YIMBY
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Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:31 pm

How would you predict, speculate or know the future of the production lines of the current western fighters. Which would survive and how long?

Currently we have the following in the USA:
Boeing is producing F-15 Strike Eagle (FF 1972) and F/A-18 Super Hornet (1974/1995).
Lockheed Martin is producing F-16 Fighting Falcon (1974) and F-35 Lightning II
(F-14 and F-22 are definitely gone)
and in Europe
Dassault Rafale (1986)
Eurofighter Typhoon (1994)
Saab JAS-39 Gripen (1988)

Of these, only F-35 is certainly being manufactured throughout the 20's (unless there turns out to be a fatal flaw). The rest have not that many orders to secure their future. There is room, however, for another western fighters, as not all countries could purchase F-35, and its cost would explode without competition. The question itself depends not only on the qualities of the planes but also a lot on politics which may change soon and thereafter.

As far as I know, there is nothing else being developed in the west, at least officially.

In the east several models are built and developed. Would some of those seriously compete with the western fighters in the western markets?
 
mxaxai
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Depends. I don't expect Russian or Chinese fighters in RAF or Luftwaffe. However, future acquisitions by semi-allied countries, as I would consider many in Africa or south-eastern Asia, may face a tougher competition.

Additionally, most fighters compete for similar markets. F/A-18, F-15, Rafale & Eurofighter are all optimized as powerful 4/4.5-generational air superiority fighters including some A2G capabilities. It would not surprise me if at least one model of each continent is discontinued in the near future. The only fighter varying from this concept is the somewhat less capable, single-engined Gripen, whose main selling point is its price. Since we are experiencing fairly peaceful times with low military spending, it has an edge on its very expensive western competitors (and most modern Russian models as well).


As a sidenote, the German DOD (BMVg) is looking for a european built stealth fighter/attacker to replace the remaining Panavia Tornados. The Eurofighter simply lacks in regard to ground attack, ECM and ECR. Expect something to come out of this within ten years.
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:11 pm

They could open the F-22 line again
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:07 pm

The F-22 line is done. It's not coming back. At best, you'll see the plane form revived with modifications to accommodate various F-35 systems and the newer low RCS coating from it. It won't be an F-22 though, and it won't be built in the same place.
 
BenTheGreat97
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:56 pm

Bring back the F-14 :duck:
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:56 pm

I can see the F-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab JAS-39 Gripen lines survive into the 2020's. The others will be closed or are closed and ain't coming back (really F-14 line is mentioned? Last delivered around 1991/2 and retired 10 years ago?!, The F-14 is gone for good).
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ozair
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:35 am

Dutchy wrote:
I can see the F-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab JAS-39 Gripen lines survive into the 2020's. The others will be closed or are closed and ain't coming back (really F-14 line is mentioned? Last delivered around 1991/2 and retired 10 years ago?!, The F-14 is gone for good).

Rafale will survive longer than the Eurofighter purely for the fact the French are happy to run the line at such a low, practically unsustainable rate. Gripen will survive based on the fact it only really starts full rate production in the early 20s.
mxaxai wrote:
As a sidenote, the German DOD (BMVg) is looking for a european built stealth fighter/attacker to replace the remaining Panavia Tornados. The Eurofighter simply lacks in regard to ground attack, ECM and ECR. Expect something to come out of this within ten years.

They are looking at 2035 at the earliest. There may be a UCAV program that come earlier but they won't be able to manufacture manned stealth attack aircraft in less than 15 years. It would take 5 years just to sort out the economic partnership agreement.
 
art
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:10 pm

My guesses...

F-16
A few more deliveries to the Gulf then production ceases? Perhaps I should have said production ceases in the USA since there is a possibility of a large number of F-16's being made in India in the 2020's if the government chooses F-16 for local production.

F-18
In the process of picking up a small order from Canada. Kuwait may place an order. Apart from these, not much on the horizon to keep the line open for long.

Gripen C/D
SAAB see demand for this model continuing for some time and are talking to a number of potential customers, so unless they fail to secure further orders, the C/D should be available for a few years more.
Gripen E/F
Production of this model is assured well into the 2020's in Sweden then later Brazil (and possibly India and Switzerland).

