Swiss Air Force logo.
April 20, 2014
I will not repeat the comparative of the Gripen, I've done in my previous articles, I also mentioned my doubts about the competence of the Minister of Defense, but it crossed the red line at having a totalitarian and anti-democratic behavior with pressure on the headquarters of the Swiss Army and lies repeatedly.
I remind my readers that Mr. Maurer is part of the xenophobic far right party (UDC) which originally initiatives against foreigners and against the European Union.
On these skills, Mr. Maurer is an accountant graduate, but I find that even in this area it is bad, because the total amount of the purchase of Gripen will not be 3.5 billion, but cost more than 10 billion Swiss francs.
A clause in the agreements signed with Saab (Gripen manufacturer) that Switzerland will participate in development costs for the Gripen (the model does not exist, except on paper).
For those who wonder what the Minister of Defence as interest in this matter? It's simple: Mr. Maurer to a disastrous record that in his department, he put the kao in the Swiss Army, his goal is to finish his current term with a successful record, he is afraid to end up like President his party (C. Blocher) to get out through the back door of the Federal Palace, it relies on the folder for the Gripen announced positive results of its mandate to seek re-election in 2015, officers are to disgust Minister right that does more damage to his department in four years that 30 years of GSSA propaganda (Group for a Switzerland without Army, left side association).
May 18 next, the Swiss people will vote against funding the Gripen, it will remind Minister that we are in Switzerland a direct democracy, that the people are sovereign (Switzerland Constitution) and Mr. Maurer is an executive representative of it (personally it does not represent me).
Image above: In August 2008, on the twenty-six test flights carried out by the Swiss Army, the Gripen landed four times with reserve fuel below the minimum level of security. Image Credit: DR.
Of the 98 improvements required by Switzerland , only 7 have been installed on the prototype of the future Gripen tested. The aircraft may not be delivered until 2023 and weaknesses remain as challenging procedures to protect the Swiss airspace.
Reminder, the mission of Wednesday, August 13, 2008 promised yet simple. An airplane flies north of the Alps towards the Ticino and is the intercept. To do this, the evaluation team placed the Gripen D registered 39-822 alert on the military base of Sion (VS). The tarmac is dry, it's big beautiful . The controls of the fighter , the Swiss test pilot Peter Merz, alias "Pablo"; behind him, the Saab Gripen manufacturer, to ensure that everything goes smoothly. After taking off as planned, the Swedish plane flies at supersonic speed to stabilize at Mach 1.42. But suddenly, in the middle approach phase "Bingo Fuel"! The LED alarm fuel placed on the left of the cockpit shows the need abort the mission and return to base.
Gripen arrived barely in contact with the F/A-18 to intercept, but was unable to intervene and had to land in Emmen (LU). The ground, the Swiss Air Force Chief Markus Gygax is stunned: excluded to buy such a flying pan. In comparison, the French Rafale , tested under the same conditions two months later, has made the interception, returned to Zion, and has been able to achieve another successful year. Of the twenty-six test performed at the time by the Gripen flight, the plane landed four times with reserve fuel below the minimum level of security.
The Defence Minister Ueli Maurer swears he will not buy the Gripen then, but an improved version: the Gripen E/F. Its engine is 33% more powerful, it has a completely redesigned electronics board can carry more weapons and especially ... 46% more fuel. To Defence Minister, there is no problem: it's a bit "like one tuning a car", he likes to say (further proof of his imcopétence in this area).
Tests for the gallery Unfortunately, not everything is so simple. Orbiter.ch Aerospace has obtained a list of 98 improvements. It was given to us by an employee of the federal government, and we have it validated by three sources of aerospace. Contacted by the media, the Department of Defense does not want her to take a position on this list confidential part.
At this stage, only six of these upgrades were tested in flight. The rest is either a prototype or even on planes. Gripen NG Demonstrator - the plane is supposed to prove the feasibility of future enhancements device - is certainly equipped with the new General Electric F414G reactor, but it does not have the new wings. Redrawn on the computer, a few centimeters thicker, they will accommodate a few percent of additional kerosene, plus three large drop tanks of 450 gallons (1700 liters). During flight tests made from 2 to 4 May in Linköping, Sweden, the Swiss delegation had just wanted to test at least the famous tanks. Because they are essential to achieve sufficient autonomy surveillance zone, task force assumes example at the Forum in Davos. But in the end, "people of Saab refused", says one of our sources. With three external tanks, the aircraft would have been too constrained. "There was no need for tanks 450 gallons for missions", retorted the spokesman Kaj-Gunnar Sievert from Armasuisse.
The Rafale, the only fighter who spent all the tests to successfully. Image Credit: Dassault Aviation
Despite this less weight, the Armasuisse test pilot Bernhard Berset failed to exceed Mach 1.34, according to our informant. It must be said that the reactor, which will allow the aircraft to reach Mach 2.0, could be pushed only three-quarters of its ability, the air inlets of the Gripen NG has not yet been enlarged. The constraints faced by Swiss pilots were able to submit the aircraft was limited on many other points. And new AMRAAM missiles mounted IRST and the aircraft were in reality as hoaxes. Real missiles themselves are far from being operational.
"It's like a new car if they tried, but the mechanic told you that you do not have the right to exceed 80 Km/h ?, or take turns too tight ... and as for the new radio with GPS, you will board in six years, "laments one of our sources. But essentially Linköping was not to test the aircraft. Rather, it was to do well in the media: some tests that should be conducted during the fourth flight was even sacrificed for a new photo shoot. Images taken on the previous flight, breath our informant, were not beautiful enough.
