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Gripen - Red Flag

This is a discussion on Gripen - Red Flag within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Waylander: I find the perspectives even more interesting: Who would - say 20 years ago - have predicted that the ...


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Old November 26th, 2006   #46
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Waylander:

I find the perspectives even more interesting:
Who would - say 20 years ago - have predicted that the Germans and the Poles could plan to fight side by side in the same corps?? Yet it is a reality in the Baltic Corps - with the Danes as a junior partner (contribution wise) and glue.
Indeed the organisation of the German army today is very much modelled on the old cooperation between Denmark and Germany during the cold war - and it is giving Germany its just influence at the cost of independence. Interestingly enough: Independence is NOT a prerequisite for influence! On the contrary.

I hope Merkel is wise enough to listen to the rocket the Fogh is giving her at the Nato summit! It is nonsense to keep German troops out of harms way in northern Afghanistan, when we and the british are pressed in the south.
Denmark has earned the right to talk out of turn! We say what the others think - and we have proven we have no desire to harm Germany.

Denmark has the role of the impertinent telling bad news in Nato - and elsewhere (as the chinese found out) - that is why our continued silence on the Iraq is significant.
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Old November 26th, 2006   #47
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Sorry for high-jacking this thread; but there more important issues cropped up than the quality of rubber-bands for the newest outdated product from an obscure nations "aviation" industry.
A discussion among grown-ups is unpredictable; but rarely irrelevant.

(Yes, I know, I'm perfidious - and I nearly excuse)
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Old November 30th, 2006   #48
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Can we just go back to the topic?
performance in red flag?
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Old December 8th, 2006   #49
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Information about the Gripens performance in Red Flag is scarse. Although some information can be found in "Insats & Försvar" an information news magazine on the Swedish armed forces.

The exercise was a success. The Tango Red Gripens flew for the blue side, and usually four Gripen fighters were flown in each mission, there were a total of 19 missions.

The Red team generally consisted of eight F-15 and F16 fighters, which usually were "reinstated" after they were killed in order to make the exercise more challenging.

The reds also had extensive anti-aircraft units at their disposal, which in different ways simulated a realistic threat towards the blues.

Contingent commander Ken Lindberg -There are many who are curious to know how the Gripen performed during the exercise. I don't want to present any numbers, but we did very well!

The reason for this is that it is impossible to come to the right conclusions without looking at the specific details for each mission.

-The most important thing is that we more than than enough solved the tasks we were given for each mission, which was made in cooperation with the forces of other participating nations.

The Gripens flew a total 346 hours over 225 flights. Of 103 planned flights, 98 were actually flown. Four flights were cancelled due to bad weather which grounded the entire 35th Air Expeditionary Wing. And another flight were cancelled because of a faulty Litening pod.

A spare aircraft had to be used on only four occasions.

The total avaliability of the Gripens during the exercise was 99%.

I have personally spoken to some of the people of F17 staff, and the general consensus is that(exact translation) the Gripens kicked a**.
One thing that really stood out was the difficulty in detecting the Gripens on radar which proved to be close to impossible. The radar controllers were very impressed with the Gripens inbuilt jamming systems, it made them pretty much invulnerable. There were losses on the blue side in every mission, but AFAIK none of them were Tango Red's Gripens.
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Old December 9th, 2006   #50
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Thank you, Robert. I have since my early posts here been able to also get some additional feedback from direct sources and what I have been told ties up very closely with your info.
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Old December 12th, 2006   #51
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A few more "dribs and drabs" of the gripen's work at Red Flag:

Sweden earlier this year deployed seven Gripens to the USA to participate in the inaugural Red Flag Alaska event alongside aircraft from the Canadian, Japanese and US air forces, logging 340 flight hours during 200 missions. Armed with Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs - 16 of which were dropped - and AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, the aircraft performed air interdiction and close air support missions during the exercise, which was also supported by Swedish air force Lockheed C-130H transports. "We always knew where the air defence was, could avoid them and still do our work, even in very dynamic situations," says detachment commander Col Ken Lindberg. The deployment was seen as a precursor to possible future deployed operations with the Gripen to be used in support of the Nordic Battle Group, NATO Response Force or EU peacekeeping commitments from late this decade.

Courtesy: www.flightglobal.com
 
Old December 12th, 2006   #52
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I personally am not a fighter pilot or in the millitary aircraft industry but one of my best friends is. He is a CF -18 or if your a Canadian the CF- 118 and is currently stationed with 4 wing/ 409 squadron at Cold Lake Alberta. He was at this Red Flag in Alaska so I asked him to comment on the Grippen. His comments was that it preform better in some aspects and missions than the 18 did but in others it did not. In ACM missions it preformed very well, but its lack of staying power was a draw back ( what ever staying power means, I did not ask and would not have gotten an answer to anyways ) He said over all most of the pilots there where impressed or at lest had changed some of there oppion's about the aircraft and since there the ones that would know what there talking about, I would say that statement says the most. His most important comment was that its the pilot that make the aircraft not the other way around and the swedish pilots where of a very high standard as he put it ( more fighter pilot speak LOL ). So over all he said it held it owns in most missions and he would take it to war if he had too.

