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Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:19 am

teme82 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
An interesting Finnish news article where it is explained that the JASSM is not part of the requirement set for the fighter competition. The useful life of the missile, the fact that Finland doesn’t want to pay integration costs for the new platform and that all the entrants will have a long range cruise missile integrated anyway mean the missile will potentially be retired with the Hornet (unless SH or F-35 is selected which could continue to operate it).

When asked if the missile acquisition is linked or does it also affect future fighter purchases, Keränen answers:

- JASSM missiles have not been set as requirements in the HX project because each candidate has its own offer for far-reaching fire. The integration of new weapons is usually quite expensive, so the integration of the JASSM missile is not set as a threshold requirement.

https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006066689.html

I take that as a hint that the F-35 might be strong contender. Add plus few EA-18's on the mix and we have nice deal.

The F-35A is funded for JASSM integration already so would have been available if it had been an issue for Finland. The F-35A is certainly in with a good chance but any acquisition of Growler would be a separate deal. Boeing and LM are both competing for the tender with different aircraft so Finland won't initially get the opportunity to pick and choose both options.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:01 pm

Ozair wrote:
An interesting Finnish news article where it is explained that the JASSM is not part of the requirement set for the fighter competition. The useful life of the missile, the fact that Finland doesn’t want to pay integration costs for the new platform and that all the entrants will have a long range cruise missile integrated anyway mean the missile will potentially be retired with the Hornet (unless SH or F-35 is selected which could continue to operate it).

When asked if the missile acquisition is linked or does it also affect future fighter purchases, Keränen answers:

- JASSM missiles have not been set as requirements in the HX project because each candidate has its own offer for far-reaching fire. The integration of new weapons is usually quite expensive, so the integration of the JASSM missile is not set as a threshold requirement.

https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006066689.html


Could they store some Hornets as JASSM launchers, cannibalizing some others?
Could be flown by reserve pilots who go to civil airlines.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:44 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Could they store some Hornets as JASSM launchers, cannibalizing some others?
Could be flown by reserve pilots who go to civil airlines.

They could, it just comes down to having the money and will to do it. The question would be whether the plan has any actual value to it. The replacement aircraft, whichever is selected, will have a long range cruise missile. As the new capability is brought online the classic Hornet will begin to be retired but Finland won’t retire the JASSM capability until the new aircraft, with a cruise missile, can replace that mission set.

Past that how much trouble and cost is there to maintain a Hornet fleet to conduct the JASSM mission once the new aircraft is in service? From an airframe perspective if you keep the aircraft in storage you have to pay for it to sit somewhere. Depending on the storage arrangement you probably have to bring the aircraft out every month or so to do an engine run and perhaps even fly an hour. NZ had a similar arrangement for a few years after they retired the A-4.

From a people perspective you need to make sure the aircrew can fly enough hours to be proficient, enough ground crew available and trained to maintain the Hornet for when you do want to run operations, enough spares held to replace parts as they wear out or time expire, enough weapons loaders qualified to fuze and load the JASSMs (likely as well other missiles given even in a JASSM role you would be unlikely to send the Hornet out A2A unarmed), the intel staff who are certified to plan and load the JASSM missile with the target details etc. Finally you need to make sure the JASSM doesn’t run past it operational service/storage life, which I believe is around 15 years.

When you look at what is required to keep the Hornet alive it makes more sense to use that funding and acquire a few more new fighter aircraft from the competition.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon May 13, 2019 1:17 am

For anyone interested the below link has a summary of the blogs published by the Finish Defence Ministry in the last 12 months.

https://www.defmin.fi/en/administrative ... .9822.news

With the recent election is looks like the parties gaining power are generally against a large fighter acquisition so it remains to be seen how this will now play out. Clearly Finland have to buy something but how many and what may change from initial expectations.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:06 am

While this story is about the relationship between the two respective countries and more specially the militaries it shows how tight Finland has become to the US and the western methodology of fighter combat. It certainly shows Finland won’t be afraid to select a US fighter in the upcoming competition.

The US Air Force’s top general gets a taste of Finnish fighter tactics

On a cool summer morning over the forests of Finland, the U.S. Air Force’s top general flew in the backseat of an F/A-18 Hornet, observing a Finnish pilot conducting an air defense training mission.

The singular experience, which capped off Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein’s first trip to Finland July 14 and 15, highlighted the deepening relationship between the U.S. and Finnish militaries.

U.S. and Finnish officials who spoke to Defense News during the visit could not point to another example of the service’s top general flying in a Finnish fighter. And while such flights aren’t uncommon among the U.S. Air Force and its closest allies, Finland is notably not a part of NATO.

“When I fly with another country, there’s actually a message there of mutual trust and confidence and really an opportunity to highlight the professionalism of their air force,” Goldfein said after his July 15 flight. “From brief, to execution in the air, to the debrief … I could have been at Nellis Air Force Base with any of our F/A-18, F-15, F-35, F-22 pilots, and I couldn’t tell the difference.”

...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/07 ... r-tactics/
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:25 pm

Finland is moving to a flying evaluation for the HX program. Will be interesting to see how this plays out given Gripen was excluded from the Swiss fly off, and subsequent overall competition, because it couldn’t provide a representative airframe. If Finland did the same the Gripen, one of the favourites, would either be excluded from the competition or be penalised for not being able to validate their performance claims.

Finland announces HX Challenge event for bidders

Finland has revealed that bidders for its Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighter replacement, in a programme known as HX, will take part in a test and evaluation event early in 2020 called the “HX Challenge”.

Writing in his blog for the Finnish Ministry of Defence on 9 September, Programme Director Lauri Puranen said that the event would take place between January and February 2020 at the Satakunta Airport in Pirkkala, near the city of Tampere.

The purpose of the event would be to further evaluate the bidders’ platforms and validate performance claims made during the bidding and negotiation periods.

Negotiations with the bidders have been ongoing since January this year, according to Puranen, and are expected to be completed in September following three rounds of discussions with each bidder. A more defined request for quotations is expected in October, with clarifications and modifications to the original requirements to be applied equally to all candidates.

Launched in 2014, the HX programme involves the overhaul of Finland’s air combat capability with new aircraft, weapons, and sensors to completely replace its current fleet of Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets.

Bidders for the programme include the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler, and Saab Gripen E.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/90915/fin ... or-bidders
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:16 am

I don't think Gripen is one of the favourites at the moment, if it has ever been. Finland can take the second or even least best fighter in combat (satisfying the strict boundary conditions), but Finland cannot take the risk that the fighter keeps grounded for whatever reason.

