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Thread: Which Fighter Jet should Canada choose?

  1. #1

    Default Which Fighter Jet should Canada choose?

    I like military technology, so I thought this would be an interesting thread to start, as the discussion is now heating up:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1601021/

    Canada has been involved in the F35 program for some time (to open up work to Canadian contractors). But a decision needs to be made soon on the next Jet fighter to replacing the aging CF-18's. There are three main choices (there are others, but these are the front runners):

    F35 - Lockheed
    Superhornet - Boeing
    Eurofigher - European consortium

    Lochkeed claims that the F35 is the only "fifth generation" fighter in the group, primarily due to stealth. However, this is hotly disputed by Eurofighter, which claims that the F35 is not really a fighter at all:

    The troubled American aircraft has just
    started the test phase and could become a
    good ground support aircraft when it has
    matured, however, because it was designed
    from conception as a ground support aircraft,
    it will never reach the level of fighter
    capabilities that many of its competitors
    have already reached.
    http://www.eurofighter.com/fileadmin...-2010b_Low.pdf

    The F35 has "stealth" from frontal aspect for some radar, but the value of this is hotly debated. The program has run into all sorts of delays and cost overruns, but that is not unusual for fighter aircraft (the Eurofighter was also over budget and late). The F35 is designed to be low maintenance and multi role, but some think it is trying to perform too many roles.

    The Boeing superhornet would be the cheapest to acquire, and an easy upgrade from the current F18's. It is an excellent fighter that is proven, although it is worth noting the US is looking to replace the superhornet with the F35 which is seen as an upgrade. Japan is considering acquiring the superhornet at the moment based on the possibility of Boeing transferring much of the technology allowing production in Japan.

    Both the superhornet and eurofighter are twin engined, which in the past, was considered important in the arctic environment, but others claim a single engined aircraft like F35 is sufficient now. Superhornet and F35 offer bombing capability, at the moment the Eurofighter is more of an air superiority fighter (future tranches may change). In some ways, air superiority is more important for Canada due to the interceptor role.

    So, a lot of money at stake, and whichever aircraft is chosen, there will be happy people / companies, and disappointed ones. Different regions of Canada would benefit from different options as well, if it goes to tender. A lot of money will be spent if it goes to tender, versus just accepting the F35 which Canadian companies can then supply work to, not just on the planes for Canada, but also the planes for the US. On the other hand, a tender could save a lot of money and maximize the work in Canada. What do you think Canada should do?
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-06-2010 at 11:15 AM. Reason: removed the "b's" as likely a or c varient for canada

  2. #2
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    The F35 also has vertical take off capabilities which would be a something to factor in.

  3. #3

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    ^Canada won't choose that variant though (lift fan adds cost / complexity, and reduces range). Another option is Boeings new stealth F15, but I think that will be overly expensive (versus say, superhornet).

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    Agreed Canada is not going for the vertical take off variant. Quite a bit has been invested into this already over the years and I think the writing was on the wall for this purchase. Sure a tender is nice but a) a lot of Canadian expertise is in this plane already and b) this aircraft fits the bill. I don't know much about the Eurofighter other than it looks neat - not surprised their camp would say we have the better aircraft - each aircraft is built with a specific role and purpose and mission in mind (single or multi purpose) and it sounds like the F35 is exactly what the we need. There are plenty of other benefits to sticking with the same technology as other partners as well from a production, support and economic perspective etc.

    So I say go for it.

    I'm glad boeing didn't win the JSF competition with their "super guppy" but damn a stealth F15? Now that would be sweet. Maybe they can throw in 20 or so of those
    Last edited by Chump; 12-06-2010 at 09:29 AM.

  5. #5

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    ^the "stealth" eagle isn't cheap ($100m per unit), but is very cool:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-15SE_Silent_Eagle

    I have mixed feelings about F35. I don't like the single engine, and I'm not convinced it really meets Canada's needs that well, especially regarding interception. On the other hand, like you note, lots of opportnuities for Canadian companies to get involved in the U.S. build contracts.

    Superhornet shouldn't be written off though. It's still a very good aircraft, and would likely be moe than enough for the next 20 to 30 years to meet Canada's needs. I like Boeing better as well, I think the track record is better than Lockheed.

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    F -15 eagle have a good record for many yrs and this plane was first made in 1972, also this plane have never shot down by other fighter jet in the sky! I believe that F- 15 is much better than superhornet F-18. in my opinion about F-35 that this high tech plane is far much better than most fighter jet today. F-35 is to replace F- 15 and 18 too.


    you can watch some video about F-35

    http://www.jsf.mil/gallery/gal_video.htm#
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    My opinion:
    Buy a small number (~30 aircraft) of F-35s for expeditionary force and remainder (~60 aircraft) F-18 Superhornets for territorial defense. But I know this is extremely unlikely to happen.

  8. #8

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    ^I like that, similar to what the Australians are doing. The F35 is really designed for entering into hostile territory and attacking ground targets so perfect for an expeditionary force, but the Superhornets with their excellent AESA radar would be enough to defend canada's airspace. This technology makes the superhornet a world class aircraft, and a nice upgrade over CF18's. Also, we would still get the F35 contracts for Canadian business (hopefully).
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-06-2010 at 11:22 AM.

  9. #9

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    You guys knew I'd have to stick my nose in.

    First problem is the jets you are referring to all have different missions so they are not really comparable.

    The F-35 in the (A) or non vertical flight configuration, is a multi purpose relativelty short range combat aircraft.
    - Performance not much different in the real world than the current CF-18
    - Payload not much different that the current CF-18
    - Single engine, yes this is a big deal when flying over our huge north
    - Stealth...who cares, theres no one really left to hide from that ain't gonna find us anyhow!

    F-15 Eagle
    Excellent aircraft in its day but up to the (E) or Strike Eagle model they are specifically air superiority aircraft not multi mission which is what we generally require due to our limited numbers.
    The Strike Eagle version could be considered but it requires long (paved only) runways
    and as such would be of limited value for the Northern bases and most others.

    The Stealth version comes back to why? Who do we think we are hiding from or even with stealth can hide from.

    Jagator63 the F-35 is to replace the F-18 and F-16, the F-22 Raptor will replace the F-15. And I wouldn't brag about its combat record...great airplane and I really like it but never had to face a comparable enemy.

    The Euro fighter is an excellent point defense aircraft, it is twin engine but it is not meant to be an all purpose combat aircraft so we get back to limited range and capability.

    The F-18E Super Hornet is a completely different aircraft than our CF-18 (equivalent to A models) no parts interchangeability and its actually 30% bigger. Meets most of our needs so would be a viable option.

    In my mind we should be looking at Soviet technology, designed for our climate, gravel fields, fast servicing, simple servicing and they are comparatively inexpensive.

    But heres and option....

    With all the Military Aircraft around the would being parked we should be buying a mix of USED Fighter/Combat support aircraft. Overhauling and custom tailoring them to our needs in Canada using Canadian Technology (we have the companies by the way).

    For a lot less money we could have a mix of:
    - Long range interceptors with customized/used (C)F-15s
    - Current CF-18s that have been upgraded would become our forward support aircraft for Northern bases.
    - International commitments met with customized/used F-18E Super Hornets.

    With money left over for what we really need:
    A large number of large Search and Rescue/Coastal and Northern patrol aircraft.
    A large number mid to small Search and Rescue/liaison aircraft.
    More Search and Rescue/Transport Helicopters.
    And some other important needs.

    As well as rebuilding an important industry and technology.

    Tom

  10. #10

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    ^the problem can be with upgrading old aircraft to be useful on NATO missions and to fly with Norad. I think AESA in particular is a must, and I doubt it can be retrofitted into many aircraft (maybe some Israeli F15's, mind you, those have had a hard work life). Could retrofit superhornets though - perhaps some used American ones?

  11. #11

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    Production of the F-22 is done. Obama scrapped the project last fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    You guys knew I'd have to stick my nose in.

    First problem is the jets you are referring to all have different missions so they are not really comparable.

    The F-35 in the (A) or non vertical flight configuration, is a multi purpose relativelty short range combat aircraft.
    - Performance not much different in the real world than the current CF-18
    - Payload not much different that the current CF-18
    - Single engine, yes this is a big deal when flying over our huge north
    - Stealth...who cares, theres no one really left to hide from that ain't gonna find us anyhow!

    F-15 Eagle
    Excellent aircraft in its day but up to the (E) or Strike Eagle model they are specifically air superiority aircraft not multi mission which is what we generally require due to our limited numbers.
    The Strike Eagle version could be considered but it requires long (paved only) runways
    and as such would be of limited value for the Northern bases and most others.

    The Stealth version comes back to why? Who do we think we are hiding from or even with stealth can hide from.

    Jagator63 the F-35 is to replace the F-18 and F-16, the F-22 Raptor will replace the F-15. And I wouldn't brag about its combat record...great airplane and I really like it but never had to face a comparable enemy.

    The Euro fighter is an excellent point defense aircraft, it is twin engine but it is not meant to be an all purpose combat aircraft so we get back to limited range and capability.

    The F-18E Super Hornet is a completely different aircraft than our CF-18 (equivalent to A models) no parts interchangeability and its actually 30% bigger. Meets most of our needs so would be a viable option.

    In my mind we should be looking at Soviet technology, designed for our climate, gravel fields, fast servicing, simple servicing and they are comparatively inexpensive.

