F/A-18 E has it hard over Karelian Isthmus

First a couple of disclaimers and or notifications on subject: I do not have any knowledge what the HX scenarios used in evaluation might be. Thus this scenario is just my personal view what HX scenario OCA/Deep Penetration scenario might be. This scenario is called Walz in Carelia

Second I have used commercial simulation program Command Modern Warfare to run these scenarios, so there is problems with accuracy of the software. I suspect it gets things about 50-65% right. So you would get around 2-3 out of six level of performance in school. So OK, but not good.

Third: I do not have NATO weaponeering manual, so there might be cases of wrong kind of ordnance used to targets, so without further ado to business at hand:

F/A-18E/F/G in Kannas isthmus

Boeing sells F/A-18 E/F/G trinity by easy transition into new iteration of the same fighter and related savings there off a,d by the exceptional capabilities of the Growler platform. The block III brings new doohickeys into the fighter as well so E Rhino is a far cry from C Hornet.

Compared to Lightning II S-400 system and Russian AWACS saw Super Hornets right about immediately they took of from their respective AF bases. This is clearly a minus on F/A-18 block III part, but as they are loaded to the teeth with AA missiles, tanks and such, it is maybe not as big of a minus as it might be perceived to be. This is due that every pylon attached to wing will create a nice straight angle that will reflect the electro magnetic radiation right back whence it came. This makes the detecting much easier, and is a problem for all aeroplanes without internal weapons bays. Other limiting factors are really only the curvature of earths surface

Super Hornet really has strenghts in this scenario with 11 hardpoints and massive 8500kg ordnance carrying capability. The future missile is JATM, (I have to note here that we have no knowledge of what the furute AA missile will be if American fighters are chosen: British F-35 can utilize Meteor, but I’m confident that future missile JATM will be integrated to US air assets. This would be from 2026 onwards. so thus there should be a lot of AMRAAM Ds around still.

When A-100 is only sensor the fighters from Jyväskylä get a nice start

The point here is getting maximum number of bridges down without losing much fighters in process.

S-400 and A-100 help VVS get clearer picture of what is going down but note, they don’t have a clue there is Loyal Wingman over the sea right about where Finnish border meets Finnish gulf.

F-18 Es with 6 JATM make mince meat of the VVS pretty quickly, as the range is such that Suhois are just unable to counter the FAF Super Hornets. If my recollections are correct, in the three scenarios I ran and a couple of paractise runs VVS was able to ground maybe 7 Supre Hornets put together. This leads to my finding that at least in Command Modern Operations F/A-18 E/F/G is really woulnereable against new Russian AA/AD systems, here S-400 and S-350. They also proved to be extremely hard to kill even in heavy electronic war environment provided by MALD decoy missiles and Growlers in this area. FAF didn’t get a many hits on mentioned systems even with newest Anti radiation (AARGM-ER) missiles. The older systems like BUK, PANTSIR and TOR were much easier to kill.

Main point of this sceario was the bridge destruction: That was accomplished quite nicely. As compared to the F-35 A particularly two Super hornets can lug along 20 1000lb bombs and can practically hit all the required targets on one bombing run. This would take 4 F-35s. On the other hand, the vulnerability against S-400 system dictates the need for EW and decoy carrying fighters. So as it turns out in these scenarios, you in the end require around the same number of missions, but they go against different needs. With F-35 you need more OCA fighters, with F/A-18 E you need more EW support (Although I suspect Growler is may by not as potent in the simulation as it is in RL)

The bombing runs went quite smoothly and the run on Poventsa in East was really a cakewalk every time. (Althoug in the second run Rhino pair around Poventsa decided to whack the S-350 system and got killed for their trouble) On the other run they were heading to Kannas, and the same system shot them down a bit further away. The bridges were relaibly destroyed with quite a few missions (in all cases two pairs of two did the actual deed.)

One cannot really sugarcoat this thing: FAF lost many F/A-18s every time: ten on average, plus loyal wing man. They did however also destroy a lot of VVS power about 30 on average. but still the attrition rate would be horrendous (AS noted before, I’m in no way professional in this, so all the pros may be laughing behind their masks on the mistakes I made in placing and loading, but hey. It would be sad, I’f I could beat them in their profession by just being little old me.)

All missiles fired against FAF total on average 155, so the kill probability is 11/155 still around 1/16 so around 7%. I have a gut feeling that is a bit on a high side of things. ill look it up and combine all of this soon. 30/105 Kp for JATM and AMRAAM D are not really flattering either. this gives average kill ratio of 29%.

I was really surprised how susceptible the F/A-18 Es are for the S-400 and S-350 missile systems: in three runs I don’t think Suhois or MiGs managed to get a single kill, but named premier surface to air systems dropped Hornets from sky like nobody’s business. I included a Loyal wingman type UCAV, but it really didn’t make difference in outcome one way or the another.

Video will follow in a few days.

Posted in HX-ohjelma, in English, SEAD, simulaatio, sotapelit, Sotapelit, War in Baltic Region | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How is HX program going?

Finnish daily ILTALEHTI made a nice peace about political ambitions in HX program. Link HERE (in FIN naturally.) There was not really anything new: If you are lefty-greeny, you would prefer the Swedish SAAB candidate to win the race. (Not a bad option of course, SAAB’s bid particular dinge an sich is the Global Eye AWACS) What was a bit surprising was Centrist parties preference for Swedish thing as well.

Another thing a bit surprising is that F-35 and F/A-18 E/F/G are both seen as politically volatile because of US political government. This being post Trump time, this is a bit puzzling. There is of course the “Russian wrath” behind these, but still a rather surprising recurring Finlandizierung.

Some say they feel that “European option” would be preferable. This would mostly play for the french, as they have been quite aggressive in their posturing recently. This is not to say that Rafale would be a bad option. Neither would be Eurofighter Typhoon. in fact if you were looking just air dominance machine the Typhoon would be obvious choise, but in the real life situation this is a bit more murky open-ended choise.

