FighterPilot
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Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:37 am

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...the-ejector-seat-on-f-35-purchase/

"The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead."

Cal   
*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
 
TheCol
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:50 am

About fricking time. Hopefully public works and DND will put out a call for contract bids ASAP.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
krisyyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:57 am

Politically, it's a disaster but I'm glad they pulled the plug. I personally think the Super Hornet is the most viable and available option. While not a 5 Generation fighter, the F-18E/F would be cost effective and it's twin engine design would be an asset on long-range sorties.


Interesting comparison of Canada's options and potential adversaries.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11...-potential-adversaries-in-the-sky/

Edited to add this link.


KrisYYZ

[Edited 2012-12-06 18:06:17]
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:13 am

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 2):
the F-18E/F would be cost effective and it's twin engine design would be an asset on long-range sorties.

So would a Bombardier business jet with weapon pylons, probably be cheaper to operate and we'd be supporting the Canadian economy. Who cares about our pilots though, who'd be lit-up by SAMs from hundreds of miles away.  
 
krisyyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:17 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 4):
So would a Bombardier business jet with weapon pylons, probably be cheaper to operate and we'd be supporting the Canadian economy. Who cares about our pilots though, who'd be lit-up by SAMs from hundreds of miles away.

Well the F-22 is not an option, at the moment. Getting some Super hornets as an interim replacement for the CF-18 until the F-35 costs are reduced, and its effectiveness is proven would be a smart option in my opinion. I would prefer we buy the best and most capable 5th Gen fighter for our brave men and women, but what other options are out there? What's your suggestion? The Eurofighter? The Gripen is a great little plane, but I don't think it would work for us.

KrisYYZ
 
Ozair
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:26 am

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 2):
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11...-potential-adversaries-in-the-sky/

That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate for most of the aircraft such as
1. they have included the F-22 in the potential options area
2. they have the Super Hornet as a two seater only,
3. claim the Rafale is a stealth aircraft
4. apparently the Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale can supercruise but the F-35 can't
5. have incorrect hard points for at least the Typhoon and the F-35
6. and best of all, have a range figure for the J-20 without having an internal fuel load or engine thrust figure.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:31 am

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 5):
Getting some Super hornets as an interim replacement

Lets see the costs for these "throw-away" fighters, not to mention the price for pilot training, equipment, maintenance training, hangars, technical manuals etc, etc. You don't see the big picture.

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 5):
I would prefer we buy the best and most capable 5th Gen fighter for our brave men and women, but what other options are out there? What's your suggestion?

The F-35. Its the future of the US air fleet and as our closest ally its the most logical choice. We could fly into any airbase in the US or Europe and not have to bring tones and tones of parts and equipment with us because they'll be available from an international pool of contractors. Can't do that with the Super Hornet or Eurofighter. People just don't understand that in the long run the F-35 is still the cheapest choice, no one has done a cost comparison of the other fighters. They see the massive cost of the F-35 as a stand alone price, I want to see the cost of operating the Super Hornet and Eurofighter for 30 years when everyone has already retired them.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:37 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate

The media in Canada is generally retarded. Its more journalistic sensationalism than organizations that should provide you research-based facts and let you make up your own mind.
 
krisyyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:49 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate for most of the aircraft

For sure, not to mention the pic of the super hornet is of an F-18.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
Lets see the costs for these "throw-away" fighters, not to mention the price for pilot training, equipment, maintenance training, hangars, technical manuals etc, etc. You don't see the big picture.

I wouldn't consider them "throw-away" fighters, but I get your point. The RAAF has taken a similar approach to their fighter purchase. While the F-35 will be a great plane, some day, the motives of the decision are clearly political. The government could not go to the Canadian people and explain why the costs have gone out of control, even after they said their estimates are sound. The CF-18s have to go, the F-35 seems to be out of the picture for a while so we need new planes to keep our Air Force capable. I never said the Super hornet would be the best choice for Canada, but it is the most viable option given the fiscal and political climate. Yes, it is sad that politics will override operational needs and the opinion of the RCAF brass, but that's reality. Hopefully something can be done the salvage the deal, but I find it highly improbable.

KrisYYZ
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:03 am

It seems presumptuous that Canada would be allowed to buy Super Hornets at this time.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:06 am

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
Hopefully something can be done the salvage the deal, but I find it highly improbable.