    But heres and option....

    With all the Military Aircraft around the would being parked we should be buying a mix of USED Fighter/Combat support aircraft. Overhauling and custom tailoring them to our needs in Canada using Canadian Technology (we have the companies by the way).

    For a lot less money we could have a mix of:
    - Long range interceptors with customized/used (C)F-15s
    - Current CF-18s that have been upgraded would become our forward support aircraft for Northern bases.
    - International commitments met with customized/used F-18E Super Hornets.

    With money left over for what we really need:
    A large number of large Search and Rescue/Coastal and Northern patrol aircraft.
    A large number mid to small Search and Rescue/liaison aircraft.
    More Search and Rescue/Transport Helicopters.
    And some other important needs.

    As well as rebuilding an important industry and technology.

    Tom

    America defense dept. have considered that F -22 is no longer fit in their plans and rather picked F- 35 over F-22. because both have similar design but F-35 have far more advanced technology over F-22
    Last edited by jagators63; 12-06-2010 at 12:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deedub35 View Post
    Production of the F-22 is done. Obama scrapped the project last fall.
    F-22 production will continue unti 2011.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    America defense dept. have considered that F -22 is no longer fit in their plans and rather picked F- 35 over F-22. because both have similar design but F-35 have far more advanced technology over F-22
    No that's not correct. Aside from some updates to electronics and such, the F-22 is a vastly superior plane to the F-35, it can even perform similar attack functions. The Americans will export F-35 but not F-22 which has more advanced air superiority technology (better stealth, more powerful enignes, etc.). F22 is horribly expensive though, to build, and to maintain (stealth surfaces need lots of work). F-35 is seen as a cheaper option that performs more roles (much like there used to be dual engine F15 for superiority like F22, and single engine F16 for attack like F35). F35 was designed from the outset to be a low cost multi role plane that is also an export earner, but it doesn't seem to be turning out that way (re cost). F22 was a cold war idea, designed to dominate anything flying regardless of cost (and it cost a lot).
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-06-2010 at 12:45 PM.

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    check the link about F-22 vs F-35 , you will find some interesting comments and they do have forums just like we have here.

    http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-3168.html
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    F-22 production will continue unti 2011.
    And will cease when the 187th aircraft is produced.

  17. #17

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    The "opposition" plane in the works is interesting, the PAK-FA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_PAK_FA

    Unlike the U.S., I don't think Canada needs to buy something to match that though (i.e. F22 which is not for sale, or perhaps Eurofighter), we just need something capable of intercepting bombers and the like, and also have some multirole function, which the superhornet and eagle SE could all do well, or the F35.

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    One aspect that doesn't get much debate or attention is the numbers of aircraft that Canada might need. The Harper government seems to have settled on a figure of 65 F-35s which is 15 fewer than the 80 Hornets we currently fly. In particular I think we need to have some sort of debate on how much of a physical presence we need to project or maintain in the Arctic especially if the receding ice cap allows for more maritime navigation through our waters.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 12-06-2010 at 03:35 PM.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^the problem can be with upgrading old aircraft to be useful on NATO missions and to fly with Norad. I think AESA in particular is a must, and I doubt it can be retrofitted into many aircraft (maybe some Israeli F15's, mind you, those have had a hard work life). Could retrofit superhornets though - perhaps some used American ones?
    Not so

    The current CF-18 Fleet just went through a major electronics upgrade that has brought them up to the latest electronic standards.

    We can, using home grown tech (as demonstrated bu Israel among others)
    create our own upgrades and overhaul programs keeping the jobs and $$$ in Canada.

    A more relevant question is Norwoodguys...
    [/Quote]One aspect that doesn't get much debate or attention is the numbers of aircraft that Canada might need. The Harper government seems to have settled on a figure of 65 F-35s which is 15 fewer than the 80 Hornets we currently fly. In particular I think we need to have some sort of debate on how much of a physical presence we need to project or maintain in the Arctic especially if the receding ice cap allows for more maritime navigation through our waters.[/Quote]

    Canada operates 80 CF-18s at any given time and has a number stored in Quebec that they rotate in and out to keep flying times down.

    80 is not sufficient, should be in the area of 120 for the mission commitments we are currently running. Which makes buying used and doing our own upgrades even more important...to keep cost in check and allow for more Long Range Patrol aircraft for the Aurora's role.

    The Long Range Patrol aircraft are what is critically needed for Search Rescue/Maritime Patrol/Fisheries and Sovereignty Patrol for East/West coasts and the Arctic mission.

    These aircraft also double as transports and other roles when we have a National disaster at home so in fact carry out many vital missions.

    But these also can be done using a similar...used aircraft/overhaul/upgrade program to keep costs real while increasing numbers.

    Yes we need alot of new equipment for Canada's Airforce...but it needs to capably/safely do the job...not be flashy, doesn't need to be cool.

    Tom

  20. #20

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    ^I think the long range patrol aircraft could be replaced eventually with something like Global Hawke, which while not cheap, would save manpower and allow longer and more extensive surveillance. The US is working on maritime UAV's now, some of these (navy version - mariner) might do the trick for most missions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-9_Reaper

    I think most surveillance will soon be done by UAV's given the rate of improvement. I don't know whether capable of submarine offensive action though, so might need something for that. More transports and helicopters would be nice as well.

    The CF18's are nearing the end of the road, just over a decade is all that is economically left. The replacement needs to be able to slot in some technology that is going to become critical, like ASEA. Superhornets can do that, new models already have these radars, and 2nd hand can be upgraded, superhornets would give much better range to boot.
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-06-2010 at 07:58 PM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I think the long range patrol aircraft could be replaced eventually with something like Global Hawke, which while not cheap, would save manpower and allow longer and more extensive surveillance. The US is working on maritime UAV's now, some of these (navy version - mariner) might do the trick for most missions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-9_Reaper

    I think most surveillance will soon be done by UAV's given the rate of improvement. I don't know whether capable of submarine offensive action though, so might need something for that. More transports and helicopters would be nice as well.

    The CF18's are nearing the end of the road, just over a decade is all that is economically left. The replacement needs to be able to slot in some technology that is going to become critical, like ASEA. Superhornets can do that, new models already have these radars, and 2nd hand can be upgraded, superhornets would give much better range to boot.
    UAVs are not going to replace conventional patrol aircraft in a non combat mode simply because their inital cost is so high and they simply cannot multi task like conventional patrol A/C...they have their place but are not a solution...then as has been demonstrated there is the whole real eyes on issue...UAV just is not the same.

    The CF-18 can and should be carried forward as a home defense aircraft.
    Example...
    If the CF-18s that have been through the latest upgrade are retained and refit as needed we could maintain a home defense/advanced training fleet of (60) aircraft split over the (3) main fighter bases. The remained of the fleet could be disassembled in an assembly line system and the components carried on inventory to support the aircraft for many year to come.

    If we added (30) Super Hornets, used, overhauled in Canada and upgraded they could then be used to meet our international commitments.

    Adding (30) F-15s, used, overhauled in Canada and upgraded they could be used for true air superiority interceptions at the (3) main bases noted and overseas in extreme circumstances.

    A mix such as noted wold be far more cost effective than the current approach with a smaller overall budget freeing money for the other needs.

    In addition the bulk of the $$$$ would remain in Canada creating Canadian jobs and new internationally marketable Canadian technology.

    Tom

  22. #22

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    ^I don't think Canada will go second hand, it would be political suicide. Like it or not, there has been too much bitterness of late from recent second hand / or aged aircraft military experiences (although there are some exceptions, like the Leopards). In particular, the Sea Kings, and the British submarines. Every time a plane crashes and a pilot dies, people will blame politicians that we purchased second hand (even if it isn't the cause). I think the Sea King experience where buying new was delayed also showed a bit of false economy, as aircraft accumulate flight hours they require more maintenance, they fly less for time in shop, and cost more.

    I think there will probably have to be some F-35's for the simple reason that Canadian contractors want a reasonable piece of the huge US navy, airforce, and marines orders south of the border. If we don't order any, I expect Canadian contractors will be shut out (probably for technology / secrecy reasons or similar to avoid NAFTA issues).
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-06-2010 at 09:55 PM.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I don't think Canada will go second hand, it would be political suicide. Like it or not, there has been too much bitterness of late from recent second hand / or aged aircraft military experiences (although there are some exceptions, like the Leopards). In particular, the Sea Kings, and the British submarines. Every time a plane crashes and a pilot dies, people will blame politicians that we purchased second hand (even if it isn't the cause). I think the Sea King experience where buying new was delayed also showed a bit of false economy, as aircraft accumulate flight hours they require more maintenance, they fly less for time in shop, and cost more.

    I think there will probably have to be some F-35's for the simple reason that Canadian contractors want a reasonable piece of the huge US navy, airforce, and marines orders south of the border. If we don't order any, I expect Canadian contractors will be shut out (probably for technology / secrecy reasons or similar to avoid NAFTA issues).
    Moa

    I don't think a used/overhaul/update program would be political suicide IF from the outset the government was very clear about the whys, hows and did the overhaul/upgrades prior to being put into operation.

    Most people would understand its a way to:
    1) Upgrade our existing forces
    2) Put Canadians to work
    3) Keep a Canadian industry on the forefront
    4) Save money

    SeaKing is a good example

    We just keep hammering those old bird past their life expectancy and never followed through with the needed life extension and upgrading programs...politics and really poor politics that cost lives.

    The Submarines is a similar scenario...bought to go straight into service without overhaul or upgrade....would you buy a used car without sending it to the shop for inspection? I wouldn't.

    Now we are doing the overhauls and upgrades that should have been done first!.

    Canadian companies will get zip from the F-35 contracts unless tied to Canadian orders. There is no application of NAFTA on military orders as there are many qualifications due to the technology. As you can see with the C-177 (C-17) orders where there is a Canadian "in Lieu" portion of the contract.

    However....using the program I described we create more Canadian jobs and develope tech that can be sold to about a dozen other countries operating the aircraft we are talking about that are not going to go to large numbers of the F-35.

    Now the absolute best solution would be to design and build our own new fighter to meet our specific needs.

    But based on history our neighbors and partners in Europe ain't gonna let that happen and our politicians DO NOT have the guts.

    Tom

  24. #24

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    ^but there is a lot more potential for Canadian jobs to be suppliers to the thousand plus U.S./ European F35's being built, than there is to be suppliers to the 60 or so that Canada will aquire. That's why buying a few new F35's is so important.

    As to building our own fighter, even the U.S. is struggling to do that right now with the F35, it just doesn't make sense when we are only goinig to order at best a 100 or so, economies of scale to require a proft likely require over a 1000 aircraft today, and there just isn't the market in the world with multiple competitors. Small programs like Rafale, and Gripen, are major losses. We would likely end up with an aircraft less effective than an off the shelf model (of which there are many competing now), at a higher cost per unit (given that much of the price is in testing / development not builidng).

    For example, the Gripen, probably the cheapest and least capable modern western fighter on the market, cost $US13.54 billion to develop:

    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae...inalJuly06.pdf

    So, instead of paying, lets say, $100m x 60 = 6 billion, we would be more than double that price, proably tripple (given that the Grippen was built based off earlier Saab designs that we don't have, and todays dollars). There is no way the jobs created would be worth that, not even close.
    Last edited by moahunter; 13-06-2010 at 10:42 AM.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^but there is a lot more potential for Canadian jobs to be suppliers to the thousand plus U.S./ European F35's being built, than there is to be suppliers to the 60 or so that Canada will aquire. That's why buying a few new F35's is so important.
    Balls....

    Each and every country that is involved in the program runs requirements for domestic content or "in lieu" contracts so Canada will get no more of the contract than our portion of the aircraft we order and then it will likely be "in lieu" products for other non military aircraft.

    Their will be no major non domestic (out of USA) major sub assemblies, engine orders etc.

    Same as the C-17 program...yes Canadian companies have received contracts relating to the order for long term servicing and non C-17 minor components...but nothing on the actual aircraft and a a percentage of the cost of the program its worse than peanuts.

    Same as the last helicopter contract and newest Helicopter contract, the new search and rescue aircraft order...shall we go on?

    If we are going to go down the path of buying other countries tech and throw ours out at least buy the license to build the product and do it here as we did with the CF-86 Sabre, T-33 Silverstar, CF-104, Argus Patrol aircraft and a few others that have a proven track record of excellence (we built them better and modified them to our needs).

    Keep the jobs here! Keep the technology and industry here! Keep the $$$ here and produce the product the military needs for once instead of this political crap.

    Tom

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post

    Balls....

    Each and every country that is involved in the program runs requirements for domestic content or "in lieu" contracts so Canada will get no more of the contract than our portion of the aircraft we order and then it will likely be "in lieu" products for other non military aircraft.
    From 2006...

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ase-mou-02869/

    Thus far, 54 Canadian companies, universities and research institutions have won 154 contracts to date valued at approximately C$ 157 million (about $135 million). The Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase could result in further opportunities for Canadian industry, currently estimated at C$ 8 billion (currently about $7 billion). Canada’s government descrtibes its expectations and forecast areas of competence:

    “These MOUs will attract investments, stimulate technology development, allow commercialization of innovative ideas, and bring high quality long-term business opportunities to Canada.

    They relate to important aerospace technologies for Canada, such as major structural assemblies; landing gear maintenance; advanced composites; high-speed machining; simulation and training; propulsion; and health and monitoring technologies. The government will continue to identify new opportunities for Canada’s aerospace industry as the program evolves over time.”

    Peter Boag, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, added the importance of the access this provides to advanced manufacturing processes using next generation materials.
    $8 billion, that's likely more than the total cost of the planes Canada will aquire, we will get more business than if we had built the exact same planes ourselves for the exact same cost (not that we are anywhere near capable of that).
    Last edited by moahunter; 13-06-2010 at 10:50 AM.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    As to building our own fighter, even the U.S. is struggling to do that right now with the F35, it just doesn't make sense when we are only goinig to order at best a 100 or so, economies of scale to require a proft likely require over a 1000 aircraft today, and there just isn't the market in the world with multiple competitors. Small programs like Rafale, and Gripen, are major losses. We would likely end up with an aircraft less effective than an off the shelf model (of which there are many competing now), at a higher cost (given that most of the price is in testing / development not builidng).

    For example, the Grippen, probably the cheapest and least capable modern western fighter on the market, cost $US13.54 billion to develop:

    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae...inalJuly06.pdf

    So, instead of paying, lets say, $100m x 60 = 6 billion, we would be more than double that price, proably tripple (given that the Grippen was built based off earlier Saab designs that we don't have, and todays dollars). There is no way the jobs created would be worth that, not even close.
    Well moa we are going to disagree...

    Even flamin Iran is now producing its own multi sonic fighter rather than buying Soviet, USA or European.

    In Canada we have the engine technology, the control technology, the avionics technology and the airframe technology already in production as manufacturers across Canada that could be combined into an all new Canadian Fighter tailored to Canadian use so we are not starting from scratch.

    The technology developed by countries in the military contracts is transfered to other projects ie:

    Dassault...fighter, business aircraft, airliners
    Airbus...when broken into the components that were brought together to create airbus...same pattern
    Lockheed/McDonald Douglas/Boeing...have all followed the same pattern

    The only place that has not seen the technology transfer is Russia/Soviet block and it hasn't been for the lack of great product...its been international politics.

    But the "build our own new fighter" discussion is a waste...the politicians will never allow it or have the guts to back it regardless of the benefits.

    Current SAR aircraft tender as an example...scuttlebutt has it we will be buying the Spanish 2 engine CASA. Yet Viking in Victoria tendered with a proven Dehavilland design...the Buffalo (currently in use by Canada) upgraded with new engines, new avionics, controls, SAR equipment etc.

    Less $$$ for an aircraft tailored to our use through experience, a known great unit and right for the job.

    But CASA has the inside track, the excuse...its pressurized. Please...this is SAR, low level, slow speed, doors open unpressurized work. Durability, handling, reliability should be the targets and having a design that crews are already trained on and like should rank high...but no...it politics so we sacrifice Canadian jobs, Canadian Technology and by pass a Canadian company...gimme a break.

    But...the purchase used/upgrade overhaul program is here and now and possible using companies already there and ready to go and makes operational and economic sense.

    So to the government in power...the opposition...strap on enough of a set to think Canadian first. Both military and civilian advantages.

    Tom

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    I don't believe military procurement should be an excuse for corporate welfare. I've seen too many projects where the politician jump up and down screaming "Jobs in Canada" resulting in the military getting a lemon and the Canadian plant closes once the orders dry up.

    If a Canadian company is able to meet the specification, it is able to bid on a project. If Viking's Buffalo does that, then all the power to them and best of luck. Politicians should stop meddling in procurement.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    I don't believe military procurement should be an excuse for corporate welfare. I've seen too many projects where the politician jump up and down screaming "Jobs in Canada" resulting in the military getting a lemon and the Canadian plant closes once the orders dry up.

    If a Canadian company is able to meet the specification, it is able to bid on a project. If Viking's Buffalo does that, then all the power to them and best of luck. Politicians should stop meddling in procurement.
    We agree!!!

    The military should define what they need...do an RFP...get a budget make a choice and control it.

    Politicians should not have their hand in the selection process. Yes in setting the budget and defining the mission of the military, but then get out of the way.

    In every case where politicians have meddled in military procurement it has been a mess...from the Ross Rifle of the first world war right through today.

    That said...Canadian suppliers and manufacturers should get first priority within limits (ie: up to 10%-20%) as the $$$ spent creates Canadian jobs, boosts the economy and returns part of the overall cost to the Government as new tax $$$ where as offshore buying is a straight expense.

    Problem is the Governments at all levels will never stop meddling.

    Tom

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    The absolute first priority should be to obtain the best plane possible. We are asking our airmen to risk their lives for us, the least we can do is give them the best material available. Let the Forces determine what they need and then buy it. Anything less is criminal.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60 View Post
    The absolute first priority should be to obtain the best plane possible. We are asking our airmen to risk their lives for us, the least we can do is give them the best material available. Let the Forces determine what they need and then buy it. Anything less is criminal.
    Agree completely

    We need the safest, most reliable aircraft possible...

    Best for the mission is the hard part...

    Mind you I cannot find the official mission for Canada's Combat aircraft force...there used to be one.

    Tom

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Mind you I cannot find the official mission for Canada's Combat aircraft force...there used to be one.
    I think its a combination of:

    1. Norad airspace interception (I think AESA radar will be needed in future for this)
    2. Air strike during NATO missions (eg Bosnia, Afghanistan). This requires electronics to network with NATO
    3. Maritime strike (Canada has plenty of coastline, esp. Arctic, with shipping lanes to protect).

    The F35 can do all of that well enough into the future, but it costs arm and a leg versus some other options.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I think its a combination of:

    1. Norad airspace interception (I think AESA radar will be needed in future for this)
    2. Air strike during NATO missions (eg Bosnia, Afghanistan). This requires electronics to network with NATO
    3. Maritime strike (Canada has plenty of coastline, esp. Arctic, with shipping lanes to protect).

    The F35 can do all of that well enough into the future, but it costs arm and a leg versus some other options.
    Appreciate that moa...but there used to be an officially published mission.

    I do believe you' re mostly correct but the order is wrong. As I recall it was along the lines of...

    1) Sovereignty Patrol and Defense
    2) North American Air Defense (NORAD)
    3) Defense of Europe (NATO)
    4) International Assignment (UN)

    Sovereignty Patrol and Defense has always been the highest priority, I hope it still is...

    Tom

  34. #34

    Default Liberals would shoot down fighter-jet plan, Garneau says

    In a release issued after Mr. Garneau's announcement, the Official Opposition muddied the water on their commitment, saying the party, if it won power, would put the fighter contract "on hold" while they ask the Commons defence committee to examine the purchasing process.

    “A Liberal government will put this contract on hold while we review military procurement,” Mr. Ignatieff said in the party's statement.

    “At a time when the Conservatives are also signaling significant cuts to Veterans Affairs, a $16-billion sole-sourced contract, agreed to without transparency, can’t be allowed to proceed."

    (It was a Liberal government that first got Canada involved in the Joint Strike Fighter project about a decade ago.)
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1641144/

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    In a release issued after Mr. Garneau's announcement, the Official Opposition muddied the water on their commitment, saying the party, if it won power, would put the fighter contract "on hold" while they ask the Commons defence committee to examine the purchasing process.

    “A Liberal government will put this contract on hold while we review military procurement,” Mr. Ignatieff said in the party's statement.

    “At a time when the Conservatives are also signaling significant cuts to Veterans Affairs, a $16-billion sole-sourced contract, agreed to without transparency, can’t be allowed to proceed."

    (It was a Liberal government that first got Canada involved in the Joint Strike Fighter project about a decade ago.)

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1641144/

    Can't help but be reminded of the Maritime Helicopter Project of the 80s. Still waiting for those CH-148 Cyclons.

  36. #36

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    ^this bit cracks me up a bit:

    Mr. Garneau said the best value-for-money should be determined through a competitive process.

    “If the Conservatives won’t put a stop to this contract, a future Liberal government will,” the Liberal MP said at an Ottawa news conference.

    He said the existing CF-18s don’t need to be replaced until 2017, so there’s no need for a contract to be signed in the near future.
    Ummm, I think its pretty urgent if the planes will need replacement in 2017 to get moving on this, dithering for three or four years with committees isn't the answer as these things will have to be produced. I'm not a huge fan of the F35 re Canada, but on the other hand, if it is what the military wants as opposed to other aircraft, then I'm ok with trusting them to make the decision.

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    ^Funny how the Liberals didn't make a fuss when billions were spent on the C-17s and the C-130J transport aircraft.

    The thing I am afraid if the Liberals seize control of the fighter replacement program is all the pork barreling and other political machinations they will introduce into the process and making it a long drawn out affair. Canada already has its slot in the production line schedule for the F35s.

    As for the F35s, military professionals don't operate from the viewpoint of individual platforms but more from the standpoint of systems. If what I have seen from the Powerpoiint presentations from the US military is more than propaganda, the F35 is part of a complex system of capabilities above and beyond merely being a fighter or a bomber. It is even intended to supplement or replace signal intelligence platforms such as JSTARs, AWACS and electronic attack aircraft such as the EA-6B Prowler.

    The new paradigm is networked warfare and the F35 is intended to act as a node in a network (air and ground), relaying and sharing information to develop situational awareness. In large part this is due to its sophisticated sensors such as its AESA radar and its 360 degree infrared sensor array that can detect both airborne and ground targets. This network capability even involves directing ground combat forces. And as you probably already know, its AESA radar is capable of jamming other radars and possibly even destroying electronic equipment.

    Another capability that is being developed for the F35 is the ability to control fleets of unmanned combat vehicles (UCAVs), another part of the networked warfare paradigm.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 16-07-2010 at 02:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    ^Funny how the Liberals didn't make a fuss when billions were spent on the C-17s and the C-130J transport aircraft.


    Actually for the C-17 they did. I remember watching a politcal discussion on CTV years ago where Denise Coderre, Liberal Defence critic at the time, said a Liberal Government would quickly get rid of the C-17s. Even the NDP member next to him said that was a horrible idea

    The also suggested we should have bought A400Ms. A plane no customer has so far received.
    Last edited by Carbon-14; 16-07-2010 at 08:35 AM.

  39. #39

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    ^they even got upset the C17 couldn't carry some helicopters, and said we should have bought Russian. That would have been a terrible mistake, and the A400 would have as well (only now flying in an underpowered and overdue state), the C17 is a birlliant aircraft, one of the most loved by a number of airforces who are desperatley now trying to aquire them before prodcution ends.

    On the F35, I agree with Norwoodguy, the key thing about it seems to be the electronics, it is like a mini AWACs. Having a system that will tie into all of the U.S. systems, and much of NATO (as most countries are also part of the project), is probably itself enough reason to choose it, not to mention the huge potential for Canadian suppliers to be involved in the enourmous U.S. air force, navy and marine production runs.
    Last edited by moahunter; 16-07-2010 at 10:18 AM.

  40. #40

    Default Ottawa to spend $16-billion on fighter jets

    The fighter jet saga mirrors the controversy that engulfed the decade-plus process to replace Canada's 1960s era fleet of Sea King maritime helicopters.

    In 1993, the Liberals tore up a Conservative-inked contract for about $5-billion for a new fleet of ship-borne helicopters to fulfill a campaign promise. Jean Chrétien branded the EH-101 helicopters “Cadillacs” during the election campaign that ended two consecutive governments of Tory rule, most of it under Brian Mulroney.

    Mr. Chrétien spent 10 years in power without ever replacing the rusted out Sea Kings, which sapped morale in the Air Force and Navy, and proved more costly when new helicopters were eventually purchased.

    With the Liberals now wanting to put the brakes on the Joint Strike Fighter project, unfavourable parallels are now being drawn with the delays attributed to the Sea King replacement under Mr. Chrétien.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1642399/

  41. #41

    Default Just what we need: a $16 billion fighter jet

    The F-35 announcement will be garlanded, as defence procurement announcements always are, with all the contracts to be given Canadian companies. From the start, the defence-production industry in Canada pushed hard for the country’s inclusion in the F-35 project so as to win contracts.

    But contracts would be available if Canada makes other, wiser choices about military equipment. Sixty-five undoubtedly splendid fighter jets don’t amount to defence wisdom, but rather an expensive, wrong choice.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1641373/

  42. #42

    Default Bloc basically supports it subject to Quebec content

    Not surprising I guess given where most of Canada's aerospace industry is, here are their comments:

    The Bloc Quebecois released a statement just prior to the announcement asking the Conservative government to ensure some of the contracts to maintain the fleet are tendered to companies based in Quebec.

    “Too often, Quebec companies miss out on billions of dollars even though over 55% of jobs in the Canadian aerospace industry are located in Quebec,” Bloc MP Claude Bachand said in a statement.

    “A lengthy and intense competition was completed in 2001 for who would build the F-35,” said Rona Ambrose, minister of public works and government services. “Canadian companies and the Canadian government helped develop the F-35, and now we are exercising our option under the joint strike fighter memorandum of understanding to acquire it.”

    Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Can...#ixzz0trzBtE1W

  43. #43
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    All of the western canadian aerospace co's have either moved or had their business mooved to que-Bec already
    ask cae spar-l3 bell etc
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  44. #44

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    ^it is called a "business cluster" it is hard to compete if you aren't in it. The UK have a motorsports cluster for example, where most F1 teams vehciles are built.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_cluster

    Our Oil and Gas servicing industry around Leduc could be considered one.
    Last edited by moahunter; 16-07-2010 at 01:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    Actually for the C-17 they did. I remember watching a politcal discussion on CTV years ago where Denise Coderre, Liberal Defence critic at the time, said a Liberal Government would quickly get rid of the C-17s. Even the NDP member next to him said that was a horrible idea

    The also suggested we should have bought A400Ms. A plane no customer has so far received.
    I guess I had forgotten or missed those ramblings. From my point of view those responses are just the typical automatic knee jerk opposition responses. Heavy airlift capabilities are pretty nice to have considering Canada's record of humanitarian relief around the globe as well as our own country. In the past we have had to stand in line and wait for space aboard US transports or leasing aircraft such as the Antonovs that are always in high demand. We're not the only countries to have perceived such a need since Australia and the UK have bought C-17s as well.
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  46. #46

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    One option that has been suggested, is Canada could wait just a little bit longer for unarmed UCAV's, which will almost certainly replace fighter jets in the future. It is probably a bit too much of a gamble though as the technology is still a decade or two off. Here are a couple under development:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Taranis

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_X-47B

    The Taranis has been dubed "the dogfighting drone", and is expected to complete much of its mission autonously with no human involvement:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ing-drone.html
    Last edited by moahunter; 17-07-2010 at 11:18 AM.