Posted in HX-ohjelma, in English, TurPo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F-35 A in Walz in Kannas

First a couple of disclaimers and or notifications on subject: I do not have any knowledge what the HX scenarios used in evaluation might be. Thus this scenario is just my personal view what HX scenario OCA/Deep Penetration scenario might be. This scenario is called Walz in Carelia

Second I have used commercial simulation program Command Modern Warfare to run these scenarios, so there is problems with accuracy of the software. I suspect it gets things about 50-65% right. So you would get around 2-3 out of six level of performance in school. So OK, but not good.

Third: I do not have NATO weaponeering manual, so there might be cases of wrong kind of ordnance used to targets, so

And to the business

This scenario should play well into the strengths of Lockheed Martins F-35 A platform: it is low observable, it is designed to be penetrating asset, it should be able to penetrate modern Russian Area Denial systems namely S-350 and S-400 systems. In this scenario named systems are supported by numerous BUK M-1 and Pantsir systems. Targets are numerous railroad and road bridges used to supply fighting north of Viipuri.

VVS fighters in air and missile batteries at ground

The F-35 Lightning II carries quite limited selection of AA missiles. 4 AMRAAM D’s and 2 Sidewinders in Air Superiority configuration, which leads to problems when trying to achieve the dominance over contested aerospace: you need more sorties to carry the needles into firing position. Almost all other HX-hopefulls carry 6 BVR missiles and 2 WVR missiles into the fray. Thus 10 other HX fighters in CAP patrol will be carrying 60 missiles and 10 Lightnings carry 40. This is of course partly amended by the fact that even when carrying other ordnance two bays are dedicated to AMRAAM D missiles.

The FAF flying in

This shows in this scenario, because the OCA element of attack need to fly in from within Finnish home territory. Even when you fly in three pairs for the beginning, the attrition takes its toll, and you have quite little air to air fighting power left quite soon. (This might be problem with Command, as there is development in Lockheed Martin to up the carrying capacity to six)

VVS is really late in noticing the F-35, so they are indeed close before the walz begins.

On the first run I tried to go through the scenario “as it should be run” with BLU-109 2000lb bombs for bridges, and SDB-53s in as SEAD munitions. This worked quite well, but there was quite a few bridges standing after the sortie, and six fighters lost out of 40. (AMG-88ER is not configured to F-35 as of yet in Command)

Second run I carried only SDB-53s for all targets, this was not really satisfactory, and Small diameter bomb II is still only 100 kg (200lb) weapon and 48kg (100lb) of explosives. so you need multiple hits on bridges to bring them down. As one F-35A carries 8 in SEAD configuration, and uses 7 of those against single air defense system, you see that you seem to need a lot of SDBs around to get effect.

After second round you see that disappointing amount of bridges are still up.

Third time I changed 2 BLU-109s to 6 GBU-12 Paveways. So in I had to drop two bombs per bridge, but as I got three salvoes, it made possible to get more targets with same amount of fighters. As a rule of thumb 500kgs ordnance seems to be the right way to go per bridge. The exploding part of Paveway 12 is 227kg or (500lb) mark-82 low drag bomb, which is in itself rather inexpensive, but carries 87kgs (127lbs) of tritonal explosive. SDB-53 is about half of that (93kg/48kg explosives) plus it is of shaped charge type and is not as well suited for concrete buildings. Shaped charge is of course bees knees for bunkers and such, but nice round hole on driving surface is not too devastating a problem.

After round three the bridges in Kannas area are down and only bridges over river Svir are usable for transport.

Really the problem here is the amount of SDB-IIs shot down by S-350 and 400 systems in defense of A2A and AD assets in area. This necessitates destruction of said systems. (As noted in round 2.) Even with jamming the S-350/400 systems you do not get too reliable effects on them. On the other hand they do not really bother the F-35s as long as they keep their distance. But as F-35 is not very highly maneuverable fighter, the BUK M-1 and Pantsir systems are dangerous to them in close range (dropping Paveways)

As can be seen this kind of Offensive Counter air/penetration missions will be expensive on terms of fighters lost. FAF is looking to have around 16% losses. That kind of attrition is not sustainable.

AS you can see from the scorecard, F-35 really did well again against the VVS. The Suhois don’t really get into position for shooting, but when they do get into position F-35 is really vulnerable. Greatest problem from S-350/400 systems was their ability to shoot down SDB IIs from the air before they got to BUK and PANTSIR system on ground. Through attrition you got to point that you could destroy the named systems, but it really took rounds to achieve that. After accomplishing the SEAD mission one could bring in the mud splashers to take care of the bridges.

In the third round, loss of F-35’s could have been 5, but I decided to try to push against bridges on Svir river. But as there was VVS assets close by and they managed to avoid AMRAAMs, we lost two more Lightnings. This would have bumbed kill/loss ratio up to 4,3.

I did not have time yet to edit the video, so that will be available in next few days. So look again in a few days.

Video about the scenario.
Posted in HX-ohjelma, in English, simulaatio, Skenaariot, sotapelit, Sotapelit | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

EU Strategy meeting in Slovenia: Implications to HX-program

EU magnates had a dinner and meeting in beutiful Slovenia. The most pressing matter is European Union’s strategic position within world. EU is mighty weak strategically, because there if many different factions within EU who push and pull into different directions. This leads into EU’s incapability to act, Ability to function strategically in ANY way would meant that EU CAN reach decisions and has force it can project. EU has none of that beside France’s capabilities. But if we listen Mrs Ursula von der Leyen, the things will change: EU has to become strategically more independent.

Enter HX deal. Even though F-35A won and the F/A-18E/F/G was the runner up in SIIVET, THE Finnish aerospace magazine’s, evaluation of HX hopefulls, EU’s strategic companionship may well spill into HX decisionmaking. I will give out my own eval of the matter after I have gamed through OCA/deep strike scenarios.