Cheers
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Old December 17th, 2006   #53
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Red Flag was a largely pre-planned excercise, as usual. And when did somebody hear an airforce say 'Yeah, our planes suck'? Of course everything was just GREAT, and of course there is ALWAYS room for improvement, and we will WORK very hard to ... blahblahblah.


Somebody said JAS-39 was not designed for offensive strike. That is not correct. Sweden is not Finland. The idea in a Soviet attack scenario was to attack them as soon as possible, meaning still on Finnish ground, and especially in the anti-ship mission out in the Baltic. That requires some range. I'm pretty sure JA-37 was a better striker than the JAS-39.

JAS-39 is in some respect a modern day MiG-21. That was/is also great in WVR a/a combat, but only till the first maneuver, than its poor t/w ratio leaves it hanging in the sky. No way a strike configured JAS-39 could maneuver for a/a self preservation. Plus in a strike configuration the range is *very* limited, Mr. Plummer is absolutely right. That is/was a European disease, always building fighters in line with the Spitfire and Me109. Only good for defense, no offensive range with a useful warload.
And if I remember correctly the Swedish air force mission during the cold war was counter air and anti-ship, not so much air-to-ground. Actually, the danger of a Soviet invasion over land was pretty low.
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Old December 17th, 2006   #54
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Red Flag was a largely pre-planned excercise, as usual. And when did somebody hear an airforce say 'Yeah, our planes suck'? Of course everything was just GREAT, and of course there is ALWAYS room for improvement, and we will WORK very hard to ... blahblahblah.


Somebody said JAS-39 was not designed for offensive strike. That is not correct. Sweden is not Finland. The idea in a Soviet attack scenario was to attack them as soon as possible, meaning still on Finnish ground, and especially in the anti-ship mission out in the Baltic. That requires some range. I'm pretty sure JA-37 was a better striker than the JAS-39.

JAS-39 is in some respect a modern day MiG-21. That was/is also great in WVR a/a combat, but only till the first maneuver, than its poor t/w ratio leaves it hanging in the sky. No way a strike configured JAS-39 could maneuver for a/a self preservation. Plus in a strike configuration the range is *very* limited, Mr. Plummer is absolutely right. That is/was a European disease, always building fighters in line with the Spitfire and Me109. Only good for defense, no offensive range with a useful warload.
And if I remember correctly the Swedish air force mission during the cold war was counter air and anti-ship, not so much air-to-ground. Actually, the danger of a Soviet invasion over land was pretty low.
When aircraft 39 was developed during the cold war they didn't expect it to end in the early 90s.

But still, isn't the t/w ratio impressive? So efficient compared to other figthers.
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Old December 17th, 2006   #55
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Good post destiller!

It is with such exercises as annual business reports: The bottomline is the least interesting figure, it is far more informative to find out how the result is reached. But in these exercises the assumptions are classified.

The other point well made is the short range of traditional european fighters - and the long range of their light bombers.
I would have said: It tries on a F-104 airframe to the job of a Tornado ADV.

Finally I agree with You that the prospect of invading Sweden was rather remote, as Sweden at best would have been a soak on resources. the occupation of Sweden would have entailed little advantage for the Soviet Union. Add this to the fact that Sweden is very hard to invade over land and from the sea.
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Old December 17th, 2006   #56
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Red Flag was a largely pre-planned excercise, as usual. And when did somebody hear an airforce say 'Yeah, our planes suck'?
Actually, there's a much greater chance to hear only the negative results from a Swedish Armed Forces report than the other way around. Sweden has a history of shutting up whenever we do something good.
Ken Linberg said -I don't want to present any numbers, but we did very well! That's as far as Swede's go. I'm surprised he actually dared to say that! Who does he think he is!!?? And that is how Swedes work. It's the way it is, unfortunatelly.
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Old December 22nd, 2006   #57
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Ken Linberg said -I don't want to present any numbers, but we did very well! That's as far as Swede's go. I'm surprised he actually dared to say that! Who does he think he is!!?? And that is how Swedes work. It's the way it is, unfortunatelly.

True... If a tourist would remark on the beuty of for instance Stockholm during the summer any Swede immediately replies, "Yes it's lovely now, but you should try living here during the wintertime".

Anyway, I have to agree with Robertwest and Oryx posts above re Gripen performance at Red Flag, both the SwAF and the industry(Saab) are very pleased with the performance at Red Flag. Naturally there are a few lessons learned and room for improvement in some areas but the overall result was a great success.
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Old August 1st, 2007   #58
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CH,
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Simply because they don't contribute enough (numerically) to the gameplan in an airframe with enough strike warfare aptitudes to be worth the effort.

