Switzerland fighter replacement plan restarted

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Switzerland on Friday kicked off a multibillion-franc competition to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 fighter jets, and older model F/A-18 fighters, inviting five European and U.S. weapons makers to submit bids by January.

The Swiss defence ministry asked for bids from European aerospace group Airbus, France’s Dassault and Sweden’s Saab, as well as Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the United States.

The Swiss procurement agency said it was asking the firms to submit pricing for 30 or 40 planes, including logistics and guided missiles, as well as an assessment of the number of aircraft necessary to fulfil the Swiss Air Force’s needs.

https://www.reuters.com/article/swiss-airforce/switzerland-kicks-off-fighter-jet-competition-idUSL8N1U242W

So all the normal candidates (except F/A-18) will be considered. I find it interesting that the OEM's making the more expensive aircraft will be arguing that while more expensive than Gripen E a smaller number will be needed to do the same job. I see some nice fat profits on the cards for LM, Dassault or Eurofighter if they win.

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ERROR

Sorry - can't edit my post. I missed seeing Boeing is included so I guess that means F/A-18 IS included.

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I really see Switzerland going with the cheap option. And that is not bad plan when you are Switzerland and never go to war.

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as they require to perform the test flights, I wonder how it will go on with LM, as there's no two seater F-35 and I doubt they train a swiss pilot (or more) "just in case" to let him to whatever he wants with the aircraft

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So you do think that you buy an F-35 without ever trying it? Just like an icecream?

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It's can't cost that much to go through F-35 school.

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Well, all buyers until now did, in Canada, who wanted to try the contenders, LM said "there's no need to try, we're the best"... several LM supporters said on several occasions that there's little chance that a potentially buying country does a flight test as there's no two seater (all tests for other contenders are done with a qualified pilot in a back seat, as a safety measure).. so I simply wondered what LM will respond to the "flight test requirement"

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Who says that the "flight test" has to be a Swiss pilot? Not doubting, just asking.

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I guess the swiss... they did all their testing until now... they have their own test pilots, flight test unit, procedures and so on.. so, as says a buddy of mine, (diver) "wet and sea" :p

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I think this point was already cleared with the RFI published some month ago Would be good to go through the old thread.
And why does we have to have this new one ?

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Hence my "why not train a pilot" thought.

On a more serious note, what really would be gained by having a Swiss pilot in the cockpit that could not be also gained by a combination of sending a Swiss pilot through the course and observing an LM/DoD/JPO pilot with a DART pod attached?

The coursework & simulator time will make them aware of the pilot workload & how it responds to pilot inputs and the DART will confirm physical & kinematic attributes. BDA is self evident. Also, would anyone turn away the F-22 given the same restrictions?

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I don't know, that's why I wondered how it will turn out ;)

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This is the only part of the RFP that pertains to testing that I could find.

{translated from French}
4.1 Requirements imposed
[INDENT]4. At least part of the flight and ground tests shall be carried out in Switzerland for all candidates for the acquisition of the next aircraft of fight[/INDENT]

4.2 Desirable characteristics

  1. As far as possible, the evaluated combat aircraft will be flown by Swiss pilots during flight tests.
  2. To improve knowledge of the system, it would be wise to have a core team composed of Swiss industry and army personnel collaborates with the manufacturer or a representative of the manufacturer for the final assembly of the next aircraft beats. Final assembly in Switzerland is not a requirement, but this possibility However, it is not excluded either.
  3. To increase the degree of autonomy, efforts should be made to acquire the rights of for the autonomous development of C2 software (Bodluv, system of airspace surveillance).

https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/51784.pdf

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Don't forget that the RFP includes a SAM component. My personal pic, NASAMs with AMRAAM-ER for the medium-range SAM and land-based SM-6 for the long-range SAM.

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Switzerland like to pride itself on neutrality. The F-35 is a defacto military alliance with the US. So Im not sure why its even in the competition.

It would be most practical to deal with someone in continental Europe. That's the Gripen or the Dassault.

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How so? They are flying F-5s and F-18s now without an issue.

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SM-6s and F-35s for Switzerland, hah!! Can't think of a worse match, hm, why not some B-21s?

Also, Swiss have expressed concern a couple of years back regarding control over AMRAAMs and GPS codes. ALIS (heck, the whole JSF) is surely a worrying beast for any country that cares a bit about operational autonomy and doesn't have US support for granted.

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Plenty of nations have bought F-16s & F-18s (including the Swiss) without getting access to the "codes" and it did not seem to bother them.

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And the "Alis" concerns, as we should put it for you, are already answered in the RFI (and in the old thread).

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What specific ALIS concern?

I can operate for long periods "off the net" and can filter outgoing data to ensure that any sensitive data is not "passed up the chain".

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I recollect that around 2010 the F-5 replacement programme was launched and that some time later Boeing withdrew from the competition. Unless I am mistaken there was a problem with the Superhornet wingspan exceeding the maximum that could be accomodated in bunkers dug into hillsides. What has changed? Would the cost of enlarging those bunkers be added to any quote from Boeing when evaluating Superhornet?

Looking at CPFH, it seems a big jump from F-5 CPFH (I guess under $5,000) to at least double that (if not triple or more) for all the types offered except Gripen E. I do not know how many hours a year Swiss F-5's were flown on missions that did not warrant the capability of the Hornets but having to fly air patrols at a CPFH increased by 100% or 150% or 200% compared to F-5 (or possibly even more) seems a massive waste of money to me if it can be avoided. Of the companies invited to quote for supplying fighters only SAAB can offer a product that might not cost several times more to fly each hour than F-5.