I haven't seen any official announcements yet, just more bullshit from media from unnamed sources.

[Edited 2012-12-06 19:07:19]
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:19 am

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...vernment-fighter-jets.html?cmp=rss

Government says not so fast.

Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else. Sick of hearing all the whining about this subject from there.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:28 am

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 12):
Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else. Sick of hearing all the whining about this subject from there.

Time to make this entire fighter procurement subject a top-secret issue in Canada. Don't announce anything until the purchase contract, for whatever, is signed. The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:03 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
I want to see the cost of operating the Super Hornet and Eurofighter for 30 years when everyone has already retired them.
Affordability for the U.S. and our allies is challenged because unit prices are about double what they were at program start and with new forecasts that the aircraft may cost substantially more to operate and maintain over the life cycle than the legacy aircraft they replace.


Further, while the Department is still refining cost projections for operating and supporting future JSF fleets, cost forecasts have increased as the program matures and more data becomes available. Current JSF life-cycle cost estimates are considerably higher than the legacy aircraft it will replace; this has major implications for future demands on military operating and support budgets and plans for recapitalizing fighter forces.
- GAO Report April 2011, GAO-11-325

powerslide you keep claiming the F-35 is the cheapest alternative - which is at odds with many respectable sources like the US GAO and others. Do you have a respectable source to back that up?
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:14 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 14):

Again you fail to understand my post. First of all, this doesn't apply to the US and second of all, that report from 2011 doesn't address the issues of Canucks operating, funding and upgrading an airframe no longer supported by the US - a la super hornet.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:16 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 15):
Again you fail to understand my post. First of all, this doesn't apply to the US and second of all, that report from 2011 doesn't address the issues of Canucks operating, funding and upgrading an airframe no longer supported by the US - a la super hornet.

Especially when the supply chain is no longer present to support aircraft; it gets VERY expensive very fast for even the smallest of spare parts, and your serviceability suffers greatly. You need to have the supplier and all of the sub-component suppliers continue to support the aircraft with spare parts and upgrades throughout the life and use of the aircraft.

One can look at the ongoing issues with supporting the CF DHC-5 fleet as an example; of the 5 we operate, realistically, only 1 is serviceable at all times and the rest are all grounded for lack of spare parts. We are lucky to have 2 serviceable on a good day. The reason being is that practically all of the spare parts manufacturers have quit making the parts needed to support the aircraft and every part becomes a special order for what is essentially a unique variant of an already unsupported aircraft. And it doesn't matter if you have the rights to the aircraft; what matters is the sub-component manufacturers; for example, will Dowty continue to make the landing gear? Will Hamilton-Standard continue to make the propellers?
 
Newark727
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:28 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 13):
The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.

I'm sure lack of information on the subject amongst the general public will make procurement processes much cheaper.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:31 am

Quoting powerslide (Reply 15):
Again you fail to understand my post.
Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
People just don't understand that in the long run the F-35 is still the cheapest choice, no one has done a cost comparison of the other fighters.

How did I not understand what you said? Or help me understand you, if this is not what you mean. But I think I do understand, because you have often made that same claim - without any credible source to back it up by the way.

Assuming I did understand you correctly, the United States Government Accountability Office did study this and made a comparison and published the clear conclussion. They are one of the most thorough and respected unbiased sources anywhere. They are not going to bash a US Government program for fun. When they say the F-35 is significantly more expensive than all legacy aircraft it is slated to replace - in all metrics, that includes the Super Hornet, F-16 and F-15 among others - all of which are still in production today and fully supported and will be well into the future. I don't understand why you and ThePointblank, try to spin things, as if support would suddenly dry up.

Even after production stops, support is still available, that's part of the contract in many cases. If it's a competition between you, ThePointblank Vs. The United States Government Accountability Office, I think you lose.

If you want to say that for Canada, this US GAO report is not applicable, and that the F-35 becomes cheaper for Canada over the US Legacy fighters for some reasons, I ask, what are those reasons? What is your source?

I think it is reasonable to say that any extra expenses for Canada specific purposes would apply to any aircraft.

For the USA the F-35 is the most expensive choice according to the United States Government Accountability Office. Why would it be any different for Canada?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:15 am

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
When they say the F-35 is significantly more expensive than all legacy aircraft it is slated to replace - in all metrics, that includes the Super Hornet, F-16 and F-15 among others - all of which are still in production today and fully supported and will be well into the future. I don't understand why you and ThePointblank, try to spin things, as if support would suddenly dry up.

