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Indonesia wants to buy Austria's Eurofighters?


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14 minutes ago, Truro Model Builder said:

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.

looks like flying on Luftwaffe Eurofighters (Austrian pilots do train in Laage) is not exactly cheep either... and then there is of course the perception within the Austrian public that neutrality (if there even is something like it in reality) and some self sufficiency is necessary.....

 

to make a final point here: Austria and its government(s)  is in the financial position to operate the combat aircraft it wishes to. Just its armed forces are not...

 

apart from that, seems that our Alouettes are going to be replaced by AW-169Ms! fingers crossed....

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2 hours ago, exdraken said:

apart from that, seems that our Alouettes are going to be replaced by AW-169Ms! fingers crossed....

That's all confirmed as far as I'm aware...

 

It also represents a HUGE leap forward in terms of performance and capability for Austrian rotary wing capability.

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35 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

That's all confirmed as far as I'm aware...

 

not sure if there is a (signed? )contract as of yet, that is why I am a bit hesitant!

 

there is also talk about a limited armament capability :thumbsup:

 

but as always in Austria,, let's not spill the unmilked milk please!  ;)   - especially relevant with armed forces subjects....

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On 04/10/2020 at 23:22, 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

Hi Jure,

 

I think you might be interested in this topic discussing a new concept/prototype which offers significant efficiency improvements (and also why it's unlikely to become reality any time soon).

 

 

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On 10/6/2020 at 12:10 AM, Blimpyboy said:


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...).

 

 

 

Newer systems per-se may be more maintenance and cost intensive, but what we have seen in the evolution of aviation is that reliability and ease of maintenance have overall increased thrugh the various aircraft generations. True, any innovative system on a new aircraft will introduce a new maintenance item (for example the finish of today stealth aircraft) but at the same time maintenance and support systems also evolve. The same can be said for reliability, todays aircraft have much lower MTBF compared to the previous generation and any failure can be rectified much quicker.

Not that this is only limited to aircraft, it's true of every weapon.

 

On 10/6/2020 at 12:10 AM, Blimpyboy said:

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.

 

 

I have highlighted what I see as the main point to keep in mind: every operator will have different requirements. For a country like Austria the older stuff may be adequate, for others it will not be. In any case whatever is adopted has to be adequate, and "old" may or not be adequate. A refurbished F-16 is adequate for many users but a refurbished F-16 is not something obsolete, it is still relatively modern. Afterall updated F-16s are still the backbone of many air forces, USAF included. The "old stuff" is something else.

 

 

On 10/6/2020 at 12:10 AM, Blimpyboy said:

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.

 

Absolutely, up to a point though: proper doctrines and training will allow a user to make the best of whatever equipment they have and this may allow them to win over an opponent with more modern equipment but inferior tactics and training... unless the more modern equipment brings to the table capabilities that can not be matched and prove to be decisive.

 

On 10/6/2020 at 12:10 AM, Blimpyboy said:

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!

 

Perfect example of what I meant: give the Task Force early Skyhawks without radar and with first generation Sidewinders and give the Argentinian Navy Sea Harriers with radar and AIM-9L and base them at Stanley. Who can provide better air cover now ? Would the British government even send a task force knowing that they do not have an aircraft capable of providing air cover ? The presence of the Sea Harrier brought to the table a capability that one of the combatants did not have and in this way changed the whole situation.

Yes, the British pilots had better training and tactics, but would these have been sufficient to overcome the lack of certain capabilities ? Even these same pilots named the AIM-9L as a very important factor, what if they didn't have them ? All of this forgetting that the Argentinian pilots weren't as useless as some think, afterall they still managed to sink 4 warships of what was one of the largest and most modern navies of the time.

Now let's swap technology level on the naval side: give Britain a number of ships with not great ASW equipment an give Argentina 4 modern SSNs that can be used to implement an exclusion zone around the Falklands. This changes everything even before going into combat ! It turns the whole strategic balance, so much that I doubt that in such a case Britain would have even attempted to retake the islands.

 

Of course none of this is relevant to Austria, afterall their requirements are not the same as Britain's and really those refurbished F-16s would have likely been the best option. Not that Austria probably really need fast jets anyway, unless of course they decide to take part in international missions. In this case things change a lot and aspects like interoperabiliy become massively important

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1 hour ago, Giorgio N said:

give the Task Force early Skyhawks without radar and with first generation Sidewinders and give the Argentinian Navy Sea Harriers with radar and AIM-9L and base them at Stanley. Who can provide better air cover now ?


True, but not quite what I was getting at - I was referring to (and should have articulated better, sorry) a swapping of the principal fighters used in the A-A engagements; Mirage IIIs with Magics vs Sea Harriers with Sidewinders.
 

