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Contemporary fighter production rates

apparition13

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I saw a story, I think linked to through here, that Saab was saying they could raise their Gripen production rate to as much as 20 per year.

After a bit of digging around, it seems as if Dassault can handle 12 Rafaels per year right now, though they are talking about opening a second line to double that rate, but there is no guarantee their subcontractors can, so 24 may be opitmistic. Eurofighter has four lines able to produce a total of - 43 - if I remember correctly. That's a maximum of 75 (87 if a second Rafael line is added) a year for European production, which is less than the Israeli's lost in three weeks in 1973.

For the US, LM says it can build up to 17 F-35s per month, or 204 per year. Add that to Europe, and it's about half of the total Israeli and Arab losses in three weeks in 1973. With production numbers like that, it seems any war would quickly devolve to infantry walking around shooting at each other, since the production capacity to build replacements in sufficient numbers just isn't there.

Does this seem accurate? And do we have figures for the F-15, F-16 and F-18? Or Russian or PRC numbers?
 

GARGEAN

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Production rates today have little to nothing to do with wartime exhausting rates. At best you will receive fresh ammunition during conflict. Today it's all about who stacked more before war.
As for ru numbers - in meatiest year it was 62 T-10 airframes per year (Su-30SM/M2, 34, 35). Today it's around 35-40 per year. Plus some minuscule MiG-29 numbers, plus some export.
 

totoro

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Any increase in production rate would take two years (or more) to materialize. Getting to really high production rates of hundreds of planes per year is also possible, but that'd take even longer, until all the personnel is trained and the whole production chain is upsized. Then again, it's also possible wars could last years, depending on the situation.

On the other hand, it's also perhaps not realistic to expect there'd be battles with hundreds of planes each day, in some big war. Perhaps hundreds of planes would be in air, but actual planes engaged in battle would be less. And actual planes lost, out of those in battles, would be fewer still. It's perfectly conceivable that "only" a few dozen planes would be lost in combat per day. Again, depending on the war. And the less planes one has, the less they will risk to future ops, so loss rates would likely drop due to lower sortie rates.
 

Trident

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I was struck by a similar but more general realization a couple of years ago - in a modern (which amounts to, basically, anytime post-1960) peer-on-peer war, the belligerents are forced to pretty much fight the entire war with the order of battle they have on day one. This is of course obviously true for a superpower nuclear exchange, but appears to also be the case for all-out conventional conflicts between great powers from what I can tell. The much vaunted Desert Storm strategy of the 5-Ring-Model seems applicable only to asymmetric scenarios, where one side has assets to spare for use against centers of gravity other than the enemy's fielded military and its immediate logistics infrastructure. Devoting too many resources to holding national long-term prospects hostage (population, economic infrastructure) seems to invite defeat in the field, given the combination of high attrition and finite assets in large-scale, high-tech combat.
 

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