Mexican Air Force Future Fighter Options

tequilashooter

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Wonder what purpose Brazil has anyways for them https://naukatehnika.com/saab-gotov...-jas-39e-gripen-dlya-brazilii-i-shveczii.html Maybe Mexico will get F-35s in response?


The order for the supply of the latest JAS 39E Gripen fighters Brazil and Sweden gave back in 2013 and 2014, the first two aircraft were delivered to customers in 2019. Fighter JAS 39E Gripen, illustrative photo from open sources The Swedish defense company Saab is ready in 2022 to begin deliveries of the first serial aircraft JAS 39E Gripen for its customers - Brazil and Sweden. In particular, nine such aircraft were manufactured at the facilities of this enterprise, of which four were made for the Brazilian Air Force. This writes the portal Air Recognition. One of the serial JAS 39E Gripen for the Brazilian Air Force, photo from open sources Recall that in January 2013, Sweden ordered from Saab the supply of 60 JAS 39E Gripen fighters for the national Air Force. The value of the contract was not disclosed. It is known that all its latest "Gripen" Swedish Air Force should receive by the beginning of 2027. The transfer of the first JAS 39E Gripen to the Swedish military took place in December 2019. It is assumed that the JAS 39E Gripen fighters for the Swedish Air Force will have just such camouflage, photos from open sources In October 2014, Sweden and Brazil signed a $5.4 billion contract to supply 36 Gripen NG aircraft – 28 JAS 39E Gripen fighters and eight jas 39F Gripen two-seater aircraft. Under the terms of this contract, Saab at its facilities should build 12 JAS 39E Gripen aircraft and one JAS 39f Gripen. JAS 39E Gripen fighters, one of which is in camouflage of the Brazilian Air Force, an illustrative image from open sources Another eight JAS 39E - Brazilian Embraer will be at its facilities from car kits, which will supply the Swedish Saab. The remaining eight aircraft JAS 39E and seven JAS 39F – Brazilian Embraer will produce independently, based on the technology received from Saab. The entire supply cycle must be completed by November 2024. According to some reports, the Brazilian armed forces want to buy up to 120 Gripen aircraft. The first aircraft was handed over to the Brazilian military in August 2019.
 

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Desertfox

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Wonder what purpose Brazil has anyways for them https://naukatehnika.com/saab-gotov...-jas-39e-gripen-dlya-brazilii-i-shveczii.html Maybe Mexico will get F-35s in response?
Well, why do you think? :rolleyes: And how do you go from Brazil getting Gripens to Mexico wanting F-35s in response??
Got to have a purpose for brand new aircrafts like I am hoping the U.S. having 1000s of F-35s uses it for something big.
The last plane Mexico would be interested in would be F35s. Just about every other combat aircraft would be on the list ahead of them. Now Brazilian built Gripen E/Fs are definitely on the table, probably after the Brazilian order is finished, thought would need a political change in either country at the moment.
 

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Given Mexico struggles just to keep their handful of F-5s in service (see below) I seriously doubt even the Gripen is on the cards.

 

Archibald

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Yup, Mexico never really cared about defending their airspace. Truth be told, with Uncle Sam in the north, and the insignificant "threats" of central american air forces in the south... plus Atlantic and Pacific oceans on each sides...

Mexico main issue is narcos and gangs and internal violence - more than ever. Besides helicopters and COIN aircraft, the Air Force has little role to play there. The drug traffic are no fools (unfortunately) they won't wage an air war nor even a ground offensive against the Army. They would be decimated - which wouldn't be a bad thing, in passing.

Brazil would be similar if they had no Amazonian forrest and large / unstable neighbourghs (Venezuela !) to watch for. Because of this, they needs their Grippens and AWACS to guide them.

Mexico has probably no such need...
 

