Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:50 pm

744SPX wrote:
Gripen with the 26.4k lb F414 EPE engine would be a significant upgrade and would enable higher supercruise speeds...

The F414 EPE is not a funded program. The USN did fund a study by GE to consider how to move to the EPE but at this point in time no development funding for the EPE version of the F414 has been provided. The USN interest in the EPE has also been primarily in the durability enhancemnents it will offer, they are less interested in the thrust increases. If a F414 EPE does get approved then that also makes the SH a more competitive airframe against the Gripen for the Finnish competition. Given the current lack of an authorised program though the F414 EPE version has almost certainly not been offered to Finland. Saab certainly isn't going to fund the likely mulit-billion program to improve the engine, neither is the Swedish Government, nor the Brazilians so the USN is the only hope.

As for Gripen E supercruising, it cannot today supercruise but an increased thrust engine may allow the Gripen E to supercruise. Problem is most of that thrust increase will likely come primarily in the afterburn region with a smaller portion in the dry thrust envelope. That doesn't bode well for the Gripen E ever supercruising with an operationally relevant payload.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:46 pm

The F-35 has landed in Finland for its week of evaluation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiR_oqXuPa4

Waiting on the press conference for the F-35 and Gripen to get posted to YouTube as well.
 
art
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:43 pm

I don't have a clue which aircraft will win (although I have an idea which one will not). Anyone care to hazard a guess and list them in order?
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:11 pm

art wrote:
I don't have a clue which aircraft will win (although I have an idea which one will not). Anyone care to hazard a guess and list them in order?

My feeling is the betting market had it pretty good as quoted by YIMBY earlier in the thread.

YIMBY wrote:
Bettson has opened a bet on the Finnish choice. The given rates are:

Lockheed Martin F-35 1.60
Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet 3.50
Saab Gripen 3.75
Eurofighter Typhoon 10.00
Dassault Rafale 12.00

I am unsurprised to see the American fighters in the top and surprised to see Gripen the third so much ahead of Typhoon.


There still haven't reached last and final offers though, that is not expected until late this year, and anything can happen between now and then.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:34 pm

A Finnish news article on the F-35 bid from a press conference help with the head of F-35 maintenance. Looks like LM are offering 64 aircraft as per the request and are also offering some form of local assembly including both airframe and engine. LM emphasized the size of F-35 production and the time the aircraft will remain in production as supply security,

F-35 manufacturer promises fighter production for Finland - "We won't tell you how to build a glade, but we'll tell you how to maintain it"

Lockheed Martin advertises the F-35 as the only fifth-generation fighter fighter in Finland. It stands out above all with its built-in intrusive features that make the machine extremely unobtrusive on the radar, virtually undetectable in combat.

Steve Sheehy, director of Lockheed Martin maintenance, tells Lännen Media that in a new offer to Finland, the company promises to produce a fighter and engine in Finland. The fighter jet would not be built from scratch, but still enough for the Finns to have sufficient maintenance skills. "We're not going to tell you how to build a limp, but how to maintain it, and how to make airworthiness decisions,"

Sheehy says. Stealth technology is Lockheed Martin's business secret.
- Finland gets an idea of ​​how a fifth generation fighter will be built.

According to Sheehy, 64 F-35s will be offered.
- The requirement is 64, we are in 64, says Sheehy.
- The real question is how many planes will Finland need to survive. Our plane does all the work. Not many different types of aircraft are needed.

...

https://ls24.fi/lannen-media/f-35-n-val ... lapidetaan

As linked in an earlier post two F-35s landed in Finland while the other two were delayed due to bad weather that prevented their tankers from flying. They are expected to arrive shortly but the two aircraft that already arrived are sufficient to conduct the testing period.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:03 am

The Saab media briefing is now available on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAooZwbcDwA
 
YIMBY
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 am

Ozair wrote:
A Finnish news article on the F-35 bid from a press conference help with the head of F-35 maintenance. Looks like LM are offering 64 aircraft as per the request and are also offering some form of local assembly including both airframe and engine. LM emphasized the size of F-35 production and the time the aircraft will remain in production as supply security,

F-35 manufacturer promises fighter production for Finland - "We won't tell you how to build a glade, but we'll tell you how to maintain it"

Lockheed Martin advertises the F-35 as the only fifth-generation fighter fighter in Finland. It stands out above all with its built-in intrusive features that make the machine extremely unobtrusive on the radar, virtually undetectable in combat.

Steve Sheehy, director of Lockheed Martin maintenance, tells Lännen Media that in a new offer to Finland, the company promises to produce a fighter and engine in Finland. The fighter jet would not be built from scratch, but still enough for the Finns to have sufficient maintenance skills. "We're not going to tell you how to build a limp, but how to maintain it, and how to make airworthiness decisions,"

Sheehy says. Stealth technology is Lockheed Martin's business secret.
- Finland gets an idea of ​​how a fifth generation fighter will be built.

According to Sheehy, 64 F-35s will be offered.
- The requirement is 64, we are in 64, says Sheehy.
- The real question is how many planes will Finland need to survive. Our plane does all the work. Not many different types of aircraft are needed.

...

https://ls24.fi/lannen-media/f-35-n-val ... lapidetaan

As linked in an earlier post two F-35s landed in Finland while the other two were delayed due to bad weather that prevented their tankers from flying. They are expected to arrive shortly but the two aircraft that already arrived are sufficient to conduct the testing period.


It is amazing that they can deliver up to 64 fighters with the given 10 000 000 000 EUR price ceiling (evidently a fixed predetermined price, the quantity and quality of the planes being the variables). That will be (max) 156 M€ per plane, evidently including all necessary infrastructures and weaponry. Who can beat that?

Nevertheless, Poland got half of that (32) with a cost less than half (4,2 billion), 130 EUR per piece which seems much better deal. Are the contents comparable?