Of course I am also frankly against-

>>
“This is the most extensive and complex exercise the Swedish Air Force has been involved in to date with the JAS 39 Gripen,” Ken Lindberg explains. “Taking part will give us extremely important experience ahead of potential international missions in the future.”
>>

Since this is effectively teaching your enemy your doctrines and where this is particularly relevant to NCW, we don't need to be handing out freebies to people who think of RF as an excercise in-

>>
The exercise also provides a good opportunity to demonstrate the Gripen and its capabilities to interested parties internationally.
>>

Because frankly Sweden was never more than a silent partner in NATO and the Alliance itself is little more than an excuse for backstabbing and 'host fees' now that the Russian threat has gone and militarism is a Vae Victis Vickers business-in-booming.

The U.S. technically fights better alone than with anyone else and with the increase in COE tactics inherent to BVR, DEWS and Glide-IAM, I'm afraid I find much of the 'jointness' inherent to multiforce excersizes to have no point as either a propoganda (against who?) effort or a _secure_ training forum.

CONCLUSION:
IMO, the Swedes are looking for a free kudo on an airframe that is less competent overall (nm per pylon) than the F-16. Rather than indulge in fantasies like this-
I think you are a bit confused about this. The idea behind the gripen is not to be a superior strikeaircraft or a superior airsuperiority aircraft but rather an anti airsuperiority aircraft with powerful antiship weaponry as an option. In short, something the US dont want in the hands of one of their potential foes since it would make invading that foe alot more expensive. It is almost as if the Gripen was designed specifically as an anti-us aircraft (of course, it was an anti ussr aircraft but many nations find themselves in a similar relationship with the US today)

Looking back on the two Iraqcampaings for example your first order of business was to establish absolute air-superiority. The thought behind the gripen is to disperse your airforce in the countryside, supplying them with a truck and 5-10 groundcrew, hopping between potential ad-hoc bases such as highways, dried up lakes or what have you (no driedup lakes in sweden but you get the drift) making tracking them down as hard as the hunting mobile scudramps in the first gulf war. Thus, when your superior invader has established airsuperiority he will still need strong escorts for all his airstrikes thus making each airstrike more expensive thus reducing the number of airstrikes he can perform. And, if opportunity arises, perform airstrikes against shipping yourself.

So, obviously the Gripen will not contribute much to nato since nato is filled with heavier and or more specialised fighters and interception and anti shipping tend not to be such a big issue. Instead, view involving the gripen in nato exercises as a chance to study a potentially extremely annoying mosquito. Dont get me wrong, I cant see us swedes supplying the Jas to the more unsavoury regimes in the world and im in favour of most US foreign policy, or at the least alot more fond of the US than your foes. But better safe than sorry, yes?
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Old February 12th, 2008   #59
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"KPI: It sucks to be you, but it's not just that we are better."

Naaaaa...Bitter behaps?

AESA will be added BY THE TIME...without too much strain and pain.

I also got the impression that alot of other things are under way.

There is bold talk about JSF - but it will take a while before any dilivery outside US I guess

I'm Agree about: Thrust, Range and payload are limited

Mod Edit:

Kurt Plummer has been banned for nearly 2 years IIRC. It's pointless replying to him now.

Regards

AD

Last edited by Aussie Digger; February 12th, 2008 at 06:29 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2008   #60
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Well regardless of the many negative opinions expressed here on this thread with regard to Gripen, the aircraft is here to stay.

With the Swedish government deciding to invest close to one billion US in the upgrade of their Gripen fleet(standardising on the C\D model; 100 of them) and also developing an improved version of the aircraft with new engine etc. , the future of the aircraft seems secure. (This has been discussed in another thread)

And to all the critics out there.. Gripen, at this point has a better export record than Rafale. The fact is, money talks and many middle to lower income countries find Gripen with its relatively low cost and excellent capabilities very attractive.

I contend that Gripen is perfect for a country such as South Africa that probably will not find itself in high end warfighting any time soon. Something that will prove very interesting indeed will be what weapons will be integrated on the SAAF Gripens, this has partly been decided but a lot of decisions remain up in the air.

The SAAF plans to integrate the A-Darter indigeneous short range dogfight missile sometime after 2009(an interim missile will be thus be needed).

A new BVR missile has not been decided on. My money would be on Meteor, since there is no South African developed successor to the South African\Israeli V-4\Derby currently used on South African fighter jets, that I know of.

It would also be interesting to see SAAF thinking on what it will use with the Gripen - Litening combination in the ground attack role.

I know this is off topic for a thread about Red flag\Gripen, but hey, practically this entire thread seems to be off topic.
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