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Thread: Which Fighter Jet should Canada choose?

  1. #101
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    One cannot evaluate fighter capabilities based on individual reports of dogfighting (WVR) results. A lot will depend on individual pilot experience and we also do not know what the rules of engagement were.

    With current short range WVR missiles it is dangerous to engage in this type of combat no matter how good your airplane is since the engagement envelope of such all aspect missiles are now very broad (i.e. you don't necessarily have to be directly behind your opponent for the missile to obtain a lock and firing solution) and are far more maneuverable than any jet (50+g vs 9-11g).
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  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Avro Arrow.
    Oh God no not that again
    The Arrow, as much as I love the aircraft, would be out of the game today.

    To try and put it into context...

    Aircraft are like any other tool...

    You would not try and use a 17mm wrench on a 13mm bolt or a phillips screw driver on a robertson screw...you get the right tool for the job.

    The Arrow was designed to be a high altitude, long range high speed interceptor and combat patrol aircraft. Fast, powerful and armed to deal with enemy at range.

    In it's day a world beater...but military doctrine has passed that day.

    Today military doctrine is continuing to try and use the multipurpose combat aircraft.

    Like trying to use only a cresent wrench building an engine or assembling a computer.

    You can make it work most of the time but it is never as good as using the right tool.

    With a fighter aircraft it means it will do several jobs

    - BVR Interceptor
    - Long Range Patrol (Patrolling borders and airspace)
    - Close in combat (dog fighting, highly maneuverable)
    - Ground support (dropping weapons systems at the front lines)
    - Electronic counter measures

    But it won't do any of them exceptionally well.

    The F-18 is a great example...it is used to do all of the above and does them sufficently, but it is not really a BVR Interceptor or a dog fighter and there are aircraft much better at both.

    It is vulnerable in low level ground support operations as it was not designed for the job...the A-10 is far superior...but the F-18 works as well as it can.

    Don't get me wrong the F-18 has been a great aircraft but was designed to a (IMO) flawed doctrine.

    What has made the aircraft exceptional has been the dedication of the flight crews, ground crews and support crews that have worked together to create an exceptional ability to go far beyond the aircraft and budget restrictions to meet the missions they have had politically forced on them.

    As I have said before and on other threads.

    Define the mission or missions then get the right tool or tools to do the job.

  3. #103

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    To put into further context the folly of diminishing numbers.

    Pulling these figures from various reference books there may be some minor errors

    1954-1958
    Canada operated 390 CL-13 (CF-86) Sabre dayfighters (dog fighters) and 332 CF-100 Canuck all weather interceptors.

    12 of the Sabre Squadrons and 4 of the CF-100 Squadrons were based in Europe with 1 Air Division RCAF

    A total of 722 fighter aircraft serving Sovereignty Patrol, Canadian Defense and NATO commitments.

    Today we are talking about replacing 100+ CF-18 Hornets with 60ish F-35s

    and expecting the same missions to be accomplished

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Avro Arrow.
    Whoops, slight spelling mistake by me (not acceptable with Canadian "icon" I realize).

    ^on the shrink in number of planes, its pretty much universal to all Air Forces. The cost of developing technology has increased to the point where it is no longer economic to have too many aircraft. And, a dozen world class aircraft will easily outclass a 100 or so poor ones (like with what happened in the 6 day war, where Israelis devastated inferior soviet aircraft that were poorly operated, first on the ground, and then in the air).

    In a funny sort of way the Arrow would have been an OK plane today with the right sensor suite, just as the Eurofighter is. With BVR weapons, the key seems to be getting there fast, and good range. The only really lacking thing, is stealth, which limits BVR effectivness, and is a drawback of the Eurofigther (along with the stupidly high cost).
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-06-2011 at 01:18 PM.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post

    ^on the shrink in number of planes, its pretty much universal to all Air Forces. The cost of developing technology has increased to the point where it is no longer economic to have too many aircraft. And, a dozen world class aircraft will easily outclass a 100 or so poor ones (like with what happened in the 6 day war, where Israelis devastated inferior soviet aircraft that were poorly operated, first on the ground, and then in the air).

    In a funny sort of way the Arrow would have been an OK plane today with the right sensor suite, just as the Eurofighter is. With BVR weapons, the key seems to be getting there fast, and good range. The only really lacking thing, is stealth, which limits BVR effectivness, and is a drawback of the Eurofigther (along with the stupidly high cost).
    The shrink is directly related to our unwillingness to devote a consistent budget to the upgrading and maintenance of our military as a percentage of GDP.

    Contrary to the opinion that technology is the reason facts are that when it comes to X vs Y if we expect to have a useful military the % of cost per person is lower per unit now when measured as a percent of GDP or as a % of individual income.

    Historically technological superiority is not a replacement for numbers, tactics and training as evidenced by the earlier Israeli wars, the India/Pakistan wars, 1939 to 1942 Second World War European or Pacific Theaters.

    The European theater of the Second World War is an excellent example.
    Nazi Germany 1943 to 1945 has a huge technological advantage, but as Adolf Galland expressed in presentations and his book,(to paraphrase) the Allies simply stacked up supplies and tipped them over on us.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    and expecting the same missions to be accomplished
    Deterrence of the Soviet Union is still required?

  7. #107

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    yes... define the requirements and then procure ala a fair and open sourced competition... speaking of the lack of defined (Canadian) requirements, it was always quite entertaining when talk of the 'stealthy nature of the F-35' was touted, only to have some wag highlight that adding extra fuel tanks to support far north flights, effectively, negated the stealth capabilities of the F-35. In any case, looks like a moot point:

    China, Russia Could Make U.S. Stealth Tech Obsolete

    “In recent years there has been speculation that ongoing advances in radar detection and tracking will, in the near future, obviate the ability of all-aspect, low-observable aircraft such as the B-2, F-22 and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, aka JSF, to survive inside denied airspace,” Watts writes, referring to America’s stealth bombers and fighter jets.

    Stealth-killing advances include VHF and UHF radars being developed by Russia and China, and a “passive-detection” system devised by Czech researchers. The latter “uses radar, television, cellular phone and other available signals of opportunity reflected off stealthy aircraft to find and track them,” Watts explains.


    These new detection systems could reverse a 30-year trend that has seen the U.S. Air Force gain an increasing advantage over enemy defenses. That phenomenon began with the introduction of the F-117 stealth fighter in the late 1980s, followed by the addition of the stealthy B-2 (pictured) in the ’90s and, more recently, the F-22.


    So far, the Air Force has only ever fielded a few hundred stealth aircraft, requiring it to constantly upgrade some nonstealthy fighters. But the flying branch plans to purchase more than 1,700 F-35s (at more than $100 million a pop) from Lockheed Martin in coming decades, plus up to 100 new stealth bombers. In that sense, the stealth era is only now truly dawning — just as effective counter-measures are nearly ready, Watts points out.


    In that sense, the Air Force’s stealth gamble could turn into very, very long odds.

  8. #108
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    Pretty sure Dale Brown or Tom Clancy were writing novels 20 years ago that more or less predicted exactly that in regards to stealth tech. For the most part stealth planes are designed not to absorb radar, but to not reflect it back (hence why vertical surfaces are a big no no). But that energy is still going somewhere. With advances in computing technology I'm sure it's possible to link up numerous radar installations, allowing them to detect things they otherwise wouldn't be able to.

  9. #109
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    ^^Stealth or more correctly Low Observability (LO) is not really a requirement for far north missions since we're not facing off against foreign jet fighters short of a Russian or a Chinese aircraft carrier transiting through the Northwest Passage. [EDIT]Chances are that during normal peacetime operations the F-35 will likely be deployed with external tanks and/or radar reflectors to mask their true LO radar signature much as the F-22 is when it is sent overseas to foreign countries.

    The title of the Wired article is misleading and exhibits a lack of understanding as to how LO is applied. So called stealth aircraft have not been invisible to radar despite the popular press. The primary purpose is to degrade high frequency radar frequencies (X band) used to guide anti aircarft missiles. Stealth aircraft are part of a whole range of assets deployed to defeat air defences. This includes jamming, spoofing, decoys, suppression and plain old destruction of radars by weapons like cruise missiles and anti radiation missiles. Stealth assets are not deployed in isolation.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 08-06-2011 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Grammar
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    and expecting the same missions to be accomplished
    Deterrence of the Soviet Union is still required?
    Actually yes...

    It is well recorded and was part of the desire to replace the current F-18As that Russian penetration of Canadian airspace is once again an issue.

    About 4-5 years ago Vladimir Putin re instituted the penetration flights and reactivated much of the TU-95 Bomber Fleet. The testing of North American air defense capabilities.

    To what end I have no idea and I have seen no published thesis on the strategy, but they are back at it.

    The bigger issue is ongoing sovereignty patrol, not just the Russians. While I have yet to see a defined mission in writing it makes sense we maintain the ability to patrol and enforce our borders within reasonable scope of activity.

    Something we currently do not have the capability to do Land-Sea-Air.

    This is much more than simply a "Military Threat", it entails being able to monitor Environmental, Fishing, Immigration and drug interdiction activities as well as search and rescue.

    This debate is about much more than replacing the aging CF-18s, it to a very large extent is about what we expect from the Department of National Defense on many levels (Land-Sea-Air) both domestically and internationally. Setting long term budgets, preferably as a percentage of GDP, that allows consistent funding for both operations and equipment maintenance and upgrading.

    What are missions for:
    The Land (Army) Forces
    The Naval Forces
    The Air Forces

    The Social objectives, education, job training, industrial benefits

    What personnel are required to meet those objectives?
    What equipment is required to meet those objectives?
    What are the options?
    What time frame?
    What cost?