F-16's line is about to be wrapped up; there hasn't been a major order from a customer for years. And with the USAF and European Partner Air Forces about to dispose of their F-16's, the largest users of the F-16, the support network and incentive for a suppliers to continue to supply spare parts will shrink. Upgrades will also more costly as a smaller group of user(s) will be able to develop and pay for upgrades.

Super Hornet: The line is expected to finish the last Super Hornet in about 2 years time. The USN will then plan to start disposing of the Super Hornet fleet by 2020. Then there will be no major user of the Super Hornet, which would be a serviceability nightmare for anyone still using the Hornet.

F-15: the line also has very minimal orders right now. Production will wrap up probably in a few years. And the biggest user, the USAF will start disposing of F-15's in a few years time. What's going to happen 20-30 years from now? Will there still be support?

It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
Even after production stops, support is still available, that's part of the contract in many cases. If it's a competition between you, ThePointblank Vs. The United States Government Accountability Office, I think you lose.

No, support is dependent on the suppliers of individual parts. If there is a big enough customer base, suppliers will continue to support the various bits of the aircraft. If there isn't a big enough customer base, they won't continue to support it.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:16 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
No

If you could provide credible sources for all you opinions, that would be nice for once. Something at least as credible as the US GAO would be great. Can't wait.
 
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autothrust
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:38 pm

Quoting TheCol (Reply 1):
About fricking time.

      Finally Canada has come to it's senses. Some Super Hornets will do the job for much less taxpayers money.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale can supercruise but the F-35 can't



First the Gripen and Rafale can't supercruise, and if you describe the marginal F-35 "supercruise capability" as such then it's up to you.
“Faliure is not an option.”
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Finally Canada has come to it's senses. Some Super Hornets will do the job for much less taxpayers money.

We aren't buying any fat hornets or any other useless pieces of garbage from Eurocanard land. So far its still a Canadian F-35 buy.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:36 pm

Once the US DoD starts to retire F-15s, F-16s and F-18s would they not go to long-term storage so they can be scavenged for spare parts like many other types have been?

So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:48 pm

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
The government could not go to the Canadian people and explain why the costs have gone out of control, even after they said their estimates are sound. The CF-18s have to go, the F-35 seems to be out of the picture for a while so we need new planes to keep our Air Force capable. I never said the Super hornet would be the best choice for Canada, but it is the most viable option given the fiscal and political climate.

I think that's a great summary of where things are at.

If F35 was available at the promised time and on the promised budget it'd be a better purchase, but that just isn't where we are at. I think the SH will fulfill most roles the RCAF has short of sailing off to Armageddon, and I kind of doubt they will be doing that.

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
Yes, it is sad that politics will override operational needs and the opinion of the RCAF brass, but that's reality.

To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to. It's particularly upsetting in the case of F35 because they went through the exercise of producing flying proof of concepts but still have managed to be horrendously late and over budget.

The "fiscal and political climate" of Canada does not allow for such horrendous overruns, but the US's largely does, because foreign entities are still willing to by US debt at meager returns and with not much hope of being repaid long term.

I'm sad the taxpayers of Canada aren't getting what they were promised, but I'm glad the rest of the partners as well as the world-wide defense industry is getting some feedback that there is a point where their products just aren't affordable (see F22, US101. A400M) and the customer will indeed walk away.
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Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
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Newark727
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
The "fiscal and political climate" of Canada does not allow for such horrendous overruns, but the US's largely does, because foreign entities are still willing to by US debt at meager returns and with not much hope of being repaid long term.

That's only half the story, I'd say. Yes, the U.S. has an amazing ability to go into debt, but it seems to me that defense contracts have a unique position that makes the country much more willing to keep going into debt for them. They're one of the least reproachful kinds of pork, they fall under the "tough on defense" banner, and there are very few options besides the usual players for getting the capability we feel we require, so there's less pressure to deliver something that actually works on time and on budget. But that's another thread.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:07 pm

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
How did I not understand what you said? Or help me understand you, if this is not what you mean. But I think I do understand, because you have often made that same claim - without any credible source to back it up by the way.

Assuming I did understand you correctly, the United States Government Accountability Office did study this and made a comparison and published the clear conclussion.

