ac788
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Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:18 am

The Conservative government is taking fire from opposition parties following the release of a report issued by the Parliamentary Budget Office. The report indicates that the cost of the F-35 fleet will exceed the original estimated cost by "at least 66%".
Here is a link to the article on Flightglobal:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...cost-estimate-soars-66-report.html
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:25 am

Hey guess what the Air Force, you know the organization that will operate the F-35, doesn't want the Super Hornet the Eurofighter or the Saab. If we want to operate sub-standard equipment we'd just keep the current CF-18's for another 20 years.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:08 am

Problems with the report:
1. A dollar to weight ratio for determining future costs? Are you kidding me?
2. A 30-year period? The government has only calculated for a 20 year period.
3. 2 mid-life upgrades? We only do one mid-life upgrade on our aircraft fleets.

Take out $4-5 billion for those two upgrades and the take 2/3 of the $24 billion remaining to make the 20-30 year differential go away and you have a PBO estimate of about $16 Billion. Wasn't that was the government's estimate?
 
TheCol
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:29 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):

Maybe it's time to reconsider. I agree that operating the F-18E/F or JAS 39 Gripen will be an open invitation for the Russians to laugh at us and do whatever the hell they want in the arctic, but so will a meager force of 60 F-35s. Meanwhile, we have an aging Navy that needs a total overall and new warships for all 3 fleets. At the very least, starting a bidding war won't hurt. It may even drive the prices down.

Think about it: if the F-35 and F-22 are too expensive for the richest superpower, then there's little chance that Russia can afford to produce, operate, and market any 5th generation fighter that will stand up against 4.5's like the Eurofighter and Rafale. Even if they do find the dough, they won't have enough money left over to train pilots to a caliber that even comes close to the proficiency of our pilots. It's highly doubtful China will get it right the first time either, and there's a reason why there's a flood of Asians attending Canadian flight schools instead of Chinese flight schools.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
ac788
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:37 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):

The original government estimate was $17.3 billion. Can you explain these "2 mid-life upgrades" and the "dollar to weight ratio" you refer to?   
The Parliamentary Budjet Officer (PBO) provides an independent analysis of government finances so I'm going to assume their figures are credible.
If you want more details here is the pdf of the report:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/sites/pbo-dpb...ocuments/F-35_Cost_Estimate_EN.pdf
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:37 am

1. Dollar to weight ratio: page 8 of the report
2. 30 years vs 20 years: page 30. The PBO assumed 30 years, when the maintenance contract is for 20 years.
3. Assumptions with mid life upgrades: page 31. The PBO assumed there will be 2 mid-life upgrades. The CF has never done two mid-life upgrades on a single aircraft type. It's usually 1 after 15-20 years, and after another 15-20 years, the type is disposed of. See the CF-18 IMP, CP-140 AIMP, and C-130 avionics upgrade program.
 
cmb56
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:44 pm

How does the F-15SE stack up against the F-35 or the F-18E/F?

There have been no orders for it yet but it at least appears to have some potential to get much of what an F-35 can do at less cost, less time, and a known performer.

I can see Israel wanting a core of stealthy strike aircraft but who would Canada need to sneak up on and attack.

Would not the F-15SE provide as good or even superior long range air defense?
 
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kanban
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 6):
I can see Israel wanting a core of stealthy strike aircraft but who would Canada need to sneak up on and attack.

Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, Bahamas... known extremist counties like these
 
ac788
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:07 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 5):

Thanks for the references ThePointblank   

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 6):

As for the F-15SE, I believe it's faster and has a larger combat radius than the F-35. In addition it utilizes some stealth technology and has two powerplants vs. one in the F-35.

Maybe someone can provide further, more accurate information regarding possible alternatives to the F-35?
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:15 pm

Quoting ac788 (Reply 8):
Maybe someone can provide further, more accurate information regarding possible alternatives to the F-35?

There aren't any alternatives. Any else available is technologically outdated and purchasing it would be a waste of time.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 6):
I can see Israel wanting a core of stealthy strike aircraft but who would Canada need to sneak up on and attack.

Stealth is not only for offence. Who knows what conflict Canada will be in the next 5-10-20 years. Having the best equipment is essential - and the F-15SE or whatever else is not it.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:55 am

I will also note that using the PBO's budgetary formula's, the costs for F/A-18E/F increase to $145 million dollars or double its current fly away of $78 million.

In short, what we have going on is an apples to oranges comparison; the PBO is using a completely different set of assumptions than what the DND is using or has used, and that alone accounts for the discrepancy in costs. Most notably, the 30 years vs 20 years assumption is the biggest assumption that accounts for the majority of the cost difference. The headlines make it easy for a casual reader to conclude the government has low balled their number, and thus has mislead Canadians, when in fact the two estimates - when you turn PBO apples into government oranges, are essentially identical. When one does this, it distorts the public debate by creating false assumptions about the truth. It is poor reporting by the reporters and news pieces that have not fully read the report and just looked at the summary.

This is of course a problem with comparisons of variable timelines by accumulating costs. Longer timelines will always mean higher costs. You might as well say that operating a hospital or a school will cost you trillions of dollars because once erected they tend to stand for centuries.