Gripen NG is kept in the contest as plan D, in case
a) American fighters are considered politically too risky, or USA refuses to sell the latest technology for whatever political reasons,
b) Brexit messes Eurofighter, and
c) Rafale turns out to be too complicated for the Finnish conditions (it has been the least favourite anyway, but who knows)
or the other contenders just give overpriced bids due to excessive self-confidence.

For political reasons Finland prefers American fighters and the real contest is between F-35 and SuperHornet + Growler (+ Loyal Wingman?) and depends also what Americans want to sell, i.e. not only the frames but associated technology. (And whether F-35 satisfies the runway requirements etc)

If Finland had chosen the path to have a two-type fleet (40+40), they could renew one of them every 15 years and could make more ambitious and risky choices, as in any case one of the types is flyable.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:02 am

YIMBY wrote:
I don't think Gripen is one of the favourites at the moment, if it has ever been. Finland can take the second or even least best fighter in combat (satisfying the strict boundary conditions), but Finland cannot take the risk that the fighter keeps grounded for whatever reason.

Interesting you say that. This recent article https://www.iltalehti.fi/politiikka/a/8 ... 67e117f64f in a Finnish newspaper indicated the Gripen was potentially a favourite according to sources close to the project. The Project Director Lauri Puranen denied it which may be true but even now I expect that some within the project have an identified favourite given they have received initial submissions.

YIMBY wrote:
Gripen NG is kept in the contest as plan D, in case
a) American fighters are considered politically too risky, or USA refuses to sell the latest technology for whatever political reasons,
b) Brexit messes Eurofighter, and
c) Rafale turns out to be too complicated for the Finnish conditions (it has been the least favourite anyway, but who knows)
or the other contenders just give overpriced bids due to excessive self-confidence.

Well the US is offering the F-35 and also SH+Growler, it doesn't get better than that for US fighter aircraft. Politically Finland already operates numerous US systems including the Hornet so clearly they don't have to much issue buying military equipment from there. I don't think Brexit changes the Eurofighter much at all. While the UK may leave the Union the US obviously isn't a member and they are still offering aircraft. They could always seek support from a different Eurofighter partner in the future if things worsened. Not sure about Rafale and whether Finland sees a future with the aircraft...

YIMBY wrote:
For political reasons Finland prefers American fighters and the real contest is between F-35 and SuperHornet + Growler (+ Loyal Wingman?) and depends also what Americans want to sell, i.e. not only the frames but associated technology. (And whether F-35 satisfies the runway requirements etc)

I think all the candidates will satisfy the runway requirements. The Hornet operates from Finnish improvised runways and I expect all the candidates have similar or better runway performance to that airframe. That will be tested though as the article I linked to above indicated, hopefully we see some of the testing or perhaps an insight into the results.

YIMBY wrote:
If Finland had chosen the path to have a two-type fleet (40+40), they could renew one of them every 15 years and could make more ambitious and risky choices, as in any case one of the types is flyable.

Problem is mixed fleets cost significantly more than a single type, with reduced overall capability, and therefore don't make a lot of economic sense especially for the small fleet size that Finland will operate.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:37 am

Favourite can be understood in different ways. It is one thing what you wish and another thing what you bet for.

If you ask common women on the street in Finland most of them may prefer co-operation with Sweden instead of the USA or France/UK. It may be that they like Carl Gustaf more then Trump, or other reasons. Technology nerds may have other opinions. Politicians may prefer certain countries for whatever reasons and they may be loud if they believe to get votes by it. Any responsible politician of course has to be absolutely sure not to express any bias that might undermine the negotiation power.

The reason why I would bet against Gripen NG to Finland is that it is inevitably late. They evidently cannot make a final production quality plane into the tests as required. It will not be dropped from the competition until they are obliged to do so, but SAAB has to work very hard to get it done in time. Otherwise that the risks I have little doubt that it would be technically a very good choice for Finland. Not to forget that it is a very American plane.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:15 am

YIMBY wrote:
Favourite can be understood in different ways. It is one thing what you wish and another thing what you bet for.

If you ask common women on the street in Finland most of them may prefer co-operation with Sweden instead of the USA or France/UK. It may be that they like Carl Gustaf more then Trump, or other reasons. Technology nerds may have other opinions. Politicians may prefer certain countries for whatever reasons and they may be loud if they believe to get votes by it. Any responsible politician of course has to be absolutely sure not to express any bias that might undermine the negotiation power.

Agree favourite can have different meanings but the article isn’t talking to woman on the street, they are claiming to have a source close to or on the project team. In that context then we can assess the claims with more clarity.

YIMBY wrote:
The reason why I would bet against Gripen NG to Finland is that it is inevitably late. They evidently cannot make a final production quality plane into the tests as required. It will not be dropped from the competition until they are obliged to do so, but SAAB has to work very hard to get it done in time. Otherwise that the risks I have little doubt that it would be technically a very good choice for Finland. Not to forget that it is a very American plane.

No doubt that the delays to the Gripen E program have likely hindered its chances and directly impacted the Swiss competition. It does have a reasonable amount of US content but my impression, could be wrong, is that Gripen E has less US content than Gripen A/C had.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:20 am

Gripen will certainly work under the operational condition the Fins have. The Suer Hornet most likely will too.

All other contenders have larger or smaller question marks behind them when it comes to the dispersed basing concept.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:34 am

seahawk wrote:
Gripen will certainly work under the operational condition the Fins have. The Suer Hornet most likely will too.

All other contenders have larger or smaller question marks behind them when it comes to the dispersed basing concept.

I've yet to see any evidence that a Gripen or SH is better at dispersed operations that any of the other contenders. Operating to a dispersed operating concept is not some special Scandinavian thing, NATO, and I expect the USSR, practiced it all through the Cold War. This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx7Meo7w-pY is a good example and shows F-16s, Tornados, F-15s etc all operating from a dispersed location.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:56 am

Why look in the past when you can have recent footage from Finland:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hgjY_za9vA

And one thing to consider that the highway strips seem to have bitumen based surfaces in Finland and not concrete.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 pm

seahawk wrote:
Why look in the past when you can have recent footage from Finland:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hgjY_za9vA

There are also videos of Singaporean and Taiwanese aircraft landing on runways in the last few years, F-15s, F-16s and Mirages but you missed the point…

Landing on highways is nothing new and aircraft designers have taken the landing, operation, maintenance, rearming etc of fighter aircraft from those dispersed locations into consideration when they design new airframes. There is nothing different or special about the Gripen or SH over the other contenders to make them somehow better at operating from those location.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:20 am

Well, it is not that easy. A low mounted intake like on the Eurofighter is more prone to FOD. The parking space will have a certain size and the strips might only tolerate a certain exhaust temperature and force. The Gripen is fully designed for the concept and the smallest of the contenders. The F-18 has the advantage that it takes hard landings rather well as a carrier capable design.

