Tagarchief: Sweetman

OODA loop or (OO)DA loop?

These weeks in the Netherlands the Dutch Fighter replacement program will be speeded up for decision in parliament.  the D-brief will be talked about in the parliamentary defence commission and in a couple of weeks there will be another debate. But then the road will be open for the government to decide. eventhough no fixed price has been give and the used numbers and dollar exchange rate (US$ 0,7630 currently 0,88) has been one of a kind. In fact the 5 hard questions which should be answered before the PvdA (Labour) will give its go ahead hasn’t been mentioned anymore.

ALSO € 270 milion a year…. but then for just only 37 airframes. Oh now, we won’t make it.. the Dutch Minister of Defence raised the O&S cost to about 285 a year. OOOPS, this PvdA demand won\t make it. But what about the following: These 285 a year are the starting point of the Lifespan of the JSF whereas the F16’s are on the end of their life.  Is their anybody accounting this in parliament? No veto mr. Samsom?

Five requirements of the Labour Party

The road seems pretty for the government to purchase the JSF or the F-35. It should be there just met five requirements of the Labour Party. It is for Samson the “crucial question” whether you have 37 devices can perform the international missions you want to do.

Furthermore, the fighters may not be more expensive and “they must continue to meet the expectations that we have been held up.” If it is different, “the party does not go through.”Furthermore, the noise should be limited and the project needs more work for our country, preferably double what is currently expected.

None of them could be answered with a possitive answer though.

  1. It is clear that with just 35+2 test JSF you can;t properly operate an air force with all the required tasks. They now depend on cooperation with Belgium in order to succeed. They can operate a minimum number of aircraft and a very minimal number of pilots.
  2. The fighters are more expensive and the MoD counts with a unrealistic dollar exchange rate as shown above. There are many uncertainties which shouldn’t be uncertain after more than 10 years of planning, testing and production. This issue is specificaly interesting because not only is the aquisistion price unclear and falsely give to the parliament (on the one hand they say it will cost a certain ammount, on the other hand they say they don’t know. Strange thing is the prices are much lower even the USAF itself will pay for not to mention other partnercountries like Denmark Australia, and Canada e.g.) Beside the aquisition there is a strange thing going on with the exploitation costs (= Operation and Systainment=O&S) The RNLAF, not so long ago, complaint about the current F16 fighters they where becomming obsolete, and to expensive to operate. Why, They where / are at the end of their lifespan and the costs for keeing them up and running are much higher than it used to be… The current level is estimated at about € 270 a year for 68 fighters operating from 2 MOB’s Main operating bases Leeuwarden and Volkel estimated at about180 flight hrs a year each. The funny thing is that the proposed 35 + 2 JSf will cost the Dutch taxpayers ALSO € 270 milion a year…. but then for just only 37 airframes. Oh now, we won’t make it.. the Dutch Minister of Defence raised the O&S cost to about 285 a year. OOOPS, this PvdA demand won\t make it. But what about the following: These 285 a year are the starting point of the Lifespan of the JSF whereas the F16’s are on the end of their life.  Is their anybody accounting this in parliament? No veto mr. Samsom?
  3. The expectations of the PvdA where low, Ms. Eijsink has always been critical and she has stated more then once that she new of the fact that the technical requirements of the JSF had been downgraded time and time again. so what technical expectations is the PvdA thinking of?
  4. Noise is still not clear, there are some tests promised though, but that would be wll after the decision is taken, during 2016….
  5. More work for our countries industries?  well that is funny, they can’t promise us that, our industry has to fish to get the orders for the best price deals. (lowest possible.) As stated earlier Fokker has some orders ongoing but they all are follow-on orders, and a lot of that work will be done in the Fokker in Turkey. right. The same for engine overhaul and maintenance which will also be done in Turkey and Italy. later on maybe in the Netherlands.

There where asked many questions, but the minister and ministry don’t even have to answer them correctly. In the end they can do whatever they want…. there is a majority who will give the JSF the go ahead. That doesn’t depend on truth and honesty, that doesn’t depend on the need to buy the military (all military) the right equipment in enough numbers and affordable enough the USE it in real live. No the great benefit of democracy is that the only thing important is a majority in parliament. That’s the real painful truth. and those parliamentarians doesn’t need to have one key goal; serving the Dutch people. no, some are serving their own interest, or the interests of certain shareholders. Not you and me, nut some shareholders of big (US companies. (remember Fokker is in the hands of an American corporation not Dutch owned)

“The hook is in”

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The same old story over and over again

The NOS (Dutch Broadcasting Organisation) has the following story. On television they show a big smiling Maxime Verhagen, former minister of Foreign Affairs (CDA) now appointed as special representative to get as many orders on the JSF program as possible for Dutch industry. Of course he is very positive but he also exaggerates enormously about the possible values.  Some of the “facts” of this broadcast:

  • 27 Dutch companies have made it to generate work from the JSF program (0:22)
  • Fokker: for 40 JSF per year they build parts (0:26)
  • Aeronamic has an order ( worth € 220 milj) work for at least 50 people (0:32)
  • There will be more work, € 8 to € 9 billion with hundreds of jobs. (0:36)
  • Maxime Verhagen: After building there also will come future contracts for the maintenance work also worth € 10 to € 20 billion

I would like to ask Mr. Verhagen some key questions: On what grounds where those prognoses based? These where the figures based on the business case of the Dutch Air Force buying 85 JSF not 37. But are those still appropriate?

