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Author: Subject: International Fighter Sales, part 2
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[*] posted on 14-6-2019 at 03:40 AM


Air2030: Saab Does Not Participate in Flight and Ground Trials for A New Fighter Jet (NKF)

(Source: Swiss Defense Procurement agency, Armasuisse; issued June 13, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

BERN --- On Thursday, June 13, 2019, the Swedish manufacturer Saab informed armasuisse that Saab would not participate in the flight and ground trials for a new fighter plane for the Swiss Army in Payerne with the Gripen E.

The trial for the Gripen E was scheduled from 24 to 28 June 2019. With its non-participation in the flight and ground testing, Gripen E leaves the evaluation process.

Returning to the flight and ground testing at a later stage would contradict the principle of equal treatment for all candidates, and is not an option.

Since the beginning of 2018, armasuisse has been in regular contact with all applicants and has clearly explained both the process and the criteria.

Based on current information and analysis on the degree of maturity and the integration of the subsystems, specialists from armasuisse and the Swiss Air Force came to the conclusion that several of the planned missions could not be carried out expediently.

For this reason, armasuisse has recommended that Saab withdraw from the evaluation.

Apparently, Saab also came to the conclusion and separately estimated not to participate in the flight and ground trials.

The following four candidates remain in the evaluation:

-- Airbus with the Eurofighter (DE)
-- Boeing with the F / A-18 Super Hornet (USA)
-- Dassault with the Rafale (FRA)
-- Lockheed Martin with the F-35A (USA)

Further procedure in the project New Fighter Jet

The findings of the analysis and testing phase will be summarized separately in expert reports by armasuisse in collaboration with the Army Staff, Air Force, Army Logistics Base and Leadership Support Base. These technical reports are the basis for a systematic and comprehensive comparison between the candidates, which will be carried out in the second half of 2020. The technical reports also serve to determine the required fleet size for each type of aircraft.

armasuisse will, on the basis of the current timetable, prepare a second offer request on this basis and submit it to the candidates.

Using the findings of the second offer, armasuisse will compare the candidates on the basis of the technical reports and determine the total benefits per candidate. Then the evaluation report will be prepared in which the respective total benefit will be compared with the procurement and operating costs for 30 years.

The type selection decision is made by the Federal Council.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Armasuisse could not be reached for clarifications, while a promised clarification from Saab had not arrived by deadline. Both will be added as and if they arrive.)

(ends)
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[*] posted on 15-6-2019 at 06:17 PM


Saab’s Gripen Offer to Finland Includes GlobalEye

(Source: Saab; issued June 14, 2019)


Saab said today that the proposal for the Finnish fighter competition it filed in January comprises two GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft as well as 64 Gripen fighters, of which 52 single-seat Gripen E and 12 two-seat Gripen F. (Saab photo)

Saab announces that its Gripen offer to Finland, submitted in January this year, also includes two GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.

GlobalEye is a strategic asset, which can be in operation 24/7 for airspace and ground surveillance. Such AEW&C capability would increase Finland’s situational awareness and provide increased pre-warning time, supporting the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity. AEW&C systems have shown to provide an efficient deterrent effect whilst enhancing and maximizing the combat effectiveness of a fighter fleet.

“Our offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence, responding to the requirements of the HX programme. GlobalEye is the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution and combined with Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, it will provide a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces”, says Anders Carp, Senior Vice President and head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.

Saab, supported by Sweden, submitted its proposal for the Finnish fighter procurement in January this year. Saab’s proposal comprises 64 Gripen aircraft, of which 52 are single-seat Gripen E and 12 are dual-seat Gripen F, as well as two GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft. Finland has stated that it is planning a procurement decision in 2021.

As part of the proposal, Saab offers the necessary equipment and associated services to operate the aircraft as well as a substantial weapon and sensor package. Saab’s proposal also includes an industrial co-operation programme with the aim to build extensive national capabilities in Finland for security of supply. It features transfer of maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities to local industry as well as aircraft production and establishment of a sustainment and development centre in Finland.

GlobalEye is the latest and most advanced AEW&C solution on the market, setting a new industry standard with air, sea and land surveillance in a single, multi-role solution. GlobalEye brings extended detection range, endurance and the ability to perform multiple roles, including tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance and joint military operations. GlobalEye is currently on contract and in production.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 17-6-2019 at 04:08 PM


Can Typhoon Still Win Orders in the Era of the F-35?

by Jon Lake - June 17, 2019, 1:24 AM



Development of Eurofighter’s Typhoon began in the 1980s, well before stealth technologies evolved.

Typhoon marketing once relied on promises about the type’s potential, and about capabilities that were "coming soon" or just around the corner. But today, those tasked with selling the Typhoon can point to technologies and systems that are already flying on the aircraft, to weapons that are already in frontline service, and to capabilities that have been combat proven.