TomcatViP

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It won't be far fetched to see Mexico taken the bull by the horn in what has been a long lasting immigration crisis. Either due to internal support or under foreign pressure, this move will aggravate the lines of seizure with some Latin America countries that have had a past of military significance, non local governments and powers with a presence in the region.
Then, it would be unavoidable to strengthen the military posture of the Mexican armies, starting by the Air force and a longer range component.

Mexico is a large country. This fact is often overlooked. For example, from the northern border to the capital city, there is as much distance as there is from Paris to Moscow. This by itself protects Mexico from any air campaign but for the best equipped air forces. Hence, IMOHO, the relaxed attitude regarding the MAF.

We could well see Mexicans shopping for something having the range of a Su-35 and the effectiveness of an F 35...
 

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The Mexican Navy around 2012 timeframe did look at buying new Su-27s to provide air cover to its oil rigs. In addition drug smugglers could use private jets to move around which can't be intercepted by T-6Cs. Mexico will need to buy at least a handful of supersonic capable fighters in the near future. Probably nothing like a Su-35 or F-35, but definitely can see them dropping money for a Gripen NG or a T-7A, although they would probably prefer something with twin engines like a Rafale/Hornet.
 

isayyo2

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Getting wayyyyy off topic now...

Considering Mexico's only fixed-wing attack planes are 30 year old PC-7s with rockets and gun pods, I don't think they could absorb F-35 operations quite yet. If they're serious about COIN operations the FAM should acquire new AT-6s and whatever MQ-1/9s we have in storage; after that then we can talk about the possibility of used/new Gripens.
 

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Mexico has around 80 armed T-6C+ plus a handful of F-5Es and a R-99 AEW&C. They could definitely use say 12 new Gripen NGs to replace the F-5s and have the links to both Brazil and Sweden to make it happen.
 

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Yes, to both, they can certainly use around 12 modern supersonic fighters, and with the PC-7 -> T-6C replacement program complete, the funds should be available. The Navy just splurged on missile armed frigates, so I can see the Air Force being next. If I was Saab, I'd be talking to them.
 

isayyo2

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Mexico has around 80 armed T-6C+ plus a handful of F-5Es and a R-99 AEW&C. They could definitely use say 12 new Gripen NGs to replace the F-5s and have the links to both Brazil and Sweden to make it happen.
But are they actually armed? I've read that the dozen T-6C+'s in the Navy have gun pods and that's it. I'm personally not counting the 2 or 3 F-5s that seem to only be used in a ceremonial roles.
Based upon what? They certainly haven't bothered for years now and I don't see anything changing.
Kinda the same question to ask about why they purchased eight Sigma Frigates with ESSM's and Harpoon missiles; they're a medium-high income, industrialized nation with aspirations for a decently modern military. I think there are plans in the Army for new armored vehicles too. So, prestige most likely lol
 

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I would assume they are. It is the T-6C+ version which had added hardpoints and its replacing the PC-7s that where used extensively for COIN. Initially Mexico was going to get PC-9s (and did buy two) but the Swiss government blocked the order because Mexico wanted them equipped with hardpoints.

Apart from prestige, Mexico does have a need for a supersonic interceptor with decent legs.
 

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Venezuela in theory, but there is a need for fast air sovereignty patrols. A T-6C or PC-9 can’t catch smugglers in a Lear Jet, or similar type craft.
Two countries that are roughly 4000km apart and with arguably 6 other countries in between and with generally civil relations? Seriously?! As for something faster than a T-6 or similar then either another learjet or similar would be more practical and it could even be multi-role. If one really wanted a 'fighter' style platform then either something like a KAI T-50 or even some second hand fighters would be more practical.
 

isayyo2

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Venezuela in theory, but there is a need for fast air sovereignty patrols. A T-6C or PC-9 can’t catch smugglers in a Lear Jet, or similar type craft.
Two countries that are roughly 4000km apart and with arguably 6 other countries in between and with generally civil relations? Seriously?! As for something faster than a T-6 or similar then either another learjet or similar would be more practical and it could even be multi-role. If one really wanted a 'fighter' style platform then either something like a KAI T-50 or even some second hand fighters would be more practical.
Eh, things were dicey during the Maduro transition. In theory their Su-30s and 707 tankers could threaten the local area. But yeah, things have simmered back down mostly. I’m not arguing for any specific platforms, but they do need “some” form of F-5 replacement.

