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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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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

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: 129
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: 4928
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: 4928
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: 161
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: 4928
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: 4928
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: 4928
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: 161
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: 4928
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.
 
YIMBY
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:33 pm

Ozair wrote:
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.

All a.net is waste of time. Or are you saying that you waste time when you fail to sell an F-35?

Comparable scenarios is the best way to make fair comparison here, given that we have no access to the experiments. What else to do here? Insult each others?
Ozair wrote:
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.

I was just asking a question. Is that wrong?
Ozair wrote:

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…

It is not size, it is movement.
Ozair wrote:
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?

As I am not a spy I cannot give you exact photocopies of Russian blueprints. And I wouldn't even if I were.
Ozair wrote:
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

Good old GCI can guide the missile launcher to visual or infrared distance.

Alternatively, its helps you to escape, if that is your goal.
Ozair wrote:
What does low speed have to do with anything…?

A lot.

High speed lets you arrive faster to the mission.
High speed lets you escape faster after the mission.
High speed gives more range to your missiles
High speed reduces the no escape zone.

Do you claim that these are unimportant?

Ozair wrote:
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?

Use your intelligence, pal.
Ozair wrote:

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…

You are the one selling.
Ozair wrote:

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.

If you are in combat you probably run out of ammo before fuel.
Ozair wrote:

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.

You know the purpose of external fuel tank is
1) to use it only when extended range is required, instead of ammo e.g.
2) to drop it in combat, to have better performance

Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?
Ozair wrote:
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.

And when are they required?
Ozair wrote:
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.

Gripen E has 38 % larger internal fuel than Gripen C (wiki). Or 2000 kg -> 3400 kg
https://saab.com/globalassets/commercia ... et--en.pdf
Ozair wrote:
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.

An now a scenario is good thing? OK, let it be.

If talking about supersonic flying, are you sure that F-35 has the longest range at very high supersonic speeds?
Ozair wrote:
As for how the Swiss evaluated the Gripen NG, it was found to be less capable than the F/A-18C in Swiss service.

F/A-18 is a truly capable plane, although your figure compares Gripen C to Rafale and Typhoon, also amazing planes.
Ozair wrote:

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
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:19 pm

YIMBY wrote:
All a.net is waste of time. Or are you saying that you waste time when you fail to sell an F-35?

Well done, back to the base level of argument.

YIMBY wrote:
Comparable scenarios is the best way to make fair comparison here, given that we have no access to the experiments. What else to do here? Insult each others?

You haven’t presented any comparable scenarios and in previous discussions when we have tried this you don’t understand modern air combat to be able to appreciate the differences. In that context, why should I continue if your knowledge and understanding is lacking?
YIMBY wrote:
I was just asking a question. Is that wrong?

Source your question with supporting facts and then we can decide on the answer. I already asked you to provide this info but you again haven’t. A simple example would include fuel load for the respective jets, payload of the respective jet, the SFC of the engines to get an approximate fuel burn per hour at various rates of use, whether mil power or afterburner as being in either will make a significant difference. How long on station will the jet need to be once it arrives? Does the jet need to reserve fuel to fly home after getting there or can it simply fly as fast as it wants to that location and not worry about returning to base, do you include tanker support that Finland for example doesn’t have.

Do you get the idea, making stupid claims without any supporting facts is a waste of time. You are making the claim, why don’t you try and do a bit of research to support your claim?

YIMBY wrote:
It is not size, it is movement.

YIMBY, the point is you have created a scenario in your head why a fighter sized target has the ability to get away while a 747 sized target does not without bothering to explain that to any of us. What is the point of discussing this with you if we don’t know what you are thinking?
YIMBY wrote:
As I am not a spy I cannot give you exact photocopies of Russian blueprints. And I wouldn't even if I were.

So you are confirming you have no evidence for your claim. That is fine and expected. Please support your claims with evidence if you want us to believe what you are saying.


YIMBY wrote:
Good old GCI can guide the missile launcher to visual or infrared distance.

Alternatively, its helps you to escape, if that is your goal.

So how does that disadvantage the stealth asset compared to the non stealth asset? If you read the source document I provided in the stealth thread you would see that even against low frequency radars the stealth features of the F-35 significantly lower the range of detection compared to a non stealth aircraft. So straight away you have a stealth aircraft with the advantage of a lower detection range from ground based radars, making it much harder to GCI a missile launcher to the area. Then when you add in the EW on the stealth aircraft it becomes even easier to hide the stealth aircraft in the noise. Good luck finding a pilot willing to fly into combat and be directed to the general area that Ground Control thinks has a stealth fighter aircraft in it, I suspect he may develop a sinus infection rather rapidly…

By the way, what stops the stealth aircraft from detecting the missile launcher as it approaches? The F-35 for example has all round defensive systems that detect the approach of an aircraft, it flies in a combat spread 70nm apart from its wingman, sharing all its sensor data between the two or four aircraft in its flight. It uses an LPI radar that makes detection by the approaching missile launcher nearly impossible. The point being the F-35 is able to dictate the terms of the engagement and therefore position itself, or its wingman, to take advantage of the tactical situation. It can launch A2A missiles (AIM-120 is a very effective HOBS missile) at a target everywhere it can see a target, irrespective if that target if behind or below.

If the stealth aircraft is trying to escape, then having a lower RCS will again reduce detection range and, with its EW systems, allow it to again hide in the noise better than a non stealth aircraft.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
What does low speed have to do with anything…?

A lot.

High speed lets you arrive faster to the mission.
High speed lets you escape faster after the mission.
High speed gives more range to your missiles
High speed reduces the no escape zone.

Do you claim that these are unimportant?

No, but they are irrelevant to the discussion. You have claimed that low speed is a limitation, where have you or I defined low speed as a limitation for any of the platforms other than your comment?

YIMBY wrote:
You are the one selling.

Well done, no ability to support your claims so back to the base argument again.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:

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.

If you are in combat you probably run out of ammo before fuel.

Well again you have now crafted a scenario that defines some type of combat against CAP implying use of all combat missiles before running out of fuel. What happens if combat only happens once per day but the CAP needs to be maintained 24/7? How many additional aircraft are required to support the CAP for the platforms that have lower fuel loads and therefore cannot maintain the CAP time for as long? How about when you aren’t in combat, the far more likely scenario?

But what we learn from above is that you again don’t understand fighter combat. I defined a very standard fighter mission profile that validated why a fighter jet with a longer range is advantageous, especially for countries like Sweden and Finland who do not have their own tanker aircraft, and all you say is the pilot will run out of missiles before he runs out of fuel?

YIMBY wrote:
You know the purpose of external fuel tank is
1) to use it only when extended range is required, instead of ammo e.g.

YIMBY the Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen, SH, F-16, F-15 etc will all fly almost always with external fuel tanks. The only time they don’t is typically during training. Every single fighter pilot wants more fuel.

