F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

asianobserve

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impossible.
Shaped as a piece of sugar it need higher thrust. So high that despite 12 tons it can't supercruise. As said 1000x
Supercruise is not a design requirement for the F-35. Supersonic flight makes an aircraft easier to detect by IR sensors. That's why USAF's stealthiest aircraft, B-2 and its replacement B-21, is subsonic.
 

BON PLAN

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Supercruise is not a design requirement for the F-35.
Supercruise is one of the asset an aircraft needs to be a "5th gen fighter".
It's the own LM definition, not the SAAB, Boeing or Sukhoi one.

So you recognise F35 is not a 5th gen. OK, I agree.
 

asianobserve

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Supercruise is one of the asset an aircraft needs to be a "5th gen fighter".
It's the own LM definition, not the SAAB, Boeing or Sukhoi one.

So you recognise F35 is not a 5th gen. OK, I agree.

Supercruise was not a requirement for the JSF program that gave birth to the F-35:

images (13).jpeg
 

BON PLAN

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Supercruise was not a requirement for the JSF program that gave birth to the F-35:

View attachment 96257
OK, OK.... so F35 is the answer to the JSF requirement.
As the JSF requirement don't need supercruise, and F35 perfectly fit the requirement, F35 is not a 5th gen according to own LM definition.
It's as simple as that.
 

asianobserve

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OK, OK.... so F35 is the answer to the JSF requirement.
As the JSF requirement don't need supercruise, and F35 perfectly fit the requirement, F35 is not a 5th gen according to own LM definition.
It's as simple as that.
It such a lonely cudgel to take to promote Rafale in the age of F-35. Anyway, here's the relevant portion of Lockheed Martin's literature stating that F-35 is 5th gen as well as what is 5th gen. Learn!

20210625_155932.jpg


:truestory:
 

BON PLAN

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It such a lonely cudgel to take to promote Rafale in the age of F-35. Anyway, here's the relevant portion of Lockheed Martin's literature stating that F-35 is 5th gen as well as what is 5th gen. Learn!

View attachment 96353

:truestory:
No need to read. I perfectly know for years what was the 5th gen definition :
-Affordable
-At least as agile as a F16
-Sensor fusion
-Stealthy
-Supercruise.

F35 is short on 3 (not affordable, not agile, not supercruising).

That's all.
 

asianobserve

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No need to read. I perfectly know for years what was the 5th gen definition :
-Affordable
-At least as agile as a F16
-Sensor fusion
-Stealthy
-Supercruise.

F35 is short on 3 (not affordable, not agile, not supercruising).

That's all.

You're making up your definition. Go read the screengrab I posted, the 5th gen requirements by LM are listed there...
 

BON PLAN

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Direct from Switzerland :

Air2030 - A flurry of questions from the public

In addition to his position as a municipal councillor in Grandson (VD), Mr. Olivier Reymond is one of the administrators of the Facebook page of the Swiss Military Review [RMS]. He was the conductor of the publications on this page during the voting campaign on the acquisition of new fighter aircraft. This Sunday, June 27, 2021, he published on his personal Facebook page an analysis of the flurry of information that has been raining down on the population for the past few days. Mr. Reymond kindly authorized us to publish his analysis on LUVch.

In the last few days, the population has been flooded with information about fighter aircraft and the possible choice of the Federal Council. If this sudden interest of the general press for the military thing is not to my displeasure, it also raises some questions and remarks that I thought relevant to formulate here. Moreover, this will allow me to "synthesize" everything that has been said or written on the subject in the last few weeks.

Before that, I would like to [re]clarify that I am only a citizen interested in security and defense policy issues. I am not a pilot, nor an officer, nor an engineer, nor an industrialist, and I have no papers attesting to any degree of expertise in the field. I did try to get some pillow talk from Mrs Amherd, but she still refuses to succumb to my advances. And then it must be said that there are already four industrialists who try to seduce her with insistence, and with much more arguments to put forward than me.

I'm also making it clear that I'm leaning towards the Rafale. Again, I am not a specialist, but the elements that can be found in the media and referenced below explain my choice, which is necessarily subjective since there are a lot of criteria and information that I do not have access to. One can therefore say that I am quite honestly dishonest, which Jack Sparrow would not deny.

My sources are listed at the bottom of the article, not to mention some quite informal discussions with a few officers and connoisseurs of the file, whose identities I will not mention here, to avoid the shame of having their names associated with mine.

With these few clarifications, let's take off!


As mentioned in the preamble, there is a lot of excitement in the press about the choice of the next Swiss fighter aircraft. First of all, I would like to remind you that, unlike the 2014 Gripen, all the selected aircraft meet the Swiss minimum criteria. In this context, there does not seem to be any aircraft that is fundamentally unsuitable for our country. So why are passions running high? Let's see.

