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Saab Gripen NG

Arjen

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sferrin said:
Sundog said:
sferrin said:
LowObservable said:
Quiet!


If it gets around that it is possible to do R&D on schedule and on fixed-price contracts, the defense business as we know it will be dead.
Pretty easy to do when you aren't doing anything new. ;)
Indeed, Lockheed is known for being over budget and behind schedule. Nothing new there.
In marked contrast to Eurofighter? ;D Oh and whoops, looks like India's Rafale price went up too.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that SAAB is able to work on a fixed-price, on-time schedule.
sferrin said:
The F-35's lowering in price to $85m a pop - which would be considerably more than the cost projected in the original contract - is something that is yet to be realised. I will believe it when I see it.

However, as you stated yourself...
sferrin said:
But hey, this is a [...] Gripen thread so back to the show. . .
 

marauder2048

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Just wondering if the much larger projected install base for the GE414 (Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, India for the Tejas II) makes the EPE variant (or the other enhanced perf engine mentioned in the Advanced SH preso) more viable since the USN wouldn't have to bear the development and sustainment costs alone.
 

F-14D

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marauder2048 said:
Just wondering if the much larger projected install base for the GE414 (Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, India for the Tejas II) makes the EPE variant (or the other enhanced perf engine mentioned in the Advanced SH preso) more viable since the USN wouldn't have to bear the development and sustainment costs alone.
So far, although some folks would be glad to get it if it existed, no one has shown an indication that they think the benefits to be gained are worth their ponying up the money to develop it. In fact, whether there'll even be an EDE with the "war emergency" rating (which was the solution they were going for since GE & Boeing gave up on the EDE) is questionable, given Washington's priorities.
 

LowObservable

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"War Emergency" was not a case of giving up on the EDE. Technology promised either improved fuel burn and durability, or higher performance, at which point someone said "Why not both?"


For the time being it's a matter of someone finding the money. I suspect that it will happen as the budgetary dust settles and everyone finally realizes that SH and Growler will be around for a long time.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
"War Emergency" was not a case of giving up on the EDE. Technology promised either improved fuel burn and durability, or higher performance, at which point someone said "Why not both?"


For the time being it's a matter of someone finding the money. I suspect that it will happen as the budgetary dust settles and everyone finally realizes that SH and Growler will be around for a long time.
As much as I'd like to see it, I'll bet we don't for another 10 years - at least. When the Super Hornet's replacement starts getting put off they'll start looking for band-aids.
 

F-14D

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LowObservable said:
"War Emergency" was not a case of giving up on the EDE. Technology promised either improved fuel burn and durability, or higher performance, at which point someone said "Why not both?"


For the time being it's a matter of someone finding the money. I suspect that it will happen as the budgetary dust settles and everyone finally realizes that SH and Growler will be around for a long time.
"War Emergency" was a term I used in previous posts, drawing a parallel with the overboost settings that piston aircraft could use in combat at the cost of a rather significant decrease in engine life.

As it relates to the F414, I made a typo; what Boeing & GE gave up on was the EPE, not the EDE. Navy was primarily interested in increasing engine life and reducing the depot maintenance required and was talking about funding devlopment of the EDE which incorporates an advanced high pressure turbine and six-stage high pressure compressor. There might be also some reduction in fuel burn. GE/Boeing also proposed the F414 EPE. This was the EDE. The EPE takes all that was done to the EDE and adds a new fan, which increases the thrust by as much as 20%, while retaining all the goodness of the EDE. Not sure about the fuel savings there in an operational configuration. A larger fan means more drag, so power settings have to be adjusted upward to maintain the smae speeds, which offsets some of the gain from the more efficeint engine.

USN looked at EPE as "nice to have", but wasn't willing to come up with the bucks to go all the way to EPE. Saab also looked at the latter with some interest for potential further development of the Gripen, but the only market large enough to go all the way was the USN, so they stayed on the sidelines.

Boeing/GE seeing this, evolved the concept to a different strategy. They no longer would push the EPE. Instead, the EDE design concept would deliver the gains predicted for it, but the engine controls/software would be modified so that if the customer so desired they could go into the engine and change the programming to let it run hotter and slightly differently ( don't think it could be done in flight). Doing so would increase thrust, but would not retain the improved durability and lower life cycle costs of the EDE when this change is made. Clearly, you'd only do the change in a crisis or expected combat situation, which is why I called it a "war emergency" thing.

