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Will latest F-35 problems push Norway towards a European solution?

This is a discussion on Will latest F-35 problems push Norway towards a European solution? within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Not spending too much time researching these days I was quite surprised about an article on defenseindustrydaily.com about the F-35 ...


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Old December 5th, 2007   #1
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Will latest F-35 problems push Norway towards a European solution?

Not spending too much time researching these days I was quite surprised about an article on defenseindustrydaily.com about the F-35 hitting serious design problems.

It is claiming :
Quote:
Originally Posted by defenseindustrydaily.com
He says that flying in 2012 with the JSF may be safe and the JSF can be used as a plane to fly around. But, the several software modules for weapons system integration will not be ready. Ground attack capability is the priority, so early-build F-35s will primarily be "bomb trucks" until the additional software modules can be tested and loaded. Air superiority capabilities will be restricted, and completed only after 2015. This means that full multi-role capability is possible by 2016 at the earliest, if and only if no major problems occur in development and testing of the weapon systems software.
So now I'm wondering if Norway might be pushed towards Gripen or Eurofighter a bit more as full air superiority/ interceptor capabilities are definitely required given the reappearance of the legendary bears...
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Old December 5th, 2007   #2
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Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
Not spending too much time researching these days I was quite surprised about an article on defenseindustrydaily.com about the F-35 hitting serious design problems.

It is claiming :

So now I'm wondering if Norway might be pushed towards Gripen or Eurofighter a bit more as full air superiority/ interceptor capabilities are definitely required given the reappearance of the legendary bears...
its certainly a possibility given the substantial links already made with both the eurofighter and gripen consortiums.
what is the main priority for Norway?..........if its air superiority then a decision could lean towards the eurofighter typhoon which is already fully capable in that regime.ground attack capability is also well advanced....

interesting thread.interesting to see how it all pans out....and not just in respect of norways interest
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Old December 5th, 2007   #3
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its certainly time for all to seek backup aircraft types
(just in case of course)

maybe AUS should look at 100 super hornets and 10 growlers.
or new build single seat f 15f fighters.(60) and (50 supahornets)
and dont forget gripen, rafale or typhoon.
just a thought?
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Old December 5th, 2007   #4
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With the daily news that I don't think can be spun as anything approaching "Here's more good F-35 News," IMHO, the writing is on the wall.

I'd get as many "extra-friendly" NATO countries and see if you can get the F-22 on the (relative) cheap. I'm guessing we're going to want more of those for ourselves, and the only way that's going to happen (within some kind of real budget) is if the cost per unit decreases... a lot. I'm in favor of making it available to our close allies. The F-35 just seems to have a shady future.
Perhaps, if we're able to sell (again... i.e. some countries that have bought into the F-35) the F22 to F35 members, the price could be right for Europe; and perhaps the Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale, all become even more competitive for export and in a perfect storm, EU countries will be able to buy "domestic" as replacement for the F35? Big IF! Especially knowing we like to hide our best fighter a keep control of our tech until it leaks (In my mind, it's like we're keeping the best players on the sideline... but I guess we really don't have much of a need for them now)?

Anyway, as always, JMHO. I know a lot of people are/have been waiting for the F-35 and believe in the program, I'm just skeptical.

cheers!
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Old December 5th, 2007   #5
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The F-35 future is unclear for some European countries, these are tied in to cost, technology transfer, offsets and aircraft capability for the dollar paid.
A Dutch parliamentary report recently stated that the final cost of F-35 will not be known until the final aircraft comes off the production line and they were not happy with technology transfer issues, so what does the future holf for the F-35.
SAAB are making a great play to the Scandinavian countries with the next generation Grippen, and I personally think that is the way they will go.
F-35 seems a jack of all trades aircraft with what seems to be limited range and payload. It's plusses are stealth, AESA radar and whatever new technology is in place.
However some countries may want the accent to be on an aircraft which can do more and is better overall value, so for me it's Typhoon or Grippen for some countries, forget Rafale, no one seems to like it much.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #6
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For clarification: I didn't mean to start an F-35 bashing thread or a comparison, there are enough threads that deal with these things... However, first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the Norwegian Air Force is that the Russians have resumed their patrols over the North Atlantic. No big deal, really, business as usual really, but it could trigger a slight emphasis on the need to have a capable interceptor/ air superiority fighter. IMHO they need a multi-role fighter, but if it's true that the F-35 will be available for A2A missions by 2016, then this could be too late. And a true multi-role Typhoon will definitely be ready much earlier, a AESA variant perhaps as early as 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffo4011
its certainly a possibility given the substantial links already made with both the eurofighter and gripen consortiums.
what is the main priority for Norway?..........if its air superiority then a decision could lean towards the eurofighter typhoon which is already fully capable in that regime.ground attack capability is also well advanced....
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
SAAB are making a great play to the Scandinavian countries with the next generation Grippen, and I personally think that is the way they will go.
Exactly. Both are good options, I think. Remains to be seen what the Norwegians do now. Would be interesting to hear what the Norwegians themselves think about that matter.