    IMO
    Focusing on the Fighter replacement merely minimizes the scale of what needs to be done.

  11. #111
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    I don't disagree with anything you said Thomas, and I'm aware of the Bear probes of our air space. But the geopolitical situation today is much, much different than it was from 1950-1990, so of course priorities for our military will change in light of the fact that there is no longer a Soviet Bloc poised to wage a massive attack on NATO, and therefore perhaps we no longer require hundreds and hundreds of fighter jets.

    The "mission" HAS changed.

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    I don't disagree with anything you said Thomas, and I'm aware of the Bear probes of our air space. But the geopolitical situation today is much, much different than it was from 1950-1990, so of course priorities for our military will change in light of the fact that there is no longer a Soviet Bloc poised to wage a massive attack on NATO, and therefore perhaps we no longer require hundreds and hundreds of fighter jets.

    The "mission" HAS changed.
    I never said the mission hasn't changed, I said we (the general we) expect the same missions to be accomplished.

    And while the Soviet horde is not expected to come over the pole any time soon we have instead substituted IIRC 38 missions across the globe to fulfill as well as the new world of the terrorist threat.

    The point I was trying to make (and guess I missed) was the radical state of diminishing numbers even from 1990 to today.

    From 700+ mission specific fighter aircraft in 1958
    to
    140 (IIRC) Multi mission F-18As in the 1980s
    to
    65 (IIRC) Multi mission replacements in 201?

    And I agree we no longer require 700+ combat capable fighters today but we certainly require sufficient number and types to fill the missions defined for them.

    65 Fighter aircraft...that's is not defense, that's an appetizer for any moderate threat.

    The crux of the issue is our continual cutting of the defense budget as a percentage of GDP.

    Even with the improvements(?) in recent years our spending as a % of GDP has consistently dropped since 1988 http://milexdata.sipri.org/result.php4

    What are we doing?

  13. #113
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    ^Not sure how we arrived at 65 F-35s but with 80 CF-18s we have challenges meeting all of our obligations. So I agree with you, I don't feel we have rationalized our procurements and haven't done the hard work of arriving at a sufficiently coherent defence policy.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  14. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    ^Not sure how we arrived at 65 F-35s but with 80 CF-18s we have challenges meeting all of our obligations. So I agree with you, I don't feel we have rationalized our procurements and haven't done the hard work of arriving at a sufficiently coherent defence policy.
    IIRC and I am pretty darn sure I am correct

    We currently have between 120-130 F-18s
    80 operational
    the rest on the ramp at Mirabel

    Aircraft are rotated in and out due to budget restraints and trying to keep operational hours low on individual aircraft.

    Embarrassing in many ways

  15. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    In any case, looks like a moot point:

    China, Russia Could Make U.S. Stealth Tech Obsolete
    ummm, did you notice the "could"? Or, have you noticed that both China and Russia are developing Stealth/LO aircraft (now why would that be, if its obsolete per your claim)?

    I think have to keep in mind that fewer aircraft could be required in the future as well, if they are accompanied by UCAV's, which is expected to be the case. The advantages of the F35 in parituclar seems to be based primarily on the sensors / electronics / software, which are the things that seem to make planes so expensive to develop now. This is also why multi-role is seen as critical to get some economies of scale - the Superhornet replacing a number of Navy aircraft is a good example. Its becoming less about the airframe, and more about future electronic integration into NATO networks.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-06-2011 at 05:54 PM.

  16. #116

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    History...it certainly repeats itself

    From memory do excuse some errors

    Late 1950s
    Missiles have taken over ICBMs will replace bombers and Missiles will replace fighters for defense.
    Cancellation of the Arrow, the F-108 Rapier and a number of other aircraft world wide

    Early 1960s
    Canada buys the CF-101 Voodoo and CF-104 for air defense, Bomarc Missile retired.
    USA ramps up F-4 Phantom production institutes development of new fighters.

    All based on air to air missiles because missiles have made guns obsolete.

    Soviet Union, England, USA all expand Nuclear and Conventional Bomber fleets.

    Mid 60s
    Losses in Vietnam in Air to Air Combat against "obsolete" gun equipped migs require retrofitting F-4s with Gun Packs while a new model is produced and TOP GUN and Equivalent USAF programs are created to teach air to air dogfighting with GUNS.

    Rest of world re equips aircraft with Guns and keeps missiles for longer ranges.

    Guns required in development of New Fighter aircraft. (F-14/15/16)

    70s
    Israeli Wars once again prove need for close in dog fighting requirements and GUNS as well as missiles. As do the India /Pakistani Conflicts.

    Late 70s/early 80s
    Cruise missiles will make bombers obsolete

    Late 80s/Early 90s
    Bombers equipped to carry cruise missiles
    Conventional bombers and previous nuclear bombers (B-1) used extensively in several conflicts with conventional bombs. (Gulf War, Bosnia etc)

    So much for obsolete bombers as the B-52 is being refit to carry on another couple decades.

    Late 80s/Early 90s
    Stealth aircraft and Beyond visual range will make other aircraft obsolete, multi mission aircraft are the soup of the day.

    A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) returned to front line service (again) for ground attack
    F-22 Air dominance fighter program started to secure the air.

    Late 90s/early 2000s
    UAVs will replace fighter aircraft and strike aircraft
    (notice no one talks about bombers being obsolete any more)

    Typhoon (no stealth) Fighter developed and a number of others

    I am the only one that notices history repeating itself.

    As any given "side" (for lack of a better term) gets a technological advantage everything else becomes obsolete....when the other "side" catches up its back to the old rules.

    Some things never seem to change

  17. #117
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    ^^^ B-52 is good for long range bomber which can carry gravity bombs, cluster bombs and precision guided missiles.


    you can read History of B-52 :

    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-52_hist.htm
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  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Late 1950s
    Missiles have taken over ICBMs will replace bombers and Missiles will replace fighters for defense.
    Cancellation of the Arrow, the F-108 Rapier and a number of other aircraft world wide
    That one proved to be right, ICBM's did pretty much remove the nuclear bomber threat against cities. Bombers themselves still proved useful for conventional wars (like in Vietnam), but the interceptors had a terrible record in these engagements as the missile / sensor technology just wasn't there yet. Mistakes were also made with low altitude nuclear strike bombers (F111, Tornado) which proved unsafe in conventional war zones (a heavy rapid fire gun firing upwards can bring one down if plane flies into the bullets/shells at high speed). Now there seems to be some consensus:

    1. Surface air defenses can often be be neutralized with cruise missiles, or by 2. below.
    2. Bombing can be very effectively done from high altitude with fighters, safe from ground fire with laser guided weapons (i.e. good sensors / electronics is key).
    3. BVR weapons have finally come of age / are effective for air superiority after years of trying to get there (i.e. good sensors / electronics, and low detectability / stealth is key)
    4. Slow aircraft like the A10, Hercules gunships, and UCAV's can be very useful in close ground combat suppport situations once air defenses are neutralized by 1, 2 and 3.

    F35 is designed to affordably do 2 and 3, with its stealth, range and electronics. It was planned to do 4 as well, but I think that's a bit doubtful.
    Last edited by moahunter; 08-06-2011 at 10:30 PM.

  19. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Avro Arrow.
    Oh God no not that again
    The Arrow, as much as I love the aircraft, would be out of the game today.

    To try and put it into context...

    Aircraft are like any other tool...

    You would not try and use a 17mm wrench on a 13mm bolt or a phillips screw driver on a robertson screw...you get the right tool for the job.

    The Arrow was designed to be a high altitude, long range high speed interceptor and combat patrol aircraft. Fast, powerful and armed to deal with enemy at range.

    In it's day a world beater...but military doctrine has passed that day.

    Today military doctrine is continuing to try and use the multipurpose combat aircraft.

    Like trying to use only a cresent wrench building an engine or assembling a computer.

    You can make it work most of the time but it is never as good as using the right tool.

    With a fighter aircraft it means it will do several jobs

    - BVR Interceptor
    - Long Range Patrol (Patrolling borders and airspace)
    - Close in combat (dog fighting, highly maneuverable)
    - Ground support (dropping weapons systems at the front lines)
    - Electronic counter measures

    But it won't do any of them exceptionally well.

    The F-18 is a great example...it is used to do all of the above and does them sufficently, but it is not really a BVR Interceptor or a dog fighter and there are aircraft much better at both.

    It is vulnerable in low level ground support operations as it was not designed for the job...the A-10 is far superior...but the F-18 works as well as it can.

    Don't get me wrong the F-18 has been a great aircraft but was designed to a (IMO) flawed doctrine.

    What has made the aircraft exceptional has been the dedication of the flight crews, ground crews and support crews that have worked together to create an exceptional ability to go far beyond the aircraft and budget restrictions to meet the missions they have had politically forced on them.

    As I have said before and on other threads.

    Define the mission or missions then get the right tool or tools to do the job.
    Very interesting post Tom as expected. I was jk about the Arrow a bit. Very impressive aircraft for its time. One would think though that if production and development in that company had continued that there could be ongoing adaptations, designs etc. If only Canada wasn't too small an economy to allow that infrastructure development. One would think that possibly we could be a seller rather than a buyer right now. Thats the sad point.