First. Considering what kind of hissyfit France’s government threw after AUKUS sub deal, I will not be very suprised if there will be payback for Finland if HX deal doesn’t go to Dassault. (Or BAE or SAAB at least). I do not mean that Rafale would be a bad deal, in fact I think it is the black horse of the race tecnically/tactically, but especially politically Rafale is indeed formidable. United kingdom is sort of out EU, but still factors into Finnish defense planning very much. Eurofighter Typhoon is also pushed by Spanish and German Govt’s as main users, but I still think France is the big player in EU defense and strategic partnerships. This was very evident in Kaivopuisto airshow in August.

Second, I don’t necessarily see way forward with F-35A or F/A-18 Block III’s. Strategic difficulities with China and looming war in Taiwan, futures of both US candidates seem unpleasantly murky. There is no clear indication which or maybe neither will be the prime air warfare tool for their respective services. This would leave Finland with obsolete fleet of fighters that will be needed to be replaced too soon.

(EDIT 8.10) Thirdly Mrs Vonder Leyen flashed tax exempt for military buys from EU. This was thought to be foot in the mouth moment, as taxing state would here be Finland, and finland doesn’t tax military sales to FDF. One starts wondering IS European Union going to impose some kind of sales tax Outside of EU defense procurement to boost EU’s own defense companies sales? I decided to have a look and lo and behold: in European Defense Agency’s pages it says: “Together with its Member States and in close cooperation with the European Commission, EDA supports and incentivises cooperative defence procurement programs/projects, based on a case-by-case assessment.” SO, It looks like EU states are going to “support and incentivy” some defense procurement.

This would tie in about noises Finnish politicians making noises about funding the HX-fighters with loans. These three things together would mean that EU states incentify HX procurement from EU sources by financial means. More fighters, which would work great, or at cheaper price point, which would be easier to sell to Finnish public. at the price maybe taking over or taking a role in the Baltic air policing.

So in short, and all in all: seems that British Aerospace, Dassault and SAAB are moving up in the scales. Precisely if EU will want strategic independence from USA.

Posted in HX-ohjelma, ilmavoimat, in English, Suuri peli, TurPo, voimapolitiikka | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nopea vastaus Marja Sannikalle hävittäjäkaupoista

Uskon, että Marja Sannikka tekee kysymyksensä vilpittömässä hengessä, ja yritän siksi vastata hänelle, parhaani mukaan, vilpittömässä hengessä. Kysymykset ovat aiheellisia, ja pyrin niihin täässä vastaamaan.

Miksi hävittäjät tarvitaan kontra miksi emme laita rahojamme ohjuspuolustukseen ja lennokeihin?

Kun seuraamme kuinka tehokkaasti Israelin Rafaelin Iron Dome ilmapuolustussysteemi poimii ilmasta palestiinalaisten ampumia raketteja ja vieläpä arvioi senkin, että ovatko raketit, luonnostaan epätarkat aseet, menossa asuinalueille vai joutomaalle. Jos ovat joutomaalle menossa saavat mennä. Yksi Rautakupu patteri pystyy suojaamaan noin 150 neliökilometrin alueen, eli huomattavan kokoisen kaupungin alueen, Kemin koko on esimerkiksi 90 neliökilometria. Osumatarkkuuden ilmoitetaan olevan 90%, ja systeemi on ajateltu lyhyen kantaman torjuntaan. Hinta yhdelle moiselle patterille on noin 50 M€ ja yhden torjunnan hinta 100 K€ luokassa. Eli ohjusten ampuminenkaan ei ole aivan halpaa hupia. Eli vaikka systeemin ilmoitetaan pystyvän torjumaan 155mm tykistöammukset sekä raketit, voisi se torjua myös muita staattisella radalla lentäviä kohteita, vaikkapa pommeja. Mutta jos vihulaiset, ne Venäjän 1500+ hävittäjää, voivat kaikessa rauhassa lentää torjuntakorkeuden yläpuolella, ja pudotella sieltä rauhalliseen tahtiin pommeja ja ampua ohjuksia valemaaleista puhumattakaan, loppuvat suomalaisilta ohjukset jossain vaiheessa, ja koska torjunta ei ole 100% tappioita alkaa tulla alusta asti.

Suomessa on käynnissä nimeomaan korkeatorjuntaan tähtäävä kehityshanke, jonka tarkoitus on täydentää hävittäjätorjunnan antamaa suojaa. Tallaisia järjestelmiä voisivat olla esimerkiksi THAAD, joka on myös ballististen ohjusten torjuntaan kykenevä järjestelmä, jo aijemmin Ruotsin valitsema Patriot tai Suomelle kovasti MBDAlta tarjottava CAMM-ER. Torjuntakorkeudet ylittävät 20km ja vaakatorjuntaetäisyyttäkin on tarjolla mojovasti, joten ainakin strategiset kohteet ja joukkokeskittymät on helppo suojata. Jos nyt sitten joku haluaa esimerkiksi Nurmon Sydänmaan peltoja pommittaa, niin antaa pommittaa.

Sodankäynti ei kuitenkaan, ainakaan jos aiotaan voittaa, voi perustua pelkkään puolustautumiseen: Puolustautuminen on passiivista, kun taas hyökkäys on aktiivista. Ei urheilussakaan ole yhtään joukkuetta, joka keskittyy vain oman maalin puolustamiseen yrittämättä edes tehdä maalia toiseen päähän. Voisimme ohjuspuolustuksella suojata monia tärkeitä kohteita ja pitää niitä suojassa, mutta esimerkiksi sodan vaativa logistiikka jäisi haavoittuvaksi. Ohjuksilla ei voi myöskään esimerkiksi tunnistaa ilmatilaa loukkaavaa lentokonetta. Ilmatilaa loukkaavan lentokoneen suora alasampuminen tunnistamista varten saattaisi olla hieman yliampuvaa.

Edelleen ilmatorjuntaohjukset eivät projisoi voimaa. Suomeen tarjolla olevista hävittäjistä mikä tahansa pystyy, esimerkiksi, hoitamaan puolueettomuuden valvontaa Ahvenanmaan yllä, ja tarvittaessa tuhoamaan puolueettomuutta loukkaavia lentokoneita tai laivoja. Edelleen, sama hävittäjä pystyy olemaan tunnin sisällä esimerkiksi Oulussa tai Enontekiöllä edelleen projisoimassa voimaa. Maavoimat suorittaisi saman siirtymän about kahteen päivään, ja merivoimat ei tietenkään Enontekiölle pääsisikään, mutta Ouluunkin menisi aikaa yön yli.

