Switzerland chooses Saab Gripen

jack412

Member
The Gripen seemed the sensible choice for their needs, budget and local politics.
I found the sulky release from the Rafale team a bit strange, you would of thought it would have been more professional, after all they are very experienced at loosing competitions :rel

How accurate it is I dont know but it's said the results showed Gripen was less capable than the Swiss FA-18CD with the Rafale and Typhoon was only marginally more capable than it, something I wouldn't think was so
 

StevoJH

The Bunker Group
How accurate it is I dont know but it's said the results showed Gripen was less capable than the Swiss FA-18CD with the Rafale and Typhoon was only marginally more capable than it, something I wouldn't think was so
That would depend on what exactly the swiss requirements were for, for example if cost was considered a checkpoint, that would negatively effect Rafale and Typhoon compared to the F/A-18 and Gripen.
 

colay

New Member
Dassault's string of bad luck continues.. Brazil seemed to be a done deal but no longer.. UAE same story .. Switzerland a lost opportunity.. all hope now seems to be riding on the Indian bid and one gets the impression that the Typhoon is ahead in that contest based on the hype/buzz in the media.
 

NICO

New Member
Dassault used to be able to sell plenty of Mirages but Rafale sure hasn't been that successful.:D I think politics has something to do with it in some markets (SKorea comes to mind), incompetence or hubris (Morocco...) but when UAE bulks at the final price tag, you know something is wrong. Final big deals are Brazil and India. The fact that Brazil after all the heavy leaning from French politicians and accords, still haven't bought Rafale is a bad sign, the more these things drag on, the less Rafale seems likely to win. Seems to be the trend. Rafale better come thru in India.

When it comes to Switzerland, they obviously went with the cheaper to buy and to operate. I don't think the NG will be that hard to finish, nothing glaringly difficult, SAAB should be able to finish it without too much delay or overruns. One word of caution, having lived near Switzerland and had Swiss friends, the procurement process isn't finished, they still might need a referendum or something could still derail this buy. I think NG was the safest bet for politicians to propose a vote to population which is very much opposed to expensive programs.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
How accurate it is I dont know but it's said the results showed Gripen was less capable than the Swiss FA-18CD with the Rafale and Typhoon was only marginally more capable than it, something I wouldn't think was so
there are a number of reasons why I have a doubt - and I say this as someone who has been on tender submission teams in the private sector, and as someone who has evaluated submissions for 3 different countries (2 as a contractor and one as an employee)

1) reports are not presented as graphs and individual companies are not scored in that fashion - esp in "low decimal points"

2) results are presented against a corresponding risk and capability statement, its not binary

3) countries know that publishing their own reports (let alone something that purports to be the total assessment) is a rapid way for other countries to see them as impugning the evaluation process - and hence not to be trusted in future transactions. I've seen one german company do that and they will never get business in that particular country ever again (for the life of those senior executives who were part of the assessment teams)

4) full briefs are not provided to individual companies and only go to the executive (and in a far more comprehensive fashion). If that report was based on final evaluation results then they would be sending in investigators as it compromises the integrity of the host country and sends a message that they are unable to maintain commercially sensitive material. they would pursue with some vigour.

I've dealt with other major french companies who were unsuccessful in their bids, and none of them demonstrated this kind of indiscrete petulance. They were very professional in the debrief and would not have behaved in such a fashion as it woud diminish their standing within this industry - and its a small environment despite the sums of monies involved.

I have basically zero confidence in the integrity of it as it is savagely out of context and is not representative of how these reports are normally distributed and generated.

it is also out of character for the swiss, as discretion and ptotection of information for them is almost an obsession.
 
Last edited:

swerve

Super Moderator
The Gripen seemed the sensible choice for their needs, budget and local politics.