There is more to the story:
https://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006402896.html
Evidently you can interpret that better than me, but I understand that LM promises to squeeze the cost of flight hour to 25 000 USD (22 500 EUR), while F-18 has 10 000 EUR (not necessarily in the same basis).
Any idea about comparable figures of the contenders?
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:06 am

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Anyone, including Saab, thinking the Gripen will be competitive past 2040 is not accurately assessing the operational climate a Finnish aircraft will be expected to operate in. The Gripen may win in Finland but I doubt it, the aircraft doesn’t represent value for money for what Finland will require the aircraft to do.


The Climate Change is the last reason for Gripen to be noncompetitive, although it is taken seriously in Scandinavia. Given that Brazil has selected Gripen and will be developing it in tropical climates, a little bit higher temperatures will certainly not made Gripen obsolete, and its carbon emission are among the smallest. The issues, drawbacks and risks with Gripen are completely other, and it is not yet public whether it is the cheapest option, what they have been claiming. The most actual issue is being late. Did it even fly the test programme?


LOL, sorry YIMBY that was a use of English in a somewhat unusual way. When using the term operational climate I’m not talking about Climate Change but about the threat environment that a Finnish fighter jet will have to operate in. If you consider the potential political changes that will occur between now and 2040, the threat changes that will come from advances in systems and primarily Russian aircraft and air defence networks then Finland needs an aircraft that can not only survive in that environment but excel and maintain a capability edge.


What changes in the thread environment do you expect then?

What is the most probable political thread scenario that Finland (and several other nations, too) should optimize its military forces?
What are the possible unlikely scenarios that Finland should be prepared for?
Should Finland be truly independent on supply or depend on far or close ally?

Given that no one really could predict 20 years before. e.g. the disintegration of the unions, the rerise of fascism, the ridiculisation of democracy etc. Most people could have predicted instabilities in the Middle East, though no one who fights whom and who is allied with whom. (Of course, there will always be some I-told-you-so, like someone wins in a national lottery or a horse race).

What advances do you expect in Russian and Finnish defense systems that will make Gripen (and evidently any non-F-35) obsolete?

New Russian fighters? As far as I can foresee, the core of the Russian Air Force will be new generations of Su-27, a Soviet response to F-15 in the seventies.
New missiles? Possible and likely.
New detection technology? Certainly will be there. Will it make first obsolete stealth or jamming technology?
UAV? Yes, may and will make any manned military aircraft obsolete, but when?

Note: any new breakthrough fighter by an ally will not make the selected fighter obsolete, only that of a potential adversary, unless yesterday's friend is tomorrow's foe.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:40 am

Ozair wrote:
As for Gripen E supercruising, it cannot today supercruise but an increased thrust engine may allow the Gripen E to supercruise. Problem is most of that thrust increase will likely come primarily in the afterburn region with a smaller portion in the dry thrust envelope. That doesn't bode well for the Gripen E ever supercruising with an operationally relevant payload.


Which of the contenders can truly supercruise, in a typical combat configuration? At what speed?

Or is it even relevant?

Should we ask e.g.
- How much time does it take, from point zero, to reach air target 500 km apart at 15 km altitude, in a typical interceptor configuration?
- How much time does it take to hit a ground target 300 km apart, in a typical ground attack configuration?
 
mxaxai
Topic Author
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:14 am

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
As for Gripen E supercruising, it cannot today supercruise but an increased thrust engine may allow the Gripen E to supercruise. Problem is most of that thrust increase will likely come primarily in the afterburn region with a smaller portion in the dry thrust envelope. That doesn't bode well for the Gripen E ever supercruising with an operationally relevant payload.


Which of the contenders can truly supercruise, in a typical combat configuration? At what speed?

Or is it even relevant?

Should we ask e.g.
- How much time does it take, from point zero, to reach air target 500 km apart at 15 km altitude, in a typical interceptor configuration?
- How much time does it take to hit a ground target 300 km apart, in a typical ground attack configuration?

The numbers commonly found indicate that Rafale and Eurofighter can supercruise at ~ M1.2 - M1.4 with typical interceptor loads (A2A missiles + 1 drop tank). Eurofighter likely better than Rafale. The F-35 may or may not have the ability - it's not something LM advertises so probably not - but its large internal fuel storage should allow it to keep the AB engaged for a while. The Gripen NG demonstrator was shown to supercruise but as Ozair notes it probably can't in its current operational configuration. I have seen no indication that the F-18 can supercruise.

TBH supercruise ability is something you need to set as a design objective early on, just like stealth. It's no suprise that the F-22 can supercruise at high Mach number but the F-35 can't - they are designed for different missions. And as you note, it all depends on the particular mission whether a certain ability becomes relevant or not.

In your two scenarios, the Eurofigher would probably be the first to intercept and the F-35 would probably be the more effective bomb delivery platform, among all the contenders. Though, speed is but one of the selection criteria.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:17 am

YIMBY wrote:

It is amazing that they can deliver up to 64 fighters with the given 10 000 000 000 EUR price ceiling (evidently a fixed predetermined price, the quantity and quality of the planes being the variables). That will be (max) 156 M€ per plane, evidently including all necessary infrastructures and weaponry. Who can beat that?

Nevertheless, Poland got half of that (32) with a cost less than half (4,2 billion), 130 EUR per piece which seems much better deal. Are the contents comparable?

The deals are probably not comparable but agree LM offering 64 jets under the 10 billion cap is a very good deal. The cost per aircraft typically reduces the more you acquire, the base costs don't multiply necessarily per each jet. I assume LM will have included all the FMS costs in their offer as well?

YIMBY wrote:
There is more to the story:
https://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006402896.html
Evidently you can interpret that better than me, but I understand that LM promises to squeeze the cost of flight hour to 25 000 USD (22 500 EUR), while F-18 has 10 000 EUR (not necessarily in the same basis).
Any idea about comparable figures of the contenders?

