October 1, 2023

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Czech Republic: Why we got the F-35A, ‘full of medicine’ answer.

Czech Republic: Why we got the F-35A, ‘full of medicine’ answer.

Choose Czech Republic to buy 24 F-35A, This is being done this year at a potential cost of $5.6 billion (including the core arms package); It also caused a great deal of local vitriol, so the Ministry of Defense published a lengthy commentary text To justify it with the title “F-35: Respond to inaccurate and misleading information!

And the Czechs are in the F-35 club and the Greek JSF is on the “ice”?

Public interest in the country has been focused on the confrontation with the Swedish cost Gripen E, Which seemed like a more “expected” choice, since the Czech Republic has 14 countries Gripen C, With the situation Leasing From the Swedish Air Force. So, since he has the relevant experience and infrastructure, it is assumed that he will choose the next model Gribben, by -E. But no, the Ministry of Defense is categorical:

So it was mentioned in the beginning that F-35A Cheaper than Gribben E. This is evident in the prices offered by the USA and Sweden, while also leaving a “bite”. difficult, Its maker Gripen, For its part, it offered a price much lower than that of the Swedish “government”…

However, the Czech Economic Evaluation did not use the well-known “trip cost per hour” indicator, which is described as imprecise and difficult to compare, but it remained in place. To the total cost of operating 24 aircraft annually. So – always according to the Czech answer – this seems to be for F-35 eIt’s about 25% more expensive than… Gripen C/D», But in general F-35 It offers more features and has a longer lifespan. The Czech response indicates that the comparison was made with operating costs Gribben C/D Not from E which is higher, so it implies that the two planes at the end (F-35A And Gripen E) It would be roughly the same in operating costs, so the Swedes would lose out again, being technologically inferior.

The Czech Republic is arming itself, with defense spending amounting to 2% of GDP

In response to internal criticism, the ministry stated that “we judged based on official data provided to us by foreign governments, While various items circulating on the internet are not a reliable source when a country is planning its defense capabilities decades into the future.

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To evaluate the Czech Republic, 7 basic criteria were used, and price was one of them, and then the evaluation was done by reducing what each aircraft offers in terms of capabilities. And there “…the F-35 Came first and Gripen “Not even a second.” (The irony here is the wording raises the tone, perhaps revealing that the Czechs are dissatisfied with the Swedish offer and service delivery.)

Gripen “Made in Brazil” but at what cost…

Regarding the expected lifespan of the two aircraft, the Czech Republic estimates that F-35 -And fifth generation aircraft in general- He has a future of fifty years, as it will be constantly upgraded and has the right design to evolve mechanically and programmatically. The same, in terms of longevity of construction, has been reported by many other NATO countries that have purchased aircraft.

Another point that the official Czech response to the Swedes “opens” is as follows: there was, they say, a Swedish proposal to give them old Gripen Which they are currently renting, with the condition of purchasing 12 new ones Gribben E. But the matter is not in line with the country’s defense requirements of 24 new fighters. Saying the following: “If we accept the Swedish proposal we will keep the old 14 Gripen And we’ll get 12 more E’s, in a generally ineffective set. Especially if we take into account that we are talking about fourth and forty-fifth generation aircraft that will face future aviation challenges for only a short period and do not offer what fifth generation aircraft provide.”

Commenting on the criticism directed at “ F-35 They are expensive and will not be fully exploited due to technical immaturity,” the Czech Ministry of Defense answers emphatically: “Without fifth generation fighters, our air forces would be outside NATO.If we want an air force with aircraft that do not need to be replaced every few years and are able to fulfill their role, It is necessary to purchase F-35». As for the possibility of using American fighters, it is noteworthy that the Czech Air Force has already entered the modernization phase, so when the first batches arrive, they will be ready to operate them at their maximum capabilities.

there he is F-35 It has been described as a crucial link in the overall modernization of the country’s armed forces: “It is not just an aircraft, but also an extremely capable air defense and sensor element thanks to stealthily By design, it can penetrate enemy territory with minimal risk, and not only attack there, but mainly collect data about enemy positions, number of units, type of means, and so on. It can connect to other data sources, evaluate it and provide it to the Czech and NATO Armed Forces. Without the F-35 We will not have these capabilities. “No other aircraft can reach this far, attack so far, and collect as much data.”

Sgt. Todd Beddow, 33rd Fighter Wing, performs checks on an F-35A Lightning II as it refuels after its first landing at Duke Field, Florida. The aircraft was there participating in a joint multi-wing major incident response exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Technical Sgt. Sam King)

In other parts of the response, the Department of Defense asserts that it has “accurate costs F-35”, How can he build the necessary infrastructure for this (he will upgrade the base Caslav), While it is clear that the total cost of operating US fighters will be higher than the initial purchase price, this has been calculated over a 30-year period, he explains. How did they obtain detailed data from the US government regarding the operational cost, so the aircraft equipped with fuel and ammunition come out relatively better than other platforms, as their cost is high (“less than 25%) but as they actually said there is a clear trade-off in “what They get it from their abilities. In fact, it was explained that even in the early years of the fighter purchase, where it would be paid for and the infrastructure would be built (i.e. the service fund would be large), the annual cost would then “not exceed 10% of the total.” Defense costs.

How many F-35s will Switzerland finally buy? Costs in detail and Greek “forecast”.

There is another point in the answer that reveals a lot and it relates to criticism Due to the limited availability of the F-35, based on reports from the Government Accountability Office, the auditing agency of the US Congress. With data saying that in 2022, 50% of fighters identified in the United States were reformed. So the Czechs respond that “GAO estimates do not distinguish between the three types of F-35s — the A and the more technologically complex B and C models — so the relevant report may be misleading.” But insofar as Gripen also has an availability rate of 51%, “So it’s no different.” In a new “nailing” for the Swedes.

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For our part, we can only comment on three elements: the first one that we have already said, which is the rather angry style of the general text, which leaves many hints about the Swedish presentation (although justified, they are not usually formulated in this way for reasons diplomacy). ). The second is Conclusive defense of him F-35 From the Czech side, which generally wants to “crush” any argument against the militants. Of course, here comes the third element, which is that all of the above cannot be documented with numbers, because – as the declaration itself admits – they are not transferable. But in general we have a noticeable popular intervention in his favor F-35 From a “new customer” to him, which shows the extent to which the introduction of the American fighter affected European “purchases”.winning many contracts on our continent, thus reducing sales from Eurofighter And Gripen.

It will probably continue… sooo, Likewise in Greece, the same discussion has already been opened. With many arguments in its favour F-35 But also many counter-arguments, in which both analogies and outrageous assumptions permeate. Be patient, and the topic will be subject to discussion, especially when we are talking about this large amount of weapons. Among them is the famous “Investments”. State Security Investigation”, It is described as a near-magical solution to revamp the domestic defense industry, but with many gaps in terms of what and whom it concerns, how it will be implemented and whether it is a one-way or supportive approach.

A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II, assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, flies over the base and surrounding area on February 14, 2018. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35A will provide the next generation of stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerabilities for the United States and allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee)