Recently the Philippine Air Force or PAF has stepped up its efforts to obtain modern fighters, narrowing down their final selection to either the advanced Block 70 F-16 or the Saab JAS 39 C and D Gripen. This competition comes at a time with ever increasing tensions in the South China Sea.
The economic and geostrategic importance of the South China Sea cannot be understated: Some one third of global maritime shipping passes through it, accounting for over 3 Trillion Dollars in trade each year.
Today the PAF operates some 12 Korean Aerospace Industries FA-50 Fighting Eagle Light combat aircraft. These FA-50s began operations for the PAF in 2015, after a decade long hiatus following the 2005 retirement of the Northrop F-5.
Either the Block 70 F-16 or JAS 39 Gripen would be a significant step up from the FA50, let’s take a look at the proposed offers for each aircraft along with their pros and cons for the PAF
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You're listening to the pilot photog podcast. Let's take a look at the Philippines fighter competition between the have 16 and the Saab Griffin recently, the Philippine air force or PAF has stepped up its efforts to obtain modern fighters narrowing down their final selection to either the advanced block, 70 F 16 or the sob J S 39 C and D Grippin. The competition comes at a time with ever increasing tensions in the south China sea. Today, the PAF operates some 12 Korean aerospace industries, FAA 50 fighting Eagle light combat aircraft. These <inaudible> began operations for the PAF in 2015, after a decade long hiatus, following the 2005 retirement of the Northrup, <inaudible> either the block 70 S 16 or the JS nine grip, and would be a significant step up from the FAA.
50 let's take a look at the proposed offers for each aircraft, along with their pros and cons for the PAF, the F 16 fighting Falcon. AKA Viper is the world's most popular fighter with over 4,700 examples built and operation with over 30 customers. The F 16 is a single engine multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft originally developed for the United States air force. While initially designed as an air superiority day fighter, it is evolved into a highly capable bolts, high roll, all weather combat aircraft. Some of the F sixteens notable features include a side mounted control, stick to ease control while maneuvering a blended wing body, a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility and an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of G-forces on the pilot, featuring a thrust to weight ratio greater than one when not fully loaded.
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The F 16 has the power to climb and accelerate while flying vertically. Additionally, the F 16 was also the first aircraft to implement, relax, static stability with a fly-by-wire flight control system. This intentional instability helps make the FCC in a truly nimble aircraft continuously in production and undergoing upgrades. Lockheed Martin has offered 10 single seat blocks, 70 S 16 seas along with a couple of two seat blocks, 70 F 16 DS to the PAF. The deal also includes 15 Northrop Grumman, a N APG 83, AESA scalable agile beam radars 24 aim 1:20 AM ramps of the C7 or C eight variant and assortment of bombs along with GPS and laser guided kids and the associated support equipment to maintain the fighters.
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Their proposed Theo also includes training and is valued at up to 2.4, $3 billion. The S 16 proposal comes at the same time that two additional offers have been submitted to the Philippines. One is for the procurement of 24 AME NYNEX. Next block, two Sidewinder air to air missiles, which is valued at $42.4 million. And the other is for 12 AGM, 84 L one harpoon blocked two anti-ship missiles, which are valued at 120 million. The additional offer of the harpoon is interesting because this would greatly enhance the Philippines anti-ship capabilities. He determined that maybe needed in the south China scene. The black, he represents the world's newest and most advanced production F 16, which includes upgraded avionics and infrared search and track, or I R S T sensor and an incredible 12,000 hour service life.
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Lockheed Martin claims the block 70 F 16 is a world's most advanced fourth generation fighter. Where are the PAF to go with yes, 16 option. So MES 16 D models could be hot transferred from the U S national guard to help train PAF pilots and how to fly and operate the Viper. The Saab JS three nine Griffin is a mock two single engine light multi-role fighter, which implements fly by wire controls and makes use of a relaxed, clearly designed for improvement. Movability notable features include Delta wing with forward canards and side air intakes manufactured by sob, a Swedish aerospace company. The grip is designed to be easy to maintain, operate out of unimproved, airfields, or even roads, and have a quick turnaround time between missions.