As an interesting aside - and possibly a subject for another discussion - much has been claimed of the AIM-9L being a key war-winner; I’m not truly convinced that the same results (or at least very close to it) wouldn’t have been achieved with the G variants (notwithstanding the Ls’ ‘newness’). After all, look at the engagement geometries and aspects,  and the lack (as far as I know) of Argentine countermeasures usage.

Something to ponder, at any rate...

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Hello

Wellsprop, I have already seen this topic, but thanks anyway. It does not look very promising. Still, one never knows what future holds.

Consider the following: the first flying wing flew, I believe, in 1911. By the end of the world war II this was a proven concept with flying prototypes in many countries and multi-prototype/pre-series production of B-35 and B-49 flying wing bombers in the USA. With the end of hostilities these projects were mostly canceled. Not much happened for the next forty or so years, than B-2 appeared, and more recently several flying wing UAVs.

Another example would be canard configuration, with quite a number of military and a few civilian types flying. I doubt many would consider this concept even remotely radical. Also, another proven concept is a Mach 2 airliner.

Any thoughts? Cheers

Jure

 

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:46 PM, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello

Wellsprop, I have already seen this topic, but thanks anyway. It does not look very promising. Still, one never knows what future holds.

Consider the following: the first flying wing flew, I believe, in 1911. By the end of the world war II this was a proven concept with flying prototypes in many countries and multi-prototype/pre-series production of B-35 and B-49 flying wing bombers in the USA. With the end of hostilities these projects were mostly canceled. Not much happened for the next forty or so years, than B-2 appeared, and more recently several flying wing UAVs.

Another example would be canard configuration, with quite a number of military and a few civilian types flying. I doubt many would consider this concept even remotely radical. Also, another proven concept is a Mach 2 airliner.

Any thoughts? Cheers

Jure

 

 

You are raising some interesting points and maybe it would be worth starting a new thread to discuss them.

In general we should keep in mind that any configuration will be used if the requirements of the "customer" will be best satisfied by that configuration. A flying wing may be the best configuration for a stealth bomber but may not be ideal for a fighter or a transport.

At the same time a potentially effective configuration may be held back by other factors, that is what happened to the flying wing: it is a very old concept but it was only with the advent of fly-by-wire and adequate computer controlled systems that certain issues could be resolved, reason why it was abandoned for 40 years.

In any case in the end an aircraft design must first and foremost satisfy the requirements of whoever is paying for it, not satisfy the fantasies of the engineers. Sometime of course something very advanced or even radical is the best solution to satisfy a requirement (think Blackbird), in other cases a conventional design will do the job. And of course there are aircraft designed and built with the sole purpose of exploring new solutions, as long as someone is paying for them.

We should also keep in mind that for every aircraft built, there are many other alternative designs that were considered during the development phase. These would have been discarded at some point, some may have never been anything more than a draft on paper, others may have reached the stage of wind tunnel models. Some of them may never be discovered again, others will resurface when the definitive volume on a certain type will be written. If they failed, there was likely some good reason for it

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Hello

Much in the aviation depends on circumstances. Had the WWII lasted longer, both Ho 229 and B-35 would have been deployed operationally due to war necessity. Various wrinkles, which would have inevitably surface, would have been ironed on the go.

As I said, I believe conventional low wing, engines beneath the wings formula is a recipe for ever increasing efforts and costs resulting in diminishing returns. Canard brings inherited benefit of reduced induced drag, allows for mid-wing configuration (Piaggio P.180 Avanti). Also, it would allow for installation of engines in the tail, as there would be no concerns about blanketing off horizontal tail at high AoA. Mid-wing instalation alone reduces interference drag (Jet Commander, Hansa Jet), if canard is too radical for our taste. And there are plenty other configurations, which have been proven, but not exploited properly.

Giorgio N, you are probably right, I should start a new thread. Well, switching off lamenting mode, back to modelling. Cheers

Jure

 

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Jure, the problem is that the advantages you mention are offset by other disadvantages. For example the engines in the tail have been used a lot in the past but they have long fell from use. Having an engine under and ahead of the wing allows a much cleaner airflow to the engine, something very important with today's turbofans. Having the engines close to the ground also allows very quick inspections and this is crucial in the airline market where any extra minute spent waiting at an airport means reducing profitability. Last but not least, this configuration gives much more freedom in the choice of engine with very little demand for structural modifications in case of having to add a totally novel engine type. Not all these requirements have to do with actual aerodynamic performances but they affect profit.

A mid mounted wing may be great in terms of aerodynamic behaviour but the low mounted wing is better in terms of designing a structure that allows an optimal use of the internal spaces. Again here we have a purely commercial requirement (maximum use of space) that offsets a potential performance increase.

