The rationale behind the Standard Flex concept and its continued usage is well documented AND available online, so i will refrain from posting a wall of text reciting its history. What i can say is that your conclusion is wrong ( StanFlex was and still is ,very much a cost saving measure....among other things. Its also much more than just containerized weapons and equipment)
I will not refrain. The Stanflex concept came about in the early 1980's because the Danish Navy could not afford to replace its 22 attack crafts, mine hunters and coastal patrol vessels that were becoming obsolete on a one-for-one basis. So they came up with the "single class" hull Flyvefisken class and the Stanflex concept. The modules covered mine warfare, basic ASW, main gun and missiles modules for AAW (Sea-Sparrows in Mk 56) or Harpoon ASuW. The ship could be configured for one form or warfare or the other but no more than one at a time. Overall, it was a budget constraint that imposed the solution on the Danish Navy, but it still ended up with less ships and as a result, as a lesser simultaneous capability to carry missions.
Does it save money with the Iver Huitfeldt? Re-using any weapons system usually saves money. However, you could re-use guns, for instance, wether they are in Stanflex containers or mounted on board the usual way (We did resell the Otto Melara 5 inch guns of the IRO's and they have been re-used by the acquirer). The same goes for the missile launchers, but as per my recent past post above, the missiles themselves have to be changed from time to time no matter what. So it saved money, but only to the extent that re-using weapons system already in your inventory does, and not necessarily because it is Stanflex.
IMHO, Stanflex was, and is, a Danish solution to a Danish situation, and more power to them if it provides them with their defence needs in a way that satisfies them, but it may not be the solution for all. Stan flex has been discussed at length - incensed then discredited, then incensed again, by all sort of people since it came out in the 1980's. However, since that time, just in the "western" world, Australia, Canada, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, the UK, Spain, Japan, South Korea and, yes, Denmark's neighbour Norway have all developed and introduced new frigates and destroyers into service. Not a single one of them adopted a Stanflex concept. Perhaps there is a reason. My personal view is that, maybe Stanflex doesn't save you money as much as it lets you spread out the outlay of money.
We have plenty financial capability, but not the will to spend it on Defence. Not unlike Canada i suppose ;-) ...
All of which has absolutely nothing to do with StanFlex however.
For the reasons I indicated above, Stanflex was developed specifically because Denmark did not have the financial capability to replace its fleet of smaller vessels. With the Iver Huitfeldt, it does not even give them flexibility, since (other than mid-life refits) there is no intent on changing the weapons suite as they go, except for maintenance. Once the guns and launchers are in place, they will remain and constitute the weapons suite of the ship - period)
Actually none of them are yet. We wont get long range Standards (SM-2 or 6) til next year at the earliest. The mk56 ESSM launchers are operational aboard all 3 frigates however so they have basic AAW capability at least.
I thought Iver herself was full up, but OK, I'm probably wrong on this one. However, about six months ago, Niels Juel came over to exercise with the US Navy. She carried her Harpoon launchers and her Mk 56 launchers, had her Mk41 launcher installed but they were all empty of missiles.
That is incorrect ! ..electronics and combat systems software is in place, but integration of SM-2/6 into the mk41 will likely take place sometime in 2017.
That is exactly my point: When you integrate the SM-2 and SM-6, upgrading and reprogramming of the combat system for AAW must occur, then lots of testing before operational. You may do that internally within your Navy since it happens step by step and after commissioning, but in ours and most others, all combat suites (weapons and combat systems are built, installed and integrated from the start and by the contractor. Thus, you hide your cost in you annual Navy budget, but the value, which other navies have to pay in their shipbuilding budget, must count against the actual cost of the ship. I note here that you yourself mention in one of your post that your country does some creative accounting and cost hiding.
Pardon my french , but bollocks ! Where do you get your info from ? Regardless i would suggest you get some better sources .
The 4 year plan is not about AAW but the upcoming BMD upgrade which is scheduled for completion in the 2019-20 timeframe.
BS!...you would have to cram the mk41s full of SM-3s to get near 900 million USD.
Let me use your own numbers below: You say 330MUS$ in 2010, plus 100MUS$ for the BMD update I take as current $, then you put the non included weapons systems, including missiles at about 250MUS$. I can tell you you are off on that last one (but note that you only buy SM-2's when your Navy will have SM-2 and SM-6). Using current most recent price for missiles and a mix of 12 SM-6 to 20 SM-2's in the Mk-41, the missiles alone [all - harpoons, at 1.2M$; ESSm at 1.4M$ -for 48 which is the real final capability -; SM-2 if you stick to block IIIA at 1M$ and SM-6 at 4.5M$ - all these prices are based on the latest sales of those missiles] (no integration work and none of the guns and other items you mention) will set you back 162M$US. But even then, I will accept your 250M$ figure.
Now, assuming this last 250M$ and the 100M$ BMD as today values, but correcting the 330M$ to bring it in 2015 dollars (using RAND corporation accepted inflation rate for naval systems of 11%/year) it becomes 540M$. Add the $350 already in current dollars and you get $890 Millions: Thus my about 900 millions. And note that I did not try to include your hidden costs within the Navy general budget by doing work yourself that is in fact contractor work in our own countries.
As delivered from the shipyard(OSS) the huitfeldts was $165M USD each in 2010 dollars. That cost is indisputable.
The AAW suite from Thales Netherlands came in at ~$110M USD in same year dollars. Also indisputable
The Atlas Sonar,Star Safire mk III FLIR, surface and navigational radars,ESM system,link&communications systems,the combat system and the MK41 launchers etc makes up the remainder of the price quoted officially at ~$325-330M USD (2010)
What isnt included is :
2x76mm Oto Melara SR
1x35 mm Millenium CIWS
2xMk56 VLS with 24 ESSM
2xMk141 Harpoon launchers with 16 Harpoon block II missiles.
2xCEROS 200 Fire control directors
Most of the outfitting and integration of these sensors,weapons and military electronics was carried out by RDN technical personel or civilian subcontractors. As such that work was not accounted for in the acquisitions project but with funds taken from another budget (the navy's operating budget)
All that adds up to another 200-250 million USD on top of the official purchase price.
But even with the $100M USD BMD upgrade (radar and CMS) you are well short of the $900 million you claim.
Quebec GDP : ~360 billion CAD
Denmark GDP : ~420 billion CAD
And Quebec has a population almost 50% larger than Denmarks (8,2 vs 5,6 million)
Here is my sources: The World Bank (data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD).
I am using their figures for 2013 (last available) in US$. Denmark = 342bUS$. I then use their figure for Canada and apportion Quebec's GDP by referring to Statscan figures for provincial/territorial GDPs for that same year, which gives us 344bUS$ for that same year.
Its actually more like 6 years ....and name me 1 navy (other than the US) that goes from commission to FOC in 3 years ?
Actually, from commission to FOC in about 1 years: France, UK, Canada, Spain, Italy, just to name those I know of in the last 15 years.