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Thread: Which Fighter Jet should Canada choose?

  1. #1101
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    F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane
    ...
    “The program appears to have stabilized,” Michael Sullivan from the Government Accountability Office told Congress. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen,” chimed in Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the program on the government side. When War is Boring asked Lockheed spokesman Laura Siebert about the F-35, she said she expected a “much more positive” article than usual owing to what she described as the program’s “significant progress.”

    But the chorus of praise is wrong.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter  ...  is as troubled as ever. Any recent tidbits of apparent good news can’t alter a fundamental flaw in the plane’s design with roots going back decades.
    ...
    http://medium.com/war-is-boring/fd-h...e-5c95d45f86a5

  2. #1102

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    ^that's not what pilots of the F35 are saying, there are a lot of outdated articles right now with people comparing F35 performance but ignoring the massive advantage that its electronic suite gives. The F35 is higly manouverable, but even if it weren't, would it really matter when the pilot can point their head in any direction, even seeing through the floor, and push "fire" and hit? It doesn't even have to turn to lock on. In reality though, virtually all airborne warfare is BVR now, and the F35 with its lower profile (stealth), and the best avionics electronics / passive radar, will win that against any non-stealth plane every time, it will detect the opposition before the opposition detects it. Ultimatley though, the F35 is going to be a drone control center:

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ng-drones.html

    http://www.businessinsider.com/there...-system-2015-4

    The F35 may be overpriced and overengineered, but it will be, with the F22, the most powerful aircraft flying, these puppies go into combat shortly.
    Last edited by moahunter; 25-05-2015 at 04:51 PM.

  3. #1103

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    The first major production run block is before congress, if approved, 400 planes will be built bringing the average cost per plane down from current 105m to between 80 and 85m:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon...act-1432932010

    As a comparison, a Superhornet currently costs 65m, so the prices per unit are getting closer. I expect when it's closer to 800 planes it will be cheaper (although Superhornet will be long gone by then). Looks like it will be produced at 150 planes per year, only slightly slower than the f16 was (200 per year).
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-05-2015 at 06:40 AM.

  4. #1104

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    Still does not make it the defacto choice for Canada's needs. the F-35 is overly complex, limited range and only a single engine.
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  5. #1105

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    ^range is much better than current CF18s. Single engines work fine in arctic environments (see Swedens Grippen). I agree we could get something cheaper though, I'd be fine if we ordered Grippens. I like the current approach of holding off, in three or four years time all the bugs will be gone, and the costs of operating the F35 much clearer. If it turns out the U.S. Air Force has all sorts of problems we can go elsewhere, if it turns out the plane performs great we can choose it. In the meantime, the upgrade process of CF18s will keep them a good aircraft under 2025. Whatever government is in power in 2020 (I'm guessing block 2, 400 to 800, will be underway and block 3 planned), will have the decision to make, perhaps block 3. It's always better to buy something more mature in the manufacturing process like the CF18 purchase, same for planes as for cars (last model years have less problems than first year new models).
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-05-2015 at 09:02 AM.

  6. #1106

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    The first major production run block is before congress, if approved, 400 planes will be built bringing the average cost per plane down from current 105m to between 80 and 85m:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon...act-1432932010

    As a comparison, a Superhornet currently costs 65m, so the prices per unit are getting closer. I expect when it's closer to 800 planes it will be cheaper (although Superhornet will be long gone by then). Looks like it will be produced at 150 planes per year, only slightly slower than the f16 was (200 per year).
    If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in.

  7. #1107

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    Interestingly, the US Marine Corp, who have the most complex varient, the F35b (with the verticle take off and landing) will be the first to put the F35 in combat, just one test to go:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-mari...ice-1434453528

    Lt. Gen. Davis said he also will put the first unit through an operational readiness inspection during which service officials not directly linked to the unit will assess whether the aircraft, pilots and maintenance staff can pass muster. If they pass that final test of 10 days to 12 days then, he said he would recommend to his superior the plane’s first operational unit, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121--“The Green Knights”--be considered operationally ready.

    The Marine Corps also hope to quickly add additional operational units to bolster its forces and add additional capabilities, including weapons to more precisely strike targets. Adding more jets is one of the service’s top priorities, Lt. Gen. Davis said.
    Last edited by moahunter; 18-06-2015 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #1108

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    ^
    That actually makes sense. From what I've read elsewhere (mostly at Foxtrot Alpha), most of the design compromises of the F35 were to make it possible to do short take off and vertical landing, to replace the Harrier Jump Jet for the Marines off of their smaller carriers. The Marines don't care as much about air superiority or intercept, and without the two prior missions, the bugs in the F35 don't affect them as much, plus they hate relying on the Navy for air support, so between all those factors, its logical they're the first to put it into service.

  9. #1109

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    And the news just keeps on coming...

    Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight

    New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle


    A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

    “The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”

    The test pilot’s report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history’s most expensive weapon.

    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/tes...ht-cdb9d11a875

  10. #1110

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    ^The F-35

    A very expensive flying duck.
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  11. #1111

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    ^ridiculous story, how many times is an F35 going to shoot down an opponent with a gun? Seriously? It just doesn't happen anymore, it hasn't since the late 1970's when the F15 arrived with modern missiles, the only reason the gun is there is for cheap air to ground straffing. The F35 with its superior electronics is designed to fire from a distance, an F16 would be dead meat before it even detects the F35. Its not designed to dogfight and will never need to. An F16 would destory an F15 in a dogfight with guns as well, does that make it a better plane, than the most sucessful air superiority plane in history? No. An F15 is not a flying duck. An interceptor (e.g. Mig 31, like that arrow would have been), is not a flying duck (they can't dogfight either). F35 will dominate the skies, not just for air to air, but more importantly, for the role Canada has mostly uses its CF18's, air to ground.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 08:51 AM.

  12. #1112
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    So if you have a superior missile then really you don't need to spend between $148 and $337 million per plane. Just mount missiles and a better radar an a cheaper airframe and save yourself tons of money.

    FYI: F/A 18E/F Super Hornet costs about $65 million per unit, F-16 C/D about $20 million.

    As this summary of the War is Boring article, concluded;
    ...The fact that the F-35 is maybe not really a good fighter at all is reminiscent of the question that we’ve been asking for years — if you don’t really need competitive maneuverability, than why do we need a fighter at all?
    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...igh-1714712248
    Last edited by sundance; 30-06-2015 at 11:43 AM.

  13. #1113

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^ridiculous story, how many times is an F35 going to shoot down an opponent with a gun? Seriously? It just doesn't happen anymore, it hasn't since the late 1970's when the F15 arrived with modern missiles, the only reason the gun is there is for cheap air to ground straffing. The F35 with its superior electronics is designed to fire from a distance, an F16 would be dead meat before it even detects the F35. Its not designed to dogfight and will never need to. An F16 would destory an F15 in a dogfight with guns as well, does that make it a better plane, than the most sucessful air superiority plane in history? No. An F15 is not a flying duck. An interceptor (e.g. Mig 31, like that arrow would have been), is not a flying duck (they can't dogfight either). F35 will dominate the skies, not just for air to air, but more importantly, for the role Canada has mostly uses its CF18's, air to ground.
    Then why is the USAF even doing these exercises? Just for ***** and grins? "Hey, the F-35 is just so awesome that we've got plenty of time to test things that are totally irrelevant."

