- May 16, 2011
It has everything to do with keeping as many lines of F-Teens open as long as possible. They'll continue to sell those Teens in competition to Rafale and EF for a long time. Having already a good amount of orders for the F-35 will keep the line open for a few decades.LOL. Nothing to do with that.
F-18 SH Block 3 With the USN (78), Kuwaiti (28) and German order (45 to be signed soon), open order book of 151, add the roughly 500 Block-2 to be upgraded to Block 3, work till 2030.
F-15 SA/QA/EX: 8 USAF + 96 SA + 36 QA order book of 140
F-16 Block 70: 16 Bahrain + 14 Slovakia + 66 Taiwan + 25 Morocco order book of 121 with literally hundreds in MLU upgrades
Eurofighter: 28 Kuwait + 24 Qatar + 93 Germany (to be signed soon): 145
Let's see Rafale orders: 24 Egypt, 36 Qatar, 36 India and 28 French AF order book of 128. I would worry more about the Rafale actually. Apart from India, no one at the moment might throw a bone for the Rafale.
Post Covid a lot of small countries won't have the funds to shell out for gold plated Rafales, the F-16V, F15 and F-18 Block-3 (including in Switzerland) can undercut the Rafale in price while providing more of the same combat proven abilities to the user. Also the F-35 gets in the way.
I'll repeat it for the Nth time, it's quite hilarious to have 70's era Teens (F-15/16/18) (412 in order) still have 60% of the market share for Western 4.5 gen fighters. This doesn't include the F-35.