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Belgium begins F-16 replacement program

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posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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The Belgian government has begun a survey to find the replacement for their F-16 fleet. They are expected to reach the end of their life in the mid 2020s. Delivery of their replacement would start by the end of 2022, with FOC reached by 2029. A 25 page survey was completed last summer, and narrows the replacement down to five airframes. They are requesting information on the F-35, the F-18 Super Hornet, Typhoon, Gripen, and Rafael.

Belgium wants to continue their successful partnership with other NATO nations, and is looking for a platform capable of offensive and defensive counterair, air interdiction, close air support, and what Belgium calls non-traditional ISR. They're expected to end the procurement phase by next year with approval by 2018, which would clear the way for the actual order to go through.


The Belgian government has started a survey process to pave the way for a program to replace the country’s F-16 fighter fleet.

The Air Combat Capability Successor Program Preparation Survey document, published on Jan. 8, follows on from a survey last June sent to the government agencies requesting information from the five perceived successors: Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault’s Rafale and the Saab Gripen.

Over 25 pages, the new document outlines what Belgium wants to get out of its new fighter, assessing the operational capabilities, technical and logistical aspects as well as the costs and risks. With that information, the Belgian defense ministry will then be able to ask the government for approval to start the F-16 successor program.

aviationweek.com...




posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The Super Hornet will be almost 25 years old by then, how long do they stick with the new fleet before starting to look again? Or is it more of a matter of where the technology is in comparison to what's available / price?



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Canada went through that process but most people agree it was window dressing. Apparently Canada is reviewing the decision but just applying better window dressing I think. The F 35 is the way to go in future air combat. If you can't win the skies you can't bomb enemies with enough force to win the battle.

Denmark can't be looking for all that many.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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The top limit of technology using the methods and materials available, may have been reached....Its extremely possible that we have to develop something entirely out of the box to go beyond the in production aircraft available.....
The Raptor seems to be the end of the road right now, but new propulsion sources or airframe materials like graphene or others may bump the process up another notch yet....
Personally im awaiting the drive the big black triangles use.....



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

At the moment, Belgium is looking most towards the F-35. Maybe not such a good investment, according to this article:

The Latest Russian Fighter Jet Blows America's Away



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: DuckforcoveR

If they go the SH route, it will most likely be the Advanced Super Hornet, with conformal fuel tanks, some RAM capabilities, and advanced sensors.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: soulwaxer

Yeah, you'll find a lot of that out there. The F-35 is much more capable than is being released publicly. It won't handle a T-50, or an Su-35, but neither will several other advanced platforms. It's not designed as a straight fighter, so it's not supposed to. It integrates with other fighters, and enhances their sensor envelope.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: soulwaxer

Appreciate the link but as soon as I read this I knew it was going to be a long read,

"In every scenario that the F-35 has been wargamed against Su-30 Flankers, the Russian aircraft have emerged winners."

That is just pure BS and the writer knows it.
The reality of air-air combat is changing and everyone knows it. This article says Stealth is basically useless...if so why are the Russians and Chinese and everyone else developing Stealth tech as well??? Of course it isn't useless. Radar getting better only makes Stealth more important.

Eventually we'll see. Nothing is certain in this world, but the F-35 destroying many Flankers is a bet the house type of certain.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: noeltrotsky

It's also pure BS, because the F-35 hasn't been wargamed against Russian fighters yet, except in one study, that put the F-35 and every other allied fighter and aircraft at such a huge disadvantage that they had lost almost the entire Western Pacific in less than two weeks.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: DuckforcoveR

If they go the SH route, it will most likely be the Advanced Super Hornet, with conformal fuel tanks, some RAM capabilities, and advanced sensors.


That's the way many people in Canada felt the country should go instead of the F 35. Excellent and proven airplane. If I was the Canadian government I'd have bought some of both, to be honest. The F 35's are expensive and should be babied a bit to manage costs. The Hornets can handle many of the same jobs at a much better cost.

The one engine, two engine issue is big in Canada. Everytime a plane limps home on one engine the press play it up that the F 35 would have been toast.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The more I look at the global situation, the more I'm beginning to feel that Stealth is moving from a party trick to a necessity. Countries that have had access to advanced anti-air systems and installations are under serious threat from radical groups, and if the technology gets captured the air forces will be in trouble. If by some means enemy forces do get their hands on some of the advanced SAM sites, air forces with stealth aircraft are the only ones that will be able to continue to operate. And I'm talking about airframes designed from the ground up with stealth in mind. You can take an old airframe and add radar signature-reducing effects, but if there is a mud spike around you're really going to want every bit of advantage you can get in assuring that your (very expensive) weapons platforms make it back to the base. I love the F-15, F-16, and F-18s, but adding RAM coatings and extra angles is not a way to make them go head-to-head with modern anti-air systems, it is palliative care.

But they do look great.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: noeltrotsky

That has been brought up a lot just about everywhere. The reality is that an F-35 probably wouldn't have been in that situation. Many single engine fighters have flown for years, even in bad areas, with few problems with their engines. The F-104 was flown by Canada for 25 years. There were a total of 110 incidents, resulting in 37 fatalities. Of the 110 incidents, 14 were engine failure. This is with flying the aircraft as a low level recon plane, as opposed to the high altitude interceptor it was designed as.

When the F-100 and the F-102, both single engine aircraft, had their accident rates compared to the F-101, a twin engine aircraft with a similar mission, the accident rates of the three aircraft were almost identical. And that was the J57 engine, designed in the 50s. Modern engines are designed to go hundreds, or even thousands of hours between failures, and within a few years we'll see engines that won't even require a rebuild during their lifetime, which is measured in decades.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: soulwaxer

Of course Russian Insider is going to bash an American jet. From what I understand Russia still has a ways to go with its engines?



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Hell, based on what they've released so far, the West is bashing it a lot more. Heh. Idiots really need a better PR firm.

Russian engines are still....interesting. The T-50 recently suffered a similar accident to the F-35 at Eglin, and burned out one engine, and burned through the fuselage.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

From the material i've read, the Russians are unable to create a jet engine with enough thrust/horsepower to compete against American/NATO weapon platoforms. So they tailored their Su lines for more maneuverability increased it's dog fighting capabilities and went all in with their anti aircraft resources, like radar and missiles.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: cenpuppie

Their big problem isn't the thrust to weight ratio, it's the reliability. One of their Condor pilots told me once that when they take off they have to have full power set for two minutes. If they keep running they launch.

The MiG-25 would have to have both engines rebuilt if they had to do a speed dash, because they would suffer so much damage from it. It's always been their biggest problem.
edit on 1/13/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Why don't they want Block 60s? It seems like a logical upgrade if they're gonna consider 4th gen airframes.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

If they go with the ASH platform, then technically they'll all be 4.5 Gen.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

True, but don't the Block 60s or even those newer "Super Vipers" fit the 4.5 Gen bill? I'd think that they'd at least be considered.



posted on Jan, 13 2015 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

They'd be considered 4+ or 4++, but not quite 4.5.




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