SAAB JAS 39A/B/C/D Gripen

chestpain

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It's probably one of the cheapest way to Meteor.
For sure. Their security context is always about their neighbors, most of them with large areas gained from historic Hungarian lands in 1920, still full of Hungarian-speaking natives - I think that was a lesson for centuries to come...
Meteor easily provides air superiority against refurbished old F-16 and Sukhois (Romania and Ukraine), basically none of their neighbor will have anything comparable anytime soon (sans perhaps Croatia, I bet they will eventually buy a few for their new Rafales but they are historically rather friendly, Hungary even supplied them weapons during the Yugo wars.)

The question is more about the numbers, I think.
Having a single squadron isn't really an air force, it's more like an airspace policing force, nothing more. Considering the red hot issues around Ukraine and the order of dozens of F-16s by Romania, albeit 40+ years old planes, these suggest the Hungarians must be looking at least another squadron - of what, that's the question, more upgraded C/D or new Es? (I think we can exclude going with a second vendor at this point.)
After the Finnish loss Saab desperately needs some *new* sales. Soon more Rafale will be flying than Gripens, if they won't bag something this year...
 

TomcatViP

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I don't think that's that simple. I mean owning a missile that has range and air superiority.
To truly score a hit, any long range missile must be able to find its target and have a superiorly robust ECCM. Finding a target means also being passed coordinates from a survivable airframe able to refresh them. Upgraded F-16 are quite credible in that domain. S-27 also, at least with the tremendous power of their radar suite and acceleration.
Meteor mostly widen the buffer zone from where you are able to safely operate against pseudo-static enemy systems. Think long range Sam kill zone.

Meteor is then mostly a defensive countermeasure able to extend owner credibility over IADS deployment. Not an aggressive capability to wage war against any adversary. It fits perfectly Hungarian air force needs.
 

chestpain

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I don't think that's that simple. I mean owning a missile that has range and air superiority.
Well, it is still BVR 101: if someone can fire at you 20-30-40 clicks earlier than you can fire at him, and his missile has a much larger no-escape zone, then you won't engage, I guarantee you. :p
Granted, engagement is not only about one-on-ones but nevertheless fighters carrying AMRAAM, as of today, have nothing against fighters carrying Meteor in BVR fights.
To truly score a hit, any long range missile must be able to find its target and have a superiorly robust ECCM. Finding a target means also being passed coordinates from a survivable airframe able to refresh them.
I'm not sure what do you mean - Gripen C/D is perfectly capable to maximize the advantage of Meteor and IRIS-T, every possible way.
And if we specifically look at in-flight updates then the Gripen was ahead of F-16 long time ago, not to mention their far more advanced peer-to-peer networked warfare skills - something F-16 basically does not have at all, nor will ever have.
Not only that but IRIS-T is LOAL (and can even act as an interceptor.)

Upgraded F-16 are quite credible in that domain.
Hold on: in what domain any 40-y old F-16A, even if "upgraded" to Block 15-20 MLU, is "quite credible" against a Meteor or IRIS-T or, in general, an up-to-date Gripen? I'm all ears! :)
Just looking at the most basic thing, even those Mk3+ Gripen radars (updated Mk3s, around 2018, apparently the current state of those Gripens in Hungary) are superior to old APG-66 v2 (F-16A MLU) radars - and the Mk4 will give the Gripens another advantage over the old F-16As, I'd guess anywhere between 50-100% in terms of range.

S-27 also, at least with the tremendous power of their radar suite and acceleration.
I'm not sure what do you mean by "tremendous" - I vaguely recall both max output and its max radar range is below even the updated Mk3 of the PS05... or not? :confused:

Meteor mostly widen the buffer zone from where you are able to safely operate against pseudo-static enemy systems. Think long range Sam kill zone.

Meteor is then mostly a defensive countermeasure able to extend owner credibility over IADS deployment. Not an aggressive capability to wage war against any adversary. It fits perfectly Hungarian air force needs.
Well, that's exactly my point. :) There's no way any neighbor without Meteor will pick a fight with fighters carrying these missiles - unless they have quantitative advantage, hence my assumption of a pending Hungarian order for at least another squadron.
 

chestpain

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They spilled some beans about the Gripen's future and further fighter developments in Hungary:
  • confirmed Meteor and GBU-49 will be also entering service (as part of the MS20 Block II upgrade package), without mentioning time frame (final decision was made, they are working on allocating budget etc.)
  • they are already engaged with Elbit regarding TARGO II including joining the development (I'm guessing the fact that Elbit offers this HMS for helis, fighters and cargo planes makes it ideal to co-develop their custom version in Hungary?)
  • with all these upgrades they expect their C/D Block II will be technologically superior to most fourth-gen fighters (sounds like a polite bragging to me, aimed at certain neighbors :D)
  • no plan for fifth-gen fighters, F-35 would make little sense in terms of ROI; they expect a technological jump by 2030-40 in sixth-gen
  • they are watching both FCAS and Tempest, utilizing their existing political and industrial channels to gather information about the directions of both projects (and meanwhile are clearly ramping up the build-out of an industrial ecosystem: a new Airbus heli plant starts production in Gyula in July, Embraer's new R&D office already open in Budapest, last year they bought the Czech Aero V. aircraft maker and there's a mysterious joint development program with Saab, with pretty much zero info about it)
  • on the other hand they did confirm their plan to set up a 2nd fighter squadron and that it only makes sense to stay with Gripens (i.e. Gripen E), no final decision so far (my guess is they are working on budgeting issues - the current global inflationary cycle still seems to be on an upward trajectory and it's pretty rough on the HUF, and with elections coming in April they need to focus on securing the votes so measures supporting living standards clearly take priority over a new fighter squadron...)
Interesting. My bet is on the latter, they will be re-elected and will order a new E squadron this year - sans some global economic downturn, that would probably put new orders on hold.
 

helmutkohl

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  • with all these upgrades they expect their C/D Block II will be technologically superior to most fourth-gen fighters (sounds like a polite bragging to me, aimed at certain neighbors :D)
interesting news. about this part, which neighbor?
 

chestpain

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  • with all these upgrades they expect their C/D Block II will be technologically superior to most fourth-gen fighters (sounds like a polite bragging to me, aimed at certain neighbors :D)
interesting news. about this part, which neighbor?
Ukraine, Romania and Serbia, respectively (though Serbia is only if something bad breaks out down there, on the long run.)
Czech can match everything (same Gripens), obviously, and since Croatians are getting Rafales they will also be roughly on par, assuming they also get Meteor (no IRIS for Rafales, as I remember.)
 
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