Lennokit voisivat periaatteessa tehdä valvontaa, mutta ne eivät, yleensä, kanna aseita, joten voimaa ne eivät projisoi.

Venäjällä on 1500 hävittäjää, kuudellakymmenellä ei ole jakoja taistelussa.

Todellakin “64 hävittäjää” tulee Isä Aurinkoisen ajattelusta ilmavoimista, joilla on helppo pyyhkiä sodan sattuessa pöytää. Tämä piti hyvinkin paikkaansa aina 1980-luvulle asti, mutta saattaa olla muuttunut parempaan päin viimevuosikymmeninä. Vaikka liikehtimyskyky ja erityisesti koneiden huippunopeudet ovat 1950-luvulta tähän päivään asti säilyneet melko muuttumattomina, on avioniikassa, eli koneiden elektronisessa kyvykkyydessä tapahtunut suuria muutoksia.

Päivittämätön 1980-luvun hävittäjä, vaikkapa F-16 tai MiG-29 on jo auttamattomasti vanhentunut tänä päivänä. Sen elektronisen taistelun järjestelmät eivät edes havaitsisi sitä, että konetta mitataan, tai se on joutumassa hyökkäyksen kohteeksi. Vaikkakaan Venäjällä ei ole käytössä päivittämättömiä MiG-29 tai SU-27 hävittäjiä, ovat nämä hyvin heikossa asemassa joutuessaan taistelemaan edistyneimpiä länsihävittäjiä vastaan. Olen saanut simulaatioissa jatkuvasti reippaasti yli 15:1 pudostulukuja kaikilla HX-ohjelmassa tarjolla olevilla hävittäjillä. (Tässä vaikkapa Lapin Skenaariot: Rafale, Typhoon, F-35 Lightning II, Gripen ja F/A-18 E Rhino) Tulokset skenaarioista on koottu tähän postaukseen . Kaikki nämä valitettavasti kolmannella kotimaisella.

Eli leikisti näillä 64 hävittäjällä voidaan odottaa tuhottavan 900-1280 konetta. Niillä tulisi jo aika iso lovi VVSn kykyyn käydä sotaa. Uusimpia SU-57 hävittäjiä Venäjällä on viitisen kappaletta. Edelleen Venäjänkin takana on agressiivinen Kiina, joka varmasti käyttää tilanetta hyväkseen, jos Venäjä ajautuu suurtotaan Lännen kanssa.

Minullakin olisi turvallisempi olo, jos hävittäjiä olisi enemmän kuin 96.

Posted in henk.koht, HX-ohjelma, hybridisota, informaatiosota, Jotain aivan muuta, TurPo, uhka-arvio, voimapolitiikka | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Helikon tex swagman roll poncho: passimiehen paras kaveri

Swagman roll pussissaan. Myös käyttötarkoitukset kuvattuna IKEA-insinöörejä varten. Pussi on juuri hyvän kokoinen, ja siinä poncho pysyy muikavan siistinä mukana. Hätätilassa swagman sulloutuu myös kengurutaskuunsa. (Oma kuva)

Helikon tex on puolalainen kuperkeikka- ja toiminnallista vaatetta valmistava yritys. Helikonin sarjassa on mitä laadukkain valikoima erilaista kangaspuolen varustetta eri sarjoissa suunnattuna ihan jokapäiväiseen “grey man” tyyppiseen sukkulointiin URBAN linjasta, että puskatemppuiluun sopivaa varustetta BUSHCRAFT-linjasta. Unohtamatta toiminnalliseen ammuntaa suunnattua varustekimaraa RANGE linjastolla. Tänäpäivänä perehdymme Swagman Roll ponchoon. Olemassa on myös saman ponchon ns basic versio.

HATKA puolestaan on Suomalainen perheyritys, josta olen saanut aina ystävällistä ja asiantuntevaa palvelua, ja ehdotuksia varusteista,kun olen heiltä niistä kysellyt. Hatka antoi minulle swagmanin, että pääsen tekemään siitä esittelyä.

Tammi-helmikuussa ei tarvinnut pelätä, että kamppeet sateentakia kastusivat, mutta lämmin oli SwagmanRoll pitää tauoilla. Koska kädentiehyet jäävät hyvin väljiksi pääsee hiki kuivahtamaan ponchon alla, ja jos paleltaa, voi ponchon remmillä laitaa sivuja tiukemmin kiinni. (oma kuva)

Kyseinen poncho on ollut minulla noin vuoden päivät, ja Swagman roll on osoittautunut erittäin hyväksi kaveriksi Lapin moni-ilmeisessä mutta kylmässä säässä. Sen lisäksi, että poncho on palvellut taukovaatteena kylmemmillä keleillä, se voidaan myös kiinnittää sadeviitan alle vuoriksi ns Woobien tapaan. Hyvänä puolena Woobieen verrattuna on huppu: Pään saa vedettyä ponchon hupun kanssa sadeviitan huppuun, jolloin korbatkin pysyvät mukavan lämpiminä. kuulemisen kanssa on tietenkin silloin vähän huonoa.

Viehättävä assistentti marraskuun nuoskakeleissä. Ensimäinen kerta kun, eteläisemmästä verenperinnöstä johtuen, ei valitellut kylmää metsässä. Tässä kuvassa näkyy sulkuremmi, ja sen kiinnitys hyvin. Kuvio on mielestäni hyvin suomalaiseen metsämaahan sopiva Penncott WildWood. (oma kuva)

Kuten mainittu Swagman on yhteensopiva NATO-standardin sadeviitan kanssa, ja sitä voidaan käyttää kesäisemmillä keleillä makuupussina, ja talvemmalla makuupussin lisäpussina. Myös “jouluisen runsas”-reservitaistelija mahtuu pujottautumaan pussiin. Hartioille ei kylläkään minun tapauksessani ole tilaa sisälle asti, ellei jätä vetoketjua hieman auki. Vaikka omakehun puolelle menee, niin todettakoon, että en tarvitse jenkkifutisharttareita joutuakseni menemään poikittain ovista.