YIMBY wrote:
2) to drop it in combat, to have better performance

I agree that standard practice is to drop external fuel tanks when entering a tactical situation that requires it. The USAF practice is to drop external tanks when they are required to maneouvre against either a Surface to Air threat or an Air threat. That also applies to dropping A2G munitions as well depending on the threat. Almost always fighter aircraft use the fuel in the external tanks first. External drop tanks are not free although are reasonably cheap but are not insignificant to manufacture as the tanks have internal structure (or even an IRST in the case of the SH) and pumps to move the fuel. Hence dropping the tanks in peace time never occurs unless it is an emergency or accident (as what happened a couple of years ago when a US F-16 dropped an external tank into a Japanese lake…).

To delve into the scenario world for a moment, the dropping of external tanks is okay as long as you have enough. In a protracted air campaign it is conceivable that an Air Force could run out of external tanks and not be able to either manufacture them or transfer them to forward locations quick enough to replenish tanks dropped in combat. it would be interesting to know for instance how many external tanks Sweden or Finland or Australia actually have.

YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?

The F-35 can take off with full fuel, 18,000lb internal, and full 18,000lb weapons load (both internal and external) no problem. It's gross weight is 49,000lbs which includes a full fuel load, its max take off weight is 70,000lbs which translates to 20,000lbs of ordnance. (specs from F-35 wiki page).

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
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.

And when are they required?

When is what required?

If you are referring to for example running a QRA, your scenario where the aircraft have to get there really quick really fast, then surprise surprise even the Eurofighter carries externals tanks for QRA missions, evidenced by the RAF Eurofighter sitting in a QRA hanger with external tanks on the wings ready to go

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-raf-e ... 08643.html


YIMBY wrote:

Gripen E has 38 % larger internal fuel than Gripen C (wiki). Or 2000 kg -> 3400 kg
https://saab.com/globalassets/commercia ... et--en.pdf


Thanks for posting the Girpen E fuel figure I already posted, 7500lbs is 3400kg… :roll:

Good to see you provided a source reference, pity it doesn’t answer the question. Has the Gripen E increased its thrust to weight ratio over the C? You do know that along with an increase in internal fuel the Gripen E increased in weight. That weight increase means that a Gripen E cannot take off with a max fuel load and a max A2G load. It sacrifices either fuel or ordnance depending on the profile it has to fly. Finland doesn’t have any tanker aircraft so I expect that ordnance will often by the first thing to go, remember fighter pilots always want more fuel.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
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.

An now a scenario is good thing? OK, let it be.

YIMBY, it wasn’t my scenario, it was a scenario actually tested by the Swiss Air Force during their evaluation. Don’t you think that deserves some merit given they had the actual aircraft there flying the profile that they determined was worthwhile testing?

YIMBY wrote:
If talking about supersonic flying, are you sure that F-35 has the longest range at very high supersonic speeds?

No I’m not but then I never claimed it did. Depending on the profile flown it is certainly in with a good chance given it can fly with a max fuel load and sufficient weapons with no external drag which none of the other aircraft can.

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

F/A-18 is a truly capable plane, although your figure compares Gripen C to Rafale and Typhoon, also amazing planes.

YIMBY, the baseline for the comparison was the F/A-18C that was ranked at level six for the respective defensive and offensive missions on the graphic. The Gripen never reached the baseline in its original or upgraded form.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:32 pm

Can it be read how many flight hours the Finns want from there future fighter during its service life and within there total cost of Euro 10 Billion? F-35A is expected to have approx 8000 flight hours/unit at around $30-40 000/Hour where 15% seems to be Engine (Propulsion), 35% for Systems and 50% for the Airframe itself. This flight-hour cost will get you at most 3-4000 Hours within that budget and number of fighters. And the hours of maintenance/flight hour seems to be scary high so what's the operability compared to there's F-18 today?. :listen:
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:54 pm

SAS A340 wrote:
Can it be read how many flight hours the Finns want from there future fighter during its service life and within there total cost of Euro 10 Billion?

From Corporal Frisk's latest article on the SH,

It should be remembered that the 10 Bn Euro budget isn’t available as such to the fighter manufacturer, but parts of it will also finance the reconstruction of air bases as well as part of the everyday operations of the aircraft during the first five years (as the Hornet operations are using the Air Forces’ normal budget until their retirement).

https://corporalfrisk.com/

So it covers parts of the daily operation of the aircraft for the first five years. I don't think that means every single element of the cost per flight hour calculation but as the competition is in Finnish I haven't read much of the documentation to know for sure.

What we know is the 10 Bn Euro then will include acquisition cost of the aircraft, initial spares, some elements of their operating cost, infrastructure costs to accommodate the new aircraft including ground equipment, a weapons package compatible with the new aircraft and likely a training package of some sort.

SAS A340 wrote:
F-35A is expected to have approx 8000 flight hours/unit at around $30-40 000/Hour where 15% seems to be Engine (Propulsion), 35% for Systems and 50% for the Airframe itself.

Where is this division of per hour flight costs listed?

SAS A340 wrote:
This flight-hour cost will get you at most 3-4000 Hours within that budget and number of fighters. And the hours of maintenance/flight hour seems to be scary high so what's the operability compared to there's F-18 today?. :listen:


If we take the recent Polish F-35 deal as an example, they paid US$4.6 billion for 32 aircraft with the following package,

Poland has requested to buy thirty-two (32) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and thirty-three (33) Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines. Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability, and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; aircraft ferry and tanker support; support equipment; tools and test equipment; communications equipment; spares and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistics, and personnel services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/p ... r-aircraft

10 billion Euro is approx US$11 billion so if we took the Polish package and doubled it, then 9.2 billion gets you 64 aircraft, spares and support, FMS fees etc. Re-use the current Finnish weapons stocks with perhaps a few additions, at least a billion for infrastructure and then the operating costs, say $25k per flight hour (180 per year) per jet (64) over five years and you get US$1.4 billion (maybe add half of that to the total cost given a five year adoption and some operating costs aren't included). They probably need at least a couple of simulators, more likely four, and you can see that it is a tight fit into the budget.

What it shows though is the operating cost of the aircraft is a factor but not a significant factor in the overall cost calculation. It comes out the same or more likely less than the infrastructure
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:08 pm

A really interesting read on how competitive and what additions Boeing is expected to include in their SH/Growler HX submission.

HX Challenge pt. 5: Bigger, Better, Stronger

“I prefer to have two engines over just one.” Yes dear readers, even in the 21st century, the single- versus twin-engined debate isn’t dead. Sorry Pratt & Whitney, but once that one engine catches a flock of birds (or a 30 mm round) down in the weeds, having two is an advantage. How much of an advantage is an open question, and one for the HX-team to ponder upon. Let’s just note that while the Finnish Air Force hasn’t lost any Hornets to birdstrikes, it has lost a Hawk.

However, that wasn’t Boeing’s main selling point when they held their media event as part of HX Challenge this week. Instead, it was about a total package. The Super Hornet as the most versatile and reliable multirole fighter available, offering the greatest suitability to the Finnish concept of operations (read: dispersed operations), having a proven track record as a reliable partner when it comes to customer support and industrial offset, and with the EA-18G Growler bringing unique capabilities to the fight. In essence, Boeings pitch isn’t necessarily that the Super Hornet is miles in front of the competition in any particular field, but rather that the package as a whole will offer the flexibility and cost-to-benefit ratio needed to win the deal.

