to lower the cost and provide greater utilization of the fleet. This seems like an overly complex acquisition suggest though for a country which currently operates Hornets in a reasonably vanilla manner.

The F-35C is certainly exportable but offers no benefits to Finland over the A model and in fact would likely reduce the value given its higher price and single user.

YIMBY wrote:
Designed, sure, but is it proven that it can be hot turned from an ad hoc base, in snowstorm or -35 C temperature? There has been issues about F-35C maintenance in carriers.

I think the USMC would have something to say about operating the F-35B in austere locations. Te jet was designed to operate from those areas so I see no issue in Finland that would preclude that from happening there. Not sure what issue you are talking about with the F-35C and the USN carriers noting that the jet hasn’t even been declared IOC yet with the USN.

YIMBY wrote:

Contenders are not free of issues either - Gripen, however, is specifically designed for this.

Yes and no. I don’t read much into the Saab claims that give them any more credibility than other operators who have actually operated aircraft in austere locations in long term war time conditions.

YIMBY wrote:

American design philosophy has traditionally been one mission a day, after which the pilots rest and the plane is maintained until next day, then flown again by the same pilot whose name is even written in the side of the fighter. Europeans plan to swap the pilot, reload weapons, get some fuel and fly again, all night long. Of course it also depends whether you are in the defensive or offensive side, i.e. if it is you or the adversary who decides when to fly.

??? Sorry not sure where you have gathered that information from but it isn’t correct. For starters look at the F-35 SAR which shows the requirements around sortie generation on page 18 here, https://fas.org/man/eprint/F-35-SAR-2018.pdf

The F-35A is required to generate an objective of 4 sorties a day while the threshold is 3. Currently the jet is sitting at 3.4. The F-35B is required to generate an objective of 6 sorties a day with a threshold of 4 and currently sitting at 5.5.

Additionally, I have hot turned in Hornets that have conducted multiple sorties a day with multiple aircrew changes. This is standard practise in tier one western air forces.


YIMBY wrote:

Ozair wrote:
A radar that is better equipped to detect the F-35 with a low RCS is almost certainly going to detect a higher RCS target, the F-35s competitors, from a longer distance.


From which distance?

That is of course relative to the mythical radar in question. If we looked at standard in service systems available from this research paper, https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... chnologies

A lower RCS target is obviously going to be harder to detect than one with a higher RCS.

YIMBY wrote:
There are other ways to hide from the radars than RAM or form, like active jamming. Growlers, e.g., are quite good in this, and the Russian certainly have their tricks.

The F-35 has in built jamming, as well as a towed decoy. EM theory tells us that it is much easier to electronically hide a lower RCS target from radar than a higher RCS target because of the level of jamming required to hide that low RCS target.

Image

What that also translates to is if two aircraft, one low RCS and one higher RCS, have the same jamming power the lower RCS aircraft will be closer to the target before it is detected.


YIMBY wrote:
You keep denying that there are other ways than radar to locate flying objects, some of which are more accurate than radars, depending on the conditions (like altitude, over whose territory you are flying, weather etc).

I’m not so much denying these other options as just understanding that they have significant tactical limitations. Radar has been and remains the most consistent and accurate means of detecting a target and looks to remain so for a long time to come.


YIMBY wrote:
Capability depends on the purpose. Stealth is a compromise that necessarily reduces speed, range, payload and/or maneuverability and increases the cost. You cannot exceed the laws of physics.

I’m not sure I agree with those statements. As you said earlier every design is a compromise. I don’t see those compromises significantly impacting the F-35 given its speed is comparable to the aircraft it is replacing, its range is greater than those aircraft, its payload is higher than those aircraft and its manoeuvrability is the same or better than those aircraft. All in an airframe that has orders of magnitude lower RCS.

YIMBY wrote:
Sensor fusion is not a patent of LM. It is indeed the most trivial part of the design of the fighter and can be added to any plane (even a civil Cessna). Carrying all the sensors and antennas is harder, particularly if they are not allowed to spoil the stealthiness.

The term sensor fusion means many things to many people. While LM doesn’t have the patent on Sensor fusion what the F-35 program has defined as sensor fusion is significantly more advanced than that found in 4th gen air platforms. It doesn’t combine tracks from federated sensors into one picture. The fusion engine conducts the entire processing of the raw sensor data and puts it all into context before displaying this to the a pilot, including with confidence, while comparing it to a database of data points on all the objects the aircraft is likely to meet in that AO. The system automatically assigns sensors on the aircraft to investigate points of interest without pilot direction, leaving him to analyse the fused information and not have to conduct that fusion himself. it correlates that sensor fusion across the four ship the aircraft is operating within, sharing raw sensor data between those platforms.

It also wasn’t cheap. Of all the technology developed for the program I consider the fusion engine to be the crowning achievement and is the technology that will be reused for B-21, PCA and multiple other platforms including land vehicle and ships into the future.

YIMBY wrote:
Finland (or Canada or whoever) will order such a number of planes that it is just noise to invest some tens of millions to redesign the systems to the state-or-art level - and even up to a billion would be conceivable. There is no need for backward compatibility with previously built planes.

I’m not sure what you mean here, do you think it is cheap to upgrade the aircraft? Whatever Finland chooses will require at least one mid-life upgrade and potentially two depending on the platform. Traditionally it costs significant sums of money to upgrade an aircraft to a new standard if that is possible. For example the French spent 30+ million Euro for each upgraded early build Rafale to the 3 standard, and will have to pay again if they want them to 3R. The Tranche One Eurofighters have essentially been deemed as too costly to upgrade by the partner nations and most are either divesting themselves of the T1s or restricting their mission roles.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I don’t see engines being an issue for any of the platforms. The F135 has already demonstrated flight reliability numbers exceeding twin engine arrangements so it shouldn’t be a factor in their decision, noting plenty of other nations operate F-35s or other single engine aircraft in similar conditions.

Have all the engine issues finally been solved?

There are over 300 F-35s flying today so I would say yes. They have more flight hours now than Gripen and will surpass Rafale total flight hours shortly so the program is demonstrating exceptional performance and reliability of the F135.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:30 am

Ozair wrote:
estorilm wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:

Agreed, my impression too.

Strange that the super hornet was never much of an upgrade proposition for anyone outside of naval ops. I guess the price point was just oddly-high and pushes it into the realm of more capable jets that don't carry with them the added costs of a carrier-capable aircraft? :(

I don't think the price point was overly high but I do believe the baggage from being carrier capable was probably more than nations wanted to take on. The Super Hornet also peaked a little early for replacement of classic Hornets. Noting as well that for the three largest operators of the classic Hornet, the USA, Australia and Canada, the F-35 was the designated replacement.

The remaining operators are
Malaysia, yet to replace the classic Hornet although they have an on again off again competition.
Finland, obviously looking to replace the aircraft.
Spain has identified a need to replace the aircraft and this will likely be F-35 or more Eurofighters.
Kuwait has signed for both Eurofighters and Super Hornets.
Switzerland is running a replacement competition.

Australia used the Super Hornet as an F-111 replacement and plans to operate the aircraft until at least 2025 when a decision will be made whether to retire the fleet for a final order for 28 F-35s.


