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Messages - Mr. S

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Switzerland Chooses F-35 As Its Next Fighter Jet

In something of a surprise result, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter has won the competition to provide the Swiss Air Force with its next fighter jet. The fifth-generation fighter fought off competition from the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, and Eurofighter Typhoon.

After what was described as a “comprehensive technical evaluation,” Switzerland’s Federal Council announced today that it planned to recommend to the country’s parliament that it procure 36 F-35As as part of the Air2030 program. The package also includes five Patriot air defense systems from Raytheon, which will provide the Alpine nation with a new long-range ground-based air defense capability. The Patriot was selected in favor of the rival SAMP/T offered by France’s Eurosam.

“An evaluation has revealed that these two systems [F-35A and Patriot] offer the highest overall benefit at the lowest overall cost,” the Federal Council explained in a statement. “The Federal Council is confident that these two systems are the most suitable for protecting the Swiss population from air threats in the future.”

The Air2030 program will replace the Swiss Air Force’s existing fleet of 30 ‘legacy’ F/A-18C/D Hornets, scheduled to be withdrawn in 2030, as well as its aging F-5E/F Tiger II jets. The new F-35As are expected to arrive in the country from 2025.


Germany is considering a mixed fleet of 30 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and 15 EA-18G Growlers in addition to at least 90 more Eurofighter Typhoons to replace their Tornado IDS and Tornado ECR aircraft. The Super Hornets are intended to provide the Luftwaffe with a platform for US B61 thermonuclear bombs stored in Germany. The EA-18G Growlers will replace the Tornado ECR in the electronic warfare role.

Source: Handlesblatt: Eurofighter und F-18-Jets sollen offenbar Bundeswehr-Tornados ersetzen (Google Translate)

Edit: Confirmed that this is merely a plan at this point

General Discussion / Re: Philippines reveal multirole fighter options
« on: November 20, 2019, 05:55:26 PM »
Well, here's hoping we don't see a surprise MRF contract with China or Russia.

General Discussion / Re: Philippines reveal multirole fighter options
« on: November 15, 2019, 02:56:19 AM »
First time I've heard Typhoon mentioned as an option, was also under the impression the F-16s pretty much already had this in the bag.

NATO member the Czech Republic said on Tuesday, November 12 it would buy 12 helicopters from the United States in a bid to replace its aging Russian-made Mi-24 aircraft.

The deal between the Czech and U.S. governments worth 14.6 billion koruna ($630 million) will be formally signed this year, the defense ministry said in a statement.

“The army needs new helicopters. The sooner we get rid of our dependence on Russian technology, the better. That is why we want to sign the contract this year so that by 2023 the helicopters will equip the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic,” Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said.
USMC UH-1Y Venom helicopter

The Czech armed forces will buy eight UH-1Y Venom multi-purpose helicopters and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, the ministry said, adding that other equipment, ammunition, a training simulator and initial conversion training for pilots and technical personnel is included.

In May, the U.S. State Department approved the sale to the Czech Republic of either 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters or four AH-1Zs plus UH-1Y utility helicopters. The number of UH-1Ys was not specified, but the sale of four AH-1Z helicopters along with 14 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, M197 20mm machine guns and other equipment, along with training, spares, and support was estimated at $205 million.

< Edited >


Official source (Google translated):

Any pictures of what this looks like?

Norwegian government has now decided to scrap the Helge Ingstad instead of trying to repair her. Among the cited reasons is that repairing the ship will cost anywhere between 12-14 billion Norwegian kronor (1.41 to 1.65 billion USD), whereas a new ship would cost between 11-13 billion Norwegian kronor (1.29 to 1.53 billion USD) and would be less risky.

Source: (Google Translate)

Test aircraft 39-10 flew for the first time yesterday.

Related article from before yesterday's flight:

Paris Air Show 2019: Gripen speeding through flight tests

The Gripen E’s flight testing programme is ramping up as Saab pushes the platform harder in the skies to meet the ever-evolving fighter jet demands for the Swedish and Brazilian air forces respectively.

In May of this year, the aircraft flew 9G and a ‘speed record’ was achieved during a test flight although Saab officials did not disclose the number reached.

Testing efforts in Sweden have seen the aircraft increasing its flight hours as Saab seeks to deliver the first Gripen E to the Swedish Air Force imminently, whilst Brazil must wait a little later into the year before it gets its hands on the aircraft.



Live feed of the recovery:

The operation started on Tuesday (25th February), and once they've raised the wreck, they'll transport it to a base to be disarmed. After that, they'll assess the damage and whether it's worth repairing the vessel or if it should be phased out.