    Apparently they are more concerned with it than you are.
    Last edited by kkozoriz; 30-06-2015 at 02:58 PM.

  14. #1114

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    So if you have a superior missile then really you don't need to spend between $148 and $337 million per plane. Just mount missiles and a better radar an a cheaper airframe and save yourself tons of money.
    That's basically the theory of the F35, its not a dog fighter, its a plane that can perform multiple roles, because it has superior electronics to anything else in the skies. Its not the engine, or the airframe, that's costing all the money, its the software and electronics to get all the weapons to work and integrate over multiple aircraft. That's why the high price. Longer term its expected the F35's are going to be command ships for drones. Its also why the F35 will drop very fast in price as the orders ramp up as software once figured out, costs very little, it already has dropped considerably in price, and the first large traunche hasn't even been manufactured yet.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102519740

    "We aren't stopping here," Martin said in a statement. "We have numerous initiatives in place ... that will drive program costs even lower allowing us to provide ... a fifth-generation F-35 jet at a fourth-generation price by the end of the decade."

    ...

    Under the eighth set of production contracts, each conventional takeoff A-model jet and engine cost $108 million, down from $112 million, while the cost of the B-model jet, which can take off and land like a helicopter, dropped to $134 million from $139 million, it said.

    The Navy version of the jet, which can land on an aircraft carrier, dropped to $129 million from $130 million, the program office said.
    What Canada is doing, holding off buying / extending the life of the CF-18's makes a ton of sense, in 5 to 10 years time the F35 will probably be almost as cheap as any other fighter available for purchase. If not, can look elsewhere then.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 03:29 PM.

  15. #1115

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Then why is the USAF even doing these exercises? Just for ***** and grins? "Hey, the F-35 is just so awesome that we've got plenty of time to test things that are totally irrelevant."
    Because you have to test a plane to find out its strengths and weaknesses. Pilots will understand very clearly, this is an electronic warfare plane where you destroy your opponents from a distance, just like an F15, its not a dogfighter, so avoid those situations.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 03:14 PM.

  16. #1116

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Its not the engine, or the airframe, that's costing all the money, its the software...
    wth? how did this turn into the Metro Line - North LRT thread?
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  17. #1117

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    ^Thales is involved in both too... The F35 has been a dogs breakfast of a project in terms of management, at the end of the day though, I think it will be the best plane flying for the price. It just needs time to go into heavy production, comparing the cost of what isn't much more than a protype, to planes that have been in production for over a decade, isn't really that logical. Even now its cheaper than a Eurofigher for example, its not going to be cheaper than a Superhornet over night, but being single engined, designed from the outset with manufacture in mind, and smaller, it should get there.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 03:47 PM.

  18. #1118

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    Of course it'll be the best plane flying for the price because no other plane comes near it's price point.

    Just the software? Really?


    Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’


    For starters, the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 — which can avoid sensor detection thanks to its special shape and coating — simply doesn’t work very well. The Pentagon has had to temporarily ground F-35s no fewer than 13 times since 2007, mostly due to problems with the plane’s Pratt & Whitney-made F135 engine, in particular, with the engines’ turbine blades. The stand-downs lasted at most a few weeks.

    “The repeated problems with the same part of the engine may be indications of a serious design and structural problem with the F135 engine,” said Johan Boeder, a Dutch aerospace expert and editor of the online publication JSF News.

    ---

    In 2008, two analysts at the RAND Corporation, a California think-tank that works closely with the military, programmed a computer simulation to test out the F-35′s fighting ability in a hypothetical air war with China. The results were startling.

    “The F-35 is double-inferior,” John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue concluded in their written summary of the war game, later leaked to the press. The new plane “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run,” they warned.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debat...limb-cant-run/

  19. #1119

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    ^so you are quoting the same article that has been quoted about 20 times already on this thread, by a group of Australian bloggers, based on a 2008 war game, who want Australia to acquire the F22 (even though its not for sale to Australia)? Great. I'll take the assessment of the US Air Force, RN, RAF, and USM, (USN reportedly still need some convincing as they like twin engine on carriers), over that anyday of the week, if you think they are going to want to buy a plane that's inferior than what they currently have for todays warfare (not WWI, WWII or Vietnam)... give your head a shake.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 04:00 PM.

  20. #1120

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    Yeah, they;re just bloggers.

    Johan Boeder, a Dutch aerospace expert and editor of the online publication JSF News.

    two analysts at the RAND Corporation, a California think-tank that works closely with the military, programmed a computer simulation to test out the F-35′s fighting ability in a hypothetical air war with China. The results were startling.

    “The F-35 is double-inferior,” John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue concluded
    You're so distracted by the newest and shinest new toy that you refuse to even consider that it might have serious problems and never be available at the price point promised?

    "If I just dismiss everything that's found online as coming from "bloggers" then I'll be proven right."

    Today's warfare? Who exactly are we fighting today? Does ISIS have ab airforce? That's who we're fighting today, all six planes worth. And a lot of the time we can't actually attack anyone with them because they're individuals hiding amongst a civilian population. How will stealth and long distance missile combat solve that problem?

  21. #1121

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    ^you are repeating an article that quotes an Australian think tank, who you believe know more about the F35, than the USAF, USN, USM, or the RN. That's fine, its easy to find on the internet what you want to believe. Like it or not, the worlds most powerful military thinks this plane is worth the money and is going ahead with it. The RAF, and RN is as well. I think they have a bit more information than a 2008 war game. Lockheed, who produced the most powerful aircraft in the world (the F22), are not IMO going to produce a plane that's going to be an abject failure. This program has been far from perfect, but the idea that the plane is going to not be capable when the USM are on the verge of putting it in combat, most of the supposed critical failures have been corrected, and prices are dropping, is frankley, bizare.

    As to whether Canada should buy it, I don't think we should right now, I think we should do what we are doing, extend the life of the CF18's and watch and see how the F35 performs / how the prices drop. I think it will be an affordable plane in 10 years time, but if its not, there are other cheaper options like the Gripen or more expensive options like the Rafale or Eurofighter.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-06-2015 at 04:51 PM.

  22. #1122

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    However, it's not the military that makes the decision of which plane (or ship or...) to buy. That decision is made by Congress. The big reason behind these decisions is how much money and how many jobs will end up in which congressional districts.

    Case in point.

    Congress Again Buys Abrams Tanks the Army Doesn't Want

    Dec 18, 2014 | by Richard Sisk
    The new defense spending bill includes $120 million for tanks that the Army has repeatedly said it doesn't want.
    For three years, the Army in numerous Congressional hearings has pushed a plan that essentially would have suspended tank building and upgrades in the U.S. for the first time since World War II. The Army suggested that production lines could be kept open through foreign sales.
    Each time, Congress has pushed back. Last week, Congress won again in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015.
    In a statement, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said that Congress "recognizes the necessity of the Abrams tank to our national security and authorizes an additional $120 million for Abrams tank upgrades. This provision keeps the production lines open in Lima, Ohio, and ensures that our skilled, technical workers are protected."

