Como estan los prognosticos para FX-II? (en ingles)

Brazil Embarking Upon F-X2 Fighter Program

28-Aug-2008 13:32 EDT

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Upgraded F-5BR
(click to view full)

In January 2008, a number of DID readers informed us that Brazil’s President Lula had authorized Brazilian Air Force Commander Juniti Saito to restart the long-delayed F-X fighter replacement program. “F-X2” aims to acquire 36 next generation fighters for the Brazilian Air Force, which is currently depending on Super Tucano/ALX surveillance and light attack turboprops, AMX subsonic light fighters, modernized F-5BRs whose design dates back to the 1960s era, and a squadron of 12 Mirage 2000s built in the early 1980s. A previous 2001 F-X competition was put on hold in 2003, and then canceled in February 2004 due to budget difficulties and political issues. The initial budget for the current iteration is said to be $2.2 billion, but the RFP leaves the door open for a fourfold increase over time.

Could the words “Brazilian fighter” begin evoking images unrelated to the Gracies? A proposed 50% boost to Brazil’s defense budget could be on its way to accomplishing that, and more. While the Navy and Army are also in line for funds to replace broken-down equipment, the fighters will be a critical centerpiece of the Forca Aerea Brasileira’s efforts. The aircraft under consideration are mostly the same set of 4+ generation fighters that were considered last time – but the competition may have become more important to at least one of the competitors.

Now Boeing and Lockheed Martin appear to have finalized their offers, which gives the competition more choices than it had before. DID reports on those decisions, and adds its assessment of their offers’ relative strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, Forecast International takes a wider-angle view of Brazil’s military revitalization…

* A Stirring Giant?
* F-X2: The Competition
* Analysis: F-X2, The Competitors [updated]
* Updates and Key Events [updated]
* Additional Readings [updated]

A Stirring Giant?
GEO Brazil Map Relief
(click to view full)

After its existing Mirage IIIs simply wore out and had to be retired at the end of 2005, FAB Command worked out a plan to find an emergency interim replacement. The final choice was 12 second-hand French Mirage 2000Cs. The airframes selected by Brazil were produced for France between 1984 -1987, and began arriving in Brazil in 2006.

Inducting 20 year old aircraft is not a long-term solution. Especially for a country that reportedly has about 37% of its 719 plane air force grounded, due to age and the toll Brazil’s environment takes on machines of all types. Like many of its neighbors, Brazil is also becoming more and more concerned about Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s large arms purchases, and his aggressive activities within the region. This is especially true in Bolivia, which supplies an important percentage of Brazil’s natural gas.

Brazil actually has a reasonably solid mid-tier to its air force. Its Brazilian-Italian AMX subsonic light attack jets and indigenous Super Tucano COIN/surveillance turboprops are quality fferings within their respective niches, and they are backed up by a small but advanced set of airborne, ground looking and maritime radar aircraft based on Embraer’s EMB-145 business jets. To augment the EMB-145s in patrolling the country’s huge coastline, 12 refurbished P-3 Orions have been bought for maritime patrol.

Brazil’s high end, however, is inferior even when judged by regional standards. This might not be a huge concern if its neighbors possessed only short-range or limited capability fighters. Venezuela’s large defense expenditures, however, and especially its recent purchase of long-range, 4+ generation SU-30MK fighters instead of more clearly defensive alternatives like the MiG-29, appears to have had the effect of triggering countermoves in several quarters. Even so, Lula’s government is careful to stress that this is not about an arms race. Defense Minister Nelson Jobim reportedly said in a 2007 public speech that:

“Brazil has well established, peaceful relations with all South American nations … one of our political priorities is economic and structural integration of the region … (and in 2008) we’ll also be strenghtening our military links…. [Brazil cannot] neglect its defense. Therefore, we will increase our budget outlays and investment in the army, navy and air force by more than 50 percent…. [Brazil] is elaborating a national strategy defense plan that will determine each military branch’s mission and the equipment it needs for its activities”.