More info here: (Google Translate)

General Discussion / Re: First F-16 - FA-50 flight sortie
« on: February 05, 2019, 07:24:19 PM »
More videos on DVIDS re: BACE-P
BACE-P Interviews Featuring Commander, U.S. and PAF Pilots (9 minutes 53 seconds)
Video by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs 
Interviews gathered during the Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines.
U.S. F-16s Participate in BACE-P for the First Time (1 minute 53 seconds)
Video by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs 
The Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange-Philippines provides U.S. Airmen the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and interoperability with Philippine counterparts. This year marks the seventh iteration of BACE-P and a first for the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
U.S., PAF Airmen Deepen Professional Relationships (4 minutes 2 seconds)
Video by Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs 
In order to share best practices during a Bilateral Air Contingent Exchange, U.S. Airmen and members of the Philippine Air Force held a subject matter expert exchange at Cesar Basa Air Base, Philippines, Jan. 24, 2019.

Yeah, I thought that was the preferred option by the PAF though, especially from a maintenance perspective. The T-129's larger, more modern, and has two engines, so not a bad choice either, probably was a lot cheaper than Apaches. Be interesting to see if they purchase any TOWs for the AH-1F, or more Spike-ERs for the T-129.

Interesting that they'll be operating two types of dedicated attack helicopters. Any word on ATGMs?

UPDATE: RTAF seeks to upgrade Gripen combat aircraft to MS20 configuration | Jane's, 28 November 2018

Key Points
  • The RTAF is looking to upgrade its Saab Gripens
  • The plan, however, does not yet appear to be a fully funded programme
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is looking to upgrade its fleet of 11 Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D multirole combat aircraft to the MS20 configuration.

"We are planning to upgrade the Gripens to the MS20 standard. We have seen the capabilities of the current standard and it would do everything we need," Group Captain Prachya Tippayarat, deputy commander of the RTAF's Wing 7 at Surat Thani Air Base, told Jane's on 27 November. However, no details were provided as to when the upgrade would take place.

According to Saab, the move, which would involve hardware and software upgrades, is designed to enhance the Gripens' ability to engage ground targets by incorporating unguided and laser-guided bombs into the aircraft's payload inventory. The platform's air-to-air capability would also be enhanced by the introduction of new radar modes. The MS20 standard, which offers an optional ground collision avoidance system (GCAS), would additionally enable the aircraft to fire MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

The RTAF officially stood up its Swedish-sourced integrated air defences in July 2011, a few months after receiving its first six Gripens at Surat Thani in southern Thailand. Two years later the service received its second and final batch of Gripen aircraft. In January 2017 one aircraft was lost in a crash, which the service is now seeking to replace. However, no timeline for this has been announced.

Thailand's air-defence system consists of the Gripen fighters, two Saab 340 Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, and an associated ground-based command-and-control facility. Tactical datalinks connecting these assets with others in the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) were provided by local industry in collaboration with Saab in a bid to create a network-centric air force.


Just to take note mamen, Sweden is not even a member of the European Union, although it is vocal against HR issues.

I think you might be confusing Sweden with Switzerland. Sweden has been part of the EU since 1995.

Second Gripen E Test Aircraft Takes Flight

26 November 2018

On 26 November, Saab completed the successful first flight of the second Gripen E test aircraft.

The second Gripen E test aircraft, designated 39-9, took off on its maiden flight at 09.50 am on 26 November 2018. The test flight was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden, with Saab test pilot Robin Nordlander at the controls.

“Some people think being a test pilot is the most exciting job in the world and it should be. Flying Gripen E means breaking no sweat though, even on a maiden flight such as this. The flight was so smooth and 39-9 a real pleasure to pilot. I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again and soon putting the new systems to the test,” says Robin Nordlander, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

During the 33 minute long flight, the pilot carried out a number of actions to validate flight characteristics and various test criteria, such as the software, life support system and radio system.

“It is very satisfying to see the second Gripen E aircraft join the flight test programme as planned. This new aircraft allows us to expand the trial activities as we test more functionality with on-board systems whilst, with two aircraft now flying, we are increasing the overall pace of testing. The programme continues to deliver good progress and to generate interest as our customers and others are keen to see and learn more about the capabilities Gripen E is going to give their pilots”, says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

The next phase in the test programme for Gripen 39-9 is testing of the tactical systems and sensors.


Where 39-8 was meant mostly to test the airframe and flight controls, 39-9 will be used to test avionics and tactical systems.[1] The plan is for one more test aircraft, 39-10, to be the first "production-standard" airframe before series production.

General Discussion / Re: Bald tires on FA-50
« on: October 30, 2018, 05:29:49 PM »

holy s**t! just looked at the enlarged version of this pic (click the one on adroth's post). that nose wheel does not look good, if it is worn out, that aircraft should not be flying until it's replaced. risking a plane for the price of a nose wheel? got passed the daily, turnaround, preflight inspections?

Keeping my fingers crossed that it isn't as bad as it looks, or that it just landed and the tyre's going to get replaced ASAP. Here's a 4x zoom of just the nose wheel.

Same image with increased brightness

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