Also note that the first Super Hornet off the line was effectively a regular Hornet, just bigger. McDD/Boeing recycled the entire avionics system from late production Hornets to save money on development costs.

It wasn't until many years later did the Super Hornet, through various development programs, become much more capable than just being an enlarged Hornet.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:47 pm

A Finnish news article has indicated that the Finns will get to fly the F-35 as a part of their fighter tender. They will be the first non JSF member to actually fly the jet in an evaluation before committing to a sale. The article also has some info on Norwegian ops at Luke AFB and the joint training unit there.

Via Google Translate
To date, Lockheed Martin has sold F-35 fighters in addition to the United States to 11 countries, including Norway, Denmark and Belgium. There are over 3,000 orders.

According to Iltalehti's information, Finland will receive special treatment and it can become the first country with the air force to test the special simulators and the F-35 fighter himself before the trade. Other buyer countries have been allowed to fly the destroyer only after the sale has been secured.

The Air Force has a strong intent to evaluate (test) flights in winter conditions. They are able to verify in practice the features promised by the manufacturer.

So far, the United States has sold F-35 fighters in Europe only to NATO countries. The fact that it eventually sold the F / A-18 Hornet Destroyers to Finland and now offers the latest technology for the Evil Destroyer, tells you something.

In addition to the F-35, the upcoming fighter jets in the Finnish market include Boeing Super Hornet (USA), Eurofighter Typhoon (UK), Dassault Rafale (France) and Saabin Gripen E (Sweden).

The decision on a new fighter in Finland will be made in 2021.

https://www.iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/a/3ab ... 20a78601b8
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:06 pm

Ozair wrote:
The F-35B does have a higher price but you can also operate the aircraft like a standard A model from conventional runways. In that context I wonder how much lower the maintenance would be if the aircraft spent the majority of its life operating in that manner. Saying that without operating and training for austere operations you might as well just buy the A model and take the lower acquisition and operating costs.

If you split that into two fleets, with Finland only looking at approximately 65 aircraft I’m not sure how much benefit there would be. If we said 40/25 A to B then perhaps the fleets become big enough to sustain the different versions. Perhaps specialist training with the Bee could be done with the UK or USMC to lower the cost and provide greater utilization of the fleet. This seems like an overly complex acquisition suggest though for a country which currently operates Hornets in a reasonably vanilla manner.


Having only 25 fighters usable at war looks like a capitulation.

Ozair wrote:

The F-35C is certainly exportable but offers no benefits to Finland over the A model and in fact would likely reduce the value given its higher price and single user.


As far as I remember, Finland bought F-18 Hornets - instead of cheaper F-16's or more expensive F-15's (maybe not even offered) - just because they are carrier based aircraft, with lower landing and take-off speeds, arrestor hooks etc that make it easier to be used from ad hoc road bases. I have no idea how well that works in action.

Could you quote a price for F-35A, F-35B and F-35C.

Ozair wrote:
Not sure what issue you are talking about with the F-35C and the USN carriers noting that the jet hasn’t even been declared IOC yet with the USN.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-377171/

Ozair wrote:
I don’t read much into the Saab claims that give them any more credibility than other operators who have actually operated aircraft in austere locations in long term war time conditions.



like who?

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
You keep denying that there are other ways than radar to locate flying objects, some of which are more accurate than radars, depending on the conditions (like altitude, over whose territory you are flying, weather etc).

I’m not so much denying these other options as just understanding that they have significant tactical limitations. Radar has been and remains the most consistent and accurate means of detecting a target and looks to remain so for a long time to come.


Which are the tactical limitations?

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
Capability depends on the purpose. Stealth is a compromise that necessarily reduces speed, range, payload and/or maneuverability and increases the cost. You cannot exceed the laws of physics.

I’m not sure I agree with those statements. As you said earlier every design is a compromise. I don’t see those compromises significantly impacting the F-35 given its speed is comparable to the aircraft it is replacing, its range is greater than those aircraft, its payload is higher than those aircraft and its manoeuvrability is the same or better than those aircraft. All in an airframe that has orders of magnitude lower RCS.



If the form of F-35 were aerodynamically optimal, all previous fighters would look like it. Instead they look very different because they are designed to maximize the performance. Note that all the stealth principles were well known when the European fighters were designed but they chose not to apply them.

Otherwise I do not deny that a design from 2000's outperforms a design from the 70's.

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
Sensor fusion is not a patent of LM. It is indeed the most trivial part of the design of the fighter and can be added to any plane (even a civil Cessna). Carrying all the sensors and antennas is harder, particularly if they are not allowed to spoil the stealthiness.

The term sensor fusion means many things to many people. While LM doesn’t have the patent on Sensor fusion what the F-35 program has defined as sensor fusion is significantly more advanced than that found in 4th gen air platforms. It doesn’t combine tracks from federated sensors into one picture. The fusion engine conducts the entire processing of the raw sensor data and puts it all into context before displaying this to the a pilot, including with confidence, while comparing it to a database of data points on all the objects the aircraft is likely to meet in that AO. The system automatically assigns sensors on the aircraft to investigate points of interest without pilot direction, leaving him to analyse the fused information and not have to conduct that fusion himself. it correlates that sensor fusion across the four ship the aircraft is operating within, sharing raw sensor data between those platforms.



Add to that all the data from other aircraft nearby and terrestrial sources, maybe satellites, and we are talking real fusion.
There is no mystics, just bare physics and data processing. Nothing F-35 specific.

If that defines 5th generation, I could upgrade an old Mirage/Tornado to 5th generation (though there are other reasons not to do it)

Ozair wrote:

It also wasn’t cheap. Of all the technology developed for the program I consider the fusion engine to be the crowning achievement and is the technology that will be reused for B-21, PCA and multiple other platforms including land vehicle and ships into the future.


Why is it then not reused for F-15, F-16 or F-18?

Assume it takes some 60 person years to write the code, with annual salary 30 000 € each, which makes 2 M€. With a standard military coefficient it will be 20 M€ which is not very expensive. Developing the airborne hardware may cost a bit more if not off-shell (as it probably is).

Ozair wrote:


YIMBY wrote:
Finland (or Canada or whoever) will order such a number of planes that it is just noise to invest some tens of millions to redesign the systems to the state-or-art level - and even up to a billion would be conceivable. There is no need for backward compatibility with previously built planes.

I’m not sure what you mean here, do you think it is cheap to upgrade the aircraft? Whatever Finland chooses will require at least one mid-life upgrade and potentially two depending on the platform. Traditionally it costs significant sums of money to upgrade an aircraft to a new standard if that is possible. For example the French spent 30+ million Euro for each upgraded early build Rafale to the 3 standard, and will have to pay again if they want them to 3R. The Tranche One Eurofighters have essentially been deemed as too costly to upgrade by the partner nations and most are either divesting themselves of the T1s or restricting their mission roles.


I am talking to design a version XXX-Finland, XXX-Canada, with the newest computer hardware and software instead of 10-20 years old (XXX being F-35, Rafale, ...).

