Gone fishing in Norway


Norway’s surprise decision last week to support the Lockheed Martin F-35 was based largely on an analysis by the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. Among other things, its computer simulations found the F-35 superior to the Gripen NG in dogfights against the SU-30. 

So I called Oslo this morning to ask for an interview with the director. Alas, he’s off this week deep-sea diving in Egypt! The timing of Norway’s announcement caught most observers expecting a mid-December update by surprise. Perhaps the vacationing director of Norway’s defense research unit was caught off-guard as well?


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4 Responses to Gone fishing in Norway

  1. E.Philpott 25 November, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    The choice of F-35 for Norway was a surprise to me also and I have some concerns-
    Was pressure put on Norway to accept this aircraft by the americans?
    Will their machines have the same RCS as american aircraft?
    Will they be able to service their machines independantly?
    Is F-35 the right choice considering it is just a bomb truck which cannot ,if I have heard correctly, outurn,outfight or outrun legacy fighters?
    In short something smells about the whole deal and that disturbs me.I feal this way as I am descended from the ancient Norse who settled in th the north of england nine hundred years ago and one day I wish to return to the homeland find a good women and have a blonde blue eyed family.Naturaly I want to protect all this and I cannot see that happening if my home guard airsupport is JSF.We shall be under the yoke again like in 1940. Gripen NG was better and I think cheaper in the long run than F-35.

  2. E.Philpott 25 November, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    I have concerns over this deal.
    Was pressure brought to bare on the Norwegain goverment by the americans to accept F-35?
    Will the RCS be the same as american fighters?
    Will they be allowed to indepentaly service their machines?
    Is F-35 the right choice if according to some reports it cannot outrun or outfight legacy fighters?
    I am concerned as I am of Nordic blood descended from the Norse who came to england around 800 AD and one day I want to return to the mother land find a good women,then make a blonde blue eyed family. I want to protect all this and if my home guard air support is JSF we shall be under the yoke again like in 1940.SAAB Gripen NG would have been cheaper in the long term with more independance.

  3. vivendi 26 November, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    Actually the more critical simulations were done using a future PAK FA, not SU 30. Gripen did not do very well in simulated (BVR) fight with a stealthy 5. gen Russian airplane. F-35 completed the simulated missions and survived for the most part.

    Also Gripen will not survive in the vicinity of double-digit Russian SAMs, whereas F-35 will (for the most part) survive in the vicinity of double-digit SAMs.

    Erik Diesen, Defence chief in Norway said Gripen NG would be adequate for the next 5-10 years but not 20-30 into the future. This also indicates that Gripen NG would do fine against SU-30 (and probably also SU-35) but not PAK FA.

    Eurofighter realized they would lose and withdrew from Norway and all other competitions with F-35. The surprising thing is that the Swedes did not do the same. Capability-wise a 5.gen plane beats 4. gen any day. When fly-away price AND LLC are also cheaper than Gripen (which again is probably cheaper than all other 4.gen planes out there) picking F-35 becomes a no-brainer.

    Why should Norway not pick the cheapest plane with the best specifications for the most important aspects of a modern fighter (VLO, sensors, HMI, EW suite) and acceptable specs for the rest (speed, acceleration, manouvrability, range, payload).

    Gripen NG will be an excellent airplane, with lots of bang for the bucks, but only in comparison to other 4. gen jets. Saab should concentrate on countries that do not consider F-35.

  4. Stephen Trimble 26 November, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    I can find no fault with any of Vivendi’s thinking.

    Some may question the value of any BVR simulation, of course. And i think the US Air Force Association has evaluated the F-35 as inferior to the PAK FA. But certainly superior in comparison to the Gripen.

    I know the Gripen fans will also point out the value of the Meteor missile in comparison to the F-35′s AMRAAM for BVR engagements.

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