The only fair method of evaluating in this situation is to annualize the costs, which is to say you take your timeline, whatever it is, and whatever platform, add up the costs and then divide them by the number of years to get the average annual cost of providing the service (e.g. it costs X millions of dollars per aircraft to operate this type). Only then you can do a straight comparison.
 
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Faro
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:40 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 7):
Quoting CMB56 (Reply 6):
I can see Israel wanting a core of stealthy strike aircraft but who would Canada need to sneak up on and attack.

Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, Bahamas... known extremist counties like these

No, much closer to home: St Pierre & Miquelon which be only 6 miles from Newfounfland. Dastardly, low-life Frenchies can launch devastating strike on Canadian mainland from there, aided by the 5th column in Québéc...

Faro
The chalice not my son
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:25 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 9):

There aren't any alternatives. Any else available is technologically outdated and purchasing it would be a waste of time.

Stealth is not only for offence. Who knows what conflict Canada will be in the next 5-10-20 years. Having the best equipment is essential - and the F-15SE or whatever else is not it.

Do you work for Conservative party ?
 
ac788
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:10 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 12):
Do you work for Conservative party ?

  
 
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kanban
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:27 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 11):
No, much closer to home: St Pierre & Miquelon which be only 6 miles from Newfounfland. Dastardly, low-life Frenchies can launch devastating strike on Canadian mainland from there, aided by the 5th column in Québéc...

we forgot the Visconsin Scandahovians....
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:04 pm

On another forum, someone posted a letter by Laurie Hawn, who is a MP and is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. He's an ex-fighter pilot who has many years of service flying everything from F-104's to the CF-18's. Important points have been bolded:

Quote:
There is a lot of misinformation out there about the F-35 program. This is going to be long, but it’s important that you have the whole story. This is the biggest military program in our history as was the NFA program back in its day. Some of the same type of people are saying some of the same things now that they were saying 30 years ago.

The concept of ops for the CF-18 was to operate the aircraft for phase-in plus 15 years, at which time we would be in the process of acquiring our next fighter. That would put that action at 2003. It made perfect sense for the Liberals to sign onto the JSF MOU in 1997 and to up the ante in 2001. We upped it again in 2006 and made the formal decision to acquire the F-35 under the MOU in July 2010. For the Liberals to say now that they had no intention of buying the aircraft is absolute nonsense. We are buying an aircraft to fly until at least 2050.

Let's take process first. We've had subject matter experts, military and civilian, studying the JSF programs and other options for years at a very highly classified level. We have highly experienced fighter pilots and engineerson the military side, many of whom I have known for decades. On the civilian side, we've got people like BGen (ret) Dan Ross, ADM (Mat) for the past five years and a guy who has helped reduce acquisition times from over 100 months to less than 50 months. We also have a guy named Mike Slack, who has been exclusively involved with JSF for close to ten years, and who knows the nonsense that former ADM (Mat) Alan Williams is spreading. We initially looked at F-22, F-35, F-18E/F, Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale. F-22 was eliminated right away, because it would not be for sale to anyone other than the U.S. After analysis, the Gripen and Rafale were eliminated as not having any performance advantage over our current CF-18. A more extensive evaluation of the F-35, F-18E/F and Typhoon was conducted. The conclusion was that the F-35 is the only aircraft that meets the mandatory high level capabilities and the more specific operational requirements, and at the best cost with the best industrial opportunities. The same process was followed in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, and Turkey within the MOU. Israel is on board outside the MOU and Japan, South Korea and others are poised to follow suit. There is a definite trend here and maybe we should listen to our own subject matter experts and all these people from so many countries

Comparisons done by others, such as Wg Cdr Mills, RAAF, have one major flaw. They are based on 3rd or 4th generation fighter knowledge and very limited understanding of the real difference to 5th generation capability. There is a very limited number of people anywhere who are fully read-in to the classified details and capabilities of the F-35. I'm not one of them (and I guarantee Mills isn't either), but I know what I don't know. Also, my only agenda and that of the CF and other militaries is to get the best piece of kit for our folks. So, my question to Mills and others would be "How do you know?" and "What is your agenda?”. Despite their lack of truly current information, Mills and another guy named Peter Goon seem to have found a receptive audience in other parts of the world, whose agenda may also be different than ours.

The F-35 is not a turn-and-burn king (dog fighter) compared to pure air superiority fighters, like the F-22 and some of the new Russian aircraft. It is on par with the Hornet, but becomes clearly superior with 5th generation technology. That has proven out in various simulator exercises and we have had a number of current CF-18 pilots involved. The other basic question is, is it superior to available 4th generation fighters. To a remarkable degree the answer is yes. In basic areas of range, endurance, payload, turn, etc., the F-35 is at least equal to the other options. In other more high-tech areas related to 5th generation unique capabilities, there is no comparison. One of our handicaps is that we can’t explain all the reasons why, because of the very highly classified nature of some of the information. One of the bottom lines is that we don’t want an aircraft at the end of its development cycle and at the end of its production. We want one that is at the start of its development cycle and one that will be in production for at least the next 25 years.