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    ^The initial implementation of UCAVs is aimed primarily at ground attack. Air to air combat seems to be still a ways off. So the realistic replacement for the CF-18s will be another manned plane.

    Looking at the future threats, 4th generation aircraft will have a difficult time surviving threats such as the Russian S400 SAM system and whatever future threats emerge. Admittedly if all we were worried about was chasing off the occasional Russian long range bomber, then a 4th gen fighter would be adequate. I guess if one were really paranoid there is the prospect of Russian or Chinese carrier battle groups roaming the Arctic.

    But the reality is that the future revolves around network centric warfare and all of the development of new systems is focused on the F35. I doubt whether there will be such investment in such capabilities for legacy platforms such as the Super Hornet or the F-15 Silent Eagle. The question is are we willing to let our air force settle for lessor capabilities and less survivability.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 17-07-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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  48. #48

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    ^I actually think this is more about industry than the plane itself, when you factor it in, it makes a ton of sense even if the plane may exceed what Canada needs (and lack two engines). Look at this comment in the NYtimes:

    One factor that may determine the political fate of the deal is Lockheed’s willingness to buy parts from Canadian suppliers.

    Unlike other major military contracts given to foreign companies by Canada, Lockheed is not required to spend any money in Canada. By agreeing to purchase the planes, however, Canadian aerospace companies, many of which are American owned, can now bid on supplying the global F-35 project.

    The American defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, recently revamped the F-35 program and removed the general in charge, after the Pentagon’s projected costs soared 64 percent to $382 billion for 2,457 planes. The eight allies have invested a total of $4 billion in developing the plane and could buy hundreds of the planes through specific orders, most of which remain to be negotiated. ...

    Ms. Testa said that Lockheed would buy about $10 billion of components and parts from Canadian aerospace companies as part of the deal. Canadian officials anticipate that the final amount will be higher.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/bu...html?src=busln

    The F35 program has faced a lot of criticism (as all big military programs do). By giving the program a shot in the arm with this announcement, Canadian contractors are going secure contracts for the next 20 to 30 years as part of that $382 billion US deal. This is why the Bloc if push comes to shove, will support this.

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    ^According to this presentation from Lockheed Martin, there are organizations in 6 provinces currently participating in the JSF program including 54 companies with contracts. The majority of these ogranizations are in Ontario followed by Quebec. They list the largest contributors as Honeywell Canada in Toronto, Magellen Bristol in Winnipeg, Heroux Devtek in Quebec, and Avcorp in BC. There are 3 companies in Alberta that are identified as well.
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    Default From page 13 of "PRESENTATION"

    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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    So as we push these jets closer to the 30th year of service, yet another one has bit the dust.
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/albe.../14807081.html

    A Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter jet has crashed in Lethbridge.

    Witnesses tell QMI Agency the jet fighter crashed on airport property at 12:22 p.m.

    The pilot is believed to have ejected and survived the crash.

    He was taken to Lethbridge hospital with undetermined injuries, said RCMP Insp. Joe McGeough.

    He said the injuries weren't life threatening.

    The aircraft was in town for the Lethbridge International Airshow, which is to take place this weekend.

  52. #52

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    ^even the brand new aircraft will crash sometimes, but I agree that we don't want to dither around, accidents will increase as they age, learned that lesson in blood with the Sea Kings.

  53. #53

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    For crying out loud...

    Wait for the reports before jumping to conclusions.

    Airshow accidents, while rare in comparison to the volume of demonstrations, do happen.

    The CF-18 airshow performance pushes the envelope more than pretty much any other countries (yes more than the Blue Angels) and as a result a minor mis judgment or mechanical error/blip has huge consequences.

    The most important comment I have heard on this so far is that the pilot is ok.

    The rest falls into the category of Schmidt happens and wait for the report.

    Tom

  54. #54

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    1)
    Age, in a fixed wing aircraft, is not as big a deal as is being made out here.

    And with the maintenance programs Canada runs and the rotation of aircraft in and out or Mirabel storage the year age is not a replacement determining factor.

    We have the most advanced F-18A programs of anywhere.

    The issue is suitability to the changing mission and ability to upgrade adapt.

    2)
    Single engine fighter for Arctic patrol...dumb.

    For those that argue I would like you to sit in the cockpit between Resolute and Alert and rethink the issue.

    We have never used a single engine fighter for Northern Patrol for good reason...if it quits there is no chance of help. Wanna bet your life on it?

    Even back in the 50s we had the CF-100 Twin engine for Patrol and the CF-86 Single engine for Southern Canada and our mission to Europe.

    60s were the years of the Twin engine CF-101 Voodoo for Patrol and the CF-104 Starfigher for Europe and Soutern Canada.

    The CF-18 was a move to use the aircraft for both missions...

    Now a single for both?

    Flat bad plan for the guys that have to fly them.

    3)
    UCAV

    I believe we will keep a man in the cockpit for most combat missions indefinitely.

    Eyes on scene is far too valuable...more than one friendly fire incident has been avoided by the pilot in the cockpit making a judgment call in spite of intelligence, radar and orders.

    If you are going to fire a weapon...better be a man (or woman) on the scene pulling the trigger.

    My 2 bits

    Tom

  55. #55

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    1)
    3)
    UCAV
    I believe we will keep a man in the cockpit for most combat missions indefinitely.
    I think humans will continue to pull the trigger, but not from the cockpit, we already see that and the technology is accelerating faster than anyone predicted. Without humans in the planes, they will be faster, able to handle greater g, able to patrol longer (global hawke is a good example), able to have far more of them so more eyes in the sky, and of course, no human risk for the pilots / no hostages on tv. Future aircraft carriers could be a fraction of the size of todays monsters. Advances in beyond visual range weaponary, like the new European Meteor missile and ASEA radar make situational awareness far less important for air combat.

    In the UK it has already pretty much been accepted that the Tornado, as an example, will be replaced by the Taranis program I posted above - it is much lower risk to have a future UCAV as the deep strike aircraft. The F35 may be last major combat fighter platform that is acquired by the U.S., Lockheed even floated the idea of an unmanned version of it. There will always be combat military pilots, but in the futre they won't be in the front line aircraft, they will be protected in the background with a display screen and a joystick.
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-07-2010 at 05:52 PM.

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    They ain't getting no shiny new toys if this is how they're gonna play with them, no sir.

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    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...870/story.html

    Heres a video.. I'm nor expert but looks like it stalled to me.
    They have huge issues with the landing gear on those things breaking, not to mention almost 3 billion dollars in upgrading... 30 year old jets. I beg to differ on aging:
    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/20100317.aspx

    http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo7/no2/roberds-eng.asp
    Canada is now spending considerably more money on the CF-18 when it is deployed than when it was new. As the airframe gets older, more repairs are required, and our operational tempo requires a substantial increase in spare parts that must be transported to theatre when the aircraft are deployed. While we are spending a lot of money on a single layer of air defence, we may not have enough fighter resources to achieve the overall defence objectives that the current policy papers have established.
    Not only does age introduce difficult to detect problems, the cost of maintenance increases significantly, as it is, we are already at 10 years past its life expectancy. ANd the best they can muster is approximately %50 availability. Well, I hope if Russia attacks us, they will be agreeable to only attacking us half as much as they were planning

    the metal in all jets gets fatigued over time. Sometimes it's virtually invisible but even the tiniest cracks can cause a crash. In the end while we may not get the F-35, we do need to replace them sooner rather than later with something.
    Last edited by magu2k; 23-07-2010 at 08:38 PM.

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    ^Amazing video of the crash. Looks like the plane lost power in one of its engines as it performed a low high angle of attack fly by. Pretty dramatic ejection, almost as dramatic as this one from a USAF F-16 Thunderbird team jet.

    No doubt the CAF takes good care of its CF-18s as it must. With the age of the older F-18s it is no surprise that the US Navy has been finding cracks in them lately.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 23-07-2010 at 10:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Future aircraft carriers could be a fraction of the size of todays monsters. Advances in beyond visual range weaponary, like the new European Meteor missile and ASEA radar make situational awareness far less important for air combat.
    I seriously doubt US carriers will be shrinking for a long time. The weight savings from not having an ejection seat, a pilot and life support systems will likely be traded for higher fuel and ordnance capacity in UCAVs. US carriers are the size they are for a number of reasons. One is the real estate necessary to operate 4 catapults and angled flight decks. Another is the need to carry sufficient aviation fuel and ordnance for sustained operations. At one time the US Navy looked at using vessels like the Sea Control Ships but decided that a certain critical mass was necessary for force projection. Amassing sufficient numbers of smaller ships also required more manpower. Looking 15-20 years into the US Navy will be operating a mix of F-35s, Super Hornets and UCAVs if not longer necessitating the need for large flight decks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Future aircraft carriers could be a fraction of the size of todays monsters. Advances in beyond visual range weaponary, like the new European Meteor missile and ASEA radar make situational awareness far less important for air combat.
    I seriously doubt US carriers will be shrinking for a long time. The weight savings from not having an ejection seat, a pilot and life support systems will likely be traded for higher fuel and ordnance capacity in UCAVs. US carriers are the size they are for a number of reasons. One is the real estate necessary to operate 4 catapults and angled flight decks. Another is the need to carry sufficient aviation fuel and ordnance for sustained operations. At one time the US Navy looked at using vessels like the Sea Control Ships but decided that a certain critical mass was necessary for force projection. Amassing sufficient numbers of smaller ships also required more manpower. Looking 15-20 years into the US Navy will be operating a mix of F-35s, Super Hornets and UCAVs if not longer necessitating the need for large flight decks.
    I agree, and we still do not seem to see STOL and the like really overtaking conventional take off aircraft at least in the far west here. And I think force projection on the scale we saw it get to during the cold war will probably start decreasing a lot in the future as we get much better sensory systems, planes with much longer range, better efficiency and to add to that, this.. or it's future brethren:
    http://www.yumasun.com/news/flight-6...pg-zephyr.html

    Anyways, the more I look into the Gripen, the more I like it. I'm a bit uncertain about the cold weather performance but that Sweden uses it, and Norway wanted it (But chose F-35 due to monetary reasons) suggests it would not be an issue. Hefty payload, easy to refuel and reload, among the other pluses, it looks like a winner to me. And think of the money we would save by assembling them after we get them here, instead of pre asslembled!