Rafale
Export orders and belated deliveries to French forces mean production is assured until well into the 2020's. Additionally Dassault were making Rafale profitably at a rate of less than a dozen a year so can probably slow production to stretch the time the line remains open in the 2020's if need be.

Typhoon
An order from Bahrain is a possibility but that would be for a small number. Oman has an option to buy a further 12. Unless Saudi Arabia orders a substantial number more frames it looks like the aircraft will be out of production soon.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:11 pm

Thanks for intelligent opinions.

So definitely F-15, and likely F-16 and F-18 will disappear soon from west, with the option of F-16 remaining in production in India, and F-18 having some small chances if F-35 struggles more.

Either Typhoon or (more likely?) Rafale or both may see 20's. Gripen NG also has some future, though it might sell only for its price. None of these sees a very bright future, but a lot depends on how good F-35 will be in practice and what will be its future price tag for export.

There is a possibility that only F-16, F-35 and Gripen remain in production. Who would desperately need a twin-engine fighter?

What would Trump do? Trade war with escalating countermeasures or freedom to sell whatever to whomever? The former may make American planes unsellable, though European planes also depend on American technology.

Which countries are to make orders soon?

I have understood, that in Europe Belgium has not formally decided anything but is inclined to buy F-35, Poland might make an order to expand its fleet, but Finland will not make decisions within this decade, being then maybe too late to be able to move from Hornet to Super Hornet. Any other non-committed countries? There is some chance that France, UK, Germany might make additional orders to save their industries, but opposite may be more likely?

Several ME countries would like to get as many planes as they can, but may be limited by money, technical level and export regulations. Moreover, in unstable zones the politics may change often less democratically so that the previous contracts are nullified.

Latin America?
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:11 am

YIMBY wrote:

I have understood, that in Europe Belgium has not formally decided anything but is inclined to buy F-35, Poland might make an order to expand its fleet, but Finland will not make decisions within this decade, being then maybe too late to be able to move from Hornet to Super Hornet. Any other non-committed countries? There is some chance that France, UK, Germany might make additional orders to save their industries, but opposite may be more likely?

Several ME countries would like to get as many planes as they can, but may be limited by money, technical level and export regulations. Moreover, in unstable zones the politics may change often less democratically so that the previous contracts are nullified.

Latin America?

Poland in the past was interested in the F-35, and Finland is in the middle of starting the competition, having received responses from interested vendors.

Of the remaining countries still interested in buying Western fighters, I believe Singapore has the F-35 in mind as a future fighter, but is in no particular rush to buy it (the RSAF is already a very modern and qualitatively superior air force in the region), Spain needs a replacement for their AV-8B Harrier II fleet and their F/A-18's, Malaysia is in the midst of choosing a new fighter, and Greece has indicated they want F-35's as well.

I would also add Taiwan to the list of countries that probably will be looking at new fighter soon.
 
art
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:41 am

Unfortunate news for Boeing:

'US lawmakers couldn’t squeeze additional Lockheed F-35s and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets into their annual defence policy bill and instead reverted to the numbers stated in the Obama administration's original budget request.

After ironing out differences in their separate legislation, House and Senate lawmakers came to a consensus this week on a defence policy bill that could come up for a vote by the end of this week. Senior armed services committee staff briefed reporters on 29 November about the unifying language, known as the conference report, which left out 11 F-35s from the services’ unfunded priorities list. Fourteen Super Hornets included in a previous version of the House bill are no longer included.'

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nc-431929/

I wonder if that signals the end of F/A-18 orders for the USN.

I imagine that somebody (Canada? Kuwait?) will need to order soon to keep the F/A-18 supply chain busy.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:23 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Poland in the past was interested in the F-35, and Finland is in the middle of starting the competition, having received responses from interested vendors.

Of the remaining countries still interested in buying Western fighters, I believe Singapore has the F-35 in mind as a future fighter, but is in no particular rush to buy it (the RSAF is already a very modern and qualitatively superior air force in the region), Spain needs a replacement for their AV-8B Harrier II fleet and their F/A-18's, Malaysia is in the midst of choosing a new fighter, and Greece has indicated they want F-35's as well.