No, it is so hard to find comparable metrics that trying to compare numbers between different nations is essentially meaningless. I do know the RAAF are flying the F-35 at approx US$28k per flight hour today which is very comparable to their per flight hour costs of the SH in RAAF service. I know for sure the RAAF doesn't fly their classic Hornets at 10k EUR per flight hour, it is well above that and right in line with F-35 and SH per flight costs. The RAAF is the only nation operating two of the contenders and so is probably the best means to compare at least those two jets.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:29 am

YIMBY wrote:

What changes in the thread environment do you expect then?

What is the most probable political thread scenario that Finland (and several other nations, too) should optimize its military forces?
What are the possible unlikely scenarios that Finland should be prepared for?
Should Finland be truly independent on supply or depend on far or close ally?

Given that no one really could predict 20 years before. e.g. the disintegration of the unions, the rerise of fascism, the ridiculisation of democracy etc. Most people could have predicted instabilities in the Middle East, though no one who fights whom and who is allied with whom. (Of course, there will always be some I-told-you-so, like someone wins in a national lottery or a horse race).

I agree the uncertainty is extreme and trying to list the changes is probably pointless, I doubt any of us would reach consensus. What we can say is that a military is likely focused on planning for the worst case scenario.

YIMBY wrote:
What advances do you expect in Russian and Finnish defense systems that will make Gripen (and evidently any non-F-35) obsolete?

New Russian fighters? As far as I can foresee, the core of the Russian Air Force will be new generations of Su-27, a Soviet response to F-15 in the seventies.
New missiles? Possible and likely.
New detection technology? Certainly will be there. Will it make first obsolete stealth or jamming technology?
UAV? Yes, may and will make any manned military aircraft obsolete, but when?

Note: any new breakthrough fighter by an ally will not make the selected fighter obsolete, only that of a potential adversary, unless yesterday's friend is tomorrow's foe.

This is a bit more clear, straight up Russia will deploy S-500 in greater numbers, Gripen is not equipped to operate against that threat without significant support to which the Globaleye offers zero. Additionally SU-35 and SU-57 will be the primary Russian fighter aircraft in 2040. To plan against the SU-27 would be pointless but even then, an upgraded Su-27 with potentially an AESA radar and a new AAM in 2035 is a threat the Gripen would struggle against. The point is not to simply maintain parity with your adversary but to have an overmatch that allows you to prevent the conflict from beginning in the first place. That was much of the intent behind Finland acquiring the JASSM, a deterrence that would deter likely adversaries and clearly, based on the HX presentations that lead with the Finland Air Force, still a focus.

If the Russians by some miracle break stealth, the F-35 is still the better aircraft between the two given its better sensor suite, more advanced fusion, longer range, greater payload, more advanced jamming technology, larger user base, defined and funded upgrade path etc.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:47 am

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
As for Gripen E supercruising, it cannot today supercruise but an increased thrust engine may allow the Gripen E to supercruise. Problem is most of that thrust increase will likely come primarily in the afterburn region with a smaller portion in the dry thrust envelope. That doesn't bode well for the Gripen E ever supercruising with an operationally relevant payload.


Which of the contenders can truly supercruise, in a typical combat configuration? At what speed?

Agree with Mxaxai that both the Eurofighter and Rafale are likely capable of supercruise with specific light loads for short durations. F-35 pilots have reported flying M1.2 at 40K without burner for approx 150 miles so yes supercruising. SH cannot supercruise due to the external pylons. Gripen E has not demonstrated Supercruise this long after first flight so likely cannot either.

YIMBY wrote:
Or is it even relevant?

IMO not that relevant. Supercruise still uses far more fuel than typical cruise speeds and therefore reduces range. It may have some benefit in specific tactical situations but the likelihood is the aircraft with the bigger fuel load can use that persistence to determine the engagement. The F-22 doesn't fly around all day in supercruise, the profile uses short supercruise stints within a longer profile for the tactical benefit of launching missiles faster (to increase range) or positioning to a location faster. It still uses more fuel doing so even in those short stints.

YIMBY wrote:
Should we ask e.g.
- How much time does it take, from point zero, to reach air target 500 km apart at 15 km altitude, in a typical interceptor configuration?
- How much time does it take to hit a ground target 300 km apart, in a typical ground attack configuration?

No point to the scenarios, too many factors influence them to make it pointless. For example no fighter pilot flies in a straight line for the duration you are suggesting. How long does it take to hit a ground target if you have to avoid a threat so have to fly a zig zag course?
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:48 pm

Ozair wrote:
I agree the uncertainty is extreme and trying to list the changes is probably pointless, I doubt any of us would reach consensus. What we can say is that a military is likely focused on planning for the worst case scenario.

The worst case may be hostility between USA and Europe, or breakup of Europe, Finland and Sweden being on opposite sides.
Ozair wrote:

This is a bit more clear, straight up Russia will deploy S-500 in greater numbers, Gripen is not equipped to operate against that threat without significant support to which the Globaleye offers zero.

More details, please.
Ozair wrote:
Additionally SU-35 and SU-57 will be the primary Russian fighter aircraft in 2040. To plan against the SU-27 would be pointless but even then, an upgraded Su-27 with potentially an AESA radar and a new AAM in 2035 is a threat the Gripen would struggle against.

Su-35 is a derivative of Su-27, even though it has a different designation. I have doubts about Su-57 being ever ready for combat, being over-complicated compared with the available resources in Russia, particularly maintenance-wise, but you are right that better prepare for the worst case.
Ozair wrote:
If the Russians by some miracle break stealth, the F-35 is still the better aircraft between the two given its better sensor suite, more advanced fusion, longer range, greater payload, more advanced jamming technology, larger user base, defined and funded upgrade path etc.


The stealth has already been broken. The question is just, do the Russian have resources to implement that and to what extent. Certainly to protect Moscow and St Petersburg, but to cover all Finland?

About sensors, jamming etc, given that Gripen NG is more American than Swedish, why would the Americans refuse to sell equipment that they sell with F-35?