Some believe that this has come too late, with the aircraft now facing competition from "stealthy" fifth-generation rivals, and not just from its non-stealthy contemporaries. Others point to the fact that many of the world’s leading air forces have come to realize that a synergistic mix of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters may represent a better, more effective and more cost-efficient means of delivering combat performance than a force of fifth-generation fighters alone, and that some late fourth-generation fighters offer compelling advantages in terms of performance, payload, and combat persistence.

The fact that the Typhoon initially entered service as an air-to-air fighter reflected the initial priorities of its original core customers, and was never an inherent limitation, and the Typhoon displayed at Paris this year is a versatile multi-role and swing-role tactical fighter. The aircraft’s formidable air-to-ground capabilities have been proven in combat (and are being used in ongoing combat operations), even while its class-leading air-to-air capabilities are being expanded and improved.

The RAF’s Typhoons gained an initial austere air-to-ground capability more than 10 years ago, using 1,000-pound Paveway II (PWII) Laser-Guided Bombs (LGBs) and Enhanced Paveway II (EPWII) dual-mode bombs and an Ultra-built Litening 3 Laser Designator Pod (LDP). Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia paired the PWII and EPWII with the Thales Damocles LDP to gain an initial air-to-ground capability. The RAF used its Typhoons during Operation Ellamy over Libya in 2011, while Saudi Arabia used its Typhoons against targets in Yemen during Operations Decisive Storm and Restoring Hope.

Typhoon air-to-ground capabilities were expanded by the integration of the 500-pound Raytheon UK Paveway IV dual-mode bomb and of MBDA’s Storm Shadow long-range stealthy cruise missile and the same company’s precision-guided Brimstone 2. Typhoons have now used both Paveway IV and Brimstone 2 in combat as part of Operation Shader, the UK’s participation in multi-national operations against Daesh (the so-called Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria. Brimstone 2 is claimed to be the only air-launched low-fragmentation fire-and-forget weapon in the allied inventory that is effective against moving targets.

Integration of the Storm Shadow and Brimstone formed part of the UK’s Centurion upgrade, together with the Meteor BVR air-to-air missile, which is also now in full frontline service, and which has been carried during UK QRA scrambles against intruding Russian military aircraft. German Eurofighters now use the 1,000-pound (450-kg) Raytheon GBU-48 (a dual-mode version of the Paveway II, also known as the EGBU-16), and the Trojan Improved Penetrator, and may soon be armed with Boeing’s GBU-54 Laser JDAM, while Italy and Spain also use the EGBU-16 with semi-active laser and GPS-aided inertial guidance.
Both Eurofighter and NETMA, the NATO management agency responsible for the Eurofighter program, have worked hard to ensure that future weapons integrations will be much quicker, allowing the program to react in a more agile fashion to the requirements of export customers. Recently, a number of unguided free-fall bombs from 500 pounds to 2,000 pounds (Mk 82, 83 and 84) have been cleared on the aircraft to meet Kuwaiti requirements. Kuwaiti aircraft will also use the Lockheed Martin Sniper laser-designator pod rather than Litening or Damocles. Several anti-ship missiles have been fit-checked and wind-tunnel tested on the Typhoon, including the AGM-84 Harpoon, the Saab RBS15, and the MBDA Marte-ER. The latter are believed to form part of the weapons package being supplied with Qatar’s new Typhoons.

However, the Typhoon story is about much more than the integration of new weapons. At Paris, the industry team behind the aircraft is expected to highlight the Typhoon’s open/reprogrammable mission data—long held to be one of the aircraft’s major competitive advantages, but one that has been little talked about until now. Leonardo may also brief about Typhoon’s Electronic Warfare capabilities, especially after the May announcement that BriteCloud has been tested and released for the first time from an RAF Typhoon. BriteCloud is an expendable active radar missile decoy that is the size of a soda-can and that can be fired from standard chaff/flare dispensers. After an initial firing in April, RAF Typhoons have dispensed some 33 BriteCloud 55 rounds from aircraft flown by No. 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron against a range of threats. Full service entry is expected later this year.

While the four “core nations” have conspicuously failed to sign up to acquire an AESA radar for their Typhoon fleets so far, aircraft for Kuwait and Qatar will incorporate E-Scan radar technology. Euroradar has secured production contracts for 28 E-scan radars from Eurofighter/Leonardo Aircraft as the prime contractor for Kuwait and from BAE Systems for the 24 E-Scan radars for Qatar.

The Captor-E radar has flown in production standard form on two test aircraft, Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 5 at BAE Systems Warton, and on IPA8 at Airbus Defence and Space in Manching, and passed its Critical Design Review (CDR) exactly on schedule. The design has been frozen, and software has been developed and matured through flight-testing using production standard hardware.

