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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War > Air Power

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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

View Poll Results: Fighter aircraft for Finland for 2020->
Eurofighter 3 8.33%
Gripen NG 13 36.11%
Lightning II 3 8.33%
Rafale 3 8.33%
Super Hornet (Advanced?) 14 38.89%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 03 May 16, 05:03
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I could be wrong, but what I understand of Finnish doctrine is that airfields are something of a last resort. When the excrement collides with the ventilation system, the Finnish AF was intended to disperse as widely as possible, using underpasses for hangars and road/motorway stretches for runways (the roads are actually designed to take this into account).

To cap that, each aircraft had to be serviced/maintained in the field by semi-skilled conscripts, so any aircraft they purchased had to deal with this (one reason they love their current SAABs).

I'd assume they plan to use tankers, but are bearing in mind that such aircraft would be highly vulnerable, and are preparing scenarios where such assets would be lost fairly quickly.

In short, they're actually planning for near impossible conditions and a logistical nightmare.
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  #17  
Old 03 May 16, 20:45
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Maybe the Finns should have kept these around then:

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  #18  
Old 03 May 16, 21:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hida Akechi View Post
Maybe the Finns should have kept these around then:

They didn't?
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  #19  
Old 03 May 16, 22:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Sennef View Post
I would say: Go for Gripen.
I see two advantages:
1. Get the neighbours involved. Better a good and close neighbour than a far friend. Supply and ease of maintenance should neither now nor in the future be a problem with Swedish planes.
2. The Swedes operate under the same climatic conditions as Finland and have the same operational principles you mentioned.
I agree.

Gripen was actually one of the contenders in the original Hornet deal, but at the time it was still an immature design. I believe Sweden actually proposed leasing Saab 37 Viggens as a temporary measure in case Gripen was chosen.

Hydraulic system on Gripen is designed to operate in arctic temperatures, and it can use shorter improvised air strips on highways, envisaged and maintained by both Sweden and Finland.

Avionic suite on Gripen NG is also very advanced, even when compared with F-35. Proposed powerful modern AESA radar for Gripen is smaller but with larger field of vision (+-100 degrees compared to +-60 degrees as on the F-35). ECM jamming capability is also advertised as one generation ahead of F-35, plus it has one IRST sensor in front of the cockpit and the additional option for mounting a FLIR-pod under the right air-inlet. The Swedish TIDL tactical datalink can connect a small group of up to four Gripens, and it is said to be directional, therefore much less susceptible to interception than Link 16 and other broadcast links. F-35 now has MADL which is also directed high bandwidth datalink, however it can primarily communicate only with nearby F-35s and in practice it is limited to aircraft in same flight. F-22 was also supposed to get MADL too but it was eventually cancelled. Finnish have their own advanced domestic produced datalink that can possibly be integrated and anything that can be podded to Gripen obviously can be easily added to the F-35 as well, for the same kind of penalties that Gripen would have with such (minus the fact sans external stores the F-35 will have a lower RCS in some wavelengths - including those most typically used for air-to-air modes).

Nevertheless, I wouldn't expect the F-35 avionics lagging greatly behind the Gripen as F-35 does have couple of advanced sensors Gripen simply doesn't - in particular DAS, HMD and the ESM system. I suspect the degree of sensor integration is superior, as there are simply more passive sensors coordinating their input. It seems like a non trivial difference in capability, though not necessarily one that the Finnish air force would find useful. They might find loss of some avionic performance parameters justifiable by presumably lower price of Gripen NG. F-35 is slower, less maneuverable, more expensive to buy and maintain.

On paper, F-35 does have plenty of improvement possibilities, for example Britain and Japan intend to cooperatively research improvements for the MBDA Meteor, raising the possibility of combining that air-to-air missile’s ramjet propulsion and range with an advanced electronically scanned seeker. But that might bring expenses Finland is not willing to carry on, as F-35 has been dogged by budget overruns, schedule delays and redesigns.

Super Hornet is proposed on premise Finland will go for cheapest option, being unable to sustain two fighter types. However, current Hornets are getting old anyway, and Switzerland Air Force Was willing to operate both Hornets and Gripens, before purchase was cancelled after referendum. And most importantly who guarantees it going to be produced in 2020-2025 timeframe? It is an increasingly aging and soon obsolete design.

As for the others, they tend to be both outdated and expensive - not a good combination. Rafale racked some first export clients last year, but those were most likely politically motivated acquisitions.

