Saab Gripen E/F/G: the true modular force (soon available in Sea Gripen taste)

Everybody who reads DutchForce21 regularly knows that i am very positive about the Saab Gripen E/F proposal. This is based on my comparison (as far as possible based on public intel) but also on the logical assumptions / goals i have for the DutchForce21 concept.

breakingthecostcurve_Eng_700

  • As i stated such a force should be expeditionary in nature.
  • Be cost effective
  • consist of enough units and (weapon) systems to operate effectively.
  • And most importantly, I imagine a future where the fighting will be about… oil and rare earth materials.. Our current western societies can’t live without them.

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(We therefore need a force which can deploy fast (but short) to support especially maritime domain to escort and secure (Dutch / European) Merchant vessels on their way back from the world to our port’s of … Rotterdam or vice versa. We need a maritime focused defence force but not only the vessels. We also need maritime patrol aircraft, good and enough helicopters or other rotorcraft and… yes.. a Expeditionary capable fighter.. which doesn’t need a luxurious Main Operating base with all the acclimatized hangars (to protect the aircraft as in the case of the JSF)  As this must / should be done in the most “green” way… Why should a country invest in a military to secure fuel and raw materials…. if that same military would “eat” (consume) all these things which are also needed by society?

“Why should a country invest in a military to secure fuel and raw materials…. if that same military would “eat” (consume) all these things which are also needed by society?”

LM is good in Public relations
Many JSF fans and parrots who just are repeating what they heard from Lockheed Martin’s Public Relations division (a muli billion company i can imagine because all the faults, all the problems and all future  scams… need a lot of talking (like Brugman) to convince politicians, and our interested civilians that the only alternative is the JSF. Only the JSF can do…… blabla. And the 5th generation…. (nonsense)

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The JSF isn’t multi-role, Result: Ill equipped Dutch Armed forces
But we now know that the JSF, can’t fight a dog  (as in dogfight) they aren’t that good in supporting our ground forces (Combat Air Support) the JSF F35A is armed with 182 25mm bullets. For a 4 barrel canon firing 3000 rounds a minute.. this is only enough ammo for 3,64 seconds.

Besides this I really would be honest to raise the claim that in a cost/benefit analysis (I know… purely hypothetical and without any emotions…. Just like some politicians right?) could it be possible that it would be too expensive to risk the loss of one (of the 35 + 2 testaircraft) JSF vs a (let’s say a platoon which where deprived of their integrated heavy weapons (LR Guided Weapons like TOW, heavy Mortars, used to be a Bataljon asset now it’s heavy artillery) to give a few examples. All these measures were taken because of the promise that there always will be Combat Air Support available.. what if? (+ almost 200 – 300 million Euro’s a piece vs. the (financial) cost to cope with some casualties? Not an option? Why do you think politics is called dirty?

Back to the JSF
The only things they are good for, from a Dutch point of view are… Intelligence gathering, strategic bombing (if enemy radar/IRST are outdated) and buying US soldiers to die for our needs. (because that’s what the JSF is ultimately about. We buy ourselves: the Support and protection by our US Allies – as promised. Unfortunately the US government and their “bread masters” (the same as with TTIP) the US Global Internationals don’t always serve our interests. Of course this is the same with our European allies…. but there is one single interest all European countries share… we live on the same continent which is under threat at the moment.

“But there is one single interest all European countries share… we live on the same continent which is under threat at the moment.”

The best option available
I propose the Saab Gripen fighter which would become available with many different future options. and to certain extend the Netherlands would/could/should become a big partner in this program.

We would have the standard E and F versions. But as we know now the Brazilians are also looking for an Aircraft Carrier capable fighter: the Sea Gripen. (based on E/F developments).

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They say…. steel is cheap
To be really honest, an aircraft carrier for the Netherlands in first sight looks like a step too far. But Personally I think there are certain things about Carrier development which look like they are that expensive on purpose… to earn money for the developers. Not to deliver as much capability as possible for the best price. I’m really interested how the Brazilian military will develop their new carrier.  I know of certain technologies which could be implied for example instead of the New US Catapult system (EMALS) there is a improved version of the current system possible. if they only would invest (a relative) small amount in that development. Besides operating our own carrier I suppose we could also opt for operating carrier capable aircraft in cooperation with our French, Brazilian and US allies. Being a true trustworthy partner with that.

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The Gripen E/F already has a promising EW/INTEL gathering capability proposed. As I quoted before the option to combine the AESA radar with the IRST and IFF sensor systems make it an incredible system also claimed capable of tracking (enemy) Stealth targets.  Also the weapons currently integrated on the C/D and future E/F are interesting and capable. Like Meteor and RBS15 MKIII. Some future systems proposed (like a Meteor Anti-Radiation variant) or a RBS15 MK IV a missile with possible 1000km range)  are very interesting future developments.

And now there is this new development I would like to share…..

Meanwhile, long-term commercial plans are assessing the viability of converting a variant of Gripen into an electronic warfare (EW) variant similar to how Boeing has adapted the F/A-18F Super Hornet into the EA-18G Growler.

“If you look into future combat scenarios, if you have a high-end air force with a broad threat situation, something like a ‘Growler Gripen’ would make a real difference,” Sindahl said.

“That‘s what we’re looking into, and that’s why it’s so good to have Brazil on board with the F-model.”

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So we have an expeditionary, cost effective modular fighter, which makes it possible to buy enough of them, to operate them well within O&S budget which will also address the SEAD/DEAD needs of our Defence force?    Oh boy, Will those Air Force guys ever learn what they did to our Armed Forces and to greater extend our ability as a nation to act sovereign?  The political leadership destroyed the whole Armed forces (which used to be equipped in a multi-role way, A toolbox with overlapping capabilities) in favor of an aircraft which promised a lot, but in the end will damage our own interests. Why, tell me why the US would always keep our interests in mind and weight them evenly important as they do with their own (national) interests? Why? NOT.

I propose a new future look into what the Dutch military really needs. What kind of force structure is needed? What kind of weapons are needed to create a protected force capable and effective. I think a sustainable “green” fighting force which uses less (natural) resources will be best. I think Gripen E/F/G and Sea Gripen (also in E/F/G options) would be key in such a future force!

And A Dutch Aircraft carrier (or two) is a dream as long as it’s a dream! It could become reality if the politicians and force planners would decide to do so.. without selling increasing the price and wanting to develop the wheel themselves. And most importantly the Military industry has a supportive and facilitating role.. they should earn their fair amount of money doing so, but in the end, the interests of the (Dutch) people is key!  In the mean time I will try to develop the DutchForce alternative force plan. with a financial chapter. (if i have time)

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