I would also add Taiwan to the list of countries that probably will be looking at new fighter soon.


Singapore went with additional F-15s, and has put any F-35 order on hold.

Spain couldn't afford afford the F-35, and is looking at a combination of Typhoons and UCAVs to eventually replace it's F/A-18s.

Poland just extended it's decision until 2023.

Malaysia isn't looking at the F-35.

Greece is drowning in F-16s, and can't afford anything as exotic as an F-35. I don't see Germany allowing Greece to buy any either.

Taiwan won't be allowed anything other than more second-hand F-16s.


Other big potential deals that are upcoming include Peru (up to 60 Typhoons, Rafale or Su-35) and Vietnam (144 MiG-21 and 38 Su-22 to be replaced. Typhoon looks like the favorite here). There is also Bahrain (as mentioned above) and Indonesia. Both announced a decision already, but it looks like they could both still be in a limbo.

:)
 
art
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:32 pm

VSMUT wrote:
[

Singapore went with additional F-15s, and has put any F-35 order on hold.

Spain couldn't afford afford the F-35, and is looking at a combination of Typhoons and UCAVs to eventually replace it's F/A-18s.

Poland just extended it's decision until 2023.

Malaysia isn't looking at the F-35.

Greece is drowning in F-16s, and can't afford anything as exotic as an F-35. I don't see Germany allowing Greece to buy any either.

Taiwan won't be allowed anything other than more second-hand F-16s.


Other big potential deals that are upcoming include Peru (up to 60 Typhoons, Rafale or Su-35) and Vietnam (144 MiG-21 and 38 Su-22 to be replaced. Typhoon looks like the favorite here). There is also Bahrain (as mentioned above) and Indonesia. Both announced a decision already, but it looks like they could both still be in a limbo.

:)


I know Spain offered used Typhoons in the past but if Spain is thinking of replacing its F-18's at least in part with Typhoons, would any Spanish Typhoons still be available for sale to Peru? According to Wiki Peru has less than 50 MiG-29, Su-22 and Mirage 2000 in service. Buying 60 Typhoons would seem unlikely to me. Any reason why you see Typhoon as the favourite in Vietnam? A light fighter seems a much more logical MiG-21 replacement to me.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:08 pm

art wrote:
I know Spain offered used Typhoons in the past but if Spain is thinking of replacing its F-18's at least in part with Typhoons, would any Spanish Typhoons still be available for sale to Peru? According to Wiki Peru has less than 50 MiG-29, Su-22 and Mirage 2000 in service. Buying 60 Typhoons would seem unlikely to me.


I agree, 60 seems unlikely, it is based on a Peruvian source I found a while ago and some contacts. 60 is also about right for a 1-1 replacement of all operational and non-operational fighters and bombers. I believe Spain has only offered 18 early-model Typhoons to Peru, and Peru has requested a proposal for 16. I doubt they could afford to buy 60 of anything either.

But it has been speculated for a while that South America is on the brink of an arms race...


art wrote:
Any reason why you see Typhoon as the favourite in Vietnam? A light fighter seems a much more logical MiG-21 replacement to me.


They seem to be interested in complimenting their Russian systems with a western option, and yet for a number of reasons they aren't quite ready to go for an American aircraft just yet. The Typhoon would also be the best of the available aircraft to counter the might of the PLAAF. As of late, most articles also mention that the Typhoon is in the lead along with the Su-35.

:)
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:23 pm

VSMUT wrote:
art wrote:
I know Spain offered used Typhoons in the past but if Spain is thinking of replacing its F-18's at least in part with Typhoons, would any Spanish Typhoons still be available for sale to Peru? According to Wiki Peru has less than 50 MiG-29, Su-22 and Mirage 2000 in service. Buying 60 Typhoons would seem unlikely to me.


I agree, 60 seems unlikely, it is based on a Peruvian source I found a while ago and some contacts. 60 is also about right for a 1-1 replacement of all operational and non-operational fighters and bombers. I believe Spain has only offered 18 early-model Typhoons to Peru, and Peru has requested a proposal for 16. I doubt they could afford to buy 60 of anything either.