I think you are mixing up the review of historical costs and what future costs will be. Yes the past historic costs of the F-18Super Hornet are lower, even adjusted for inflation, but what will be the "going forward cost" of an expired platform? The GAO report is accurate and no one is disputing that, what is being argued is the fact that into the future the costs of the F-18/Super Hornet and maintaining it and keeping it competitive with new threats will rise substantially.

As a comparison, if you intended to win races for years to come would you invest in and buy a race care model that was several years old and did not have all the engine and aerodynamic advance etc., and was about to go out of normal production because it is a cheaper platform to own? (I understand that car races are substantially different in that it is relatively easy to find replacement parts and/or to have them manufactured.)
Remember the intent is that you have to actually win the races you enter.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

This is the issue.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:58 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.

If this was true then why do our C/D hornets sit idle for months on end due to lack of available parts? Many of the parts are already dry and basic things like fasteners and screws are no where to be found because no one makes them anymore. Larger parts need to be removed from the aircraft and rebuilt, there aren't replacements. Stocks are quickly drying up with no resupply.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to.

The government has already said they've budgeted $9B for the purchase of 65 jets and they will not go over this number. The operating costs haven't changed, $20B for 20 years, $30B for 30 or $40B for 40. The MSM likes to use the larger numbers because it sells their garbage print and they get more hits on their websites.
 
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kanban
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:15 pm

and then there's this new contract for more F/A 18's by the US Navy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...ing-fighters-idUSL1E8MUHQF20121130

I look at all these comments about unsupported a/d because the lines are at low rates or potentially closing. It's a self serving argument.. look at the other a/c that are part of the core fleet B-52, B1, soon C-17.. many planes fly long after the line is closed. The spares come from several sources, new built contracted and recycled. I am not convinced that maintaining portions of the existing fleets will be more expensive than buying the F-35.

While I disagree with Fanboy frequently in the over zealous repeating his opinion as fact, I tend to agree that for Canada and only Canada, at this juncture the F-35 may be the cheapest answer... A very expensive cheap answer, but with the monies spent and the state of their planes, converting to a new path will be expensive. The problem will be in 10-12 years there will be another 'must have' on the drawing board and they will have tapped out the resources to buy it. So it will be skipped, the F-35 flown into the dirt, and we repeat the process.

On the other hand a deferring the F-35 for 8-10 years would bring them a more robust, reliable product that may have a longer useful life.
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
Once the US DoD starts to retire F-15s, F-16s and F-18s would they not go to long-term storage so they can be scavenged for spare parts like many other types have been?

So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.

A few points on this.

1. It assumes the US won't effectively exhaust the life of every part as it winds down the operation of F-18E's. They will stop buying new parts and use their spares. I doubt many would be there for other nations to have.

2. The USN will keep all those surplus parts around to service the Growler which will have a long service life and is not likely to sell many of them off for a long time for that reason.

3. You are assuming that the US wants to do what is effectively a favor for Canada. Frankly I don't see why the US would want to continue to subsidize Canada going cheap on defense, particularly given that reducing the F-35 buy size impacts other defense goals for the US negatively. If Canada can play the "national interest" card and effectively opt out of being able to contribute in a major way to NATO than I see no reason for the US not to do the same and simply make only the F-35 an option for Canada because it suits US interest. That can be a two way street after all. Canada is supposed to be a part of NATO and thus has interest beyond arctic patrols after all.
 
boeingfixer
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting powerslide (Reply 27):
If this was true then why do our C/D hornets sit idle for months on end due to lack of available parts?

What C/D Hornets!? If you're going to push opinion as fact, then at least get one fact straight. We have A/B Hornets.

We are in desperate need of replacing our CF-18 fleet and my 'opinion' is that we should at least get the Super Hornet as a stop gap measure much like the Australians did.

I'm also of the opinion that the RCAF should be looking at a twin engine fighter. Nothing against the F-35 but I personally know someone who ejected from two CF-104's in Germany. In his experience a twin would have at least brought home one of the aircraft. Although this analogy is slightly flawed because engine design has advanced to a point where failures are rare, we will, at some point, loose at least 1 or more F-35's due to in flight engine failure.

Cheers,

John
Cheers, John YYC
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:41 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
I look at all these comments about unsupported a/d because the lines are at low rates or potentially closing. It's a self serving argument.. look at the other a/c that are part of the core fleet B-52, B1, soon C-17.. many planes fly long after the line is closed.