What are the relevant ranges of Gripen NG, F-35 and the contenders in typical configurations for the Finnish Air Force and for which mission is it insufficient?
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:26 pm

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
- How much time does it take, from point zero, to reach air target 500 km apart at 15 km altitude, in a typical interceptor configuration?
- How much time does it take to hit a ground target 300 km apart, in a typical ground attack configuration?

No point to the scenarios, too many factors influence them to make it pointless. For example no fighter pilot flies in a straight line for the duration you are suggesting. How long does it take to hit a ground target if you have to avoid a threat so have to fly a zig zag course?


There is good point, even though these may be simplified to get comparable numbers.
Is there a technical reason not to fly the fastest route if your mission requires that?
If you want to hit the tactical target of the enemy troops entering your country, you go there fast just to be there first, in order to avoid any emerging threats, so there is no need for any zig zag.
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I agree the uncertainty is extreme and trying to list the changes is probably pointless, I doubt any of us would reach consensus. What we can say is that a military is likely focused on planning for the worst case scenario.

The worst case may be hostility between USA and Europe, or breakup of Europe, Finland and Sweden being on opposite sides.

See that makes my point exactly. I believe there is no reason the US and Europe would get into a conflict and hence we would never agree on the scenarios that would potentially exist in 2040.

YIMBY wrote:
More details, please.

The S-500 is a large mobile Air defence system that can prosecute targets at very long ranges, reportedly greater than 300nm. It closes airspace and in Finland’s case an S-500 sitting close to the border would have airspace awareness of much of Finland. The engagement radars used on the S-500 is likely X band and therefore easy to track non stealth targets but will struggle to track stealth targets.

YIMBY wrote:
Su-35 is a derivative of Su-27, even though it has a different designation. I have doubts about Su-57 being ever ready for combat, being over-complicated compared with the available resources in Russia, particularly maintenance-wise, but you are right that better prepare for the worst case.

And Gripen E is a derivative of Gripen C… There are already more than 115 Su-35 flying and Russian will likely continue to acquire over the next 5-10 years replacing existing Su-27 aircraft in service.

The Su-57 will likely continue to plod along and be manufactured in low numbers but by 2040 Russian is likely to have enough of those systems, as well as potentially a follow on aircraft, to make the capability threat to a neighbour like Finland very real. Even if Russia doesn’t get it all right, the SU-57 already appears to have a lower RCS and bigger radar than the Gripen E, a longer range and a greater payload.

YIMBY wrote:
The stealth has already been broken.

Sure, and that is why nations across the globe have all stopped development of stealth platforms because they are no longer effective… No point rehashing this YIMBY when you have no evidence to support the claim.

YIMBY wrote:
About sensors, jamming etc, given that Gripen NG is more American than Swedish, why would the Americans refuse to sell equipment that they sell with F-35?

Do some research YIMBY, we know what the Gripen E has for sensors and EW, most of which are not American. There is no evidence that any of the systems Gripen is delivering are better than their European or American counterparts, certainly not enough to compensate for the other limitations of the aircraft.

YIMBY wrote:
What are the relevant ranges of Gripen NG, F-35 and the contenders in typical configurations for the Finnish Air Force and for which mission is it insufficient?

The Gripen E has less range than its competitors, I don’t think anyone denies that.

Ove ten years ago LM provided the following figures,

...Discussing maximum mission radius, Mazanowski presented an air-to-air mission profile in which all the aircraft took off with a weapon load, remained at high altitude and returned after about a minute of combat. All but the F-35 and Su-30MKI were carrying three external fuel tanks.

Under this scenario, the Rafale had a maximum mission radius of 896 n miles, the F/A-18 816 n miles, the F-35 751 n miles, the Eurofighter 747 n miles, the Su-30MKI 728 n miles and the Gripen 502 n miles.

According to Mazanowski, the JSF joint programme office required the modelling to assume an F-35 engine at the end of its life with 5 per cent fuel degradation and a 2 per cent reduction in thrust. The counterpart aircraft were given the benefit of the doubt wherever platform and systems performance were not clear – as, for example, in the assumption that all five would have active electronically scanned array radars operational within five years....

https://www.scribd.com/doc/261728653/lo ... pabilities

The F-35A is lighter and has higher thrust today than it did in that analysis even before you remove the engine restrictions or add in the F135 improvement that are coming through in the next few years, let alone a new AETP engine that will likely arrive in the 2025-2030 time period.

Gripen NG was found in Swiss evaluations to not be able to exceed the F/A-18C Hornet already in Swiss service in most scenarios, including a range intercept where the Gripen ran out of fuel before it could intercept the aircraft.

As for what Finland will find, while I hope they release their evaluation data the Program Office running the competition has been very good and I expect that no data will be released, even after the contract is awarded.
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:06 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
- How much time does it take, from point zero, to reach air target 500 km apart at 15 km altitude, in a typical interceptor configuration?
- How much time does it take to hit a ground target 300 km apart, in a typical ground attack configuration?

No point to the scenarios, too many factors influence them to make it pointless. For example no fighter pilot flies in a straight line for the duration you are suggesting. How long does it take to hit a ground target if you have to avoid a threat so have to fly a zig zag course?


There is good point, even though these may be simplified to get comparable numbers.
Is there a technical reason not to fly the fastest route if your mission requires that?
If you want to hit the tactical target of the enemy troops entering your country, you go there fast just to be there first, in order to avoid any emerging threats, so there is no need for any zig zag.


YIMBY this is again why I see no point engaging with you on this. You don’t have enough knowledge of how fighters fly and fight to make this worth anyone’s time. For example, when comparing the F-22 and the F-15E combat ranges both platforms had a routing factor added to their ranges to allow for not flying direct to a target for whatever reason, airspace constraints, threats both air and land based etc.

Image

If you want to simplify everything to be a straight and level discussion with no threats then go ahead, it shouldn't be hard for you to calculate the fuel load, fuel use per hour and typical flight speed. That isn't what happens in real life and I and the Finns are interested in what happens in real life.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:22 pm

Ozair wrote:

YIMBY this is again why I see no point engaging with you on this. You don’t have enough knowledge of how fighters fly and fight to make this worth anyone’s time. For example, when comparing the F-22 and the F-15E combat ranges both platforms had a routing factor added to their ranges to allow for not flying direct to a target for whatever reason, airspace constraints, threats both air and land based etc.