...

https://corporalfrisk.com/

One of the more interesting comments was the below,

Colonel Heikkinen also shot down the idea that some of the contenders would struggle with landing or taking off from road bases. “We’ve flown Draken from them”, he said, alluding to the Saab-built interceptor that the Hornet replaced in Finnish service).


Hence I think some are suggesting road base issues is a bigger deal than the Finnish Air Force thinks it is.

I also found this assessment interesting,

And the day the US Navy pulls the plug on the Super Hornet the continued development of the aircraft can quickly become prohibitively expensive for Finland. As said, a sunset before the late 2040’s is unlikely, especially given the 500+ aircraft upgrade program that will continue to push out refurbished Block III’s past 2030 and the unique nature of the Growler. However, the last ten years of the HX winner’s service life are uncertain, there is simply no way around it.

This is Boeing’s main weakness in the current offer, and to be fair one they share with much of the rest of the competition (especially Rafale and Gripen, Eurofighter to a somewhat lesser extent). France at least has officially stated that the Rafale will fly in French service into the 2070’s, but on the other hand the value of such promises might not be particularly high if FCAS suddenly encounter cost overruns that need to be covered (on the other hand, if FCAS encounter delays to the in-service date, the Rafale might suddenly have to soldier on longer). Gripen is even more vulnerable than the Rafale and Super Hornet, considering the smaller fleet and that the Swedish Air Force as opposed to AdA or USN is unlikely to run a multi-type fleet for any considerable time. Will Boeing be able to convince the Finnish Air Force that it is a risk worth taking? That is perhaps the biggest hurdle facing the Boeing sales team, and we won’t know the answer for a year.


Given the operational timeframe that Finland wants to operate the HX you can understand why long term supportability by the OEM, and especially by the original nation, will play a role in the selection.
 
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:37 pm

 
YIMBY
Posts: 712
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:50 pm

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Comparable scenarios is the best way to make fair comparison here, given that we have no access to the experiments. What else to do here? Insult each others?

You haven’t presented any comparable scenarios and in previous discussions when we have tried this you don’t understand modern air combat to be able to appreciate the differences.

I did but you rejected it, without providing better. Btw. taking off as rapidly as possible, flying some 500 km straight as fast as possible to meet a target at a given point is a typical air policing mission, when a foreign aircraft approaches your airspace and has to be met. Such missions are indeed most common, though obviously not most critical.

Ozair wrote:
In that context, why should I continue if your knowledge and understanding is lacking?

To educate me, for example, and demonstrate your superior knowledge and understanding.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
I was just asking a question. Is that wrong?

Source your question with supporting facts and then we can decide on the answer.

So I have to know the answer before asking a question? What a logic.

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
It is not size, it is movement.

YIMBY, the point is you have created a scenario in your head why a fighter sized target has the ability to get away while a 747 sized target does not without bothering to explain that to any of us. What is the point of discussing this with you if we don’t know what you are thinking?

That referred to the case of a missile at the end of its trajectory, no more fuel, flying with remaining momentum with a limited steering ability. A fast fighter can escape that rather easily but an airliner hardly.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Good old GCI can guide the missile launcher to visual or infrared distance.

Alternatively, its helps you to escape, if that is your goal.

So how does that disadvantage the stealth asset compared to the non stealth asset?

No one has claimed that, it is just making them more equal.
Ozair wrote:

If you read the source document I provided in the stealth thread you would see that even against low frequency radars the stealth features of the F-35 significantly lower the range of detection compared to a non stealth aircraft. So straight away you have a stealth aircraft with the advantage of a lower detection range from ground based radars, making it much harder to GCI a missile launcher to the area. Then when you add in the EW on the stealth aircraft it becomes even easier to hide the stealth aircraft in the noise. Good luck finding a pilot willing to fly into combat and be directed to the general area that Ground Control thinks has a stealth fighter aircraft in it, I suspect he may develop a sinus infection rather rapidly…

It can be lower as long as it is sufficient.

In a war you have to take a risk of dying. At least in Europe.
Ozair wrote:

By the way, what stops the stealth aircraft from detecting the missile launcher as it approaches?

There are ways to stop and ways to avoid the stops. Good luck hitting the right target.
Ozair wrote:

The F-35 for example has all round defensive systems that detect the approach of an aircraft, it flies in a combat spread 70nm apart from its wingman, sharing all its sensor data between the two or four aircraft in its flight. It uses an LPI radar that makes detection by the approaching missile launcher nearly impossible. The point being the F-35 is able to dictate the terms of the engagement and therefore position itself, or its wingman, to take advantage of the tactical situation. It can launch A2A missiles (AIM-120 is a very effective HOBS missile) at a target everywhere it can see a target, irrespective if that target if behind or below.

Since when is an F-35 to attack Finland? By whom?
Ozair wrote:

If the stealth aircraft is trying to escape, then having a lower RCS will again reduce detection range and, with its EW systems, allow it to again hide in the noise better than a non stealth aircraft.

The backwards RCS is the weak spot of stealth fighters.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
What does low speed have to do with anything…?

A lot.

High speed lets you arrive faster to the mission.
High speed lets you escape faster after the mission.
High speed gives more range to your missiles
High speed reduces the no escape zone.

Do you claim that these are unimportant?

No, but they are irrelevant to the discussion. You have claimed that low speed is a limitation, where have you or I defined low speed as a limitation for any of the platforms other than your comment?

If speed is irrelevant, why not every fighter is subsonic?
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY the Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen, SH, F-16, F-15 etc will all fly almost always with external fuel tanks. The only time they don’t is typically during training. Every single fighter pilot wants more fuel.

Every single pilots wants more missiles, more hot cocoa, more speed, two engines, another pilot, pretty FA etc, but knows he cannot get everything.

Btw, when they fly, they almost always do training, unless they get a reconnaissance mission. Wars are rather rare in Europe, fortunately.
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?

The F-35 can take off with full fuel, 18,000lb internal, and full 18,000lb weapons load (both internal and external) no problem. It's gross weight is 49,000lbs which includes a full fuel load, its max take off weight is 70,000lbs which translates to 20,000lbs of ordnance. (specs from F-35 wiki page).


You purposely answered only half of the question.

To take off with a full weapon and fuel load, a full runway of 2500 m is required!

You should have known this:
https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.as ... bId=254100
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/proje ... ore-bases/
A minimum runway length of 8,000 feet, or almost 2.5 kilometres, is required to safely operate the F-35A. A shorter runway could be used, but then ordnance or fuel may need to be sacrificed to reduce the take-off weight and, as we have seen, fuel is crucial.


To take off from a road base with a runway of 800 m, even F-35 has to make some compromises.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:27 am

YIMBY wrote:
I did but you rejected it, without providing better.