  20. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    In any case, looks like a moot point:

    China, Russia Could Make U.S. Stealth Tech Obsolete
    ummm, did you notice the "could"? Or, have you noticed that both China and Russia are developing Stealth/LO aircraft (now why would that be, if its obsolete per your claim)?
    Could? Did I notice the "Could" in the link title I wrote? That "Could"? Imagine... countries developing competing technologies in parallel... attempting to cover multiple options/scenarios. Of course, for all intents and purposes, there has been no effective large-scale stealth deployment... only a couple of hundred planes to-date. Its only now that the 1700+ aircraft F-35 folly has ratcheted up the next degree/level of presumed stealth deployment. In any case, the claim ain't mine... it's this guys. Of course, a little ole googly will bring you no shortage of writings that similarly speak to challenges to stealth technology... but not to worry... apparently, there's already talk of the $brazillions required to refit F-35s to meet that stealth challenge. You know, after they deal with all the other significant technical problems lining up.

    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I think have to keep in mind that fewer aircraft could be required in the future as well, if they are accompanied by UCAV's, which is expected to be the case. The advantages of the F35 in parituclar seems to be based primarily on the sensors / electronics / software, which are the things that seem to make planes so expensive to develop now. This is also why multi-role is seen as critical to get some economies of scale - the Superhornet replacing a number of Navy aircraft is a good example. Its becoming less about the airframe, and more about future electronic integration into NATO networks.
    ya ya, you keep beating the drum for the financially and technically challenged F-35... you'll wear it well when the program ultimately tanks.

  21. #121

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    "1. Surface air defenses can often be be neutralized with cruise missiles, or by 2. below."

    Key word here of course is often, as proven in both Gulf Wars not a replacement for a strike aircraft as evidenced in all the CNN reports of the heavy Anti Aircraft fire.

    "2. Bombing can be very effectively done from high altitude with fighters, safe from ground fire with laser guided weapons (i.e. good sensors / electronics is key)."

    As long as someone can get a Laser on it (by ground or air), as long as there is no effective air to air deterrent. As long as you can live with the over runs and errors.

    But as we have seen in very recent history we still have bombers dropping conventional dumb bombs by the thousands of tons so its usage is really limited.

    "3. BVR weapons have finally come of age / are effective for air superiority after years of trying to get there (i.e. good sensors / electronics, and low detectability / stealth is key)"

    Yeah, historically we have heard this all before (history repeats) and stealth is not the key. Any airframe (heavens even a commercial aircraft) that is capable of handling the weight can carry BVR.

    Proof of the pudding....if BVR missiles can provide air superiority why are we using fighter aircraft in Libya to enforce a no fly zone. Of course if missiles were that effective why are we using fighters to destroy ground positions in Libya instead of missiles and cruise missiles.

    "4. Slow aircraft like the A10, Hercules gunships, and UCAV's can be very useful in close ground combat suppport situations once air defenses are neutralized by 1, 2 and 3.

    F35 is designed to affordably do 2 and 3, with its stealth, range and electronics. It was planned to do 4 as well, but I think that's a bit doubtful."

    Well considering the fallibility of concept in 2/3, the comparitively short range, single engine operations seems you are winning the discussion for me. But going beyond the F-35, the technology/concept is unproven.

    Matter of fact the entire argument is based on having superior technology to allow the tactical concept to work! Reviewing the aircraft under development (by countries that are liable to sell it to someone that will shoot at as) overall Stealth L/O is secondary to production of airframes that are highly maneuverable and capable as evidenced by the Russian and Chinese approaches.

    If you read Ben Rich's book (head of programs at Lockheed for decades) the mathematical formulas for Stealth came from the Soviet Union and they had discarded it in favor of maneuverability and counter measures.

    As to affordable...dropping from 140 aircraft in the last procurement to 65 on this one is not only unaffordable but jeopardizes our ability to meet even the most basic air defense needs domestically.

    Which goes back to my post #110
    This debate is about much more than replacing the aging CF-18s, it to a very large extent is about what we expect from the Department of National Defense on many levels (Land-Sea-Air) both domestically and internationally. Setting long term budgets, preferably as a percentage of GDP, that allows consistent funding for both operations and equipment maintenance and upgrading.

    What are missions for:
    The Land (Army) Forces
    The Naval Forces
    The Air Forces

    The Social objectives, education, job training, industrial benefits

    What personnel are required to meet those objectives?
    What equipment is required to meet those objectives?
    What are the options?
    What time frame?
    What cost?

    IMO
    Focusing on the Fighter replacement merely minimizes the scale of what needs to be done.
    and from #112
    The crux of the issue is our continual cutting of the defense budget as a percentage of GDP.

    Even with the improvements(?) in recent years our spending as a % of GDP has consistently dropped since 1988 http://milexdata.sipri.org/result.php4

    What are we doing?

  22. #122

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    Replacement
    Very interesting post Tom as expected. I was jk about the Arrow a bit. Very impressive aircraft for its time. One would think though that if production and development in that company had continued that there could be ongoing adaptations, designs etc. If only Canada wasn't too small an economy to allow that infrastructure development. One would think that possibly we could be a seller rather than a buyer right now. Thats the sad point.
    You are so right it's scary

    I had the opportunity to know Randy Whitcombe who wrote many of the Arrow books with research and papers from Jim Chamberlian as well as the chance to speak to several others directly involved in the project. The Aircraft in its day was a world beater with tremendous development potential, but it was not the greatest loss, that came earlier.

    The AVRO Jet Liner developed in the late 40s was the big loss, we were at the cutting edge of Jet Airliner development and the record book shows it. That aircraft was also politically killed and the government blocking licensing its production to Hughes (yes that Hughes) had him pull the Hughes weapons systems from the Arrow program.

    While the Arrow was being developed the were other versions of the Jet Liner in process, swept wings, larger capacity etc...they also died with the Arrow as did a swept wing version of the successful CF-100 (first successful day/night all weather jet fighter-interceptor) and AVRO was into mock up as I recall of a V/STOL version.

    Both the Liberals and Conservatives blew that entire industry.

  23. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Proof of the pudding....if BVR missiles can provide air superiority why are we using fighter aircraft in Libya to enforce a no fly zone. Of course if missiles were that effective why are we using fighters to destroy ground positions in Libya instead of missiles and cruise missiles.
    You do realize fighters today use BVR missiles? In writting that, its not a big deal in Libya, most of the fighters are now little more than bomb trucks to support the ground / bombing offensive.

    I never said ground defenses could be entirely wiped out by cruise missiles. The task is acheived by a combination of that for the first few days of operation (crusie missiles are expensive, so only used against more dangerous targets, and no, they aren't perfect), then high altitude precision bombing with GPS (I know it can be blocked), Laser guided and even enhanced visual guided weaponry.

    The F35 concept basically came from a few modern experiences (unlike F18 superhornet, and even the F22, it was designed based on modern warfare not the 1970's):

    - the results of the first iraq war, where planes had to fly multiple missions / be easy to maintain (i.e. one Jet engine is simpler / cheaper / more reliable per the F16) / carry a good payload
    - the experience that high altitude Lo/Stealth aircraft are highly effective in modern combat zones before ground / air defences are neutralized
    - the results of real world air to air combats which have shown BVR and long range missiles to be highly effective over the last decade. This will only accelerate more with new generations of AMRAAM and the new European MBDA Meteor (which will go on Eurofighter, and F35 in UK, this program has been running since the mid 1990's). Visual range is also increasing though, with technology like Litening pods.

    PS - It is interesting to read about where the STOVL concept came from - the harrier was designed because of concerns that in a nuclear war, there would be few airports left to launch from, also, tactical nukes could be dispersed more.
    Last edited by moahunter; 09-06-2011 at 08:33 AM.

  24. #124

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    1) "- the results of the first iraq war, where planes had to fly multiple missions / be easy to maintain (i.e. one Jet engine is simpler / cheaper / more reliable per the F16) / carry a good payload"

    As it has been since the dawn of aerial warfare. What is not being recognized is the combat and operational survivability of a single engine aircraft.

    2) "- the experience that high altitude Lo/Stealth aircraft are highly effective in modern combat zones before ground / air defences are neutralized"

    The only Stealth L/O aircraft that has been used in combat is the F-117, subsonic, no air to air capability, no guns and pretty much only at night against vastly technologically inferior forces. Pretty dangerous reach to make that into modern combat. (excuse me I forgot about the extremely limited use of the B-2 after air superiority and ground defenses were taken out)

    3) - the results of real world air to air combats which have shown BVR and long range missiles to be highly effective over the last decade.

    The last decade air to air combat has been against vastly inferior technology, personnel that have been poorly trained in inferior tactics not to mention forces that have been horrendously outnumbered.

    And we are basing our doctrine of future engagements on this?

    There has not been a real aerial engagement of forces of similar technology numbers or training in many, many decades. Maybe during part of the Vietnam conflict but likely we need to go back to Korea.

    To assume that we (the royal we of the technologically developed world) will always be the masters of the technology is foolhardy and dangerous. To assume no one will catch up is already being proven wrong. Iran has developed their own indigenous fighter and maintained the F-14 without US assistance as has China and other countries.

    As evidenced throughout history assumptions of this scale have lead to massive failures in future combat...Land-Sea-Air
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 09-06-2011 at 09:05 AM. Reason: correction

  25. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Iran has developed their own indigenous fighter and maintained the F-14 without US assistance as has China and other countries.
    Iran can't even keep its transport jets flying safley. I read interesting piece about how they used the old F14's as an "AWACs" type aircraft in the IRAQ / IRAN war. I don't think any of them are still flying today though, Iran does not have a credible airforce.

    Yes, there are lessons from the past, but the current doctrines reflect that (for example, the poor results of low altitude high speed bombing over the last two to three decades, even though this worked so well in WWII - e.g. mosquito). Interstingly stealth may to some extent counter BVR, so having combat maneuvourability may still has some relevance against something like the PAK-FA, but the F22's the US has will take on that role. It will be a long time before PAK-FA's start showing up with middle east air forces, mainly just India and Russia for some time I expect.
    Last edited by moahunter; 09-06-2011 at 09:13 AM.