But it has been speculated for a while that South America is on the brink of an arms race...


A force consisting of only the Typhoon seems a bit strange. The Typhoon is primary an air to air fighter, with a secondaire air to ground role.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
VSMUT
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:43 pm

Dutchy wrote:
A force consisting of only the Typhoon seems a bit strange. The Typhoon is primary an air to air fighter, with a secondaire air to ground role.


Only if you believe the Lockheed Martin PR reps that post nonsense like that on internet forums. The Typhoon is a multirole fighter, and can utilise the Paveway series, dumb-bombs, the Storm Shadow and KEPD 350, and will feature an even greater selection in the future. Compare that to the Dutch F-16s. Have they ever dropped anything other than JDAMs and LGBs in anger?

:)
 
BenTheGreat97
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:05 pm

art wrote:
Unfortunate news for Boeing:

I imagine that somebody (Canada? Kuwait?) will need to order soon to keep the F/A-18 supply chain busy.


Canada is talking to Boeing about the "immediate" purchase of 18 Super Hornets (no word on which model, E/F/G) as an interim stopgap before making their final decision on what to replace their original A/B series Hornets.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:14 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
A force consisting of only the Typhoon seems a bit strange. The Typhoon is primary an air to air fighter, with a secondaire air to ground role.


Only if you believe the Lockheed Martin PR reps that post nonsense like that on internet forums. The Typhoon is a multirole fighter, and can utilise the Paveway series, dumb-bombs, the Storm Shadow and KEPD 350, and will feature an even greater selection in the future. Compare that to the Dutch F-16s. Have they ever dropped anything other than JDAMs and LGBs in anger?

:)

And yet the Dutch F-16's has had multirole capabilities for much longer.

Also, the Dutch F-16's have nuclear weapons capability; the Typhoon doesn't have the necessary equipment to carry nuclear weapons.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:39 am

art wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Other big potential deals that are upcoming include Peru (up to 60 Typhoons, Rafale or Su-35) and Vietnam (144 MiG-21 and 38 Su-22 to be replaced. Typhoon looks like the favorite here).


I know Spain offered used Typhoons in the past but if Spain is thinking of replacing its F-18's at least in part with Typhoons, would any Spanish Typhoons still be available for sale to Peru? According to Wiki Peru has less than 50 MiG-29, Su-22 and Mirage 2000 in service. Buying 60 Typhoons would seem unlikely to me.


I agree that 60 Typhoons or any other modern fighter for Peruvian Air Force (FAP) is too much and too expensive, even if second hand. They are supposed to buy something soon, as their fleet is very old - many of the planes were bought second-hand long time ago - and not all of them may be even in a flyable condition. Most of their neighbours, however, have much inferior air forces and only Chile with their oldish F-16 and Brazil with their future Gripen NG's might challenge FAP. Hence a much cheaper alternative should be enough.

They do not have any imminent military threat, unless they want to start a conflict, but the current government does not appear extreme militaristic and they do not have such desperate internal disputes that they need a war to unify the people. As far as I can capture, their economy is rising rapidly and democracy developing very well, at least in Latin American scale. For internal security issues other weaponry like helicopters may do better.

Peru and Bolivia do have very old border disputes with Chile, but I cannot foresee it to escalate in a military conflict. There are no other serious disagreements or claims with other neighbours that could not be settled with an amicable negotiation or intermediation. But who knows, Latin America is always quite unpredictable (less than North America currently, though) and an arms race might hurt their economies.
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:49 am

ThePointblank wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
A force consisting of only the Typhoon seems a bit strange. The Typhoon is primary an air to air fighter, with a secondaire air to ground role.



:)

And yet the Dutch F-16's has had multirole capabilities for much longer.

Also, the Dutch F-16's have nuclear weapons capability; the Typhoon doesn't have the necessary equipment to carry nuclear weapons.


Yes but is the equipment to carrie nukes installed ? Any countries F-16 have this capability, but there are certain things that needs to be prepared before an F-16 can actually do that, from what I understand.
 
Ozair
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:56 am

VSMUT wrote:

Only if you believe the Lockheed Martin PR reps that post nonsense like that on internet forums.