According to official figures made public on Nov 4/07, Brazil has requested $5 billion for its 2008 defense budget, with the possibility of raising it to $5.64 billion. In 2007, Brazil’s military budget was around $3.5 billion.
AIR AMX Brazil Armed
AMX light fighter
(click to view full)

President Lula da Silva’s administration has larger plans than just equipment recapitalization, saying that “we must overcome the lack of strategic planning and the technological dismantling of the last two decades.” The new National Defence Strategy group is designed to plan and execute the recovery of the “capability of our armed forces and the technological edge we once had in certain fields.”

Brazil maintained an impressive niche capability during the 1970s and 1980s in areas like tank and armored vehicle design, rockets, missiles, and of course aircraft. Unfortunately, in a world divided by cold war allegiances, there was often little room for a non-aligned 3rd party exporter. While some projects like the Tucano succeeded, and others like the AMX enjoyed qualified success, many promising projects saw limited exports at best, or became failed efforts.

The world is no longer divided into such camps, however, which may offer the Brazilian defense industry a second chance if it partners well and executes smartly. According to the main guidelines of the da Silva’s long term strategy, Brazilian defense industry should look to become a player again in the export of missiles, aircraft and other equipment. DID would be surprised if UAVs, with their long endurance surveillance capabilities and natural connection to Brazil’s aviation industry, didn’t also become a priority. The overal thrust of Brazil’s policies is certainly clear: “We must convince ourselves that we can become a world power this century,” says President Lula da Silva.
PUB Brazils Army Amazon 1999
Military Review, 1999
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On the one hand, these statements remind one of the old joke that goes: “Brazil is the nation of the future – and always will be.”

On the other hand, anteing up with a 50% hike of the defense budget certainly displays seriousness, and Brazil has already set up a key partnership to develop the 5th generation A-Darter short range air-air missile with South Africa. A similar deal with Israel for its Derby/Alto radar guided missile is also expected at some point, and RFPs went out recently for a handful of medium transport helicopters (AW EH101, EADS EC725, Russian Mi-171V) and some attack helicopters (A109 ARH, AW-TAI A129, EADS Tiger, Russian Mi-35M).

The giant may be stirring again. A handful of fighters and helicopters, plus ships to patrol its coasts, won’t exactly make anyone a world power – and Brazil has an equally urgent and unfilled need for transport aircraft. Still, these buys may go a long way toward ensuring the nation’s ability to patrol and enforce its long borders. The right deals may also allow Brazil to re-establish its faded indigenous defense industry on the world stage.

F-X2: The Competition
AIR Rafale-M Launch CVN-65
Dassault Rafale:
Takeoff at last?
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For this second round of the FX competition, Dassault’s Rafale, Eurofighter’s Typhoon, Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen, and Sukhoi’s recently-unveiled SU-35 are all reported to be back in contention. All are expected to bid, and Boeing has added its F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet. The FAB is also said to be interested in the Lockheed-Martin F-35, but the finalized nature of the Lighting’s industrial production partnership program seems likely to keep the program from delivering the industrial offsets Brazil seeks. Meanwhile, a pair of competitors from earlier rounds appear to be fading out. Dassault’s Mirage 2000 production line is closing, and Brazilian interest in the F-16 appears to have faded; neither has been mentioned as a contender this time around.

Reporter Tania Monteiro of the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo writes that technology transfer will be an essential part of any deal, and quotes influential Workers’ Party Deputy (PT is Lula’s party, Deputy = MP or Congressman) Jose Genoino as saying:

“France is always the better partner. Concerning Russia, everyone knows the difficulties and we don’t know what is going to happen in ten years so that we will be able to guarantee our spare parts. The USA, traditionally, does not transfer technology…. We want to seek the lowest price with the most technology transfer.”

If his assessment of Brazil’s priorities remains true, that country could represent a critical last chance for France to get some export momentum and success behind its Rafale, which has lost every competition it has entered thus far (Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, et. al.). To win, France will need to come up with a strong package. According to reports, the indications are that technology transfer will be more important than cost in terms of the final choice. Defence minister Nelson Jobim:

“Whatever the final contract it must be closely linked to national development, to help advance in the creation of a strong defense industry and therefore the technological edge we are requesting.”

