Fighter-talk

Philippine defense-related social networking sites have been awash with informal fighter aircraft recommendations for years. Many are simple collections of photographs of fighter aircraft with a mimimum of commentary, while others are assemblies of motherhood statements that make little, if any, effort into understanding the costs and complexities of operating modern aircraft.

Two discussions, however, standout for their depth of analysis and brutal attention to verifiable detail: the “VOX threads”. Both are off-shoots of long-standing, but cordial, debates between two protagonists: Horge and Ignatius1 (now Ignatius1@TMW). Ignatius is a Filipino officer in service with a non-Filipino army and is an air defense professional. Horge is a businessman with an above-average passion for research and attention to detail. These two are largely credited with elevating the overall quality of aircraft discussions on the Timawa.net  forum.

The resulting threads remain the most detailed analysis of aircraft of affordability on the Timawa.net forum, and arguably anywhere else on Philippine-themed discussion sites:

VOX POPVLI, VOX DENARII? (a comment on the Jet-Pool thread)http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=22317.0

Created on April 7, 2010

VOX POPVLI, VOX DENARII expanded: additional threadhttp://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=24147.0

August 20, 2010

Both are voluntary post-mortem threads for a “Jet-Pool” that sought to get the forum membership’s pulse on what they thought would be the most likely candidate for the PAF’s F-5 replacement. These threads subjected the crowd favorites on the pool to financial analysis that included the following considerations:

  • Expected life of the airframe based on published sources
  • Projected annual operating cost
  • ROI
  • Credit considerations

It is worth noting that the principal movers of the threads caveat their claims to remind readers that their assertions are merely based on whatever is available from open-sources and faithfully cite these to support their points. This is in-keeping with the forum’s policies.

While it is very possible, even likely, that there will be errors in the analysis because of the lack of direct access to the PAF’s actual acquisition data, the logical journey that the protagonists take readers through remains an interesting exercise that benefits both laymen and professionals alike. For laymen, it broadens understanding of aircraft purchasing considerations. For professionals, on the otherhand, it presents insights into how to justify multi-billion peso acquisitions to the Philippine legislature.

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