Hensoldt has delivered the first antennas to Leonardo UK in Edinburgh to allow series production to begin, and Leonardo are confident that radar deliveries to the prime contractors will allow the radar to be fully integrated with the Eurofighter weapons system in time for aircraft for Kuwait and Qatar to have E-Scan radar fitted from day one, and the Euroradar companies (Leonardo, Hensoldt and Indra) hope that the Eurofighter partner nations will soon commit to procuring Captor-E in its Radar One Plus guise for their own Eurofighter fleets, allowing radar production to follow on from deliveries for Kuwait and Qatar.

The radar used by Kuwaiti and Qatari Typhoons is known as Radar One Plus and this standard also forms the basis of the four-nation AESA radar development program, which will use the same hardware and will have the same performance, although additional documentation and performance data will be required by NETMA.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2019 at 09:31 AM


PARIS: F-35 to take about half of fighter market over next decade

18 June, 2019 SOURCE: Flight Daily News BY: Garrett Reim Paris

The worldwide fighter market could grow by 17.2% over the next decade, representing a total output of 3,401 aircraft.

That production volume would be worth $264 billion in FY2019 dollars, according to a report by Forecast International.

The total number of fighters to be produced from 2019 to 2028 is 17.2% (499 units) higher than the number of aircraft produced during the previous 10 years. Annual production is expected to peak early, at 371 aircraft in 2021 and 2022.

Output is then projected to decline through to 2027, to 313 aircraft that year.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II will be the largest fighter programme over the next decade, due primarily to its selection as the tactical fighter of choice for the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps. Lockheed Martin is expected to deliver 1,548 examples of F-35 – some 46% percent of the market.


DVIDS

The F-35’s dominance is not guaranteed, however, Forecast International says.

“Lockheed Martin must continue to reduce the aircraft's procurement and operating costs if it is to achieve sales expectations on the world market,” the research company says.

In fact, older fighters, such as the Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18E/F, Boeing F-15, Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon are seeing continued interest and business from air forces in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East. Even the USAF is considering the F-15EX, partly due to the operating costs of the F-35, Forecast International says.

Outside of the Western sphere of influence, Russian combat aircraft such as the MiG-29 and Su-35 are more prevalent.

China could compete with Russia, although the export programme for its most advanced fighters is not as mature, Forecast International says. China is likely to try to gradually build markets in Africa and Asia.

“[China] offers the JF-17 light fighter in co-operation with Pakistan's PAC on the export market, and this lightweight fighter offers the capability of beyond-visual-range engagements at a lower price than competing US or Russian aircraft,” the company says.

Russia could eventually find an export customer for its Su-57 stealth fighter, and China for its Shenyang FC-31 – although not much is known about the aircraft.

"China and Russia have both developed stealth fighters to compete against the F-35, but the technical capabilities of these low-observable models are difficult to evaluate from the outside," says Forecast International's Douglas Royce. "In any case, Russian and Chinese-built fighters only occasionally compete with Western-built fighters in the international market, so the impact of new Russian or Chinese fighters on Western manufacturers is usually small in any given year."
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[*] posted on 19-6-2019 at 06:22 PM


Paris Air Show 2019: IAI offering Kfir NG to Colombia, expects to return Sri Lanka and Ecuador jets to service

Gareth Jennings, Paris - Jane's Defence Weekly

18 June 2019



A Colombian air force technician sits on the canard of a Kfir during a ‘Red Flag’ exercise in 2012. IAI hopes to sell the enhanced Kfir NG to Colombia, and expects to return to service aircraft for Sri Lanka and Ecuador. Source: US Air Force
Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) is offering Colombia an upgraded variant of the Kfir combat aircraft it currently flies, dubbed the Kfir Next-Generation (NG).

Speaking to Jane's at the Paris Air Show, Yossi Melamed, head of IAI's Aviation Group, said that with the Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana: FAC) being "very happy with the performance" of the 22 Kfirs that IAI had previously upgraded for the service, the company is developing a further enhanced Kfir NG that it sees as a perfect fit for a follow-on replacement.

"I think the Kfir NG offers a huge advantage for Colombia," Melamed said. "There is no argument about the current capability of the Kfir, and the Kfir NG would provide a meaningful change. Colombia already has the infrastructure, training, simulators, and even ammunition for the aircraft so why would they want to spend two billion dollars on another aircraft?"

With the current Kfir Block 60 that the FAC operates featuring a 'zero-timed' airframe, system, sensor, avionics (comparable with the F-16 Block 52), and weapon enhancements, the Kfir NG adds a more powerful General Electric (GE) F414 engine (as already powers the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Saab Gripen E/F) in place of the outdated GE J79; an enhanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; improvements to the datalinks; and upgraded avionics. Another feature that is still in development is a redesigned aft-fuselage that will increase the aircraft fuel capacity. According to Melamed, this should double the Kfir's endurance.