    ---

    Turner chairs the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and will retain that position in the next Congress. The General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, the only U.S. manufacturer of tanks, is in the district of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

  23. #1123
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    No just Congress but more in my interest in Parliament as well. If USA wants to bankrupt themselves then that is their wish and so be it. I'm more concerned and directly affected by Canada rubber stamping approval for a large fleet purchase. Currently Canada is better off with Super Hornets or upgraded F-16s or F-18s or even drones, all of those options a WAY cheaper than $150-300 million per F-35.

  24. #1124

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Currently Canada is better off with Super Hornets or upgraded F-16s or F-18s or even drones, all of those options a WAY cheaper than $150-300 million per F-35.
    They are cheaper today, but might not be in 5 to 10 years time, which is why what the government has done, extend the life of the CF18's and defer the decision, makes a ton of sense. Every other fighter jet the US has produced in volume has plumented in price once orders have ramped up and the production lines moved into full swing (the F22 never reached that point).

  25. #1125
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    Yes the F-35 will come down in price a bit, perhaps at best $100 million per plane, I doubt it will get much cheaper, but it will always remain a pig to fly. They made too many compromises to try and get VTOL into a multipurpose plane. You're better off with task specific planes.

  26. #1126

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    ^I disagree, multi role planes like the CF-18 are the most effective today, not task specific (like the Mig 35, which is fine interceptor, but won't drop bombs). The F35 is just an evolution of that.

  27. #1127

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    Here is the reply to the report:

    The tests cited in the article were done earlier this year to test the flying qualities of the F-35 using visual combat maneuvers to stress the system, and the F-16 involved was used as a visual reference to maneuver against. While the dogfighting scenario was successful in showing the ability of the F-35 to maneuver to the edge of its limits without exceeding them, and handle in a positive and predictable manner, the interpretation of the scenario results could be misleading. The F-35's technology is designed to engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual "dogfighting" situations. There have been numerous occasions where a four-ship of F-35s has engaged a four-ship of F-16s in simulated combat scenarios and the F-35s won each of those encounters because of its sensors, weapons, and stealth technology.
    https://www.f35.com/news/detail/join...g?sf10503378=1

  28. #1128

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    Then why are they bothering to install guns on the F-35 in the first place?

    ...just in case of a dogfight perhaps?
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  29. #1129

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Yes the F-35 will come down in price a bit, perhaps at best $100 million per plane, I doubt it will get much cheaper, but it will always remain a pig to fly. They made too many compromises to try and get VTOL into a multipurpose plane. You're better off with task specific planes.
    Not only the upfront costs but spares and maintenance of the F-35 is clearly very high. What good is a fighter where half of your squadron is in the hanger in pieces?
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  30. #1130

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    The F-35's technology is designed to engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual "dogfighting" situations.
    The ability to "engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances" is not proprietary to the F-35. Many fighters can do this. This sounds like a weapons system.

    And brings us back to another part of this thread. Billions are being spent for a weapons system tailor made for one jet fighter, correct? Why not a 'weapons system' that fits many types of military aircraft (eg. attack, interceptor, fighter, even helicopters)?
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  31. #1131

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    The F-35's technology is designed to engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances, not necessarily in visual "dogfighting" situations.
    The ability to "engage, shoot, and kill its enemy from long distances" is not proprietary to the F-35. Many fighters can do this. This sounds like a weapons system.
    Its a plane that is more than capable enough to defend itself and Canada's airspace (much an interceptor of old, which also couldn't dog fight, like the arrow), but more importantly, it is optimized for the doing the exact role the CF18 has been used for most in combat, dropping bombs. Munitions are changing rapidly right now, and the F35 will be upgraded for every new US weapon that comes on line in the next 30 to 40 years. Other systems, won't be.

  32. #1132

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Not only the upfront costs but spares and maintenance of the F-35 is clearly very high. What good is a fighter where half of your squadron is in the hanger in pieces?
    Time is going to tell on that, its high cost right now, but give it 5 years and lets see then. The program was designed from the outset to have cheaper maintenance, I think when there are a thousand of these aircraft being used, that will happen, especially as only one engine not two to repair. Right now though, with only a handfull flying, sure, it costs a lot, like any prototype. Upgrading 4 generation aircraft for new weapons as they become availbale will likely be exteremly expensive as well, whereas with the F35 can just piggy back off the US upgrades.

  33. #1133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Yes the F-35 will come down in price a bit, perhaps at best $100 million per plane, I doubt it will get much cheaper, but it will always remain a pig to fly. They made too many compromises to try and get VTOL into a multipurpose plane. You're better off with task specific planes.
    Not only the upfront costs but spares and maintenance of the F-35 is clearly very high. What good is a fighter where half of your squadron is in the hanger in pieces?
    on the other hand, isn't that how we already treat too much of our military? from sea kings to buffalos, from submarines to frigates, from armoured vehicles to housing and support services...

    fifteen years from now, it will probably be easier to keep the f-35's in the air than to keep flying our cf 18's which by then will be between 42 and 48 years old.

    that would be like trying to run a succesful airline today that was based on flying boeing 707s or douglas dc-8s or maybe even de haviland comets. you could probably do it but you're not likely to have the best in-service/reliability records in the industry.
    Last edited by kcantor; 03-07-2015 at 11:27 AM.
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  34. #1134

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    We have a very successful C-130 program in Canada for even old aircraft bought between 1964-1967 and Spar Aerospace does actually do complete overhauls & upgrades on the C-130's of the US Coast Guard, New Zealand, Norway and Greece.
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  35. #1135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    We have a very successful C-130 program in Canada for even old aircraft bought between 1964-1967 and Spar Aerospace does actually do complete overhauls & upgrades on the C-130's of the US Coast Guard, New Zealand, Norway and Greece.
    that "very successful c-130 program" isn't keeping any of those '64 - '67 e variants in the air.

    we have been retiring c-130's for more than a decade with the very last of the planes you refer to having been retired from service in 2012. furthermore, there is but a single one of the h variants that started to be delivered in the mid '70's still in service.

    a summary overview of the c-130's in canadian service is available here:

    http://www.casr.ca/101-af-cc130h-hercules.htm
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  36. #1136

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    the F35 will be upgraded for every new US weapon that comes on line in the next 30 to 40 years. Other systems, won't be.
    That's a big assumption and leap. Who does LM weapons system? Aegis. Controlled by LM. If I build a weapons system why would I only hitch my wagon to the F35? There are other Gen 5 fighters available.

    And 30-40 years in the future? Drones will be the weapons system.
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  37. #1137

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    According to some, the magical F-35's are invisible, don't need to dogfight, are cheap to operate and maintain, will be up-gradable for 40+ years, uses seawater as fuel and are biodegradable.

    Man! Putin must be shaking in his boots that Canada is getting this invincible fighter.
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  38. #1138

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    fifteen years from now, it will probably be easier to keep the f-35's Generation 5 fighter we ultimately choose in the air than to keep flying our cf 18's which by then will be between 42 and 48 years old.
    We're getting ahead of ourselves. Maintenance is maintenance no matter what jet is chosen.
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  39. #1139

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    And 30-40 years in the future? Drones will be the weapons system.
    I agree, which is why the electronics on the F35 is being set up so that it can control drones. A CF18 won't be doing that:

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ng-drones.html

  40. #1140

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    According to some, the magical F-35's are invisible, don't need to dogfight, are cheap to operate and maintain, will be up-gradable for 40+ years, uses seawater as fuel and are biodegradable.
    And don't forget, the mere mention that one is in possession of an F-35, the opposition forces scatter, hide or surrender.
    If only the opposing force could get their hands on an F-35...... oh wait, they can. F-35's for all. Yeah, big advantage.
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  41. #1141

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    ^whereas they are scared of our CF18's, or would be of superhornets deisgned 30 years ago?