Let’s talk about interoperability. We had problems in Kosovo because our Hornets lacked the communications necessary to be part of many packages. Our allies had to be dumbed down, so that we could play. It is more than radios and data-link, when we talk about interoperability between 4th and 5th generation aircraft. If you have a package of F-35s with a package of CF-18E/F tagging along, we would stick out to enemy defences like a sore thumb and endanger the whole package. We would be relegated to decoy status and soak up a lot of unfriendly stuff. Without going into exact numbers, an F-35 can kill a CF-18 at many times the range that the CF-18 will even see the F-35.

The Super Hornet production line closes in 2014 and the USN will retire the aircraft by 2025. We would be on our own after that and any software upgrades, system changes, R&D, test and evaluation, etc. would be on our hook for our fleet of 65 aircraft. That’s not very cost effective. The U.S. Government makes the decision on when to shut down the production line and a big chunk of the equipment is owned by them. The only way that the production could continue is with more off-shore sales. That doesn’t appear to be happening and we would still be orphaned after 2025. Boeing will cite the Aussies buying 24 Super Hornets (at a hefty price). The Aussies are very clear that those aircraft are a ten-year bridge from the F-111 to the F-35.

Many people express concern about the single-engine configuration, and I was one of those. When I took a closer look at current engine technology, I was satisfied that the risk is very well mitigated by new materials, blade and engine design, and the level of redundancy. You can throw a lot of stuff down the intake and it will be spit out by the very thick and tough blades and the high by-pass. We should also remember that trans-oceanic commercial flights were restricted to four-engine aircraft. Now two engines is the norm.

Let's look at cost. If we translate the $16,090,000 that we paid for each CF-18 in 1980 dollars to 2016, they would then cost $63 million. Our price for the F-35 will be between $70 - $75 million, for a quantum increase in capability. That's not bad. You hear a lot about cost escalation and there is truth to that, as there is for any leading edge technology program. The cost-per-jet numbers you're hearing are the progressive average cost of the early aircraft, the very first of which cost $249 million. We are buying our aircraft starting in 2015 / 2016 at the peak of production and lowest cost. You may have heard that Norway has delayed their acquisition. That was done to follow our example and get the aircraft at the cost sweet spot of the production cycle. Despite all their economic woes, the U.K. is continuing their program to acquire F-35s. The U.S. Government is underwriting any increase in R&D costs and the program is outperforming current cost curve projections. The Congressional oversight that is being exercised in the U.S. is good news for us and other members of the MOU. It’s about the reporting system in place at Lockheed Martin, not the aircraft itself. There is automatic triggering of Congressional measures at certain levels. That is based on forecast costs and does not take into account the very high costs of the early aircraft. Nevertheless, this process does put pressure on Lockheed Martin and that is good for all of us.

Let's look at the breakdown of the $16 billion you hear quoted. About $5.5 billion is for the aircraft. About $3.5 billion is for simulators, training, infrastructure, spares, etc., much of which will come to Canadian industry. The other $7 billion is a very educated estimate of what it will cost to support the aircraft for 20 years, the majority of which will come to Canadian industry. None of this is "borrowed"; it is all within the programmed funding envelope of the Canada First Defence Strategy.

You will hear Boeing say that they can beat the price of the F-35. The number they quote is in 2009 dollars and does not include such niceties as external fuel tanks, pylons, helmet-mounted sight system, targeting pod, missile launchers, radar warning receivers, self-protection jammers, active self-protection counter measures (chaff and flares) and the GUN! Great for cross-countries and airshows, but not much else. Add $8 - $9 mill per aircraft to do the job. When we do an apples-to-apples cost comparison between F-35, F-18E/F and Typhoon in production year dollars, the F-35 is by far the cheapest. I can’t give you the exact numbers, but they are contained in government-to-government documentation between PMA 265 and DND. There will be 560 Typhoons worldwide, 500 Super Hornets and 3000 – 5000 F-35s. The economies of scale not only for initial purchase under a multi-national MOU, but also for spares, are pretty obvious.

Let's look at the value of being part of the MOU. Every member of the MOU has one vote. Within the MOU we are exempt from Foreign Military Sales fees and that saves us about $850 million on the cost of the aircraft. For every FMS sale outside the MOU (e.g. Israel), we get a portion of the royalties. As part of the MOU, we also have the right to use all the classified intellectual property. We would lose that outside the MOU. As part of the MOU, we have guaranteed spots on the production line. This is critical to the timing of bringing the F-35 into service and phasing out the CF-18 before it dies a fatigue life death.

Let's talk about industrial opportunities as part of the MOU. As an aircraft acquirer within the MOU, our industry has favoured treatment for contracts for the global supply chain for between 3000 and 5000 aircraft. That global supply chain is being established as we speak, and that was one of the reasons for the decision in July. Although our companies could still technically participate under the MOU if we were still members but not acquiring aircraft, business realities would clearly say otherwise. For example, Pratt and Whitney makes engine components in Montreal and Turkey. If Turkey is acquiring aircraft under the MOU and Canada is not, guess where P&W will put the business. We have opportunities for at least $12 billion in business. If we are outside the MOU, we would lose that ground floor advantage for next generation technology and whatever comes after that. [Now that we have activated the procurement provisions of the MOU, the negotiated Industrial Participation Plans (IPP) kick in and it is under those that Canadian companies have signed hundreds of millions worth of contracts since July. If we withdraw from the MOU to conduct a competition, our participation in the IPPs ceases. Canadian industry knows that and they are putting a lot of pressure on the Liberals to do the right thing.