It might make no difference in the end though. I personally think the Eurofighter is the worst option. A 4th gen design with a low mounted intake and very expensive - bad choice.

The rest is the typical decison between going 5th gen and F-35 or not. For me there is no alternative to the F-35 in the competition.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:17 am

seahawk wrote:
Well, it is not that easy. A low mounted intake like on the Eurofighter is more prone to FOD. The parking space will have a certain size and the strips might only tolerate a certain exhaust temperature and force. The Gripen is fully designed for the concept and the smallest of the contenders. The F-18 has the advantage that it takes hard landings rather well as a carrier capable design.

It might make no difference in the end though. I personally think the Eurofighter is the worst option. A 4th gen design with a low mounted intake and very expensive - bad choice.

The rest is the typical decison between going 5th gen and F-35 or not. For me there is no alternative to the F-35 in the competition.


You have a point here.

Operating from an ad hoc road base is much more than just random landing on and taking off from a high way. Issues of FOD, snow, ice, durability of road surface, amount of maintenance crew and equipment etc are very non trivial. Gripen and Hornet have demonstrated their ability in almost all weathers, and development to NG and Super may not have destroyed these abilities. Rafale and Eurofighter have more question marks and F-35A even more, though Norway will give some answers (Any info yet?). B and C may be out of competition for price, immaturity, unavailability or whatever reasons, though STOVL properties might be just what they need, but does it melt the asphalt and bring FOD?

I think this is exactly what they want to find out in the field tests next winter. It is more crucial to find out how they perform in the ground than in the air, the latter being quite well-known.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:24 am

A Finnish article has some commentary on the upcoming fighter selection. It covers a couple of key points including that Finland needs a larger air force to cover its responsibilities, that a former Air Force Commander is in favour of the F-35, the F-35 cannot take off from the small parking lot of a local bank (assume tongue in cheek comment), acquiring the F-35 would provide a link between Finland and the US and Trump will not be the president when the last aircraft is delivered in 2030 and therefore shouldn’t be a factor.

Hävittäjistä ehdoton suosikkini on F-35

https://www.hs.fi/mielipide/art-2000006260553.html
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:55 pm

A blog from the Finniah MoD has some additional contract information. Looks like the project has gone from 7-10 billion to a cap of 10 billion. That allows a vendor to offer more aircraft than the original planned 64 if they can stay within that cap and the Finnish MoD stating the number of aircraft will be traded against the respective capability of the aircraft to survive in the anticipated battlespace. At this point in time they also don’t see any of the vendors withdrawing from the bid although final bids are not expected for over a year.

Using Google translate.

Advanced call for tender for the HX project

At its meeting last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy discussed the HX project. The Committee of Ministers was in favor of sending an advanced invitation to tender through five French, Swedish, US and UK administrations.

From the project's point of view, we received clear and timely guidance from the political leadership, on the basis of which we can proceed with the project as planned in line with the defense statement. The revised invitation to tender sent out in late autumn was set at a price cap of EUR 10 billion. Within the price ceiling, a performance entity must be built that includes not only the machines and their weapon systems, but also other components required by the HX system. These include e.g. a support, training and maintenance system, changes to the management and information systems required for integration into the defense system, and the construction of security-critical infrastructure.

The Advanced Call for Proposals moves, as planned, to a model that invites bidders to provide full performance within a set price cap. Thus, if required or even enabled to remain within the price ceiling or to achieve full performance, the provider may offer 64 different quantities of machinery. However, the criteria for the full replacement of performance will not change with the advanced call for tenders. The number of fighters and their ability to survive and to make losses have a significant impact on crisis prevention and the credibility and performance of the Finnish defense system. Quality cannot be replaced by quantity or quantity by quality, but both are needed to gain credibility.

So the project is progressing and I firmly believe that it is possible to replace Hornet's performance within the original timeframe. The way in which the project is continued has also been known to the tenderers. With the advanced call for tender, the more specific vendor-specific and tailor-made solutions sought will, I believe, also clarify the work of each bidder. In my view, there are no signs that any provider would leave the game at this point. Confirmation will be obtained when manufacturers bring their machines to the January-February HX Challenge testing and verification event.

https://www.defmin.fi/puolustushallinto ... 10006.blog
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:18 pm

Makes sense. That is exactly the right way to go ahead. I believe that 10 billion is the absolute psychological barrier that the population can accept.

May I interpret it so that some vendor is not able to deliver 64 fighters + all necessary systems within 10 billion, so they allow a smaller amount to keep them in?
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:54 am

YIMBY wrote:
Makes sense. That is exactly the right way to go ahead. I believe that 10 billion is the absolute psychological barrier that the population can accept.

May I interpret it so that some vendor is not able to deliver 64 fighters + all necessary systems within 10 billion, so they allow a smaller amount to keep them in?


Below article confirms that a tenderer can bid below 64 aircraft if they choose.


Some more commentary from a Finnish news org with questions asked directly of the HX program manager.

Biggest arms trade in Finland at break point: Price ceiling set at $ 10 billion - we asked 5 important questions

The biggest arms trade in Finnish history is again at a turning point. The defense administration will send manufacturers, at the end of the autumn, individual, detailed invitations to tender with a price cap of € 10 billion. That money should replace the performance of the current Hornets, and the number of machines is not well defined.

"If required or even enabled to stay within the price ceiling or to achieve full performance, the provider may offer 64 abnormal volumes," writes Lauri Puranen, HX Project Manager, Department of Defense Strategic Projects Program Director, in a blog published Tuesday.

The final word is on the Government, which will decide on the acquisition by the end of 2021.



https://www.is.fi/kotimaa/art-2000006266821.html

Using Google translate.

Five questions are asked during the article,
1. New generation radar devices are more accurate. Are the dazzle features any longer relevant in the 2030s and beyond when the Hornet Followers become available?
2. Does the fact that Finland is not a member of NATO affect the consideration of the F-35?
3. How will European next-generation machine development programs affect Finnish sourcing?
4. How do I rank HX bidders?
5. Switzerland and Germany are both considering the purchase of new combat aircraft to replace obsolete equipment. How are sourcing programs progressing?