Initially, the media and specialists indicated that the Rafale was favored by armasuisse and, apparently, by politicians. There were several reasons for this. First, the French aircraft was well regarded by the military and, to a lesser extent, by the Swiss public, having finished first in the previous 2008-9 evaluations. Second, the Rafale has recently won three export contracts (18 aircraft for Greece, 30 for Egypt and 12 for Croatia), in addition to the others since 2015. In doing so, it shows that it is a high-performance aircraft that is taken seriously, since Egypt and Greece are experiencing significant tensions with their neighbors. Moreover, these orders ensure that the production line will continue to run for a few years, while lowering the cost of production per unit, as well as the cost of maintenance. Indeed, and quite logically, the more devices are produced, the less it costs per unit. The same is true for spare parts. Still from an industrial point of view, Dassault has assured us that its aircraft will remain in service until 2070. Moreover, France would guarantee (the conditional is appropriate, the information, like many others in this kind of file, is classified) a better strategic autonomy to Switzerland than its competitors, and in particular American. The source code of the onboard software would be provided by Dassault, and France does not ask its export customers for reports and authorizations on how its aircraft are used. Finally, buying European could be a diplomatic gesture of goodwill towards Europe, with which relations are far from good following the abandonment of negotiations on the framework agreement.

So far, all was well. Especially since the Rafale's competitors seemed to be in a relatively bad position. For example, Boeing has been criticized by Ruag for the real life of its aircraft in Swiss skies, which is only 1/3 of that announced by the manufacturer. As a result, the German-language press has nicknamed it "Panenjet". In addition, the Super Hornet will no longer be ordered by the US Navy in the future. As a result, the industrial "survival" of this aircraft is now entirely dependent on export orders, which remain very hypothetical today. Finally, we must add to this the opposition of the left to American aircraft. On the other hand, the "Super Hornet" has the advantage of being the successor to the current F/A-18, thus reducing the costs of adapting the infrastructure and training associated with the transition from one aircraft to another.

The Eurofighter is in a similar situation, with an assembly line that is far from secure. In addition, the program has long suffered from a lack of leadership, resulting in a proliferation of different modernization projects and the costs that go with them. In previous evaluations, it scored less well than the Rafale, while being considered more expensive than the latter, due to the political and industrial choices made when designing the aircraft. In addition, it has a very bad reputation in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where there has been a lot of talk about the Austrian Typhoons, which hardly fly at all and were selected because of bribes. Under these conditions, this aircraft did not seem to be a particularly attractive candidate, except for the fact that it is European. The press has revealed today that the four nations of the Eurofighter consortium (including Great Britain, which is quite funny) had proposed a "global package" to Switzerland, going far beyond military considerations and industrial counterparts.

Finally, the F-35 is still in the news. There is obviously talk of its many flaws, some of which are critical, and for which there is still no solution. Moreover, it remains expensive to operate. So much so that the US Air Force is considering not ordering as many of them as initially expected, raising fears of a [new] cost explosion. One can imagine that some small European customers are trembling at the thought. And here again, the left is in ambush, notably for questions of sovereignty (which is rather ironic, when you think about it, but let's not go there). The F-35 requires a very close collaboration with its manufacturer to ensure its maintenance. The dedicated software, ALIS, sends data continuously to Lockheed-Martin. Another software, ODIN, is lighter and less problematic, but it still requires a large data flow to the manufacturer. If all competing aircraft are subject to this principle, the F-35 would take this logic very [too?] far. On the other hand, the flagship of American aeronautics is a "fifth generation" aircraft, a term that has no meaning other than that which American salesmen want to give it. If it is not as fast and maneuverable as its competitors, it has impressive data collection and processing capabilities, which would classify it as a 5th generation aircraft, as well as its stealth. However, this lead is rapidly diminishing, and the F4 version of the Rafale, proposed to Switzerland and to be produced by 2025, would have stealth capabilities that would make up for the stealth of the F-35.

In this context, it is relatively easy to understand why the Rafale was favored by Swiss specialists and politicians. But then, how on earth is it possible that the F-35 is suddenly in a better position in the competition? Has it suddenly become the miracle aircraft that the US has been advertising for years? Or is there something else going on? As you can see, the second solution is more likely to prevail.

First, it would seem that it is not necessarily because of its technical qualities that the F-35 has suddenly made a comeback, but rather because of an offensive on costs and economic considerations. Without being in the know at the DDPS, I would bet that in a purely technical evaluation, without financial criteria, the F-35 would not be the winner. But, of course, money is the sinews of war and this criterion cannot be ignored. So how did the "Lightning II" go from being an aircraft with a reputation for being expensive to being the "best value" aircraft?