The Liberals have said that they would cancel the acquisition phase of the F-35 MOU that we have entered into and hold a competition and they say that there would be no consequences of doing that. What nonsense! We would have to negotiate our way out of the MOU at a potential cost of up to $551 million. We cannot compete the MOU deal for the F-35 against an FMS deal for a Super Hornet. We would be buying the F-35 directly from the U.S. Government on an FMS case with a take-it-or-leave-it price. We would lose our spots on the production line and we would be running a serious risk of a capability gap if we have to retire the CF-18 before the new aircraft is on the line. With all the information that we have on cost, capability, industrial opportunities, etc., the answer would still be F-35 and we would have lost time, money, jobs and international respect.

In no other MOU partner is the political opposition taking such a position and it is having an impact on the credibility and confidence that our allies have in Canada. It absolutely will cost jobs if they don’t stop very soon. We have seen this partisan political movie before in 1993. Seventeen years and close to a billion dollars later, we're still waiting for the first Sea King replacement. The implications of this one are infinitely greater.

When this all started, I was a Super Hornet fan. Everything that I have seen, read and heard since has convinced me that the F-35 is the answer. No one who has studied the options with adequate information in at least ten countries has reached any different conclusion. It is not risk free; no new program is. There are echoes of the New Fighter Aircraft Program here, and that program turned out just fine. We need to get on with it.
 
Oroka
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:26 pm

This was not a surprise, especially from the Liberals. Remember how they gutted our military capacity in the 90s, they are not a fan of the CAF. Look how long it took to get the CH-147s, and the CH-124s are still in full service. Say what you will about the Conservatives, they have really reinvigorated our military.

I really worry about these shenanigans by the Liberals, looking for anything they can run with to manipulate the Conservatives. They could delay this purchase by years if they successfully push the Conservatives out of power.
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:55 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 16):
Say what you will about the Conservatives, they have really reinvigorated our military.

I'm not against buying new jets, but we could have 2-3 times more Super Hornets for the same price and we have the expertise to perform maintenance. Canada does not need a single-engine stealth fighter, the Super Hornet is more than adequate for our needs.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 17):
I'm not against buying new jets, but we could have 2-3 times more Super Hornets for the same price and we have the expertise to perform maintenance. Canada does not need a single-engine stealth fighter, the Super Hornet is more than adequate for our needs.

Do you work for the Liberal Party, because clearly you don't have a clue in this matter. Everything you just said there is pure fluff that comes without facts or sources. Just what we need, more arm-chair internet generals that don't have a clue.

[Edited 2011-03-13 12:20:03]
 
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Faro
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:01 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 17):
Quoting Oroka (Reply 16):
Say what you will about the Conservatives, they have really reinvigorated our military.

I'm not against buying new jets, but we could have 2-3 times more Super Hornets for the same price and we have the expertise to perform maintenance. Canada does not need a single-engine stealth fighter, the Super Hornet is more than adequate for our needs.

Canada per se doesn't need much of an air force at all unless Russia reverts to 'evil' mode (probability remote) or China starts harboring aspirations of global military dominance (not so remote in probability, but much more so in time). I would think that today, Canada's air power requirements are mostly to fulfill present and future NATO commitments abroad.

Faro
The chalice not my son
 
ac788
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):

Definitely a very eye opening and informative letter from Laurie Hawn, ThePointblank. Thanks very much for posting it.   

Thought this was interesting:
"Many people express concern about the single-engine configuration, and I was one of those. When I took a closer look at current engine technology, I was satisfied that the risk is very well mitigated by new materials, blade and engine design, and the level of redundancy."
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:08 pm

Quoting ac788 (Reply 20):
Thought this was interesting:
"Many people express concern about the single-engine configuration, and I was one of those. When I took a closer look at current engine technology, I was satisfied that the risk is very well mitigated by new materials, blade and engine design, and the level of redundancy."

Just to add to that, even with our current twin F404 it is very rare to see a complete engine failure. I've seen aircraft deemed "great jet" by the pilot only to see bent fan blades on the intake crawl. Recently we had a pelican ingestion and even though the pilot had to cancel his mission, the engine still had thrust. http://tinyurl.com/5rr2qrq Unlike queb, I have first-hand experience.  
 
mffoda
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 21):
Recently we had a pelican ingestion


Really... A pelican? Where did this occur?

Edit...

had a posting problem..

Was this a counter attack for those Canadian geese bringing down Sully's A320 US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson?  duck 

[Edited 2011-03-13 15:15:58]
harder than woodpecker lips...
 
Oroka
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:05 pm

Quoting queb (Reply 17):
I'm not against buying new jets, but we could have 2-3 times more Super Hornets for the same price and we have the expertise to perform maintenance. Canada does not need a single-engine stealth fighter, the Super Hornet is more than adequate for our needs.

The Super Hornet is being retired the the majority of its owners in 10 years! That will leave Canada as one of the few operators of a out of production jet, it will be like Australia and the F-111, having to raid the bone yard for parts.