Koko Swagmanroll ponco pakkautuu yllättävän pieneen tilaan.
Pussikin on ihan kunnollinen ja kannattaa pitää tallessa ponchon kanssa. Swagman mahtuu esimerkiksi L-koon MOLLE pussiin
Tässä Swagman erään suomalaisen varustevalmistajan sadeviitan päällä. Kuten näkyy, huput lupsahtavat päällekäin “dedoon”. Yhdessä näistä vermeistä saa jo hätämajoitteen syntymään. (oma kuva)
Swagmanin ja sadeviitan yhdistäminen on hyvin helppo rasti: pujotat puikulanapin vastaavan purjerenkaan läpi, ja kaikki alkaa asettua paikalleen. Kuminaru on reunan kiristämistä varten.(oma kuva)

Lyhyesti:

  • survivalhenkinen monikäyttöinen poncho
  • sopii hyvin taukotakiksi tai NATO-sadeviitan alle lämmikkeeksi
  • voidaan käyttää myös makuupussin sisäpussina lisälämpöä varten
  • kaksipuolinen retkeilyhuopa.
  • SwagmanRoll Poncho on saatavilla Hatkasta

Posted in Aseet ja varusteet, Kangastavara, varusteet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kaivari21: How does the HX race seem at the mid of August 2021.

Four out of five HX hopefulls in MBDAs pavilion in Kaivari21 Air Show. The real winner here seems to be MBDA, as their sales to Finland seem to be a surefire thing! Own Photo

The Finnish main aviation event was again in last weekend. All Hornet replacement program (HX-program) hopefuls were in attendance some with mock ups and all with pavillions. All HX fighters were in air and Gripen E made first appearance in air manouvering (this is because of state of flight testing and proving program.) I had the good fortune to be invited for the pressday, so I got to listen and see the latest slideshows manufactures had to offer.

The real winner in HX race seems to be the MBDA: unless Boeing’s bid is succesful, MBDA will look to sell another 600+ Meteors!

SAAB JAS-39 E/F Gripen. Sweden will make the fighter YOU want!

SAAB is another of the forerunners in HX race: Gripen E has everything a fighter needs speed, manouverability and a great primary Air to Air missile in MBDA Meteor. The “Dinge an Sich” of the offer is the two GlobalEye AWACS planes. This cannot be overstated: FAF has so far been in “Warsaw Pact” air control mode, with fortificated air defense commands without airborne radar and controll assets. Global Eye would change all this and bring the Finnish air defense to current millenium.

Global Eye’s S-band ERIEYE radar can see virtually everything in 450km radius thoug the instrumental range is 550km. ERIYE radar is housed in a skibox over the fuselage of the Bombadier 6000 platform, and provides about 150 degree coverage both sides of the aeroplane.

GlobalEye in Kauhava 2020. Wingtips and the fins in back also house EW and protection instrumentation and equipment. Own picture

The S-band means 2-4GHz frequency range, and wave lenght of about 7,5 to 15 centimeters. Because of nature of electromagnetic waves, this area brings boons of rain and general weather penetration and stealth fighter detection (Stealth bombers, however, are sufficiently large to still remain stealthy). Banes are required high pulse strenght and quite large antennas. This is due to T/R module sizes required to be able to operate on desired wave lenght. This also affects the radar resolution.

The Gripen E is as of this writing (08/2021) still in flight testing and verification process which are going according to plan according to Magnus Skogberg of SAAB. Newer and bigger Gripen has all it takes to be successful fighter in Finnish Air Force in 2020’ies and beyond: good A2A missile, nifty electronics and small logistical footprint. On the other hand Gripen is small and single engine. This translates into Gripen E still being quite stealthy in visible domain, and low emitting in NIR and MIR wavelengths. On trade-off Gripen E’s Leonardo’s Raven 05 AESA radar has to fit in quite small nosecone of Gripen E, and is thus limited in number of T/R elements it can carry. This translates into radar being less powerful than her counterparts in other HX hopefuls.

SAAB’s offer in a nutshell given out by Mr. Magnus Skogberg. The offer will have SPEAR 3 anti surface missile and IRIST T as WVR missile. Stand of missile/air lauched cruise missile will be KEPD 350. Own photo

Having single engine means obviously that there is no redundancy in case of engine failure, and that there is about half the electrical power available (depending of make and manufacture obviously) than to twin engined HX-hopefulls. Future will show just how this deficiency might turn out to be, but as an direct energy weapons are making their way into fighter sized platforms, the loading time for Lasers or power output for other electrical doohickeys will be less than twin engined fighters. This might be devastating in 2050ies, but might not be, depending on evolution battery and direct energy technology, a showstopper even then.

Swedish gov’t has expressed their commitment to build Gripen’s EW capabilities to standard Finland wants, So that in essence Sweden would be getting the fighter Finland deemed sufficient. Further the current government is left leaning and in their view Sweden can do no wrong so politically SAABs offer is also quite strong. ALso even the most pidgeonish members of publick see aligning with Sweden as sort of NATO light, which might not arouse political suspicions in Kremlin.

One interesting sidetrack here is the Borderguards MVX-program. IF SAAB gets the nod, the Global eyes will, as per data sharing and requirements of defense of realm, be a part of maritime border guarding of Finland. BUT as Finland is long country, 1500km north to south and 500km east to west, it is quite clear that Global eye doing air surveillance in Sodankylä area cannot at the same time have a peek of what is coming closer to Åland islands. Thus two more Global eyes with Border guards colours and crews would remedy this kind of situation. However people in charge of MVX program stressed that SAAB has answered to RFI, but HX-program is not in any way tied to Borderguards MVX program. Still, IMHO, having same platform in Borderguards surveillance squadron and the FAFs AWACS squadron would not be a bad thing.