  26. #126

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    "PS - It is interesting to read about where the STOVL concept came from - the harrier was designed because of concerns that in a nuclear war, there would be few airports left to launch from, also, tactical nukes could be dispersed more."

    The STOVL concept began during the Second World War for US carrier operations with the Chance Vought Flying Pancake. Post WW2 is futher evolved for point defense fighters such as the Vertijet and the flying pogo sticks by Lockheed and Chance Vought. Along the way it became "0" runway fighters launching from flat deck trucks with rocket assist (F-84 and F-104 as I recall) again for point defense and in the 60s evolving to the modern concepts of the Harrier and Osprey.

    There are other examples from other countries but the above are among the most well known. (Dassault Mirage had a VSTOL version and there were other French designs as well the AVRO mentioned above and German as well)

  27. #127

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    Iran can't even keep its transport jets flying safley. I read interesting piece about how they used the old F14's as an "AWACs" type aircraft in the IRAQ / IRAN war. I don't think any of them are still flying today though, Iran does not have a credible airforce.
    You are missing the point...Iran under sanctions, considered backward has developed its own multi sonic jet fighter and operated and maintained one of the most technologically complicated western aircraft while adapting soviet arms systems.

    The Gulf War scenario is changing amongst even 3rd world nations as they develop their own technology to counter the "developed worlds".

    If we count on repeats of recent experiences it is a vast error.

  28. #128

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    ^^you can read about the Harrier here, much of the funding was a result of nuclear policies:

    In 1956, a French aircraft designer named Michel Wibault, well-known for his pre-WW II designs, proposed a VTOL aircraft named the "Gyroptere". He was interested in building a combat aircraft that would be able to operate independently of airfields, which were clearly vulnerable to immediate destruction by Soviet nuclear strikes on the event of a general European war. The Gyroptere was to be fitted with a British Bristol "BE.25 Orion" turboshaft engine, with 5,970 kW (8,000 SHP), fitted the rear fuselage to drive four blower units, arranged around the center of gravity with two blowers on each side of the aircraft. Each blower would be in a moveable snail-shaped casing that could be rotated to provide vertical or horizontal thrust.
    http://www.vectorsite.net/avav8_1.html

    I read another source on this (can't find at moment), which basically shows the harrier was deeply tied to UK nuclear policy from the 1950's. Over time that evolved with the royal navy as there weren't the funds for the UK to buy full size carriers (bankrupt after WWII). That's changing now, with them dropping the F35B order.

  29. #129

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    Again point being missed...

    You said:
    PS - It is interesting to read about where the STOVL concept came from
    Which is not correct, the concept pre dates the Harrier by a huge margin.

    That the Harrier was developed for that mission I won't argue.

  30. #130

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    "as there weren't the funds for the UK to buy full size carriers (bankrupt after WWII). That's changing now"

    Yes I would have to agree, they are just getting rid of them early as they have with the Mk4 Nimrod, the Harrier, Tornado their Armour updates etc etc.

    My friends in the UK used to be so proud the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Spitfires, Hurricane, Lancaster) was part of the Royal Air Force.

    Now they joke it is the Royal Air Force.

  31. #131

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    Got to end this for now (other issues)

    My Opinion in short:

    The F-35 buy is the ill conceived purchase of aircraft for an unclear mission in insufficient number to make any difference in our operational capability.

    It is long past time to review the entire mission and direction of the Canadian Department of National Defense including it's budget, personnel requirements and operational equipment needs.

    To the Government in power...buck up and get your head on straight.

    What are the clearly defined missions for:
    The Land (Army) Forces
    The Naval Forces
    The Air Forces

    The Social objectives:
    education?
    job training?
    industrial benefits?
    long term non military results expected

    What personnel are required to meet those objectives?
    What equipment is required to meet those objectives?
    What are the options?
    What time frame?
    What cost?
    How much can be done in Canada and what is the economic benefit?

    According to various internet sources we are 111th in military spending and are under 2% of GDP...time to get serious.
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 09-06-2011 at 10:02 AM. Reason: spelling

  32. #132
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    TH
    PLEASE fwd this to Hawnski !!
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  33. #133

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    Blueline

    I have but not in the format shown.......

    Maybe I should do it in a formal fashion as a voter

  34. #134
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    I think that he's firmly holding the party rope on this one
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  35. #135

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    ^what little support the Conservatives have in Quebec is tied closely to the F35 (remember the Bloc actually supported it, given how many jobs it can potentially create from all the US contracts).

    Mind u, the NDP were opposed I think (not sure).

  36. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^what little support the Conservatives have in Quebec is tied closely to the F35 (remember the Bloc actually supported it, given how many jobs it can potentially create from all the US contracts).

    Mind u, the NDP were opposed I think (not sure).
    What they are hooked on is the jobs......the economic impacts and the long term.

    I am quite sure Quebec doesn't care where the jobs come from long as they wind up in Quebec.....a long term overall plan would give as much or more in more industries.

  37. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    According to various internet sources we are 111th in military spending and are under 2% of GDP...time to get serious.
    I think that might be offset though by the incredible quality of the military leadership in Canada, we have a fantastically qualified new general / admiral now:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Pri...462/story.html


  38. #138
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    Keiith Richards Aging Uncle ???
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  39. #139

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    ^Nah, this young leader is in his prime...

  40. #140
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    was referring to the image
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

  41. #141

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    Uh....

    You guys do realize that an Honourary rank of any level comes with
    - No command/control authorities/abilities
    - No pay/compensation or benefit other than the title and some trinkets
    - A bunch of responsibilities in representing the unit/force the title is attached to, BTW you have to pay all your own expenses in doing so.

    I know a number of dignitaries that have accepted positions as honourary Colonels only to discover how much work and expense came with the position.

    That said it is a very distinguished honour to receive such a tribute.

  42. #142
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    The only Stealth L/O aircraft that has been used in combat is the F-117, subsonic, no air to air capability, no guns and pretty much only at night against vastly technologically inferior forces. Pretty dangerous reach to make that into modern combat. (excuse me I forgot about the extremely limited use of the B-2 after air superiority and ground defenses were taken out)
    This is part of the popular misconception that LO is a singular magic bullet. It is but a part of a wide range of systems to be deployed against enemy air defences. To maximize the effectiveness of LO you would deploy a whole host of systems, it is not something you would deploy in isolation. In a conflict against a foe equipped with the latest Soviet SAM systems like the S300 and S400 losses likely will occur even with LO aircraft but the depth and the sheer quantity of American/allied munitions and systems would overwhelm the secondary operators of such systems. I am not speaking of Russia or China here but potential export customers for such systems. An all out war against Russia or China is rather nonsensical as far as I am concerned given the potential for escalation.

    The notion that cell phone networks and FM frequency networks will render stealth obsolete is also misleading. Such networks do not provide the accuracy needed to guide missiles to their targets. LO aircraft are not invisible to current conventional radar systems, their primary intent is to degrade the effectiveness of radar frequencies that provide such missile guidance. Cell phone networks and FM frequencies are easy to jam, not to mention such transmitters can easily be located and destroyed.

    LO design is not going away anytime soon. Signal management will be incorporated into future aircraft and UAVs far into the future As Moa has pointed out Russia and China are pursuing such designs as well so the effectiveness of LO has not gone unappreciated.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 11-06-2011 at 05:43 AM.
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  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The last decade air to air combat has been against vastly inferior technology, personnel that have been poorly trained in inferior tactics not to mention forces that have been horrendously outnumbered.

    And we are basing our doctrine of future engagements on this?

    There has not been a real aerial engagement of forces of similar technology numbers or training in many, many decades. Maybe during part of the Vietnam conflict but likely we need to go back to Korea.

    To assume that we (the royal we of the technologically developed world) will always be the masters of the technology is foolhardy and dangerous. To assume no one will catch up is already being proven wrong. Iran has developed their own indigenous fighter and maintained the F-14 without US assistance as has China and other countries.

    As evidenced throughout history assumptions of this scale have lead to massive failures in future combat...Land-Sea-Air
    Obviously not all air to air combat will be BVR and western air forces will and should continue training their pilots in WVR combat. However the trends and doctrine promote the idea of see first and shoot first. If you look at the missile load outs on SU-27s there is a heavy bias towards BVR missiles even with our potential foes. The reality is that WVR with large numbers of aircraft quickly becomes a zero sum game especially with the deadliness of today's short range all aspect infrared guided missiles. I see no regression to massed turning dogfights, shoot and scoot is a better strategy. In the future WVR environment, having 360 degree sensor coverage to better see your enemy first and having the ability to rapidly identify and assign targets and shoot quickly and then egress is the key to survival.

    But yes in a nutshell our current doctrine is technological advantage coupled with superior training. The goal is to see the enemy first before they see us and to out fight and out fly them. I don't see a problem with that as long as our technology and doctrine continues to evolve and advance in response to potential threats.

    Realistically the only adversaries with the potential quality and quantity to match the west are China and Russia. Russia's armed forces have downsized to the point where they are no longer possess a realistic potential to invade Western Europe. As for China, their geographical location poses more of a regional threat and the only western power that would be embroiled in a conflict is the US given their obligation to Taiwan. Canada has no dog in that fight.
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 11-06-2011 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  44. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    That said it is a very distinguished honour to receive such a tribute.
    I hope then that in the future someone who actually deserves the tribute gets selected, rather than somebody who is just born / married into a position. Why can't a Canadian have this position? For example, I'm not a big fan of Don Cherry, but IMO he has done more for the military in Canada, than this figurehead has.