Analysis: F-X2, The Competitors
AIR Eurofighter-RAF Fires ASRAAM
RAF Typhoon & ASRAAM
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Some quick handicapping follows.

Eurofighter Typhoon (EADS/European): Technology transfer may prove to be an issue, but price is likely to be the biggest one. Eurofighters consistently sell for $110-130 million, which doesn’t square well with $2.2 billion for 36 planes. The most capable air-air choice in the group would provide unquestioned regional air superiority, but ground surveillance and strike performance is still provisional (Tranche I v6), or unproven (Tranche 2+). This has been fatal in competitions like Singapore’s, and may prove a handicap here.

On the plus side, EADS Airbus offers a potent option for industrial offsets, and other EADS subsidiaries have footholds of their own. Airbus military’s A400M medium transport may create additional military nterest in a long term industrial partnership, and EADS Eurocopter’s Cougar has just become the medium-lift mainstay of Brazil’s future helicopter fleet.
Gripen w. “smokewinders”
c. Gripen International
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JAS-39 Gripen (Saab/BAE) Saab offers strong industrial partnerships via its automotive parent, and has a record of successful technology transfer agreements. The next-generation Gripen Demo program offers key industrial opportunities, along with a high-performance, affordable fighter. Gripens can operate from highways if need be, which gives Brazil great flexibility in deploying them. They would also give Brazil’s Air Force commonality with A-Darter air-air missile missile partner and political ally South Africa, which operates JAS-39C/Ds.

These factors make Gripen a strong contender. Its F404/F414 engine offers the advantages of certain performance and a very broad customer base, but is subject to US export approvals if that’s an issue for Brazil.

A more pressing weakness may be the fact that each plane only has one engine, since Brazil combines vast over-water areas and even vaster wilderness areas to patrol. Those requirements usually translate into a focus on range and 2-engine safety, which have worked against Gripen in other competitions. Most of Brazil’s other fighters (Tucano ALX, AMX, Mirage 2000) have just one engine, however, so it’s a question of how the RFP requirements are set.
F-35B STOVL Landing
(click for landing)

F-35 Lightning II/ F-16BR (Lockheed Martin) Industrial partnership and technology transfer issues proved too difficult to overcome, so Lockheed is offering an F-16BR instead. It will probably resemble the F-16 “Block 70” variant being offered to India, with an AESA radar and built-in IRST/targeting sensors, an uprated engine, et. al. Both India and Brazil are fond of Israeli avionics and weapons, so those aspects are also likely to be common to both offers.

The F-16BR offers shares many of the Super Hornet’s perceived benefits and drawbacks: AESA radar and sensors and weaker American dollar on the plus side, poorer aerodynamic performance and distrust of America as an interfering supplier on the minus side. The F-16 cannot play the carrier-compatible card like the Super Hornet, and offers only a single-engine design. On the other hand, it does offer wide compatibility with other regional and global air forces, and its cost is significantly lower.

The F-35 would have offered a clear set of performance benefits oer competing aircraft. No aircraft in this group could have matched the Lightning’s advanced surveillance capabilities, and surveillance is a big need in Brazil. The F-35B STOVL variant also offered Brazil the ability to operate from small, dispersed runways, and it would have been perfect for aircraft carriers like Brazil’s Sao Paolo (ex-Foch). Unfortunately, technology transfer issues were not the F-35’s only problem. Other barriers to an F-35 win included questionable air-air performance, against Venezuela’s SU-30MKs, the low likelihood of deliveries much before 2016, and its single engine design.

Rafale (Dassault) Despite its past history, the Rafale has a lot of advantages in this competition. It can play the carrier-compatible card, since the Sao Paolo was once FNS Foch. Experience with the Mirage 2000 offers a common technological and training base, and France is seen as a good supplier for avoiding political interference and making good on technology transfers. The one real negative is the Rafale’s narrow range of integrated weapons – but offers of partnerships in some of those areas might serve to hit 2 targets at once by playing the tech transfer card more strongly. Since Dassault really, really needs this deal, they should be very motivated on price. If they can’t make it here, they may not be able to make it anywhere.
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SU-35 (Sukhoi/ Rosoboronexport) This was the aircraft Russia offered in the last round. Russian tech transfer is trusted, lack of political interference is trusted absolutely, and the aircraft offers an option that’s slightly better than the SU-30MK but still presents itself to the region as an equivalency move. The price will be good, and Sukhoi has some support in the air force – but service and parts delivery are almost guaranteed to be bad, and that gives the FAB real pause.

