Svenskene er selvsagt fly forbanna. Ikke bare tapte de kampen. Det ble en så til de grader kræsjlanding at man nesten følte seg litt beklemt på søta brors vegne.
Eurofighter var smarte nok til å forstå at dette egentlig var avgjort på forhånd. Det sparte de mye penger på. Men om Gripen ble brukt til å prute prisen, så er ikke siste ord om prisen sagt ennå. Tror jeg.
Jeg ikke i nærheten av å ha kvalifikasjoner på området: Flykjøp. Men jeg kan jo stille noen dumme spørsmål. Det er mer i min gate.
Grunnen til at prisen er blitt så mye bedre enn man først forventet, kan kanskje skyldes dette:
Når regjeringens eksperter sier at JSF er Gripen langt overlegen på de fleste områder, så må Gripen være dårlig. Fryktelig dårlig. I alle fall om en skal tro dette: "Joint Strike Fighter: The Latest Hotspot in the U.S. Defense Meltdown"
Artikkelen var opprinnelig fra Jane Defence Weekly, publisert så sent som 10. september
It gets even worse. Even without new problems, the F-35 is a 'dog.' If one accepts every performance promise the DoD currently makes for the aircraft, the F-35 will be: "Overweight and underpowered: at 49,500 lb (22,450kg) air-to-air take-off weight with an engine rated at 42,000 lb of thrust, it will be a significant step backward in thrust-to-weight ratio for a new fighter. " At that weight and with just 460 sq ft (43 m2) of wing area for the air force and Marine Corps variants, it will have a 'wing-loading' of 108 lb per square foot. Fighters need large wings relative to their weight to enable them to manoeuvre and survive. The F-35 is actually less manoeuvrable than the appallingly vulnerable F-105 'Lead Sled' that got wiped out over North Vietnam in the Indochina War.
With a payload of only two 2,000 lb bombs in its bomb bay – far less than US Vietnam-era fighters – the F-35 is hardly a first-class bomber either. With more bombs carried under its wings, the F-35 instantly becomes 'non-stealthy' and the DoD does not plan to seriously test it in this configuration for years. As a 'close air support' attack aircraft to help US troops engaged in combat, the F-35 is a nonstarter. It is too fast to see the tactical targets it is shooting at; too delicate and flammable to withstand ground fire; and it lacks the payload and especially the endurance to loiter usefully over US forces for sustained periods as they manoeuvre on the ground. Specialised for this role, the air force's existing A-10s are far superior. However, what, the advocates will protest, of the F-35's two most prized features: its 'stealth' and its advanced avionics? What the USAF will not tell you is that 'stealthy' aircraft are quite detectable by radar; it is simply a question of the type of radar and its angle relative to the aircraft. Ask the pilots of the two 'stealthy' F-117s that the Serbs successfully attacked with radar missiles in the 1999 Kosovo air war.
Det blir verre:
The immediate questions for the F-35 are: how much more will it cost and how many additional problems will compromise its already mediocre performance? We will only know when a complete and rigorous test schedule –not currently planned – is finished. The F-35 is a bad deal that shows every sign of turning into a disaster as big as the F-111 fiasco of the 1960s.
Vi vet at den økonomiske situasjonen i USA gjør at antall fly i programmet kan reduseres, om det da ikke blir stoppet. Så det blir kanskje et annet fly vi kjøper?
11. september melder Sydney Morning Herald:
that Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon had asked for a full report from Australia’s DoD, in response to public reports that a classified computer simulation of an attack by Russian-built SU-30 family aircraft on a mixed fleet of F-35As, Super Hornets and F-22s, had resulted in success for the Russian aircraft. Fitzgibbon, who questioned the strategic logic behind Australia’s plans for an F-35/ F-18F fighter fleet while in opposition, asked for an Australian Department of Defence review, and added that:En meget diskutert studie: The Rand-study sier også noe om egenskaper:
“I’m determined not to sign on the dotted line on the JSF until I am absolutely certain it’s capable of delivering the capability it promises and that capability can be delivered on time and on budget.”
On Sept 12/08, Australia’s opposition Liberal Party waded into the fray in support of its previous decision to buy the F-35A. It asked the new minister to release the results of the recent Air Combat Capability Review, and get on with his decision.
The clear implication of the RAND study is that the F-35 is very likely to wind up facing many more “up close and personal” opponents than its proponents suggest, while dealing with beyond-visual-range infared-guided missiles as an added complication. Unlike the F-22, the F-35 is described as “double inferior” to modern SU-30 family fighters within visual range combat; thrust and wing loading issues are noted, all summed up in one RAND background slide as “can’t [out]turn, can’t [out]climb, can’t [out]run.”
En omdiskutert video tar for seg studien:
Så de dumme spørsmålene er om vi vet hva vi er i ferd med å kjøpe? Hva får vi og til hvilken pris? Er de artiklene jeg har referert til, ettertlige? De er i alle fall publisert i seriøse medier.
Jeg kan ikke se noe av dette er diskutert i anskaffelsesdokumentene. Men det er kanskje ikke lagt vekt på det. Jeg er ikke i tvil om at vi må ha nye jagerfly, jeg er bare litt i tvil om prosessen vi har hatt frem til beslutning.
For mer utfyllende lesning:
- RAND Pacific View 2008 briefing – Air Combat Past, Present, and Future [5.3 MB, PDF format]
- DID FOCUS – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Events & Contracts 2008 (DII subscription)
- F-35 Lightning II Program – Official Site
- LiveScience.com – New Fighter Jet: Controversial Future of the U.S. Fleet. Generaly positive article, goes into technical detail regarding a number of F-35 capabilities, including DAS, datalinks, and trans-sonic performance – which is contrasted favorably with the F-15’s. Turning performance is described as equivalent to an F-16 Block 50 in clean configuration.
- Aviation Week Ares (Oct 2/08) – JSF – Maneuvering Is Irrelevant. Describes a possible air combat edge for the F-35.
- Flight International’s DEW Line blog (Sept 26/08) – Download infamous RAND air power briefing (hint: the “baby seals/F-35” report). You have to scroll all the way down, past the comments, for the Scribd insert with the Power Point. DID also has a direct PDf download, above.
- Aviation Week Ares (Sept 22/08) – JSF Leaders Back In The Fight. To say that Bill Sweetman is unimpressed would be a vast understatement.
- Lockheed Martin (Sept 18/08) – F-35: Setting the Record Straight
- CDI (Sept 8/08) – Joint Strike Fighter: The Latest Hotspot in the U.S. Defense Meltdown.
- Aviation Week (Aug 1/08) – JSF Office Makes Buyers an Offer They Cannot Refuse. The rumored plan involves sharply lower prices for initial production aircraft, which are usually much more expensive, in exchange for very firm order commitments with large penalties if governments wish to cancel or reduce their total orders.
- DID Spotlight – The Australian Debate: Abandon F-35, Buy F-22s? (updated)
- DID Spotlight – Australian Air Power Controversy: Super Hornets Under Fire
- DID FOCUS – F-22 Raptor: Procurement & Events (DII subscription)
- DID (Sept 26/06) - The Major’s Email: British Harrier Support in Afghanistan, Revisited. Offers an in-depth look at close air support requirements, and some of the limitations of traditional fast jets in this role.
- Air Power Australia (2007) – Sukhoi Flankers: The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power. Complements the 2008 RAND Power Point and its “This is Not Your Father’s Flanker” section. Includes program history, details, regional procurement notes, and analysis of the SU-30 family’s current capabilities and likely future upgrades. Unlike RAND’s study, it concludes with a look at how the F-35 will stack up.