  42. #1142

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    And 30-40 years in the future? Drones will be the weapons system.
    I agree, which is why the electronics on the F35 is being set up so that it can control drones. A CF18 won't be doing that:

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ng-drones.html
    Why not?

    Does the F-35 have some magical power?

    If a kid is a school yard can control a drone why can they not add the same hardware of an F-35 into an CF-18? If Canada wanted that capability, I bet some aerospace company will offer the upgrade.
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  43. #1143

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    And 30-40 years in the future? Drones will be the weapons system.
    I agree, which is why the electronics on the F35 is being set up so that it can control drones. A CF18 won't be doing that:

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...ng-drones.html
    Why not?

    Does the F-35 have some magical power?

    If a kid is a school yard can control a drone why can they not add the same hardware of an F-35 into an CF-18? If Canada wanted that capability, I bet some aerospace company will offer the upgrade.
    Yes, again here is that assumption that drone control, weapons systems, stealth are all proprietary to the F-35.
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  44. #1144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Does the F-35 have some magical power?
    It's basically a mini AWAC's with Superhornet Growler (jaming) capability to boot, its a computer with wings, not a 1970's model PC, and no, you can't just "upgrade / write some software", this is where all the dollars are going:

    Advanced electronic warfare capabilities enable the F-35 to locate and track enemy forces, jam radars and disrupt attacks with unparalleled effectiveness. All three variants of the F-35 carry AESA radars with sophisticated electronic attack capabilities, including network attack and advanced jamming techniques. This system allows the F-35 to reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars, all without the need for dedicated electronic attack aircraft support.

    The F-35’s survivability, electronic attack, electronic protection, situational awareness, advanced targeting and unprecedented Combat ID will make the entire air wing better. Research indicates that adding more F-35s in a high threat environment is far more effective than adding more single-mission, electronic attack support aircraft. The electronic warfare suite on the F-35 gives improved emitter location capability over legacy aircraft.
    https://www.f35.com/about/capabiliti...ctronicwarfare

  45. #1145

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    Yes, again here is that assumption that drone control, weapons systems, stealth are all proprietary to the F-35.
    Yes, moahunter should be is a salesman for the military industrial complex.


    If you can mount a Hellfire on a Cessna passenger plane...

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  46. #1146

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    this is where all the dollars are going:

    Advanced electronic warfare capabilities enable the F-35 to locate and track enemy forces, jam radars and disrupt attacks with unparalleled effectiveness. All three variants of the F-35 carry AESA radars with sophisticated electronic attack capabilities, including network attack and advanced jamming techniques. This system allows the F-35 to reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars, all without the need for dedicated electronic attack aircraft support.

    The F-35’s survivability, electronic attack, electronic protection, situational awareness, advanced targeting and unprecedented Combat ID will make the entire air wing better. Research indicates that adding more F-35s in a high threat environment is far more effective than adding more single-mission, electronic attack support aircraft. The electronic warfare suite on the F-35 gives improved emitter location capability over legacy aircraft.
    https://www.f35.com/about/capabiliti...ctronicwarfare
    AESA was/is designed for use in the F-35 but not necessarily proprietary. Somewhere, sometime, someone's going to have similar and superior (if not already). Variations of AESA are in Russian and Chinese fighters now, no? It's considered an advantage but PESA is a formidable system as well. It really is computers and upgrades and software. All very fluid and in a constant stage of improvement.
    Last edited by bpeters; 03-07-2015 at 02:42 PM.
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  47. #1147

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Does the F-35 have some magical power?
    It's basically a mini AWAC's with Superhornet Growler (jaming) capability to boot, its a computer with wings, not a 1970's model PC, and no, you can't just "upgrade / write some software", this is where all the dollars are going:
    What a load of BS! You are saying that a CF-18 is NOT up-gradable???

    The ancient Seaking is in use as an AWAC and does not have stealth, a fancy new airframe and Mach II capabilities. "the new radar enables the ASaC7 to simultaneously track up to 400 targets,"

    http://www.oocities.org/lucktam/awacs/skaew.htm
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 03-07-2015 at 03:18 PM.
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    Here are the most damning parts of the report on the F-35’s dogfighting problems.

    F-35 failed to beat F 16 in a dogfight

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/wo...hting-problems
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  49. #1149

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagators63 View Post
    Here are the most damning parts of the report on the F-35’s dogfighting problems.

    F-35 failed to beat F 16 in a dogfight

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/wo...hting-problems
    Thanks

    I like the part
    Still, the US$1.5 trillion F-35’s failure to best an F-16 — a plane that was first introduced into service in 1978, is concerning. Although the F-35 may be designed to overcome rival aircraft at distance, there are is no way to guarantee that a future air war won’t involve frequent dogfights, confrontations for which the F-35 may be ill-equipped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    ...

    Yes, moahunter should be is a salesman for the military industrial complex.
    ...
    well based on posts 1027 and 1094, shouldn't you also then be considered a salesman for the military industrial complex, albeit for different manufacturers?
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  51. #1151

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    A swing and a miss...

    Don't see any sales pitch in either post. Suggesting we look at other alternatives is not sales, just shopping around.

    Are you thinking I am suggesting that we turn Seaking's into jet fighters? I think not. Maybe you should read posts more closely
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Does the F-35 have some magical power?
    It's basically a mini AWAC's with Superhornet Growler (jaming) capability to boot, its a computer with wings, not a 1970's model PC, and no, you can't just "upgrade / write some software", this is where all the dollars are going:
    What a load of BS!

    The Seaking is in use as an AWAC and does not have stealth, a fancy new airframe and Mach II capabilities.

    http://www.oocities.org/lucktam/awacs/skaew.htm
    you're right - the seaking doesn't have stealth. it also doesn't have range. or height. or speed.

    and - as per the page you linked to for this photo - these seaking conversions "were a success although not as capable as a fixed wing aew platform". and that was comparing it to the previously retired gannet aew3 which went in to service in 1950 (and is what this conversion was intended to replace on an interim basis), not an f35.

    it's not just "what it is", it's how well it does its job and how well it can defend itself. this is about as good a comparison to an f35 as aeries bison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    A swing and a miss...

    Don't see any sales pitch in either post. Suggesting we look at other alternatives is not sales, just shopping around.

    Are you thinking I am suggesting that we turn Seaking's into jet fighters? I think not. Maybe you should read posts more closely
    if the end result of your suggestions is a purchase, you are in sales.

    if you're not promoting a purchase at all, you would be saying we shouldn't be purchasing anything at all, not suggesting alternatives to an option you don't like.

    and no, i didn't say i thought you were suggesting we turn seaking's into jet fighters (where did i say or even hint at that?). you said that "the Seaking is in use as an AWAC and does not have stealth, a fancy new airframe and Mach II capabilities." and you said it in a thread about fighter jets and the suitability of the f35 in particular for canada.

    what i thought you were suggesting is that the f35 made no sense because a seaking could do the job as it stands, not because it could be turned into a jet fighter. and neither of those things makes any sense.
    Last edited by kcantor; 03-07-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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  54. #1154

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    ^^I just get testy when moahunter states these absolutes that the F-35 is the ONLY platform that is up-gradable and has so many unique capabilities that no other aircraft in the world has which is clearly not true.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 03-07-2015 at 03:54 PM.
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  55. #1155

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    A swing and a miss...

