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Indonesia wants to buy Austria's Eurofighters?


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1 hour ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello

Wellsprop, I agree, designing aircraft costs both time and money. But, speaking about airliners only, why do manufacturers sticks to the same design philosophy since Comet, Tu-104 and B707? Apart from Mach 2 Tu-144 and Concorde every major airliner type followed the same formula. Optimization is the word, yes, but if a company throws tens of billions and a decade or two into a development of a new airliner, why not aiming at something revolutionary? After determining the basic configuration, development would proceed as usual. Work of thousands of engineers would remain the same and computer time would not change either. So, why? Cheers

Jure

Because it doesn't take all that time and all those engineers to discover that the revolutionary concepts fairly regularly cropping up actually don't work as well as the proven design layouts.  The  standardised layouts work because they are well tried and tested and are better than the alternatives.  Much of the detail work done is to try and gain small advantages from the known configurations, because this is better than large losses from something revolutionary.

 

Picking up another point, the aircraft industry is not the same as an architect's office.  The majority of the costs and income come from actually having to establish the line to build, and then building, the aircraft.  Then there is the income from the support - not cheap in itself.  Yes it is very expensive to have to work on projects and to bid, but proportionally much less so than for the architect.

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3 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello

Wellsprop, I agree, designing aircraft costs both time and money. But, speaking about airliners only, why do manufacturers sticks to the same design philosophy since Comet, Tu-104 and B707? Apart from Mach 2 Tu-144 and Concorde every major airliner type followed the same formula. Optimization is the word, yes, but if a company throws tens of billions and a decade or two into a development of a new airliner, why not aiming at something revolutionary? After determining the basic configuration, development would proceed as usual. Work of thousands of engineers would remain the same and computer time would not change either. So, why? Cheers

Jure

 

Hi Jure,

 

The reason all fixed wing airliners look the same is because everyone is trying to solve the same problem within the same constraints.

 

It's mostly a question of specification and aerodynamics, a long cylinders with wings, engines and a tail is the most efficient way of designing an aircraft. In the early days of jets, there were wings embedded within the engines, or mounted on the tail - this is gone now as engine efficiency increases as the fan diameter increases (a big fan won't fit in a wing).

 

The biggest trouble with developing something revolutionary is proving it works - even once the concept has been proven it needs more engineers and more time to build. With a "conventional design" engineers have lots of knowledge (calculations, tests, etc) already done on similar parts, think A320 family, A330, A380. Lots of different size aircraft, but when you strip them apart, the individual parts all look exactly the same (just bigger or smaller) - I admit, that's oversimplified, but it is broadly correct.

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23 hours ago, exdraken said:

It is only a political issue, and one about costs.... Austrian defence spending is rel low, and those Typhoons need a chunk of it....

I hadn't appreciated this... so is Austria selling ALL it's Typhoons? Surely it seems like an almost pointless exercise as they are just going to have retrain and re-equip all the military personnel and also completely overhaul the support and supply chain.

 

That said, I can see why Austria doesn't have a requirement for the Typhoon. It's a superb bit of kit as a mutirole fighter and, as such, it costs a lot. If all Austria wishes to do is protect it's own airspace and doesn't a significant requirement for offensive capability, then a cheap lightweight fighter is ideal.

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15 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

 

Hi Jure,

 

The reason all fixed wing airliners look the same 

The biggest trouble with developing something revolutionary is proving it works - even once the concept has been proven it needs more engineers and more time to build. With a "conventional design" engineers have lots of knowledge (calculations, tests, etc) already done on similar parts, think A320 family, A330, A380. Lots of different size aircraft, but when you strip them apart, the individual parts all look exactly the same (just bigger or smaller) - I admit, that's oversimplified, but it is broadly correct.

And still it seems the A-380 and C-17 are a bit too shorz for their cross section aerodybamic resistance wise... the A-380 900 /1000 would have been better for mileage....

 

 

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

I hadn't appreciated this... so is Austria selling ALL it's Typhoons? Surely it seems like an almost pointless exercise as they are just going to have retrain and re-equip all the military personnel and also completely overhaul the support and supply chain.

 

That said, I can see why Austria doesn't have a requirement for the Typhoon. It's a superb bit of kit as a mutirole fighter and, as such, it costs a lot. If all Austria wishes to do is protect it's own airspace and doesn't a significant requirement for offensive capability, then a cheap lightweight fighter is ideal.

The defence minster wants to get rid of / sell them...they play big part in all elections since ~2005 and never in a positive way...

And as you say the Eurofughter is a first class fighter for a first class airforce.... but Austria has bought cannon shells and 25 Iris-T for it.... no trainer, minimum spares, etc....and you can expect that the pilots are trained to the highest standard that makes sense for the limited equippment...

so go figure the operational value vs. cost..

