Lightnings Cheaper Than Super Bugs

SHAH ALAM: Lightnings are cheaper than Super Bugs. The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II is cheaper than the Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. It is likely that the Lightning being a single jet engine make it cheaper than the twin engine Super Hornet.

The lower price of the Lightning II became apparent in the notice issued by the US DSCA to Congress for the impending sale of both aircraft to Switzerland. Switzerland is looking to buy a new fighter to replace its 40-odd Hornet and F-5 Tiger IIs after a referendum narrowly voted in favour of the procurement recently.

An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter flies over RAAF Base Richmond during circuit and instrument landing approach training. *** Local Caption *** Two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft from No. 3 Squadron conducted daylight flying training at RAAF Base Richmond. The training included circuit training and instrument landing approaches as part of pilot familiarisation.

The Lightning II is the CTOL version of the aircraft which is operated by the US Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, JASDF and other NATO countries.

A USAF F-35A landing.

Several years ago Swiss voters said no to a purchase of some 40 Saab Gripen C/D fighters. This time around only the Lightning II, Super Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale are being considered for purchase. The Gripen E/D were excluded from the process as the aircraft was not operationaly when the Swiss procurement agency conducted a comparative testing last year.

Gripen E takes off first time

From DSCA notice:

“WASHINGTON, September 30, 2020 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.58 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Switzerland requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; forty-six (46) Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines; forty (40) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II+ (Plus) Tactical Missiles; fifty (50) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six (6) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATMS); four (4) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical Guidance Units; ten (10) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units; eighteen (18) KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82, Inert; twelve (12) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and eight (8) GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Full Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F‑35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center access; F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; flight test instrumentation; aircraft ferry and tanker support; Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40 inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); Cartridge, 25 mm PGU-23/U; weapons containers; aircraft and munitions support and test equipment; communications equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $6.58 billion.”

The Super Hornet one

WASHINGTON, September 30, 2020 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Switzerland of forty (40) F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $7.452 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Switzerland has requested to buy up to thirty-six (36) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft; seventy-two (72) F414-GE-400 engines (installed); four (4) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft; eight (8) F414-GE-400 engines (installed); sixteen (16) F414-GE-400 engines (spares); forty-four (44) M61A2 20MM gun systems; twenty-five (25) Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR)/other targeting pod; fifty-five (55) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electric Warfare Countermeasures Receiving sets; fifty-five (55) AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures systems; forty-eight (48) Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS); forty-eight (48) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); two hundred sixty-four (264) LAU-127E/A guided missile launchers; forty-eight (48) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting Processor – Networked (DTP-N); twenty-seven (27) Infrared Search and Track (IRST) systems; forty (40) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles; fifty (50) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six (6) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder Special Air Training Missiles (NATMs); four (4) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical guidance units; ten (10) AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder CATM guidance units; eighteen (18) KMU-572 JDAM Guidance Kits for GBU-54; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82 500LB, General Purpose; twelve (12) Bomb MK-82, Inert; twelve (12) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) All-Up Round (AUR); and eight (8) GBU-53/B SDB II Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). Also included are AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; High Speed Video Network (HSVN) Digital Video Recorder (HDVR); AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); AN/AVS-11 Night Vision Cueing Device (NVCD); AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems; AN/ARC-210 Communication System; AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder; AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; launchers (LAU-115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU118A); Training Aids, Devices and Spares; Technical Data Engineering Change Proposals; Avionics Software Support; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); Data Transfer Unit (DTU); Accurate Navigation (ANAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation; KIV-78 Dual Channel Encryptor, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CADs/PADs); Technical Publications; AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loader (SKL); Aircraft Spares; other support equipment; Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); aircraft ferry; transportation costs; other technical assistance; engineering technical assistance; contractor engineering technical support; logistics technical assistance; Repair of Repairables (RoR); aircrew and maintenance training; contractor logistics support; flight test services; Foreign Liaison Officer (FLO) support; auxiliary fuel tanks, system integration and testing; software development/integration; and other related elements of logistics and program support. For AIM-9X: containers; missile support and test equipment; provisioning; spare and repair parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical data; and U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. For GBU-53/B SDB II and GBU-54: Detector Laser DSU-38A/B, Detector Laser DSU-38A(D-2)/B, FMU-139D/B Fuze, KMU-572(D-2)/B Trainer (JDAM), 40-inch Wing Release Lanyard; GBU-53/B SDB II Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT); weapons containers; munitions support and test equipment; spares and repair parts; repair and return support; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documents; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $7.452 billion.

A Block III Super Hornet. Boeing.

Apart from the two fighter types, Switzerland has also been cleared to buy five Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. The deal include up to seventy (70) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile Tactical (GEM-T) Missiles and the other related equipment.

–Malaysian Defence

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