Broadly the answers to the above questions are as expected. Summary is

1. Stealth not specifically factored in but the HX Project is factoring in developments in future radar systems and the Finnish Defence Forces conducted a joint study with Aalto University who has strong experience in this area… (who would have thought defence consulting scientists…)

2. NATO membership does not matter.

3. FCAS and Tempest are still a long way away, not expected until the mid-2040s…

4. Two criteria for assessment, first is how the jet will perform and cost at 2025 and secondly how it will look in its performance during its total life cycle. Live tests to happen in early 2020.

5. The Swiss excluded Gripen while Germany may have to buy SH to maintain nuclear sharing.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:07 am

Ozair wrote:
1. New generation radar devices are more accurate. Are the dazzle features any longer relevant in the 2030s and beyond when the Hornet Followers become available?

By Google Translate:
- No dishwasher (!) manufacturer has claimed that the machine is invisible, it must be remembered. I speak now on a general level: passive radars are ground systems. It is more about the stage at which the fire detection radar is capable of locking and firing at the target, says Puranen.

The properties of faders are optimized for precisely the radar radiation areas used by fire detectors. This will make it as difficult as possible for the machine to be locked and blocked by the radar.

This is probably the most interesting, at least for me. To see that stealth is not viewed as a magical cloaking device but as a mechanism to counter certain threats. Puranen doesn't dispute that the F-35 (or other stealth aircraft) can be tracked by Hensoldt's experiment or other technologies. But those technologies are not (yet) integrated into air defence systems.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:19 am

mxaxai wrote:
By Google Translate:
- No dishwasher (!) manufacturer has claimed that the machine is invisible, it must be remembered. I speak now on a general level: passive radars are ground systems. It is more about the stage at which the fire detection radar is capable of locking and firing at the target, says Puranen.

The properties of faders are optimized for precisely the radar radiation areas used by fire detectors. This will make it as difficult as possible for the machine to be locked and blocked by the radar.

This is probably the most interesting, at least for me. To see that stealth is not viewed as a magical cloaking device but as a mechanism to counter certain threats. Puranen doesn't dispute that the F-35 (or other stealth aircraft) can be tracked by Hensoldt's experiment or other technologies. But those technologies are not (yet) integrated into air defence systems.


Ha, I read a better translation today but dishwasher is great, as was the earlier in the translation statement "Other trinkets also have stunning features."

In reference to the F-35, yes agree and have stated many times the F-35 is not invisible. The other point the HX PM made was the following,
However, the monitored aircraft did not fly in stealth mode during the demonstration.


The whole point of stealth is to reduce the opportunity for detection at every stage of the F2T2EA cycle. If the aircraft can defeat or minimize the F2T2 stages it doesn't have to rely on more dangerous end stage defences such as EW or chaff/flares to defeat a (for example) missile in the air.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:15 pm

A Finnish article has released the test schedule for the HX competition. We haven’t seen any reports on the success or failure of the Swiss testing, other than exclusion of the Gripen, so interesting to see if we get anything out of this testing.

Using Google translate
Test flights for the fighter candidates will start in January from Pirkkala.

Finland's largest ever arms trade worth about EUR 10 billion will culminate in the launch of five aircraft manufacturers in January-February next year for the HX Challenge.

...

https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/ceba ... b64e408e72

The timeframe for the testing is below,
10 Jan Eurofighter, 2-3 units
21 Jan Rafale
30 Jan Gripen, E test unit and C
10 Feb F-35, 4 units (like in Switzerland)
19 Feb Super Hornet, 2 SH and 1 Growler

Some interesting additional info in the article, that the testing is to validate the claims made by the manufacturers, flights will be day/night and both high and low level, not all active/passive sensors will be used due to not wanting to inform Russia on the capabilities of the aircraft and in the case of the Growler the US hasn’t yet granted permission for the full suite of Growler capabilities. The HX program is also keen to retain all five vendors in the process and the follow up questions for vendors will be specific to each.
 
CHRISBA35X
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:31 pm

I'd love to see Finland buy a mix of Typhoon tranche 3 and F35B. Would really be a step change for them and massively back down Russian aggression in the region.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:00 pm

CHRISBA35X wrote:
I'd love to see Finland buy a mix of Typhoon tranche 3 and F35B. Would really be a step change for them and massively back down Russian aggression in the region.

The saying in Finland is that they want as many flight hours as possible for there 10 billion Euro investment, having two relatively expensive systems, resulting more time in maintenance( due to two different systems) and simulators (due to that they are fairly expensive to fly) don't hold Russian aggression down.
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:23 am

Cannot read this article

https://www.tekniikkatalous.fi/uutiset/ ... 1d609b9660

but evidently Boeing can offer a set of SuperHornets, Growlers and UAV's.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:13 pm

SAS A340 wrote:
CHRISBA35X wrote:
I'd love to see Finland buy a mix of Typhoon tranche 3 and F35B. Would really be a step change for them and massively back down Russian aggression in the region.

The saying in Finland is that they want as many flight hours as possible for there 10 billion Euro investment, having two relatively expensive systems, resulting more time in maintenance( due to two different systems) and simulators (due to that they are fairly expensive to fly) don't hold Russian aggression down.

If flight hours per € are the most important metric, this should favor the Gripen and also the F-18. The Gripen is designed to be a simple jet with high availability, and they already operate the F-18 so all the MRO expertise is there.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:25 am

The Finnish government has emitted the revised request for quotation of HX for the four governments:

https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/article/-/ ... ahetettiin

It is evident that the maximum and minimum purchase price is exactly 10 billion, to cover all the system (training, maintenance, weaponry etc), and the vendors have some freedom about the quantity of the fighters and other contents within this and other boundary conditions. The final decision will be made by comparing the estimated battle performance of each offered entity.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:43 pm

mxaxai wrote:
SAS A340 wrote:
CHRISBA35X wrote:
I'd love to see Finland buy a mix of Typhoon tranche 3 and F35B. Would really be a step change for them and massively back down Russian aggression in the region.

The saying in Finland is that they want as many flight hours as possible for there 10 billion Euro investment, having two relatively expensive systems, resulting more time in maintenance( due to two different systems) and simulators (due to that they are fairly expensive to fly) don't hold Russian aggression down.