I primarily see Gripen vs. F-35 competition, with Super Hornet as distant third choice, but these sort of purchase are often hard to predict. For example Sweden decided to pull out from Danish program, and they refused to offer Gripen in Serbian program.
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  #20  
Old 04 May 16, 06:40
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On second thoughts, the Super Hornet would be better... at least they could throw some Wild Weasels in the mix.
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  #21  
Old 04 May 16, 09:06
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Super Hornet or Gripen is most likely, though there is a small chance that LM might offer a very generous deal for the F-35.
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  #22  
Old 04 May 16, 19:46
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1 Gripen NG. Nothing wrong with a modern Light Weight Fighter.
2 Super Hornet for carrying a big & versatile punch at low unit cost.
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  #23  
Old 05 May 16, 08:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutger View Post
1 Gripen NG. Nothing wrong with a modern Light Weight Fighter.
2 Super Hornet for carrying a big & versatile punch at low unit cost.
I got told off by Saab for using the 'NG' designation; officially it is Gripen E (or F / M, if and when they get built)

Could go the Aussie route and get themselves some F/A-18Gs for EW as well.
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  #24  
Old 05 May 16, 17:11
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The Gripen NG / E/F will have its roll out wednesday May 18 and Saab will be live streaming the event.
http://saab.com/air/gripen-fighter-s...olution-event/
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  #25  
Old 12 May 16, 10:53
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I suspect that Denmark's selection of F-35 will have hurt Saab and Boeing's chances in Finland
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  #26  
Old 08 Sep 16, 08:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
I suspect that Denmark's selection of F-35 will have hurt Saab and Boeing's chances in Finland
Don't think so. Finland isn't in NATO, just like Sweden. While Denmark is in the NATO, it's not a country Finland usually thinks about, and vice versa. Sweden is however. And even more so is Russia...

Sweden and Finland over the last weekend pulled off a joint airforce exercise. The Finns stationed F1-18s on Gotland and flew missions as the "attacker", Swedish Gripens flying defense. I happen to have been very much aware, since the Swedish force has been taking off and landing at all hours right over MY HOUSE between Friday and Tuesday.

Don't now yet who "won" between the Finnsh and Swedish pilots and planes? There was a comment in the local paper by one of the Swedish pilots that early in the exercise the Swedes managed to get the drop on the Finns, and put some hurt on them, but that the Finns had then adapted and adopted, and had come back fighting.

The general commentary about the exercise has been about the usefulness for the Swedes of training against a force not its own, operating technologically sophisticated systems on the same level.
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  #27  
Old 08 Sep 16, 09:16
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Quote:
Don't think so. Finland isn't in NATO, just like Sweden. While Denmark is in the NATO, it's not a country Finland usually thinks about, and vice versa. Sweden is however. And even more so is Russia.
Each to their own; I do think this and suspect that Boeing's chance of selling Super Hornets is going down the tubes, with the caveat that a last-minute Kuwait sale my keep them in the game a while longer, especially if Boeing offer the aircraft more or less for free.

The Gripen, while a good aircraft is a bit small and light for Finnish requirements (which is [maritime] strike as well as air defence). The case against LM is that the USG may not wish to arm Finland with such an aircraft given likely Russian reaction, but that is a moot point and may not matter.

Quote:
Don't now yet who "won" between the Finnsh and Swedish pilots and planes? There was a comment in the local paper by one of the Swedish pilots that early in the exercise the Swedes managed to get the drop on the Finns, and put some hurt on them, but that the Finns had then adapted and adopted, and had come back fighting.
That's very diplomatic, but such comments require significant salt. Few if any 'real' details emerge before a long passage of time

Quote:
The general commentary about the exercise has been about the usefulness for the Swedes of training against a force not its own, operating technologically sophisticated systems on the same level.
Such things are extremely useful; the Fins have IIRC been participating recnetly in Red Flag (2015?) as well as other multinational exercises
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  #28  
Old 08 Sep 16, 09:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
Sweden and Finland over the last weekend pulled off a joint airforce exercise. The Finns stationed F1-18s on Gotland and flew missions as the "attacker", Swedish Gripens flying defense.
Don't now yet who "won" between the Finnsh and Swedish pilots and planes?

The general commentary about the exercise has been about the usefulness for the Swedes of training against a force not its own, operating technologically sophisticated systems on the same level.
Very useful and realistic excercise given the position of Gotland in the Baltic.
I can imagine there are naval and amphibious around Gotland as well.

Would it be possible to know what the lessosn identified and lessons learned are of this excercise?
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  #29  
Old 08 Sep 16, 09:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
Such things are extremely useful; the Fins have IIRC been participating recnetly in Red Flag (2015?) as well as other multinational exercises
So have the Swedes.
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  #30  
Old 08 Sep 16, 09:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
That's very diplomatic, but such comments require significant salt. Few if any 'real' details emerge before a long passage of time
Last comment from the Swedish pilot to the reporter was: "I hope we win." The reporter adding that he looked rather pleased in so saying.

After one late night sortie of a rote of 4 I noticed one the planes returning ahead of his three mates. Maybe he got "killed" by the Finns?

Last edited by Johan Banér; 08 Sep 16 at 10:17..
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