Our air force is going to be flying these jets for the next 30 years. 10 years from now, it is going to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of the TU-50 and the J-20. In a conflict with someone with one of these 5th gen jets, a Super Hornet equipped CAF will have to stay behind while our allies fight because our 'new' jets are insufficient for the 21st century air war. While the Super Hornet is somewhat modern, it is still a 35 year old jet, arguably 40+ if you consider the YF-17. By the time the CAF would be done with the F/A-18E, the design would be 60-70 years old!


There are things you can be frugal with, fighter jets is simply not one of them. Canada is getting 65 F-35s to replace 78 CF-18s(I think the fleet is 72 now), we had 138. That is quite a decrease in capability.
 
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Faro
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:17 pm

And now the F-35 -amongst other things- has brought down the Harper government:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/...ence-Vote-on-Harper-118682794.html

The Liberals and others allege non-disclosure of F-35 financial details and are trying to hold the Conservative in contempt of parliament. No wonder when estimates in another a.net thread put unit purchase cost at USD 150 million and overall program life cost at USD 450 million per aircraft...just totally out of control...

Faro
The chalice not my son
 
Oroka
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Yeah, sadly it was somewhat predictible. The Liberals will make sure the CAF gets inferior hardware. Sell the new batch of Chinooks to the Dutch, and I heard the RAAF is looking for some more C-17s, we have 4 soon to be out of a job air frames.

This will delay the CF-18 replacement by years.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:50 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 25):
This will delay the CF-18 replacement by years.

The CF-18's are grounded past 2017-18, so what will happen to our NORAD commitments without fighters?
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:40 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 25):
This will delay the CF-18 replacement by years.

Even if the Conservatives are reelected, the F-35 will be delayed 3-4 years minimum.
 
328JET
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:59 pm

Hmmm, i smell a canadian Super Hornet order...

Maybe the new version which was offered to india!
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:53 am

Quoting queb (Reply 27):
Even if the Conservatives are reelected, the F-35 will be delayed 3-4 years minimum.

Nice to see the arm-chair general back discussing something he has no clue about.  
Quoting 328JET (Reply 28):

Hmmm, i smell a canadian Super Hornet order...

Maybe the new version which was offered to india!

If Canada needed the upgraded tin cans they would've already bought them. We need something that will last into 2050, and the outdated SH is not it. The military says they NEED the F35, which is more important than what the clueless public and opposition politicians WANT.
 
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Faro
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:41 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 29):
The military says they NEED the F35, which is more important than what the clueless public and opposition politicians WANT.

Of course they need it. Now let's talk price:

- est. USD 150 million per copy for Canada 65 aircraft purchase (roughly the cost of a 763ER);
- est. USD +29 billion total life cycle costs for Canada (approx. 2% of est 2010 GDP);
- + cost of 4-year software delay: F-35 Software To Be At Least 4 Years Late (by kanban Mar 15 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
- + cost of fixing recently disclosed flaws (albeit mostly on the F-35B): More F-35 Problems (by kanban Mar 25 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

And then of course you have the as-yet unknown fixes/costs to deal with; given the complexity of the aircraft, IMHO there is a fair chance of more non-negligible problems cropping up.

Regardless of the F-35's pros and cons, it is not everyday that a military program contributes to the fall of a sovereign government. Perhaps the F-35 is worth all that money, I admit. But there is a pervasive public perception that it is not and that perception has helped bring down an entire government, which is a *mighty* serious consideration. Things like that should *never* happen.

If the F-35 is worth the money and the Canadian people are fully appraised of cost estimates to their smug satisfaction, so be it. It's their money to spend as they deem necessary. If not, the military can need it as hard as they can; they simply won't get it.

Faro

[Edited 2011-03-27 02:49:33]
The chalice not my son
 
ac788
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:30 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 30):

faro, read Reply 15 which addresses the PBO's findings.
Also, I'm not sure how much the F-35 program really contributed to bringing down the gov't. IMHO, the opposition parties just like to throw around big numbers associated with the program to scare the general public. Having said that, even if another party is voted in (current polling estimates put the Conservative party ahead, possibly even on the verge of a majority gov't), replacing the F-18s is inevitable. One party or another will have to suck it up and foot the bill of a replacement fleet of fighter aircraft.
 
Oroka
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:04 pm

Quoting AC788 (Reply 31):
Also, I'm not sure how much the F-35 program really contributed to bringing down the gov't. IMHO, the opposition parties just like to throw around big numbers associated with the program to scare the general public.

It really wasn't the F-35 that is potentially bringing down the government (they are still in power), it is just the latest topic the Liberals and NDP have used to threaten the Conservatives with, it happens pretty much once every year, this time they didn't get what they wanted and are going through with their threats.


The CAF can need the F-35 all they want, they are likely to get used Super Hornets if the Conservatives fall out of power. You can count on Boeing jumping the guts out of this chance to sell some fighter jets to any country.


IIRC, if you factor in lifetime costs, the SH is not much cheaper than the F-35.