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Saab has offered a PAF 12 new C and D models of the grip in, and if the PAF chooses the grip and they will be delivered with the <inaudible> standard DMS 20 standard includes the PS zero five, mark four pulse Doppler radar. The mark for variant of the radar improves air to air detection ranges by up to 150% as compared to the mark three version while also featuring advanced jammer suppression, and the ability to detect low radar cross-section targets for these reasons many consider the mark four version of a PSE zero five radar to be the best non AESA radar for a fighter aircraft in the world. In order for the pilot to interface with all of the avionics Saab develop the EAP 17 cockpit display system, which through intelligent information management reduces pilot workload and provides pilots a high level of situational awareness.
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Along with this grip and pilots, he's a Cobra head mounted display system or HMDs. The Cobra HMDs is based on the striker HMDs used on the Eurofighter and delivers target queuing information, flight parameters, and sensor data. The helmet can even be equipped with chemical biological filtration system to further boost the grip and sensor suite targeting and reconnaissance pods can be fitted to the grip in which right, even more precise delivery of munitions and can relay reconnaissance data to other elements. Although a small lightweight fighter, the grip, and carries a formidable sensor platform when it comes to armament the grip and makes use of the internally equipped Mouser BK two seven, a 27 millimeter revolver Canon capable of firing 1700 rounds per year for the two seat version of the grip.
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And the Canon is removed to make room for the added pilot edition. The Griffin has 10 hard points, one on each wing tip 200 each wing, 300, the fuselage and one for mounting targeting or reconnaissance pods. The gripping can carry about 14,330 pounds of ordinance and equipment. Having been designed as a true multi-role fighter. The gripping can carry an incredible range of weapons, including air to air, air, to ground and anti-ship missiles. Additionally, since the grip was designed as a low cost fighter to operate out of unimproved airfields, or even roads, the grip in according to the sob can be refueled and rearmed in as little as 10 minutes by a team of one technician and five semi-skilled personnel, the grip, and also uses a licensed built version of GEs F 4 0 4 engine, the same type used on the super Hornet and the FAA 50 pH fighter, since a PAF has already operating and maintaining the FAA 50 little training, it will be needed by maintainers in servicing the <inaudible> variant found in the Griffin.
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Additionally, the overall price of the sob offer has come in lower than the one proposed by Lockheed and overall, the Griffin is less expensive to produce and maintain than the F 16. Why the F 16 makes sense? The block 70 of 16 includes the AAPG 83 active electronically scanned radar. Hey, highly advanced radar system that provides fifth generation capabilities to the F 16 by making use of hardware and software commonality with F 22 and F 35 AESA radars. This radar platform is also being retrofitted to the existing F 16 fleets of several regional users, including South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
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Additionally, the 12,000, our service life means that the international house 16 fleet will be capable of operating through 26, the and beyond why the grip. It makes sense. Recently, the PAF has publicly shifted his preference from the F 16 to the Griffin, largely due to the lower cost of purchasing and maintaining the JS three nine. Additionally, Lockheed has stated that the first batch of three or four Vipers would take some three years to deliver Paul Saba's committed to begin deliveries us in two years, following the notice to proceed as mentioned previously, the gripping is also suited for operations out of unimproved, airfields, or even roads providing some tactical flexibility when it comes to deployment, given this information, the grip, and appears to offer an inexpensive and quicker to deliver option than the F 16 conclusions.
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The PAF choice of a fighter could go a long way in shaping strategic interests in the area. Many feel that if the SCC is chosen, it will strengthen us Philippine relations and allow for the continuous ability for the U S to rotate in and stage troops from the Philippines. In fact, as of the recording of this video, Manila has reaffirmed that they are keeping the Philippines United States, visiting forces agreement, or VFA intact the economic and geostrategic importance of the south China sea can not be understated. Some one third of the global maritime shipping passes through it, accounting for over $3 trillion in trade each year, the Philippines is in a key strategic position as it composes the Eastern border of the south China sea, along with the regional challenges being faced by China's growing military presence.
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The Philippines is also dealing with localized insurgencies, which include communist guerrillas and separatists movements in its Southern most islands. For these reasons, the PAF has an immediate need for a modernized fighter as soon as possible. What do you think which fighter is best for the PAF? Is it the Viper they're gripping? Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to this podcast. So you don't miss any future episodes. You can also check out my YouTube channel. I'll leave the link in the show notes below. And lastly, you can find me on any social media platform at pilot photog be well, stay safe and see you next.