    But serious question, how difficult, if it all, would it be to "NATO-ise" the Gripen?
    Last edited by magu2k; 23-07-2010 at 11:17 PM.

  61. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    1)
    3)
    UCAV
    I believe we will keep a man in the cockpit for most combat missions indefinitely.
    I think humans will continue to pull the trigger, but not from the cockpit, we already see that and the technology is accelerating faster than anyone predicted. Without humans in the planes, they will be faster, able to handle greater g, able to patrol longer (global hawke is a good example), able to have far more of them so more eyes in the sky, and of course, no human risk for the pilots / no hostages on tv. Future aircraft carriers could be a fraction of the size of todays monsters. Advances in beyond visual range weaponary, like the new European Meteor missile and ASEA radar make situational awareness far less important for air combat.

    In the UK it has already pretty much been accepted that the Tornado, as an example, will be replaced by the Taranis program I posted above - it is much lower risk to have a future UCAV as the deep strike aircraft. The F35 may be last major combat fighter platform that is acquired by the U.S., Lockheed even floated the idea of an unmanned version of it. There will always be combat military pilots, but in the futre they won't be in the front line aircraft, they will be protected in the background with a display screen and a joystick.
    Moa

    A human being in the cockpit is a factor that cannot be replaced by sensors and video...the feel and the impressions of "being there" cannot be replicated or simulated.

    Nor can the aircraft get much smaller with just the replacement of the pilot, fuel and aerodynamics play the largest role the hole the pilot drops in a minor one.

    UAVs and even the UCAV will eventually have their place secondary to the manned aircraft

    Tom

  62. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    ^Amazing video of the crash. Looks like the plane lost power in one of its engines as it performed a low high angle of attack fly by. Pretty dramatic ejection, almost as dramatic as this one from a USAF F-16 Thunderbird team jet.

    No doubt the CAF takes good care of its CF-18s as it must. With the age of the older F-18s it is no surprise that the US Navy has been finding cracks in them lately.
    Norwoodguy

    The US Navy phased out the F-18 many years ago and are now on the E, which shares no parts and is considerably bigger. (name only stuck to get through congress)

    Carrier life is extremely tough on aircraft, the F-18Es are a good 10 years or more newer that our As but the brutality of the use is unreal...carrier aircraft have traditionally had less (much less) than 1/2 the life of land borne aircraft.

    Your guess on the accident is the same one I have...but thats just a guess.

    Could be anything from swallowing a bird to an engine failure to an oops.

    Time will tell

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The US Navy phased out the F-18 many years ago and are now on the E, which shares no parts and is considerably bigger. (name only stuck to get through congress)
    The USN and Marines still operate a significant number of F-18C Hornets. A number of which were grounded back in March of this year. Read article here.

    Navy F-18 Hornets are not being replaced 1 for 1 with Super Hornets and the Marines have not bought any SHs and are instead transitioning directly to the F-35B which is why they will be the first service to be operational with them.
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  64. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The US Navy phased out the F-18 many years ago and are now on the E, which shares no parts and is considerably bigger. (name only stuck to get through congress)
    The USN and Marines still operate a significant number of F-18C Hornets. A number of which were grounded back in March of this year. Read article here.

    Navy F-18 Hornets are not being replaced 1 for 1 with Super Hornets and the Marines have not bought any SHs and are instead transitioning directly to the F-35B which is why they will be the first service to be operational with them.
    My error for not being specific about Combat Squadrons

    Thanks for the article though and it does specify the bulk of the early aircraft are in training squadrons.

    But again I will stress Carrier use and training is extrmely tough on airframes, far more so than any form of land based use.

    The highest time CF(F) 18 is in Alberta with the Canadian Airforces AETE unit.

    It is (I understand) the most sensored F-18 in existence and its sole duty is to take a daily beating to be able to predict problem areas in the airframe and systems (boy would I love to have that job!)

    Tom

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    ^Some F-18 operators including the USN and Australia have replaced the center barrels of the fuselage that supports the wings and the landing gear. Approximately 40 of Canada's CF-18s have been identified as candidates for this as well, I imagine they are undergoing or have undergone that process as well.

    Australia

    Canada

    USN

    And from Aviation Week:

    In service, the RAAF rate of fatigue accrual is higher than that of the U.S. Navy, Canberra says. "Much of the U.S. Navy fatigue usage is dominated by carrier catapult take-offs and arrested landings, which create great stresses on the undercarriage and fuselage. RAAF fatigue usage exhibits higher and sustained g loadings that have a greater effect on the center fuselage and wings."
    Rather interesting considering the US Navy's operational tempo with the two wars the US has been fighting, but perhaps reflective of the benign threat environment.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 24-07-2010 at 03:16 AM. Reason: More info
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  66. #66

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    As a comparison

    The final life extension program on the CF-104 (done mostly here in Edmonton) effectively doubled the life of the CF-104s and improved performance/mission capability.

    On retirement those aircraft went on to serve Norway, Denmark, Turkey (and a few to Germany) and served another full life with no issues (beyond the fact they were an outrageous aircraft that didn't know the expression "forgiveness")

    The 104 in effect doubled/tripled its service life and remained effective.

    The real crux of the problem is a poorly defined mission for our fighter fleet..and a series of Liberial and PC governments are to blame for that and most of the current equipment and operational problems we have and the ones we are heading into.

    A single engine Northern Patrol fighter aircraft is just a flat bad idea putting Canadian pilots at unnecessary risk in a hostile environment.

    While it seems this government has bound us to the F-35 the push should now be on to retrofit/upgrade/modify the current CF-18 fleet to act as our home defense and Northern Patrol aircraft.

    Tom

  67. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    UAVs and even the UCAV will eventually have their place secondary to the manned aircraft

    Tom
    In many environments they are already primary to manned aircraft. A good example is Pakistan, but UCAV drones are also being used throughout other hotspots, and the "fire" button is being pushed without the situational awareness you imagine is critical. Global Hawke has revolutionized surveillance, naval uav's and ucav's are under development right now and will make even small warships far more capable than they are today.

    It is not happening tomorrow re all combat aircrat, but it is happening soon. Airforces are already having to deal with pilots upset that their role is declining, dogfighting for example is becoming less and less important with beyond visual range weapons. There are also morale issues with programs like Tornado not being renewed. Deep penetration aircraft into highly hostile locations are far better suited to future UCAV's, drones are already leading the way here, and it will accelerate with programs like the Taranis (which will be in flight trials in 2011, it could be up and running before the F35).

    As to size of UCAV's, many will be smaller due to aerodynamic differences removing the human provides. They will come in a range of sizes though, and with the extreme long range many of them can have (no human endurance limitation as can switch the pilot at the control base), it makes it less important to have launch facilities close to the hot spot where they operate. Humans are still needed on the ground (due to difficulties of terrain and communication that don't exist in the air), in some environments these humans provide additional eyes in respect of the UCAV's, but generally, technology is good enough already to push "fire" and that's only going to increase.
    Last edited by moahunter; 24-07-2010 at 12:18 PM.

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    http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news...terjet-crashes

    This first pic seems telling, it looks like one of the nozzles is closed

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    Incredible sequence of shots!!
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  70. #70

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    Looks like the VTOL version may be scratched...

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010...g-to-lift-off/

  71. #71

    Default Harper launches campaign-style attack in defence of jet purchase

    Mr. Harper was speaking at an aerospace factory operated by Héroux-Devtec, which is manufacturing door and wing parts for the F-35. He was flanked by company president Gilles Labbé, who underlined the contract will ensure hundreds of jobs over 20 years at his plant in the Montreal suburb of Dorval.

    “I can't understand how a Liberal MP from the Montreal region would want to cancel this contract. It's unbelievable,” Mr. Harper said.

    The plant is in solid Liberal territory but it is also just a few kilometres east of the Lac-St.-Louis riding where new Senator Larry Smith will be a star Conservative candidate in the next election, which could come as early as this spring.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1870374/

    I can imagine the election campaign adds already, pictures of sea kings and similar. I don't think this was a smart move by the Liberals.