  45. #145

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    It is interesting to read the F35b variant hasn't fully gone away, it is just in "probation". This article discusses that program, and also talks a little bit about the cost issues:

    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...omentum&next=0

    These issues affected per-unit cost, which is perhaps one of the biggest challenges ahead. The F-35 was founded on the principle that economies of scale can produce a relatively low unit cost for a highly sophisticated aircraft. However, the problem for company officials is that the cost benefit cannot be achieved early in the program with small production lots. So Lockheed is in the position of trying to sell international partners on a unit-recurring flyway promise in the future that is not yet borne out in early production data. Without international buy-in, economies of scale cannot be realized.
    ...

    Lawson, however, is mum on whether the company’s proposal reflects a reduction in the price for LRIP V. “I wouldn’t focus on LRIP V. [The question is:] Do you measure the success on this program in LRIP I, II, III, IV or V, or do you measure it in its entirety,” he says. The average unit flyaway price at the peak production rate for the conventional F-35A is estimated at $65 million, Lawson says. This is a slight tweak to the low-$60-million figure offered a year ago by company officials.
    In other words, it all depends on how many units are manufactured, which matches what I wrote earlier in the thread. This is the killer for competitors, for example, the Eurofighter. Provided thousands of F35's are acquired by the US, it will be a more capable aircraft for lower price than any competitor is possible of matching, as no other aircraft will have sufficient volume to get such a good recovery of the initial R&D. It is being designed to be highly capable based on those projected volumes, if for example the projected volumes declined significantly though, then Lockheed would need to quickly downgrade the aircraft capability.

  46. #146
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    ^The F-35 program has taken on the characteristics of too big to fail. Either that or it is a slow moving train wreck. Many other fighter programs have exhibited similar difficulties it seems to be part of the characteristics associated with high tech weapons programs. The gestation is often long and difficult.

    However it seems that the time and materials contract feeding trough has gone on long enough and the US government is finally trying to hold the contractor's (Lockheed Martin) feet to the fire. Hopefully it is not too late.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  47. #147

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    ^I think Canada's decision basically piggybacks off what happens to the F35. The potential contracts and business in Canada if the program continues are too great to not be involved, and if it does proceed, Canada will get a fantastic aircraft at a reasonable price as we basically lever off all the money being spent in the US.

    On the other hand, there are some interesting arguments for cancelling the F35 in the US, this article makes a strong case for it:

    http://atlanticsentinel.com/2010/11/kill-the-f-35/

    If something like that happened, I expect it would be a simple fix to switch to the Superhornet.

  48. #148
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    I like F- 15 best because they do have awesome air superiority since first put into service in 1972.

    I did happen to saw this plane take off then straight right up into the air till it reach about 10,000 ft in less then 40 sec. during london, ontario air show in the mid 80's , very impressive to watch this plane to fly over 80,000 fans that warm summer day.


    F-15 is the best fighter Jet that America ever have so far.
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  49. #149

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    The biggest failings with the entire program right now in my opinion is not the F-35, which in fact is an aircraft that I happen to personally like...but it the wrong tool for this job.

    The biggest failings are IMO
    1) Insufficient numbers of aircraft...realistically is should be at least double that number and likely 3-4 times that number if we actually wanted useful defense and deployment abilities.

    2) Reliance on a single aircraft for all roles...as I have repeatedly said define the mission(s) and get the right tools for the job (and the best value for the Cdn $$$)

  50. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    It is interesting to read the F35b variant hasn't fully gone away, it is just in "probation".

    In other words, it all depends on how many units are manufactured, which matches what I wrote earlier in the thread. This is the killer for competitors, for example, the Eurofighter. Provided thousands of F35's are acquired by the US, it will be a more capable aircraft for lower price than any competitor is possible of matching, as no other aircraft will have sufficient volume to get such a good recovery of the initial R&D. It is being designed to be highly capable based on those projected volumes, if for example the projected volumes declined significantly though, then Lockheed would need to quickly downgrade the aircraft capability.
    The sacred cow U.S. defense budget is actually facing real scrutiny... even from members of the GOP. Obama's national debt review commission has recommended replacing about half of the planned F-35 purchases with newer models of current fighters... so much for your oft touted 'F-35 volume purchasing' ramblings. As for the 'B' variant probation, the version with the greatest technical problems, cost overruns and schedule delays, Gates has repeatedly stated that version will definitely be scrapped if the problems aren't soon resolved. Of course, your referenced link quotes from contractor sources that speak how things are just going peachy! Right... meanwhile... the latest April 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report states that, "after more than nine years in development and four in production, the JSF program has not fully demonstrated that the aircraft design is stable, manufacturing processes are mature and the system is reliable." And now we're starting to see 2018 show up all over the place as the target development completion... not 2014, or 2016... now 2018.

    Like I said moahunter... you'll wear it well when the program ultimately tanks. About those big (non-existent) contracts you keep alluding to Canada winning... fat chance, particularly when running up against the ever present heavy U.S. lobby industry tied to U.S. Congressional pork-barrel positioning that awards contracts to target rich select U.S. Congressional districts.

  51. #151

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    ^I don't care if it tanks, it will be Lockheed's incompetence for blowing it if it does. What I do care though, is if it doesn't tank, that a large portion of the huge spend that will then happen in the U.S. comes to Canada, and that we have an aircraft consistent with what most NATO nations will have.

  52. #152

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    Well in the Land of the Rising Sun, Home to the World of high tech and efficiency has received a proposal for...
    http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/...ation-fighter/

    The Royal Australian Air Force is also taking delivery of the same aircraft starting this year.

  53. #153

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    My favorite comment from the article...

    "Boeing has delivered more than 460 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered ahead of schedule and on budget."

    Tom

  54. #154

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    ^that's a bit of a false comparison though, the first Superhornet flew 16 years ago. It is an excellent 4.5 generation aircraft, but if you look back at the original development of the F18 and the Superhornet itself, the programs were far from cheap.

    I think if it wasn't for the aviation industry benefits we will get from the F35, with Canadian suppliers contracting to supply the latest technology parts to the US airforce, navy and marines for more than a thousand aircraft (compared to the 60 odd Canada will buy), Superhornets would have done the job.

    PS. The Australians are also buying F35's, unlike Canada they needed a stop gap solution, esp. with their F111's no longer economic to operate.
    Last edited by moahunter; 27-09-2011 at 10:54 AM.

  55. #155

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    So it's more of a multi-billion dollar make work program rather that which plane gives us the biggest bang for our bucks?

  56. #156

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    ^yeah, its basically a subsidy to keep a number of Canadian companies viable, to keep and grow an aviation industry. It is also a relationship builder with the US (NATO relationships are important), a moral booster for the forces (who want F35's, not an older designed aircraft), and, while you say billions, actually not that much in the grand scheme of things. We are only buying about 60 aircraft, compared to the more than 1,500 the US will buy.

    If the US were to decide to not go ahead with the F35a (unlikley), then the Superhornet is the obvious plan B second choice. Canada is in a great position because the CF18's still have life in them (Australia wasn't so fortunate, and had to buy a stop gap).
    Last edited by moahunter; 27-09-2011 at 11:15 AM.

  57. #157

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    From the linked article:
    “Having conducted business in Japan for more than 50 years, Boeing is excited about the extensive technical design and manufacturing opportunities the Super Hornet would bring to many areas of Japanese industry,”

    Wonder what those opportunities are and how they would stack up against the F-35?

    Australia BTW has also re tubbed (main central structure that holds everything), overhauled and upgraded their F-18A (same as Canada) fleet.

    The F-35 and the Super Hornets in the article are in addition to their existing fleet as I have been advised by friends in the RAAF. So in fact they are expanding their capability.

    Wonder if we could rent the tooling

  58. #158

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    ^I wish we had "make work" projects to build useful infrastructure instead of making weapons to destroy infrastructure. Hip hip hooray for increased GDP! Only in this world do we think spending a million dollars on a bomb to blow up someone's house in Afghanistan is positive productivity.

    That's if they even use the weapons. A lot of time they sit around just sucking up time and money and never actually get deployed. The entire fleet of F-22s have never flown a combat mission, despite the US having air campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. I have no idea what we think we need the F-35 for.

    Despite my misgivings, it is the way the world works. And if it means that it will strengthen the Canadian avionics industry, I'm all for it. I wonder if we need to buy the entire order of 60 to get the contracts, or would a lesser number suffice?

  59. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    I wonder if we need to buy the entire order of 60 to get the contracts, or would a lesser number suffice?
    Already has been cut back, I think originally were going to buy around 90, so I expect have gone as low as possible, for a capable / useful force, but still eligible for the contracts.

    Boeing already has preferred suppliers for the Superhornets, so its unlikely Canadian manufacturers would get much, other than token assembly or similar on those 60 planes, which doesn't compare to being an OEM supplier to more than 1,500 aircraft (with the on-going recurring work that will bring as well).

  60. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The F-35 and the Super Hornets in the article are in addition to their existing fleet as I have been advised by friends in the RAAF. So in fact they are expanding their capability.
    No, the F111's needed replacing, you can read some history below. The original intention was to replace with the F35, but the delays in the project, and problems in keeping the old planes flying, mean their was a gap, which they have filled with a small number (24) of Superhornets. The bulk of the future RAF will be F35's.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...602284435.html

  61. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    The F-35 and the Super Hornets in the article are in addition to their existing fleet as I have been advised by friends in the RAAF. So in fact they are expanding their capability.
    No, the F111's needed replacing, you can read some history below. The original intention was to replace with the F35, but the delays in the project, and problems in keeping the old planes flying, mean their was a gap, which they have filled with a small number (24) of Superhornets. The bulk of the future RAF will be F35's.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...602284435.html
    Well the publications I have read recently as well as the friends and relatives in the RAAF (Canadians BTW) contradict your article and I'll take them over a link.