    Don't see any sales pitch in either post. Suggesting we look at other alternatives is not sales, just shopping around.

    Are you thinking I am suggesting that we turn Seaking's into jet fighters? I think not. Maybe you should read posts more closely
    if the end result of your suggestions is a purchase, you are in sales.

    if you're not promoting a purchase at all, you would be saying we shouldn't be purchasing anything at all, not suggesting alternatives to an option you don't like.
    No, you are wrong. I am not saying, buy this because it is better. I have been saying that we should look at alternatives to the F-35. Not an F-35 fait accompli.
    To open the bidding to more options, review our needs and discuss them is farthest from a sales pitch. In fact is the exact opposite.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 03-07-2015 at 03:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    A swing and a miss...

    Don't see any sales pitch in either post. Suggesting we look at other alternatives is not sales, just shopping around.

    Are you thinking I am suggesting that we turn Seaking's into jet fighters? I think not. Maybe you should read posts more closely
    if the end result of your suggestions is a purchase, you are in sales.

    if you're not promoting a purchase at all, you would be saying we shouldn't be purchasing anything at all, not suggesting alternatives to an option you don't like.
    No, you are wrong. I am not saying, buy this because it is better. I have been saying that we should look at alternatives to the F-35. Not an F-35 fait accompli.
    To open the bidding to more options, review our needs and discuss them is farthest from a sales pitch. In fact is the exact opposite.
    except you didn't accuse moahunter of being a salesman for lockheed martin. you accused him of being a salesman for the military industrial complex. for promoting a particular provider.

    and you promoted alternative options to his preferred provider.

    as to why, i fail to see how or why anyone would promote any alternative that they did not consider better, for whatever reason, or are you actually suggesting that we should purchase other than the best alternative?

    regardless, given that all of the options' providers are all part of the same "military industrial complex", i fail to see how the brush you wield should paint moahunter and not you...
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  57. #1157

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    So you are saying that anyone who questions Canada's F-35 procurement program is a salesman? I haven't promoted anything other than looking at other options including upgrading what we have and a half dozen other aircraft. Sorry that I suggested he was a salesman for the military industrial complex rather than saying he looks more like an F-35 salesman.

    Give your head a shake. What's next, that anyone who questions the F-35 is a terrorist?

    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 03-07-2015 at 04:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    So you are saying that anyone who questions Canada's F-35 procurement program is a salesman? I haven't promoted anything other than looking at other options including upgrading what we have and a half dozen other aircraft. Sorry that I suggested he was a salesman for the military industrial complex rather than saying he looks more like an F-35 salesman.

    Give your head a shake. What's next, that anyone who questions the F-35 is a terrorist?

    sometimes i wish i were a straw salesman and you were one of my accounts. i could probably retire 10 years earlier than the current plan...
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  59. #1159

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    I guess you don't like debates
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  60. #1160

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    Sorry Ken but I think you misinterpreted something. PRT only referenced AWAC's use on a SeaKing in response to moa's statement that the F-35 has magical powers because it is a mini-AWACs with SH Growler jamming etc. A 'mythical' technology that has been adapted to that old SK, not implying its a replacement for the F-35. PRT, did I get this right?
    That's how I read it anyway.

    On the other hand I have accused moa of being a LM shill in this thread. He has corrected me that he is not. (though he does appear to vehemently endorse the F-35. )
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  61. #1161

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    I like debating the F-35 though my military aircraft knowledge is limited. The skeptic in me resists the 'ram rod' approach that LM has produced the most technologically advanced fighting machine ever in the history of the universe when objectively speaking that's not true. No? just ask them.

    In addition to the marvel that the F-35 is today, the pundits spew forth that over the lifespan (30-40 yrs has been quoted) the costs will come down to maintain etc without ever giving thought that new technological marvels are being designed everyday at a much more rapid pace to replace and improve on the F-35. And it won't be in 30-40 yrs. To read LM, is too suggest the F-35 is the pinnacle and fighter aircraft design can never be improved on and we might as well quit. I know LM's not said that per se so don't ask for sources.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    Sorry Ken but I think you misinterpreted something. PRT only referenced AWAC's use on a SeaKing in response to moa's statement that the F-35 has magical powers because it is a mini-AWACs with SH Growler jamming etc. A 'mythical' technology that has been adapted to that old SK, not implying its a replacement for the F-35. PRT, did I get this right?
    That's how I read it anyway.

    On the other hand I have accused moa of being a LM shill in this thread. He has corrected me that he is not. (though he does appear to vehemently endorse the F-35. )
    i'm afraid i must agree with him - moahunter doesn't have enough free time to be a lm shill...

    he's too busy being an expert on urban design, planning and development and on what ails the oilers and how to fix them both for edmonton. although most of the suggested cures are worse than the perceived ailment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I guess you don't like debates
    yet more straw?

    anyone that's been here for longer than 12 minutes probably knows better than that.
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  64. #1164

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    Sorry Ken but I think you misinterpreted something. PRT only referenced AWAC's use on a SeaKing in response to moa's statement that the F-35 has magical powers because it is a mini-AWACs with SH Growler jamming etc. A 'mythical' technology that has been adapted to that old SK, not implying its a replacement for the F-35. PRT, did I get this right?
    That's how I read it anyway.

    On the other hand I have accused moa of being a LM shill in this thread. He has corrected me that he is not. (though he does appear to vehemently endorse the F-35. )
    Yes,you got it right. The Seaking, C-130 and the Cessna were just some examples of aircraft being upgraded with new technology and weapons than greatly improve performance and/or change the nature of the original design intent. Moahunters strident endorsement of the F-35 while ignoring it's failures and obsurd cost (even the decline of the Canadian dollar results in billions in increased costs) are just not balanced.
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  65. #1165

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    I guess you don't like debates
    yet more straw?

    anyone that's been here for longer than 12 minutes probably knows better than that.
    What is the burr in you saddle?

    This is a debate called "Which Fighter Jet should Canada choose?" As soon as I offer suggestions you fly off the handle. I did not know that questioning the choice of the F-35 was a sales pitch or your favorite term, a strawman argument.

    I have no agenda or endgame. I just want to see hard earned taxpayer money well spent especially when the amounts are so great and the military industrial complex with overblown budgets have so much power over politicians with their shiny sales brochures, promise of jobs and lucrative contracts for Canadian businesses. Don't forget, those jobs that they offer is not some gift but our own money being sold back to us as some sort of "gift" like the aerospace companies are doing us a favor.
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  66. #1166

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    Not good at short OR long range.

    No, the F-35 Can’t Fight at Long Range, Either

    Stealth fighter can’t see, shoot or survive


    As a rebuttal to the test pilot report, Lockheed’s claim is a cynically useful one — it sidesteps the criticism without really confirming or denying it. But that doesn’t mean the company’s test-report rebuttal is actually true.

    Can the F-35 really engage, shoot and kill its enemy from long distances? There are reasons to believe it can’t. The stealth fighter lacks the sensors, weapons and speed that allow a warplane to reliably detect and shoot down other planes in combat. Especially when those planes are shooting back.