The Kfir NG could be based on remanufactured FAC airframes, surplus Israeli Air Force airframes, or could even be new-build depending on the requirements. Melamed declined to put a timeline on the Colombian offer.

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[*] posted on 21-6-2019 at 08:40 AM


Paris Air Show 2019: Lockheed Martin confirms F-35A for Finland’s HX

Charles Forrester, Paris - Jane's Defence Industry

20 June 2019

Lockheed Martin has confirmed that the company is submitting the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to replace Finland’s fleet of Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets in a programme known as HX.
The confirmation of the company’s bid comes shortly after the F-35A was shown at the Turku Air Show in Finland.

Lockheed Martin reached a “handshake agreement” with the US Department of Defense’s F-35 Joint Program Office on 11 June to reduce costs of the aircraft in the low rate initial production Lot 13 to below USD80 million per aircraft, which also includes engine and fees.

Finland is currently evaluating other bids for the programme including: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler; a package from Saab that includes the Gripen E, Gripen F, and GlobalEye; Dassault Rafale; and Eurofighter Typhoon.

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[*] posted on 22-6-2019 at 01:58 PM


Paris Air Show 2019: Lockheed Martin targeting continued European F-16 growth

Charles Forrester, Paris - Jane's Defence Weekly

21 June 2019


Lockheed Martin is working on expanding sales of the new F-16V in Europe, as well as upgrades to V standard. Source: Lockheed Martin /Randy A. Crites

Lockheed Martin is continuing to develop potential new-build sales of the F-16 Fighting Falcon in Europe as well as upgrade opportunities for the aircraft, officials have said.

"We have seen a great resurgence in the F-16, which we had not expected to see a few years ago. Now we are staring at a potential of up to 400 additional aircraft worldwide. For Lockheed Martin, we view the countries buying F-16 as being on the path to the F-35 [Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter]," executive vice president for Aeronautics Michele Evans told Jane's .

"So that will be the capabilities that we want to transition to those countries as well," Evans added.

In Europe, the company is working on targeting upgrades to the F-16V for legacy operators of the platform, as well as selling new-build aircraft.

The company re-established its F-16 production facility in Greenville, South Carolina, as F-35 production in Fort Worth, Texas, expanded.

"We have all the options on the table for customers with legacy Block 40 and Block 50 aircraft to consider - we will be able to upgrade those, and if countries want new-build aircraft we can also provide those," Evans said.

The company is also working to harmonise technology upgrades between the F-35 and the F-16, with some technology developed for the F-35 flowing back to the F-16. Similarly, some F-16 upgrades, such as the auto-ground collision avoidance system, have been installed on the F-35 to help realise capability sooner.

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[*] posted on 25-6-2019 at 09:46 PM


Qatar’s Typhoon contract is ‘largest ever’ UK export credit deal, reveals UKEF report

Jon Grevatt - Jane's Defence Weekly

24 June 2019


Qatar’s procurement of Eurofighter Typhoons and Hawk trainers from the UK is supported through UK credit worth potentially up to GBP5 billion. Source: BAE Systems

Key Points

- UK credit to support Qatar procurement worth a potential GBP5 billion (USD6.4 billion), but it needed 'ministerial direction' to progress
- UK Export Finance report also reveals Middle East and Asian countries are principal beneficiaries of UK defence export credit

Qatar's deal with the United Kingdom in 2018 to procure Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighters and BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers is the largest deal to have been supported through UK export credit, it has been revealed.

The UK's export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said in its recently published 2018-19 annual report that during the year it finalised "the largest single transaction in its history", which features the provision of a potential GBP5 billion (USD6.4 billion) package to support Qatar's order of 24 Typhoons, nine Hawks, and associated weapons.

The provision of credit to Qatar continues the UKEF's trend in recent years to engage primarily with the defence materiel requirements of countries from the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

In addition to Qatar, UKEF information shows that beneficiaries of UK credit in recent years have included India, Indonesia, Oman, and South Korea. In addition to Typhoons and Hawks, which have also been exported to Oman through credit, other major UK-made defence systems to have been exported through such finance include air-defence systems, hovercraft, radars, and military vehicles.

According to the UKEF's 2018-19 annual report, defence sector exports "contributed significantly" to its business during the year. The main defence programme, it said, was in relation to a "package of guarantees and insurance" supporting the sale of Typhoons and Hawks to Qatar.

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[*] posted on 26-6-2019 at 08:44 AM


Argentina negotiating Pampa sale to Paraguay

Santiago Rivas, Buenos Aires - Jane's Defence Weekly

25 June 2019

Argentina's FAdeA state-owned aerospace factory and the Argentine government have offered Paraguay six IA-63 Pampa III trainer/light attack aircraft to replace the Paraguayan Air Force's retired Embraer Xavantes aircraft.

The offer, which Jane's understands was made in late April, specifies that the aircraft would be offered in return for a reduction of Argentina's debt to Paraguay for electricity from the Yaciretá dam, which is shared between the countries.

The value of the contract being negotiated is about USD100 million. The deal, if approved by the Paraguayan government, would be the first export contract for the Pampa.

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[*] posted on 26-6-2019 at 01:49 PM


After seeing 'Argentina' in the title, I briefly got excited and thought they finally managed a way to buy fighter aircraft of their own...



Repent!

The darkest hour of Humanity is upon us. The world
shall meet it's end and we shall be submerged into a
new dark age. Repent your sins, for the apocalypse,
and the end, is extremely f@#king nigh!
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[*] posted on 28-6-2019 at 12:27 PM


Air2030: Federal Council Approves the Message on the Planning Order for the New Fighter

(Source: Swiss Federal Council; issued June 26, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

BERN --- The Federal Council wants the army to protect our country against air attacks, also in future. The current fighter planes will reach the end of their useful life by 2030 at the latest. In order to ensure the continued protection of the country and its population, the Federal Council wants to renew the defense of airspace.

At its meeting of June 26, 2019, the Federal Council approved a message to Parliament concerning a planning decree for the acquisition of new fighter jets. This is to give the population the opportunity to vote on their acquisition by taking a vote in principle.

The Federal Council has made several pronouncements in recent years on the acquisition of new fighter jets. On May 15, 2019, it decided that the possibility of a referendum on the principle of the purchase of new fighter jets should be offered by means of a planning order of Parliament. The Federal Council has also laid down the essential elements of this planning decree and instructed the DDPS to quickly submit a message.

Elements of the planning order

The Federal Council has therefore approved the said message and the draft planning order for Parliament. The order deals with the following elements:

• The Federal Council is responsible for renewing the means of protecting the airspace by acquiring new fighter jets. Their service introduction must be completed by the end of 2030.

• The financial envelope for this acquisition should not exceed CHF 6 billion (based on the consumer price index for January 2018).

• The foreign companies that will be awarded contracts in the context of this acquisition will have to compensate 60% of the contract value by granting contracts in Switzerland (offsets), of which 20% will be direct and 40% indirect, in the security-related technological and industrial sectors.

• The acquisition will be the subject of a submission to the Federal Assembly as part of an annual armaments program.

• The acquisition of new fighter jets will be coordinated, both technically and in terms of time-frame, with that of the long-range air defense system.

• This decree is subject to referendum.

Protection against aerial attacks: a major issue

Arms acquisitions are usually decided by the Federal Assembly, without a possible referendum. For the acquisition of new fighter jets, the Federal Council wants to allow a referendum, since this is a question of major importance.

• Current aircraft are nearing the end of their service life. If they are not replaced in time, Switzerland will no longer be able to protect, much less defend, its airspace after 2030, and the military will no longer be able to fulfill the tasks for which it is responsible under the Constitution and the law on the armed forces. Protection against air attacks - whether by armed forces or terrorist groups - is a crucial issue for our State, one of whose essential tasks is to ensure the security of Switzerland and its people.

• The political importance of the acquisition is underscored by the fact that the last two fighter aircraft acquisition projects resulted in popular ballots: in 1993, on the basis of an initiative, and in 2014, on the basis of a referendum. If it does not result in a right to a referendum, it nevertheless gives rise to an expectation that must be taken into account politically.

The project will extend over more than ten years, which requires as much security as possible in its planning. This is why the Federal Council intends to involve Parliament and the public in this process as soon as possible.

If Parliament adopts the planning decree and the referendum request is accepted, citizens will be able to decide on the principle, namely the acquisition or not; of new fighter jets to replace all current fighter jets (30 F/A-18 C/D and 26 F-5 E/F).

The choice of the combat aircraft to be acquired will then be made by the Federal Council. This procedure was the subject of a motion tabled by Parliament.

Parallel acquisition of the ground-to-air defense system

It is planned to acquire the new long-range ground-to-air defense system in the usual way, without the possibility of a referendum. Due to obvious correlations, the acquisition will be in parallel with that of the combat aircraft, according to the same schedule and the same technical aspects.

The Federal Council is planning a total of CHF 8 billion for the new means of protecting the airspace. This will be complemented by acquisitions for other parts of the military, including land forces, cyber defense and driving systems.

For the financing of all these projects, the Federal Council grants the armed forces a budget growth rate of around 1.4% per year.

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[*] posted on 4-7-2019 at 05:35 PM


Croatia Kicks Off a New Round of Fighter Procurement

by Peter Dunai - July 3, 2019, 11:06 AM



After its unsuccessful attempt to acquire second-hand Israeli F-16s, the Croatian Council for Defense decided to launch a new procurement round at the end of June. It has confirmed the need to preserve the capabilities of airspace protection with the country’s own multi-purpose combat aircraft.

The Council “proposed the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee with the aim of implementing all activities related to the acquisition of a multi-purpose combat aircraft,” said a statement issued by the President’s Office on June 28.

According to media information, the Committee will send an RFI (Request for Information) to Lockheed Martin and Saab for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the JAS 39 Gripen. Jutarnji List, a Croatian daily, reported without referring to a government source that second-hand Mirage 2000s from Brazil—offered by a Croatian middleman—are not considered to be a principal contender.

Croatia currently has only relatively limited airspace control capability with a squadron of obsolete MiG-21 fighters that have been partly refurbished and upgraded to basic NATO standard.

The country has been trying for more than a decade to replace the MiG-21s as they run out of service life, but so far all attempts to do so have failed, mainly due to lack of funding.

This is one of the reasons for Zagreb strengthening defense and airspace protection cooperation with neighboring Hungary.

Hungarian Minister of Defence, Tibor Benkő, and Croatian Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Damir Krstičević, signed a joint airspace policing agreement and a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a multinational command on April 8 in Budapest.

Both countries are signatories of a Memorandum of Understanding to create a Multinational Special Aviation Program. Under the agreement, a new training center will be established in Zadar, Croatia, dedicated exclusively to training air crews who will conduct the insertion and extraction of Special Operations Forces. The new aviation training center is expected to open its doors by the end of 2019 and will contribute to NATO’s adaptability and readiness.

Go beyond the headlines with AIN’s free weekly digest of the most important news across the aero defense industry.

Meanwhile, the delivery to Croatia of Orbiter-3, a light tactical UAV produced by the Israeli company Aeronautics, lags behind schedule, several Croatian media outlets have reported.

Orbiter-3 is planned for use by the ministry of defense and the ministry of agriculture to detect bushfires, as well as for border control and other tasks.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2019 at 03:45 PM


Boeing reassures it’s still in the Canadian fighter competition

09 July, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

After a news report that said it might pull out of Canada’s fighter competition, Boeing says it’s still participating in the process and hasn’t made any final decisions.

Boeing and Airbus, which are respectively offering Ottawa the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, have complained in letters to Canada’s Department of National Defence that its procurement competition is unfairly favouring Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, according to a report by Reuters. Boeing declines to comment specifically on the reported complaints.

“We appreciate the transparent nature of this competition, specifically the multiple opportunities to provide formal comments to the government of Canada on draft request for proposals (RFP),” says Boeing. “We continue to be very confident in the Super Hornet Block III capabilities to meet the defence needs of Canada and Boeing’s ability to bring unmatched benefits to the Canadian economy through the aerospace sector.”


Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 which is to be replaced by a new fighter
Royal Canadian Air Force

The company also noted its commitment to share part of the contract work and value – 88 jets for a reported C$15 billion to C$19 billion. As part of its offset policy, called the Industrial and Technology Benefits (IBT) Obligation, Ottawa plans to score bids partially based on their ability to funnel work to local businesses.

However, Lockheed Martin has argued that it cannot provide offset contracts to Canadian businesses because as a member of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme the nation’s companies have already been given more than $1 billion contracts, and thus further accommodations would be in breach of the partnership agreement. Canadian F-35 suppliers include Curtis Wright Controls, which makes the aircraft’s radar single-board computer, and Magellan Aerospace, which makes the “A” variant’s horizontal tail.

Despite being a member of the Joint Strike Fighter programme and initially planning to buy the 65 examples F-35, Ottawa has dithered on whether or not to buy the stealth aircraft over the past decade. Nonetheless, the country has officially included Lockheed Martin as a qualified bidder in its latest fighter competition.

One other reported area of disagreement are Royal Canadian Air Force requirements that emphasise the ability to carry out first strikes on foreign targets, a role which favours the radar evading abilities of the F-35 stealth fighter. In place of stealth abilities, Boeing has pitched the F/A-18E/F’s longer, unrefuelled flight endurance and larger weapons carrying capacity as capabilities that enable the fighter to make missile strikes from stand-off distances, outside the range of enemy radar and air defences.

Ultimately, Boeing says its decision will be based on the final RFP, due out by the end of this summer.

“We look forward to continuing to provide comments, reviewing the final RFP, and determining next steps at that time,” says the company.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2019 at 03:54 PM


Exclusive: Airbus, Boeing Indicate They May Pull Out of Canada Fighter Jet Race – Sources (excerpt)

(Source: Reuters; published July 08, 2019)

By David Ljunggren

This is the story Boeing denied in their release per the above article...…...

