Swiss Air Force combat fighter competition 2.0

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The Swiss has begun the final evaluation of the contenders for Switzerland's next combat fighter. They've already flown the Rafale F3, Typhoon Tranche 2 and the Gripen C in the earlier competition that the Gripen C had won before the entire competition was scrapped after the referendum. This time, the Gripen E will fly, as will the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet which was pulled out of the earlier competition. And the F-35A is also in the mix now. Use this thread to discuss the flight evaluations, its results and other news related to this competition. Kindly refrain from trolling. From Aviation Week and Space Technology
LONDON—Switzerland has begun flight evaluations of the combat aircraft bidding to be the country’s next fighter. Two Eurofighter Typhoons will touch down at Payerne airbase this week for the first of five two-week evaluations which are being conducted alphabetically by manufacturer name. Switzerland is looking for a new fleet of fighter aircraft and a ground-based air defense system as part of its Air2030 requirements. As well as the Typhoon, candidate fighters include the Dassault Rafale from France, the Saab JAS-39E Gripen from Sweden and the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Lockheed MartinF-35A Joint Strike Fighter from the U.S. The evaluations follow the submission of formal offers in January to Armasuisse, the Swiss defense procurement agency. Swiss officials say eight missions will be flown as part of the two-week evaluation, each with one or two aircraft. The tests will confirm the capabilities and performance of the aircraft against details of the offers submitted by the governments and the manufacturers. At least one of the missions will be flown at night. Prior to the flight-test program in Switzerland, Swiss test pilots undertake simulator training work in the country of manufacture. “This is the only way to ensure that all candidates have the same test conditions,” says Bernhard Berset, project manager for the flight-testing program in Switzerland, in an interview published on the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports’ website. He notes that flying in-country allows aircraft sensors to be tested against the same targets in the same environment and it also “ensures that the new systems will work in harmony with existing systems and infrastructures,” he said. It is unclear whether this also includes the ability to use the mountain cavern hangars at airfields like Meiringen in the Alps. The Swiss government has asked the nations to make proposals for purchases of 30 and 40 aircraft, as the CHF8 billion ($8.04 billion) budget for the Air2030 program has to cover the cost of both the fighters and the air defense system. Type selection is planned for 2020, and contracts would be signed after parliamentary approvals in 2022. Deliveries would get underway in 2025-2030. Under current plans, the next aircraft to be evaluated will be the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, with the aircraft due to arrive in late April. These will be followed by the Dassault Rafale and the Lockheed Martin F-35 in May and Saab’s JAS-39E Gripen in early June. The deployment of the Gripen E will represent the first hops outside Sweden for the new Gripen variant.
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Just wondering.. do the German and French speaking regions of Switzerland have any biases towards French or German type aircraft in the past?

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Nope
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Since Typhoon is the first type to be evaluated as part of the flight test, any idea what is the equipment being offered to the Swiss? Roughly similar to the Kuwaiti Eurofighter with Captor AESA and Sniper pod?

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First up in the demonstration sequence, sorted alphabetically by companies, is a German-British Airbus team. [...] Swiss evaluators have the option of flying along in all two-seater aircraft variants, and one official could be seen in the back seat of a Eurofighter lifting off from Payerne on Thursday morning. Next up, at the end of April, Boeing will present its F-18 Super Hornet. That plane, along with the Eurofighter, is also still in the running for a German bid to replace its 80-some Tornado aircraft. In mid-May, Dassault will demonstrate the twin-engine Rafale jet, for which the French government announced a multibillion-dollar upgrade program aimed at improving sensors and weapons earlier this year. Then, following the F-35 trials, the Saab Gripen E is scheduled to complete the lineup of test flights in late June..[...] The Lockheed jets will be from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, making stops on the U.S. East Coast and Ramstein Air Base, Germany, before arriving in Switzerland, the company said. The aircraft will be parked at Payerne during the duration of the tests for more than two weeks, up to June 17, a company spokesman told Defense News.
[Swiss]want enough capacity to have four planes in the air at any given time during crises.
Source: https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...d-this-spring/
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Airbus sent a pair of... British Phoons.
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Tranche 3? And does that mean no AESA radar demonstrated either? Isn't there a company demonstrator with the Captor AESA that could be used for radar trials?
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Tranche 3? And does that mean no AESA radar demonstrated either? Isn't there a company demonstrator with the Captor AESA that could be used for radar trials?
The radar demonstrator is IPA5, a British Phoon that has been flying with the set AESA for almost three years, the two Phoons belong to Nº41 Sqn, the RAF Phoon test and evaluation unit, they are indeed T3´s and i wouldnt be too surprised to discover that in the nose of at least one of them there was something else that was not a M Captor.