If you want to simplify everything to be a straight and level discussion with no threats then go ahead, it shouldn't be hard for you to calculate the fuel load, fuel use per hour and typical flight speed. That isn't what happens in real life and I and the Finns are interested in what happens in real life.


Your point is completely irrelevant. You may add your route factor or consider that 500 km to include all zig zags or take whatever other number you want or present a more complicated scenario. It is just to have some benchmark to compare fairly.

Anyway, your wavering reveals that you know more than you want to tell, i.e. we can guess (take proven?) that F-35 will be the last whatever scenario.

So the order to arrive in the battle place will be
1. Eurofighter Typhoon
2. Dassault Rafale
3. Saab Gripen NG (to be proven)
Boeing F-18 SuperHornet
5. Lockheed F-35

You certainly can tell how long F-35 loses at the start while booting up the supercomputers? It is irrelevant for planned offensive missions but crucial for unplanned defensive missions.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I agree the uncertainty is extreme and trying to list the changes is probably pointless, I doubt any of us would reach consensus. What we can say is that a military is likely focused on planning for the worst case scenario.

The worst case may be hostility between USA and Europe, or breakup of Europe, Finland and Sweden being on opposite sides.

See that makes my point exactly. I believe there is no reason the US and Europe would get into a conflict and hence we would never agree on the scenarios that would potentially exist in 2040.

There is never reason of conflict between anyone, but those exist. It is not just Trump and potential Trump Jr in the 40's, but who knows what fools will govern Finland, Sweden, Germany etc.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
More details, please.

The S-500 is a large mobile Air defence system that can prosecute targets at very long ranges, reportedly greater than 300nm. It closes airspace and in Finland’s case an S-500 sitting close to the border would have airspace awareness of much of Finland. The engagement radars used on the S-500 is likely X band and therefore easy to track non stealth targets but will struggle to track stealth targets.

Beyond and even close to 300 nm it can only shoot down a 747, not any fighter. A fast fighter will be safe at about 200 nm, probably closer.

Keep in mind that the Russian are not stupid. Even though S-500 may be an independent system, the air defense will use all available data and integrate them to get a full picture of the airspace.
Ozair wrote:

YIMBY wrote:
The stealth has already been broken.

Sure, and that is why nations across the globe have all stopped development of stealth platforms because they are no longer effective… No point rehashing this YIMBY when you have no evidence to support the claim.

Developing stealth fighters obliges the adversary to invest heavily on the detection technology instead of more lethal weapons. Hence they would be useful even if they are useless.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
About sensors, jamming etc, given that Gripen NG is more American than Swedish, why would the Americans refuse to sell equipment that they sell with F-35?

Do some research YIMBY, we know what the Gripen E has for sensors and EW, most of which are not American. There is no evidence that any of the systems Gripen is delivering are better than their European or American counterparts, certainly not enough to compensate for the other limitations of the aircraft.

Where did I claim it to be better?
Are you claiming that all EW is completely useless? Why then are US and Europe developing those, even if they have stealth and all that?

Of course, no EW can compensate too low speed, if that is the limitation.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
What are the relevant ranges of Gripen NG, F-35 and the contenders in typical configurations for the Finnish Air Force and for which mission is it insufficient?

The Gripen E has less range than its competitors, I don’t think anyone denies that.

Ove ten years ago LM provided the following figures,

...Discussing maximum mission radius, Mazanowski presented an air-to-air mission profile in which all the aircraft took off with a weapon load, remained at high altitude and returned after about a minute of combat. All but the F-35 and Su-30MKI were carrying three external fuel tanks.

Under this scenario, the Rafale had a maximum mission radius of 896 n miles, the F/A-18 816 n miles, the F-35 751 n miles, the Eurofighter 747 n miles, the Su-30MKI 728 n miles and the Gripen 502 n miles.

According to Mazanowski, the JSF joint programme office required the modelling to assume an F-35 engine at the end of its life with 5 per cent fuel degradation and a 2 per cent reduction in thrust. The counterpart aircraft were given the benefit of the doubt wherever platform and systems performance were not clear – as, for example, in the assumption that all five would have active electronically scanned array radars operational within five years....

https://www.scribd.com/doc/261728653/lo ... pabilities

I have seen very different numbers quoted, but if those refer to real mission profiles with your zig zag factors, let us take them.

The range is not something that appears at the end, but it is a design requirement. The American fighters tend to have longer ranges than European, evidently for different mission profiles. Particularly the Pacific theatre requires very long ranges. In Europe, the main task of the fighters is to keep enemy bombers out of own airspace, so the required ranges are much less.

Sweden has certainly evaluated what range they need for their planes. I do not know why Finnish requirements would be much different, given the dimensions of the country, but it is up to you to present a mission that requires longer ranges than Gripen NG will do.

The range does not come free. The huge tank of F-35 adds weight and drag which reduce the payload and performance, like maximum speed, maximum altitude, maneuverability and runway performance, the last being quite crucial.
Ozair wrote:
The F-35A is lighter and has higher thrust today than it did in that analysis even before you remove the engine restrictions or add in the F135 improvement that are coming through in the next few years, let alone a new AETP engine that will likely arrive in the 2025-2030 time period.

And no other fighter has seen development? Like Gripen?
Ozair wrote:
Gripen NG was found in Swiss evaluations to not be able to exceed the F/A-18C Hornet already in Swiss service in most scenarios, including a range intercept where the Gripen ran out of fuel before it could intercept the aircraft.

Where on earth do they need to strike? Madrid, Manchester or Warsaw? London, Rome, Budapest and Berlin would be reachable by Gripen.
Ozair wrote:

As for what Finland will find, while I hope they release their evaluation data the Program Office running the competition has been very good and I expect that no data will be released, even after the contract is awarded.