Another quote of mr Verhagen: If you don’t invest.. you won’t receive anything. (0:45)

Can we expect the US to give us the same amount of orders? What about some non-partner-nations willing to acquire the JSF with demands of large production participation? Like Japan, South-Korea and Israel? Howe come they didn’t invest a billion euro’s in this program and still receive orders far more wort than ours? While they even order in the same amount of aircraft (around 40 each?) And what about those figures and orders we see sometimes in the Dutch News. Stories about new orders, signature signing of orders. All celebrated but not always clear if it’s a new one… or one already arranged long time ago… but celebrated as a new victory (for marketing purposes of course),

Repeating old contracts and framework agreements with each small successor agreement, if re-extracted billions turnover ……….

The annual PV F16 allow hitherto SALES tens of millions to the recognition of the “JSF Business Case” (which is not MARGIN = value) show per year.

Super nice of course …….

But Aeronamic works for Airbus; and work would have been if we DO NOT buy the JSF; simply because they are innovative.

Fokker / STORK  

October 2009
THE HAGUE – Stork Fokker’s flaperons, movable flaps on the wings, producing for American combat unit JSF. For this purpose, Tuesday (October 6) signed a contract with aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

(and even at least 4 times, and so on)

Aeronamic (part of the work is outsourced to Romanian branch)

November 17, 2010
Aeronamic has a contract for the supply of the so-called Air Management System for Turbomachinery energy on board the aircraft.

May 2013
Honeywell, a company that for years Aeronamic Siezen recent works, signed an agreement for the construction of Terminal Power Management Systems (PTMs) for half of the total number of building F-35’s. “The system regulates the energy system aboard the new American fighter. It is an order of 500 to 600 million and provides 50 to 60 of our people for thirty years working on “The deal goes through, but under one condition., The Dutch government should proceed to purchase the F-35. “How many devices they buy does not matter. If only they buy. “

July 2014
Production of 220 million and 50 men work.

How often do we have to repeat this??

I would like to recommend an article by Krijn Schramada of the revealing Follow The Money website: JSF industry consider themselves rich with turnover.

A big week for JSF (and their fanboys & girls)…. Or not?

From the previous intro I now want to go to the Farnborough International Air show (FIA) which took place last week in the United Kingdom.

Farnborough International Air show 
A lot of headlines and rumours, a lot of working hours for the Marketing gurus of Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon and other related companies worldwide. It promised to be the highlight of the year, and the moment everybody… well not exactly everybody… dreamed of the last 10 to 20 years. Year after year had gone by, but every year no show for the already (operational) flying JSF. But this year was different: The dream would come true. For LM a true victorious moment celebrated by media and printed promotion. They even taken care of hanging posters in London subway stations to showcase the first European flight demo of the promising JSF. All things where arranged to welcome the true fighter of all fighters to Europe…..

The JSF should have moved from Eglin Air Force base all the way to Europe to entertain the believers there on three occasions. The convoy – Yes you can speak of a convoy – with a pair of KC10 tankers, at least one KC130J tanker, and a C-17 to escort 4 fighters across the Atlantic. The 4 JSF need to refuel around 10-12 times each during their crossing, should have arrived on Fairford (a Big US airbase with all necessary security) in the first week of July. They Didn’t!


The JSF and her big Marketingteam did mis more than one show. First the launching ceremony of the too big, too fat and too badly equipped new British Super Landing Helicopter Dock ships.

QE-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships
If they were Aircraft carriers they should have been equipped with Cat’s & traps like proper carriers (the French, Brazilian and US way) with enough budget to buy enough carrier capable fighters. Or the other way around, enough fighters for a reasonable price like the F/A  Super Hornet, the French Rafale or a new breed the Sea Gripen.  I say the other way around because yes Cats&Traps maybe more expensive to buy than the STOVL launching pad on the super LHD. But the other thing is. The aircraft to operate from such a Carrier can be more cheap than the current choice: the JSF F35B. Beside the over expensive aircraft, the UK also can count on much higher Operation & Sustainment costs, lower Sortie generation rates and last but surely not least: more and extensive higher costs to ship infrastructure because of the enormous heat on the deck. In short, the choice of the STOVL variant by the British MoD, was and still is a false one. Biased and the use of improper arguments. They didn’t include all the relevant costs, they compared the price of building the Carrier on a STOVL basis versus extra costs of fitting Cats&Traps without looking into the other relevant costs. They also neglected to look at the consequences for operational availability – and very important –cooperation with both the US Navy and the French navy with which the British Prime minister says it will have far reaching defence cooperation…. Without the possibility to cooperate on joint aircraft carrier operations…. How dumb.  For more info on these arguments I recommend a series of articles by my colleague of Safe the royal navy.

