RAFALE, GRIPEN, TYPHOON for Swiss AF – Purchase postponed!

Dassault RAFALE fighter aircraft aerobatics
RAFALE - Photo © Xavier Cotton - http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

08/26/2010 Article adapted from AVIANEWS

As far as the Swiss Air Force is concerned, there has been two options so far – the choice of new fighter aircraft or postponement thereof, the second alternative has been chosen. You will find hereafter the Avianews webmaster’s analysis:

This is the Swiss Federal Council Message:

« However, given the current state of federal finances and priorities taken as a whole, the time of acquisition is postponed to no later than 2015. The Federal Council decided on the proposal of DDPS (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports) to postpone the replacement of 54 obsolete combat aircraft F-5 Tiger Air Force. The Head of the DDPS, Ueli Maurer held a news conference on the postponement which is expected to last at most until 2015. The Federal Department of Finance and the DDPS together confirm by the end of 2011 the conditions for an acquisition during the second half of the decade.  »

The reasons for non selection:

First, this is an organizational problem from the financial organization of Armée XXI. Remember, the people had voted for the new military organization with a comfortable 70% « yes »! id est a military downsized with a budget of only 4.3 billion Swiss Francs now. However, the parliament has never put forward this budget that painfully reaches 3.6 billion. The Swiss People is reportedly disappointed by such loss of income, and deception as well.

No F-5 replacement:

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 on apron
Typhoon FGR4 - Photo © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Replacing the F-5 is out of the question anymore but to get prepared for the next generation of F/A-18 from 2025. Consequently, there is more urgency to acquire a large number of aircraft as a whole block but split into several ones.

Consequences:

The losers in this case are the Swiss industry and jobs. Indeed, if the cost of a fighter plane is expensive, the returns on partnerships to « Offsets » were significantly higher and would have revitalized both the Swiss manufacturing industry and employment.

Competitors:

The three companies will meet in a few years for a new offer and therefore cannot comment on this « no choice »!

Dassault must be disappointed for they would certainly have won the contract with his Rafale. The version of the Rafale-04T was proposed with more powerful engines, the wiring for the METEOR missile, the new targeting pod Damocles XF and the brand new IDM (Improved Data Modem).

It bodes well for Saab because they now may complete the Swedish version of the Gripen E / F (NG), whose development is not completed yet and find a buyer with the Swedish Air Force (SwAF). Indeed, it must order the Gripen E / F by 2015.

EADS Eurofighter will be able to finalize its AESA E-scan radar and they are likely to reduce maintenance costs of the aircraft as promised this summer to the Switzerland Economy Minister Doris Leuthard at the ILA Berlin Airshow.

… To be continued …

Photos © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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RAFALE or EUROFIGHTER to become next Indian Air Force fighter jet according to Indian media – Russian and US media deny

Rafale fighter aircraft aerobatics at La Ferté Allais airshow in 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Amazing rumours have spread for a couple of days regarding the MMRCA (Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) or the MRCA Tender which is an ongoing competition to supply the Indian Air Force with 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft maybe up to 189 fighter jets.

The Indians have considered 6 bidders so far:

Typhoon (European Eurofighter Consortium)
Rafale (French Dassault)
MiG-35 Fulcrum-F (Russian UAC subsidiary RSK-MiG)
Gripen NG/IN or JAS 39 (Swedish Saab)
Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F (US Boeing)
F-16IN Fighting Falcon (US Lockheed Martin)

As you can watch the video below, two fighter aircraft have been quoted as finalists for the last stage: The EUROFIGHTER-Typhoon and the RAFALE.

However, American and Russian media deem that such statement cannot be true. Official results should be announced soon. Well, wait and see…

Photo above: RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 – © Xavier Cotton PASSION pour l’AVIATION

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New PICTURES of SMOKE over RUSSIA from satellite

Smoke over Russia Aug. 7, 2010
Smoke over Russia Aug. 7, 2010

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WARNING – The carbon monoxide level would be increasing dramatically in the Moscow region as well as in the capital center. According to some sources, hotspots rose up to 564. Italy and Ukraine promised aircraft to smother fires. France reportedly is about to provide some help as well.

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WILDFIRE in Russia – 52 died, 3,500+ homeless – Missile attack warning center threatened by flames

Wildfire threatens Russian missile attack warning center

17:31 07/08/2010 Wildfire is threatening to engulf the military command of the Russian missile attack warning center in the Moscow region, a spokesman for Russian Space Forces said on Saturday.>>

Views hereafter – click on the satellite picture – NASA courtesy:

Fires nearing Moscow Aug 2010

According to some sources, more than 50 people would have died so far, almost 4,000 would be left, and the blazes keep on spreading. Foreign governments talk their citizens into avoiding travels to Russia. Airports could still operate with numerous delays due to the smog that has reduced visibility between 600 and 300 meters. However, latest news stated that it would not be possible to land on Moscow anymore. Fire hazard remains in remote areas as this smog can be breathed in, and would increase in hazard for health. Moreover, toxic elements would be in the air.

Italy and Ukraine should send aircraft in an attempt to smother fires..

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Aircraft on USS Nimitz

As you can see the French Navy E-2 Hawkeye 2000 on this picture (below), the E-2 has evolved into an eight-bladed-propeller and glass-cockpit version. The photo was shot by Xavier (http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com/) from La Ferté Allais Airshow in May 2010.

E-2 Hawkeye at La Ferté Allais airshow in 2010
E-2 Hawkeye 2000 - © Xavier Cotton, http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/
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