They certainly have NDA's with the manufacturers, but they have to release a relevant document for the parliament to make the decisions and if it is released to politicians it will be leaked out.

Anyway, the most important numbers to be presented to the parliament will be
1) total acquisition cost (probably all around 10 M)
2) evaluation of yearly maintenance cost
3) quantity of the planes
 
kanye
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:32 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:26 pm

Whats the difference in range?
According to Finnish media I read Gripen E has a better combat range than F35, reason was almost three times higher fuel burn for F35.

However I guess it depends on load and what type of mission.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:08 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Your point is completely irrelevant. You may add your route factor or consider that 500 km to include all zig zags or take whatever other number you want or present a more complicated scenario. It is just to have some benchmark to compare fairly.

YIMBY, presenting scenarios is a waste of time. As you have clearly demonstrated you want to nit pick every minute detail without understanding the context for any of it.

YIMBY wrote:
Anyway, your wavering reveals that you know more than you want to tell, i.e. we can guess (take proven?) that F-35 will be the last whatever scenario.

So the order to arrive in the battle place will be
1. Eurofighter Typhoon
2. Dassault Rafale
3. Saab Gripen NG (to be proven)
Boeing F-18 SuperHornet
5. Lockheed F-35

You certainly can tell how long F-35 loses at the start while booting up the supercomputers? It is irrelevant for planned offensive missions but crucial for unplanned defensive missions.

YIMBY, I haven’t waivered but I also won’t engage in a pointless discussion where you have not provided a single source to verify any of your claims. As usual, discussing this with you is a waste of time because all your claims are unverifiable.


YIMBY wrote:
Beyond and even close to 300 nm it can only shoot down a 747, not any fighter. A fast fighter will be safe at about 200 nm, probably closer.

Keep in mind that the Russian are not stupid. Even though S-500 may be an independent system, the air defense will use all available data and integrate them to get a full picture of the airspace.

And again YIMBY that is not what you asked. You wanted to know what threat systems were present or evolving that would present issues in the 2040 timeframe. I provided one but again you have now placed it within a scenario of where it will sit and how it will engage a threat without any context. You have also decided that a 747 target can be engaged while a fighter sized target cannot be at specific ranges without defining how and where those aircraft will fly, altitude, speed, direction…

YIMBY wrote:
Developing stealth fighters obliges the adversary to invest heavily on the detection technology instead of more lethal weapons. Hence they would be useful even if they are useless.

And what evidence do you have to support your claim that nations have invested more heavily in detection technology and more lethal weapons?

YIMBY wrote:
Where did I claim it to be better?

Your right you didn’t. All you claimed was that they were mostly American when they clearly aren’t.

YIMBY wrote:
Are you claiming that all EW is completely useless? Why then are US and Europe developing those, even if they have stealth and all that?

Of course, no EW can compensate too low speed, if that is the limitation.

YIMBY, in previous discussions I have already provided you with the kill chain, Find Fix Track Target Engage Assess (F2T2EA). Look it up. There are plenty of references to this such as the following, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_chain

The point of Stealth is to prevent being identified at the Find Fix stages of the kill chain or minimise the ability to Track and Target. If that fails then EW is one method used to defect the kill chain either before engage or during that stage. That is why Stealth aircraft continue to be equipped with EW systems, in case the adversary is able to break though the F2T2 barrier. No stealth aircraft is invisble, they just significantly reduce the F2T2 ranges. The difference is that EW systems on a stealth aircraft are generally more effective as they require less power to hide a lower RCS target against the background.

What does low speed have to do with anything…?

YIMBY wrote:
I have seen very different numbers quoted, but if those refer to real mission profiles with your zig zag factors, let us take them.

YIMBY, the range profile was listed in the quote, did you even read it?

YIMBY wrote:
The range is not something that appears at the end, but it is a design requirement. The American fighters tend to have longer ranges than European, evidently for different mission profiles. Particularly the Pacific theatre requires very long ranges. In Europe, the main task of the fighters is to keep enemy bombers out of own airspace, so the required ranges are much less.

Sweden has certainly evaluated what range they need for their planes.

What does any of this have to do with the our discussion?

YIMBY wrote:
I do not know why Finnish requirements would be much different, given the dimensions of the country, but it is up to you to present a mission that requires longer ranges than Gripen NG will do.

Really, so it is my responsibility to justify what requirements Finland is setting for their HX competition, very nice of you to place that trust and faith in me…

YIMBY, range is not just about flying in a straight line somewhere and coming back. The longer the range of the aircraft translates to more time in the battlespace compared to the time it has to spend flying back and forth to its base to refuel.

For example if we compare the time on station of fighters in the HX competition flying a CAP 200nm from a Finnish base. This is almost certainly a mission type that Finland is interested in, as would Sweden or Spain and Taiwan or any Air Force with a mission to defend their airspace.

Almost certainly the fighters will the larger fuel load, which generally signifies a longer range, would be able to spend longer on station than fighters will a smaller fuel load. How much that is would depend on the specific aircraft, their fuel load, their fuel burn rate, their aerodynamic drag, their weight etc. Finland will have asked each of the HX vendors to provide some stats on probably a couple of specific profiles of their aircraft at 150nm and 200nm and maybe 250nm from a Finnish base and state how long will they last on station before they have to return to base to refuel.


YIMBY wrote:
The range does not come free. The huge tank of F-35 adds weight and drag which reduce the payload and performance, like maximum speed, maximum altitude, maneuverability and runway performance, the last being quite crucial.

YIMBY, the F-35 fuel load is all internal. Yes that adds weight to the airframe but it also reduces aerodynamic drag as the aircraft profile is nearly as slim as the other aircraft in the competition while not having to carry external fuel tanks which provide significantly more drag.

For reference the internal fuel loads are the following, (values all from Wiki)

F-35 – 18,000 lbs
SH – 14,700 lbs
Rafale – 10300 lbs
Eurofighter – 11000 lbs
Gripen E – 7500 lbs

The four candidates that have lower internal fuel loads all require external fuel tanks to reach their longest ranges.
YIMBY wrote:
And no other fighter has seen development? Like Gripen?