OTTAWA --- Airbus SE and Boeing Co may pull out of a bidding process to supply Canada with new fighter jets because they say the contest is unfairly tilted towards Lockheed Martin Corp, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Monday.

The three companies competing with Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet have already complained about the way the contest is being run, and expressed concern some of the specifications clearly favour the U.S. firm, industry sources have said in recent weeks.

Next week the government is due to release the so-called request for proposals - the final list of requirements - for the 88 new planes it wants to buy. The contract is worth between C$15 billion (£9 billion) and C$19 billion and the planes are due to be delivered between 2025 and the early 2030s.

Boeing and Airbus have now formally written to Ottawa expressing concerns about the current requirements, said two sources familiar with the matter who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation. The fourth bidder is Sweden's Saab AB. (end of excerpt)

-ends-
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[*] posted on 11-7-2019 at 10:45 AM


Bulgaria approves F-16 purchase

10 July, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com

By Igor Bozinovski

Bulgaria's government has given the green light for the $1.25 billion acquisition of eight Lockheed Martin F-16Vs.

Approval from the council of ministers was obtained on 10 July, with the agreement likely to be put before the country's parliament next week.

Sofia is to take six single-seat aircraft and a pair of two-seat exanples under the Foreign Military Sales agreement, which also includes training and support packages. It hopes to have received all of the F-16s by 2023.

In addition, Bulgaria will establish an overhaul facility for hydraulic landing-gear components on the F-16. The USA will also help set up local development of unmanned air vehicles, says economy minister Emil Karanikolov.

The new fighters – Bulgaria's biggest military procurement since the fall of Communism – will be used to replace its ageing fleet of RAC MiG-29s, which were delivered in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
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[*] posted on 12-7-2019 at 12:14 PM


Defence Ministry: Bulgaria Plans to Buy Another 8 F-16s, On Deferred Payments

(Source: The Sofia Globe; posted July 11, 2019)

A day after Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved a deal with the US to buy eight F-16 fighter jets for $1.25 billion, paying for them in one go, the country’s Deputy Defence Minister said that Bulgaria intended buying a further eight, paying in instalments.

Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov, head of the Bulgarian negotiating team on the F-16 acquisition, made the statement in a television interview on July 11.

The second eight would be bought with deferred payments because Bulgaria would already have a credit record, he said.

This batch would not cost a further two billion leva because most of the equipment would be delivered at the first stage, he said. Zapryanov said that it was too early to say what the price of the second batch of aircraft would be.

He said that the first batch, which includes six one-seater and two two-seater F-16s, would all be delivered by 2023.

The deal approved by Bulgaria’s Cabinet on July 10 requires the approval of the National Assembly.

Should Parliament’s approval be granted, Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov will proceed with the signing of four contracts, covering the delivery of eight new aircraft and the training of pilots and ground staff.

He rejected any suggestion – as made by President Roumen Radev – that the F-16s that Bulgaria is to buy would have inadequate capabilities.

There was no reason to say that the current package was fundamentally different from the one at the beginning of negotiations, Zapryanov said.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 12-7-2019 at 07:45 PM


Saab offers Gripens to Colombia to replace Kfirs

Pat Host, Washington, DC - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 July 2019

Key Points

- Saab is offering single- and dual-seat Gripens to Colombia to replace its Kfirs
- Saab would provide 15 total aircraft

Saab AB is offering its single-seat and dual-seat Gripen fighters to the Colombia Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana: FAC) to replace its Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir combat aircraft fleet.

Jonas Hjelm, Saab's head of business area aeronautics, told Jane's on 10 July from the Feria Aeronáutica Internacional (F-AIR) show in Colombia that the company offered 12 single-seat Gripen Es and 3 dual-seat Gripen Fs. He said that Colombia is looking for multirole air superiority fighters and that Saab believes the Gripens perfectly fit these requirements.

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[*] posted on 17-7-2019 at 09:48 PM


Guatemala cancels its Pampa III purchase

Santiago Rivas, Buenos Aires - Jane's Defence Weekly

17 July 2019

Just nine days after signing an agreement with the Argentine government on 3 July for the provision of two FAdeA IA-63 Pampa III aircraft the Guatemalan government cancelled the order.

Guatemalan Defence Vice Minister General Jorge Ruiz said the Central American country would not proceed with the deal as it currently stands after the opposition party raised concerns about the need for the two trainer/light attack aircraft and the lack of transparency surrounding the deal.

The Public Comptroller of the country has recommended the agreement be cancelled as it has not been approved by the Guatemalan Congress and there has been no public tender.

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[*] posted on 22-7-2019 at 08:50 PM


Argentina selects Korean FA-50 fighter

Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

21 July 2019


The FAA has chosen the KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle twin-seat light attack aircraft as its interim fighter. Source: KAI

The Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA) has selected the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Fighting Eagle to be its new interim fighter aircraft, Jane’s has been told.

