Interesting move of the Philippine Air Force. It is a very good article with correct arguments. The Gripen is the most affordable real fighter (instead of a trainer with missiles like the FA-50 Golden Eagle or M346) with good range and performance. Also a very broad array of weapons which are already integrated or are optional. From Meteor (the most modern Beyond Visual Range Anti Aircraft Missile (BVRAAM) to RBS-15MKIII anti Ship missile.
Below some comments:
The C/D aircraft which has an estimated price tag of US$61 million can be converted to the more advanced E/F models, according to a senior company representative.
They can be converted but It wouldn’t be necessary to do that, there is also a Gripen C/D+ road-map where the smaller Gripen C/D takes some of the qualified E/F systems.. but not the Engine and new wing etc. The conversion story in Sweden was a kind of way to convince people they spend their money wisely to re-use the older airframes. But since a couple of years – since the increased hostilities with Russia – they plan to build totally new aircraft for the Swedish Air Force.
“C/D frames is still, and will continue to be, a very capable aircraft which will be in continuous development. It really doesn’t matter if the Philippines operates the C/D or with the new generation E/F, there will always be a way for us to grow its capability through incremental upgrades,” he said.
Totally true from the beginning the Gripen has been designed with this incremental upgrade path, a total contrast to all other aircraft where incidental upgrades will be applied.Goal: To break Augustine’s Law nr. 16..
Law Number XVI: In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3-1/2 days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day.
The Western armed forces are all on track to meet this Law, nr. 16. Wy? because there MIC want’s to. nothing more, nothing less. The commercial goals of these companies are more important than the security of the countries concerned. The affordability and keeping the Operation & Sustainment cost as low as possible aren’t objectives even though governments balk with comments like… we have to be very precise with this money.. it taxpayers money this,,, and taxpayers money that…
London-based IHS Jane’s has compiled an independent report in March 2012 on a cost per flight hour of selected aircraft, which includes Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F-18 E / F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Saab Gripen, Dassault Rafale and EuroFighter Typhoon, and the report concluded that the Saab Gripen was the least expensive of the aircraft under study in terms of cost per flight hour.
The aircraft is also the only jet fighter capable of landing in Philippine controlled Rancudo airstrip in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Saab Gripen reported that a possible government-to-government negotiations between Sweden and the Philippines is under way after it has submitted proposals to the Philippine government which include training and lease options of Gripen fighters, hinting the Philippines interest on a similar deal offered to Hungary and the Czech Republic and to recent offers made to Malaysia. The terms of the offer however remains confidential up to this date.
A senior Defence official of the Philippines has confirmed yesterday that they are currently in talks with Sweden for the country’s first Multi Role Fighters. Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin however refused to comment on the deal.
But sources inside Malacanang Palace disclosed that President Benigno Aquino has plans to visit Sweden before his term ends in 2016 and the date of his visit is set tentatively suggesting that finer details are currently being ironed out prior to formal announcement like the ones they entered with South Korea and Japan. President Aquino went to Korea and Japan to announced major defence related acquisitions.
The Gripen is also the only western fighter with good STOL landing capabilities to directly support the ground forces on remote islands. besides that to support such an operation the Ground Support Equipment for the Gripen can be transported in a quarter of the cargo bay of a C-130 Hercules. (enough to support 8 Gripen on an expeditionary operation) there are 5/6 people needed in the ground crew. I totally support this. A dispersed operational capability for the PAF would be needed in my opinion because the Chinese can fire barrages of land-attack missiles to wipe out all main operating bases. They have also overwhelming majority in the air (even when the Americans are there…This would be the most wise thing to do for the Philippine government to pursue. One more thing… the Gripen C/D uses the same GE F404 engine (except some modifications by the Swedish) like the KAI-FA-50 Golden Eagle. so also a partial common logistical support (and training of ground crews) advantage.