Have the Eurofighter, Rafale or SH had an engine thrust upgrade over their current operational life times? Has the Gripen E Thrust to weight ratio improved over the Gripen C? The answer to those questions is no. While the options are available they have not been taken up by the operating nations. Compared to that we know the F-35 is being funded for engine improvements. We know a brand new engine program is being worked on, the AETP, where the engine is being specifically sized for the F-35, and promises both increased thrust and reduced fuel burn.

YIMBY wrote:
Where on earth do they need to strike? Madrid, Manchester or Warsaw? London, Rome, Budapest and Berlin would be reachable by Gripen.

Again YIMBY your lack of understanding of how fighters fly and fight is demonstrated by your inability to comprehend the situation. Fighters use more fuel when they have to fly supersonic to intercept an airborne target and in this instance the Gripen ran out of fuel while trying to intercept the airborne target and had to return to base. Don’t shoot me about this mate, it wasn’t me who designed the scenario, it was the Swiss Air Force.

As for how the Swiss evaluated the Gripen NG, it was found to be less capable than the F/A-18C in Swiss service.

Image


YIMBY wrote:
They certainly have NDA's with the manufacturers, but they have to release a relevant document for the parliament to make the decisions and if it is released to politicians it will be leaked out.

Anyway, the most important numbers to be presented to the parliament will be
1) total acquisition cost (probably all around 10 M)
2) evaluation of yearly maintenance cost
3) quantity of the planes

I certainly hope the Finnish MOD will keep to their legal agreements. They have so far demonstrated and ran, so far as I can tell, a very professional competition.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:15 pm

kanye wrote:
Whats the difference in range?
According to Finnish media I read Gripen E has a better combat range than F35, reason was almost three times higher fuel burn for F35.

However I guess it depends on load and what type of mission.

Can you find the quote and post it for us please?
 
744SPX
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:39 pm

I still think it would have been a good idea to create an Air Defense Variant of the F-35A tailored for smaller countries like Finland that are more concerned with air defense than strike. Strip all the hardware related to the strike mission (including the gun which is not really necessary for the AD role, and the EOTS) and you might get empty weight back to the original goal of ~26,300lbs, with a not insignificant drag reduction as well. I'd be willing to bet some reconfiguring of the weapons bays could enable internal carriage of 4 meteors and 2-4 ASRAAM/AIM-9 or 6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/Aim-9. (the current external Sidewinder mounts look pretty draggy and negatively effect stealth) Performance would improve over the A model and the cost per aircraft would be somewhat less. I think it might be attractive to the Air National Guard as well.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:15 am

744SPX wrote:
I still think it would have been a good idea to create an Air Defense Variant of the F-35A tailored for smaller countries like Finland that are more concerned with air defense than strike. Strip all the hardware related to the strike mission (including the gun which is not really necessary for the AD role, and the EOTS) and you might get empty weight back to the original goal of ~26,300lbs, with a not insignificant drag reduction as well.

Back in the early days of the program the intent was a split between a fighter and an attack aircraft. EOTS would only be installed on half the aircraft, as well as some other systems, although I believe the intent was for cost savings and not to reduce weight and increase performance. Creating a separate variant would probably have introduced complexity to the production line and increased overall cost of each variant, the consequence of which may have reduced its acquisition competitiveness in the market. It is already three aircraft with less commonality that expected.

744SPX wrote:
I'd be willing to bet some reconfiguring of the weapons bays could enable internal carriage of 4 meteors and 2-4 ASRAAM/AIM-9 or 6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/Aim-9. (the current external Sidewinder mounts look pretty draggy and negatively effect stealth) Performance would improve over the A model and the cost per aircraft would be somewhat less. I think it might be attractive to the Air National Guard as well.

The F-35 bay is already big enough for six AIM-120s or two AAMs and two 2,000lb weapons. The F-22, eleven feet longer and with nearly twice the wing area, only has space for six AIM-120s in its internal bays with the side arrays for two AIM-9s. The F-117 was nearly the size of the F-22 and yet also only had two hardpoints for max 2,000lb weapon. J-20's weapons bay isn't huge while the SU-57 is probably the biggest of all but it is a large aircraft with the unusual, for an LO aircraft, engine arrangement. Compared to those, the size and flexibility of the F-35s bays, especially given its smaller size compared to the previous aircraft, is impressive.

Additionally, the magazine size will likely increase with new weapons. The AIM-120 and AIM-9 are really 4th generation weapons on a 5th gen platform and the new missiles coming out in the next 3-5 years should see a lot more flexibility in option and number.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:15 pm

Corporal Frisk has his write up on the F-35 although he didn’t attend or watch the press conference, his analysis is taken from the news articles also posted on this thread. His feeling is the F-35 remains the favourite and in best position but is not impossible to beat.

HX Challenge pt. 4: More of Everything

From the outset, the F-35 has been the aircraft to beat in HX. It isn’t impossible that it will end up beaten, but the string of successes throughout the world (marred only by the highly politicised German failure to be allowed to bid) and unique selling points makes it the gold standard in Western fighter design at the moment. As such, anyone wishing to better Lockheed Martin’s stealth fighter will have to put in some serious effort to show why their bid is better for the Finnish Defence Forces’ concept of operations.

At least from the outside, that task hasn’t become any easier from the start of the competition. While Lockheed Martin might have seemed a bit too certain of success in the early days of the competition, this week’s media event has shown that they are listening to the customer and not just offering a copy-paste version of offers made to other countries.

Few doubt the combat capability of the F-35A. The advanced sensor suite and fusion coupled with low-observability features make it a formidable foe for anyone, and the large number of aircraft on order makes it future proof in a way none of the other contenders are. The biggest questions has been surrounding security of supply, sovereignty of data, and industrial cooperation. It is important to note that this does not mean that the Air Force is ready to buy the second best just to ensure that they will get these secondary benefits, but rather that the Air Force has judged these issues to be of crucial importance in allowing a fighter to be combat capable. As has been repeated throughout the last few years: the bids are only ranked on their overall combat capability as part of the overall Finnish defence solution.