    In short—the F-35 isn’t much of a dogfighter. And it’s probably not very good at long-range aerial combat, either.

    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/no-...r-5508913252dd

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    Not sure why Harper is so adamant for the F-35, too much money for too little of a plane. Going for something else makes sense. I don't want politicians to be stupidly stubborn, sticking with a decision when it doesn't make sense. I do want them to be smartly stubborn, sticking with a decision when it makes sense in spite of the opposition.
    Trudeau says Liberals won’t buy F-35 planes, use savings to increase navy spending

    A Liberal government would not purchase F-35 fighter jets to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s and instead buy cheaper planes, saving money that would go primarily towards the navy, party leader Justin Trudeau said Sunday.
    ...
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle26446887/

  68. #1168

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    ^Trudeaus position is silly though, the Liberals originally decided on F35, now they are just ruling it out, without a proper competition. At least Mulcair has said it would depend on the result of a compeititon. In a decade, when the US is flying them everywhere, the F35 might actually be the cheapest option. The prices have already dropped significantly (although lower dollar doesn't help - but that impacts other options the same, including Superhornet).

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    I doubt the F-35 will ever be cheaper than a Super Hornet, it might eventually come down in price by about 1/2 if the production runs increase (1/2 seems steep, 1/3 might be best case). But you still have the design problems, too many compromises were made to make this a general purpose plane. You're better off with more specific purpose planes.

    As well where do drones fit in? I'd imagine they will replace almost all fighters and bombers further reducing the demand for the F-35.

    FYI: The F18-A/E's unit cost is around $60 million F-35 about $110 million (price varies based on plane variant, and doesn't include engine WTF?!?!?).
    Last edited by sundance; 21-09-2015 at 09:49 AM.

  70. #1170

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    ^superhornet is not a specific purpose plane, it is mostly a bomb truck, all of the affordable competition are also multi role fighters. We can't afford a single purpose interceptor / air dominance fighter. The only "possible" cheaper options (but that depends on future weapon integration costs) are the Superhornet and the Gripen, the Rafale, Eurofighter or F15 would cost more.
    Last edited by moahunter; 21-09-2015 at 09:51 AM.

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    You were the one that brought up the Super Hornet, not me.

  72. #1172

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    ^you are the one quoting old prices based on prototypes, not the production runs:

    The most recently contracted unit costs for Low Rate Initial Production lot 7 (not including the engine) are:


    •F-35A: $98 million
    •F-35B: $104 million
    •F-35C: $116 million


    An F-35A purchased in 2018 and delivered in 2020 will be $85 million, which is the equivalent of $75 million in today’s dollars.
    https://www.f35.com/about/fast-facts/cost

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    And the F-18 A/Es price in 2018 will probably be lower too. My statement about $110 million is roughly the average of the 3 variants. Then add in the engine.

    The $85 million for a 2018 cost seems reasonable ... without the engine. But compare that to $55 million (ish) for an estimated cost for a F-18 A/E with the engine.

  74. #1174

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    And the F-18 A/Es price in 2018 will probably be lower too.
    I doubt it, they are going out of production, whereas the F35's are ramping up. The price is directly related to how many planes are being built. At the moment F35 is high because its brand new, and only a handful manufactured. Its always the same for any figthter jet, they are costly at first as recover development costs / need to set up production, then prices plumet provided significant production occurs (if doesn't, like F22, the prices never drop). Provided Canada holds on and doesn't buy them too soon, the F35 "may" end up the cheapest planes over its life cycle, especially as future arms will be optimized for them (not the Superhornet which won't have the electronics capabilities needed for), and there will be a massive spares industry for them. I think the only plane that might be cheaper long term is the Gripen NG. It deserves a proper competition though, not just Trudeau ruling it out for political reasons.
    Last edited by moahunter; 21-09-2015 at 10:11 AM.

  75. #1175

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Trudeaus position is silly though, the Liberals originally decided on F35, now they are just ruling it out, without a proper competition. At least Mulcair has said it would depend on the result of a compeititon. In a decade, when the US is flying them everywhere, the F35 might actually be the cheapest option. The prices have already dropped significantly (although lower dollar doesn't help - but that impacts other options the same, including Superhornet).
    I wish we could just upgrade by buying used from some other airforce and thus save billions upon billions of dollars. As it is, it seems our upgrade cycles get stretched out to decade long exercises and all the while we continue to rely of grossly outdated equipment. Instead go with the tried and true by buying used, and get on with things.

  76. #1176

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    ^we might as well keep the CF18's then as buy second hand, the cost is as much maintenance as the inital price, and at least know what we have. Just look at those used submarines re the risk of second hand. Performance wise the Superhornet is hardly even an upgrade on the CF18's, it has better range and carries more, but is perhaps worse in air to air combat. I think the life extension program on CF18 was a pretty smart decision, it might make sense to even see if can extend them some more before making any decision.
    Last edited by moahunter; 21-09-2015 at 10:36 AM.

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    Israel is buying up several F-35 to give the country complete edge over most muslim countries.

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...00-f35s-02381/
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  78. #1178

    Default "Scraping F35 will crater Aerospace in Canada" - Harper

    Oddly, I'm onside with Mulcair on this, although I'm not sure its needed rapidly:

    The government launched a new process to assess other options. On Monday, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said the Liberal leader was short circuiting the selection process now underway.

    “When he says things like that, he’s just showing his total lack of experience,” Mulcair said.

    “How can he decide in advance the result without a process?” Mulcair said. “Good public administration is about fact-based decision-making.

    He said an NDP government would define the role for a new aircraft and launch a process “that will get us a fighter jet rapidly.”

    “Our women and men in uniform need that back-up and Canada needs that as part of its defence,” Mulcair said during a visit to Dartmouth, N.S.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2...rper-says.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    And the F-18 A/Es price in 2018 will probably be lower too. My statement about $110 million is roughly the average of the 3 variants. Then add in the engine.

    The $85 million for a 2018 cost seems reasonable ... without the engine. But compare that to $55 million (ish) for an estimated cost for a F-18 A/E with the engine.
    The problem with F/A-18E isn't the purchase cost, its the long-term support costs. The only countries that fly the Super Hornet are the US, which is starting the program to replace them, and the Australians that bought them as an interim measure to replace the F-111 Aardvark. The production line is expected to stop in a couple years. In about 15 years there will likely only be a handful flying, it'll likely to become more and more difficult to find parts and support what will become an orphaned fleet. I highly doubt a real competition could be run before the production is shut down.

    You'd also need to purchase more airframes to meet all the tasks.


    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    ...

    As well where do drones fit in? I'd imagine they will replace almost all fighters and bombers further reducing the demand for the F-35.

    ....
    The effectiveness of UAVs is often overstated and there are significant drawbacks to them. I've worked with them first hand and they do not operate at all like they do in the movies. With the sensors and information sharing provided by F-35s, they will also be a superior platform to work with UAVs in the future.

  80. #1180

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    The claim is determined to be "A lot of baloney" on the Baloney Meter.



    Baloney Meter: Would scrapping F-35 plan 'crater' Canada's aerospace industry?

    Since there is no signed agreement, Canada would not face contract penalties for withdrawal — but the aerospace industry would likely fall out of favour, a senior Lockheed Martin executive warned.