YIMBY, I did reject it and then also did provide something better, a prompt on what you need to consider when you are trying to do this type of analysis,

A simple example would include fuel load for the respective jets, payload of the respective jet, the SFC of the engines to get an approximate fuel burn per hour at various rates of use, whether mil power or afterburner as being in either will make a significant difference. How long on station will the jet need to be once it arrives? Does the jet need to reserve fuel to fly home after getting there or can it simply fly as fast as it wants to that location and not worry about returning to base, do you include tanker support that Finland for example doesn’t have.

Without providing the above then how can we even hope to identify which jet would arrive the fastest. But Yimby, you have asked the question, if you really want the answer then it is probably within your capability to determine it.

YIMBY wrote:
Btw. taking off as rapidly as possible, flying some 500 km straight as fast as possible to meet a target at a given point is a typical air policing mission, when a foreign aircraft approaches your airspace and has to be met. Such missions are indeed most common, though obviously not most critical.

It is although I doubt the majority of intercepts are quite that simple.

YIMBY wrote:
To educate me, for example, and demonstrate your superior knowledge and understanding.

I have no interest in demonstrating a supposed superior knowledge and understanding. As for educating you, Yimby, you don't read the source docs I post, you don't understand basic concepts of fighter aviation, you debate every single point by bringing up completely irrelevant information, you never explain what you thinking in a way that allows anyone else to understand what you are referring to, you never post references to support your claims. In that context, while I have tried in the past frankly now I find it a waste of time.


YIMBY wrote:
So I have to know the answer before asking a question? What a logic.

Am I your answering service? I don't understand why I need to provide the answers to your questions when you are capable of finding that information yourself. If you want to find something out then do some research. At that point bring the info you have gathered and we can discuss and evaluate the info to answer your question.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
If you read the source document I provided in the stealth thread you would see that even against low frequency radars the stealth features of the F-35 significantly lower the range of detection compared to a non stealth aircraft. So straight away you have a stealth aircraft with the advantage of a lower detection range from ground based radars, making it much harder to GCI a missile launcher to the area. Then when you add in the EW on the stealth aircraft it becomes even easier to hide the stealth aircraft in the noise. Good luck finding a pilot willing to fly into combat and be directed to the general area that Ground Control thinks has a stealth fighter aircraft in it, I suspect he may develop a sinus infection rather rapidly…

It can be lower as long as it is sufficient.

What can be lower as long as it is sufficient?

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
By the way, what stops the stealth aircraft from detecting the missile launcher as it approaches?

There are ways to stop and ways to avoid the stops. Good luck hitting the right target.

I appreciate that English isn't your first language but I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The F-35 for example has all round defensive systems that detect the approach of an aircraft, it flies in a combat spread 70nm apart from its wingman, sharing all its sensor data between the two or four aircraft in its flight. It uses an LPI radar that makes detection by the approaching missile launcher nearly impossible. The point being the F-35 is able to dictate the terms of the engagement and therefore position itself, or its wingman, to take advantage of the tactical situation. It can launch A2A missiles (AIM-120 is a very effective HOBS missile) at a target everywhere it can see a target, irrespective if that target if behind or below.

Since when is an F-35 to attack Finland? By whom?

Yimby, you started this mess off by claiming Europe needed to potentially defend themselves from the US and now you then claim that Finland doesn't have to worry about the F-35. I agree the claim that an F-35 will be used to attack Finland is probably absurd but all you have done here is take the comment completely out of context to serve the purpose of confusing yourself. The example was used to demonstrate that a stealth aircraft can dictate the terms of the engagement because it's lower signature across the spectrum allows it to detect its adversary before its adversary detects it and position itself in an advantageous position.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:

If the stealth aircraft is trying to escape, then having a lower RCS will again reduce detection range and, with its EW systems, allow it to again hide in the noise better than a non stealth aircraft.

The backwards RCS is the weak spot of stealth fighters.

EW is EW mate, if its going to work it works when you are moving away from the target or towards it. Yes the RCS may be marginally higher but then why can't the stealth aircraft change its direction to reduce the RCS back to a minimum and continue to use its EW to mask itself... The F-35 for example has a very good system that displays to the pilot the optimal angle to reduce RCS.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:

No, but they are irrelevant to the discussion. You have claimed that low speed is a limitation, where have you or I defined low speed as a limitation for any of the platforms other than your comment?

If speed is irrelevant, why not every fighter is subsonic?

Again Yimby, I never said low speed was a limitation for any of the platforms, you did. They all have approximately the same top speed, especially when you take realistic operational configurations into consideration.

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?

The F-35 can take off with full fuel, 18,000lb internal, and full 18,000lb weapons load (both internal and external) no problem. It's gross weight is 49,000lbs which includes a full fuel load, its max take off weight is 70,000lbs which translates to 20,000lbs of ordnance. (specs from F-35 wiki page).


You purposely answered only half of the question.

Yimby, read the question you asked,

YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?


So did I answer the question? Can an F-35 take off with full fuel and weapons load without sacrificing field performace. Sure it can. For starters you never stated what field we were talking about. The aircraft is more than capable of operating from smaller airfields or roads if required and will sacrifice payload or fuel to do so. For example going out with a max A2A internal payload would change the 18000 lbs to 1500 lbs. Obviously performance would improve. It could also take off with the same internal fuel as any of the other competitors thereby again improving runway performance.


YIMBY wrote:
To take off with a full weapon and fuel load, a full runway of 2500 m is required!

You should have known this:
https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.as ... bId=254100
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/proje ... ore-bases/


A minimum runway length of 8,000 feet, or almost 2.5 kilometres, is required to safely operate the F-35A. A shorter runway could be used, but then ordnance or fuel may need to be sacrificed to reduce the take-off weight and, as we have seen, fuel is crucial.


To take off from a road base with a runway of 800 m, even F-35 has to make some compromises.

How is that different to any of the competitors? Every single one will sacrifice payload to take off from an 800m runway.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:30 pm

Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
To educate me, for example, and demonstrate your superior knowledge and understanding.

I have no interest in demonstrating a supposed superior knowledge and understanding.

Really?

I want to find the truth, you want to spread the Truth.
Ozair wrote:
Yimby, you started this mess off by claiming Europe needed to potentially defend themselves from the US and now you then claim that Finland doesn't have to worry about the F-35. I agree the claim that an F-35 will be used to attack Finland is probably absurd but all you have done here is take the comment completely out of context to serve the purpose of confusing yourself. The example was used to demonstrate that a stealth aircraft can dictate the terms of the engagement because it's lower signature across the spectrum allows it to detect its adversary before its adversary detects it and position itself in an advantageous position.


I did not claim, it is you who intentionally confuses things. It is that you are comparing F-35 to European fighters like they would be adversaries.

But remember that some 57 years ago Finland got the very newest and most capable Soviet fighters, MIG-21F, from Soviet Union, to protect against potential US attack to Russia via Finland. That era ended some 30 years ago.

Why do you assume more likely any European countries fighting each other in whatever combination and alliance, but Uncle Sam will remain the loyal ally of everybody whichever side they take?
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
You purposely answered only half of the question.

Yimby, read the question you asked,
YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?

So did I answer the question?

No, you did not.
Ozair wrote:
Can an F-35 take off with full fuel and weapons load without sacrificing field performace.