In commercial aviation in the end it's always valid what I remember a Boeing manager saying at a conference many years ago: "it's great that you are proposing all these advanced technological systems, however we don't care much if your technology is very advanced, what you have to prove us is that your system can get my customer make more money ! Can anyone here really prove this while keeping in consideration all aspects?".

Personally I don't expect any revolution in airliners design unless there will be some external pressure leading to this. It may be a revoulationary type of propulsion or a dramatic change in regulations. Or could be a change in the airlines business model, that may lead to favouring certain aspects instead of others. Thinking about it, the recent events may suggest that this is the thing most likely to happen first.

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Engines in the tail not blanking off the tailplane at high AoA - tell that the the makers and certification authorities of the Trident, BAC.111, or why the DC.9 and B727 were absent from the British register for so long.

 

Small airliners/business jets have rear-mounted engines for ease of boarding and maintenance - when you get to big airliners maintenance of complicated (and heavy) systems at height becomes a problem and an expense.  Further, placing the engines (or weapons, for military types) below and in advance of the wing has been known to have drag advantages since the late 1930s (too late for the Halifax but in time for the Lancaster).  When to comes to airliners or heavy bombers with long wings there is also the advantage of stress relief, the weight counteracting the lift bending the wing.  Mid wings have an obvious problem with airliners (or extruded tubes, as Ray Brabrook memorably described them).

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On 02/08/2020 at 17:27, noelh said:

It's the costs. A Hawker Hunter cost £100,000 (£2.5 million today) in the fifties. (I looked it up). £2.5 mil would barely buy a light turbo prop trainer now. What's the unit cost of a Typhoon? F35? Even the F16. Costs don't stop there either. You  could probably acquire dozens of Hunters for the price of one Typhoon in todays money.

 

Effectively smaller countries are priced out of the market. Economic disarmament as Learstang puts it. There's nothing new about this. The F5A, F5E and even the F16 were attempts to  make fighters affordable. 

 

When even large countries feel the sting of acquiring jets. Smaller countries have no chance.

 

 

 

Going back to NZ, what about something like the Alenia Aermacchi M-346? (pic below)

I have read this is very cheap compared to other fast jets (is in service with Singapore for instance). When I was at Fairford last year, Leonardo (I think) were there doing a sales pitch, during the show, to some African military brass - I'm not sure from where unfortunately. 

 

I think basically just having a fast jet capability, even in limited quantities, could be something even a peaceful and isolated nation might need. You want something that can act as support in south-east asia during humanitarian missions, or to scare off light aircraft carrying drugs coming into the country, for example. As such it wouldn't need to go toe-to-toe with the latest Chinese stealth fighter (and TBH if it ever comes to that, well, even spending 50% of the country's GDP probably wouldn't make a difference) but just be able to use speed and the ability to carry some ordnance - if nothing else as a deterrent, and if you need something to set it sights on the speed-boat that's carrying a bunch of guys waving AK47s about (basing this entirely on 1980s action films) then you have it. 

 

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The M.346 may be cheap but the question is not necessarily if it's cheap in itself but if the cost of the aircraft, whatever it is, is worth the expense within the scope of what New Zealand or any other potential customer needs.

For a number of African countries something like a light jet trainer with a decent ground attack capability is a good option and many such countries have used numbers of types like the MB.326 and the Magister or later the Hawk and Alpha Jet. But would New Zealand be interested in something with a light ground attack capability ? NZ is not expected to fight the kind of armed insurrections and small conflicts that too often afflict the African continent, unless they plan on doing this on someone else's ground.

On the other hand NZ may be interested in some anti-shipping capability and today this requires an aircraft with ideally a radar and capable of carrying antiship missiles. If however this job is left to the patrol aircraft fleet, then the question is if a jet aircraft is actually needed. Is the threat of drug-carryign light aircraft a serious problem ? Does this require jets ? Or would turboprop powered types be enough ? If the main threat is the presence of boats sneaking in the country, would a fast jet be the better option ? Or would adding new weapons to the patrol types be the best option ?

I'm not saying that the M.346 is or is not the right type or saying that New Zealand should or not use fast jets or turboprops, what I'm saying is that any option should be carefully analysed considering the cost and the capability brough to the table. Mind, the same New Zealand made good use of the MB.339 and in a sense the M.346 is the successor to the 339, so maybe it would be a good option. I'm sure Macchi/Leonardo would be happy to renew this relationship.

 

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If New Zealand ground troops ever got into the position of needing CAS, presumably it would be a joint operation where Australian or US aircraft would be part of the support package.

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16 hours ago, Slater said:

If New Zealand ground troops ever got into the position of needing CAS, presumably it would be a joint operation where Australian or US aircraft would be part of the support package.

wow! Austria- Australia! nearly on topic! ;)

 

by the way, first face to face talk presumably took place between the Austrian Minister of Defence and her Indonesian counterpart... let's wait and see....

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