Thing is, with Defense still having to take the hit for most of the "cuts" in the Adminstration's budget, who knows if there'll even be money for an EDE?
 

F-14D

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BTW, sources in Brazil are indicating that if Saab meets its performance and cost promises on the first 36 Gripens, they may order an additional 100
 

LowObservable

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Saab would love that. I have heard something more along the lines of the first 36 being Tranche 1 of three (so 100+ total).


It makes sense because the remaining F-5s and A-1s (AMX) will have to be replaced in the 2020s.
 

F-14D

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LowObservable said:
Saab would love that. I have heard something more along the lines of the first 36 being Tranche 1 of three (so 100 total).


It makes sense because the remaining F-5s and A-1s (AMX) will have to be replaced in the 2020s.
From what I've seen, the 100 may be in addition to the first 36. The fact that Brazil is willing to finance development and procurement of eight of the two seat version in the first lends creditability to a much larger order. It's not known yet if the 2nd seat will be just be another pilot station or whether it will be a full dedicated crew station, like the F-14 and later F/A-18Fs.

Let's see if Saab can deliver.
 

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F-14D said:
BTW, sources in Brazil are indicating that if Saab meets its performance and cost promises on the first 36 Gripens, they may order an additional 100
That was always the reason for the serious interest in Brazil, beyond the initial aircraft it was always clear that there would be a need for further airframes later on. Back in the day, 120 as a total was always the number that got floated.
 

sferrin

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JFC Fuller said:
F-14D said:
BTW, sources in Brazil are indicating that if Saab meets its performance and cost promises on the first 36 Gripens, they may order an additional 100
That was always the reason for the serious interest in Brazil, beyond the initial aircraft it was always clear that there would be a need for further airframes later on. Back in the day, 120 as a total was always the number that got floated.
I wonder if those kinds of numbers would make it worth Brazil's while to fund an upgraded F414? ???
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
JFC Fuller said:
F-14D said:
BTW, sources in Brazil are indicating that if Saab meets its performance and cost promises on the first 36 Gripens, they may order an additional 100
That was always the reason for the serious interest in Brazil, beyond the initial aircraft it was always clear that there would be a need for further airframes later on. Back in the day, 120 as a total was always the number that got floated.
I wonder if those kinds of numbers would make it worth Brazil's while to fund an upgraded F414? ???
Saab has always said that while more thrust would definitely be nice (it would take their supercruise up from 1.25, for one thing), they don't need it for the E/F, and I doubt they or Brazil would think there's enough market to fund it, since in their export drives no one's complained about any E/F lack of agility or performance. The big potential market, the USN, has said it's not interested, at least for the foreseeable future

Then of course there's the issue of whether or not the US would let them develop an uprated version of the engine. If it were going to happen, what I would see as more likely would be that the USN would say that it would develop the EDE/EPE/"War Emergency" version if other countries would kick in to help defray the costs.

That's exactly what the USMC did in developing the AV-8B+. DoD said it would only fund part of the AV-8B+ development, USMC had to come up with the rest of the money somehow. So they rounded up international partners to kick in for part of the cost of integrating surplus APG-65s into the Harrier, which they'd then have done to their own Harriers. The kicker from the USMC's point of view was that those contributors said they'd do it, but only if the AIM-120 capability was also ported over. USMC had little use for that missile, but since that was the price to get international money, they did it.

Something similar could happen here, but there's one big difference: USMC really wanted those APG-65s. There's not that dramatic enthusiasm on the part of the USN for an uprated F414.
 

sferrin

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I was thinking more along the lines of the way the UAE funded the development of the Block 60 F-16. (Which begs the question of who covered the development cost of the F110-132. As I understand it, it was independant of anything the UAE put in.)
 

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sferrin said:
I was thinking more along the lines of the way the UAE funded the development of the Block 60 F-16. (Which begs the question of who covered the development cost of the F110-132. As I understand it, it was independant of anything the UAE put in.)
In the case of the F-16E, you're talking about a much heavier and draggier version of the F-16 where more thrust is needed to compensate for some of that. I believe GE itself, with gov't permission, funded the development because they expected there would be a market and it wasn't as big a change over the -129 as the EDE/EPE, etc. would be over the F414. Not sure how many -132s have been sold.