Perhaps they even think about going the Aussi way and buy or lease an interim fighter to reduce risks and buy the F-35 when it's ready.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #7
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There will not be an interim fighter. Its between the JSF, Eurofighter and Gripen. I feel that the JSF and Eurofighter has an edge over the Gripen.

We require more of an A2A platform than an A2G platform.
That will favour the Eurofighter, wich is the way i hope we will go.
It was mention in a newspaper debate that if we choose the JSF, russian fighters and probably the backfires as well, can choose not to be intercepted by outclimbing and outrunning it. During peace an intercept is the normal alongside "smile and wave".

The Eurofighter representative also admitted that the JSF was the best aircraft if you wanted to bomb downtown Teheran, but we dont...

When it comes to the rising cost of the JSF, thats always been a problem.
We`ll get the final cost long after the contract is signed. LM also gave us an estimate that sounds just stupid (to low, maybe theres a new one i havent heard about), and we are afraid to run into another BAZAN guess the price cost overrun nightmare.

Just my five cents (please give me a Eurofighter for christmas)
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Old December 5th, 2007   #8
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Not spending too much time researching these days I was quite surprised about an article on defenseindustrydaily.com about the

It is claiming :

So now I'm wondering if Norway might be pushed towards Gripen or Eurofighter a bit more as full air superiority/ interceptor capabilities are definitely required given the reappearance of the legendary bears...
First off I'd like to say hello to everybody. I'm a newby here and this is my first post

I'm not sure if this has been in the norwegian media. They're not so eager to report on defence matters, so they might be slow to catch on...
However, I don't think this alone will move Norway in another direction. Norway is very close to the US when it comes to "major" investments.

In that respect, the only thing that will push Norway away from the F-35 are it's operational shortcommings, compared to the Typhoon or Gripen. Recent events have shown that a supersonic interceptor is still in demand. From what I have read, the F-35 will not be able to intercept the supersonic russian TU-160 Blackjack and TU-22 Backfire. This will be a serious shortcomming to the RNoAF.

I do not belive stealth is as important for Norway as it is for the US or UK. I can not see the norwegians flying bombing raids over the Kola peninsula. However, the norwegian strategic concept of the cold war is not out of date. It calls for air superiority in a crisis, so that NATO forces (air/navy/land) may be deployed.

I'm not an expert, but if an air superiority fighter can not catch up with it's targets, then we may have a problem

I belive this alone will move Norway towards a european solution.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #9
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Timing

I think the critical issue here is timing. The JSF project is already delayed and with the only available prototype grounded since the beginning of May it's been even more delayed. Cutting down on prototypes to save money makes the project sensitive to more delays.

The question is when Norway has to get a replacement before their existing F-16's will require costly investments to keep them in the air.

And I think if Norway decides to not wait for F-35 Gripen is the most likely choice.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #10
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And I think if Norway decides to not wait for F-35 Gripen is the most likely choice.
I belive we rather buy the Eurofighter than the Gripen. The Eurofighter is a more capable aircraft and has achieved considerable export order.
The only thing the Gripen has going for it is cheap, swedish surplus aircraft and possibly a collaboration with sweden (and Denmark) on repair/maintainance,
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Old December 5th, 2007   #11
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I belive we rather buy the Eurofighter than the Gripen. The Eurofighter is a more capable aircraft and has achieved considerable export order.
The only thing the Gripen has going for it is cheap, swedish surplus aircraft and possibly a collaboration with sweden (and Denmark) on repair/maintainance,
In the long run Norways vital interests are to protect their oil and fishing rights, and for that you want to perform maritime patrol with abilities of anti shipping and reconnaisance. Those are areas there Gripen has quite clear advantages against Typhoon. Also remember that the version Norway is offered are the Gripen N which will have quite a lot of general capability, especially considered value for money.