Though it is possible that the Finnish generals (as any) want to avoid anything innovative and will stick to something maximally robust that has been proven at combats for decades, in this case plain vanilla SuperHornet.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:02 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Having only 25 fighters usable at war looks like a capitulation.

Having 25 F-35B but also 40 F-35A but the suggestion is theoretical anyway.

YIMBY wrote:
As far as I remember, Finland bought F-18 Hornets - instead of cheaper F-16's or more expensive F-15's (maybe not even offered) - just because they are carrier based aircraft, with lower landing and take-off speeds, arrestor hooks etc that make it easier to be used from ad hoc road bases. I have no idea how well that works in action.

There is no logic there. Most US/NATO fighters come equipped with an arrestor hook to facilitate reduced landing distance, not to short US carrier distances but shorter than normal, for a number of reasons generally related to equipment issues. Other nations such as Norway operate drag chutes on their F-16s to reduce landing distance.

Image

Image

https://theaviationist.com/2016/10/10/w ... siaf-2016/

Finland didn’t order F/A-18s because they were capable of carrier landings and take-offs, Finland haven’t gone and installed steam catapults around their austere airfields to take off from shorter distances. The Hornet was selected because it was the best multi-role aircraft at the time within the cost ceiling they could afford and politically aligned them with the direction they wanted to go

YIMBY wrote:
Could you quote a price for F-35A, F-35B and F-35C.

From LRIP 11 contract award, noting these are still reduced buys compared to full rate production which will be in place when Finland decides on their jet. You can also find the expected pricing for future years in the SAR I provided in the last post.
102 F-35As (Air Force) for $89.2 million apiece, down 5.4 percent from LRIP 10; 25 F-35Bs (Marines & Royal Navy) for $115.5 million each, down 5.7 percent; and 14 F-35Cs (US Navy) for $107.7 million each, down 11.1 percent.

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/09/f-3 ... -an-f-35a/


YIMBY wrote:
like who?

USMC and UK have operated from austere locations with the harrier in war multiple times.

YIMBY wrote:
Which are the tactical limitations?

Most claimed stealth radar systems or passive systems do not provide targeting quality track data. To get target quality track data you typically need active systems that have a high frequency to reduce the uncertainty. For example low frequency radars that have claimed stealth detection characteristics have large radar resolution cells, sometimes in the hundreds of meters. That level of uncertainty does not usually allow missiles to be launched against a target.

YIMBY wrote:
If the form of F-35 were aerodynamically optimal, all previous fighters would look like it. Instead they look very different because they are designed to maximize the performance.

That statement is clearly wrong. What don’t all fighters look like the Spitfire? Because technology changes and evolves and aircraft in turn adapt to those changes.

YIMBY wrote:
Note that all the stealth principles were well known when the European fighters were designed but they chose not to apply them.

If that is true which I don’t think it is, in hindsight do you think that was a wise decision? The Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen, Super Hornet, F-15, F-16 etc are not winning sales campaigns when the F-35 is an option. Does that tell you that perhaps Air Forces actually value what Stealth can provide?

YIMBY wrote:
Otherwise I do not deny that a design from 2000's outperforms a design from the 70's.

It is not necessarily about outperforming. You spoke earlier about compromises and the F-35 is a good example of that. To reach the required RCS reduction it had to accommodate internal weapons and as much internal fuel as possible. That resulted in perhaps a wider fuselage than the aircraft it replaced but also reduced drag by not having to host weapon and fuel externally. In this case the design compromise comes with a higher empty weight (holes in planes weigh a lot) but significantly reduced drag and additionally orders of magnitude lower RCS than comparable jets.


YIMBY wrote:
If that defines 5th generation, I could upgrade an old Mirage/Tornado to 5th generation (though there are other reasons not to do it)

You could try but clearly it isn’t easy and no other platform today reaches the F-35s level of fusion. To retrospectively fit that is obviously a complex and costly task. Given the size of the user community the F-35 sensor fusion also won’t stand still. It will continue to evolve and the jet matures and goes through upgrades.


YIMBY wrote:
Why is it then not reused for F-15, F-16 or F-18?

4th gen jets do have sensor fusion but not the same type. To update the jet to accommodate F-35 style sensor fusion is such a costly and difficult exercise it isn’t worth the cost, that is one of the reasons why those three aircraft are being replaced by the F-35 in various Air Forces.

YIMBY wrote:
Assume it takes some 60 person years to write the code, with annual salary 30 000 € each, which makes 2 M€. With a standard military coefficient it will be 20 M€ which is not very expensive. Developing the airborne hardware may cost a bit more if not off-shell (as it probably is).

LOL. Developing a military system that must be optimised to function in the timeframes required and in the operating environments required is a difficult and complex process.

YIMBY wrote:

I am talking to design a version XXX-Finland, XXX-Canada, with the newest computer hardware and software instead of 10-20 years old (XXX being F-35, Rafale, ...).

I still don’t understand what you are saying. Finland will buy the best aircraft they can get but will be buying an off the shelf product, not matter which platform they acquire. There may be some minor modification for Finnish specific requirements but that is about it.

Like they did with the Hornet, Finalnd will join whatever user community of the jet they buy and contribute to the global sustainment of that aircraft. Finland currently pays money to support the global Hornet fleet through pooled software upgrades. They benefit from these software releases that have improved the capability of the aircraft.

YIMBY wrote:
Though it is possible that the Finnish generals (as any) want to avoid anything innovative and will stick to something maximally robust that has been proven at combats for decades, in this case plain vanilla SuperHornet.

It is certainly a consideration but when you buy a jet you want to last for the next 30 years you also consider who else will be using it when you do. Finland could probably get another 15 years from their Hornets given how late they ordered but they risk becoming the sole operator of the type and that makes things very expensive.
 
YIMBY
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:45 pm

Ozair wrote:

There is no logic there.


???

Ozair wrote:

Finland didn’t order F/A-18s because they were capable of carrier landings and take-offs, Finland haven’t gone and installed steam catapults around their austere airfields to take off from shorter distances. The Hornet was selected because it was the best multi-role aircraft at the time within the cost ceiling they could afford and politically aligned them with the direction they wanted to go


There tends to be several properties that contribute to the decision. Are you claiming that was irrelevant?

Compare F-18 vs F-16
The fake off distance 450 m vs 1000 m
V2 145 kt vs 145 kt
landing distance 400 m vs 800 m
approach speed 125 kt vs 150 kt
(http://www.skybrary.aero)

In another sourse F/A-18 take-off run with maximal load is claimed to be less than 427 m (https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/f-18.htm). No catapult required. Are there even available catapults for terrestrial use?
While F-16 has a hook, it is designed for much lighter loads than that of F-18, and its landing gear is designed for much smoother landings.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Could you quote a price for F-35A, F-35B and F-35C.

From LRIP 11 contract award, noting these are still reduced buys compared to full rate production which will be in place when Finland decides on their jet. You can also find the expected pricing for future years in the SAR I provided in the last post.
102 F-35As (Air Force) for $89.2 million apiece, down 5.4 percent from LRIP 10; 25 F-35Bs (Marines & Royal Navy) for $115.5 million each, down 5.7 percent; and 14 F-35Cs (US Navy) for $107.7 million each, down 11.1 percent.