What it really comes down to is whether or not there is someone who feels they need the extra capability enough to justify the cost. With the USN not playing, and most everyone else satisfied enough with the engine as is it comes down to where're the bucks? Then there's the question of whether Brazil wants to buy a newly developed aircraft (and the E/F is a big change from the C/D) powered by a newly developed F414 variant. Maybe after the first 36...
 

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Mr. Sweetman thinks the JAS-39E might be considered the future of fighter-development.
And the first "6th generation" fighter... ::)


http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_03_24_2014_p15-673319.xml&p=1


Gripen-E is surely a nice development of a performant existing design, but suggesting it as 6th generation is imho... quite an overstatement.
 

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marauder2048 said:
Not certain if this is the proper place for this article but Stephen Trimble has a detailed piece on the GE 414 upgrade path in light of a USN study initiated back in October.
This is a more detailed discussion of that strategy I mentioned a while back that was GE's new strategy for trying to get funding for new variants of the F414:

Let the EPE variant go since there didn't seem to be anyone willing to fund it. Instead, try and get funding to develop the EDE. If someone then decided they suddenly wanted more thrust from their EDEs, there would be a software change they could run which would have the EDE produce more power. The price of doing so would be a significant hit in durability (wouldn't occur in EPE), which is why I referred to it as a "war emergency" rating.
 

marauder2048

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Not to tear this thread further off-topic, but surely the UCLASS powerplant has some bearing on the USN's inclination to fund a GE 414 upgrade path...
 

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Which UCLASS bidders are using that power plant? The X47B uses the F100, and unless the congress adds more capability onto the uCLASS program (Resulting in a more survivable, larger vehicle) I really do not see a requirement for a higher thrust or even two engines.
 

marauder2048

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I don't think the engine choice for a Technology Demonstrator has much bearing on the final selection.
 

bring_it_on

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The F414 would make sense for obvious reasons..
 

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53,4% of the Swiss people just voted against buying the Gripen.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/volksabstimmung-schweiz-stimmt-gegen-kampfjet-kauf-in-milliardenhoehe-1.1968436
 

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Report in English:

Saab: Result in Swiss Referendum Announced
May 18, 2014 01:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time
LINKÖPING, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:

“Our focus is helping countries protect their ways of life, which we do by serving the global market with world-leading products, including Gripen. We have seen in Switzerland support for Gripen, including through its evaluation and selection over competitors and in the votations in the Swiss Parliament last year”

Further to the decisions by the Swiss Parliament in 2013 to procure 22 Gripen E, a national referendum was held today in Switzerland on the funding law for Gripen. The result was ‘no’ which means that the Gripen E procurement process in Switzerland stops. For Saab, the Gripen E programme continues according to plan, with development and production of 60 Gripen E for Sweden ongoing and deliveries scheduled for 2018.

In February 2013, Saab signed a framework agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) concerning the development and production of 60 Gripen E to Sweden and potentially 22 to Switzerland. Today’s referendum result on the funding law for Gripen means that the Swiss procurement process of 22 Gripen E stops. The Swedish development and production orders placed in 2013 continue, with delivery of Gripen E to Sweden commencing in 2018. The negotiations regarding 36 Gripen NG to Brazil are ongoing and according to plan with the ambition from both parties that an agreement should be signed in 2014.

“Our focus is helping countries protect their ways of life, which we do by serving the global market with world-leading products, including Gripen. We have seen in Switzerland support for Gripen, including through its evaluation and selection over competitors and in the votations in the Swiss Parliament last year,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

“We respect the process in Switzerland and do not comment on today’s outcome in the referendum. Following selection in 2011, hundreds of business relationships in Switzerland have been created through the Swiss Industrial Participation programme, which was created in relation to the Gripen E procurement. These are relationships we look forward to continuing as long as possible,” adds Håkan Buskhe.

Under the industrial participation programme, over 500 contracts with 125 Swiss businesses have been arranged. Some of these are with Saab but most are with partners and suppliers to Saab. This shows very clearly that there are strong and long-lasting relationships between Sweden and Switzerland. Saab will continue working with Swiss companies and contracts placed will be honoured, subject to their terms and conditions.

Gripen is the backbone of five nations' air defences: Sweden, South Africa, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. In addition, The Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) in the UK uses Gripen in its training programme for future test pilots.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

http://www.saabgroup.com http://www.saabgroup.com/Twitter http://www.saabgroup.com/YouTube

The information is that which Saab AB is required to declare by the Securities Business Act and/or the Financial instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication on May 18 2014 at 18.30 (CET).