Good grief, not this silly claim again...

VSMUT wrote:
The Typhoon is a multirole fighter, and can utilise the Paveway series, dumb-bombs, the Storm Shadow and KEPD 350, and will feature an even greater selection in the future. Compare that to the Dutch F-16s. Have they ever dropped anything other than JDAMs and LGBs in anger?
:)

I haven't seen anyone post that the Eurofighter can't do A2G, merely that it took a while to get to a true multi-role state.

As for what the F-16 can carry, it has a huge array of weapons including JASSM, HARM, HARPOON, JSOW, 4 different WVR missiles, 3 different BVR missiles and a crazy number of bombs. Not sure why the Dutch only dropping a small selection of the available weapons is a valid comparison?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:04 am

Mortyman wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
VSMUT wrote:


:)

And yet the Dutch F-16's has had multirole capabilities for much longer.

Also, the Dutch F-16's have nuclear weapons capability; the Typhoon doesn't have the necessary equipment to carry nuclear weapons.


Yes but is the equipment to carrie nukes installed ? Any countries F-16 have this capability, but there are certain things that needs to be prepared before an F-16 can actually do that, from what I understand.


It better be, there supposed to be 22 nukes at Vokel Air Base. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkel_Air_Base

VSMUT wrote:
Have they ever dropped anything other than JDAMs and LGBs in anger?


Think so. The Dutch have participated in a lot of peace keeping / enforcing operations in the last 25 ought years. "successfully dropped an unguided bomb on a moving Serb tank during the fall of Srebrenica (1995)" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Net ... _Air_Force
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
art
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:15 pm

Lockheed Martin president and CEO Marillyn Hewson is not giving up on continued F-16 Viper production alongside major upgrades for Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, despite confirming that a production gap will emerge in the third quarter of 2017.


Way I read "a production gap" is that there are no more aircraft to build after the third quarter of 2017.

Pakistan was unable to secure foreign military financing from the U.S. government for its small order, and there has been no sign of State Department approval for a pending deal with Bahrain due to human rights concerns. There could be longer-term prospects in the Asia-Pacific region and with India, although those aircraft would be built locally.

If any of those prospects pan out, Hewson says production could ramp back up instead of ending with delivery of Iraq’s 36 F-16IQ Block 52 jets.


Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhee ... iving-f-16 (need to sign up to access the article)

Is F-16 on target to be the first of the western fighters currently in production to go out of production?
Last edited by art on Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:16 pm

VSMUT wrote:
But it has been speculated for a while that South America is on the brink of an arms race...


That would be terrible for the continent that has remained as one of the most peaceful in earth. I think, however, that the speculations have ceased from that of ten years ago, and even then the statistical increase of military budget was explainable just by modernisation of obsolete and rotten equipment. Other than Colombia and Venezuela, there are not that many war-prone borders, and most conflicts have been of internal nature. The most unstable countries have the least resources to lead any arms race. Of course, the biggest countries may want aircraft carriers and submarines just to show prestige, but prestige can be shown by more civilian ways also, as shown by Chile (LAN comes in mind, as well as the astronomical research centres in the desert).

There is a kind of (semi-official?) agreement to prevent arms race in South America, backed up by the USA that acts as a kind of guarantor of peace in the region (maybe depending on political climate). Hence US has made self-imposed export regulations, that do not allow the export of the most modern weaponry, and that has been mostly respected by European countries, as well. The 10 new F-16's bought by Chile might have been kind of maximum of the time, though Brazil is getting 36 Gripens and would have got equal number of Super Hornets. Almost all other fighters in South America have been acquired used or do not represent the state-of-art technology.

Hence we would never expect to see F-35 in South America, and Peru or any other country in South America would not get 60 new Typhoons/Rafales/Super Hornets unless the rules change. They may change, however, for many reasons, as they are not that strongly formalised. There are certainly countries that would sell as many fighters as someone can pay for.
 
WIederling
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:36 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Also, the Dutch F-16's have nuclear weapons capability; the Typhoon doesn't have the necessary equipment to carry nuclear weapons.