One wonders if the Russians have considered a partnership with India to offer the even better SU-30MKI, which is partly produced in India and already has all kinds of obvious slots for tech transfer because India insisted upon that, too. A 3-way deal that set up an engine plant in Brazil would offer India and other SU-30 customers a welcome second option, Brazil’s aerospace industry a critical additional puzzle piece, and the FAB removal of the biggest historical problem with Russian planes. Add an avionics hub from Elbit/IAI, whose products already equip a several Brazilian types and can be found in some parts of the SU-30MKI already, and the offer would have most bases covered, plus commonalities with the rest of Brazil’s air force, and new industrial links to the Indian tech sector. The question is whether the Russians are good enough at partnering to pull something like that off, or even willing to try.
F/A-18E, Parked
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F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Block II (Boeing) The Super Hornet shares the ability to play the carrier-compatible card with Dassault’s Rafale, but compatibility with a smaller carrier like the Sao Paolo would have to be established. Boeing also shares a key advantage with EADS’ Eurofighter when it comes to industrial offsets, thanks to its passenger aircraft division. The Block II version’s proven APG-79 AESA radar offers Brazil an attractive technology, and a weaker American dollar makes American exports more affordable.

On the flip side, the Super Hornet offers poorer aerodynamic performance than other competitors, falling behind in areas like maneuverability, acceleration, et. al. This weakness is compounded by the fact that Super Hornets sell for about $80-90 million each, placing them above the Gripen, F-16 E/F+, and the SU-35, but below the Eurofighter. Concerns about America’s propensity to use arms export bans as a political lever add a final complication to the Super Hornet’s odds.


Als Ich Kan
Tanto para decir: Ya tenemos el primer lote de rafales pagado.

Bue, al menos es lo más proable.
Yo no estaria tan seguro... Francia jamas le entrego los codigos madre de los M-III, ni de los M-2000, ni siquiera dejo que Embraer les hiciera el MLU... Y creen que Dassault les va a dejar meter mano fabricando el Rafale...

Pop quizz... Que paises han fabricado Mirage con licencia de Dassault???



Pop quizz... Que paises han fabricado Mirage con licencia de Dassault???

De la serie III/V varios, se me viene a la mente, por ejemplo, Bélgica. De la serie F-1, que yo sepa ninguno, y de la serie 2000, ahí si que con seguiridad que ninguno.



Forista Sancionado o Expulsado
Entrevista com Bengt Janér
"O Gripen é a melhor escolha"

Às vésperas do anúncio da nova política de defesa, [email protected] entrevistou Bengt Janér, diretor da SAAB no país. A empresa é uma das cinco principais detentoras mundiais de tecnologia de caças supersônicos de última geração. Janér também é diretor geral da Gripen Brasil, braço da Gripen International, que fabrica o caça do mesmo nome – o Gripen NG, caça multifunção que é a grande aposta da empresa para equipar as forças aéreas de diversos países.

Nesta entrevista, o executivo reforça que a empresa sueca está, mais do nunca, no páreo do projeto F-X2. Entre outros temas, ele ratifica a disposição da Gripen em transferir tecnologia para o sistema de defesa do Brasil. Esta, aliás, é uma das exigências do Plano Estratégico das Forças Armadas.

Primeiro vôo do Gripen NG
Linkoping 28 Maio 2008

[email protected] - Uma das condições do governo brasileiro no projeto FX-2 é a transferência de tecnologia. A Gripen atende a este requisito?

