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  1. #351
    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    And to think that $800m is just the MDE cost of the 14 aircraft. Nevertheless $57m MDE for a Viper 70 is pretty reasonable.

    Sounds as though the Slovakians got some discounting since the original State Department notification.

    https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/sl...ation-aircraft

    It may pay the Bulgarians to do the same. I believe they have been startled by the telephone book numbers coming back to them after their request for just 8.

    https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/bu...rcraft-support
    I think the Bulgarian President is happy he vetoed the purchase of the F16's, Lockheed are taking the p*ss with some of their pricing. There should be no way an F16 should cost anywhere near an F35 or more if you look at some recent deals.

  2. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    I think the Bulgarian President is happy he vetoed the purchase of the F16's, Lockheed are taking the p*ss with some of their pricing. There should be no way an F16 should cost anywhere near an F35 or more if you look at some recent deals.
    It is not all LM's doing, the MDE cost of the proposed Bulgarian airframes are possibly not dramatically different to the Slovakian deal. A lot has to do with the steep prices from other suppliers of the capability - namely in munitions, ECM/EW and other avionics plus training and support over a number of years. That is where the fiscal pain really is and why a basic rule of thumb is whatever is the MDE / GWS cost of the airframe one must at least double it to get the operative capability cost.

    Once KAI is cleared by LM their development partners (whom are withholding AESA permission to protect the F-16 market) to allow the Elta's ELM/2052 AESA radar instead of the current ELM/2032 on the proposed FA-50 Block 20 (with conformal tank, A2AR, Sniper, the F-414 engine upgrade option, Link 16 and BVR) then the F-16V will come under real costing pressure in the market from a much cheaper but capable modern competitor in a number of markets such as South East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and South America, whom will possibly decide that it is better to have a full squadron capability from FA-50 B20's or a short Squadron of F-16V's for the same kind of capability outlay - and the flexibility to incorporate Israeli tech and munitions instead of US. The Koreans are aiming for under 50B won (€38m) for the Block 20 with AESA in the market. LM are trying to have their cake and eat it.

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  4. #353
    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    It is not all LM's doing, the MDE cost of the proposed Bulgarian airframes are possibly not dramatically different to the Slovakian deal. A lot has to do with the steep prices from other suppliers of the capability - namely in munitions, ECM/EW and other avionics plus training and support over a number of years. That is where the fiscal pain really is and why a basic rule of thumb is whatever is the MDE / GWS cost of the airframe one must at least double it to get the operative capability cost.

    Once KAI is cleared by LM their development partners (whom are withholding AESA permission to protect the F-16 market) to allow the Elta's ELM/2052 AESA radar instead of the current ELM/2032 on the proposed FA-50 Block 20 (with conformal tank, A2AR, Sniper, the F-414 engine upgrade option, Link 16 and BVR) then the F-16V will come under real costing pressure in the market from a much cheaper but capable modern competitor in a number of markets such as South East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and South America, whom will possibly decide that it is better to have a full squadron capability from FA-50 B20's or a short Squadron of F-16V's for the same kind of capability outlay - and the flexibility to incorporate Israeli tech and munitions instead of US. The Koreans are aiming for under 50B won (€38m) for the Block 20 with AESA in the market. LM are trying to have their cake and eat it.
    KAI have a product that really could be the F5 of today, the Golden Eagle family even as they stand today offer a cheaper alternative for air policing etc than full war fighting fighters. One could have 3-4 FA-50s for the price of a Eurofighter et al. Can't wait to see if and when they get to offer the Block 20.

  5. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    KAI have a product that really could be the F5 of today, the Golden Eagle family even as they stand today offer a cheaper alternative for air policing etc than full war fighting fighters. One could have 3-4 FA-50s for the price of a Eurofighter et al. Can't wait to see if and when they get to offer the Block 20.
    In fact it is the modern take of A-4 Skyhawk as well as the F-5 because it has great A2G capabilities and will soon integrate the Taurus KEPD-350 K2 for Block 20 in the maritime strike role. KAI-LM did a lot of development work on the FA-50 Fighting Eagle in preparation for the USAF T-X competition such as the DART hump and A2A probe, AN/USQ-140 (V) Link 16 Data Link Terminal and AN/AAQ-33 Sniper. Unfortunately for KAI, the Boeing-Saab T-X offering was less capable but significantly cheaper and therefore won the T-38 replacement contract. Of course all that work will now translate over to the Block 20, with the Block 10 essentially being the Block 0 FA-50 with AN/AAQ-33 Sniper.

    The RoKAF report low maintenance man-hours per flight hour (MMH/FH) of 5.2 with their current FA-50 fleet and a US$5500 operational cost per flight hour (OCP/FH) which is a third of the KF-16 in RoKAF service. The other interesting fact is that the aircraft was designed for an annual flight utilization rate of up to 360 hours per annum over a 25 year period with an airframe lifespan of 8500 hours. This higher annual utilization rate is well in excess of other combat aircraft such as the F-16 or F-18 in which 250 hours p.a is regarded as heavy utilization. Note though if the airframe was used in a strictly combat role its real world annual utilisation rate would be 1/3 less due to likely greater wing loadings.

    As for range. Originally this was where the T-50/FA-50 range was poor. However, with both 2 x 150 gallon drop tanks and the 152 gallon DART hump tank would provide for an increase in operational range, increase in endurance and an increase in CAP mission time. I don't have the combat range figures but the ferry range with drop tanks and DART gets out to a respectable 3750km. And of course the DART tank can take boom refuelling and from the T-X has come the probe and drouge capability.

    The other issue that the Block 20 hopes to resolve was essentially the underwhelming climb and turn retardation using the standard F-404-102 of the FA-50 with just 17,000 lb of thrust. The option that KAI will offer to customers an upgraded to the more powerful yet efficient F-414-KI which produces 22,000 lb of thrust will solve that considerably.

    But to really be a contender / survivor in the air combat space it does need the AESA radar at the sharp end.

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  7. #355
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    The T-50 family is very similar to the T38/F5 family both of which were developed from the N156. Trainer, ground attack and low cost fighter. Also the FA-50 could be seen as a cheaper version of the JAS39, not as capable but a lot cheaper to buy and similar running costs. Both are roughly the same dimensions and share engines. It would have been interesting if KAI had continued to develop the single seater... but the KF-X takes all their effort. Will be interesting to see that when it is finished.

    The 12 a/c that the PAF got cost $420m, so $35m a copy is a hard price to beat, let's see what an armed version of the Boeing/Saab TX will cost.

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