The last few posts got super off topic, maybe we should make a “future of the Mexican armed forces” topic in the Bar?
 

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Venezuela in theory, but there is a need for fast air sovereignty patrols. A T-6C or PC-9 can’t catch smugglers in a Lear Jet, or similar type craft.
Two countries that are roughly 4000km apart and with arguably 6 other countries in between and with generally civil relations? Seriously?! As for something faster than a T-6 or similar then either another learjet or similar would be more practical and it could even be multi-role. If one really wanted a 'fighter' style platform then either something like a KAI T-50 or even some second hand fighters would be more practical.
I've been trying to keep it somewhat on topic. There isn't much difference between a T-50 and a Gripen, I could see a lease of secondhand Gripens initially , but Mexico tends to prefer new builds over second hand aircraft, especially for a "prestige" buy. Gripen NGs with their longer range and compatibility with the Erieye AEW&C system, just make a lot of sense.
 

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I didn't know that Mexico even had fighter planes. I didn't
even know they had an airforce.
 

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I didn't know that Mexico even had fighter planes. I didn't
even know they had an airforce.
They have 4 F-5s in service and 4 in storage.

87240_1537141497.jpg
 

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Some commentary here too:

 

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Mexico has had issues buying secondhand aircraft see the E-2C buy from Israel. The E-2s got quickly replaced with new built Embraer R-99s. Also see the purchase of new built frigates by the Navy over going with surplus Hazard Perrys from the US. I really can not see them going the secondhand route unless its a temporary fix while they get new built.

What Mexico needs is a supersonic interceptor with decent range and good radar that can link up with the Saab Erieye system. Something like a Tornado ADV/YF-17 would be perfect. That said the only current options with twin engines like the Rafale and Super Hornet are likely too expensive. Which brings us back the the Gripen NG, it only has one engine, but it checks off all the other boxes, being cheap to operate, decent range, and designed to integrate with the Saab Erieye.

That said, if Boeing comes out with a combat capable single seat version of the T-7A that has a radar and more fuel I can see that being a winner. Even better if they did a F-CK-1 version with twin-engines.
 

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The primary threat is drug dealers moving merchandise by air, either in fast business jets or low and slow in small planes/helicopters. Secondary would be some sort of air or sea threat to oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico. The low and slow threat can be dealt with with a combination of AEW + T-6Cs, but business jets require supersonic interceptors, and with limited AEW resources, having a plane with a good air intercept radar with look down/shoot down capability would be really nice to have.
 

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The primary threat is drug dealers moving merchandise by air, either in fast business jets or low and slow in small planes/helicopters. Secondary would be some sort of air or sea threat to oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico. The low and slow threat can be dealt with with a combination of AEW + T-6Cs, but business jets require supersonic interceptors, and with limited AEW resources, having a plane with a good air intercept radar with look down/shoot down capability would be really nice to have.
None of which requires the high-end fighters you keep pushing, even the Gripen is more fighter than they need. The F/A-50 would fill the need nicely and if they can afford to wait they could probably get an armed version of the T-7.
 

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Ok, using the drug smuggling as toe CONOPS driver we see the types of platforms are all subsonic (see here) and one would reasonably assume there isn't a mass effect whereby more than 1 or even 2 are needing interception at a time, one would easily get by with a handful of platforms in total (e.g. the 4 or so F-5s they currently have) and it doesn't need to be a high end platform. Something such as a T-50 class or one of the multiple cheap second hand options such as used F-16s would be more than enough.
 