How accurate it is I dont know but it's said the results showed Gripen was less capable than the Swiss FA-18CD with the Rafale and Typhoon was only marginally more capable than it, something I wouldn't think was so
1) Agreed.
2) I believe this is a misinterpretation of a chart. It gave a score of 6.0 as the desired level, & put Gripen below it, & Rafale & Typhoon a little above it. Some people have claimed that 6.0 is the score of F-18C, but AFAIK there's no evidence for that, & I think it unlikely that the desired level would be the same as the aircraft that's been in service for 15 years.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Makes sense - the Swiss have (or used to have) stacks of itty bitty airfields hanging off the side of hills and mountains. Something that can hack a high sink rate, short field performance and can be maintained by very lightly trained recruits ticks a lot of the boxes. They don't need something with a lot of legs, and the Gripen does swing role very nicely.
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
there are a number of reasons why I have a doubt - and I say this as someone who has been on tender submission teams in the private sector, and as someone who has evaluated submissions for 3 different countries (2 as a contractor and one as an employee)

1) reports are not presented as graphs and individual companies are not scored in that fashion - esp in "low decimal points"

2) results are presented against a corresponding risk and capability statement, its not binary

3) countries know that publishing their own reports (let alone something that purports to be the total assessment) is a rapid way for other countries to see them as impugning the evaluation process - and hence not to be trusted in future transactions. I've seen one german company do that and they will never get business in that particular country ever again (for the life of those senior executives who were part of the assessment teams)

4) full briefs are not provided to individual companies and only go to the executive (and in a far more comprehensive fashion). If that report was based on final evaluation results then they would be sending in investigators as it compromises the integrity of the host country and sends a message that they are unable to maintain commercially sensitive material. they would pursue with some vigour.

I've dealt with other major french companies who were unsuccessful in their bids, and none of them demonstrated this kind of indiscrete petulance. They were very professional in the debrief and would not have behaved in such a fashion as it woud diminish their standing within this industry - and its a small environment despite the sums of monies involved.

I have basically zero confidence in the integrity of it as it is savagely out of context and is not representative of how these reports are normally distributed and generated.

it is also out of character for the swiss, as discretion and ptotection of information for them is almost an obsession.
The Swiss have started investigating who leaked the reports to the media; this seems to imply that genuine reports were leaked.

A newspaper cannot reprint a whole report, that's just not possible.

My guess is that the reports were provided to some journalists who then either reproduced one chart from the report (i.e. taken out of context) or, even worse, created their own chart based on their (mis)understanding of the contents of the report.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
1) Agreed.
2) I believe this is a misinterpretation of a chart. It gave a score of 6.0 as the desired level, & put Gripen below it, & Rafale & Typhoon a little above it. Some people have claimed that 6.0 is the score of F-18C, but AFAIK there's no evidence for that, & I think it unlikely that the desired level would be the same as the aircraft that's been in service for 15 years.
Could well be though. Under Program 25, the Swiss AF have kept their Hornets very much at the forefront of Hornet combat capability in recent years.

They've added AIM-120C7, AIM-9x, ATFLIR, JHMCS, ALR-67v3, Joint Mission planning system, MIDS-LVT and avionics and processing upgrades in recent years.

They might be equipped for A2A and some recon duties (ATFLIR etc) only, but they have been as highly upgraded as any in Europe.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The Swiss have started investigating who leaked the reports to the media; this seems to imply that genuine reports were leaked.

A newspaper cannot reprint a whole report, that's just not possible.

My guess is that the reports were provided to some journalists who then either reproduced one chart from the report (i.e. taken out of context) or, even worse, created their own chart based on their (mis)understanding of the contents of the report.
I can tell you point blank that the data in these reports is not how teams assess platforms.

it is reconstructed info - and its the uncontrolled data as well otherwise there would be some significant clues given away in the presentation detail. Its not even in the format of the final summary report (generated to go to govt so that they don't need to review the entire assessment)

I wouldn't be getting too excited at the accuracy of it

also, the fact that the presentation is in a dumbd down simplified format also makes me question as to whether whoever got it and reconstructed the presentation actually understood what they were seeing - or whether they have misunderstood early drafts of sections of the various reportrs

this is NOT an assessment report from the evaluation team
 

Lostfleet

New Member
I am not aviation expert, but for some reason without looking at technical details, I believe Gripen will be a much better suited aircraft then Rafale.