Eurofighter Typhoon: Industry and intelligence co-operation.

Typhoon is a bit of a hard to term participant in HX competition: Definately it is the clearest air dominance fighter of the bunch, and if Finland was simply looking for Air defense fighter without groundpounding requirements we would have no competition at all. Eurofighter is the fastest, flies highest and maybe even longest of the hopefulls. What is the other selling point besides the fighter is the question with BAE bid. There was talk about giving Finns access to intelligense assets (satellite imaginery) in the deal and now participation in developement of next generation radar and engine works are given as sweeteners for the deal.

Typhoon from business end. Meteor and 250kg PAVEWAY IV. Storm Shadow cruise missile/stand off weapon on the far right. SPEAR 3 seems to also be part of the deal, but BAE declines to give details in their offer. Spear EW and ASRAAM seem to be the stand of jammer and WVR missile respectively. Own photo

Great Britain is important defense ally for the Finnish Defence forces and IS still militarily most powerfull country in Europe. Further EUROfighter really is an european project so the can be pressure from EU partners to give to nod to Common European fighter developement.

Typhoon cocpit, withwide area display in the middle. Own photo.

AS said Typhoon as Air dominance machine has all doctor orderedIt flies high and fast, is manouvarable, has all kinds of armament to effect all kinds of targets. BAE test pilot mentioned the the electrical power coming out of EJ-2000 . I did as if there is some kind of Direct energy weapon in pipelines for the Typhoon, and genteman in question stated “No”. So.. THAT would mean that CAPTOR AESA radar cannot do direct energy, in other words fry approaching missiles as the come in range, nor there seem to be a laser weaponry in the paperwork either. Suprising!

Industrial co-operation and sovereighn use were quite prominently iterated for listeners in sunny South helsinki by the Typhoon mockup.

Dassault Rafale Strategic partnership in EU.

The french had brought in the honourable mrs Agnès Cukierman to tell about the French offer. This fact sort of underlines the French selling point of the Dassault Rafale fighter: “Strategic partnership in EU”. Don’t get me wrong: Rafale is very capable fighter and has seen combat all over Africa and Middle-East and I’m sure when used right well capable of killing Suhois with good drop ratio. So there is no problems with the plane!

Strategic partnership with nuclear weapons. It would be a good thing to have own/partnerhip nukes in case of SHTF scenario in Finland.

Only thing I have questioned in my mind is the Rafales EW capability up to par with S-400/450/500 systems? Can Rafale be effectively be deployed with SPECTRE system and expect them to full fill their missions. Not to worry said General (ret) Joel Rode because Rafale is the pre strategic nuclear weapon carrier in Armée de l’air et de l’espace it will be required to perform deep penetration. Also you can significantly enhance your chances with good mission planning. go in rain, in night and low and fast, and you have good chances of pulling trough a success. Good enough I guess. Still this leaves the question of anti radiation missile a bit open: Will it be JSM (originally Norwegian weapon) or AGM-88 ER. The picture here shows JSM, but it is a tad unsuited for the role.

The offered Rafale loadouts for HX bid. Air defense and ground support in the middle, Anti ship with EXOCET in upper left, deep strike with two 500kg HAMMERS in lower left, Upper right four JSMs for DEAD and lastly two storm shadows for penetration. Own picture.

Dassault Rafale has the capability to carry the BVR Meteor and MICA will be the other, WVR, missile in package. MICA IR is usefull as a sensor as well, as you can get IR picture from the missile back to the fighter, and use basic triangulation to do nifty 9th grade maths and get firing solutions and other data passively. Other than that HAMMER/AASM is good guidance package for iron bombs, Stand off weapon would be MBDA Storm Shadow

MICA would also have a very respective range for a “secondary” missile as 80km (ASRAAM +25km, and IRIS T 25km) which is more or less the same as offered by the current FAF AMRAAM C-7. So in max OCA/DCA Rafale in a sence has “mostest missiles”.

Lockheed F-35A Lightning It’s not as expensive as your think!

Lockheed Martins presser was for the grownups in HX-press community. The message was really “F-35 is a lot cheaper that you have been led to believe!” One has to concur, the price is trickling down and synergy is kicking in which is fine and good.

Mr Stephen Sheehy from Lockheed Martin laying down the numbers on F-35. Sustainment is not glamorous or glorious, but it is the crux of having an operational assets. Own picture.

There will be “robust” weapons package included in HX bid but what is there in it is everybody’s educated guess. BVR missile: AMRAAM D or METEOR? WVR: ASRAAM or Sidewinder? Ground attack missile: SPEAR 3 or JAGM? Anti Radiation AAMRG-ER or JSM? Stand off/cruise missile AGM-158 JASSM?

Lockheed Martin’s offer lives and dies by the stealth: F-35 has not been designed as a maneuvering platform: it is not a fighter it is an assassin. It will kill you when/if you have no clue it is there, but if you can get a kill-chain on it, F-35 is in dire straits. And no I don’t think F-35 is incapable of maneuvering, it just is not her forte. It is one thing to get into advantageous position and stick a needle in enemy’s posterior than to try to be victorious in within visual range maneuvering fight with Suhois or MiGs

This picture from MBDA tent sort of leads you to believe it is F-35 and the Meteor.. Own picture
What kind of tecnical and industry co-ops to expect if Lockheed gets the nod. Own picture.

So I’m a bit skeptical about continued value of the (X-band or microwave length) stealth for the future decades, but it IS important right now. No manufacturer has overlooked the effect of microwave stealth in their designs and future platforms like Tempest are stealthy in X-band, so there is that. Still S-band radars have no such limitations, so that eats into the effectiveness of X-band stealth.

Boeing F/A-18 E/F/G and the Loyal Wing man: it has been so good, why not continue?

Boeing was responssible of the news bomb this time. Last year I asked is Loyan wingman part of HX deal and they denied it, but now they owned up and said “it is part of the options”. So Airpower Teaming System ATS or Loyal Wingman is on the table.

ATS or Loyal wingman has three nosecone options: Radar, electro-optical and ISTAR. own picture.