    "If, in fact, the Canadian government were to decide not to select the F-35, we will certainly honour the contracts that we have here with the Canadian industry, but our approach in the future would be to try to do business with the industries that are in the countries that are buying the airplane," Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, said in a 2013 speech in Montreal.

    Data from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada shows there are more than 700 companies of all sizes from coast to coast, employing of more than 180,000 workers, and with net revenue in 2014 of $27.7 billion.

    Based upon current figures, the F-35 represents approximately 2.29 per cent of the industry's total revenue.

    ---

    Elinor Sloan, a professor of international relations at Carleton University and former senior analyst at National Defence, says choosing another aircraft wouldn't be the end of the world.

    "Obviously if we didn't buy that aircraft we wouldn't get those benefits, but that's not to say we wouldn't get benefits from purchasing a different American aircraft," said Sloan, who noted the F-35 is different from traditional procurements, which obliged defence contractors to spend the equivalent of the equipment purchase price in Canada.

    "A lot of the (F-35) benefits, of course, are projected. There are projections as to the number of jobs are going to be created. We won't know it until it happens."

    Going with another aircraft could in fact provide more certainty to the aerospace industry because under a traditional benefits arrangement, the spending would be guaranteed, said defence analyst Dave Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cana...jets-1.3238263

  81. #1181

    Default

    You know a military program is in trouble when the National Review comes out against it.

    The F-35: Throwing Good Money after Bad



    Lieutenant General Charles Davis, a former program executive officer for the JSF, has stated that the F-35 program was “doomed the day the contract was signed.” The cost growth of the program has been breathtaking. In 1994, the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy versions of the JSF were being projected to cost $28 million, $35 million, and $38 million per plane respectively — $45 million to $61 million in today’s dollars. Flash forward to January 2014, when a detailed analysis of F-35 unit costs — an analysis that does not include the development costs — conducted by senior defense analyst Winslow Wheeler put the current unit costs at $190 million for the Air Force variant and about $270 million for the Marine and Navy variants. A 2013 Congressional Research Service report substantially concurs with Wheeler’s analysis, stating that the F-35’s “unit cost is approaching that of the F-22.”

    Claims that such unit costs are only low-rate initial production (LRIP) costs, and that the learning curve will lead to lower unit costs in the near future, are false. Learning-curve cost reductions are dependent on having a stable design and a stable production process that meets statistical quality-control standards. Regarding design, the F-35 will not have a stable design for many years to come. Regarding F-35 manufacturing processes, the May 2015 GAO report reveals that only 40 percent of the manufacturing processes necessary for F-35 production are considered to be meeting statistical standards. According to the report, “The best practice standard is to have 100 percent of the critical manufacturing processes in control by the start of low-rate initial production, which began in 2011 for the F-35 program.” So once again we find the rules being changed or ignored on behalf of the F-35. With LRIP design and manufacturing nowhere near what they should be in terms of stability, any talk about near or even mid-term price reductions has zero credibility.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...e-waste-danger

  82. #1182

    Default

    That's a great read kkoz.

    Summed up best in with "F-35 development has been the archetype of paying huge sums of money for immature technologies with unproven combat value matched to unstable requirements."
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  83. #1183

    Default

    ^but at the end of the day, even if the US has wastefully spent billions too much on the F35, why would that rule it out from a competition to find a new fighter, especially given it is going to be the backbone of the USAF, USN and USM, and also countries like Israel (who have an amazing air force, and know a thing or two about planes), and the RN, for the next two to three decades? All new NATO weapons systems are going to be optimized for the F35, many of them will never be available to 4G planes, simply due to their electronics limitations, weapons that will be more accurate / reduce civilian damage. The plane is advancing rapidly, and the costs, depsite the issues, are declining and will drop as the production lines roll - maybe not near future, but they will drop (whereas other aircraft will go up, as they stop production - e.g. superhornet). It might have been silly to sole source it (a decision the Liberals originally made), but it is as equally silly to rule it out just for political points, even Mulcair gets that.
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-09-2015 at 11:21 AM.

  84. #1184
    I'd rather C2E than work!
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  85. #1185

    Default

    ^I'm not convinced its the right choice for Canada, but I think its silly to rule it out. My preference, if we had to pay today, is probably the Gripen as we could have a lot of them for the same money, and the NG will be reasonably advanced, and cheap to run. Gripen didn't put their name forward for the competition though (some sugestion it is because of relations with Boeing - and superhornet). I also like the Rafale, although I expect its even more costly than F35. It should be a full competition though, not a half baked one.

    But we don't have to pay, today, the CF18's still have a few years left, and can probably be extended longer still. I'd wait a bit and see what happens with the F35's as they go into production, I think this is a situation where it doesn't make sense to rush.

  86. #1186

    Default

    Can't we just buy drones?

    Soon won't all enemy forces have vast numbers of cheap, super fast drones that would simply overwhelm any piloted jet?


    This article is from way back in 2013 and probably reflects the ancient thinking of the day and I imagine is quite primative compared to today's technology. Tomorrow's will be even more capable...


    Why UAVs cannot replace fighter aircraft

    Posted by picard578 on January 26, 2013
    https://defenseissues.wordpress.com/...hter-aircraft/
    Last edited by KC; 23-09-2015 at 01:26 PM.

  87. #1187

    Default

    ^eventually I think, but not yet, a drone can't go scare away some Russian Bombers yet. Keep in mind part of the reason the Arrow was scrapped, was because they thought balistic and air defence missile technology would make jets redundant - turned out to be wrong (although interceptor jets did over time become redundant in the West - replaced by multi-role with better manuverability / low speed bombing ability). They are replacing the close air support role though (I think this is the real reason the A10 warthog is being phased out).

    The F35 will likely be the last manned fighter jet the US produces, one of its features, is the electronics is supposed to be designed to integrate with drones, it will be like a command ship I guess, it is intended as a transition to drones:

    http://defensetech.org/2015/05/20/ai...flying-drones/

    An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilot will one day control a small fleet of nearby drones from the cockpit while in flight — according to a new Air Force report on autonomous systems, Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley said.
    I watched an interesting show recently, that explained how US stealth / LO technology came from the Vietnam war. When they studied actual battles, the biggest reason US pilots were shot down in Vietnam, was they didn't detect the opponent - opponent detected them first. By making an aircraft harder to detect by other aircraft, it becomes significantly more suriviable in combat.
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-09-2015 at 01:37 PM.

  88. #1188

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^but at the end of the day, even if the US has wastefully spent billions too much on the F35, why would that rule it out from a competition to find a new fighter, especially given it is going to be the backbone of the USAF, USN and USM, and also countries like Israel (who have an amazing air force, and know a thing or two about planes), and the RN, for the next two to three decades? All new NATO weapons systems are going to be optimized for the F35, many of them will never be available to 4G planes, simply due to their electronics limitations, weapons that will be more accurate / reduce civilian damage. The plane is advancing rapidly, and the costs, depsite the issues, are declining and will drop as the production lines roll - maybe not near future, but they will drop (whereas other aircraft will go up, as they stop production - e.g. superhornet). It might have been silly to sole source it (a decision the Liberals originally made), but it is as equally silly to rule it out just for political points, even Mulcair gets that.
    Not directed at you moa just using your quote as a reference. I learned a long time ago to use words like 'never' and 'always' with caution.