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My bet is on armed Boeing T-7s. Can't remember if that thing is supersonic or not (T-38 successor). Considering the fact that the F-5 was a T-38 derivative... it would make some sense.
Depends whether the Mexicans can afford maintenance cost of F404 engines, in comparison with such dirt-cheap powerplant as a pair of J85s.
If they can, then the options are
- armed T-7
- A/T-50
- Grippen
 

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The F-5s in service are getting long in the tooth and have had issues since they are basically restricted to daytime intercepts. They do need a replacement with a decent radar capable of nighttime and look down capability.

Mexico has had bad experiences with secondhand aircraft, I strongly doubt they go the route of F-16s, and the maintenance costs would be higher. The F/A-50 definitely fits the bill as does the T-7A. I see the Gripen NG as a better option than the F/A-50 since Mexico has good connections to both Sweden and Brazil, and it wouldn't be much more expensive, both planes are in the same ballpark. The T-7A is a strong alternative as long as it gets a decent radar.
 

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Another option though one with some interesting legal requirements should one ever decide to take armed action would be to contract one of the Commercial adversary trainer organisations (e.g. Draken International) to provide a service.
 

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The F-5s in service are getting long in the tooth and have had issues since they are basically restricted to daytime intercepts. They do need a replacement with a decent radar capable of nighttime and look down capability.

Mexico has had bad experiences with secondhand aircraft, I strongly doubt they go the route of F-16s, and the maintenance costs would be higher. The F/A-50 definitely fits the bill as does the T-7A. I see the Gripen NG as a better option than the F/A-50 since Mexico has good connections to both Sweden and Brazil, and it wouldn't be much more expensive, both planes are in the same ballpark. The T-7A is a strong alternative as long as it gets a decent radar.
Brazil is paying almost $150 million per bird for its Gripen NGs; the Philippines only had to shell out $35 million per bird for the F/A-50s.

They are not in the same ballpark.
 

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Another option though one with some interesting legal requirements should one ever decide to take armed action would be to contract one of the Commercial adversary trainer organisations (e.g. Draken International) to provide a service.
It's a fascinating idea, to have Mercenaries defend your own airspace against internal threats. Isn't that the plot of Area 88?
 

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The F-5s in service are getting long in the tooth and have had issues since they are basically restricted to daytime intercepts. They do need a replacement with a decent radar capable of nighttime and look down capability.

Mexico has had bad experiences with secondhand aircraft, I strongly doubt they go the route of F-16s, and the maintenance costs would be higher. The F/A-50 definitely fits the bill as does the T-7A. I see the Gripen NG as a better option than the F/A-50 since Mexico has good connections to both Sweden and Brazil, and it wouldn't be much more expensive, both planes are in the same ballpark. The T-7A is a strong alternative as long as it gets a decent radar.
Brazil is paying almost $150 million per bird for its Gripen NGs; the Philippines only had to shell out $35 million per bird for the F/A-50s.

They are not in the same ballpark.
Apples and oranges. The Brazilian deal also included R&D costs for the NG as well as tech transfer costs.
 

CV12Hornet

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Apples and oranges. The Brazilian deal also included R&D costs for the NG as well as tech transfer costs.
Botswana is looking like it'll pay $100 million per Gripen. The Bulgarian bid was in the same ballpark, the Swiss bid was similar to the Brazilian, and the Czech Republic was paying 55 million euros per plane just for a 10-year lease.
 

_Del_

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Another option though one with some interesting legal requirements should one ever decide to take armed action would be to contract one of the Commercial adversary trainer organisations (e.g. Draken International) to provide a service.
Give them letters of marque in case of hostilities! New air corsairs! Haha
More seriously, though, it would not be much different than any of the "private security" mercenary groups that get hired adound the world.
 

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uk 75

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Ireland and New Zealand both got out of the fast jet business. Mexico has no obvious air defence needs.
 

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