If flight hours per € are the most important metric, this should favor the Gripen and also the F-18. The Gripen is designed to be a simple jet with high availability, and they already operate the F-18 so all the MRO expertise is there.


Do they care about flight hours during peacetime or wartime? If the latter the F35 is the only choice.

Finland knows that when push comes to shove they will be on their own so can’t take a risk on 4 th gen.

Same for the Swiss and could even see some B models in the mix.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:22 pm

Some interesting comments coming out of the HX project, that all vendors have struggled to remain below the budget cap for the tender. Obviously they all have their respective challenges and each system has one or two areas where costs are higher than competitors.

The final RFP will be released mid-2020 and then second stage negotiations and final selection is likely to occur in 2021.

Finland warns fighter contenders to keep their budget-busting offers real

Finland has issued a formal notification to industry candidates in its multibillion-dollar fighter program, urging them to keep their proposals within the prescribed budget constraints.

“We do not envisage that we will see withdrawals because of the revised request for quotations. We expect no change there,” said Lauri Puranen, who directs the Finnish Air Forces’ HX-fighter program. He said the move was meant simply to stress the need for all of the five international contenders to respect the program’s €10 billion, or $11.1 billion, limit.

Defense officials here have conceded that all five bidders, including Saab (Gripen), Dassault Rafale, the pan-European Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing (F/A-18 Super Hornet), Lockheed Martin (F-35) have struggled with the project’s rigid budgetary ceiling.

"The budget set for the HX project has been an issue for all bidders and candidate aircraft,“ said Maj. Gen. Kari Renko, the deputy chief of the Finnish Defense Force’s Logistics Command.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... fers-real/
 
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zululima
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:10 pm

Flying evaluations have kicked off with the Eurofighter up first:

http://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/finland-launches-hx-fighter-evaluation-work/136063.article
I didn't get a 'Harumph' outta that guy!
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:25 am

An image I found on Reddit that covers some of the criteria that Finland is looking for with the HX competition and flying evaluation.

Image

The scenarios seem reasonably difficult.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:50 am

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.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:23 pm

Doesn't Finland use arrest cables to stop there F-18 on runway strips today? They evaluate the F-35A, so guess it would be a parachute solution if chosen? I am no expert on Finnish roadbases or F-35 take-off capabilities, more than I recall the F-35A is built for traditional air force bases With conventional takeoff and landing capabilitys?
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
agill
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:12 pm

SAS A340 wrote:
Doesn't Finland use arrest cables to stop there F-18 on runway strips today? They evaluate the F-35A, so guess it would be a parachute solution if chosen? I am no expert on Finnish roadbases or F-35 take-off capabilities, more than I recall the F-35A is built for traditional air force bases With conventional takeoff and landing capabilitys?


Arrest cables on road bases. That can't be true can it?
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:38 pm

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.

Cost is likely one of the key values they are factoring in. The Eurofighter is probably the most expensive of the five options and the Gripen, while less expensive than the Eurofighter but also less capable, likely has a greater political pull given the proximity of Sweden and reasonably close defence ties between the two countries.

SAS A340 wrote:
Doesn't Finland use arrest cables to stop there F-18 on runway strips today? They evaluate the F-35A, so guess it would be a parachute solution if chosen? I am no expert on Finnish roadbases or F-35 take-off capabilities, more than I recall the F-35A is built for traditional air force bases With conventional takeoff and landing capabilitys?

Finland does occasionally use arrestor gear for road landings but I am not sure that is a big factor in this competition. If so none of the current competitors other than the SH offer this repeat capability.

The F-35A does have a tailhook and has been tested with such, https://theaviationist.com/2016/05/20/t ... wards-afb/

Image

but the purpose is for emergencies and not repeated use. Eurofighter has an emergency tailhook as does the Rafale C which are used in the same emergency scenarios as F-35A. I don’t believe Gripen has one. The parachute option could be offered but wouldn’t impact the overall cost very much as every F-35A is built with the mounting to accept the chute pod.

You would think that if this scenario were a factor in the selection that LM would have offered the F-35C, or B, and Dassault would be offering the Rafale M. Eurofighter wouldn’t have a viable proposal and Gripen would require modification to take a tailhook. Hence I don’t believe it is as requirement of the acquisition. If two options are very close it may come down to unique capabilities such as this but there is enough other factors to differentiate the bids that it likely won’t.

agill wrote:
SAS A340 wrote:
Doesn't Finland use arrest cables to stop there F-18 on runway strips today? They evaluate the F-35A, so guess it would be a parachute solution if chosen? I am no expert on Finnish roadbases or F-35 take-off capabilities, more than I recall the F-35A is built for traditional air force bases With conventional takeoff and landing capabilitys?


Arrest cables on road bases. That can't be true can it?


Yes it is a currently used capability by the USAF for operations in locations where arrestor systems aren't present and when an aircraft suffers an emergency.

MAAS

Rapid and Flexible Deployment

“MAAS” is an US Air Force acronym for “Mobile Aircraft Arresting System”. It is basically a standard BAK-12 aircraft arresting system made mobile through installation on a MAAS trailer. Each trailer contains hydraulic tools and hardware necessary for installation and removal of the system. The ability to be installed in multiple configurations on several different surface types makes the MAAS a flexible system.

The MAAS features:

Self-contained system concept
USAF current standard mobile system
Diesel/Multi-fuel engine powered tape rewind system
Designed for transportation by truck, train and C-130 aircraft
Installation time is within hours
United States country of origin
Supply and support by ATECH Inc. US

http://www.scama.se/arresting-systems/a ... e-systems/
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:09 am

The French have arrived in Finland for their week of trials for the HX competition.

French jets arrive in Finland for a week of combat tests

Two Rafale fighter jets built by French manufacturer Dassault have landed at Pirkkala Air Force Base to start two weeks of intensive testing and evaluation.

They’re the second of five aircraft types which will be coming to Finland through the end of February, as the Air Force weighs up the pros and cons of each in the process to determine which company will win the €10 billion contract to replace the country’s ageing fleet of Hornet jets.

Rafale means “burst of fire”, and the two aircraft were escorted in Finnish air space by a Finnish F/A-18D, one of the jets that Rafale hopes to replace.

Although the French military is the main user of the Rafale jets, they’ve also been sold to India, Egypt and Qatar. However the high price in relation to other jets has put off some buyers including neighbouring Belgium who opted for American aircraft instead of Dassault.