    The Aussies over the last few years have re tubbed and rebuilt their F-18As effectively making them new (included engines avionics etc.) The Military (as opposed to government...maybe they should talk) plan on keeping them on line.

    The F-111s were worn out no doubt the F/A-18s (actually "0" parts common with the F-18A) replace the F-111 and increase capability and if the F-35s come on stream will increase the overall fighter force.

    This being done as a result of the increased perceived threat from South Asian and Indonesian countries.

  62. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^yeah, its basically a subsidy to keep a number of Canadian companies viable, to keep and grow an aviation industry. It is also a relationship builder with the US (NATO relationships are important), a moral booster for the forces (who want F35's, not an older designed aircraft), and, while you say billions, actually not that much in the grand scheme of things. We are only buying about 60 aircraft, compared to the more than 1,500 the US will buy.

    If the US were to decide to not go ahead with the F35a (unlikley), then the Superhornet is the obvious plan B second choice. Canada is in a great position because the CF18's still have life in them (Australia wasn't so fortunate, and had to buy a stop gap).

    Primarily Quebec companies as the various fewderal governments try to buy votes.

  63. #163

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    Re reading the thread I thought this comment deserved a response.
    I have no idea what we think we need the F-35 for.
    Bolo

    While I agree with your distaste at the use of the military as a political tool I also realize that our F-18s our more than just offensive weapons and they are coming to the end of their life as machines (everything wears out unfortunately).

    The F-18s we have are used as offensive weapons under political direction, agreed.
    Beyond that...
    - Sovereignty, patrolling our borders to try and keep those we don't want coming in out

    - Reconnaissance, monitoring everything from environmental to fisheries and other incidents. They are often first over a problem until the Aurora patrol aircraft (much much slower) can get to a site.

    - Search and Rescue, yes they have been deployed in the search for downed aircraft and other incidents.

    So in addition to what you see on the news maybe think of them as sort of flying police/firemen...when no deployed offensively/politically they do many of the same jobs for us on a different scale.

    Would you want our police/firemen using 25+year old vehicles? I don't think so.

    The debate here is "what" the new vehicle should be and how much of that is driven by ego and power.

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    I would have to agree with Thomas, as long as we have Russian jets who routinely "test" our air space, as long as there are peace keeping missions where we should be involved we do need equipment that is effective and reliable. Our pilots and maintenance staff did a remarkable job of keeping the Sea Kings somewhat up in the air long past their lifespan.

    One of the Russian incidents;
    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/07/30/c...irspace-probe/

  65. #165

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    ^The ideal plane for that role would be the F22, but as the US does not sell that internationally, next on the list is the F15SE. However, the F15SE, has a higher price than the F35's, and is overkill for other missions (like in Libya now, where strike is more important).

    One of the issues with the other options (aside from Superhornet, which the US Navy will fly for quite a bit longer, although the roles will decrease as the F35c's come on stream), for example the Eurofighter (which also has a poor range as it was designed for short range European interception), is that as the planes are produced in lower volume, it is going to be more expensive to keep them up to date technologically. As the US, Australia, UK and other countries are comitted to the F35, virtually every new weapons platform / radar development over the next couple of decades will be optimized for it, the R&D will be shared keeping costs reasonable.
    Last edited by moahunter; 28-09-2011 at 08:35 AM.

  66. #166

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    What is the proper vehicle? Just because you need a new car doesn't mean you need to buy a Ferrari.

    These are not just planes, they are cutting edge, stealth fighter jets that are designed to dominate in combat and that is why they are so expensive and maintenance intensive. Do we need this fighter? What combat missions will it fly? Or is it going to sit on the sidelines like the F22 because it is deemed too costly to operate and not necessary to achieve the current combat objectives?

  67. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    Or is it going to sit on the sidelines like the F22 because it is deemed too costly to operate and not necessary to achieve the current combat objectives?
    The F22 was designed during the cold war, no expense barred, no consideration to maintenance. That's one of the reasons why the F22 orders have been reduced in favor of the F35, which as a single engine figher with a simpler stealth technology, it is supposed to have been designed to overcome these defects.

  68. #168

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    Bolo
    What is the proper vehicle? Just because you need a new car doesn't mean you need to buy a Ferrari.
    Great comment and relevant.

    You need the right tool for the job. In this case the job is not well defined and other factors are becoming prominent (such as the trade deals Moa refers to).

    IMO there are a few factors that bother me in a great way.

    1) Single engine
    The F35 as a single engine aircraft on long range over water and Arctic patrols is a major risk factor. We have always insisted that our pilots have (2) engines for this mission...now all of a sudden (1) is okay. Well ask yourself if you were over the vast arctic hundreds if not thousands of miles from anything would you be happy with (1) engine knowing if it quits you odds suck? And I don't care how wonderful the F35s engine is ALL engines quit from time to time.

    2) Reduction of fleet size due to per unit cost
    We have gone from a strong airforce in the 50s and 60s to decreasing numbers and effectiveness since the 70s. Reducing our active aircombat force to only 60 aircraft gives us little to no capability at all.

    3) The process
    Bungled by a series of both Liberal and Conservative governments this fighter procurement has not been open or clear and no one can really tell if it meets mission needs.

    There are options, many options ranging from mixed new/old/overhauled aircraft to different new aircraft to producing our own under license or otherwise.

    The pilots....they would be excited to have an aircraft younger than them
    The crew that maintain them would appreciate any new aircraft

    The upper ranks wold love something cool

    But we have not IMO truly looked at what is best overall for all facets of the job and industry.

    Kkozoriz

    There are a number of Western companies including 2-3 in Alberta that will also benefit to be fair.

  69. #169

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    PS

    As a pilot I would also like the coolest toy our money could buy.

    But looking at the larger picture we need the aircraft that does the best all around job we need done at the most effective use of our $$$$.

  70. #170

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    "The pilots....they would be excited to have an aircraft younger than them
    The crew that maintain them would appreciate any new aircraft." - Thomas Hinderks


    Two very important groups that probably have little say. I hope I'm wrong.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  71. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    1) Single engine
    The F35 as a single engine aircraft on long range over water and Arctic patrols is a major risk factor.
    There is zero evidence to support this today (as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago), dual engine planes crash as well (like the CF18 that crashed recently). Yes, there was a time when engines were highly unreliable (airlines were required to have at least 3 engines when crossing oceans), but that is not the case today. The most reliable fighter built is the F16, a single engine aircraft, that has proven more reliable than the F18 dual engine. A single engine is cheaper to maintain as well, and is one less bit of complexity to cause breakages.

    PS. we have a lot less than 60 CF18's in Libya right now, and they are providing plenty of capability.
    Last edited by moahunter; 28-09-2011 at 12:40 PM.

  72. #172

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    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-bills-357560/

    The US DoD's estimate is $1.385 trillion dollars to purchase and maintain their fleet of 2,443 F-35s which is $567M per fighter over the course of it's service life. Because of our smaller force, it could cost us even more per unit. Will we get over half a billion dollars of worth from a single fighter jet? I just can't see how. Will this deal generate enough Canadian economic activity to justify the cost? I hope so.

    I mean to put things into perspective, we've been scratching our heads for 4 years debating how to build an arena downtown which costs less than one of these planes hahah.

  73. #173

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    There is zero evidence to support this today (as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago), dual engine planes crash as well (like the CF18 that crashed recently).
    Aren't we reaching now...

    You are comparing an F-18 accident at an airshow in a mode of flight that relyed completely on (2) engine power at low level to regular operations of a F-16.

    Ok link master....find one that shows an F-18 that has had a double engine out.

    There have been a number over the years that have had single engine failures and returned to base, been repaired and flown again.

    F-16s have had engine failures as well...but gee none returned to base for some strange reason, oh yeah they only have one engine.

    And how many single engine airliners are out there?

    Sure some bush type aircraft,the PC-12 (Several engine outs with the worlds most reliable Turbo prop and none of them made it back to base), Cessna Caravans, Beavers, Otters. But no larger aircraft, even the biz stuff is 2 engine.

    While aero engines have become remarkably safe and reliable, they still fail and when you have one engine guess what you have no options.

  74. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    While aero engines have become remarkably safe and reliable, they still fail and when you have one engine guess what you have no options.
    Wow, how many engines does it need to be safe then? 2? How about 3? or 4? As noted, you put more engines on, and you are adding more complexity, which brings with it, it's own risks (and cost). No jet fighter aircraft will be perfectly safe, be it 2 engines or 1 engine, and per the stats from the last generation (not the 1950's), the 1 engine F16 was safter / more reliable, than the 2 engine F18.

  75. #175

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    While aero engines have become remarkably safe and reliable, they still fail and when you have one engine guess what you have no options.
    Wow, how many engines does it need to be safe then? 2? How about 3? or 4? As noted, you put more engines on, and you are adding more complexity, which brings with it, it's own risks (and cost). No jet fighter aircraft will be perfectly safe, be it 2 engines or 1 engine, and per the stats from the last generation (not the 1950's), the 1 engine F16 was safter / more reliable, than the 2 engine F18.
    IMO...What a cop out

    Comparing (2) aircraft with different mission profiles as if they are the same.

    As noted in one of the linked articles in this thread...during the grounding of the F15s Alaska relied on Canadian CF-18s for overwater and arctic patrol inspite of having the safer more reliable (your comments) F16s on hand and on site because they only had.....1 engine.

    Lets compare the reliability of a Honda S-2000 vs a Peterbuilt Gravel Truck while we are at it.

