Military Aviation > Air Forces

Cost of small air force

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Since the Su-27 crash in Lithuania there's been a nice hot topic in here of our airprotection and again some high military officers(from all 3 baltic states) found it would be a good idea to buy about 5-6 fighters. So my quession is how expentsive would it be of buying 6 fighters and building all the infrastructure + training of the pilots and engineers? And if any1 of u is an expert then how real would it be that these penny-pichers would do the right thing.

And when already talking about the Lithuanian crash, why didn't the NTAO's plane respond? Su-27 was flying there low for over 20min, and none of it's teammates tryed to help him :( ???

I haven't looked into it much, so this post is 100% speculation.

Well, the fighters itself would not be that expensive, but with all the infrastructure, training and logistics, I think it will be quite expensive. I think total investment would easily be about 150-200 million USD. And then you still have to pay to keep the whole thing running. For just the aircraft, there is some decent equipment on the market for 5-8 million USD a piece, but considering the small number and all support and other equipment, total contract for 5-6 fighters would be about 60-70 million USD. I'd have to look into it bit deeper, to come with better estimates though...

I think the NATO planes are probably kept on 15 minute alert time (but might also be 30 minutes...). So it would take them 15 minutes to get airborne, then they still have to fly to the spot and locate the bogey. But there is also detection time. I don't know how good the radar network is, but since it was flying low it, it might even not have been noticed for the first 5-10 minutes, or not at all. Also they need to try to (radio)contact the aircraft first to see it is has a flight plan or authorization. If that fails, then they will launch a scramble.

Anyway, I don't think having your own fighters might have prevented the crash anyway.

I don't know what Lithuanians have done in last 2 years but as i read  about 2 years ago they had 2 old soviet radars, so it might of been that.

TuAF F-16C block 50 #93-0670 from 151 Filo is banking together with its sistership. "It was decided that longer missions will save time which we spend on preparations and becoming acquainted with the mission’s territory," Arturas Leita, commander of the Lithuanian air force, told AFP.

"Missions lasting four months will continue until the end of 2007," he added.

Turkey will also be the first to have woman pilot flying the NATO patrols, the Turkish embassy in Lithuania said.

The 80-member unit, with four F-16 fighter jets deployed to Zokniai air base, takes over from a Polish contingent that has guarded Baltic airspace since January.

Other NATO members have taken turns patrolling Baltic air space since March 2004, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the military alliance, because the three countries, which emerged from Soviet rule 15 years ago, do not have the aircraft to police their skies themselves.

Belgian, British, Danish, German, Norwegian and U.S. contingents have served in the region. Belgium is scheduled to take over the mission from Turkey in August.

They forgot the Dutch.

Welcome by the way!


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