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

Contacts
For further information:
Saab Press Centre, +46 (0)734 180 018
presscentre@saabgroup.com
 

LowObservable

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Worse news for the Swiss AF than for the Gripen.
 

lastdingo

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LowObservable said:
Worse news for the Swiss AF than for the Gripen.
There's no real need for such an expenditure, though.
Switzerland is encircled by the EU and couldn't defend against it even if the EU was hostile at all.
 

Triton

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"Saab Loses $3.5 Billion Jet Order as Swiss Reject Gripen"
by Niklas Magnusson, Catherine Bosley and Niclas Rolander May 18, 2014 4:01

Source:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-18/saab-loses-3-5-billion-jet-order-as-swiss-reject-gripen.html

Saab AB stands to lose a 3.1 billion-franc ($3.5 billion) order for Gripen fighter jets after Swiss voters rejected the deal in a referendum.

The 22-plane contract, which Switzerland awarded 2 1/2 years ago, was opposed by 53.4 percent of voters, the Swiss government in Bern said yesterday. The latest survey ahead of the vote had showed some 51 percent of people opposing the transaction while 44 percent were in favor.

The result is “negative for Saab, but not exactly unexpected given the opinion polls,” said Mats Liss, an analyst at Swedbank AB in Stockholm. While a Brazilian contract won last year is more important than the one from Switzerland, the rejection by Swiss voters means there will be “a period of uncertainty until the Brazil order is finalized,” he said.

Gripen opponents had argued that the planes would cost 10 billion francs over their lifetime, money that could be spent on education, transport or pensions. The Swiss Defense Ministry, which initiated the purchase, has said it will honor result of the vote. The Swiss rejection leaves Saab with orders for the next-generation Gripen E, whose development is contingent on an export order of at least 20 aircraft, from only Sweden and Brazil.
Photographer: Casper Hedberg/Bloomberg

Employees work on the production of a Saab Gripen fighter jet at the company's factory... Read More

The result “is a clear victory for budgetary sanity,” said Regula Rytz, a member of parliament from the Swiss canton of Bern for the Green party. “It doesn’t make sense that we have to save on the flood protection, that we have to save on the border security and at the same time buy new aircraft.”
Evaluating Outcome

The fighter plane’s supporters had said that neutral Switzerland needs the Gripen to defend its airspace. That claim got undermined in February with the forced landing of an Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise plane in Geneva. The hijacked plane had to be escorted by French and Italian jets as the Swiss air force doesn’t operate outside of business hours.

Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer told reporters in Bern yesterday that the “result requires a thorough analysis.” Only once an in-depth study of the matter had been made “can there be a decision on how to proceed,” Maurer said.

The Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency FXM, which is responsible for the Gripen negotiations with Switzerland, said what happens next is a question for the Swiss government.

Saab said it respects the process in Switzerland and that the result in the referendum means that the Swiss procurement process of 22 planes stops, according to a statement yesterday. The Gripen E program will continue as planned, it said.
Brazil Order

“The Swedish development and production orders placed in 2013 continue, with delivery of Gripen E to Sweden commencing in 2018,” Saab said. “The negotiations regarding 36 Gripen NG to Brazil are ongoing and according to plan with the ambition from both parties that an agreement should be signed in 2014.”

According to mechanical- and electrical-engineering trade group Swissmem, the no-vote will deprive the Swiss economy of 2 billion francs of orders. The compensation deals tied to the Gripen contract “would have secured jobs in Swiss companies,” Swissmem said.

Under the contract, Swiss businesses would have received business from Saab and over 500 contracts have already been arranged, the company said.

“Saab will continue working with Swiss companies and contracts placed will be honored, subject to their terms and conditions,” it said.

The Swedish company had clinched a three-way contest to replace Switzerland’s fleet of Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) F-5 Tigers in November 2011, edging out offers from France’s Dassault Aviation SA (AM) and from the Eurofighter consortium of BAE Systems Plc (BA/), Airbus Group NV (AIR) and Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA. (FNC)
Military Spending

Saab also beat Boeing Co. last year to develop fighters for Brazil’s air force in a deal worth $4.5 billion through 2023. Saab is pushing the Gripen against rival offerings from companies also including Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the world’s biggest defense contractor, just as tighter military spending makes U.S. and European orders harder to come by.