Field performance = ability to take off and land on an airfield, particularly runway requirement
Ozair wrote:
Sure it can.

Contradict yourself below
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
To take off from a road base with a runway of 800 m, even F-35 has to make some compromises.

How is that different to any of the competitors?

This is the relevant, maybe the most decisive question. (I pardon you for not giving a reference to your question.)

Don't expect me to give you the answer, though. I have no access to the data measured by the Finnish Air Force.
Ozair wrote:
Every single one will sacrifice payload to take off from an 800m runway.

Yes, and that is the crucial case. All front-line countries have to be prepared to use ad hoc airbases, particularly Finland that does not have so many airfields.
The payload and range when taken off from HEL is a rather academic question, relevant is what payload they can carry from a road strip, were that 600 m, 800 m or 1200 m long. Then it is to be decided whether leave out a fuel tank or a missile or an EW device.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:08 am

YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
To educate me, for example, and demonstrate your superior knowledge and understanding.

I have no interest in demonstrating a supposed superior knowledge and understanding.

Really?

I want to find the truth, you want to spread the Truth.

Yimby, I’m not sure what yardstick you’re trying to grade me against. I learn here just like everyone else. The difference is I am willing to put in the effort to research info. I see that you have dropped you air policing scenario, obviously the requirement to provide some sourced information was too much.
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Yimby, you started this mess off by claiming Europe needed to potentially defend themselves from the US and now you then claim that Finland doesn't have to worry about the F-35. I agree the claim that an F-35 will be used to attack Finland is probably absurd but all you have done here is take the comment completely out of context to serve the purpose of confusing yourself. The example was used to demonstrate that a stealth aircraft can dictate the terms of the engagement because it's lower signature across the spectrum allows it to detect its adversary before its adversary detects it and position itself in an advantageous position.


I did not claim, it is you who intentionally confuses things. It is that you are comparing F-35 to European fighters like they would be adversaries.

??? If I compare the F-35 to European fighters it is for the purpose of comparative analysis just like what Finland is doing right now with their competition, comparing the respective fighters to determine which is more likely to meet, fulfil and perhaps exceed their requirements.



YIMBY wrote:
But remember that some 57 years ago Finland got the very newest and most capable Soviet fighters, MIG-21F, from Soviet Union, to protect against potential US attack to Russia via Finland. That era ended some 30 years ago.

And what does that have to do with anything we have discussed?
YIMBY wrote:
Why do you assume more likely any European countries fighting each other in whatever combination and alliance, but Uncle Sam will remain the loyal ally of everybody whichever side they take?

Why are you assuming I have assumed that? Where have I stated that Europeans will be fighting each other while the USA will not fight anyone, or vice versa. The only reference I made to European countries was to Russia, which even the Finnish Air Force has acknowledged remains the primary threat they are concerned about.
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
You purposely answered only half of the question.

Yimby, read the question you asked,
YIMBY wrote:
Can F-35 carry full weapon load with a full tank without sacrifying field performance?

So did I answer the question?

No, you did not.

Yimby, how can I answer a question about field performance if you don’t tell me what field length you are referring to? In the absence of you providing those details I answered as best I could. If you want to grade responses against questions you never ask then I doubt anyone will ever have a sufficient answer for you.

The interesting side effect of this silly discussion is the F-35 is the only aircraft that can carry both its maximum fuel load and weapons load at the same time. Every other aircraft trades fuel for weapons. Of course that is a side effect of the F-35 having no external tanks but also a specific design consideration given its very large internal fuel load.

To make this even clearer, for example the Gripen E cannot take off with a full load of fuel and a full weapons payload. It trades weapons payload for fuel or vice versa. If you review the following payload chart you can see that the three external fuel tanks take pylons that could hold A2G ordnance and therefore a Gripen E will never fly with all potential fuel and all potential weapons payload.
Image

You see some interesting issues with configuring the aircraft. If using 6 RBS 15 ASCMs then the Gripen E can only take off with internal fuel, not only because it cannot use a pylon to take the external fuel tanks but the payload of those ASCMs is 4800kg (6 x 800kg RBs 15), combined with the empty weight of 8000kg, an internal fuel load of 3400kg and a targeting pod (200Kg) then it cannot haul both wingtip AAMs or an ECM pod. That doesn’t include the pylon weight for the ASCMs which is not insignificant. If the aircraft tries to trade an ASCM for an external tank it also runs into payload issues because the full external fuel tank weighs upwards of 1350kg, almost twice the weight of the RBs 15.

What you end up having to do is trade four ASCMs to get a load out of 2 x IRST (90kg), 2 x RB 15 (800kg), 2 x Meteor (200kg), 2 x external fuel tank (1350kg), TGT pod (200kg) (all up payload 4840 plus pylon weight plus pilot weight plus chaff/flares weight. The jet cannot carry the third external fuel tank for MTOW reasons but I guess could use that free pylon to lift an ECM pod (350kg for the new arexis pod). That is a reasonable load out but the drag on that load will be significant and likely impede the range of the aircraft. Swapping the ASCMs for standard A2G munitions, the aircraft cannot carry two LACMs, KEPD 350 (1500kg each), as well as the 450 gal external fuel tanks, so immediately has to sacrifice that range to carry a standard cruise missile payload. Not unusual as the Eurofighter also currently suffers from this issue. Even when you trade a heavier ASCM for a lighter A2G bomb, the jet can only carry two 2,000 lb weapons, or use those two pylons for smaller weapons on multi-ejection racks.

(FYI, weights taken from wiki and assumption made on fuel tank weight based on fuel weight, Arexis pod came from here, https://www.edrmagazine.eu/outsmarting- ... ew-systems and Gripen weights taken from Saab link posted earlier)

Really only in an A2A configuration is the Gripen E going to fly with three external tanks as the AAM missile payload is light enough to allow carriage of that third tank. Again that is similar for the Eurofighter and Rafale although Rafale has a higher payload and benefits from more wet stations. SH also has more wet stations and you generally see SH and Rafale fly with three external fuel tanks on operations over Iraq/Syria.


YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Can an F-35 take off with full fuel and weapons load without sacrificing field performance.

YIMBY wrote:
Field performance = ability to take off and land on an airfield, particularly runway requirement

What length of field/runway Yimby? Don’t you think that would be kind of important to know when determining the performance of the aircraft?
Ozair wrote:
Sure it can.

Contradict yourself below
Ozair wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
To take off from a road base with a runway of 800 m, even F-35 has to make some compromises.

How is that different to any of the competitors?

This is the relevant, maybe the most decisive question. (I pardon you for not giving a reference to your question.)

Don't expect me to give you the answer, though. I have no access to the data measured by the Finnish Air Force.

LOL, okay Yimby. You wonder why I don’t bother “educating you” but then post this. Good luck.
YIMBY wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Every single one will sacrifice payload to take off from an 800m runway.

Yes, and that is the crucial case. All front-line countries have to be prepared to use ad hoc airbases, particularly Finland that does not have so many airfields.
The payload and range when taken off from HEL is a rather academic question, relevant is what payload they can carry from a road strip, were that 600 m, 800 m or 1200 m long. Then it is to be decided whether leave out a fuel tank or a missile or an EW device.