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    canada should have got their own fighter jets in late 50's called the arrow but under US pressure, it was cancelled and 20,000 jobs goes down the toilet. so harper better keep those jobs based in Quebec
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  73. #73

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    Canada has a stake on the F35 development and had expressed interest on getting the aircraft when its completed thus Canada will be getting the F35.

    Lockheed Martin is developing three versions of F35. The F-35A is designed to replace the F-16 and A-10 of the US Air Force, while the F-35C is designed for deployment on aircraft carriers to supplant to F-18, and the F-35B would have a vertical takeoff capacity and replace Harrier aircraft.

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    ... Mmm a-10
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrie View Post
    and the F-35B would have a vertical takeoff capacity and replace Harrier aircraft.
    The UK decided against the B version recently, they will instead build a full aircraft carrier using the C varient. That just leaves the US marines. The B version has had a number of problems with the lift fan, the program has been suspended for 2 years, and will probably be cancelled altogether.

  76. #76

    Default LM defends F-35 JSF agility against critics

    Not new, but this is an interesting read about the aircraft:

    Beesley called these comparisons naïve and simplistic. An empty F-35A will weigh 30,000 pounds and have a maximum thrust of 40,000 pounds, he noted. “Even when you add the 1,200 pounds of our air-to-air combat load and the 9,000 pounds half-fuel load with which you would typically begin an air-to-air engagement, then our power-to-weight ratio is still almost 1:1.” Moreover, he noted, the F-35’s half-fuel load is greater than today’s fighters. An F-16 would have only 3,600 pounds.

    Beesley also insisted that the sustained turn rate of the F-35 is conquerable, despite its higher wing loading. He insisted that there is “a huge amount of thrust available” from the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which is the most powerful ever fitted to a combat aircraft.

    The F-35 chief test pilot further noted that the F-35 can fly at angles of attack that are just as steep as those of the F-18 or the F-22. “It’s a fully maneuverable 50-degree airplane,” he said. He invited those who had witnessed the F-22’s startling agility at airshows recently to ponder the fact that “the same people also designed the flight control system for the F-35.”
    http://www.ainonline.com/news/single...critics-21060/

  77. #77

    Default What the F35 brings to the fight

    Sobering analysis that discusses the reality of unmanned aircraft of the future, but also that this is the last chance for Canada's fighter arm:

    Passing on the F-35s could be the death knell of Canadian combat aviation.

    Whatever the politics of the pitchmen or the benefits of the hardware, convincing Canadians of the need for multi-billion military buys has always been difficult. Tanks, submarines, warplanes – they are especially difficult to sell to a nation that increasingly seems to prefer its military playing non-combat roles such peace-making and humanitarian assistance despite the decade-long Afghan war.

    Or as Gen. Watts notes, “It’s tough love for Canadians to embrace a combat aircraft.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1977815/

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Sobering analysis that discusses the reality of unmanned aircraft of the future, but also that this is the last chance for Canada's fighter arm:

    Passing on the F-35s could be the death knell of Canadian combat aviation.

    Whatever the politics of the pitchmen or the benefits of the hardware, convincing Canadians of the need for multi-billion military buys has always been difficult. Tanks, submarines, warplanes – they are especially difficult to sell to a nation that increasingly seems to prefer its military playing non-combat roles such peace-making and humanitarian assistance despite the decade-long Afghan war.

    Or as Gen. Watts notes, “It’s tough love for Canadians to embrace a combat aircraft.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1977815/
    Any talk of UAVs to replace our CF-18 is just a red herring. Anyone suggesting it either has no idea what they're talking about or they're trying to push something else. Any UAVs that operate over the distances we'd need run on satellite links. The CF has no satellites. And most satellite systems work poorly or not at all the further north you go. Having used UAVs, I think they're a terrific capability but they do not replace multirole fighters.

  79. #79

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    There are other options available

    One much less expensive option, but still one of the best and most highly capable aircraft in the world, is the F-15 which is still in production.

    The F-35 has one deficit that cannot be overcome...one engine.

    Our mission requires Arctic patrol AND extensive time over water, this is no place for a single engine aircraft of ANY kind and puts our pilots at unnecessary risk.

    To the Politicians and others that think a single engine aircraft for these patrol uses is just fine...sign up and you do it.

    Tom

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    The issue of UAVs is indeed a red herring. Even the US, the UAV technology leader, is planning to buy 1000 or more F-35A fighters for the air force and the navy plans to operate a mix of 2 F-18 Superhornet squadrons, 1 F35C squadron and 1 UAV squadron on its carriers. Manned fighters are not going away anytime soon.

    As for what fighter Canada should choose, one needs to ask the question who exactly is Canada going to be fighting? Canada will likely only take part in any foreign military action as part of a coalition which typically means NATO. As such, the heavy lifting for destroying air defenses will fall mostly on US shoulders as they possess the greatest numbers of aircraft and overall capability to do so especially against the most advanced threats. Who possesses the greatest quantity of the most advanced air defenses and airplanes that could conceivably be viewed as an enemy. That would be Russia and China. Russia is hard pressed to adequately modernize its existing fleet of aircraft and missiles with the numbers required to defend its own borders and airspace let alone pose a major offensive threat. China certainly has the economic resources to buy all sorts of the latest weaponry but their sights are set primarily within the region of the South China sea where their primary interests lie along with securing their sea lanes to protect its economic lifelines. Canada has no vested interests in fighting China or Russia.

    I would rather see our defense dollars more focused on vessels and surveillance assets to patrol our shores and assert our arctic sovereignty.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 10-04-2011 at 12:15 AM.
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  81. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    One much less expensive option, but still one of the best and most highly capable aircraft in the world, is the F-15 which is still in production.
    That's not correct, the F-15 is more expensive, with a price tag over $120m for the latest variant. The F-35 has been designed from the outset to be a lower cost fighter more akin to the F-16 or superhornet. That development costs have exceeded expectations isn't uncommon, it happens for almost every military project. With the F-35, most of the problems were with the B variant, which will probably be scrapped (only the Marines are left interested in it, the B project is on a 2 year hold now).

    Over the next 20 to 30 years there will be thousands of F-35's made (Canadian suppliers will provide many of the components due to the government order, per the quote below). As the production lines ramp up, their price to buy and maintain will decline, whereas a plane like the F-15 or Superhornet will get more and more expensive to maintain as there will be relatively fewer of them / fewer people making parts for them, and the need to pay for upgrade research that will happen naturally for the F-35 as its production continues.

    As a result of the Canadian government investment in the JSF project, 144 contracts were awarded to Canadian companies, universities, and government facilities. Financially, the contracts are valued at US$490 million for the period 2002 to 2012, with an expected value of US$1.1 billion from current contracts in the period between 2013 and 2023, and a total potential estimated value of Canadian JSF involvement from US$4.8 billion to US$6.8 billion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhee...an_procurement
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-04-2011 at 09:10 AM.

  82. #82

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    On the issue of twin engines, I read recently that the most reliable military fighter ever for the US has been the F16, a single engine aircraft. Twin engine aircraft crash as well, like this CF-18:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4yMVM2Vxas

    On the UCAV side, Lockheed has been considering making an unmaned version of the F35. Almost every military analyst is now saying the F35 will be the last maned fighter developed by the US, but for the next decade or so, there still be manned fighters, sometimes in control of UCAV's.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...r-new-uav.html

    “We stayed focused on winning the F-35 in the early stages of unmanned aircraft development,” says Frank Mauro, vice-president, advanced systems development. “Now we need to get recognition that we are in the unmanned systems business.”
    Lockheed’s Palmdale, California-based Advanced Development Programmes organisation – better known as the Skunk Works – has developed concepts for both optionally piloted and dedicated unmanned versions of the F-35. The unmanned version has extra fuel in place of the cockpit.

    The company has also developed an operating concept in which two manned F-35s or F-22s would control four unmanned JSFs via an airborne internet. This would allow the unmanned aircraft to carry weapons, but not sensors, making them lower cost. Mauro expects the US forces to start becoming interested in unmanned operations once all three manned variants of the F-35 have flown.
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-04-2011 at 10:51 AM.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter
    The F-35 has been designed from the outset to be a lower cost fighter more akin to the F-16 or superhornet.
    Maybe that's how it was intended, but that's not how it turned out. The F-35 is going to cost at least as much, somewhere around 125 million each by the latest US military budget estimates.

    I support Canada replacing our F-18 fleet with a new combat aircraft. If we want to remain a middle power with a seat at the big boys table, it's pretty much a requirement that we have them. My main concern is that the numbers being thrown about by the Conservatives are unquestionably inaccurate, by a significant amount. They're claiming 75 million each flyaway cost, which is laughable. At least be honest with the Canadian people about the true cost.

    I don't know enough about procurement to say whether the way we ended up with the F-35's was the best method, but from what I can gather the program's been a disaster in a lot of ways and even many US politicians are getting fed up with the program.

    And I'm not clear as to why the Eurofighter Typhoon wasn't considered. Not that they're going to be any cheaper. If we want a modern combat aircraft, we have to accept that they're going to cost in excess of 100 million each plus service, maintenance and future upgrades.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 10-04-2011 at 11:17 AM.