But I think what will be very important for Norways decision is industrial cooperation and I think Saab can offer more than the Eurofighter consortium there.

Eurofighter has at the present export orders for more planes than Gripen, but only from two countries. Gripen has been ordered by at leats three countries, probably four and is seen as the favourite in several tenders.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #12
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According to the Norwegian Air Force site, Norway needs a F-16 replacement from 2020 onwards.

http://www.mil.no/luft/start/omlf/fr...rticleID=90007

or 2015-2020

http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/fd/...html?id=439975

(Norwegian)

I've uploaded some presentations (PDF) from the Norwegian fighter competition. Thought you'd find them of interest. Quite large files: 6-12 Mb.

Eurofighter_Capability.pdf
Gripen_Capability.pdf
JSF_Capability.pdf

The Norway specific content is in the end of the presentations.
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Old December 5th, 2007   #13
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In the long run Norways vital interests are to protect their oil and fishing rights, and for that you want to perform maritime patrol with abilities of anti shipping and reconnaisance. Those are areas there Gripen has quite clear advantages against Typhoon. Also remember that the version Norway is offered are the Gripen N which will have quite a lot of general capability, especially considered value for money.

But I think what will be very important for Norways decision is industrial cooperation and I think Saab can offer more than the Eurofighter consortium there.

Eurofighter has at the present export orders for more planes than Gripen, but only from two countries. Gripen has been ordered by at leats three countries, probably four and is seen as the favourite in several tenders.
Protecting fishing rights is done with our P-3, and hopefully a new MPA in the future. Fighters have short range and short time on station.
Protecting oil instalations is most likely against a terrorist threat, and not major surface combatants. Small boat would be the jobs for navy helicopters and FSK/MJK. In an all out war, air to air will have priority and anti ship will be second priority. I also think we can get the NSM integrated into the Eurofighter, like we do with JSF. The same thing with Gripen. Norway is not going to by RBS15 or any other swedish ASM.

So i actually dont think Gripen have any clear advantages, and are at a disadvantage in air to air.
And if we get refurbished, surplus swedish Gripens, how much industry involvement can you get?
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Old December 5th, 2007   #14
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Protecting fishing rights is done with our P-3, and hopefully a new MPA in the future. Fighters have short range and short time on station.

I also think we can get the NSM integrated into the Eurofighter, like we do with JSF. The same thing with Gripen. Norway is not going to by RBS15 or any other swedish ASM.

So i actually dont think Gripen have any clear advantages, and are at a disadvantage in air to air.
And if we get refurbished, surplus swedish Gripens, how much industry involvement can you get?
You sometimes need fighters to intercept foreign ships (as well as foreign aircraft) because of their higher speed. And yes, fighters have shorter range and loitering time then a large sea surveillance prop-aircraft but I would´nt be concerned about the range in the Gripen NG. The numbers I´ve seen is that is at least as good as Eurofighter and in a interception mission over sea even better.

NSM will be integrated in the Gripen NG, as you have seen in pictures and read from SAAB. Norway perhaps does´nt have a need for RBS 15, but that´s off topic.

Why would Gripen NG have a disadvantage in A2A compared to the EF?

And why in the world would Norway buy "refurbished, surplus swedish Gripens" when they have not asked for it? South Africa, Chzeck Republic and Hungary all bought brand new Gripen C/Ds customized to their needs, Norway is a bit richer then those countries and could certainly afford new planes too...
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Old December 5th, 2007   #15
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Not spending too much time researching these days I was quite surprised about an article on defenseindustrydaily.com about the F-35 hitting serious design problems.

It is claiming :

So now I'm wondering if Norway might be pushed towards Gripen or Eurofighter a bit more as full air superiority/ interceptor capabilities are definitely required given the reappearance of the legendary bears...
The "limited" capability the JSF will provide as it's initial operating capability will be the ability to carry 2x AMRAAM and 2x air to ground munitions (up to 2000lbs class) internally or 4x AMRAAM or 2x AMRAAM and 2x WVR AAM of the users choice internally.

On top of this is the external weapons capacity, which is not going to present any RCS issues for intercepting Bears!

How can this be considered limited when no other fighter in the world can do this?

Further studies and development will improve the ability of the JSF to carry internal ordnance and speculation seems to show that the F-35A/C will be capable of carrying 4x AMRAAM and 2x WVR missiles without too much drama, however that capability is not a priority. Getting the aircraft to it's baseline requirement is...
 
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