Finlands air warfare domain is the most challenging in the world. country is without great changes of terrain and lies pretty flat. All the AFBs are (somewhat) within radar range of the only potential adversary. So while F/A-18E is not that stealthy the ATS is, so Loyal wing man can go and have a peek and networking capabilities will take care of what the jockey in F/A-18 E sees. Thus you only risk losing relatively inexpensive platform and not a full blown fighter. In basic OCA/DCA scenario the ATSes would fly 50-80km forward of F-18s and when they pick up enemies, thay would act like forward observers do in artillery concept. They would help to guide in the missiles that the shooters/arsenal fighters, fired. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

The ATS concept is applicable to most scenarios HX-fighters are expected to perform. Other than that Boeing plays to its strenght, It has been good, you guys know us from 90’ies onwards, you know the consept and you know the plane. All fair and good points. Also the armaments are on known quality. the finns would stay with AMRAAM and eventually move to D-model, other armaments from legacy hornets era could be used at first and new ones brought online as they surface. so no great thrills there.

Growler can jam everything air defense tries to do. own picture

Then there is the Growler. Growler can deny the enemy the whole killchain. Let me elaborate. When Growler is in air with New Generation Jammer pods and protecting say a strike package, There might be a S-band search radar, Growler jams it with low band jammer, then it can also jam the microwave links that help command posts to control missile batteries. After that if air defense battery gets the strike package, the Growler can jam their X-band fire control radars. Ditto for fighter assets. So Boeing claim they can make pigs breakfast from the whole kill chain. Not just the last part that involves the X-band fire control radars. This is another strength of Rhino bid.

Concerns rise from the continued use of F/A-18 E/F/G by the primary user: United States Navy. Even though Germany picked F/A-18E and Growler earlier this year, 120 + fighters in Europe might not be enough to drive development further. This still is the mountain Boeing has to climb.

Other thingys

Other things of note in Kaivari21 are: cool aviators given by Prat and Whitney and Lockheed. SAAB had really neat Global EYE caps for us lemmings. Also the coffee cup was in same camo! It is nice to see leftie crap has not surfaced in France, cos we could still see cute girls in orange and black in Dassault Pavillion. Also they had their own winery produts. Being had maybe the coolest cap in Growler and in blue and white. Typhoon sales team made us laugh oftenest.

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Last Walz in Kannas Results are getting in! The Typhoon.

It has been a long while since I last wrote about the HX-things in this Blog. Now that Kaisaniemi air day is almost upon us maybe it is time to make something. Again Command modern operations is a game, not a real simulation environment, so accuracy is maybe on 50%-70% ballpark.

Typhoon in Seinäjoki Aerospace. Own picture

I’m going to put all results in this page as they come ready for viewers benefit. I have only made a few practice runs before real thing, and didn’t made statistics on the runs due family time constraints.

Typhoon

Losses and expenditures for Typhoon.

As can be seen from the scorecard, Eurofighter Typhoon caused substantial destruction on VVS side of things: 37 fighters and AWACS, 19 TELAR vehicles plus 15 different kind of bridges all together. The bridges and the logistical isolation of battle area is sort of the point here, but caused hole in opposing airforce would also be a boon in short to medium run. As I mentioned I did not do any kind of statistics on the scenario, but I venture to make and educated guess that “normal range” of losses for Finnish Air Force would be 3-7 fighters considering the complexity of situation.

This is what A-100 AWACS (and VVS) can see about 2,5 min into the scenario. First batch of Typhoons are en route to missions already.

So what we found out is that given enough flights FAF with Typhoon is indeed capable of offensive operations against VVS, but venturing outside of Finnish aerospace might prove costly thing to do. Also I feel some of the losses sustained by the FAF are due the limitations of AI in the game. So out of the 42 fighters out in scenario 5 were lost in this round.

Meteor performed 37 spalshes out of 76 meteors fired (plus 3 ASRAAMS) give Kp of 0,486-0,468. So Missile performance is quite par on what we saw in Arctic Night scenario where we had 0,486 Hit probability over a few runs of scenario. And as .500 would be a hit in each salvo, or “perfect score” [talking CMAMO, there is a possibility to change preferenses to fire a many missiles as you would want to each target, but I have left it alone, as a salvo fire each target seems to be the preferred way to go globally. (Well salvo of 2 against gen 4 and gen 5 fighters, gen 1-3 only get 1) It would maybe be better for Lightning II, as they only carry 4 AMRAAMs.]

SPEAR EW and SPEAR 3 missiles performed in SEAD role in combo quite well: As long as you get the SPEAR 3s in about same time in as SPEAR EW flies close you are good. If the timing is off Pantsir and Buk systems are quite capable of making pigs breakfast of your salvo. Video is of Defense webs production and quite informative about the systems and also how to attack them.

Video (48 min long). The conclusions follow.

So FAF would be quite cabable to go on offensive counter air operations against VVS and support interdiction/deep strike missions against close by targets in Carelian Isthmus and East-Carelia and thus provide army help in war fighting. This of course has some limits as Finnish establisment has decided to honour uncle Joe’s dictates about sufficient Air Force size for Finland. And for that obscure reason to limit the Air Force to 64 fighters.

We do know that Eurofighter Typhoon is Air Dominance optimized fighter in HX competition, and is well capable to over-match current crop of Suhois. The problem in Typhoons HX run are the cost per fighter and cost per flight hour. (Two turbojets just suck up twice as much gas as one does.) The Eurofighter is quite prolific fighter in world so there is no fear of ending up as the sole user, and as Typhoon will be constantly used in action around the globe, the armaments will be top notch all the way to 60’s. The politics are also there as three major EU partners are using and developing the fighter on wards. So there might very well be heavy EU pressure from German/Italian/Spanish quarter. UK is no longer part of EU, but Finland has emerging military co-operation with the British so this will also add weight into scales in Typhoon’s favor Also there would be clear path to take part in Tempest development deals.