I can imagine Gripen hiding in the secret mountain tunnels and take-off and land on roads. I am sure it won't be a problem for Rafale as F-18s do the same but for some reason Gripen blends in the scenery much better.
 

jack412

Member
Also looking ahead, when they replace the fa-18cd with maybe the f-35, perhaps the gripen will work better with the f-35 in their plans or the Gripen may be better with UCAV's if thats the way it goes. If indeed their fa-18cd is comparable to the Rafale and Eurofighter as indicated, I don't know how their frame hours are going but they may not be in a big rush
 

cynicalbeard

New Member
I think there is also the issue of the support systems philosophy:

The Rafale, I believe, requires the usual line airbase to refuel/rearm it.

The Gripen was designed to be maintained on the assumption that all of the major airbases would have been overrun or destroyed by the massively superior Soviet numbers. It is possible to refuel and rearm it in under ten minutes by one technician and five conscripts from a dispersed location, taking off from an 800m snow-covered runway.

Given Switzerland's snowy and mountainous terrain, with relatively few airbases, but more airstrips I can see why the Gripen would have distinct advantages for them.
 

vivtho

New Member
I think a lot of people are missing the fact that this was a competition to find a replacement for the F-5E and not the F/A-18. A smaller aircraft that acts as a support the main Hornet force and shares a very similar engine would seem ideal in this case.

Another surprising statement that I've seen in other forums about this is people claiming that the Gripen is a deviation from the Swiss tradition for twin-engine fighters. What tradition? It could equally be argued that the current force of F/A-18s & F-5s is a deviation from the single-engined tradition of the Vampire/Venom, Hunters and Mirage IIIs?
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I think a lot of people are missing the fact that this was a competition to find a replacement for the F-5E and not the F/A-18. A smaller aircraft that acts as a support the main Hornet force and shares a very similar engine would seem ideal in this case.
agree, its a variation and continuation of their hi-lo construct

Another surprising statement that I've seen in other forums about this is people claiming that the Gripen is a deviation from the Swiss tradition for twin-engine fighters. What tradition? It could equally be argued that the current force of F/A-18s & F-5s is a deviation from the single-engined tradition of the Vampire/Venom, Hunters and Mirage IIIs?
agree again, they're arguments out of convenience.. :)

the hornet was their first heavy twin and broke prev tradition ...

what will be interesting is what C3/4 I3 systems are bought over the next 10 years......
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I am not aviation expert, but for some reason without looking at technical details, I believe Gripen will be a much better suited aircraft then Rafale.

I can imagine Gripen hiding in the secret mountain tunnels and take-off and land on roads. I am sure it won't be a problem for Rafale as F-18s do the same but for some reason Gripen blends in the scenery much better.
Gripen was chosen by the Swiss because it's the cheapest and reasonably capable new fighter jet they could get from a Western manufacturer.

There's not much difference in size and weight between a Hornet, a Rafale or a Eurofighter.

If the Hornet can be operated successfully in that environment I've no doubt the others could too. Just not as cheaply as a Gripen...
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
The reports that were leaked to Swiss newspapers some time ago were put on the internet yesterday:

http://files.newsnetz.ch/upload//1/2/12332.pdf

Even after updating the offer, the Gripen scores surprisingly poor, even on "air policing" which was of special interest to the Swiss. I am quite surprised about this.

What is also interesting is that the Eurofighter is scoring so poorly in many categories. Even in a2a it's scores are less then stellar, which is probably a surprise to some.

Rafale scores very high in almost every category which may come as a surprise to many on this forum....

It seems that the leaked documents are genuine.
 

jack412

Member
also of note was that the FA-18c had better WVR capabilities than the Rafale.
It would be interesting if the complete report was released
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
Note that Rafale does not have HMD; in addition one may question how efficient the MICA is compared to the AIM-9X.

It is interesting to note that in spite of lacking HMD, the Rafale still managed to score so well in WVR....
 
Top