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/09/f-3 ... -an-f-35a/



Thanks. Btw, Israel has considered F-35B as they are afraid that its few airfields may be too easily destroyed.

Ozair wrote:


YIMBY wrote:
like who?

USMC and UK have operated from austere locations with the harrier in war multiple times.



Not even close to comparable.

NO state-of-art fighter has ever seen a real war, i.e. an escalated sequence of extreme organized violence where your existence is in stake.

The battles where US and UK have been are mostly punishment missions against inferior opponent in warm and dry conditions where they have well prepared and protected bases where they have no fear of enemy attack. In combats their main goal is to survive and bring back the expensive machine and the auxiliary goal is to cause some havoc to the adversary.

Finland - as well as other frontline countries - must be prepared for a war where the enemy attacks with a full force and the goal is to cause as much damage to the offender that the operation is too costly to even think about it.

Ozair wrote:


YIMBY wrote:
Which are the tactical limitations?

Most claimed stealth radar systems or passive systems do not provide targeting quality track data. To get target quality track data you typically need active systems that have a high frequency to reduce the uncertainty. For example low frequency radars that have claimed stealth detection characteristics have large radar resolution cells, sometimes in the hundreds of meters. That level of uncertainty does not usually allow missiles to be launched against a target.



Using "sensor fusion" instead a single radar can reduce uncertainty. And as the missiles get more capable and will be launched from a greater distance, one kilometer accuracy may be sufficient to launch the missile. R27T has a range up to 70 km and after the launch the target can move much larger distances in irregular directions that the missile has to be able to follow.

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
If the form of F-35 were aerodynamically optimal, all previous fighters would look like it. Instead they look very different because they are designed to maximize the performance.

That statement is clearly wrong. What don’t all fighters look like the Spitfire? Because technology changes and evolves and aircraft in turn adapt to those changes.



How is that related?

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
Note that all the stealth principles were well known when the European fighters were designed but they chose not to apply them.

If that is true which I don’t think it is, in hindsight do you think that was a wise decision? The Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen, Super Hornet, F-15, F-16 etc are not winning sales campaigns when the F-35 is an option. Does that tell you that perhaps Air Forces actually value what Stealth can provide?



In hindsight designing three concurrent European fighters was not a wise decision for several reasons, irrespective of F-35. Gripen was particularly a sink of money and with a better coordination Eurofighter/Rafale could have been much better.

Ozair wrote:


YIMBY wrote:
Otherwise I do not deny that a design from 2000's outperforms a design from the 70's.

It is not necessarily about outperforming. You spoke earlier about compromises and the F-35 is a good example of that. To reach the required RCS reduction it had to accommodate internal weapons and as much internal fuel as possible. That resulted in perhaps a wider fuselage than the aircraft it replaced but also reduced drag by not having to host weapon and fuel externally. In this case the design compromise comes with a higher empty weight (holes in planes weigh a lot) but significantly reduced drag and additionally orders of magnitude lower RCS than comparable jets.


If you end up in a dogfight - likely not so frequently - you want to have as little empty weight as possible. Equally - and probably more probably - when escaping a battle with all your missiles launched. In the last case it is F-35 that has more drag.

Ozair wrote:


You could try but clearly it isn’t easy and no other platform today reaches the F-35s level of fusion. To retrospectively fit that is obviously a complex and costly task. Given the size of the user community the F-35 sensor fusion also won’t stand still. It will continue to evolve and the jet matures and goes through upgrades.


Not today, but could tomorrow.

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
Why is it then not reused for F-15, F-16 or F-18?

4th gen jets do have sensor fusion but not the same type. To update the jet to accommodate F-35 style sensor fusion is such a costly and difficult exercise it isn’t worth the cost, that is one of the reasons why those three aircraft are being replaced by the F-35 in various Air Forces.


It does not have to be F-35 type. It could be a more modern one that is cheaper and better.

Ozair wrote:

LOL.


Please read the forum rules and reflect whether this is consistent.

Ozair wrote:


Developing a military system that must be optimised to function in the timeframes required and in the operating environments required is a difficult and complex process.



It is a very straight-forward task which you do not have to start from scratch.

There are several extremely complicated and delicate parts in the design of a military aircraft, but the sensor fusion engine itself is absolutely trivial compared with those.

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:

I am talking to design a version XXX-Finland, XXX-Canada, with the newest computer hardware and software instead of 10-20 years old (XXX being F-35, Rafale, ...).

I still don’t understand what you are saying. Finland will buy the best aircraft they can get but will be buying an off the shelf product, not matter which platform they acquire. There may be some minor modification for Finnish specific requirements but that is about it.


Military aircraft are never off the shelf products but there are always modifications for the national needs, unless the manufacturer refuses to deliver. Particularly, if the previous batch is a decade old design, why not incorporate all possible upgrades? Except the stubbornness of the military which is very universal.

There is a major difference between buying 14 or 64 units.

Ozair wrote:
Like they did with the Hornet, Finalnd will join whatever user community of the jet they buy and contribute to the global sustainment of that aircraft. Finland currently pays money to support the global Hornet fleet through pooled software upgrades. They benefit from these software releases that have improved the capability of the aircraft.


What else do they contribute than paying money?

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Though it is possible that the Finnish generals (as any) want to avoid anything innovative and will stick to something maximally robust that has been proven at combats for decades, in this case plain vanilla SuperHornet.

It is certainly a consideration but when you buy a jet you want to last for the next 30 years you also consider who else will be using it when you do. Finland could probably get another 15 years from their Hornets given how late they ordered but they risk becoming the sole operator of the type and that makes things very expensive.



Or, if other operators (USN) want to retire their equipment prematurely, may get lots of second hand equipment cheaply.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:18 pm

YIMBY wrote:
There tends to be several properties that contribute to the decision. Are you claiming that was irrelevant?

Compare F-18 vs F-16
The fake off distance 450 m vs 1000 m
V2 145 kt vs 145 kt
landing distance 400 m vs 800 m
approach speed 125 kt vs 150 kt
(http://www.skybrary.aero)

In another sourse F/A-18 take-off run with maximal load is claimed to be less than 427 m (https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/f-18.htm). No catapult required. Are there even available catapults for terrestrial use?
While F-16 has a hook, it is designed for much lighter loads than that of F-18, and its landing gear is designed for much smoother landings.

Operationally can you show me where a classic Hornet takes off with a maximum load in 427 m or less? I haven’t seen it done and I frankly doubt it is done.
YIMBY wrote:
Thanks. Btw, Israel has considered F-35B as they are afraid that its few airfields may be too easily destroyed.

Sure, so have the Singaporese, we already know the Japanese, the Taiwanese and others.

YIMBY wrote:
NO state-of-art fighter has ever seen a real war, i.e. an escalated sequence of extreme organized violence where your existence is in stake.

So if that is the context you want to use then how do we know if any of the aircraft can actually survive in that type of scenario since no one has ever done it?