...

https://newsnowfinland.fi/domestic/watc ... mbat-tests

Image
 
art
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:31 pm

MBDA is working in partnership with Leonardo to develop a new electronic warfare version of the SPEAR weapon system — SPEAR EW — which brings enhanced Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability to Eurofighter.


Blinding a threat radar is an overt action but they [writer is talking of pilots] can call on more subtle effects. For example, SPEAR EW can be used to create a decoy by making you appear bigger or appear as though there are 50 targets so that it’s impossible for an adversary to determine which is the real target.


https://www.defense-aerospace.com/artic ... nland.html

Is it a game changer? A use once, throw away system seems a very expensive EW approach to me. I don't see this giving Typhoon any edge since I imagine both Gripen E and F-35 could offer the same.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:29 pm

art wrote:
MBDA is working in partnership with Leonardo to develop a new electronic warfare version of the SPEAR weapon system — SPEAR EW — which brings enhanced Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability to Eurofighter.


Blinding a threat radar is an overt action but they [writer is talking of pilots] can call on more subtle effects. For example, SPEAR EW can be used to create a decoy by making you appear bigger or appear as though there are 50 targets so that it’s impossible for an adversary to determine which is the real target.


https://www.defense-aerospace.com/artic ... nland.html

Is it a game changer? A use once, throw away system seems a very expensive EW approach to me. I don't see this giving Typhoon any edge since I imagine both Gripen E and F-35 could offer the same.

They could but I'm not sure if it's being offered in this particular competition. This system is also proposed for the German Eurofighter acquisition and is under consideration by the UK for both their Eurofighter and F-35 fleets.

The point behind the SPEAR EW - as I understand it - is to place small, expendable jammers near the enemy radar (ALD/SIJ in this slide). A traditional jammer like the EA-18 would not operate this close because there is considerable risk to be detected and shot down, which means that the EA-18 needs a much more powerful jammer for the same effect. Cruise missiles like the SPEAR EW would also allow normal fighter jets to self-escort. Further, using the SPEAR EW as an expendable decoy is a lot cheaper than sacrificing a regular aircraft. Sort of like a high-tech chaff.
Image
Image
More slides at: https://sldinfo.com/2019/12/are-eurofig ... ence-2019/
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:53 pm

art wrote:
MBDA is working in partnership with Leonardo to develop a new electronic warfare version of the SPEAR weapon system — SPEAR EW — which brings enhanced Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability to Eurofighter.


Blinding a threat radar is an overt action but they [writer is talking of pilots] can call on more subtle effects. For example, SPEAR EW can be used to create a decoy by making you appear bigger or appear as though there are 50 targets so that it’s impossible for an adversary to determine which is the real target.


https://www.defense-aerospace.com/artic ... nland.html

Is it a game changer? A use once, throw away system seems a very expensive EW approach to me. I don't see this giving Typhoon any edge since I imagine both Gripen E and F-35 could offer the same.

Not a game changer. The US has been operating the MALD decoy for nearly 20 years with the latest in service variant being the MALD-J,

Some info on MALD-J,
The MALD-J version includes a jammer that brings forward deployable, close proximity to threat, airborne electronic warfare to the table. It can be incredibly effective as it zips near known anti-aircraft and radar-surveillance sites as well as communications nodes. It can be programmed to loiter over a particular area, jamming a certain target for an extended period of time.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ounds-like

MALD has a signature augmentation system that allows it to adjust its RCS to mimic a large or low RCS signature. There is also a new version of MALD coming out, the X, which has the following characteristics,

MALD-X enhances the modular nature of the mini cruise missile with the ability to accommodate different electronic warfare payloads that are more advanced than those found on MALD-J. What is planned to come out of MALD-X is a networked decoy that can use its adaptive electronic warfare payload to deliver electronic attacks on air defense nodes autonomously or at the direction of operators from a afar in a semi-autonomous fashion. These operators will likely end up being EA-18G Growler crews.

This advanced MALD derivative will also be able to be re-tasked in real time via an onboard data-link and will capable of low altitude penetration through enemy territory, this could help them get into a target area successfully before they begin employing their electronic warfare magic.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ounds-like

MALD-J was approx $350k in the mid 2010s so isn't an expensive option. Not sure how much SPEAR EW is projected to cost.

mxaxai wrote:
They could but I'm not sure if it's being offered in this particular competition. This system is also proposed for the German Eurofighter acquisition and is under consideration by the UK for both their Eurofighter and F-35 fleets.

The point behind the SPEAR EW - as I understand it - is to place small, expendable jammers near the enemy radar (ALD/SIJ in this slide). A traditional jammer like the EA-18 would not operate this close because there is considerable risk to be detected and shot down, which means that the EA-18 needs a much more powerful jammer for the same effect. Cruise missiles like the SPEAR EW would also allow normal fighter jets to self-escort. Further, using the SPEAR EW as an expendable decoy is a lot cheaper than sacrificing a regular aircraft. Sort of like a high-tech chaff.

Generally with these competitions the respective OEMS are not offering a weapons package as well as their platform (different vendors for the weapons who would have to deal with each OEM as well as separate Government approvals) but will identify what weapons are currently integrated with the platform. As with integrating the JASSM onto their Hornet fleet Finland will be able to integrate pretty much any new western munition onto whichever aircraft they choose, noting they will have to pay for it if it hasn't been done already.

Now I don't believe MALD-J has been exported yet but I'm also not aware of any nation requesting export. I see no reason it couldn't be exported and it appears to be reasonably customizable to use a host nations jamming programs. MALD and SPEAR are good options but the other solution is a loyal wingman concept which the Finns will also be able to integrate with any platform they acquire.

The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie seems like it will reach production and is big enough and long ranged enough to provide what SPEAR and MALD do with additional benefits. Alternatively it could carry a MALD/SPEAR EW in its internal weapons bays or a specific customized EW system that would function the same way.

Fighter fleets and their support assets will look very different 25 years from now and it will be interesting to see how this evolves and which method is more effective. Which ever platform Finland acquires they are likely to have follow on programs for new weapons and support assets and the effectiveness of the support fleet will likely be a major factor in overall fighter proficiency.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:35 pm

Ozair wrote:
Generally with these competitions the respective OEMS are not offering a weapons package as well as their platform (different vendors for the weapons who would have to deal with each OEM as well as separate Government approvals) but will identify what weapons are currently integrated with the platform. As with integrating the JASSM onto their Hornet fleet Finland will be able to integrate pretty much any new western munition onto whichever aircraft they choose, noting they will have to pay for it if it hasn't been done already.
In that case there probably isn't much benefit to any of the competitors when it comes to specific munitions. Special weapons (like the JASSM in Finland or the B-61 in Germany) would need additional integration work for almost any new aircraft and generic weapons (like the Meteor missile or MALD) are already integrated on most platforms.