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IPA5 flying with AESA for three uears? (did i miss something)?

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IPA8 would be the second asset with an AESA and also a twinseat. However, the aircraft currently unavailable and is at a "Frankenstein" configuration with P1Ea and the Captor-E. You are certainly better served with mature operational assets at P3Ea standard and that's what the RAF has deployed to Switzerland. Forget about one of them being equipped with an AESA. It's not plug & play.
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IPA8 would be the second asset with an AESA and also a twinseat. However, the aircraft currently unavailable and is at a "Frankenstein" configuration with P1Ea and the Captor-E. You are certainly better served with mature operational assets at P3Ea standard and that's what the RAF has deployed to Switzerland. Forget about one of them being equipped with an AESA. It's not plug & play.
This isn’t the “Radar-2” UK spec E-scan radar is it? Or are these supporting the “radar one plus” consortium AESA program?
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IPA5 flying with AESA for three uears? (did i miss something)?
8 July 2016. Cheers
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IPA8 would be the second asset with an AESA and also a twinseat. However, the aircraft currently unavailable and is at a "Frankenstein" configuration with P1Ea and the Captor-E. You are certainly better served with mature operational assets at P3Ea standard and that's what the RAF has deployed to Switzerland. Forget about one of them being equipped with an AESA. It's not plug & play.
Thanks for the update

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This isn’t the “Radar-2” UK spec E-scan radar is it? Or are these supporting the “radar one plus” consortium AESA program?
No it's the Radar 1+ Export Interim Standard. Radar 2 isn't available yet.
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IPA8 would be the second asset with an AESA and also a twinseat. However, the aircraft currently unavailable and is at a "Frankenstein" configuration with P1Ea and the Captor-E. You are certainly better served with mature operational assets at P3Ea standard and that's what the RAF has deployed to Switzerland. Forget about one of them being equipped with an AESA. It's not plug & play.
P1Ea standard but with Captor-E AESA, but no P3Ea standard prototype with the Captor-E? Hmm.. So they're not demonstrating an AESA equipped Eurofighter then. That doesn't seem like a good approach, given that all the other contenders now have AESA radar at the latest standard flying, including the Gripen E demonstrator and the Swiss may not be very happy to check its performance on a bench. It's quite hard to believe that there isn't even 1 demonstrator at the technological level of the latest Eurofighter (P3Ea?) that is being built for Kuwait. I guess once again it demonstrates the drawback with the big consortium approach where each partner has its own priorities and its own set of equipment that it wants.
The delays are due to unforeseen difficulties in software development, to a continuing divergence between Germany and the UK on the radar’s principal function, and to the late approval of a new front computer. Furthermore, the “limited availability of [radar] components for production can additionally delay the delivery,” the report says.
link

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P1Ea standard but with Captor-E AESA, but no P3Ea standard prototype with the Captor-E? Hmm.. So they're not demonstrating an AESA equipped Eurofighter then. That doesn't seem like a good approach, given that all the other contenders now have AESA radar at the latest standard flying, including the Gripen E demonstrator and the Swiss may not be very happy to check its performance on a bench.
One reason why I think Eurofighter are wasting their money participating. As I understand things the assessment is based on existing capabilities, not future capabilities.
It's quite hard to believe that there isn't even 1 demonstrator at the technological level of the latest Eurofighter (P3Ea?) that is being built for Kuwait. I guess once again it demonstrates the drawback with the big consortium approach where each partner has its own priorities and its own set of equipment that it wants.
Another reason why think Eurofighter are wasting their money participating. A number of different AESA implementations slows down development and increases costs. I see no prospect of Typhoon being selected.