As is often the case with Lockheed-Martin, through some clever accounting and industrial tricks. The very inventive American salesmen do not hesitate to propose bids using the dollar rate of... 2012, aircraft without engines, etc. to lower the price of the bid, whose contract is sure to have a lot of little lines at the bottom of the sheets.

In the Swiss tender, the American manufacturer has thus greatly reduced the overall costs of its aircraft by proposing... not to fly it too much. Yes, it does. Lockheed-Martin's offer would include a very large number of hours spent on the simulator, while making it seem absolutely revolutionary. However, this is not the case, since it goes without saying that all aircraft have very powerful simulators, which is quite common. In any case, the price per flight hour would remain very high. La Liberté reports, for example, that in the U.S. House of Representatives, in 2019, "the price of $44,000 per flight hour was quoted for the F-35, compared with $25,000 for the F/A-18, also competing in Switzerland. Regarding the Rafale, a French government response to a parliamentarian indicated in 2019 an order of magnitude similar to the F/A-18. "As for the purchase price (which doesn't mean much, since we never really know what is included in the purchase, but this certainly refers to the "naked" aircraft), the Aviation Portal site found the following figures: the unit cost of the F-35 is $89 million, while that of the Super Hornet is $51 million and the Rafale C at 57 million euros. In any case, it's nothing to say that the F-35's value-for-money argument has raised some serious eyebrows among aviation enthusiasts.

Moreover, Lockheed-Martin has promised a lucrative partnership with Kudelski. Simply, promises only engage those who believe in them, and the Americans have become specialists in the art of dangling important economic counterparts that do not come true in the end. The Belgians will not contradict me!

In addition to the financial aspect, these sudden "leaks" in the press raise a wave of questions. First of all, they are likely to cast opprobrium on armasuisse and the criteria selected in the evaluations. After all, it cannot be said that armasuisse has shone in recent years, especially with the acquisition of the Hermes HFE UAV. Moreover, it seems that Lockheed-Martin made a last minute offer, which obviously raises questions: did the Americans know the details of the offers of its competitors? In this case, the framework of the procedure would not be respected and the injured industrialists could appeal the choice of the Swiss authorities.

Secondly, if Lockheed-Martin was able to make a last-minute offer, will the other manufacturers also be entitled to it? If not, then there would again be a problem of fairness. In any case, why allow last-minute proposals? Normally, the offers were received at the end of last year and, in my opinion, it should not have been possible to make new ones, unless this was expressly requested by the Federal Council and this to all manufacturers. On the other hand, these offers are extremely complex. I personally find it difficult to understand why it would have taken six or seven months to analyze the proposals made in November, but only a few days to take into account the one from Lockheed-Martin.

In addition, the timing of these revelations is somewhat strange. The Aviation Portal site has done a nice little investigative work on this issue. Indeed, the editors of this site noticed that the articles suddenly placing the F-35 in the lead were published very close together (4:50 pm by NZZ, then 4:58 pm by SRF on Monday June 21), before being picked up by Reuters, an American news agency, only one hour later, i.e. before the rest of the Swiss national media had time to pick up the information themselves. In other words, the "leak" seems to have been organized from the United States. Moreover, the timing itself is not insignificant, as the choice had to be communicated initially two days after the publication of these articles. This is not a new practice, and many tenders are subject to similar schemes. The French submarines sold to Australia or the Rafale to India are perfect examples. These communication operations aim to influence public opinion, which, although it does not necessarily have an informed opinion on the issue, obviously has a say in the final choice of aircraft. And when I say "the public opinion that does not have an informed opinion on the question", I include myself in it, as I said initially.

In any case, Lockheed-Martin seems to have made an offer which, if it seems dubious in some aspects, would perfectly match all the criteria of the Swiss competition. From now on, the Federal Council will find itself in a difficult position to decide:

either it respects the results of the evaluations and gives the green light to the purchase of an aircraft that is not unanimously supported, whose costs risk to put a strain on the finances of the rest of the DDPS and whose acquisition will once again be contested in a vote by the left, a vote that will be difficult to win;
or it disavows armasuisse, as in 2013 and with the result that we know, and opts for another aircraft, probably the Rafale.
In addition, there is also the question of which important partner Switzerland intends to anger: the Americans by not choosing the winning aircraft, or the Europeans, who are already fairly burned by Switzerland.

As we can see, it must not be very comfortable to be in Mrs Amherd's seat these days and it will be very interesting to see which choice will be made, for what reasons, and what the internal and external political consequences will be.
 

Bhurki

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"The F-35 scored better in effectiveness, product support and cooperation than the Rafale, Super Hornet and Typhoon."

The Swiss Federal Council stated that the F-35 promised the highest performance for the lowest price, with Lockheed’s proposal coming in at $2.16 billion less than its nearest competition.


F35, Literally the cheapest and the best.
 

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