Slightly wild understatement there @Troll.
I LOVE the gripen
That looks like it has some potential
Gripen are awesome. Six meteors in a package almost as small as an F-5!
Very interesting and thorough operational analysis by Justin Bronk for supplying Ukraine with the Gripen.
On the Beeb today their resident “expert” reckoned that fighters would be no use due to the training/conversion required, plus maintenance, deliveries etc etc and said we’d be better off and more effective just sending lots more ammo instead.
oh, btw 1996:
edit: I just noticed something - am I imagining it or is that a SAAB logo in the large HUD?
Yeah, re-equipping with a totally different fighter is no small task.
Both of you raise very good points. That’s the reason sending them Poland’s MiG-29’s made the most sense to me, except that I question whether operating MiG-29’s against Russian air defenses and Su-27s makes the juice truly worth the squeeze in terms of cost/benefits.
I’d imagine if you looked at the Vietnam war, the USSR/CCCP got much better ROI (if that’s one way to look at it) from sending SA-2s than MiGs.
That said, I imagine that during the development of fighters like the Gripen aimed at export markets, a great deal of thought went into making the transition and operational spin-up as easy as possible.
Absolutely. SAAB is selling a complete package with training of the whole organization.
The export Gripens and later SwAF C Gripens have a lot of NATO compatibility built into the systems. Still, the pilots would need a lot of training, as would the maintainers… Not sure that’s the best use of resources in the middle of a war. Like you I think the Polish Fulcrums is the better option, right now.
IMO, the best option would be to have an international peace keeping organization to muster up a few squadrons of Gripens, Eurofighters and Lightnings II and start policing the skies of Ukraine. I wish we had an organization like that…
So do i.
Imagine how many children would be saved if we just showed some bloody teeth for once
That would put them exposed to Russian air defense which would mean that the peace keepers would be at war immediately.
Strongly Agreed. Unfortunately the international peacekeeping organization that we do have gave Russia a security council veto power….
True, but they wouldn’t have to be based in the Ukraine and if they were engaged over Ukrainan territory they would be at war and would have to respond.
More or less like in Korea.
Indeed unfortunate… Which is why the UN is unable to fulfill its mission, IMO.
OK hear me out. This is stupid but maybe not. We all learn enough about DCS airplane/helicopter x to use it in a weekend. If you already know the basics, these machines all share a fundamental logic. A pilot’s previous experience still applies. Take a MiG29 pilot and give him 2 weeks of intense F-16 training in AZ and I am pretty certain he’ll be fairly capable of taking off, launching an AIM9P at a Su25, and landing.
The hard part isn’t the pilot, it’s the mechanic (as others have said). Pay retired dudes $30k a month. There will be plenty of takers.
It had to be Two Weeks™ of course
I think that’s too optimistic though. Sure, you could probably teach an experienced pilot how do the basics, but you need to be proficient enough to use it during extreme stress and that takes time.
But sure, using a simulator to get the systems down, then do a conversion course. There’s no doubt the Ukrainian pilots could learn how to operate Swedish or US jets. I just don’t think it’s the best use of their resources, at the moment.
That could work. Maybe for pilots too… There are many military pilots who retire early and goes on to work for other countries airforces.
True, but pulling 7-9 G’s is a young man’s game.
Agreed. They could start down that road now, but I would expect it to be a year or two before they’re online, and the $ might could be better spent elsewhere now.
I agree to a point.
In the video that I linked above, Bronk discusses the fundamental differences between Russian (Soviet Block) cockpit design, in where there is an individual switch for every function, and Western design philosophy, where buttons have multiple functions, depending on context, SOI, and armament mode. In that regard, the MiG-29 does make the most sense, even with its short legs. He stated that the average Ukrainian sortie length is 30 minutes due to the lethality of the air defense environment for both sides. No need to climb.
Another consideration is the ability for the aircraft to operate from unimproved or damaged runways. Ukrainian ramps and runways are built on the Soviet model of using blocks. The spaces between the blocks are replete with FOD, on which something like an F-16 with its Hoover intake, would not be able to operate. If the Ukrainians built a nice smooth asphalt runway for the Viper to operate, it would quickly become a high priority target for Russian missiles. I always assumed that Russian/Soviet aircraft where built to operate on unimproved surfaces in order to operate away from airfields. But I now think that they are designed this way for normal operations.
Sure. But as you well know, first learned is best learned. MiG Symbology, muscle-memory, procedures and tactics are going to float to the top under stress for a long time. I bet it takes a long time to achieve combat-ready proficiency transitioning from one single seat to another.
Sure, that makes excellent sense when you consider that they had a surplus of labor, and shortages of employment, machinery and road building equipment.
When you have lots of manual labor (including gulags), I guess you start building runways using a method that unskilled labor can do without heavy equipment. Plus it can all be shipped in via train without having to put up an asphalt plant first.
Maybe we should all send them a ton (or fifty…) of drones instead? I’m sure I heard that Ukrainians are being taught to use drones at RAF Waddington, just up the road here. Give them the decent ones and have done with it. No need for planes and pilot transitioning. Just swamp the beggars with drone attacks.
PS - I know they already use ‘spy’ drones, I’m talking of the heavy metal, of course
In the context of our discussion whether the Gripen or the MiG-29 might make suitable contributions to the Ukrainian war effort, this FPP discusses flying and operating the Fulcrum. Thusly educated, I can see more clearly why the Ukrainian Air Force might think that the MiG-29 might not be the ideal candidate. A 150 mile combat radius stands out as its most negative attribute, IMO, but lots to unpack here.