[Edited 2011-03-27 07:05:43]
 
Shmertspionem
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:05 pm

Can i just say that there is no point that this lawrie hawn chap makes that i'm disagreeing with - but his arguments are incomplete - when you complete the picture - the results are very different. His reply is typically bureaucratic verbal acrobatery.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
The F-35 is not a turn-and-burn king (dog fighter) compared to pure air superiority fighters, like the F-22 and some of the new Russian aircraft. It is on par with the Hornet, but becomes clearly superior with 5th generation technology.

the problem here is that a Super-manoeuvring fighter at mach .9 can out-turn a missile fying at mach 4. When you bring the mach 7 and mach 9 missiles like the S-300 and mach 15 missiles like the S-500 that ratio goes up significantly

Yes the dogfight era is over - but - Hawn therefore very cleverly avoids the question of manoeuvring in self defence

And then the F-35 is graded as LO not VLO which means it need quite a bit more of the manoeuvrability than it has.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
In basic areas of range, endurance, payload, turn, etc., the F-35 is at least equal to the other options.

yes - except payload - the payload equality comes only in external - non stealthy carriage - with all the accompanying drag and therefore range endurance and associated turn limitations.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
In other more high-tech areas related to 5th generation unique capabilities, there is no comparison.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
One of our handicaps is that we can’t explain all the reasons why, because of the very highly classified nature of some of the information.

Yes the old trust me line - I'm sorry but this is not how you win an argument in a democracy.... a democracy's founding principle is to trust NO ONE........ "trust me" is how Napoleon overturned the revolution, and Hitler overturned the Weimar republic. In the USSR yes - of course comrade stalin knows best ..............or else you'll go to a gulag......... but in a democracy that such a ludicrous argument can be used smacks of using the official secrets act to cover bureaucratic bungling. In fact that's the only real reason the OSA exists.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
an F-35 can kill a CF-18 at many times the range that the CF-18 will even see the F-35.

"BY THE CF-18" being the operative and deceptive part of that sentence. true - but half true. Yes it will against the CF-18 but not against other IRST equipped fighters like the rafale,EF, especially given its very large exhaust signature - given its huge thrust.

and also it will be seen by a whole new generation of ground based radars operating in the L and S bands. ... but yes true it cant be seen by the CF-18 radar operating in the X band where the F-35's stealth is maximised

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
You can throw a lot of stuff down the intake and it will be spit out by the very thick and tough blades and the high by-pass.

This was NEVER EVER the problem with the F-35 engines.... it was always the over the top dry thrust and the exhaust signature and the lack of exhaust signature management or exhaust shaping. Very convenient - manufacture a problem that was never the main attacking point of its opponents and then claim this was the MAJOR sore point of the detractors.

The only place this was a consideration was Oz because these are mostly required to operate over water... and even there the main criticism was the exhaust signature - not the single engine. Only agendad knee jerk F-35 opponents like carlo kopp persist with the single engine not safe BS.

Everybody in the aircarft industry civil or military agrees that single engine fighters have become pretty damn safe.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
Our price for the F-35 will be between $70 - $75 million, for a quantum increase in capability. That's not bad.

really????? lets see how much did the Israeli contract come up to?? 96 million a plane WITHOUT all additional equipment which added up comes to 150 million a pop.

The latest congressional testimony says 126 million a pop (vice admiral venlet in march 2011) - that's still a 71% increase over the Hawn chaps "estimate" and presumably the programme manager testifying to congress should know better than a Canadian bureaucrat yes?


the 75 million quoted is a wildly optimistic unit flyaway cost..

and that is using the march 2010 lockheed figures - after which in august it was revealed that maintenance will be 50% more expensive per plane than initially thought.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
You will hear Boeing say that they can beat the price of the F-35. The number they quote is in 2009 dollars and does not include such niceties as external fuel tanks, pylons, helmet-mounted sight system, targeting pod, missile launchers, radar warning receivers, self-protection jammers, active self-protection counter measures (chaff and flares) and the GUN! Great for cross-countries and airshows, but not much else. Add $8 - $9 mill per aircraft to do the job.

So how come for what is advertised as an "ALL INCLUSIVE" platform the Israelis were asked to cough up 54 million (IE 56% of platform cost) for optional extras ????

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
3000 – 5000 F-35s.

eh???? total production is now set at 3100 .... and at 126 million a pop no one except western Europe and Japan can afford to buy these planes. When it was meant to be "cheap" at 45 million - yes a lot of third world counties too could have bought this. The problem is that its capabilities will remain what was promised for at 45 million but the cost has now nearly trebled.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
If Turkey is acquiring aircraft under the MOU and Canada is not, guess where P&W will put the business. We have opportunities for at least $12 billion in business.

So spend 17 billion to get 12 billion worth of business.????? How about spending 12 billion directly into Canadian r&D and Canadian industry??? and you'll have 5 billion spare change to spend on health care, education and such ? that's an even better solution yes?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
I'm not one of them (and I guarantee Mills isn't either), but I know what I don't know.

for someone who admits that even he doesn't know - he sure as hell put out a lot of determinist positions doesn't he. Essentially therefore if mills is talking crap so is hawn.

Quoting faro (Reply 24):
The Liberals and others allege non-disclosure of F-35 financial details and are trying to hold the Conservative in contempt of parliament.

dont worry - its all dama for votes - just like the labour party and kruddy did in Oz - once they come to power - they'll order "a high level enquiry" to "re-assess the F-35s suitability" and give it a resounding thumbs up.
Vi veri universum vivus vici
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:41 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 29):
Nice to see the arm-chair general back discussing something he has no clue about.