YIMBY wrote:
The battles where US and UK have been are mostly punishment missions against inferior opponent in warm and dry conditions where they have well prepared and protected bases where they have no fear of enemy attack. In combats their main goal is to survive and bring back the expensive machine and the auxiliary goal is to cause some havoc to the adversary.

The US and UK have operated in wartime, the UK in the Falklands and the US during both Gulf Wars in those environments. They have also exhaustively trained in those scenarios.

YIMBY wrote:
Finland - as well as other frontline countries - must be prepared for a war where the enemy attacks with a full force and the goal is to cause as much damage to the offender that the operation is too costly to even think about it.

In that case the F-35B is really the only viable solution as it has better take off and landing characteristics than any other fighter currently flying today.

YIMBY wrote:
Using "sensor fusion" instead a single radar can reduce uncertainty. And as the missiles get more capable and will be launched from a greater distance, one kilometer accuracy may be sufficient to launch the missile. R27T has a range up to 70 km and after the launch the target can move much larger distances in irregular directions that the missile has to be able to follow.

That is a poor example, for starters the R27T is very restricted in its engagement and the uncertainty of the target being launched against translates to the missile being close to useless in a lock on after launch scenario.

R-27T and ET variants can be used out of cloudiness, at least 15 degrees away from the bearing of sun, and 4 degrees away from the bearing of moon and ground-based head-contrasting conditions. In cases of maximum head-on range launches where lock-command cannot be utilised, missile can be fired in PPS: In this mode, missile will fly straight until achieves target lock. As missile lacks capability of maneuvering before lock, aircraft itself must maneuver so that missile will be pointed to no more than 15 degrees bearing of the target for confident capture by the IR seeker after launch. Equalising altitude is recommended but not required.[8] On combat operations section of the Su-27 manual, this mode of usage is especially recommended for head-on usage for passive attacks at targets with 0 degrees approach angle (i.e. another fighter moving to intercept), leaving target unalerted to incoming missile.[9] Launch can be made at 0 to 7 g, but limited to 6 g if roll induced slip is more than 2x diameter of the ball.[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-27_(air-to-air_missile)


Other than the primary failing of a long range IR missile that would struggle to identify the right target, the presence of clouds completely invalidates its use, as does the fact the launching aircraft is not going to know where the stealth aircraft is with enough confidence to launch the missile, nor be able to determine whether the aircraft will be when it is within lock distance. Firing that missile into a “basket” is literally wasting the missile.

In your scenario, even if you use an active radar missile against the stealth aircraft you come against the issues of the seeker head being in the X-band and likely have, as per the source doc I posted earlier, having a 90% reduction in seeker lock on distance. Good luck guiding the missile to that point…


YIMBY wrote:
How is that related?

??? You said if the F-35 was aerodynamically optimal all pervious fighters would look like it. Clearly the Spitfire turns tighter than an F-35, and a Rafale, Eurofighter etc. Why aren’t all these fighters shaped like a Spitfire because it aerodynamically is superior in turned to those aircraft? Clearly times change and because one aircraft doesn’t look like another has little to do with aerodynamics.

Again, the statement and assertion that if the F-35 were aerodynamically optimal all previous fighters would look like it is clearly false.

YIMBY wrote:
If you end up in a dogfight - likely not so frequently - you want to have as little empty weight as possible. Equally - and probably more probably - when escaping a battle with all your missiles launched. In the last case it is F-35 that has more drag.


Ha, so look at the single example of escaping a battle and try and align the entire scenario to that. How about winning the dogfight to begin with, that might kind of be important to?

Even in your scenario the F-35, with lower drag going into the battle and with a much higher fuel fraction, would almost certainly have more fuel to “escape” and therefore be able to either maintain a higher speed for longer or remain in the battle for longer and therefore not be the aircraft escaping. By the way, escaping the battle is a bad example. Rear aspect attack is terrible for missile kinematics and in a fighter jet you don’t try and run down opponents, it is a bad tactically.


YIMBY wrote:
Please read the forum rules and reflect whether this is consistent.

When you are making the unsubstantiated claims you are making it is consistent. If you don’t think so, report my post and let the moderators decide.

YIMBY wrote:
It is a very straight-forward task which you do not have to start from scratch. There are several extremely complicated and delicate parts in the design of a military aircraft, but the sensor fusion engine itself is absolutely trivial compared with those.


You are welcome to think that but it isn’t true.

YIMBY wrote:
Military aircraft are never off the shelf products but there are always modifications for the national needs, unless the manufacturer refuses to deliver. Particularly, if the previous batch is a decade old design, why not incorporate all possible upgrades? Except the stubbornness of the military which is very universal.

Are you actually familiar with military fighter jet procurement? Have you reviewed some example tenders such as Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea etc. Those aircraft are being acquired with essentially no modification. It is about as close to military off the shelf as you can get. Finland's acquisition of the Hornet was straight up MOTS. The jets are expensive and modifying them to meet additional requirements is expensive.

YIMBY wrote:
What else do they contribute than paying money?

In Finland’s case I don’t think much else. They don’t have access to the source code, Finland has not integrated any weapons that no other user has, they don’t modify the EW systems and they pay for radar upgrades developed by other users.

YIMBY wrote:
Or, if other operators (USN) want to retire their equipment prematurely, may get lots of second hand equipment cheaply.

If Finland were happy to keep the airframe as a static object that doesn’t change then that would be acceptable. The problem is the threat environment does change and that is why constant changes and upgrades are required. Second hand equipment at times solves the spares issue (but not all spares as some require continued industry support and this costs significantly when you are the only nation buying) but doesn’t nothing for the massive costs that come from being the sole operator of a fighter jet. For example if Finland wanted to install and certify a new weapon how would they do it? They have no access to the source code of the jet. Even if they bought source office code rights the US they have a massive learning curve to get a simple weapon on a 40 year old aircraft.
 
YIMBY
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Ozair wrote:
Operationally can you show me where a classic Hornet takes off with a maximum load in 427 m or less? I haven’t seen it done and I frankly doubt it is done.


Certainly you have not seen unless a test pilot. There is difference between peace and war time operations. Extreme actions cause a lot of wear and tear and cause unnecessary risks. In war you may have to do it. (I did not mention the ridiculously long runway requirements for F-35A imposed by American authorities due to some peace time safety issues.)

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
NO state-of-art fighter has ever seen a real war, i.e. an escalated sequence of extreme organized violence where your existence is in stake.

The US and UK have operated in wartime, the UK in the Falklands and the US during both Gulf Wars in those environments. They have also exhaustively trained in those scenarios.


A vacation in a foreign land ....

Ozair wrote:

Again, the statement and assertion that if the F-35 were aerodynamically optimal all previous fighters would look like it is clearly false.


Bother to justify your claim?

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
If you end up in a dogfight - likely not so frequently - you want to have as little empty weight as possible. Equally - and probably more probably - when escaping a battle with all your missiles launched. In the last case it is F-35 that has more drag.


Ha, so look at the single example of escaping a battle and try and align the entire scenario to that. How about winning the dogfight to begin with, that might kind of be important to?


Purpoted misunderstanding is not good argumentation.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
It is a very straight-forward task which you do not have to start from scratch. There are several extremely complicated and delicate parts in the design of a military aircraft, but the sensor fusion engine itself is absolutely trivial compared with those.


