Sunday, February 12, 2012
The heat is on
The Eurofighter consortium is getting desperate. Lack of money in the European customers defence budget has cancelled the Tranche 3B upgrade. But now UK is on the offensive in order to support the Eurofighter (and BAE). Previous classified details about the RAF mission in Libya has been released. This of course to stop all rumors about the Eurofighter lack of air-to-ground capability.
Royal Air Force Typhoons flew a total of 3,035 hours and 613 missions during NATO’s Libyan operations, during which they dropped 234 weapons.
Carrying up to 4x air-to-air missiles, 4x 1,000 lb bombs, a targeting pod and two under-wing fuel tanks, Typhoon can fly at 40,000 feet and at speeds of over 500 knots while using relatively little fuel.
Only the future knows what will happen with the Eurofighter. First the consortium have to deliver the ordered aircraft to Saudi Arabia. After that they can re-focus on developing the Eurofighter. One big problem is that the major Eurofighter users UK and Italy is also in the process of getting their F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This will add on the economical stress and even further reduce the available money to continue develop the Eurofighter.
What about Saab and the Gripen?
There has not been any more news about the Swizz evaluation. Before Rafale won the MMRCA evaluation Dassaul lowered the offered price to a level well below the Gripen. How they can do that with a two-engine aircraft is beyond my understandings. But Dassault was at that time desperate to get their first export customer. Saab will probably have to reduce their offer as well.
As i see it there are two possible outcomes of the MMRCA decision when it comes to the Swizz evaluation.
- Dassault will focus on the MMRCA evaluation and leave Switzerland for Saab. There are also rumors that UAE are still interested in Rafale so maybe three business cases at the same time will be a bit too much to handle even for Dassault?
- But, most likely Dassault will continue with the Switzerland business case. The MMRCA contract will result in most of the work being performed in India and Dassault need a gap-filler for their plant in France. The money from the MMRCA contract will also result in more financial margin to if needed even further lower the prize to Switzerland.