And overriding all of this is the statement from the Finnish Air Force that they have no concerns with any of the competitors being able to take off from their road strips. From a quote I posted earlier in the thread.

Colonel Heikkinen also shot down the idea that some of the contenders would struggle with landing or taking off from road bases. “We’ve flown Draken from them”, he said, alluding to the Saab-built interceptor that the Hornet replaced in Finnish service).

https://corporalfrisk.com/
With that statement above, it is up to the Finnish Air Force to determine which airframe will best meet their requirements for road base operation but clearly all are capable of it.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:18 pm

A long article on the HX challenge wrapping up and how successful the HX Project feel the trials went.

HX Challenge completed successfully

The HX Challenge was defined in the Request for Quotations (RFQ) as one out of the three opportunities for the candidates to demonstrate their capabilities and the validity of the information presented in their responses to the RFQ. For us working in the HX Fighter Programme, the HX Challenge was perhaps the most important of these three opportunities because the event was entirely in our own control and we were able to provide a fair and balanced testing environment in Finland for all the five categories of operations itemised in the RFQ.

...

https://ilmavoimat.fi/artikkeli/-/asset ... geId=en_US

I thought it was worth posting this additional excerpt from the article which outlines the five main areas that were tested and the mission types that Finland has as requirements for the new fighter.

Counter-air tests concentrated on verifying the candidates’ weapon systems’ serviceability and sensor fusion. The performance of each sensor - detection range, resolution and retention of tracks with the targets manoeuvring or employing countermeasures - was evaluated in relation to the performance values reported by the manufacturers. Targets included F/A-18C/D Hornet multi-role fighters, Hawk jet trainers, target drones as well as ground-based and naval air defence assets.

Counter-land operations emphasise the capability of the Air Force to support the Army with target acquisition and air-to-ground fires. The aim of the HX Challenge was to verify three different ways to execute a counter-land operation: 1) autonomous target acquisition and air strike, 2) an air strike on a target designated by a JTAC, and 3) an air strike on predetermined targets. Research questions included the following: is the target data relayed correctly to the weapon system; how easy and quick it is for the pilot to prepare the weapons; does the aircraft’s sensor information enable the pilot to identify the target correctly; and do the systems produce an automatic target identification.

Counter-sea capability means that the Air Force must be capable of supporting the Navy with target acquisition and fires. The aim of the HX Challenge was to verify the candidates’ ability to execute an independent strike in cooperation with the Navy in the partly ice-covered Finnish archipelago and in the open sea. Research questions were virtually identical with those regarding counter-land operations. Sharing of target data and networking were involved in the verification of situational awareness capabilities.

Long-range strike differs from the other categories of operations in that the preparations are made before each operation and mission data is loaded to the aircraft during a mission briefing. When airborne, the aircraft can be provided with more specified target data via data link if necessary. The most important thing is that target data and other mission data are transmitted correctly to the aircraft, and the pilot receives the necessary information about the launch area and possibly also the launch time.

Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition capabilities were verified both with active and passive methods. Research questions included the following: what is the candidate’s capability to identify and locate electronic signals; what is the aircraft’s capability to produce situational awareness of the target area with its own radar, electro-optical sensors and electronic support measures; and how capable the aircraft is to share situational awareness or target data in real time. In addition, we evaluated the post-flight usability of the data gathered during the mission. In a combat situation, it is vital to know whether the sensors produce sufficiently precise data on both stationary and moving targets, and whether it is possible to utilize the target data in accordance with the requirements of different weapons and weapon systems.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:35 pm

Another overview article, this time a question and answer with Lauri Puranen from the Ministry of Defence.

https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/uutiset/ ... 752ee00abf

From the article, using Google translate, it is interesting to note that one of the two F-35, out of the four that were originally meant to attend but two couldn't because of tanker weather issues, broke and wasn't able to conduct all the expected flight trials.

What kind of surprises did the tests show?

“For example, the fact that four F-35s had to come in was a mess. There were only two of them, and the other had a technical failure. It could not fly all flights. The other flew all the flights. ”


There is apparently a follow up week with each nation in their own country, to conduct testing for some of the aircraft that couldn't be conducted in Finland. Potentially some of those lost F-35 flights may be able to be caught up.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:18 am

A Finnish news article from a couple of days ago has some very interesting info on the Finnish H-X competition. The Finnish MoD do not see any reason to halt the competition in light of COVID-19 and expect, with potentially a several month delay, that a winner will still be announced in 2021 and acquisition and operation will continue as planned.

The coronavirus is ravaging the Finnish economy, but how about a billion-dollar fighter project? This is how the Ministry of Defense responds

In the successor project of the Hornet fighters, the delay seems inevitable due to the corona epidemic, says Lauri Puranen, program director of the HX project from the Ministry of Defense.

However, according to him, the goal is still that the selection decision for new fighters will be made as planned next year.

According to Puranen, the aim has been to find solutions to promote the negotiations, for example through remote connections, but this does not completely eliminate the problem posed by the epidemic and its countermeasures.

- Negotiations with a certain content can only take place face-to-face and in a secure environment, which is not possible at the moment, Puranen says in an e-mail comment to STT.

...

https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/kor ... #gs.39515i

Further down the long term view from the Defence Minister is made clear.
In an interview with Helsingin Sanomat today, Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen (center) said that the government is not interfering in the costs of the fighter project or the decision schedule in its framework dispute. The corona crisis is acute, while the fighter project extends well into the 2050s.

Hornets are becoming obsolete, and we have no choice but to replace them. There is no situation where we could be without airworthy equipment, Kaikkonen explains.


It will be interesting to see how COVID-19 impacts other projects. There have been numerous posts questioning the future acquisitions of various militaries but the example of Finland, at this point in time anyway, demonstrates that they are confident in their process and their future funding and how Finland need to view the long term, not short term, of the necessity of military capability.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:57 pm

An interview with several previous Heads of the Finnish Air Force, both of which were involved in the acquisition of the Hornet back in the early 90s. Both appear to favour the American aircraft in the competition and also urge for no delay due to the current economic climate, citing previous economic issues when the Classic Hornet was acquired.

It is a long read especially via google translate but worth it.

Former Air Force commanders: The American plane would be well suited as Finland's next fighter - "Sweden is on the way for the weakest"


Weapons are the most significant part of a machine’s performance. In this case, the commanders of the Air Force, who were once involved in the Hornet acquisition, weighed in on Finland's possible next fighter.

Next year, Finland will make a decision on a EUR 10 billion fighter deal, possibly in a similar mood as at the beginning of the 1990s. It was then that the current Hornets were bought for ten billion marks as the recession punished the country. Addressing unemployment and social problems would have been more important than weapons, especially for the left. However, a fighter deal was made. The economic downturn should not be allowed to affect the fighter trade even now, say former Air Force commanders. I believe that the state leadership will act in the same way again, ie secure this crucial project for our defense capabilities, Lieutenant General Heikki Nikunen answers by e-mail.