You are welcome to think that but it isn’t true.


Again, you give no foundation to your claim.

Tracking is a very old physical problem. Scientist have traced the paths of celetstial objects or elementary particles in accelerator or non-accelerator experiments using very weak signals with a huge background. My car has a sensor fusion. It has several radars and cameras and will turn the wheels if I forget or make a full break if I am about to collide. There is a huge industry of sensor fusion for autonomous driving, using radars, sonars, microphones, infrared, visible light etc to recognize the road, obstacles, other cars, human beings etc.

So whatever you do, you do not start from scratch, but have a lots of tools and knowledge to use.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Military aircraft are never off the shelf products but there are always modifications for the national needs, unless the manufacturer refuses to deliver. Particularly, if the previous batch is a decade old design, why not incorporate all possible upgrades? Except the stubbornness of the military which is very universal.

Are you actually familiar with military fighter jet procurement? Have you reviewed some example tenders such as Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea etc. Those aircraft are being acquired with essentially no modification. It is about as close to military off the shelf as you can get. Finland's acquisition of the Hornet was straight up MOTS. The jets are expensive and modifying them to meet additional requirements is expensive.


Certainly you are more familiar with military fighter jet procurement than me. I am just an amateur.

So far who has bought F-35 with no modification?

Norway had the chutes - definitely not off the shell. Canada had their petitions, that were never realized. Israel made a bunch of modifications on the electronics. You certainly know why. Would you kindly tell it.

Essentially every trade includes some clickable items, starting from the weaponry. Sometimes they are too expensive to click. Sometimes there are obliged modifications, if Uncle Sam forbids the export of the most advanced devices like radar or other sensor.

About the Finnish Hornet: Why F-18 instead of F/A-18? What about ALQ-165? Automatic carrier landing system?

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Or, if other operators (USN) want to retire their equipment prematurely, may get lots of second hand equipment cheaply.

If Finland were happy to keep the airframe as a static object that doesn’t change then that would be acceptable. The problem is the threat environment does change and that is why constant changes and upgrades are required. Second hand equipment at times solves the spares issue (but not all spares as some require continued industry support and this costs significantly when you are the only nation buying) but doesn’t nothing for the massive costs that come from being the sole operator of a fighter jet. For example if Finland wanted to install and certify a new weapon how would they do it? They have no access to the source code of the jet. Even if they bought source office code rights the US they have a massive learning curve to get a simple weapon on a 40 year old aircraft.


It is also about the costs. If the price is right, a viable interim solution may be good, particularly if there is something better around the corner.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:35 am

YIMBY wrote:
Certainly you have not seen unless a test pilot. There is difference between peace and war time operations. Extreme actions cause a lot of wear and tear and cause unnecessary risks. In war you may have to do it. (I did not mention the ridiculously long runway requirements for F-35A imposed by American authorities due to some peace time safety issues.)

If you don’t train that way during peacetime it is highly unlikely, and introduces significant more risk, to try and start doing that during a war time scenario when you are already over worked and under resourced. It is a recipe for disaster. Does Finland do it today?

YIMBY wrote:
A vacation in a foreign land ....

You seriously think the UK and US fighting in the Falklands and in Iraq and Afghanistan was a vacation?

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
Again, the statement and assertion that if the F-35 were aerodynamically optimal all previous fighters would look like it is clearly false.

Bother to justify your claim?

That is your claim not mine. You said in your 30th November post that if the F-35 were aerodynamically optimal then all previous fighters would look like it. That ingnores that technology changes and today what is optimal may not have been 20 years ago because the technology wasn't available to achieve it.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
If you end up in a dogfight - likely not so frequently - you want to have as little empty weight as possible. Equally - and probably more probably - when escaping a battle with all your missiles launched. In the last case it is F-35 that has more drag.


Ha, so look at the single example of escaping a battle and try and align the entire scenario to that. How about winning the dogfight to begin with, that might kind of be important to?


YIMBY wrote:
Purpoted misunderstanding is not good argumentation.

Nothing to do with misunderstanding. You have crafted a single scenario that suits your narrative while ignoring the reality of what has to happen before you get to that point.


YIMBY wrote:
Again, you give no foundation to your claim.

YIMBY, I suggest you have even a cursory read of the F-35 news thread and you will see all the info you need to on F-35 sensor fusion and why it is different to 4th gen sensor fusion. Once you understand that concept, we can move on to understanding why that type of fusion is not simply added to an airframe at a later date and the costs involved in getting that airframe to that point with the advanced fusion.

YIMBY wrote:
Tracking is a very old physical problem. Scientist have traced the paths of celetstial objects or elementary particles in accelerator or non-accelerator experiments using very weak signals with a huge background. My car has a sensor fusion. It has several radars and cameras and will turn the wheels if I forget or make a full break if I am about to collide. There is a huge industry of sensor fusion for autonomous driving, using radars, sonars, microphones, infrared, visible light etc to recognize the road, obstacles, other cars, human beings etc.

So whatever you do, you do not start from scratch, but have a lots of tools and knowledge to use.

And there lies the problem. You don’t understand what the difference is between sensor fusion at the 4th gen level compared to 5th gen, nor do you understand it within the context of military equipment. Do yourself a favour and read the info available. At that point come back and have an educated discussion about the differences, cost and time required to get to that level.

YIMBY wrote:
Certainly you are more familiar with military fighter jet procurement than me. I am just an amateur. So far who has bought F-35 with no modification?

USA, Turkey, Italy, UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, The Netherlands, etc. There are no differences in those jets between the nations except for their own domestic weapons being integrated.

YIMBY wrote:
Norway had the chutes - definitely not off the shell. Canada had their petitions, that were never realized. Israel made a bunch of modifications on the electronics. You certainly know why. Would you kindly tell it.

The Norway chute is about the only modification that seems to have occurred and that modification is now present on all jets. Canada has no special requirements that the program hasn’t catered for. Israel isn’t modifying any F-35 electronics, they are accessing the APIs built into the open architecture software to allow them to load their own customised software apps. The jet was built with this in mind. The rest of the Israeli work is with external podded systems and weapons which is no different to any other development task that a nation takes on when they acquire a fast jet capability.
By customizing software for the F-35, the country is leveraging the jet’s built-in open-architecture software design, long touted by the Pentagon and Lockheed as a key capability that will keep the aircraft relevant far into the future. In effect, Israeli industry is writing “apps” for the F-35 (AW&ST April 25-May 8, p. 22).
Once the first F-35Is arrive at Nevatim, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will begin installing a bespoke C4I system—designed by IAI’s Lahav Division and ELTA Systems Ltd.—that will augment Lockheed’s central avionics system. This will provide the Israelis with an autonomous communications protocol interface compatible with its air and defense force legacy communications devices, says Sapienza.
EW is another potential area for customization. The F-35 is currently equipped with an active, electronically scanned array radar, as well BAE Systems’ AN/ASQ-239 EW suite, which allow the jet to suppress enemy radars and defeat surface and air threats. But Lockheed has modified the design of the jet’s installations, power and cooling to enable Israel’s air force to potentially expand spectral coverage with some kind of podded system, says Sapienza.
Israel’s Elisra, an Elbit subsidiary, is eyeing the additional F-35I EW requirement, according to Elbit Systems of America President and CEO Raanan Horowitz.
As for arms, the Israeli air force and state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have been working with Lockheed to adapt the Spice 1000 Electro-Optical/GPS-guided air-to-ground weapon, installed on the service’s F-16s, for the new jets.
Lockheed is also working with Cyclone Ltd., a wholly owned Elbit subsidiary, on potentially outfitting the F-35I with external fuel tanks to extend its range beyond the 18,500 lb. of fuel carried internally.

https://www.mro-network.com/maintenance ... 35-version

What has not happening is the Su-30 example, where each country has ordered a specific version and specific systems for the jet that they will operate, and subsequently spend years trying to get those disparate systems to work together as well as meet even basic service availability.