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P1Ea standard but with Captor-E AESA, but no P3Ea standard prototype with the Captor-E? Hmm.. So they're not demonstrating an AESA equipped Eurofighter then. That doesn't seem like a good approach, given that all the other contenders now have AESA radar at the latest standard flying, including the Gripen E demonstrator and the Swiss may not be very happy to check its performance on a bench. It's quite hard to believe that there isn't even 1 demonstrator at the technological level of the latest Eurofighter (P3Ea?) that is being built for Kuwait. I guess once again it demonstrates the drawback with the big consortium approach where each partner has its own priorities and its own set of equipment that it wants.
You must understand that P3Ea and Captor-E are completely unrelated, both contractually and from a configuration point of view. As a side note, P3Ea was originally referred to as P3E only without "a". I'll continue to use the current P3Ea designation for the remainder of the post, to make the distinction. P3Ea was contracted as a UK only capability package using the 4-national contract route. P3Ea built on the latest 4-national baseline then on contract (not available) which was P2Eb incl. the Meteor capable Captor-M M-Scan radar. The Captor-E development contract was signed in summer 2014 and thus after the P3Ea contract and before the Kuwait contract. It was a 4-national contract involving all 4 core nations, but it only covered design, development and qualification of the radar. The above mentioned DDQ activities were planned to be performed on the then latest actually available and mature 4-national configuration which was P1Ea. The designated industry test assets IPA5 & 8 are subsequently configured with a specifically tailored development configuration of P1Ea. Physical embodiment of the Captor-E was not part of that contract and the point of embodiment was subsequently undefined. Embodiment was meamt to be contracted separately and phased in with the next suitable 4-national phased enhancements package, supposed to be P4E back then. The Kuwait contract was signed in April 2016. The Kuwaiti requirements incl. Captor-E were captured within a separate phased enhancement package. As the envisaged P4E timescales were incompatible with the Kuwait delivery timescales leading the P3Eb interim package was created based on the UKs P3Ea. This led to the eventual redesignation of the original P3E package for the UK into P3Ea. The core nations have meanwhile contracted a tailored version of P3Eb which is still centred around the Captor-M. P3Eb is much more than just Captor-E integration for Kuwait and IPAs 2, 4 and 7 are already involved testing elements of it. ISPA6 and IPA9 are the assets used to test the Kuwait configuration P3Eb incl. Captor-E. Hope that shades some light on the situation. I would prefer to move the discussion to the Eurofighter thread if further questions arise.

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Discussing the chances of the Eurofighter in this campaign the radar isn't everything, but it's certainly important. Wheather Eurofighter gets a chance to showcase Captor-E later on remains to be seen. For the just completed evaluation they couldn't get IPA8 available in time. The situation may have looked differently had Eurofighter not been the first type to be evaluated. We'll see, the Eurofighter has evolved quite a bit and so have others. Much of the critcism of the 2008 evaluation was owed to the immaturity of the aircraft and specific systems/capabilities which are fixable and not design inherent.

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Issues with look down mode were fixed since late competition i guess?
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Discussing the chances of the Eurofighter in this campaign the radar isn't everything, but it's certainly important. Wheather Eurofighter gets a chance to showcase Captor-E later on remains to be seen. For the just completed evaluation they couldn't get IPA8 available in time. The situation may have looked differently had Eurofighter not been the first type to be evaluated. We'll see, the Eurofighter has evolved quite a bit and so have others. Much of the critcism of the 2008 evaluation was owed to the immaturity of the aircraft and specific systems/capabilities which are fixable and not design inherent.
The last time we saw the Swiss evaluation report, they listed down the ratings based on what was demonstrated in eval flights. I don't see it as being fair to the rest of the contenders if that is not the case this time around. Although there is a Kuwaiti Eurofighter being built with Captor-E AESA, if it cannot be demonstrated, it cannot be evaluated. The problem is that even the UK specific P3Ea doesn't have a demonstrator built to that standard that can be demonstrated. Leaving aside, the extremely confusing situation regarding what is the latest spec for which customer, it seems that at least on that radar front, the Eurofighter that is evaluated will lag behind the Rafale and Super Hornet. Possibly even the Gripen E if they manage to demonstrate it fully, which is a bit unlikely given that they haven't yet tested the Selex Raven fully as yet.
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The last time we saw the Swiss evaluation report, they listed down the ratings based on what was demonstrated in eval flights.
Not. And not by a long shot, the final ratings of the 2008/2009 Swiss Eval were related to the (then) Gripen MS21, Eurofighter P1E and Rafale F3, all these configurations were years in the future.