...

https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11296429
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu May 14, 2020 10:57 pm

Long article from a Finnish website with the allegation that the former head of the Finnish Defence Force has tried to influence the competition in favour of LM and the F-35. It also suggests the F-35 is the more expensive aircraft to operate compared to other contestants.

Translated below.

IN APRIL 2020, Jarmo Lindberg, the former commander of the Defense Forces, caused a stir by becoming a consultant to Lockheed Martin, an American company offering F-35 fighters to Finland.

The soldiers had become fighter lobbyists earlier, but Lindberg's wash was, in principle, difficult to accept. The former Hornet pilot, who served as Commander of the Defense Forces in 2014–2019, has up-to-date information about the project. He has also been able to play a key role in influencing competition.

Lockheed Martin quickly terminated the contract after the Department of Defense found Lindberg had breached his tenure by three weeks.

According to SK, Lindberg sought to influence the choice of the F-35 while already serving as Commander of the Defense Forces.

“In Finland, it is shown that fighters compete equally. The play is intended to ensure that the general public believes the F-35 has been selected through competition. The choice of the F-35 has been on Jarmo Lindberg's agenda for a long time. That was clearly in his comments, too, when he served as Commander of the Defense Forces, ”says a source working on the HX fighter project.

SK has confirmed the identity of the source and assessed his expertise in the HX project as significant. SK has also confirmed the information he reports from other people following the project in various roles. The information has also been verified from written sources. SK does not disclose the identity of the sources due to the sensitivity of the matter. Much of the content of the HX project has been classified as secret.

This is a huge public procurement. According to the policy made by the Committee on Economic Policy in October 2019, fighters will pay EUR 10 billion at the procurement stage. During their approximately 30-year life cycle, they will pay significantly more. Machines will play a key role in Finland's defense capabilities until the 2060s.

The HX PROJECT was launched in 2015. Although the final decision rests with politicians, in practice the project is led by soldiers.

At the end of 2019, a specific call for tenders was sent to five bidders. On the basis of the new tenders, negotiations will take place with each candidate to define the final content of the procurement packages.

Final bids will be requested during 2020. If the planned timetable adheres, the Government will decide on a new fighter model in 2021.

The HX project is being promoted by a total of more than 40 people in the Air Force, the Defense Forces Logistics Department and the Ministry of Defense.

Employees prepare requests for quotations, research responses, and negotiate with bidders. Finally, the project management makes a proposal to the Government on which machine would be the best.

Options include Gripen of Sweden, Dassault Rafale of France, Eurofighter Typhoon of the UK, and F / A 18 Super Hornet and F-35 of the United States.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is the only so-called fifth-generation fighter to take part in the race. The performance of the American fighter has garnered praise. It has been burdened by high operating costs and the provision of security of supply.

For many involved in the project, the F-35 is a luxury model for the race: its drivers are wanted, even if there is no money to spend. According to a source working on the HX project, the F-35 has been popular in the bidding race from the start.

“For former Hornet pilot Lindberg, who cherished close ties with the United States, the collaboration with the US and the F-35, considered a luxury model, are a pleasant combination. Before leaving, Lindberg instructed his subordinates to make sure that the F-35 was chosen, ”the source says.

According to him, favoring is, in practice, for example, modifying the estimates of fighters in favor of the favorite.

“Reports and memos downplay or omit the bad features of the F-35 and seek to highlight other features that weigh them down in the selection process. Politicians aren't being necessarily lied to directly, but they are not told everything.”

In particular, the detailed presentation of data on the costs of F-35 fighters will be avoided until the very end.

“Those who drive the F-35 are afraid that someone will get too much information too early and start arguing against it. Sometimes questions from politicians are circulated, saying final data is not yet available. If necessary, a military secret can be invoked and it can be said that these are classified items and cannot be talked about.”

THE DEFENSE FORCE Commander is involved in air defense performance planning and defining the HX procurement process.

Once the process has started, it will be led by the Defense Forces Logistics Department together with the Air Force and the Ministry of Defense. In the Air Force, the HX project is practically led by the operations manager, Colonel Juha-Pekka Keränen. The director of the logistics department, Major General Kari Renko, is responsible for the project ownership. Above them, the Defense Forces Strategy Manager, Lieutenant General Kim Jäämeri, is participating in the project.

During Lindberg's command, the project decision-making chain was dominated by officers who had served in the Air Force until the top of the Defense Forces. Jäämeri is a former Hornet pilot and Air Force commander. Lauri Puranen, the project manager responsible for tendering in the Ministry of Defense, is also a former commander of the Air Force.

Timo Kivinen, who succeeded Lindberg as Commander of the Finnish Defense Forces, has his background in the Army.

Why would officers follow Lindberg’s instructions when he is in command if he doesn’t have a formal role in carrying out the HX project? And why follow the instructions when Lindberg is retired?

“In a military organization, everything starts from following the instructions up the chain of command. The F-35 is also a pleasant choice for many of the current players in the HX project, ”the source says.

The allegations are heavy and difficult to prove fully. Classified documents are rarely visible. The papers will become public in decades to come.

IN THE HX PROJECT, candidates must first meet the conditions related to security of supply, life cycle costs and industrial cooperation with Finnish companies. Hornets' costs have been defined as the life cycle cost benchmark. In addition, it is required that the maintenance capacity of critical systems must be in Finland.

Only machines that meet these other conditions will be able to compare performance. It is implemented using simulation tasks.

SK asked about the flow of information about the project from several MPs sitting in the Defense and Finance Committees following the HX project. Many of them described the information reported so far as scarce or superficial.

“Not so little information should be used to form any position. Once one candidate has been selected, it is no longer difficult to have a debate, ”says one.

Markus Mustajärvi (left), a member of the Defense Committee who has previously critically assessed the project, describes the information provided on maintenance costs as insufficient.

“I don’t feel I have received enough accurate information about the life cycle costs of either future fighters or current Hornets. Without data on modern Hornets, no comparisons can be made. The attitude of the leaders of the HX project is that civilians should not interfere in complex matters when you do not know anything about them, ”says Mustajärvi.

"However, it is up to politicians to decide on the use of the single currency."

The figures in euros provided by bidders on the operating and life cycle costs of fighter candidates have not yet been communicated to even the top government. That is the advantage of the F-35.

According to a SK source, the operating costs of the F-35 clearly exceed those of its competitors. "In operating costs, the difference from other fighters is tens of percent."

According to him, the costs are formed differently from all others.

“A maintenance contract is made with other suppliers that specifies the prices of spare parts. Additional costs will be paid as maintenance and repair needs arise. Some of the repairs can also be outsourced to domestic companies. Instead, F-35s are subject to a fixed annual usage fee. The car leasing-like arrangement ensures that Lockheed Martin keeps the agreed number of machines in working order at all times. Continuous charging is the biggest reason for the higher price of the F-35. ”

The conditions for commercial cooperation can be met by teaching Finnish companies to manufacture or service parts. Self-sufficiency in the maintenance of existing Hornets has developed significantly over the past 20 years.