Many planes were operated for decades after their production had stopped. It's standard procedure.

P-3
KC-135
T-38
U-2
F-4
F-14
Jaguar
Tornado
B-2
B-1
B-52
SR-71

and on and on and on

Airlines also operate many types well after their production ceases.

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
I tend to agree that for Canada and only Canada, at this juncture the F-35 may be the cheapest answer..

I haven't understood yet what makes Canada different in this regard to the USA. Why would F-15s be more expensive for Canada to operate than F-35s, when the reverse is true in the USA? I don't understand what makes Canada so different.
 
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kanban
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 31):
I haven't understood yet what makes Canada different in this regard to the USA. Why would F-15s be more expensive for Canada to operate than F-35s, when the reverse is true in the USA? I don't understand what makes Canada so different.

It's just an opinion, but it looks like they dug themselves a hole that will be costly to fill no matter what they select.. while other countries appear to have diverse fleets Canada appears to have only an aging single workhorse. So do they buy something else for a 2018-2030 usage, then go looking again? or bite the bullet, break the bank and upgrade in one jump. in that scenario, it may be cheaper in the long run.

That said, I see they can keep the old planes operational until 2020.. then what? In a perfect world they would be a transition a/c, and if the F-35 proved out and initial costs as well as operations costs came down.. have at it.

Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:38 pm

Didn't the Aussies just bought some SH?

Maybe our Canadian friends should not look to the US Navy to get spare parts if they decide to buy the F-18 SH.
Perhaps they can get together with their Australian brethren and collaborate on a long term maintenance program and contract it directly with the OEM (Boeing). You'll get better service maybe at a higher price. Don't know how much it costs to get spare parts from the US government with their own mark-ups.

bt.
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:49 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
That said, I see they can keep the old planes operational until 2020.. then what? In a perfect world they would be a transition a/c, and if the F-35 proved out and initial costs as well as operations costs came down.. have at it.

To be honest I think this is what will happen. As is often the case with politicians, if you can't make a safe decision (i.e. one that has no blow-back for you) then do nothing really and keep doing what was started by someone else and blame "that guy". In this case the politicians could look "wise" by delaying the purchase to wait and see. And leave the problem and blow-back for some one else.

Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.

  
Sadly I couldn't agree more.  

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:01 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 33):
Didn't the Aussies just bought some SH?

Sure, but Australia has a reasonable plan moving forward which will see the newest of their SH's be turned into EA-18's to support F-35 operations going forward. That is a bit different plan than just buying a bunch of E models and saying you are done. My guess is Australia will eventually use the 12 non EA-18 models to support the EA-18 fleet that will have a much longer operational life.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:20 pm

Perhaps Canada can consider some UCAVS like the Global Hawk or Predator C and ask the manufacturers what they can have available in 2020 such as the Northrop's X-47C or Boeing's Phantom Ray, or a more advanced Gerneral Atoms Predator C version.

For Patrols, I think UCAVS make much more sense and are way cheaper than anything, not even close. They can be equipped with the same radars and sensors as the F-35 and other armed aircraft.
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/07/21/uavs-next-step-for-aesa-radar/


For Canada's manned missions, they can keep the current fleet up and running till 2020, creating some time before a decision is necessary. The strategy may be using advanced UCAVs and cruise missiles as the sharp tip of the spear in any initial attack, the sending in non stealthy newer planes, as bomb trucks using stand off weapons, like Raytheon’s AGM-154 JSOW, Boeing’s AGM-84K SLAM-ER, Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 JASSM, or the Taurus KEPD 350.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...se-Missiles-for-its-Hornets-05370/

Those stand off weapons have ranges greater than most SAMS, so stealth is not really needed. I personally don't think you need to fly a manned strike mission into enemy territory anymore with the emergence of UCAVS and long range stand off missiles that can be carried by current aircraft. like the F-18, unless the target is deep in Siberia or some other very large land mass, in which case an F-35 would not have the range either.
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 34):
Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.


Sadly I couldn't agree more.

I don't think it is fantastic by any stretch but I don't think it is any worse than pretty much every other major aviation/complex military system being bought anywhere else. No one is bringing major projects in on time and on budget. Eurofighter, Rafale all had big overruns. The overruns for the PAK-FA will be huge as well. Hell, the Russians have started and abandoned more aircraft programs than I can remember.