We are not working for the Conservative Party, enlighten us about your great knowledge, you seem to know so much.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:47 pm

I can't wait for the Conservatives to get a majority, purchase the aircraft we need and shut up all the whiny, useless left minority.
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:20 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 35):
I can't wait for the Conservatives to get a majority, purchase the aircraft we need and shut up all the whiny, useless left minority.

The F-35 will still be delivered late while there are other fighters "combat ready" (Super Hornet, Rafale, etc) available to [sarcastic mode ON] "protect us against the communists"    [sarcastic mode OFF] (say it with a russian or chinese accent, it's more scary   )
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:42 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 32):
IIRC, if you factor in lifetime costs, the SH is not much cheaper than the F-35.

Well we don't know how much the lifetime costs of F-35 are, although they appear to be increasing all the time, it really does appear to be turning into a fiasco well above previous US fiascos, Commanche and Marine One, look like minor costs blowouts compared to this turkey.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:57 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 37):

Well we don't know how much the lifetime costs of F-35 are, although they appear to be increasing all the time, it really does appear to be turning into a fiasco well above previous US fiascos, Commanche and Marine One, look like minor costs blowouts compared to this turkey.

However, once Super Hornet becomes retired by the USN, lifetime costs skyrocket as we would be left holding the bag for maintenance and upgrades. Rafale is a no-go because a Canadian order would constitute 1/4 of all Rafale's ordered right now (meaning we foot a large portion of any upgrade costs), and we would have to dispose of current weapon stocks with their French equivalents. Eurofighter costs as least as much as F-35 without some of F-35's stealth characteristics. And Gripen NG is also not acceptable because it offers nothing new compared to the current CF-18's.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:36 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 38):
Eurofighter costs as least as much as F-35

I'd like to see you prove this, we know what the flyaway the operational costs of Typhoon are, nobody knows what an F-35 will cost, all we know is it's going to be very very expensive and getting more so time goes by.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 39):
I'd like to see you prove this, we know what the flyaway the operational costs of Typhoon are, nobody knows what an F-35 will cost, all we know is it's going to be very very expensive and getting more so time goes by.


Even if the F-35 will cost as much as the EF, the JSF is still a much, much better choice for Canada. It only makes sense for Canada to buy American not only politically but also geographically. I would hate waiting weeks for parts for a Typhoon that apparently is a maintenance nightmare.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:49 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 40):
the JSF is still a much, much better choice for Canada.

Why?

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 40):
I would hate waiting weeks for parts for a Typhoon that apparently is a maintenance nightmare.

Yup it's going to take weeks to pop the parts in a transport and fly them across the atlantic, I bet fedex or DHL could next day deliver most parts. I can get a 250kg 3000W Xenon searchlight from Norway to Vancouver in 2 days.
 
Powerslide
Posts: 577
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 41):
Why?

Not going to explain why. Again. It's been covered to death. The Air Force studied it for a decade and knows more as to WHY. I don't have to convince you.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 41):
Yup it's going to take weeks to pop the parts in a transport and fly them across the atlantic, I bet fedex or DHL could next day deliver most parts. I can get a 250kg 3000W Xenon searchlight from Norway to Vancouver in 2 days.

You can yes, but the Military supply chain takes a lot longer. It takes a week to get a small sensor from a warehouse in Montreal to the flight line in Cold Lake. Why, I don't know. I don't want to even think about how long a part will take crossing the Atlantic.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:29 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 41):
Why?

1. It has stealth characteristics that make it more difficult to detect.
2. Avionics package is considerably superior in user interface and capabilities to any fighter in existence, F-22 included.
3. Better sensor package compared to any fighter in existence.
4. Existing industrial involvement makes it easier to find Industrial Regional Benefits that are of substantive value.
5. Better interoperability with key allies.
6. etc, etc, etc.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 41):

Yup it's going to take weeks to pop the parts in a transport and fly them across the atlantic, I bet fedex or DHL could next day deliver most parts. I can get a 250kg 3000W Xenon searchlight from Norway to Vancouver in 2 days.

You tell that to the guys trying to service the CH-149 Cormorants... they are often waiting months for key parts to come from the factory, leaving birds grounded. And that is with a third party contractor that's responsible for maintenance of the birds.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:07 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 3):
but so will a meager force of 60 F-35s.

Sixty of the latest, most advanced fighters now flying somehow don't seem to fit the "meager force" description.

Quoting CMB56 (Reply 6):
Would not the F-15SE provide as good or even superior long range air defense?

If the USAF would acquire a significant number for its own, the Silent Eagle could very well be a good alternative. Without that, F-15SEs for other air forces may not be a viable proposition.

Quoting Shmertspionem (Reply 33):
So spend 17 billion to get 12 billion worth of business.????? How about spending 12 billion directly into Canadian r&D and Canadian industry??? and you'll have 5 billion spare change to spend on health care, education and such ? that's an even better solution yes?

You would still get a new, stealthy fighter fleet. Agree that spending the same amount locally could do wonders for Canadian industry, but does that ensure that the CF would have a cutting edge replacement fighter fleet in the end.....and how long would it take?
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:28 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 44):

You would still get a new, stealthy fighter fleet. Agree that spending the same amount locally could do wonders for Canadian industry, but does that ensure that the CF would have a cutting edge replacement fighter fleet in the end.....and how long would it take?