Overwhelming evidence of Gripen NG does not have either the new radar, which would increase to 200 kilos front of the camera and would nosedive. "For the host, it will lengthen the future Gripen E/F 37 Centimeters", says Björn Danielsson, Swedish former military pilot, now a consultant at Saab. Clearly, we must build a new plane. So, the exercise has nothing to do with the tuning announced by Ueli Maurer. "Rather than modifying old Gripen C/D, it is much more efficient to build all new devices," and admitted Jürg Weber, head of the replacement project Tigers (TTE) in Armasuisse. It was on February 21, before the Subcommittee of the security policy to investigate the subject. Fifteen frames of the Department of Defence (DDPS) there are already cast. The minutes of the hearings were circulated within the administration and the medias could see them.
They highlight the inaccuracies of defense minister since the publication of our paper two confidential reports of the Air Force on February 12, which unveiled the poor performance of the Gripen, even with 98 upgrades . At a press conference on February 14, Ueli Maurer, for example, had argued that these documents were "completely dated. Since then, several officials have countered this statement to ensure before the House Subcommittee that "these reports are only valid". And the qualities of future Gripen are still to be demonstrated. "There is nothing in these reports that can support the decision", for example, stated at the hearing on April 3 Gérald Levrat, chief engineer of the team of Air Force operational assessment. Air Force which, as we know, have recommended the Rafale, Eurofighter with as an alternative. Hearings before the Subcommittee have shown that the planning staff of the army, as the direction of the project TTE in Armasuisse , also proposed the Rafale and the Eurofighter. In fact, it is obviously after intense discussions with subordinates Jürg Weber finally "decided to accept the Gripen", according to his own words. Claim, as did Ueli Maurer, the entire army rallied behind this third choice simply does not correspond to reality.
Worse than the performance of the F/A-18, the Gripen including in its future version E/F will remain in effect very "average", according to statements by Gérald Levrat before parliamentary "A bit like a knife that does not cut well. You can cut a string, but if it's harder, we'll make it harder". In his fourth appearance before the Subcommittee, 24 April 2012, the project TTE leader Jürg Weber, meanwhile, has finally conceded that weaknesses in the Gripen require "perhaps a change of doctrine commitment".
When today off from Payerne F/A-18 and fly at full power to Davos , he still has enough fuel to intervene on site. "With the Gripen , it can become tight , admitted Jürg Weber [...] And maybe it will patrol continuously over Davos to be able to intervene. "But, according to him, we might find solutions in order to fulfill this reasonably air policing mission", although it will not be as effectively as other aircraft or the F/A-18".
In addition to significant risks performance below the F/A-18 - fifteen years old - the Gripen E/F has a very important industrial risk. The chief engineer Gerald Levrat thirty years of experience in the aerospace test equipment, explained in clear terms: "In general, the seller ensures that deliver the best possible equipment. But there is always a gap between what we wanted and what we receive".
Image above: Caricature of the Swiss Minister of Defence: The model of Gripen would have evolved, it to a cigarette lighter! Credit not specified.
The Gripen E/F, has he confirmed, 70 % of the components are new. During development, problems can arise. Requirements may have been misunderstood, a bug can be accidentally introduced by a programmer, the manufacturer may refuse certain changes to avoid cost overruns.
"Saab has offered a fixed price" say in unison DDPS officials, thus affirming that the financial risk does not exist. Unfortunately, this warranty is not insurance against all risks. For the record, the aircraft A400M European military transport had also been sold at a fixed price. But soon the problems of development have emerged. After the renegotiation of contracts, the additional cost has now reached 38% and behind the initial schedule is four years.
Delays, precisely, are virtually assured with the Gripen. According to current planning, which has been postponed for two years, twenty-two jets should be delivered from 2018. But at the rate things are going, Saab may delay the delivery of the first Gripen E/F "in accordance with this was asked in 2020 or 2023", said Gerald Levrat before the parliamentary sub-committee.
Start from scratch According Frieder Fallscheer in charge of Air Force systems in staff planning, if the commitments were not being held, "the process of selecting a fighter could start from scratch", has he released before the subcommittee.
What annoys most the Swiss people is the Saab interference in this case, apparently the Swedes understood nothing of our direct democracy, they work all round lobby, is very badly perceived by the citizens of Switzerland. Other manufacturers know them, stay in their place without making propaganda or interferences.
And to finish this article apotheosis, here are copies of the test papers of three fighter aircraft tested by the Swiss Air Force (that Maurer tried to hide) you will find that the only aircraft that brilliantly passed all tests is the Dassault Aviation Rafale, the Gripen has passed some tests specifications of the department of Defense, complete failure, this is the worst test.
My previous articles:
Choice of a new fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force: Description and comparison: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2013/01/choice-of-new-fighter-aircraft-of-swiss.html
Swiss Air Force - The Gripen saga continues ...: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2013/02/swiss-air-force-gripen-saga-continues.html
Patrouille Suisse: a boss flies to the rescue: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2013/02/patrouille-suisse-boss-flies-to-rescue.html
The Patrouille Suisse will continue to exist: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2013/02/the-patrouille-suisse-will-continue-to.html
No F/A-18 outside office hours: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2014/02/no-fa-18-outside-office-hours.html
Images (mentioned), Text, Credit: Orbiter.ch Aerospace.
Best regards, Orbiter.ch