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6 hours ago, Slater said:

Seems like the South Korean T-50/FA-50 would be an economical choice.

Any numbers out there? Is it a lot cheaper than Gripen?

 

At least there are no single seaters! So no need for a trainer :devil:

 

Point is, they actually do not want anything... it is not about good arguments and the like....

Used MiG-29s were also suggested once...

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Hello

Graham, I disagree. That kind of reasoning got aircraft industry where it is now, when large investments produce diminishing results. Also, pushing the logic of small advantages to the hilt can produce, to put it mildly, unpleasant results - just think about 737-MAX. Wellsprop, yes, many parts and components on different modern airliners only vary proportionally one from another and many others are exactly the same. I agree standardization saves both time and money but these days 1 % increase in airliner's overall efficiency is considered a good result. To me this is a clear sign that significant changes are needed.

My apologies for veering off topic. Cheers

Jure

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2 hours ago, exdraken said:

Any numbers out there? Is it a lot cheaper than Gripen?

 

At least there are no single seaters! So no need for a trainer :devil:

 

Point is, they actually do not want anything... it is not about good arguments and the like....

Used MiG-29s were also suggested once...

Not sure what the per-unit cost would be, but if the Philippines can afford to buy a squadron of them, they're probably not that expensive :D

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21-30 million $US per unit depending on version. I reckon a squadron of these would look darn good in Kiwi colours. :)

Steve.

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2 hours ago, Britman said:

There's a WIF there Steve.

 

Keith

Do they come in 1/72? :)

The thought had crossed my mind. 

Steve.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello

Graham, I disagree. That kind of reasoning got aircraft industry where it is now, when large investments produce diminishing results. Also, pushing the logic of small advantages to the hilt can produce, to put it mildly, unpleasant results - just think about 737-MAX. Wellsprop, yes, many parts and components on different modern airliners only vary proportionally one from another and many others are exactly the same. I agree standardization saves both time and money but these days 1 % increase in airliner's overall efficiency is considered a good result. To me this is a clear sign that significant changes are needed.

My apologies for veering off topic. Cheers

Jure

 

In the end the design of a commercial aircraft has to fulfil the requests of the customer and for most airlines the main request is something that maximizes profit. The design of today airliners may look unimaginative but is the one that has proved to be the most effective in allowing airlines to make a profit.

Any revolutionary design will have to guarantee superior economic performance indicators in all aspects. Increasing one only of these aspects (say fuel consumption) will not be enough if any of the other aspects will be badly affected

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12 hours ago, exdraken said:

Any numbers out there? Is it a lot cheaper than Gripen?

 

At least there are no single seaters! So no need for a trainer :devil:

 

Point is, they actually do not want anything... it is not about good arguments and the like....

Used MiG-29s were also suggested once...

 

I can't blame the Austrians for not wanting anything, after all the role of a high performance fighter in the Austrian military is hard to understand today. I remember that during the war in former Yugoslavia there many cases of aircraft invading Austrian airspace and it may have made some sense back then, but why a brand new modern aircraft ? Why not what has proved to be the best successor to the F-5 ? A second hand F-16 ?

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4 hours ago, Britman said:

A good F16 would still give you a bloody nose!


Yeah, I agree - it’s not always what you have, it’s how you use it.

An old bullet will kill you just as dead as a new one...

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On 04/10/2020 at 15:07, exdraken said:

but Austria has bought cannon shells and 25 Iris-T for it.... no trainer, minimum spares, etc....and you can expect that the pilots are trained to the highest standard that makes sense for the limited equippment...

I hadn't realised that either. 

 

There's no point having top quality equipment without putting up the funding of it. And that's no criticism of the Austrian defence, almost makes you wonder why Austria committed to the Typhoons in the first place.

 

Given how you described the Typhoons use by Austria, the F16 sounds much better suited.

 

I must admit, I have a soft spot for the F16, it's a proper fighter jet.

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33 minutes ago, Blimpyboy said:


Yeah, I agree - it’s not always what you have, it’s how you use it.

An old bullet will kill you just as dead as a new one...

 

It's an oft quoted statement but does not reflect the reality of things as while the old bullet may kill as well as a new one, the new ones usually kill easier.

Old gear can still be useful but has to be effective first. It's not only a matter of airframe and systems performance, old aircraft tend to need more and more maintenance with the years and the availability of spares declines, reason why something recent is always better than something obsolete or obsolescent.