The US will never buy Typhoons.
Who else is salivating over the capability of carrying nuclear weapons?
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:13 pm

Are the F-35's capable of carrying nuclear weapons ?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:45 pm

Mortyman wrote:
Are the F-35's capable of carrying nuclear weapons ?


yes, some say the main reason the Dutch got the F-35.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Seabear
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:12 pm

WIederling wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Also, the Dutch F-16's have nuclear weapons capability; the Typhoon doesn't have the necessary equipment to carry nuclear weapons.


The US will never buy Typhoons.
Who else is salivating over the capability of carrying nuclear weapons?


Ummmm...North Korea, (possibly) Iran...
 
WIederling
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:02 pm

Seabear wrote:
Ummmm...North Korea, (possibly) Iran...


Beyond the US everybody { would like to use / uses } it as an arsonry
and unwanted democratization insurance.
Murphy is an optimist
 
YIMBY
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:00 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Are the F-35's capable of carrying nuclear weapons ?


yes, some say the main reason the Dutch got the F-35.


Would the US really allow their nuclear weapons to be carried by non-US people, in whatever vehicle?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:09 pm

YIMBY wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Are the F-35's capable of carrying nuclear weapons ?


yes, some say the main reason the Dutch got the F-35.


Would the US really allow their nuclear weapons to be carried by non-US people, in whatever vehicle?


Yes, standard operating procedure.

Country Base Estimated Bombs
Belgium Kleine Brogel 10~20 B61
Germany Büchel >=20[2] B61
Netherlands Volkel 10~20 B61
Italy Aviano 50 B61
Italy Ghedi 20~40 B61
Turkey Incirlik 50~90 B61
5 nations 6 bases 160~240 B61

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_sharing

The B61's will be carried by the host nations air force. The German case is quite interesting, nowadays the Tornado (Italy and Germany) is assigned to deliver the nukes. The F-16's in case of the Turks, Belges and Dutch.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
YIMBY
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:34 am

Any updates for the case?

Apparently Trump has not made any significant ad hoc orders for non-F-35's, so the US government may help Boeing fighter lines only by pushing exports by one way or another.

Apparently Canada is wavering on their choices (F-35, SuperHornet). Their case is extremely politicized and they may seek a way to safe faces. I would not be surprised for returning to F-35 or turning to Europe.

Apparently US government and congress have given approval of up to 72 Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagles for Qatar and up to 40 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for Kuwait. Are the deals being realized or will they take Rafales or Typhoons instead, or just nothing?

In Europe Belgium has given RFP for all the 5 alternatives, taking them formally as equals. The selection may be political.
Poland is in desperate need to modernize their ageing fleet, but does not want to pay much. They might take used fighters, if they find suitable. If they buy new ones, it will be the very cheapest available (likely Gripen NG).
Many other eastern EU/Nato countries are in the same situation, except with even less money.

I guess that
- F-15 will be out after the possible deal to Qatar, unless some other country is pressed to order it for political reasons
- F-16 has diminishing chances to be assembled in India, and could survive only as kind of 'lite' version for developing countries
- F/A-18E/F may sell (after possible Kuwait deal) only for current Hornet operators, of which Finland would be most likely but probably too late, unless Canada rereconsiders their plan. (In theory, Finland could advance its order for SuperHornet if Boeing takes their old Hornets before the end of life to sell to other customers (like Peru) but that is unlikely even if Boeing would finance it.)
- Gripen NG may keep many years in production as the production line has been designed for low rates. It may sell to countries that are satisfied with one engine and do not want or cannot purchase F-35. Even Gripen C/D sells currently to countries that need cheap planes, though some of them are rumoured to be white tails. Building an assembly line in India is being negotiated - whether that increases or decreases the production in Sweden is another question.
- Tee production of Typhoon and Rafale will continue some more years. They have their chances from countries that need up-to-date western planes but do not want F-35 for whatever technical, economical or political reasons. Given that the trust to USA has decreased significantly, the European alternatives have their opportunities. Rafale line may be able to continue with less sales as it is designed for lower production. France may support it politically with add-on orders and sale of second-hand planes, which may happen also for Typhoon, though with less likelihood. Either of them will (should?) be shut down later in the next decade, however, the other being upgraded (though a more dedicated European A->G plane may be more likely).