...

https://corporalfrisk.com/
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:13 am

Boeing is the last to be evaluated by the Finns and have had three aircraft arrive in Finland for their testing period.

Finland launches final HX evaluation, with arrival of Super Hornet and Growler

Boeing has officially launched the flight evaluation phase of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft for Finland’s HX fighter replacement programme, with three aircraft arriving at Tampere-Pirkkala Airbase north of Helsinki on 18 February.

The arrival of one single-seat F/A-18E, one twin-seat F/A-18F and one EA-18G in Finland for Boeing’s HX Challenge evaluation followed earlier stints from the Eurofighter Typhoon from 9 to 17 January, the Dassault Rafale from 20 to 28 January, the Saab Gripen E and GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from 30 January to 6 February, and the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) from 10 to 17 February. Boeing will conclude proceedings on 26 February.

While the Super Hornets and the Growler being evaluated are in their current Block 2 and Block 1 configurations respectively, for its offering to Finland Boeing is pitching the Block 3 version of the Super Hornet and Block 2 version of the Growler which will be available to the US Navy from 2023 and 2025.

The Super Hornet Block 3 enhancements comprise the Advanced Cockpit System (ACS); the New Distributed Targeting Processor-Network (DTP-N) open-architecture multi-level-secure mission computer; the Block 2 infrared search and track system (IRST) for long-range passive targeting; satellite communications (SATCOM); conformal fuel tanks (CFTs); and a Service-Life Modification (SLM) to increase the aircraft’s service-life from 6,000 to 10,000 flight hours.

The Growler Block 2 will take a lot of what Boeing is doing on the Block 3 Super Hornet, including the ACS and CFTs (which for the Growler give the usual range and endurance increase, but also eliminates the blocking of the sensors that can happen with the drop tanks), and add an upgraded the electronic attack (EA) suite that features the Next-Generation Jammer (NGJ). Boeing noted to Jane’s that the exact configuration of the Growler Block 2 offer to Finland has yet to been defined with the US Navy.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/94372/fin ... nd-growler

It is an interesting contradiction that most of the vendors are offering aircraft configurations that are not yet in production, Rafale F4, F-35 Blk 4, Gripen the entire aircraft, SH Blk 3. Will see how the Finnish Air Force grades the risk of these programs and whether that may impact the Eurofighter, positively or negatively, which doesn’t have a specific Blk upgrade planned, just some updates to sensors.
 
744SPX
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:48 pm

Ozair wrote:
744SPX wrote:
I still think it would have been a good idea to create an Air Defense Variant of the F-35A tailored for smaller countries like Finland that are more concerned with air defense than strike. Strip all the hardware related to the strike mission (including the gun which is not really necessary for the AD role, and the EOTS) and you might get empty weight back to the original goal of ~26,300lbs, with a not insignificant drag reduction as well.

Back in the early days of the program the intent was a split between a fighter and an attack aircraft. EOTS would only be installed on half the aircraft, as well as some other systems, although I believe the intent was for cost savings and not to reduce weight and increase performance. Creating a separate variant would probably have introduced complexity to the production line and increased overall cost of each variant, the consequence of which may have reduced its acquisition competitiveness in the market. It is already three aircraft with less commonality that expected.

744SPX wrote:
I'd be willing to bet some reconfiguring of the weapons bays could enable internal carriage of 4 meteors and 2-4 ASRAAM/AIM-9 or 6 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM/Aim-9. (the current external Sidewinder mounts look pretty draggy and negatively effect stealth) Performance would improve over the A model and the cost per aircraft would be somewhat less. I think it might be attractive to the Air National Guard as well.

The F-35 bay is already big enough for six AIM-120s or two AAMs and two 2,000lb weapons. The F-22, eleven feet longer and with nearly twice the wing area, only has space for six AIM-120s in its internal bays with the side arrays for two AIM-9s. The F-117 was nearly the size of the F-22 and yet also only had two hardpoints for max 2,000lb weapon. J-20's weapons bay isn't huge while the SU-57 is probably the biggest of all but it is a large aircraft with the unusual, for an LO aircraft, engine arrangement. Compared to those, the size and flexibility of the F-35s bays, especially given its smaller size compared to the previous aircraft, is impressive.

Additionally, the magazine size will likely increase with new weapons. The AIM-120 and AIM-9 are really 4th generation weapons on a 5th gen platform and the new missiles coming out in the next 3-5 years should see a lot more flexibility in option and number.


Interesting about the initial "half and half" plan. On a side note I've always thought that an easy add-on would be a 3-d axis-symmetric thrust vectoring nozzle for the A variant. That should quell any remaining concerns about close-in maneuverability.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4630
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:24 am

744SPX wrote:
Interesting about the initial "half and half" plan. On a side note I've always thought that an easy add-on would be a 3-d axis-symmetric thrust vectoring nozzle for the A variant. That should quell any remaining concerns about close-in maneuverability.


TV has two main areas where it benefits aircraft, the low and slow and the high and fast. Three main reasons for no TV on the F-35 are weight, cost and requirement. TV nozzles are heavier and change the CG of the jet, they cost more and require more maintenance. and from a requirements perspective the aircraft met its WVR manoeuvre requirements without it. The TV nozzle may also introduce an RCS increase which is not in line with the design philosophy of the aircraft. The advantage a TV nozzle could directly provide the F-35 would likely be sustained supersonic performance.

Flight Global have a good article on the Eurofighter and the potential it had with a TV nozzle. https://www.flightglobal.com/eurojet-pu ... 76.article
It obviously never went anywhere and no nation has funded it, nor are there suggestions today for a TV nozzle to be used on any future variant of the Eurofighter. I think that identifies that despite the claims the benefits often don’t out way the costs.

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