Fairford Air show
Besides the naming ceremony of the launching of the Queen Elizabeth vessel, the JSF also missed the Royal Air Tattoo at Fairford Airbase.. the place where the JSF Convoy would have landed and stayed during the trip because it currently is one of the largest US airbases in Great Britain… with all necessary security and facilities which are needed to support such a fine aircraft.

But to get back on the JSF appearance during this event. Couple of days before this great occasion to show the aircraft to the public, the JSF had a very interesting malfunction… no an accident to be honest.  Again the issue was on the F135 engine. Read this summary.

F-35A with extensive engine fire at Eglin – June 2014

On Monday June 23, 2014 at 9:15 p.m. a F-35A, assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing, 58th Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, caught fire as the instructor pilot, was taking off as part of a two-ship formation for a continuation training mission. First reports told the “significant fire” originated in the tail of the aircraft, mentioning it a Class-A (big) incident.

The pilot successfully shut down the plane and escaped unharmed and the fire was extinguished with foam by a ground crew. The aircraft involved is the AF-27, s/n 10-5015, a LRIP-4 series aircraft that made its first flight on April 22, 2013 and was delivered on May 29, 2013 to the US Air Force. The F-35A was towed to a hangar. Accident investigators have collected any related foreign object debris at the same hangar for review.

There is a company who finally did – what they should have done long time ago. Saab nailed the remaining parts of Lockheed Martin and here 5th generation fighter to the wall, and throwing daggers at it. Each dagger reached their target swiftly and decisively.

Just one picture to help you start thinking… if you didn’t do that already. Why the 5th Generation is nonsense.

FIA Saab slide 8

This article isn’t meant to make fun of the JSF…. No to the contrary. I am sad that the influence of marketeers in our society is so big… and influential, they even are able to change truth, change facts, and let the bad guys win even if they lose every war, They blow every chance to deliver what they promised. And always find something or someone to blame. And always they are right with their “concurrency” and High quality superior program management principles. They still sell us that same old story that, every big (weapons) program will have these kind of setbacks. Well they don’t … not with normal Program management and smart development methods. And with reasonable set Performance goals (KPI’s) But hey… If Lockheed Marketing sells us a straight banana than it’s straight right?

How can we still live in such a society? Where big words and promises are more worth than delivery of promises, on time, on schedule, within budget and according to preset Key Performance Indicators and quality standards?  A new blog of mine will point out how things where shown in the Netherlands by Dutch Broadcasting organization.

Stay tuned!

5th generation……. fighters? theory or practice?

Bill Sweetman wrote a very interesting article about the (future) capabilities of the Saab Gripen E sensor suite… the most important are three Selex-ES sensors. Please read his article thoroughly: “Gripen Sensors Claim Counter-Stealth Performance

First there is the Raven ES-05 active, electronically scanned array radar (AESA) mounted on a “repositioner,” a rotating mount that gives the radar a ±100-deg. field of view around the nose. The second sensor is a Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) system. The third sensor is a new identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system with three electronically steerable antenna arrays, which matches the radar’s range and field of view.


A lot of this information, which was available on the internet for some time now, should have found its way to e.g. the Dutch ministry of Defence which held an F16 Fighter Replacement program “update” based on Public domain info only. This document: “Report Actualisation Program F16 Replacement (rapport actualisatie Vervanging F16) was the basis for the government coalition of Labour(PvdA) and Liberals (VVD). In their coalition accord they did mention that they wanted to decide about the Fighter Replacement by the end of 2013… (while there is no practical reason for this… the RNLAF follows the same path like ” JSF partnercountry Denmark” which also will decide in 2015… thats the real decision point.. but hey, the discussions and rumors about this “Hot Iron” are from the polticial discussion table,,. verry handy if you consider the comming local council elections (tommorow 19th March) and the European Parliament Elections (22th of May). So this decission is “understandable”. But….. they based their decision on…. Poorly or selectively googled Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)… and their (overestimated) “factual” knowledge of the Joint Strike Fighter program….  I wrote about that several times before…

The strange thing is that there was no one in Dutch Parliament who asked the relevant questions and raised awareness about the “authority” of this document, namely rubbish!

How on earth is it possible that a Democratic elected government based its total future Defence policy (yes; total policy because with every defence cut and abolishment of defence capabilities the steadfast answer is: Airpower will fix that loss….)  completely on a document selectively or poorly googled… And nobody in or outside the coalition did question the “weight of this document…. Nobody asked how come the other contenders had there “conversation” with the MoD but didn’t get the possibility to deliver the latest official technical status reports of their respective fighter aircraft.


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