It aims to sell around 400 Gripens over the next 20 years, said Lennart Sindahl, head of the Saab Aeronautics unit. Saab is in “serious talks” with 10 nations which could yield agreements in the near term and “a very significant country” recently made an approach, he said without specifying the country.

The Swiss purchase was put up for a plebiscite after opponents collected the required 50,000 signatures needed for a national referendum to cancel a recently passed law. Swiss voters yesterday also rejected the world’s highest national minimum wage, striking down a proposal for an hourly minimum of 22 francs.
 

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Does that mean the Swedish Air Force may now favour the Super Tucano over the PC-21 ?
 

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I can't say that I'm surprised. The Swiss Air Force isn't big enough to make a difference in a serious war, and being surrounded by NATO countries it doesn't really need top-line combat aircraft for what is just a policing role. One of the new supersonic trainers armed only with a gun and short-range AAMs would have enough capability for that.

Maybe they could use some of the money saved to keep the Air Force operating for more than just office hours... ::)
 

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So what is "plan B" for the Swiss air force now - keep flying aging airframes? purchase a different platform?
 

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The Swiss should get rid of all their old planes and buy one squadron of Gripen NGs! Thats sufficient anyway!
 

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lastdingo said:
LowObservable said:
Worse news for the Swiss AF than for the Gripen.
There's no real need for such an expenditure, though.
Switzerland is encircled by the EU and couldn't defend against it even if the EU was hostile at all.
I think the Swiss were logically espousing a defense strategy used elsewhere: Instead of hoping to defeat all comers, make the cost of an attack so disproportionately large relative to what would be gained that a potential adversary would just leave them alone.
 

Tony Williams

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The Swiss air force would of course be a little more credible if they worked longer than office hours. Any attacker can presumably start moving at 5 pm on Friday and be untroubled by air attack until 9 am on Monday... ::)
 

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AFAIK, the Swiss armed forces are a "part time army" anyway, with only 5% of all
soldiers always resident at their barracks. It's a militia system, with the advantage,
that it would provide a relatively big number of soldiers, at least in relation to the
population .. once it got momentum! And for the airforce, that means making due
with limited numbers of personnel, too, of course ! And yes, due to the geographiv
location, there's hardly the real need for air policing 24/7 and quite sure, that the Swiss
authorities know this.
 

Tony Williams

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Well, on the occasion earlier this year when a hijacked Ethiopian airliner flew across Switzerland out of office hours, it was French and Italian fighters which escorted it to Geneva. This incident revealed that the Swiss have agreements with neighbours for their fighters to enter Swiss air space in such incidents.

So that begs the obvious question: since policing the airspace is the only practical function of the Swiss Air Force and they don't do that for most of the time (a 40 hour week, presumably), why bother with an air force at all? Why not just agree to pay neighbouring air forces to undertake this role, at a massive cost saving?
 

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Tony Williams said:
So that begs the obvious question: since policing the airspace is the only practical function of the Swiss Air Force and they don't do that for most of the time (a 40 hour week, presumably), why bother with an air force at all? Why not just agree to pay neighbouring air forces to undertake this role, at a massive cost saving?
Err what about national defence?
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
Tony Williams said:
So that begs the obvious question: since policing the airspace is the only practical function of the Swiss Air Force and they don't do that for most of the time (a 40 hour week, presumably), why bother with an air force at all? Why not just agree to pay neighbouring air forces to undertake this role, at a massive cost saving?
Err what about national defence?
Against whom, precisely?

And if circumstances were to change so radically that a military attack on the country was a serious possibility, do you think that the presence of a couple of dozen planes would stop it?
 

Abraham Gubler

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Tony Williams said:
Against whom, precisely?
The presence of a clear and present danger has never been an exclusive reason for national defence. If this were the case then Switzerland would be a long way down the list of countries that wouldn’t need an air force.
 

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Tony Williams said:
Abraham Gubler said:
Tony Williams said:
So that begs the obvious question: since policing the airspace is the only practical function of the Swiss Air Force and they don't do that for most of the time (a 40 hour week, presumably), why bother with an air force at all? Why not just agree to pay neighbouring air forces to undertake this role, at a massive cost saving?
Err what about national defence?
Against whom, precisely?

And if circumstances were to change so radically that a military attack on the country was a serious possibility, do you think that the presence of a couple of dozen planes would stop it?
Still think it'd be like I sad before: Instead of hoping to defeat all comers, make the cost of an attack so disproportionately large relative to what would be gained that a potential adversary would just bypass/leave them alone.
 
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