    As to number of engines, aircraft in general have (1) redundant system for critical systems...sometimes more 3-4-5, but virtually always 1.

    A 2 engine fighter might need 2 for max performance but if there is a failure guess what...he has 1 engine left and by dumping payload he can make it home.

  76. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    IMO...What a cop out

    Comparing (2) aircraft with different mission profiles as if they are the same.
    I compared the F16 to the F18 (not CF18 ). Both were competitors for military contracts, and were designed about the same time, for the same role (albeit, the F18 won Navy, the F16 won airforce). The F16 is also more reliable than the F15, a twin engine aircraft that like the F16 flys from land bases.

    The cop out is to just look and say "it has one engine, scary, what if it breaks down?", or "there was a bad experience with one engine jets 30 years ago", versus actually looking at the facts about modern jet fighters and jet engine reliability. Like it or not, some jets will crash, but it is wrong to claim today that a twin jet aircraft is safter or more reliable than a single jet aircraft, it simply isn't the case anymore, and that's the conclusion the Canadian forces have reached.
    Last edited by moahunter; 30-09-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  77. #177

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    No the cop out is comparing the
    F16..short to medium range land based airforce fighter to the F18 medium to long range strike fighter used for the majority of its life i a naval role hammering on and off carriers which is known to be the toughest application and caused early failure of virtually all components.

    Engine failure happen, paticularly on new design engines with no proven record...like the one used in the F35.

    The decision made is one of politics not capability or other factors....

  78. #178

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    ^The Swedish air force is having no engine issues operating the single engine in the Saab JAS 39 Gripen (an aircraft with similar capabilities to F16 and CF18 ) in the far north / arctic conditions. I guess you think Swedes don't care about saftey? US Superhornets with 2 engines are safe, but Swedish Gripens with one engine (latest version has an advanced derivation of same engine in Superhornet) is not?

    In a similar way to the Gripen using a variation of a 4th generation engine for the Superhornet, the F35 uses a variation of a 5th generation engine from the F22, which has been designed to be simple to maintain and reliable with real time checks (there may be a GE/Rolls Royce engine available as well):

    Improving engine reliability and ease of maintenance is a major objective of the F135. The engine has fewer parts than similar engines which should help improve reliability. All line-replaceable components (LRCs) can be removed and replaced with a set of six common hand tools.[13] Additionally, the F135's health management system is designed to provide real time data to maintainers on the ground, allowing them to troubleshoot problems and prepare replacement parts before the aircraft returns to base. According the Pratt & Whitney, this data may help drastically reduce troubleshooting and replacement time, as much as 94% over legacy engines.[14]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_%26_Whitney_F135

    Given it is going to be powering most US fighter planes for the next 30 years, it will be well tested, beyond its performance already on the F22.

    Lockheed has a web site up for the Canadian F35's:

    http://f-35.ca/

    Next generation fighter was recommended in the Canada First Defense Strategy:



    http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/pri/fir...WT.svl=CFDLEFT
    Last edited by moahunter; 01-10-2011 at 03:47 PM.

  79. #179

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    Moa

    I now understand why you cannot get the point on (2) engines. You have no idea of the scale of distance and area that we are talking about that will need patrolled by fighters in soverienty role.

    Comparing Swedish Arctic patrol missions to Canadian is what finally clued me in.

    You do realize that maybe 1/3 of Sweden would qualify as Arctic and the distances are measured in hundreds of km not thousands.

    Do you realize how many times Sweden fits into Alberta?

    Do you realize that the "Low Fly Zone" for military training in Cold Lake allows them to replicate missions from England to Moscow and beyond?

    Do you realize how many times Europe fits into the Arctic never mind Canada?

    Comparing Swedish needs to Canadian is a joke. Sorry but it is. Our distances are vast...you can fly for hours at jetliner speeds across the Arctic and not see any signs of civilization.

    The only region I can think of in the world that would be similar is Russia.

    You do realize that areonautical charts actually note different survival equipment for these areas?

    If you go down in these regions your chance of recovery, on a good day, are slim. The nearest search and rescue bases are hours away by jet, never mind search and rescue aircraft speeds.

    It is apparent that this discussion is pointless...you just do not understand the scale of distances and the absolute remoteness of these regions or the risks involved.

  80. #180

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    ^How do you know I don't understand the scale and distances? Simply because I agree with the Canadian forces that a one engine aircraft with a longer range will be more effective than a two engine plane with a shorter range? The combat range of the F35a is 590 nautical miles, versus 390 (449 standard) interdiction for a superhornet, a longer range which will be very useful in the Canadian environment. Even so, the combat ranges are smaller than the geographical size of Canada and Sweden, even the full non-combat ranges are. Sweden is also totally uninhabited in the far North, just like Canada, and the climatic conditions are the same.

    You are grasping at straws Tom, the world has moved on from your memories of the 1950's and 1960's when jet engines were highly unreliable. Even the potential for failure will be monitored real time on the F35, something that doesn't happen on the Superhornet, so any sign of a problem and the plane will head home. Engine failure is so rare now for jets compared to other failures, that by adding more engines all you do is increase the complexity, the maintenance time, and accordingly the potential for failure.
    Last edited by moahunter; 02-10-2011 at 06:39 PM.

  81. #181

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    Moa

    You once again prove my point about having no idea of the scale of distance and area involved.

    You quote ranges that are combat and/or internal fuel only when for our missions the aircraft are equipped with external fuel to carry them very great distances.

    You comparison remains illogical and irrelevant.

    You quote my memories of the 50s and 60s...when I wasn't born or when I was in low single digets....I have no memories of those times.

    This is turned into another HSR thread.

    I'm done

  82. #182

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    ^I agree we aren't going to agree Tom, I think its a non-issue, the Canadian Forces think its a non-issue (and no doubt like the extra range capability of the F35), the Swedes think its a non-issue in their arctic conditions, and you think its an issue.

  83. #183

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    Top headline on the Globe & Mail this morning:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2257891/

    I am not an aviation expert, but some of the snippets in here have me even further concerned than before:

    The opposition has also pointed out that the initial operating system won't be equipped with a program that helps the fighters communicate with older aircraft, such as the Air Force's Aurora surveillance planes. And the jets apparently won’t be able to communicate in the Arctic.

    The costs of Ottawa’s fleet range between $16-billion and $30-billion, depending on the estimate.

    Norway said the cost of its 52 of the jets will be $40-billion or more.

    ----

    What is going on here? The cost estimates are vague and seem to be way too low. Why are we buying planes that cannot communicate in the Arctic? Am I justified in thinking the government has completely screwed up here? Are there inaccuracies in the article purposely swaying me to thinking this? It wouldn't be the first time someone has corrected me from a highly biased slant from the G&M, so I hope there's a reasonable counterpoint to this all.

  84. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ View Post
    Top headline on the Globe & Mail this morning:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2257891/

    I am not an aviation expert, but some of the snippets in here have me even further concerned than before:

    The opposition has also pointed out that the initial operating system won't be equipped with a program that helps the fighters communicate with older aircraft, such as the Air Force's Aurora surveillance planes. And the jets apparently won’t be able to communicate in the Arctic.

    The costs of Ottawa’s fleet range between $16-billion and $30-billion, depending on the estimate.

    Norway said the cost of its 52 of the jets will be $40-billion or more.

    ----

    What is going on here? The cost estimates are vague and seem to be way too low. Why are we buying planes that cannot communicate in the Arctic? Am I justified in thinking the government has completely screwed up here? Are there inaccuracies in the article purposely swaying me to thinking this? It wouldn't be the first time someone has corrected me from a highly biased slant from the G&M, so I hope there's a reasonable counterpoint to this all.
    MJ

    I will try and address what I know about the specific program and then give you my 2 bits on the selection.

    In fairness

    Most of what you are reading is reasonably accurate, yeah somewhat slanted but all the same reasonably accurate. It is also not unusual for an aircraft this complex that is jumping from prototype to production to run into these kinds of problems...in the civil/commercial world you can look at the problems and delays the 787 encountered coming to production and it is no where near as complex overall as the F-35.

    In time the hurdles will be overcome and the F-35 will most likely become a very capable aircraft that will do it's design missions.

    The problem (in my personal highly biased opinion)

    It's the wrong aircraft for OUR mission and has been selected for industrial benefits and politics more than being the right aircraft for what we need.

    My other posts in this thread cover why I think this and what alternatives I think are better and more cost effective...but the long and the short.

    We are buying a square peg to fit a round hole and doing it for the wrong reasons.

    My opinion anyway

    Tom

  85. #185

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    ^ Thomas, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what the right aircraft is? Not being confrontational here, just curious. The only other 5th generation options available on our timeframe are the Sukhoi PAK FA, which is Russian and the J-20 which is Chinese. Not likely that either would be a choice for a NATO member.

    It sure would be nice if the Americans would let us have the F22...

  86. #186
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    I've heard a few people with military affiliations suggest that we should get over the political optics and seriously consider buying Russian hardware. They claim better value for money, easier maintenance and better suitability for arctic duty.

  87. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJC View Post
    ^ Thomas, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what the right aircraft is? Not being confrontational here, just curious. The only other 5th generation options available on our timeframe are the Sukhoi PAK FA, which is Russian and the J-20 which is Chinese. Not likely that either would be a choice for a NATO member.

    It sure would be nice if the Americans would let us have the F22...
    My thoughts...well seeing as you asked. It has changed a little since this thread started.

    First define the exact mission that the aircraft is to perform...that has never been released to my knowledge. There have been references but no specifics. That is likely because the requirements dictate more than one type as they did in the last N(new) F(fighter) A(aircraft) acquisition program and it is unlikely that the Feds...in power or opposition...want that discussion.