Yes, the CF-18's won't be able to fly for that much longer; remember, the estimated service life of the F/A-18 Hornet is around 8,000 hours. We are already coming close to 7,000+ hours on a number of birds already. A number of CF-18's are going through the expensive centre barrel replacement program, and many of the already grounded ones are experiencing delamination of the centre barrel section.
 
queb
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:47 am

Everybody (except Powerslide) knows that the F-35 will be delayed :

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...ralia-boeing-idUSTRE73A00220110411
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:11 pm

I've been on medical leave for quite a while, just catching up:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 29):
If Canada needed the upgraded tin cans they would've already bought them. We need something that will last into 2050, and the outdated SH is not it. The military says they NEED the F35, which is more important than what the clueless public and opposition politicians WANT.

Sure. The military told us they NEEDED the Upholder-class subs so we could "stay in the game" and we all now see what a huge success that has been. years behind schedule, way,, way over budget, still not operational, unable to fire current stock of weapons.... Say....sounds like similar problems to the F-35.

The military can tell us what they WANT/NEED all they like. What they have to understand is that it is the civilians who actually PAY for everything, and with competing demands for money, there are only so many things that can be afforded (this was a principal reason why the Arrow was killed, b.t.w. - and killed at the behest of the military chiefs themselves). Many people on the paying side of the equation believe that the F-35 is simply unaffordable.

And, from Queb's post 46, and other available info, other nations are waking up to this as well. In fact, the USMC has reduced its' F-35B purchase by 60 already, and switched to the straight carrier F-35C variant as a 'cost-saving' measure. I believe tis is actually the start of driving a stake through the heart of VSTOL abortion.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 35):
I can't wait for the Conservatives to get a majority, purchase the aircraft we need and shut up all the whiny, useless left minority.

Don't hold your breath. Those whiny lefties...  
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 43):
1. It has stealth characteristics that make it more difficult to detect.
2. Avionics package is considerably superior in user interface and capabilities to any fighter in existence, F-22 included.
3. Better sensor package compared to any fighter in existence.
4. Existing industrial involvement makes it easier to find Industrial Regional Benefits that are of substantive value.
5. Better interoperability with key allies.
6. etc, etc, etc.

Re point 5 - only better interoperability if the 'other allies' are actually using the F-35. Looks like Oz might be getting cold feet, Denmark and Netherlands already have them and are re-evaluating Gripen NG against needs.

Shmertspionem - your Post 33 is excellent ! Thanks,
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Powerslide
Posts: 577
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:32 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 47):
Many people on the paying side of the equation believe that the F-35 is simply unaffordable.

If we chose the F-15SEC as a replacement, which I think would fit our current missions perfectly, the public would support it, even though it costs a lot more per a/c. For whatever reason, your average Canadian is convinced that the JSF is more or less a POS, they believe every lefty CBC article that sources a moron in Washington with an agenda. If the F-15 was chosen at a price of $30B+ for 100 units, the public would probably support it, why - because it has two engines and isn't getting any negative press.

Getting back to earth, we are already making plans on the technical side for the arrival of the JSF. I can't wait to see it land in Cold Lake or Bagotville and in Canadian colors. 
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canada F-35 Order Facing Scrutiny

Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:17 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 48):
For whatever reason, your average Canadian is convinced that the JSF is more or less a POS, they believe every lefty CBC article that sources a moron in Washington with an agenda.

Not necessarily a POS, but lots of evidence mounting that it is an underperforming, overpriced, gold-plated profit machine for LockMart. And a way to keep 'our boys (and girls)' as part of the most expensive flying club in the world. And I say that as one from a family were everyone except me was in the Air Force. What we need is a cost effective tool to enforce sovereignty and administer our foreign policy when and where we have to. And probably more than 65 of them.

These people aren't CBC 'lefties' (whatever that actually means):

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/141908

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5484169

http://defensetech.org/2011/03/16/de...ave-caused-f-35-generator-failure/

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/20101203.aspx

http://wethearmed.com/index.php?topic=13198.0

The 'one-size-fits-all' solution does not work. See TFX aka F-111. Could do a job, but not all.
So what do we really need in Canada ? Something with a decent intercept capability, reasonable range,
and decent at being a bomb truck.

FromWikipedia, both the F-35 anf F-18E/F have roughly comparable performance specs (speed, altitude, range) although the F-35 has a larger CR, although how this is known at this point is perhaps a mystery. Both can carry on the order of 18,000 lbs of ordnance, although the F-35 can only do this with external stores, negating its' alleged stealth 'advantage'. If you want a stealthy F-35, the 18,000 bomb truck becomes a 6,000 bomb Vespa.

Considering the range of hard targets we are likely to be engaged with over the next while (like Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Darfur, Ivory Coast, and so on) is stealth really necessary ? For any intercept missions, stealth shouldn't be an issue with an AESA (available for both) and sufficiently lengthy BVR missiles.

So why spend double the money ($122M vs $55M according to Wikipedia, admittedly not perhaps the absolute last word on weapon system pricing, but still, that's a big discrepancy) on a stealth aspect that really may not be necessary ? b.t.w. the Super Bug does already have some LO aspects built in.

With the F-18E/F many could be pre-wired for EA-18G capability, as the Aussies are doing, if there is a reasonably need for electronic warfare missions.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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