I don't object to ridicule for the defense purchasing process. I just think it is folly to hold out any one program or one nation when doing it. Almost all major programs in all nations seem to have the same problems.
 
tommytoyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:59 pm

I think UCAVS are far more of a realistic option than they are being given credit for. Especially for a vast country like Canada. The link below has a good run down on various UCAV programs.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/cv-ucavs-the-return-of-ucas-03557/
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:59 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
The problem will be in 10-12 years there will be another 'must have' on the drawing board and they will have tapped out the resources to buy it.

Looking at our Air Force fleet, we generally keep things around for a while, long, long while. Our current Hornets should have been retired years ago but because the Canadian public is cheap, and doesn't want to increase the defense budget to bring us closer to the NATO GDP average, we have to make due with old equipment for extended periods of time. This adds costs that the public is ignorant/blind to.

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 30):
What C/D Hornets!? If you're going to push opinion as fact, then at least get one fact straight. We have A/B Hornets.

We have A/B hornets that had upgrades which make them equivalent to at least C/D models. Besides two more wing stations and slightly upgraded avionics they out perform the Fat Hornet in combat time and time again in joint exercises.

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 30):
we will, at some point, loose at least 1 or more F-35's due to in flight engine failure.

We lost at least 1 or more CF-18's due to engine(s) failure as well. The Navy and Marines have lost F-18's due to engine failures. Statistics show that its not any safer having two engines over one with todays technology. There is nothing about Canada that makes us special to operating a single engine jet fighter. Australia, Japan and Norway all have great distances to cover without airfields and that didn't stop them from choosing the F-35.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:25 pm

I will not comment on the many pro and con arguments made in this thread, since there are far too many, some reasonable, many not (those being made by people with an apparently vested interest).

But I would like to point out and/or re-iterate, as I have said in several threads around this topic;

- large-scale government/military procurement programs are inherently political;
- the military is subservient to the civilian authority (thankfully);
- the military can make procurement recommendations, it is the duty of the controlling authority to review same;
- after review the controlling authority will approve/deny and potentially make modifications with a nod to fiscal prudence, you can only have the military you can afford;
- the military have to make the best they can with what they get.

Just because an item on the shelf is the shiniest does not imply you are going to get it.

Recent Canadian military acquisition programs have been a fiasco (or series):
- NSA
- FWSAR
- Submarines

Ergo, does anyone have any confidence that the Canadian military have any competence in the procurement area ? Particularly when there is good evidence that uniforms have deliberately deceived the civilian authorities about real costs (at least w.r.t. F-35).

I have stated several times that for Canada's defensive needs, Super Hornet makes more sense. 65-75 frames, with perhaps a dozen pre-wired for possible Growler conversions, should an expeditionary need be foreseen. For Arctic surveillance, a small cadre of Global Hawks is possibly a better proposition. The Russians will not be coming over the pole, that is 1950s-style thinking.

A lot of people are wringing their hands about the classic Hornets running out of time circa 2020. The Aussies have recently launched a study concerning another SLEP to keep their classics going well into the 20s. Perhaps we should be talking to them as opposed to LockMart.

All-in-all, it has been a good day !   
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:15 pm

I would like to point out that the Conservatives have the majority government, thus making the opposition irrelevant. The only failure has been politically and in the media. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been quietly meeting performance requirements and testing will soon be completed. Jets are rolling off the line while the politicians and media bicker just for the sake of spilling ink on toilet newspapers. Reality is, the contracts will be signed a year before the next election and then it would be too late. Civies can think what they want is best for Canada, but their "expert" opinions just fall on deaf ears. Move along now....
 
Devilfish
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:34 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 12):

Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else.

Yeah.....bring on the Silent Eagle!   .

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__...acecombat/images/8/80/F-15SE-1.jpg
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 42):
Yeah.....bring on the Silent Eagle! .

It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.
 
krisyyz
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:51 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to. It's particularly upsetting in the case of F35 because they went through the exercise of producing flying proof of concepts but still have managed to be horrendously late and over budget.

That's a very valid point. While the big jump in technology is obviously challenging for L.M , a 60% jump in acquisition costs is simply too much to bare at this point.

Quoting tugger (Reply 26):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

This is the issue.