A refurbished F-16 however today is still quite relevant and far from obsolete, even if may not be state of the art anymore. Such machines are used by many air forces with satisfaction and it is also a type for which there is an effective support available from the manufacturer.
In any case these are choices where politics plays a big part, we'll see what the outcome will be. IMHO the F-16 would be a good choice from many points of view.

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The Slovak Republic has fourteen F-16V Block 70 aircraft on order. These have features such as 50% greater structural life over previous variants and AESA radars. The contract to Lockheed Martin for the aircraft themselves was $800 million, but all the additional requested items (facilities construction, training, logistic support, munitions, etc) brought the total to over $2 billion.

 

https://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/files/mas/slovakia_18-10_0.pdf

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6 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Old gear can still be useful but has to be effective first.


I contend the usefulness of all gear is what makes it effective!

 

Plus, newer systems can be just as maintenance/training/cost intensive as old systems, if not more so in many instances - the sweet spot is typically in the middle of life area, after FOC/force integration/bug fixes, but prior to major fatigue and lifing issues (assuming, of course, equitable funding through its entire operating lifespan...).

 

My thoughts are that the cult of ‘higher-tech is automatically better’ is quite misleading and often blinds us to the equal or greater utility - and oftentimes (but not always) cost-effectiveness - of older platforms, particularly with regard to their operators’ specific requirements and associated upkeep/support efforts.

The Gripens and second-hand F-16s are, as I see it, a good  fit for many countries wanting a modern strike/fighter capability, and who simply don’t need Typhoon/Rafale/Super-duper Hornet/F-35s to do the same jobs just as well and for less money.

 

Ultimately, doctrine, training, good intelligence and combat support, and effective logistics practices are the key deciders of effectiveness (discounting the effects of quantity and mass) and therefore, usefulness.

Consider if the UK and Argentina had swapped fighters and attack aircraft in 1982 - I have no doubt the outcome would have been the same. The same could be said for many countries out there today!

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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10 hours ago, wellsprop said:

 

 

There's no point having top quality equipment without putting up the funding of it. And that's no criticism of the Austrian defence, almost makes you wonder why Austria committed to the Typhoons in the first place.

 

but exactly that is the point that is to be criticized! they do not really know themselves it seems (there was once the idea to buy 24+6 fighters, so that they could also be used for international duties... but floods, change in government (partly caused by the Eurofighter deal) etc. led to the reduction to finally 15, (some of them used  used) Tranche 1 aircraft with most of the equipment canceled, rather than 24+6 Tranche 2 with full capability... ).... there seems to have been money involved... that was not used for buying spares / equipment but signatures....

that is why there is one parliamentary commission investigating after the other...and one election after the other still capitalizing on the topic

 

and Saab offered the more logical Gripen originally at costs close to the Eurofighter.... BA was involved back then...

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10 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 

It's an oft quoted statement but does not reflect the reality of things as while the old bullet may kill as well as a new one, the new ones usually kill easier.

Old gear can still be useful but has to be effective first. It's not only a matter of airframe and systems performance, old aircraft tend to need more and more maintenance with the years and the availability of spares declines, reason why something recent is always better than something obsolete or obsolescent.

A refurbished F-16 however today is still quite relevant and far from obsolete, even if may not be state of the art anymore. Such machines are used by many air forces with satisfaction and it is also a type for which there is an effective support available from the manufacturer.
In any case these are choices where politics plays a big part, we'll see what the outcome will be. IMHO the F-16 would be a good choice from many points of view.

very true..... but then for what Austria is using its Eurofighter 99% of the time the F-5Es, that were leased from Switzerland as a stopgap until the much delayed Eurofighters were delivered, were sufficient ...at  probably 5% of the costs....

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For what Austria is actually doing I suspect Meteors or Vampires would work as well as F-5Es.  However the question (as always) is what might they be required to do, and inter-operability with your neighbours/companions.  Of course, if peace has come forever...

 

Given that Austria did not have a requirement to go bombing the neighbours, Tranche 1 Eurofighters were the best aircraft available.  Later ones are stuffed full of air-ground gear. 

 

To go back to an earlier point: it isn't surprising that the A-400 and C-17 are fatter and hence draggier than some dedicated airliners.  That's because they have to carry wide and tall Army equipment and operate off less-than-ideal airstrips.  Efficiency on meeting the requirements is more important than seat costs per mile.  Of course, C-47s are cheaper.

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I suppose a different approach would be to fund a certain number of pilots to fly Luftwaffe Eurofighters and the cost of their flying hours and host a QRA detachment at Zeltweg. Short of joining NATO it would be the most cost-effective option.

 

Otherwise give up the whole idea and, as the Saab 105 is now on the imminent retirement list, procure something in the Hawk/M345 class.

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