A senior FAA officer with direct knowledge of the planned procurement said that the supersonic, twin-seat light fighter and attack aircraft has been selected following an evaluation that Jane’s first reported in September 2016.

The officer, who requested not to be identified as the deal is not finalised, said he expects the government to sign off on the planned procurement “in the near future”, with deliveries to commence shortly after. Argentina has national presidential elections at the end of October, and the officer noted that these may slightly prolong the timeline, but that he still expects the deal to go through.

While Jane’s was not told numbers, Argentine national media has reported an anticipated deal for 10 aircraft.

The FAA has a pressing need to acquire a new fighter type to replace the Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 fleets that were retired in late 2015, and the ageing Douglas A-4R Fightinghawk fleet that is proving increasing difficult and costly to maintain.

An Argentine delegation first visited the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) 16th Fighter Wing at Yecheon on 7 September 2016, when an FAA pilot tested a TA-50 Golden Eagle operational trainer variant of the FA-50.

Other aircraft types that the FAA has reportedly considered include the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir, the Dassault Mirage F1, the Alenia M-346FT, the Aero L-159 ALCA, the CAC FC-1/PAC JF-17 Thunder, the Saab Gripen, early-model Eurofighter Typhoons, and the Sukhoi Su-24 ‘Fencer’ (although this is widely believed to have been a hoax).

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[*] posted on 22-7-2019 at 10:41 PM


This is an interesting purchase (assuming it goes ahead...).

If at some point in the near future Argentina decides to rebuild its military, South Korea is one of the few practical partner nations that are in a position to offer a comprehensive weapons package, given how 'problematic' the UK will be in the industrial process. South Korea offers the ability to buy a comprehensive package including frigates, submarines, fighter aircraft, armament, logistic shipping, etc. etc. etc.




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[*] posted on 24-7-2019 at 09:19 AM


Leonardo not giving up on Argentina fighter bid

Santiago Rivas, Buenos Aires - Jane's Defence Weekly

23 July 2019


Leonardo still has hopes of securing a sale of its M-346FA in Argentina, despite a report that a rival platform has already been selected. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Leonardo remains confident that it can sell its M-346FA to Argentina, despite Jane's being told that the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA) has already selected the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Fighting Eagle to be its new interim fighter aircraft.

Speaking to Jane's on 22 July, Leonardo officials said that the company is still pushing the light fighter and attack variant of its M-346 Master advanced jet trainer to the FAA as part of a wider proposal that includes technology transfer and local industrial participation.

An additional part of its interim-fighter bid, Leonardo sees the M-346FA serving as a potential stepping-stone to the Eurofighter Typhoon, which the company manufacturers as part of a consortium that includes BAE Systems from the UK and Airbus from Germany and Spain. It is also offering the M-346FA alongside other platforms from its portfolio, including the C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft and various helicopters.

Leonardo's comments came a day after Jane's quoted an informed source as saying that the FA-50 was the FAA's preferred option, and that, subject to upcoming presidential elections in October, the government is expected to sign off on the procurement. The details of KAI's bid have not been disclosed, but the chief of the FAA, Brigadier General Amrein, has previously told Jane's that he is looking for an aircraft that is relatively cheap to acquire and operate, and that is capable of meeting his requirements.

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[*] posted on 24-7-2019 at 09:26 AM


Bulgarian president vetoes F-16V purchase

23 July, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

Bulgaria's president has vetoed the country's planned $1.26 billion acquisition of eight Lockheed Martin F-16V fighters, citing a lack of agreement and clarity over the deal.

Issuing the veto on 23 July, President Rumen Radev said that for a purchase of this size it was necessary not only for it to be affordable, but also "to have a broad consensus and support".


Lockheed Martin

He says the "sharp controversies" that were evident during the parliamentary approval process last week showed that "no public consensus was sought or reached".

"The commitment of Bulgaria to obligations for years to come, without national consensus and conviction in the mutually acceptable conditions of the treaty, is extremely worrying."

Ratification of the acquisition should have been subject to two parliamentary votes but was instead done via a "fast-track" process, he says.

That "shortened legislative procedure" means that several issues such as "prices, warranties, delivery times and penalties" were not clear.

"It is not permissible to use the 'exceptional' procedure in resolving such a strategic issue for Bulgaria as guaranteeing national security.

"Bulgaria needs a multirole aircraft, which is achieved not only by its qualities, but also by a full package of equipment, support and personnel training. A clear answer to the public is required as to whether this is actually achieved by the contracts," says Radev.

He has resubmitted the procurement law for another parliamentary discussion on 26 July, where the veto could be overruled with a vote of at least 121 members of the 240-seat assembly.

The acquisition, Sofia's largest public procurement since the fall of communism, is intended to replace the air force's fleet of RAC MiG-29s by 2023.
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