YIMBY wrote:
Essentially every trade includes some clickable items, starting from the weaponry. Sometimes they are too expensive to click. Sometimes there are obliged modifications, if Uncle Sam forbids the export of the most advanced devices like radar or other sensor.

Yes and the point is? I also covered minor variations for acquirers,
Ozair wrote:
There may be some minor modification for Finnish specific requirements but that is about it.
so not sure what the issue is here.

YIMBY wrote:
About the Finnish Hornet: Why F-18 instead of F/A-18?

The Fins didn’t use the aircraft initially for ground attack so decided to call it what they wanted. Even with the recent upgrade they haven’t changed the designation. The Canadian version is called the CF-18, and the Australian version is called the AFA/-18 and the Spanish version is called the EF-18. What does the absence of an A really mean in the grand scheme of things?
YIMBY wrote:
What about ALQ-165?

What about it. It was an option they chose when acquiring the jet.

YIMBY wrote:
Automatic carrier landing system?

What about it?

YIMBY wrote:
It is also about the costs. If the price is right, a viable interim solution may be good, particularly if there is something better around the corner.

Investigate the options Finland has YIMBY and you will see why Finland is not going for an interim solution. An interim solution would cost as much as all the permanent solutions.

The best example of an interim solution was the RAAF acquisition of the Super Hornet. It was acquired to replace the F-111 which was costing the RAAF, as the sole remaining operator of the aircraft, an incredible amount of money to sustain. It was literally cost neutral for the RAAF to acquire 24 Super Hornets and operate them for ten years compared to continue operating the F-111 and maintain fleet numbers and availability. That decision came with some benefits and some losses of capability. For example the SH can escort itself and re-role as a fighter when required, had a larger number of advanced weapons already integrated and had a better radar. It could not fly as far or as fast as the F-111 though.

Finland has absolutely no reason to take an interim option when there are multiple options available that will likely meet their requirements and be within their cost structure.
 
YIMBY
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:19 pm

Ozair wrote:
You seriously think the UK and US fighting in the Falklands and in Iraq and Afghanistan was a vacation?


You seriously think that Europe should prepare to a war like in the Falklands, 1982? Are you a general?

Ozair wrote:
That is your claim not mine. You said in your 30th November post that if the F-35 were aerodynamically optimal then all previous fighters would look like it. That ingnores that technology changes and today what is optimal may not have been 20 years ago because the technology wasn't available to achieve it.


What technology, related to aerodynamics?

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Purpoted misunderstanding is not good argumentation.

Nothing to do with misunderstanding. You have crafted a single scenario that suits your narrative while ignoring the reality of what has to happen before you get to that point.


If I talk about scenario A and you reply with a different scenario B made up by you, it is a misunderstanding. It is up to you to confess whether this is intentional or unintentional. (And this was at least 3rd time you use this strategy.)

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Again, you give no foundation to your claim.

YIMBY, I suggest you have even a cursory read of the F-35 news thread and you will see all the info you need to on F-35 sensor fusion and why it is different to 4th gen sensor fusion. Once you understand that concept, we can move on to understanding why that type of fusion is not simply added to an airframe at a later date and the costs involved in getting that airframe to that point with the advanced fusion.


Why don't you study some mathematics, physics and computer science, to be in the same page.

The "generation" is either
1) marketing hype, or
2) artificial categorization or standardization to make life simpler.

There may be disruptive developments when developing the software, like change of the hardware (e.g. single core to multi core), communication bus (e.g. parallel to serial), operating system (e.g MS-DOS to OS/2), programming language (e.g FORTRAN to C). You may change one at a time - which makes testing easier - or all at once and rewrite the code completely. You do not start from nothing because you have the algorithms, that may develop all the time.

You may make changes in the hardware, processor, memory, bus, sensor, etc, as they are developed, one at a time, or delay all if individual changes are not permitted.

Nothing above needs to be coupled to the "generation" of the air frame.

Of course, in real world some authorities may define "generations" so that everything stays the same until they retire and the next generation of authorities define next standards, but this is just human stupidity and stubbornness and is not defined by any law of physics.

Ozair wrote:
And there lies the problem. You don’t understand what the difference is between sensor fusion at the 4th gen level compared to 5th gen, nor do you understand it within the context of military equipment. Do yourself a favour and read the info available. At that point come back and have an educated discussion about the differences, cost and time required to get to that level.


Context of military equipment ... an endless series of cryptic acronyms, old standards that no one knows why they are there, obscure agreements for not opening the box, absolute prohibition to question authorities, huge amounts of dead weight, saving money in wrong parts and wasting money in unnecessary parts, being proud for your whatever machine, ... Fortunately also in all other countries, including particularly the potential aggressors.

I forgot to tell that there is "sensor fusion" also in the ground level. That is, take data from several radars and other sensors all over the country to make a coherent picture what flies in the airspace and use that to send interceptors or guide AAA. You do not need to park an F-35 at the garage of the command centre to do it.

The "first generation" was human beings listening what is told in the phone from radar or human observation station and placing and moving small airplane models in the very big map and others telling to the fighters where to intercept the enemy planes or civilians to seek protection from air raids.

Today you can send all that information directly to the fighters as data. That may be challenging in war noise, but at least 10 years ago just Finland was the leading country in wireless technology, no idea where they stand today.

Ozair wrote:
USA, Turkey, Italy, UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, The Netherlands, etc. There are no differences in those jets between the nations except for their own domestic weapons being integrated.


Care to note that those were ordered quite simultaneously, many before the official first entry into service.

Does not happen always. When France and Germany et al developed a joint fighter they had so big differences that they even got different names.

As market leader with a large backlog LM can afford to offer the same model without options, to reduce costs and to increase the profit. Take it as offered or not.

The challenger must either
1) lower the price,
2) increase the quality, or
3) offer tailored solutions
These of course reduce the profit, but if your alternative is to be blown out of the market, you have little choice.

(Is it appropriate to talk about market economy with military sales? The American say that the American military industry is a better example of command economy than the largest communist country.)

Also note that F-35 is about 15 years newer than most of its competitors so there is no urgent need for updates or enhancements.

If Finland (or Canada or Poland) chooses Eurofighter or Rafale there is no need to keep them similar to the original versions delivered to France, UK, Germany and Italy more than ten years ago.