Bengt Janér - A indústria de defesa sueca tem uma tradição de transferência de tecnologia para o Brasil. Começou na década de 50, quando a Bofors transferiu para o Arsenal de Guerra do Exército Brasileiro a produção do canhão de 40mm e foi expandido nos anos 80 junto à indústria nacional (CBV). No contexto do F-X1, a SAAB já havia proposto um amplo programa de transferência de tecnologia que atendia plenamente aos requisitos do programa. Para o F-X2, a SAAB, fortemente apoiada pelo governo sueco, tem total disposição para transferência de tecnologia sem restrições. A empresa tem vários programas de cooperação em andamento no mundo, muitos relacionados ao Gripen. Na República Checa e na Hungria, todos os compromissos de offsets e transferência de tecnologia foram atendidos e, em muitos casos, excedidos. Junto à África do Sul, as primeiras aeronaves Gripen começaram a ser entregues em paralelo a um programa que envolve parcerias tecnológicas com a indústria local. A indústria sul-africana também participa na produção de subconjuntos estruturais para todos os Gripen produzidos na Suécia.

[email protected] - Porque um caça monomotor no século XXI?

Bengt Janér - A questão de monomotor versus bimotor na aviação de caça está mais relacionada ao tamanho e peso da aeronave do que à confiabilidade. O nível de confiança dos modernos motores de caça é excelente, permitindo que as forças aéreas adotem caças monomotores como seu principal vetor. É o caso do JSF (F-35), que será equipado apenas com um motor. Em especial, com relação ao Gripen NG, o motor selecionado é o GE F-414 que é derivado do F-404 com milhões de horas acumuladas com um histórico de confiabilidade demonstrada. A adoção de monomotor de alta confiabilidade traz como resultado um impacto econômico altamente favorável durante todo o ciclo de vida da aeronave.

[email protected] - Durante o F-X1, uma das críticas feitas ao Gripen era de seu alcance limitado. Como é o Gripen NG?

Bengt Janér - O Gripen NG incorpora uma modificação estrutural inovadora. O trem de pouso principal foi deslocado para a lateral e a fuselagem central foi alargada aumentando a quantidade de combustível interno em cerca de 40%. Com isso o Gripen NG passa a ter uma das maiores autonomias dentre os caças disponíveis no mercado, considerando-se apenas a quantidade de combustível interno. É importante também ressaltar que, juntamente ao aumento da capacidade de combustível, a estrutura foi totalmente reforçada e o peso de decolagem foi aumentado significativamente. Isso permite que com tanques subalares, o Gripen NG tenha um alcance maior que, por exemplo, o Rafale.

[email protected] - O Gripen NG está em desenvolvimento. Ele é um produto confiável?

Bengt Janér - Totalmente confiável. O Gripen NG é uma evolução da família Gripen e incorpora vários avanços e atualizações tecnológicas, como por exemplo, novos radares com maior alcance, e que só agora se tornaram disponíveis. Diversas características são resultado da experiência acumulada da frota. O Gripen NG é a resposta da SAAB – bem como a grande aposta da empresa – a demandas de mercado internacional por um produto inovador e com abertura para cooperação. Este fato é altamente positivo, pois o torna o único produto do mercado que possibilita a participação de outras indústrias aeronáuticas em sua fase de desenvolvimento permitindo assim a real transferência de tecnologia. Por isso que afirmo que estamos prontos para atender e superar todos os requisitos e expectativas da FAB e do Governo Brasileiro.

[email protected] - Na sua avaliação, quais são as outras aeronaves que atenderiam os requisitos brasileiros?

Bengt Janér - Esta é uma pergunta que poderia ser respondida pelos técnicos e autoridades envolvidas no processo. Mas, pelo que conheço de nosso país e dos fornecedores de equipamentos – não necessariamente de tecnologia – o Gripen seria a melhor escolha. Sem dúvida.
Perdon Ramiro, tenes razon, lo que nunca entrego fueron los codigos de acceso al/los radares del M-III, el Cirano II o el Doppler de Marconi... :yonofui:

Los unicos aviones fabricados con licencia fuera de Francia fueron los M-III Suizos y Australianos, y jamas volvieron a dar licencia de produccion... Jamas... :icon_bs:

Veremos que ofrecen...

la situacion es distinta mario... el MIII se vendia solo... al rafale si no hacen "algo" no se lo venden ni a la madre!!!... y eso que es un exelente avion

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