That's true, but IF (and that may be a big IF) the RCAF goes with the super-hornet, wouldn't a long-term maintenance/part supply deal be included in the purchase?

Quoting powerslide (Reply 13):

Time to make this entire fighter procurement subject a top-secret issue in Canada. Don't announce anything until the purchase contract, for whatever, is signed. The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.

There is no doubt that the capabilities of our armed forces is a national security issue, and the media does play the political card when reporting on government procurement deals. But to make make such purchases classified is something that I don't agree with. It is tax dollars after all, and we do have a government that prides itself on being fiscally responsible. What's the threshold? How much of a delay, what level of cost escalation would be reasonable for a project like the F35? Telling defence contractors that we will pay whatever it costs and wait for as long as it takes wouldn't be a responsible move in my humble opinion.

KrisYYZ
 
Devilfish
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:51 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 43):
It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.

I'll pass. I think Boeing is trying mightily to convince South Korea to write that check for them.....  .

http://defense-update.com/20120914_silent_eagle.html
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Powerslide
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 43):
It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.

It's still cheaper than the F-35. I'm not going to back up this statement or make any research into it. I'm an "expert" in the journalistic world so my word can't be refuted. If you are military then you are ordered to say so, if you are in the industry then you are bought out.

  
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:27 pm

Quoting powerslide (Reply 41):
I would like to point out that the Conservatives have the majority government, thus making the opposition irrelevant. The only failure has been politically and in the media. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been quietly meeting performance requirements and testing will soon be completed. Jets are rolling off the line while the politicians and media bicker just for the sake of spilling ink on toilet newspapers. Reality is, the contracts will be signed a year before the next election and then it would be too late. Civies can think what they want is best for Canada, but their "expert" opinions just fall on deaf ears. Move along now....

Simply.....breathtaking (in arrogance quotient).

From what I've read, here, there, and elsewhere, testing, due to that funky "concurrence" word, will continue to about 2016. "Reality is, contracts will be signed a year before the next election" - since the contracts have not been signed (and might not be), how can it be "reality" ? Or is there a special definition for reality ? Also, political "reality" might cause Harpo et al to hold off until after the next election. Committing so much after boosting our deficit to >$50B after the Liberals wrestled the deficit to the ground might not sit too well with those pesky civvies, who, at the end of the day, sign your paycheque.

With the coming "rightsizing" of the military (civvies taking money away from the uniforms), a lot of uniforms might be moving along now ... to the unemployment line.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:39 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 47):
From what I've read, here, there, and elsewhere, testing, due to that funky "concurrence" word, will continue to about 2016.

Concurrence on the F-35 should be an interesting thing. From what I understand the majority of the changes really are going to be in the software which should be a plug and play type thing. There is a big risk if there are structural issues that have to be resolved but I don't think that is going to be the case.

Testing and IOC are a strange subject here as well. The Marines clearly think they could start basic combat ops a lot sooner than 2016. The Air Force is going to wait for more capabilities to declare IOC. I am not sure what the "right" answer is but the EF could not do a lot of things when IOC was declared. By 2016 you should have the nearly the full weapons universe open to use on the F-35. I believe the Marines will go into service with JDAM and GBU-15 plus air to air weapons.
 
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kanban
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:49 am

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 37):
Almost all major programs in all nations seem to have the same problems.

Sadly true, however it is a result of sloppy or hurried design and procurement practices. Just because it appears to be a trend doesn't mean that we should accept it as a given.
 
bigjku
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RE: Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase

Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:08 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 49):

Sadly true, however it is a result of sloppy or hurried design and procurement practices. Just because it appears to be a trend doesn't mean that we should accept it as a given.

Honestly I am not sure a more measured approach would save money. You could spend more time pinning down the exact scope of work and cost but I am not sure that it would not cost more money in the end because there will always be unknowns.

I think that the military actually has become pretty good at procuring items that lend themselves to be competitively bid. JDAM, JSOW and SDB were all procured at pretty low cost with short development times.

The problem with things like the F-35 is that they are by nature so big that you can't really apply normal purchasing procedures to them. I am not really sure how one improves the process. Getting your contractors to go beyond the X-35/32 level of demonstrators is going to take a ton of money though. And going from demonstrator level aircraft to full up combat ready fly off would probably just double your cost. Sucks but most of the cost is in the avionics and software. Doing that twice is just not practical.

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