BTW, Euroradar has been developing the Captor-E Radar for Eurofighter, to be assembled first in the fighters for Kuwait next year (+delay). There will also be a new front computer. More than billion invested. How does that fit your theory?
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... dline.html
 
estorilm
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:59 pm

YIMBY wrote:
So far who has bought F-35 with no modification?

Ozair wrote:
USA, Turkey, Italy, UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, The Netherlands, etc. There are no differences in those jets between the nations except for their own domestic weapons being integrated.

YIMBY wrote:
Care to note that those were ordered quite simultaneously, many before the official first entry into service.

Seriously? He's answered every one of your questions with FACTUAL posts and links / information. You seem to be on some personal vendetta here.
I don't even understand your arguments in the first place - you make it sound like the F-35 is some children's scooter with an LCD screen for "sensor fusion" - I don't think anyone or anything would convince you otherwise till you literally sat in the seat of one of these things (with the Gen III MHDS) and realized just how revolutionary the capabilities are.

It's not an "evolutionary" step but a "revolutionary" one - this isn't some stuff you can plug in and modify into existing airframes, indeed that's a huge part of the controversy surrounding the F-22. As advanced as its systems are, it's still not really capable of integrating a large number of the systems that make the F-35 so special. It's less of an issue with a general-purpose / non-air-superiority platform, but still.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:14 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
You seriously think the UK and US fighting in the Falklands and in Iraq and Afghanistan was a vacation?


You seriously think that Europe should prepare to a war like in the Falklands, 1982? Are you a general?

What does that have to do with the claim that operating in the Falklands or Iraq/Afghanistan is like a vacation?


YIMBY wrote:
What technology, related to aerodynamics?

I won’t go any further as you are just going round in circles.

YIMBY wrote:
If I talk about scenario A and you reply with a different scenario B made up by you, it is a misunderstanding. It is up to you to confess whether this is intentional or unintentional. (And this was at least 3rd time you use this strategy.)

I’m not using a strategy, I’m simply pointing out that you have crafted a specific scenario that ignores and makes assumptions that are generally flawed in concept or a clear edge case simply to suit your narrative.

YIMBY wrote:
Why don't you study some mathematics, physics and computer science, to be in the same page.

The "generation" is either
1) marketing hype, or
2) artificial categorization or standardization to make life simpler.

There may be disruptive developments when developing the software, like change of the hardware (e.g. single core to multi core), communication bus (e.g. parallel to serial), operating system (e.g MS-DOS to OS/2), programming language (e.g FORTRAN to C). You may change one at a time - which makes testing easier - or all at once and rewrite the code completely. You do not start from nothing because you have the algorithms, that may develop all the time.

You may make changes in the hardware, processor, memory, bus, sensor, etc, as they are developed, one at a time, or delay all if individual changes are not permitted.

Nothing above needs to be coupled to the "generation" of the air frame.

Of course, in real world some authorities may define "generations" so that everything stays the same until they retire and the next generation of authorities define next standards, but this is just human stupidity and stubbornness and is not defined by any law of physics.

You are right, nothing you have stated there needs to be coupled to the airframe. The difference is you still don’t fundamentally understand why the type of sensor fusion conducted in the F-35 is different.

YIMBY wrote:
Context of military equipment ... an endless series of cryptic acronyms, old standards that no one knows why they are there, obscure agreements for not opening the box, absolute prohibition to question authorities, huge amounts of dead weight, saving money in wrong parts and wasting money in unnecessary parts, being proud for your whatever machine, ... Fortunately also in all other countries, including particularly the potential aggressors.

I forgot to tell that there is "sensor fusion" also in the ground level. That is, take data from several radars and other sensors all over the country to make a coherent picture what flies in the airspace and use that to send interceptors or guide AAA. You do not need to park an F-35 at the garage of the command centre to do it.

The "first generation" was human beings listening what is told in the phone from radar or human observation station and placing and moving small airplane models in the very big map and others telling to the fighters where to intercept the enemy planes or civilians to seek protection from air raids.

Today you can send all that information directly to the fighters as data. That may be challenging in war noise, but at least 10 years ago just Finland was the leading country in wireless technology, no idea where they stand today.

Again YIMBY, you are not understanding how the F-35 works its sensor fusion. It is different to that done in other platforms and in the examples you are trying to reference to. Without you taking that next logical step, discussing this further is a waste of both of our time.

Ozair wrote:
USA, Turkey, Italy, UK, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, The Netherlands, etc. There are no differences in those jets between the nations except for their own domestic weapons being integrated.


YIMBY wrote:
Care to note that those were ordered quite simultaneously, many before the official first entry into service.

Does not happen always. When France and Germany et al developed a joint fighter they had so big differences that they even got different names.

As market leader with a large backlog LM can afford to offer the same model without options, to reduce costs and to increase the profit. Take it as offered or not.

The challenger must either
1) lower the price,
2) increase the quality, or
3) offer tailored solutions
These of course reduce the profit, but if your alternative is to be blown out of the market, you have little choice.

(Is it appropriate to talk about market economy with military sales? The American say that the American military industry is a better example of command economy than the largest communist country.)

Also note that F-35 is about 15 years newer than most of its competitors so there is no urgent need for updates or enhancements.

If Finland (or Canada or Poland) chooses Eurofighter or Rafale there is no need to keep them similar to the original versions delivered to France, UK, Germany and Italy more than ten years ago.

BTW, Euroradar has been developing the Captor-E Radar for Eurofighter, to be assembled first in the fighters for Kuwait next year (+delay). There will also be a new front computer. More than billion invested. How does that fit your theory?
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... dline.html

YIMBY, again none of what you have said does not fit my theory. I never said that a nation acquiring a jet will not acquire the newest version. I do not expect Finland to request to acquire Tranche One Eurofighters when later versions are available.

When Kuwait ordered the Eurofighter it was still a MOTS acquisition. For example, CAPTOR-E, which the Eurofighter needs now to be competitive in the fighter marketplace, has been in development long before the Kuwaitis expressed interest in the Eurofighter.
In July 2010, it was reported that the Euroradar consortium made a formal offer to provide an AESA solution for the Eurofighter. The consortium plans to retain as much "back-end" equipment as possible while developing the new radar and also stated that the inclusion of an AESA radar was an important in securing orders from foreign nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euroradar_CAPTOR

So the Eurofighter consortium has spent money to bring the radar to the aircraft, not only for refit by a few of the partners but to try and win additional orders in the marketplace. That doesn’t invalidate the acquisition as MOTS. The integration of the radar was planned long before Kuwait ordered the aircraft and it just one of dozens of changes that occur over time to airframes.

Just like F-35 partners will receive aircraft from different blk versions as they are delivered over numerous years. Australia initially received Blk 2 aircraft and have now started receiving Blk 3F aircraft with the early aircraft upgraded to the new standard. The US has funded the complete upgrade of their whole fleet of early airframes to the Blk 3F standard but they don't continue to buy blk 2 airframes and they aren't selling new Blk 2 airframes to foriegn customers. They are still MOTS acquisitions.

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