For any (mostly American) fighter, however, it is possible that some countries order them to buy protection from the respective government. That may result in some apparently illogical selections.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:22 pm

I thought the Kuwait RFP was decided in favor of some EF Typhoons, although an additional purchase of F/A-18 was not ruled out.
Barring any unforeseen political decisions, your summary seems to be on spot. I only wonder whether the western EU countries may want to sell their early-build Rafales and Eurofighters to the eastern half and upgrade their airforces with the latest versions. The difference between these is fairly significant and especially includes enhanced ground attack capabilities. Some still operate old equipment for this job, like the Tornado and the Mirage 2000.
 
YIMBY
Topic Author
Posts: 215
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:41 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I thought the Kuwait RFP was decided in favor of some EF Typhoons, although an additional purchase of F/A-18 was not ruled out.
Barring any unforeseen political decisions, your summary seems to be on spot.


:yes:

The issue of Qatar was unforeseen, and Trump just almost declared Qatar as a terrorist state via the official channel.

So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
...extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)


So any deal with Qatar may be considered void. As Kuwait has been supporting Qatar, any deal with Kuwait may be null, too.

But anything with Trump may change tomorrow, so never be sure. So far they have not removed their military base in Qatar. Who knows what happens with that?

It was also rumoured that Spain will purchase F-35's to replace old Hornets, probably no surprise. They already fly Typhoons, but need F-35 for different missions,
http://politica.elpais.com/politica/201 ... 818546.htm
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2836
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:15 am

YIMBY wrote:

So any deal with Qatar may be considered void. As Kuwait has been supporting Qatar, any deal with Kuwait may be null, too.

But anything with Trump may change tomorrow, so never be sure. So far they have not removed their military base in Qatar. Who knows what happens with that?

It was also rumoured that Spain will purchase F-35's to replace old Hornets, probably no surprise. They already fly Typhoons, but need F-35 for different missions,
http://politica.elpais.com/politica/201 ... 818546.htm

With Spain, I would consider it to also be a F-35B customer, as a replacement for the Harrier II's. The Juan Carlos I is sized to properly handle the F-35B on her decks.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:22 am

So apparently the F-15 deal with Qatar went through. For how long will 36 pieces keep the FAL running?
 
YIMBY
Topic Author
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:31 am

There is an interesting leak related to F-18. President Trump said in a direct TV press show:
“Our relationship with Finland is a very close one and we’re always ready to help Finland. One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets.”

Although the most likely explanation is that Trump is misinformed, could there be something going on?
Is it a hint that Finland is not allowed to buy F-35, for not being NATO member?
Or is it Trump's push to promote Boeing to put pressure to Lockheed or use Finland to keep the F-18 line running to keep an alternative.

As far as I know, Finland bought F-18 in the last century and intends to keep them until the next decade and has not yet made any RFB for its successor.

A possible scenario might be that Finland retires their F/A-18-C/D earlier than planned and replaces them with (Advanced/Modified) Super Hornets F/A-18-E/F (H/I), which might be a relatively easy transformation that can be done rather quickly. Then US buys back the old Hornets and resells them to other allies in urgent need for fighter planes but no chance to buy new ones. Potential candidates would include eastern NATO members (Poland, Baltics etc) or Latin America (Peru comes first in mind).

Any thoughts?
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2836
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:56 am

YIMBY wrote:
There is an interesting leak related to F-18. President Trump said in a direct TV press show:
“Our relationship with Finland is a very close one and we’re always ready to help Finland. One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets.”

Although the most likely explanation is that Trump is misinformed, could there be something going on?
Is it a hint that Finland is not allowed to buy F-35, for not being NATO member?
Or is it Trump's push to promote Boeing to put pressure to Lockheed or use Finland to keep the F-18 line running to keep an alternative.

As far as I know, Finland bought F-18 in the last century and intends to keep them until the next decade and has not yet made any RFB for its successor.

A possible scenario might be that Finland retires their F/A-18-C/D earlier than planned and replaces them with (Advanced/Modified) Super Hornets F/A-18-E/F (H/I), which might be a relatively easy transformation that can be done rather quickly. Then US buys back the old Hornets and resells them to other allies in urgent need for fighter planes but no chance to buy new ones. Potential candidates would include eastern NATO members (Poland, Baltics etc) or Latin America (Peru comes first in mind).