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The Walz in Karelia

For the last few weeks I have been working on Offensive counter air/deep strike scenario in Kannas Eastern Karelia region. This would be one of scenarios HX candidates would have to show their suitability. Again the premise comes from RAND scenario of NATO-Russia war in Baltic region. This scenario is a few hours into the conflich where Finnish Air Force has to cut the supply routes into the combat zone. The prospected combat zone is inLappeenranta-Viipuri-Imatra area, and FAF is to cut supplyroutes to said area. This entails destruction of bridges in Kannas and in Syväri area. There is XXX bridges in area, and destruction of those will hamper the troop movement and resupply in area.

The Russian Aerospace forces (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii, VVS for short) are again present from their current bases and are flying DCA missions. VVS flies with assortment of MiG-31s SU-27s and Su-33s from their respective bases. There is also a sprinkle of A”A assets protecting the bridges and area defense systems to give more broad cover over Kannas and Ladoga area. Notably there is A-100 AWACS in air, which should help the VVS to contain the FAF in the area.

Russian assets in air and ground

The Finnish Air Force does Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and Deep Strikes missions. OCA mission is meant to open windows for the deep strike missions to reach their targets and drop their ordnance on the bridges. OCA is also meant to cause maximum damage on VVS so that continued fighting is possible over Finland.

As the scenario is so different from previous ones, I’m taking more of a control in FAF missions: One cannot really try to accomplish the same goals with same kind of planning with F-35 A and say F/A-18 E/G. I’m not professional, so I’ll take quite a few iterations on this. But I’m sure that I eventually get to best practises, that might be obvious to professionals of the field.

Also one has to note that MLRS systems are not used in this scenario.

The first fighter to go will be Eurofighter Typhoon.

Then F-35 A

After that JAS-39 E Gripen

Following Boeing F/A-18 E/F/G

and last but not least Dassault Rafale

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HX-bids are in, How do things look right now?

The HX bids were in by the end of April, and there were no big bangs fired in the media. SAAB’s and Boeing’s bids were generally known. Lockheed Martins foreign military sales permit allows also for 64 fighters, but it is not known, if that is the actual number proposed. It is of course common sence that the Dassault and BAE bids are in the same ballpark, as the number 64 is really dictated by fourship up in north and south at all times 24/365 with a few spares to make time for maintainance. 8x(24/4)x1,3=62,4 planes. This is conviniently just about what “daddy sunshine” Josef Stalin dictated in 1948. The right number should be closer to 100 than 60. So 86 might be the real number. Of course HX fighter will be supplemented by “Air force teaming assets” ie Loyal wingmen in 2030’ies so, I’m not too worried about this lack of platforms. This is not in any way limited to Boeing Australias exellent “Loyal Wingman” but concept is in development for all HX candidates, but it seems Boeing has a hefty head start in this.

Boeing Australia’s Loyal Wingman. Future of FAF as well?

Boeings Loyal WIngman as an artist expression. This aircraft flew her maiden flight earlier in 2021. I wrote something about said aircraft and there is a longer piece coming this summer.

In political front SAAB can be very happy as it seems the lefty-greenie government is going to be the one to give the nod in late 2021. And as swedes can do no wrong as far as said coalition is concerned things look good for the Gripen E.

Global eye is the winning part of SAABs bid. Gripen E is all that doctor ordered, but so are all the others in HX bids. So AWACS capability is the “real thing” here!

Of course there is the EU connection concerning the Typhoon and Rafale, and I think the French might be ready to exert some pressure/influense on Finnish Govt. This could be extra money from EU relief bill, or some other boon, but I’m at loss what it might be. Same goes with the Germany of course. Britons in the other hand are most important defense partner of Finland after Sweden, which might play a role here.

Typhoon has the greatest dynamics of the bid, but other than that, I’m not sure what is the Thang, it offers: Access to satellite imagining in real time would of course be a boon, but in killchain that is quite far in upstream from actual kill.

F/A-35 A is of course been the forerunner because of “reasons”, but as it seems her career might be cut shorter by recent developments, I see Lockheed-Martins chances shrinking. F-35 A stealthcapabilities is of course the selling point, but in many other aspects F-35 struggles in competition.

F-35 Mockup in 2018 in Jyväskylä.

The Americans benefit from the change of the POTUS, but as president Trump was eager to sell the F/A-18 E to Finland, this might lessen the propability of Rhino reeling in the bid. It is not known how VP Harris sees the deal, but I’d say Americans are still on the rise.

Growler will offer exelent SEAD capabilities for FAF, but will it be the thing that gets the approval for Boeing?

TyphoonF-35RafaleF/A-18 EGripen
GoodMeteor
A2A capabilities
EU
Kinematics
stealth
weaponry
Meteor?
Meteor
EU
Kinematics A2S capabilities
Growler
Known aircraft
fast run up time
weaponry
pricepoint
expenses
A2S capabilities
Meteor
“swedishness”
Global Eye
Pricepoint
expenses
FAF sayso in future development
SAAB involvement in R&D in FIN
Badexpenses
fyture expansion BC Typhoon
weapon bays
Expenses
kinematics
supply
pricepoint
expenses?
BVR missile?
future
wartime supply
future expansion
available electricity
My thoughts on strenghts and weaknesses of HX- bids.

My views on matter are of course highly subjective, but I feel that are about the can of worms where the reasoning comes. As to question which is the strongest bid right now? Hmm. Maybe all things considered SAAB Gripen. Main reasons being the pledge to take FAF views wery strongly into consideration in path forward (This is evident on that SwAF will get their Gripen Es with software and equpment FAF pics; So big say in R&D for minor partner.) If the economics is the sole factor, nod will go to the Boeing and Rhino. This is not to say that Rhino and Growler are not VVS beating combo in their own right.

Rafale in Ground In Kauhava

I may be overestimating SAAB’s chanses, because the relative closed mouthesness of Dassault, who has exellent fighter, and clear path forward. France is quite assertive in their politics, so there might be something there, that is not common knowledge. So I’d always keep the Rafale in mind. and Rafale’s performance and kinematics were on great display in Kauhava airshow August last.

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