  84. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter
    The F-35 has been designed from the outset to be a lower cost fighter more akin to the F-16 or superhornet.
    Maybe that's how it was intended, but that's not how it turned out. The F-35 is going to cost at least as much, somewhere around 125 million each by the latest US military budget estimates..
    Part of the problem with estimating fighter jet prices, is it depends very much on whether including maintenance, and also the volume that the fighter ultimately has. The reason the Euro-fighter is so expensive, aside from the fact its a dual engine air-superiority fighter (although lack of stealth could be an issue in the future, esp. if PAK-FA starts flying into Canadian territory), is the lack of volume for it to offset all the sunk R&D costs. The constant upgrade developments are also then spread over only a few planes.

    The F35 is intended as the replacement for F16, F18, and perhaps A-10 for the US airforce and navy, so it was always supposed to be a more stripped down fighter like those. The problems were all with the B variant (to replace the harriers), which has messed up the project. Hopefully the plug will be pulled on B, so further costs won't be passed on to the A and C variants.

    Interesting to see Canada is getting an A variant, but with the C variants parachute and fuel nozels to enable it to use existing Canadian tankers, and to land at arctic bases. Canada doesn't need the larger wings of C variant versus A, as that's just to allow the plane to fly slower for carrier landings (the extra fuel advantage being offset by extra weight).
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-04-2011 at 08:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Part of the problem with estimating fighter jet prices, is it depends very much on whether including maintenance, and also the volume that the fighter ultimately has. The reason the Euro-fighter is so expensive, aside from the fact its a dual engine air-superiority fighter (although lack of stealth could be an issue in the future, esp. if PAK-FA starts flying into Canadian territory), is the lack of volume for it to offset all the sunk R&D costs. The constant upgrade developments are also then spread over only a few planes.
    Your first point is very relevant as the lifetime cost of operating an aircraft (spare parts, training, engines, weapons, sensor pods) is not the purchase cost and is obviously spread out over the life of the aircraft. Personally, I think the F-18 Super Hornet is an ideal candidate to replace the CF-188s. The US Navy has found the Super Hornet to be an economical aircraft to operate. Boeing has recently offered to build 170 Super Hornets for the US Navy at a cost of $50 million each.

    As for PAk-FAs flying into Canadian territory it is rather unlikely unless it has tanker support and Russian bombers are far better suited for such long range missions. The aircraft is still under development and it will be several years before it is even deployed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    The US Navy has found the Super Hornet to be an economical aircraft to operate. Boeing has recently offered to build 170 Super Hornets for the US Navy at a cost of $50 million each.

    As for PAk-FAs flying into Canadian territory it is rather unlikely unless it has tanker support and Russian bombers are far better suited for such long range missions. The aircraft is still under development and it will be several years before it is even deployed.
    I like the Super Hornet, I agree it would be well suited. It is a 4.5g aircraft though, and perhaps more importantly, will not generate revenue for Canadian businesses that will get to supply parts to all of the F35's built in North America.

    On the PAK-FA I agree its a bit unlikely flying into Canada (more likely to be encountered on a NATO mission), it does appear to be a larger plane though with quite a long range.
    Last edited by moahunter; 11-04-2011 at 08:03 AM.

  88. #88

    Default There are no alternatives to the F-35

    If Canadians want to equip their air force with the best available tools, they need to focus on next generation technology. There’s little point in looking backwards. The future rests with fifth, not fourth, generation technology. The risk in spending a lesser fortune today on a supped-up version of the CF-18 is that Canada will find itself replacing outdated hardware before long. That’s an expensive proposition.

    Second, the fighter-jet industry has become increasingly polarized. The Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese are tomorrow’s heavyweights. While some Canadians find it suspicious that no alternative bids were entertained when selecting the F-35, in reality, there are virtually no competitors.
    Read more: There are no alternatives to the F-35 | Troy Media Corporation http://www.troymedia.com/2011/05/05/...#ixzz1LZjMZd4B

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    Default US Backgrounder info

    http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/man/...velopment.html
    http://www.fas.org/man//dod-101/sys/ac/f-35.htm
    .
    .
    The best part of the news about the Canadian Government's purchase of these fighters is the news about all of the support and maintenance jobs that this will bring to the west ern part of Quebec and Ontario
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  90. #90

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    ^Those sites are a little outdated. The Royal Navy is now purchasing the C varient, and the B varient has been suspended (only potential customer left is the marines).

    That the US Air force is planning to purchase more than 1700 F35A's puts in perspective the "controversy" over the purchase of 60 odd in Canada. Especially when you consider, as you note, that it opens up to Canadian contractors to work not just on those 60, but all instead thousands of aircraft.

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    this will bring jobs to Quebec and Ontario is my guess
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  92. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    That the US Air force is planning to purchase more than 1700 F35A's puts in perspective the "controversy" over the purchase of 60 odd in Canada. Especially when you consider, as you note, that it opens up to Canadian contractors to work not just on those 60, but all instead thousands of aircraft.
    really? Can you speak to a contract or MOU that guarantees work for Canadian contractors, on any level?

    cost? care to advise why other countries, presumably with the same "sweetheart deal" have pulled back/out of that much ballyhooed $75 million/per cost... sans engine, no less! What about that stealthy thingee, that isn't, when adding the needed tanks for extended northern flights? And on and on...

  93. #93

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    ^so it was a mistake for the Liberal party to get involved in this consortium?

    I'd rather have Canadian workers have the opportunity to work on potentially thousands of aircraft, rather than just 60, even if the 60 work were guaranteed. Already there are 54 Canadian contracts worth $320 million in place, and it hasn't even began to ramp up.

    http://www.obj.ca/Local/Defence-and-...kheed-Martin/1

    In total, there are 54 contracts, worth $320 million, with Canadian companies already in place, said Mr. Burbage, adding some domestic firms – namely Mississauga’s Magellan Aerospace – are all but guaranteed future contracts because of their world-leading expertise.
    http://www.obj.ca/Local/Defence-and-...omic-gold%3F/1

    According to Lockheed Martin, the main Canadian entities with stakes in the F-35 II program are as follows (please see main image):



    - Mxi Technologies (Ottawa): Autonomic Logistics Information System;

    - National Research Council (Ottawa): Air data projects and laser support services for infrared laser;

    - Avcor (Delta, British Columbia): Outboard wings for the F-35C carrier variant;

    - Honeywell (Mississauga): Power thermal management system;

    - Magellan Aerospace (Mississauga): CTOL (conventional takeoff and landing variant) horizontal tails;

    - Magellan Aerospace, Heroux Devtek (Longueuil, Que.), Centra Industries (Cambridge, Ont.) and ASCO Aerospace Canada (Delta, B.C.): Substantial machining work.
    Last edited by moahunter; 06-05-2011 at 02:36 PM.

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    See pages 11-15 of this PDF for Canada's industrial participation in the JSF program.
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  95. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I'd rather have Canadian workers have the opportunity to work on potentially thousands of aircraft, rather than just 60, even if the 60 work were guaranteed. Already there are 54 Canadian contracts worth $320 million in place, and it hasn't even began to ramp up.

    http://www.obj.ca/Local/Defence-and-...kheed-Martin/1
    the salient point is cost to the Canadian taxpayer... my question to you was in that context... what contract guarantees the long-term maintenance side of that significant cost to the taxpayer? Right - there isn't one. So we're outright lied to by Harper Conservatives who still insist the $75 million/per cost applies. Somehow, we have all these other figures coming forward: Page/PBO (@ $128 million/per), the US GAO (@ $133 million/per), the US DOD (@ $156 million/per), etc., etc., etc.

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    ^to put it in perspective Jeff, the current CF18's cost $250m per year in maintenance. I'm glad to see them replaced with a comparble priced but significantly more capable aircraft that Canadian contractors will be supplying the build of for militaries throughout the world, rather than the Liberal "dither, dither" Sea King approach that would end up costing more (both in terms of lives, and procurement).
    Last edited by moahunter; 06-05-2011 at 03:12 PM.

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    Not 100% related to our fighter issue, but I found it interesting:

    RAF Eurofighter Typhoons 'beaten by Pakistani F-16s'
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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    ^I wonder if they would do as well againt US pilots trained in top gun type schools? Of course, it could all be academic depending on how much trust one places in BVR weapons, which seem to be the focus of new fighters. The Typhoon itself is I guess more of a pure "interceptor" (like the old Avro Arrow that never was) compared to the F16, built to complete entire missions in supercruise rather than lower speed manouver like the F16. I'm not sure any aircraft can be good at everything (although Typhoon was supposed to be pretty good at close combat).

    It's always possible, as the anonymous Pakistani pilot suggests, that the problem was with the crews. It may be that RAF pilots simply don't know how to fight close-in. During the many years when they had no other fighter than the lamentable Tornado F3 (the Typhoon only reached front line service a few years ago) they may have lost the institutional skillset required for dogfighting with short-range missiles.

    But in general when the British forces perform badly it isn't because of a lack of skills and training. It's far more normal for them to be let down by their kit. Based on this account, the Typhoon is actually worse than an F-16, and as a result an export Flanker or Fulcrum equipped with Archer missiles would beat it easily in WVR combat.

    It would appear that the Eurofighter's last remaining selling point compared to modern US-made stealth fighters which cost the same or less (or for that matter vastly cheaper ordinary non-stealth fighters like the F-16, F-18 Hornet etc) now has something of a question mark over it.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06...f16/page2.html
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-06-2011 at 12:20 PM.

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    Avro Arrow.

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    Oh God no not that again
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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