Ozair wrote:
The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie seems like it will reach production and is big enough and long ranged enough to provide what SPEAR and MALD do with additional benefits. Alternatively it could carry a MALD/SPEAR EW in its internal weapons bays or a specific customized EW system that would function the same way.
I don't think that there needs to be an either-or decision. There are so many ways to combine sensors, warheads, missiles and aircraft and the beauty of modern digital interfaces is that you can make almost any combination work. Some missions may favor one approach and some missions another. Finland can choose any multirole fighter today, then add some new munitions tomorrow and enhance the system with UCAV's in a few years. If the aircraft gets obsolete, they can replace it and simply transfer all their other new weapons to the new jet.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:00 am

mxaxai wrote:
In that case there probably isn't much benefit to any of the competitors when it comes to specific munitions.

Yes and no. For SH, F-35, Eurofighter and Gripen the munitions packages would be broadly similar and likely cost similar. For the Rafale it is different as, other than Meteor, the weapons packages are distinctly French and therefore Finland either buy french weapons, which are generally accepted to be more expensive than alternatives, or go through reasonably costly integration programs to integrate other western options on. Additional integrations would likely take time and delay IOC/FOC dates. The HX Programme director in an interview did make it clear though that a new weapons package is expected for the new fighter,

Interesting... HX Programme Director tells me that AIM-9X, AMRAAM, and JASSM are NOT mandated: "if we did that, we wouldn't have a fair competition". I asked if they were ready to change pretty much all their air delivered weapons: "yes we are".

https://twitter.com/FTusa284/status/121 ... ocess.html

mxaxai wrote:
Special weapons (like the JASSM in Finland or the B-61 in Germany) would need additional integration work for almost any new aircraft and generic weapons (like the Meteor missile or MALD) are already integrated on most platforms.

One of the key points mentioned and that will be evaluated was the requirement for a long range strike missile (and already discussed in this thread). It was stated that each of the aircraft already has an integrated cruise missile so that would almost certainly be acquired along with the aircraft. I can see Finland trying to reduce the overall initial cost by using the generic suite of weapons that each aircraft already has but look to enhance capability via a mid life upgrade around 2040.

mxaxai wrote:
I don't think that there needs to be an either-or decision. There are so many ways to combine sensors, warheads, missiles and aircraft and the beauty of modern digital interfaces is that you can make almost any combination work. Some missions may favor one approach and some missions another. Finland can choose any multirole fighter today, then add some new munitions tomorrow and enhance the system with UCAV's in a few years. If the aircraft gets obsolete, they can replace it and simply transfer all their other new weapons to the new jet.

Of course, the mention of the Valkyrie was only to demonstrate that the future for weapons integrations may not be with the primary platform but with loyal wingman. I do think that Finland will hold off too many integrations to begin with as it significantly eases introducing the aircraft into service. The other potential though is that Finland chooses an airframe with a lot of growth potential or that will continue to be upgraded. The F-35 has the longest dev path identified, and funded, while both the Eurofighter and Rafale will likely see some enhancements via FCAS development. Going that route allows Finland to piggyback on the integration work of others instead of having to go it essentially alone as they did with JASSM (even though the RAAF had already done much of the pioneer with JASSM its intro into Finnish took longer than expected). The SH is already been offered in Blk III version, probably the last major increment from the production line at least, while the Gripen appears to be the least likely to be upgraded and enhanced over the expected operating life.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:32 am

Media briefings for the first two winter trials, both reasonably dry.

Eurofighter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEfI9U4 ... e=youtu.be

Rafale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1tSHgE ... e=youtu.be


Additionally video of Rafale arriving in Finland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltWh9vi7JlA

Interesting that Dassault brought two twin duel seat aircraft and not one of each, the explanation provided in the media briefing was that they wanted Finnish aircrew to have as much opportunity as possible to fly the jet.
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:53 am

An interesting decision by Saab to offer Globaleye as part of the proposal. Two sides to take in this, one an that the Gripen may need the assistance or two that it values adds to an aircraft that may be able to undercut most of the other competition on price.

Saab launches Gripen and GlobalEye evaluations for Finland

Saab has officially launched the flight evaluation phase of its Gripen E/F fighter and GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for Finland’s HX programme.

Gripen E test aircraft 39-10 arrived at Tampere-Pirkkala Airbase north of Helsinki the day prior to Saab’s media day to mark the commencement of its HX Challenge on 30 January, although due to poor weather conditions it was decided not to fly until the following day. The single-seat 39-10 (the first production standard Gripen E) was joined by the twin-seat Gripen NG demonstrator 39-7 (sensor testbed) on 31 January.

A GlobalEye did fly from Saab’s facility in Linköping, Sweden, on 30 January with a Finnish Air Force delegation on board. This aircraft will continue to fly out of Linköping for the duration of the evaluation as that is where the company’s bespoke de-briefing and other specialist related equipment is located. The Gripen E 39-10, Gripen NG 39-7 and the GlobalEye will be evaluated through to 6 February.

Saab’s arrival in Finland for its HX Challenge evaluation followed earlier stints from the Eurofighter Typhoon from 9 to 17 January, and the Dassault Rafale from 20 to 28 January. After Saab and its Gripen E/GlobalEye, Lockheed Martin will showcase its F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from 7 to 17 February, with Boeing concluding proceedings with its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft from 18 to 26 February.

Speaking on the opening day of Saab’s evaluation, the company’s head of the HX programme, Magnus Skogberg, spelled out the details of the company’s bid to Finland, and explained why he thought the combination of the Gripen E and the GlobalEye gave the Swedish manufacturer the edge in the competition.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/94025/saa ... or-finland

Corporal Fisk also has a write up on the Gripen proposal, felt like there was quite the preference on his part for the Saab bid. Also present on his website are two previous blogs about the Rafale and Eurofighter with expectations of SH and F-35 posts to come after their media briefings. Noted in the article is the offer of local assembly of the GE414 which makes them likely the only vendor to offer that.

HX Challenge pt. 3: Head start for Future Growth

...