Any thoughts?

The Finnish President denied such rumours that they were close to a purchase of the Super Hornet. They were still reviewing the submissions from 5 aircraft manufacturers regarding their fighters, and looking towards a fly off in 2019.
 
Ozair
Posts: 1626
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:05 pm

YIMBY wrote:
There is an interesting leak related to F-18. President Trump said in a direct TV press show:
“Our relationship with Finland is a very close one and we’re always ready to help Finland. One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets.”

Although the most likely explanation is that Trump is misinformed, could there be something going on?
Is it a hint that Finland is not allowed to buy F-35, for not being NATO member?
Or is it Trump's push to promote Boeing to put pressure to Lockheed or use Finland to keep the F-18 line running to keep an alternative.

As far as I know, Finland bought F-18 in the last century and intends to keep them until the next decade and has not yet made any RFB for its successor.

A possible scenario might be that Finland retires their F/A-18-C/D earlier than planned and replaces them with (Advanced/Modified) Super Hornets F/A-18-E/F (H/I), which might be a relatively easy transformation that can be done rather quickly. Then US buys back the old Hornets and resells them to other allies in urgent need for fighter planes but no chance to buy new ones. Potential candidates would include eastern NATO members (Poland, Baltics etc) or Latin America (Peru comes first in mind).

Any thoughts?

A couple of things. Trump has very little influence or knowledge of what nation is purchasing what fighter jet. The White House is part of the approval process but not the first part and not the last. Frankly I doubt Trump even knows what an F-18 or F-35 looks like.

As for not selling the F-35 to non NATO allies, it has been sold to South Korea and Japan. Both were not program members but have acquired the aircraft via FMS deals. Finland not being a NATO member would have no bearing on the acquisition although it may pose issues with information sharing. Saying that, traditionally the US will enter into specific agreements with a nation via FMS that includes information sharing on the respective systems.

Finland may struggle to buy SH given they aren't expecting to start receiving jets until around 2025 . It will depend on whether the US government orders a significant additional number, if Canada orders and if the Kuwait order is fulfilled. They are going to need a decent amount of orders (20+ per year) to keep the line open until then.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:27 pm

Finland will buy the F-35 or Gripen E/F.
It's not what u do,it's how u do it!
 
YIMBY
Topic Author
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Future of western fighter production lines

Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:41 am

ThePointblank wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
There is an interesting leak related to F-18. President Trump said in a direct TV press show:
“Our relationship with Finland is a very close one and we’re always ready to help Finland. One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets.”

Although the most likely explanation is that Trump is misinformed, could there be something going on?
Is it a hint that Finland is not allowed to buy F-35, for not being NATO member?
Or is it Trump's push to promote Boeing to put pressure to Lockheed or use Finland to keep the F-18 line running to keep an alternative.

As far as I know, Finland bought F-18 in the last century and intends to keep them until the next decade and has not yet made any RFB for its successor.

A possible scenario might be that Finland retires their F/A-18-C/D earlier than planned and replaces them with (Advanced/Modified) Super Hornets F/A-18-E/F (H/I), which might be a relatively easy transformation that can be done rather quickly. Then US buys back the old Hornets and resells them to other allies in urgent need for fighter planes but no chance to buy new ones. Potential candidates would include eastern NATO members (Poland, Baltics etc) or Latin America (Peru comes first in mind).

Any thoughts?

The Finnish President denied such rumours that they were close to a purchase of the Super Hornet. They were still reviewing the submissions from 5 aircraft manufacturers regarding their fighters, and looking towards a fly off in 2019.


The President of Finland may have no other choice than deny it, whatever they discussed or not, until it has been officially approved by the government. European presidents are mostly symbolic figures (like Kings and Queens) who have hardly any executive power, and if not explicitly authorized by the government, the President of Finland cannot negotiate on any deal, only take notice what he has been informed and pass it to the government. Other might be even a treason. Trump may not realize that and takes a polite answer to his proposal as a deal.

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