In Lockheed Martin's own Global Support Solution system, parts maintenance is decentralized to countries that have purchased F-35s.

“Finland may aim for a smaller share of global maintenance responsibility, but the probabilities of obtaining it are small. Many countries have years of lead in repairing F-35 fighters, ”the source says.

“The F-35 only flies and pays a user fee. Once the agreement is made, it will permanently bind Finland to procure spare parts where Lockheed Martin wants.”

No additional money will be given for the operating costs of the fighters, they will have to come from the defense budget.

From the military defense budget, it is about 270 million euros, which can thus become the annual cost of using fighters.

“The call for tenders specifies the Hornets’ annual costs at € 182 million. Sometimes even larger figures have been presented to the public so that the costs of new machines do not look so high. Estimates can be adjusted according to what spare parts and maintenance measures are included in them in any situation, ”the source says.

“Once an agreement is signed with Lockheed Martin, it will bind Finland for decades. The idea behind F-35 drivers seems to be that the money needed for operating costs is always dug out of somewhere. ”

The coronavirus poses a threat to the project. If the use of money is reassessed, it may be even more difficult to justify the most expensive machine.

“The price of the F-35 is sometimes justified on the grounds that it has features that others do not have. In negotiations, fighter representatives are happy to refer to these abilities. It has gone quite well with the Hornet, but experience has also taught us that the abilities made available to Finns will ultimately be decided by the US administration.”

---
The allegations are denied
Jarmo Lindberg, Kim Jäämeri, Juha-Pekka Keränen, Kari Renko and Lauri Puranen dispute by e-mail the allegations that the F-35 fighter would have been favored in the HX project.

According to Lindberg, it would be completely exceptional for the commander to intervene in the preparation and execution of the launched procurement.

“As an outsider in the process, the commander cannot interfere with the information gathered and its sharing within or outside the defense administration. This has not happened either, so I have not been actively and purposefully regulating the data in favor of the F-35 and it would not be possible, ”the former commander of the Defense Forces replies.

Strategy Manager Jäämeri denies that it received instructions from Lindberg regarding the F-35 fighter or that it acted improperly.

Operations Manager Keränen justifies the paucity of information provided about the project with security classifications. "In the HX project, we process both national and candidate-classified information, and we ensure that Finland does not endanger its own and the candidates' safety or the candidates' competitive position," he writes.

Puranen, Project Manager at the Ministry of Defense, and Renko, Director of the Department of Logistics, emphasize the impartiality of the HX project. According to them, the quality assurance reports of the audit firm Deloitte show that the competition went smoothly.

Puranen and Renko have different views on informing the political leadership.

“A summary based on the responses to the detailed call for tenders from the various candidates has recently been presented to senior political management, which has also included the candidates’ current operating and maintenance cost outlook,” Puranen replies.

Renko writes: “The project does not yet have definitive information on the cost of operating the machines. Thus, no candidate's operating or life cycle cost information has been presented to political actors or even to Finland's top political leadership. ”

When asked about the different answers, Puranen states that this is a “weighting difference”.

“Kari [Renko] wanted to say that no euro figures for any candidate have yet been communicated to the political leadership, but they have been told a clear view of how different candidates will meet our demands for different decision areas (security of supply, costs and industrial cooperation). The political leadership has got a very clear picture of the situation and the challenges of the various candidates from the presentation of this, ”Puranen writes in an e-mail.

In addition to SK, he also sent a message to Kari Renko.

“I will inform Kari of this when I tell you what Kari means by her answer,” Puranen writes.

Renko did not return.

https://suomenkuvalehti.fi/jutut/kotima ... 0b5112-500

I strongly doubt these types of articles are going to influence the selection given how professional the Finnish competition has been to date.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4928
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri May 15, 2020 3:10 am

A second Finnish article that refutes much of what the previous SK article claimed.

Defense leadership blamed for favoring F-35 in hunting plan procurement: "Absurd accusations"

The Armed Forces' senior leadership is accused of favoring US Lockheed Martin's F-35 in the ongoing competition for Finland's new fighter plan. Suomen Kuvalehti cites an anonymous source with insight into the process. The Ministry of Defense describes the charges as absurd.

According to the article in Suomen Kuvalehti, former Armed Forces commander Jarmo Lindberg would have given his subordinate instructions to ensure that the choice in the fighter race falls on precisely the F-35.

Jarmo Lindberg left his command post in the summer of 2019, but in April 2020 it emerged that he had signed a consulting agreement with Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin terminated the agreement just days later.

In the ongoing fighter plan competition, called the HX project, five planters participate and the project management has repeatedly ensured that everyone participates on equal terms. The procurement process has been reviewed by consulting firm Deloitte.

According to Suomen Kuvalehti, both Lindberg and other key individuals have strived to ignore in the reports and other contexts the weaker sides of the F-35 and at the same time emphasize the weaknesses of the other four candidates.

Operating costs can be an expensive pitfall
The F-35 is marketed as a "fifth generation" fighter plane with so-called stealth features and advanced sensor technology. The plan's operating costs are generally considered to be high compared to the other participants, and the question is whether Finland would really be able to afford F-35 in the long run.

Exactly how high the operating costs would be, given the requirements and types of assignments that the Air Force sets as conditions, is practically impossible to judge for an outsider. All such details in the plant manufacturers' quotations are non-public.

According to Suomen Kuvalehti's sources, the F-35 is really significantly more expensive to operate than the other plant types, as the user country undertakes to pay a fixed annual fee covering service and spare parts. The agreement is similar to a leasing agreement, and can be disproportionately expensive in the long run.

Suomen Kuvalehti has also anonymously interviewed members of the parliamentary defense committee, who believe that they have not received sufficient information on important details, such as the plant types' operating costs.

The defense committee chairman Ilkka Kanerva (Nat coal.) tells Svenska Yle that he is satisfied with the information that has reached the committee. Nor has he seen any signs that any plane type would have been favored.
Also, the committee member Anders Adlercreutz (SFP) considers himself to have had access to all the information available at this stage.

- There are certain requirements regarding the operating costs of the plan, only a certain proportion of the defense budget may go to operating costs. If you get a plan that does not meet the requirements, then you do not benefit the whole, then you can not use the equipment you get and I do not think anyone wants in this situation, says Adlercreutz.

Ministry of Defense: Absurd accusations
Both Jarmo Lindberg himself and other members of the defense team refute Suomen Kuvalehti's information.

Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen (C) did not want to comment on the information, but refers to Program Director Lauri Puranen at the Ministry of Defense. He describes the charges as absurd.

Puranen confirms that Lockheed Martin has a service and operating cost model for the F-35 that differs from the other four candidates, but he does not want to go into any details as negotiations with the planter manufacturers are still ongoing.

- Our goal is to negotiate as favorable a deal as possible, says Puranen to Svenska Yle.

The final cost level for all five plant types will not be realized until during the final, binding offer round, which is scheduled to begin this fall. Puranen and his colleagues will conduct a final round of negotiations with the five manufacturers during the late summer and early autumn.

https://svenska.yle.fi/artikel/2020/05/ ... handlingen

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