Saab has decidedly taken the Air Force at their word when they said they want the best capability that can fit inside the budget, with an offer that include not only the 39E/F Gripen, but also the GlobalEye airborne early warning and control platform. As reported last summer the idea behind is that not only does it improve the overall combat capability of the Finnish Air Force, but it also saves the fighter fleet by off-loading part of the missions that would otherwise have been flown by the HX fighters. This not only saves money and airframes, but crucially helps in ensuring a high-level of readiness for the fighter fleet. Anders Carp, head of Saab’s Surveillance business unit explained that they are happy to be able to offer HX “a true force multiplier”, and that he expects the Finnish Air Force to be happy about it as well. Unfortunately, the poker faces of the FinAF colonels present held, so we have to wait until 2021 to see if that is a correct conclusion.

...

https://corporalfrisk.com/2020/01/30/hx ... re-growth/
 
kanye
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:22 pm

Ozair wrote:
Of course, the mention of the Valkyrie was only to demonstrate that the future for weapons integrations may not be with the primary platform but with loyal wingman. I do think that Finland will hold off too many integrations to begin with as it significantly eases introducing the aircraft into service. The other potential though is that Finland chooses an airframe with a lot of growth potential or that will continue to be upgraded. The F-35 has the longest dev path identified, and funded, while both the Eurofighter and Rafale will likely see some enhancements via FCAS development. Going that route allows Finland to piggyback on the integration work of others instead of having to go it essentially alone as they did with JASSM (even though the RAAF had already done much of the pioneer with JASSM its intro into Finnish took longer than expected). The SH is already been offered in Blk III version, probably the last major increment from the production line at least, while the Gripen appears to be the least likely to be upgraded and enhanced over the expected operating life.


I would say Gripen will definitely be upgraded in different ways. Thats the whole purpose with the E version. The main difference between C and this new E version is the software architecture now separating flight critical and mission critical systems.
In this way they can upgrade mission systems without risking anything in the flight critical systems which makes upgrades easier. Also countries can develop the plane themselfs after their needs without interfering with the flight critical systems.
Brazil and eventually Finland could develop the plane how they want and a Brazilian, Swedish or Finnish Gripen could be different planes with completely different combat systems in the future. Brazil and the company AEL sistemas already developed the wide single display for the cockpit and a Helmet Mounted Display. In the future they might upgrade it with their own radar or EW warfare systems for example to keep it relevant for them.


Quote form SAABs website:
"Equipped with a smart avionics architecture, old algorithms can be replaced by new ones without reducing the high availability of the aircraft. The architecture is also the basis for making rapid hardware and weaponry updates, with a high degree of alteration for each customer nation. With that, Gripen E/F is not only the smart fighter today - it is also designed to be the smart fighter for generations to come."

This video is also interesting regarding this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zol1xA_ ... e=emb_logo
 
Ozair
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Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:48 am

kanye wrote:

I would say Gripen will definitely be upgraded in different ways. Thats the whole purpose with the E version. The main difference between C and this new E version is the software architecture now separating flight critical and mission critical systems.

In this way they can upgrade mission systems without risking anything in the flight critical systems which makes upgrades easier. Also countries can develop the plane themselfs after their needs without interfering with the flight critical systems.

No doubt it can be upgraded. The question is the appetite of the operating nations, with the associated funding, to do so.

kanye wrote:
Brazil and eventually Finland could develop the plane how they want and a Brazilian, Swedish or Finnish Gripen could be different planes with completely different combat systems in the future. Brazil and the company AEL sistemas already developed the wide single display for the cockpit and a Helmet Mounted Display. In the future they might upgrade it with their own radar or EW warfare systems for example to keep it relevant for them.

That is a highly unlikely scenario. Other than a few weapons that the partners will have different the expectation is all three would own and operate a common variant of the aircraft. Forking the software development to have specific nation variations would be a terrible idea, it makes those nations wholly responsible to long term sustainment of their own bespoke software changes. Instead operating nations would, as has been done in the past, pool development/sustainment funding and work and operate with a single common software package, whether flight or mission. One nation’s integrated weapons are included in the overall package for all.

There is no doubt the jet can do it, the issue is the risk it presents to the operating nations.

To demonstrate that, Sweden didn't go along with a different cockpit display, they used the Brazilian solution, likely not only to fulfil an offset clause but also because it makes future software development and long term sustainment of the global fleet easier.

“The Swedish and the Brazilian Gripen fighters will have the same configuration for the displays, harmonizing the programmes. This means great savings to the aircraft maintenance and in future software development. This is really a good example of the successful collaboration between Saab and the Brazilian defence industry”, says Mikael Franzén.

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


kanye wrote:
Quote form SAABs website:
"Equipped with a smart avionics architecture, old algorithms can be replaced by new ones without reducing the high availability of the aircraft. The architecture is also the basis for making rapid hardware and weaponry updates, with a high degree of alteration for each customer nation. With that, Gripen E/F is not only the smart fighter today - it is also designed to be the smart fighter for generations to come."

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.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5069
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:10 am

No surprise that all the contenders submitted their bids before the cut off for HX especially given all of them are participating in the winter trials.

Finland gets responses from five companies for HX Fighter programme

The Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command has received responses from five fighter manufacturers to the revised request for HX Fighter jet replacement programme quotation.

The HX Fighter programme was aimed at replacing the airforce’s Hornet fleet.

Responses carried information on the comprehensive solution and package, built around each multi-role fighter option.

The revised request was sent to the governments of France, the UK, Sweden and the US in October last year to forward them to five multi-role fighter manufacturers in these countries.

The US’ Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35, France’s Dassault Rafale, the British Eurofighter Typhoon, and Sweden’s Saab Gripen are the aircraft types that have been put forward.

Logistics Command set the deadline at the end of last month and received responses for all five aircraft types.

Each of the tenderers was requested to compile the information provided in its initial tender and negotiations into an updated and improved package.

Logistics Command asked the tenderers to prepare a performance package that meets the set requirements within the budget set for the project.

The package also needs to include the aircraft and other technical systems, training systems, necessary maintenance equipment, test equipment and spare parts, in addition to weapons, sensors and other required type-specific support functions.

As laid down in the request for quotation, the tender will have to meet various requirements.

...

https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... programme/
 
YIMBY
Posts: 723
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:13 pm

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?
 
744SPX
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:44 pm

Gripen with the 26.4k lb F414 EPE engine would be a significant upgrade and would enable higher supercruise speeds...
 
Ozair
Posts: 5069
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Finland in talks for F-18 replacement

Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:41 pm

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.

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