    " it (F-35) is going to be the backbone of the USAF, USN and USM," Is it? Is this the hard and fast, be all - end all, for military aircraft the world over? Hmmm, the world's a big place. Someone should remind LM of that.
    "All new NATO weapons systems are going to be optimized for the F35" Really? ALL? Sounds like something right out of the LM manual.
    "many of them will never be available to 4G planes" Bolded for effect. Again. Never? Who can say that? Advances are made every minute. Is the technology market so inept that this isn't a possibility?
    "The plane is advancing rapidly" As is the tech to counteract the F-35's supposed advantages (ie stealth)
    "and the costs,...., are declining and will drop..... maybe not near future" And therein lies the rub. By the time this bird comes on line who knows what advances will be available.

    I still say as long as this plane (any plane) needs maintenance, and/or a place to land (vertical or horizontal) it is open to be neutralized on the ground. I doubt all its fancy gadgets can prevent that from happening.
    Its kind of odd that the F35 seems to be a testing platform for all this advanced wizardry. (Yes stealth is on the F22 etc) Its like LM wanted to build a jet to fit the gadgets, and not put gadgets on a proven jet.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  89. #1189

    Default

    When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they quickly took out almost all the US planes since they were nicely led up on the apron, wingtip to wingtip. One staring run and the majority of them were out of service.

    Just goes to show that the best technology can be overcome by poor practice. Put all your trust in the technology and you're pretty much guaranteeing that you'll soon be surprised by something you didn't consider and all your technology won't help.

  90. #1190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    Its kind of odd that the F35 seems to be a testing platform for all this advanced wizardry. (Yes stealth is on the F22 etc) Its like LM wanted to build a jet to fit the gadgets, and not put gadgets on a proven jet.
    I think there was horrible mission creep, and I don't anyone quite understood just what a massive software challenge it was going to be. A lot of the hardware issues that have been presented as big issues in the media have already naturally sorted themselves out like with any new fighter (e.g. the arrestor hook was corrected, engine issues being corrected, etc.). It hasn't been a well managed project, but it is a project that is "too big to fail". LM was very clever, puting facilities / suppliers in pretty much every US state, so few US politicians are willing to be opposed to it. And, the RN its totally dependent on it now with their QEII class carriers, the USM also as the harriers are phasing out.

    I do think a lot of the costs will come down, because once all the issues that are eating up most of the money, like the software for the helmet and similar are sorted out, the actual plane itself was always designed from the outset with manufacture in mind. The complexity is more in the electronics, but that's also its strength. Its one of the few planes ever developed where the manufacturing process was developed in tandem with the research / testing, for better and worse, the downside being higher up front costs, but the plus should kick in now as production rolls. The surfaces will be more expensive to maintain than the current CF18's (much less than an F22 though), but the engine will be a lot cheaper, being only one, and there will be many available choices for parts, a lot of them Canadian (if we don't pull out).
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-09-2015 at 04:53 PM.

  91. #1191

    Default Canadian contractors speak out for F35

    11 billion in contracts supplying Parts for F35s all over the world could be lost to Canadian aerospace companies:

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/nation...ehind-the-f-35

  92. #1192
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
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    ^ Good. We shouldn't subsidize industries that make or service crap products to allow them to continue existing.

    Every expert out there says this plane is garbage and a completely wrong fit for us. Why should we pay private companies to make garbage for us? How about we give 11 billion to people who are going to make something good?

    You're making an argument against yourself. We should be saying "cancelling contract would save 11 billion in government waste".

  93. #1193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    11 billion in contracts supplying Parts for F35s all over the world could be lost to Canadian aerospace companies:

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/nation...ehind-the-f-35
    Oh really?

    Frank Kendall, Pentagon Official, Casts More Doubt On Harper's Dire F-35 Industry Warning

    OTTAWA — More questions have been raised about how much the Canadian aerospace industry would suffer if a future government drops out of the oft-maligned F-35 stealth fighter program.

    The Pentagon's top acquisition official says the Canadian supply base is an essential part of the program and will remain as such, even if the country does not buy the aircraft.

    ---

    Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's undersecretary of defence for acquisition, told reporters in Fort Worth, Tex., on Tuesday that he can't see why the existing $637 million in contracts wouldn't remain with Canadian firms.

    "I believe those suppliers are part of the team, I don't see any reason why they would not continue to be part of the team whether Canada buys jets or not," Kendall was quoted as saying by the web site DefenceNews.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/09...anada-politics
    Last edited by kkozoriz; 25-09-2015 at 09:58 PM.

  94. #1194

    Default F35 fixes gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Then why are they bothering to install guns on the F-35 in the first place?

    ...just in case of a dogfight perhaps?
    Rats, you must be upset, another supposedly unfixable fatal flaw with the F35, fixed:

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/nation...while-airborne

    Note - while the gun could theoretically be used in a dogfight, its not the real reason the plane has one. Its to allow cheap low cost ground attack.

  95. #1195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    cheap low cost
    Three words that should never be apart of an F35 debate.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  96. #1196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    ^ Every expert out there says this plane is garbage and a completely wrong fit for us.
    Yeah, that's why the USAF, USM, USN RAF are all buying the F35, because its garbage... The plane isn't garbage, it stupidly over budget, but it will still dominate the skies with its stealth and electronics. I'm OK Trudeau picking a cheaper plane, as long as it really is cheaper over its whole life time, and not obsolete / needing major upgrades, in a decade.

  97. #1197

    Default

    What form of ground attack would be deemed 'F-35 acceptable' that a CF-18 dumping a 2200lbs payload of bombs couldn't currently do for less?
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  98. #1198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    What form of ground attack would be deemed 'F-35 acceptable' that a CF-18 dumping a 2200lbs payload of bombs couldn't currently do for less?
    Ground attack in a hostile environment where there are stealth planes. Or in the future, using direct energy weapons, which it is rumoured F35 will carry in the future (lockheed is already testing one for anti aircraft warfare).
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-11-2015 at 02:04 PM.

  99. #1199

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bpeters View Post
    What form of ground attack would be deemed 'F-35 acceptable' that a CF-18 dumping a 2200lbs payload of bombs couldn't currently do for less?
    Ground attack in a hostile environment where there are stealth planes. Or in the future, using direct energy weapons, which it is rumoured F35 will carry in the future (lockheed is already testing one for anti aircraft warfare).
    Star Wars; The Force Awakens?

    Sorry moa, just poking the bear. But seems every possible scenario as it relates to air warfare, the F-35's got an answer. Or at least LM tells us it does, or is in development and is needed now so pay stupid money for our plane or you'll be sorry.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  100. #1200

    Default

    ^Well like it or not, Lockheed has been producing the best fighters for the US recently - the F22 totally dominates the skies, and many of its technologies are directly incorporated into the F35. There are already reports that an F35 will be able to compete with the much more expensive and more powerful F22, because of its electronics superiority.

    I think there are other decent planes, but I think its a shame that F35 is ruled out, especially now when many of the problems have been resolved, and production costs are going to drop dramatically as the batches ramp up. Oh well, Superhornets here we come, an old but proven design, a plane that has mediocre air to air performance, but works fine as a bomb truck.
    Last edited by moahunter; 04-11-2015 at 02:15 PM.

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