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
A2A capabilities
Kinematics A2S capabilities
Known aircraft
fast run up time
A2S capabilities
Global Eye
FAF sayso in future development
SAAB involvement in R&D in FIN
fyture expansion BC Typhoon
weapon bays
BVR missile?
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.

About epamuodikkaitaajatuksia

Viisikymppinen jannu, joka on huolissaan siitä miten maanpuolustus ja turvallisuus makaa Lapissa, Suomessa ja Euroopassa. Harrastuksina Amerikkalainen jalkapallo ja SRA ammunta, Defendo ja Krav Maga. A guy about 45, who has a "thang" for military current issues, defense and shooting. Not to forget American football. Also Krav maga and Saario Defendo is done for the kicks.
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