    Then find the right aircraft that provides the best "value" for the investment.

    Now more specifically...I see the primary mission as Sovereignty Patrol and defense of Canada's borders. The secondary mission being our NATO/NORAD commitments.
    For our primary mission, “Sovereignty Patrol”, we need an aircraft suited to long range cold weather operations to act in patrol, interception and interdiction…finding people that should not be where they are and monitoring them or getting them out. Because of the remote, in some cases still unexplored, areas it need to be capable of returning to at least an alternate airport if there is a systems failure. So (2) engines and redundant systems are a big priority. Speed is a high priority for the interception mission and range for the patrol.
    Secondary mission:
    Not surprisingly the needs for our NORAD commitment are very, very similar.

    But for NATO it seems from recent experience we are ground attack support players and that is a whole different set of needs. Shorter range, high arms loads (typically underwing works best) lower speeds and altitudes. A great example of a ground support aircraft that keeps coming back even though they try and kill it is the A-10 Warthog.
    Ugly, Slow and effective.

    So I see 2 or 3 types with expanded numbers 200-300 and them being a mix of rebuilt/updated CF-18s, rebuilt F-15s and a new aircraft suitable for our NATO mission, likely sub sonic tailored to ground support with a technologically simple airframe and engine(s) with high technology in targeting and communications.
    What is important is commonality in as many systems as possible and effective easy serviceability and a real big radar foot print…so everyone knows we are patrolling our borders. The overhauls and updates being done in Canada by Canadians (yes we can all the technology and personnel are here) and the new type been license built or with a mandated Canadian content. That way we create Canadian high technology jobs (and training opportunities) that can be transferred to other industries after (high speed rail/LRT/Commercial aircraft) and the bulk of the $$$$ remaining in Canada supporting our economy and returning tax dollars to our system.
    Do I think it would be allowed to happen? No way.

    So there's my very short version of how I see it.
    We don't need the F-22, too much aircraft for what our missions are but maybe license built Russian could be an option...but not offshore produced.

    This all needs tied to an increased number of small operational bases both up North and near areas that could face potential threat and means more pilots, technicians and support personnel. Which is good as it would provide a training ground for the personnel that are forecasting being needed in the commercial aircraft world with the "Boomers" coming out of the system.

    So it covers Military, Political, Social, High Technology employment and economic needs in the long, long term.

    Never happen [edit: added after first post]

    Tom (in my personal highly biased opinion)
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 02-12-2011 at 01:06 PM. Reason: formatting and added comment

  88. #188

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    The most expensive weapons program in U.S. history is about to get a lot pricier.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, meant to replace nearly every tactical warplane in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, was already expected to cost $1 trillion dollars for development, production and maintenance over the next 50 years. Now that cost is expected to grow, owing to 13 different design flaws uncovered in the last two months by a hush-hush panel of five Pentagon experts. It could cost up to a billion dollars to fix the flaws on copies of the jet already in production, to say nothing of those yet to come.

    In addition to costing more, the stealthy F-35 could take longer to complete testing. That could delay the stealthy jet’s combat debut to sometime after 2018 — seven years later than originally planned. And all this comes as the Pentagon braces for big cuts to its budget while trying to save cherished but costly programs like the Joint Strike Fighter.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011...tories+2%29%29

  89. #189

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    http://www.chbcnews.ca/f-35+purchase...884/story.html

    Saw this the other day. Interesting. I don't know if the inflight refueling thing has come up in this thread but if our current tankers can't fill the F-35....wth? If a fit-up kit is required, it won't be cheap and if its new tankers....

    Florida based training, currently can't refuel them inflight, ridiculous unit cost, suspect performance and service claims(lack of a body of work and history), additional costly ancillary services and support vehicles. Why are we considering this aircraft?

    As has been mentioned before, our pilots opinions have value and merit.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  90. #190

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    ^Canada uses the same fueling system as the US Navy, it was always intended that the Canadian F35's would be modified, like the F35C varient.

    I think you have to balance the extra cost / overcapability, against the sales to Canadian companies by supplying the entire US Navy, Airforce and Marines components / equipment. This "political" pay back IMO offsets the cost. Now, if the F35 program is significantly scaled back in the US, then that would make the choice more questionable.

    I agree that the Superhornet would be the no-brainer choice if not the F35.

  91. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Canada uses the same fueling system as the US Navy, it was always intended that the Canadian F35's would be modified, like the F35C varient.

    I think you have to balance the extra cost / overcapability, against the sales to Canadian companies by supplying the entire US Navy, Airforce and Marines components / equipment. This "political" pay back IMO offsets the cost. Now, if the F35 program is significantly scaled back in the US, then that would make the choice more questionable.

    I agree that the Superhornet would be the no-brainer choice if not the F35.
    The wiggle I have is, what guarantee will we have that our companies compete on a level playing field for these future contracts? What happens if the US government subsidizes US companies to give them a competitive advantage (as they have with banks and auto industry to name the big ones)? A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?

  92. #192

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Canada uses the same fueling system as the US Navy, it was always intended that the Canadian F35's would be modified, like the F35C varient.

    I think you have to balance the extra cost / overcapability, against the sales to Canadian companies by supplying the entire US Navy, Airforce and Marines components / equipment. This "political" pay back IMO offsets the cost. Now, if the F35 program is significantly scaled back in the US, then that would make the choice more questionable.

    I agree that the Superhornet would be the no-brainer choice if not the F35.
    The wiggle I have is, what guarantee will we have that our companies compete on a level playing field for these future contracts? What happens if the US government subsidizes US companies to give them a competitive advantage (as they have with banks and auto industry to name the big ones)? A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?
    For a laugh...

    Considering the recent press on the Arrow I find it ironic how the Diefenbaker government killed the Arrow in spite of it's employment benefits etc, etc and the Harper government today is justifying the F-35 based on similar reasoning.

    Making it truly ironic...both Federal conservative governments.

    As Artie Johnson would have said...interesting, very interesting. (lol)

    Tom

  93. #193

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^Canada uses the same fueling system as the US Navy, it was always intended that the Canadian F35's would be modified, like the F35C varient.

    I think you have to balance the extra cost / overcapability, against the sales to Canadian companies by supplying the entire US Navy, Airforce and Marines components / equipment. This "political" pay back IMO offsets the cost. Now, if the F35 program is significantly scaled back in the US, then that would make the choice more questionable.

    I agree that the Superhornet would be the no-brainer choice if not the F35.
    The wiggle I have is, what guarantee will we have that our companies compete on a level playing field for these future contracts? What happens if the US government subsidizes US companies to give them a competitive advantage (as they have with banks and auto industry to name the big ones)? A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?
    I agree bolo. there are other countries buying into this program. do they all have arrangements for future contracts?
    I deal just smells funny. Like autos, there are options. We'd like to believe the powers that be have OUR best interests but do they?
    Smells like Bomarc.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  94. #194
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    Japan have agreed to buy F-35 to replace their aging jets

    ww.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20111219/japan-agrees-to-buy-f-35-fighters-to-replace-aging-jets-111219/
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  95. #195

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?
    Its not a guarantee, its simply the right to participate, and yes, Canadian companies are winning major contracts across the country.

  96. #196

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?
    Its not a guarantee, its simply the right to participate (which is huge, because US military spending is basically one big subsidy to industry), and yes, Canadian companies are winning major contracts across the country, with more than $370 million in contracts already won, and potentially $12 billion in contracts over the aircrafts life.

  97. #197

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    A lot of people seem to think we have a lock on all these new contracts if we buy into the program, but is that really the case?
    Its not a guarantee, its simply the right to participate (which is huge, because US military spending is basically one big subsidy to industry), and yes, Canadian companies are winning major contracts across the country, with more than $370 million in contracts already won, and potentially $12 billion in contracts over the aircrafts life.
    And considering the volatile world we live in will those contracts be fulfilled?

    Considering the unemployment levels in the USA, the general dissatisfaction often expressed and the on again/off again isolationist policies will the American public continue to support "off shoring" sectors of this the largest American military procurement ever?

    I am not going to pretend I have the answers to those questions, but at the same time they are valid and unfortunately open ended.

    Tom

  98. #198

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    So, taking a break from reality, has anyone played the Battlefield 3 expansion? The F-35 is an absolute hog in the game and gets raped 9 out of 10 times by the Russian "Flanker" (not sure what jet it's suppose to be).

  99. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    So, taking a break from reality, has anyone played the Battlefield 3 expansion? The F-35 is an absolute hog in the game and gets raped 9 out of 10 times by the Russian "Flanker" (not sure what jet it's suppose to be).
    Heh, Battlefield 3 isn't exactly a very realistic sim. The Flanker airframe really is one of the best ever made though, it's capable of some incredible things acrobatics wise.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVANWbO-Zxs

    Pretty sure I saw one with a Flanker doing a full flip Cobra while still traveling forward, but I couldn't find it. Whoops nevermind that link has it at the very end.

  100. #200

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    So, taking a break from reality, has anyone played the Battlefield 3 expansion? The F-35 is an absolute hog in the game and gets raped 9 out of 10 times by the Russian "Flanker" (not sure what jet it's suppose to be).
    Russian equipment often does well in video games. Then a war comes along, and all the Russian planes and tanks get wiped out (like the Israelis have done repeatedly over the last few decades), and the games catch up for a year or two.

    The concept behind the F35 is more in terms of electronics / weapons integration than brute performance. Ideas like the look and shoot helmet, why do you need to turn the plane fast to fire, when you can just turn your head? It will still have some impressive capability I am sure though, as it is derived based on lessons from the number 1 fighter plane in the world, the hideously expensive, but brutally powerful, F22.

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