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Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Mon May 18, 2020 10:57 pm

Skies Mag has a decent article on the Super Hornet for the Canadian competition.

Low Risk Capability
https://assets.skiesmag.com/digital/202 ... ml?page=58

The article is clearly aimed at the F-35 given the comparisons between the two jets throughout and is trying to pitch the SH as the low risk option for Canada.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3470
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:12 am

The RCAF posted a number of pictures on Twitter, and an ex-RAAF Hornet is featured flying alongside a CC-150 Polaris tanker heading to CFB Cold Lake, coming from from Mirabel, Quebec:

https://twitter.com/RCAF_ARC/status/1271472388044185601

Image

Image

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Image

No squadron markings, and as this aircraft was coming from Mirabel, I will have to assume this bird just left refurbishment while at L-3 MAS's facilities in Mirabel.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:54 pm

This is an utterly strange and probably poorly written article. It references Canadian Super Hornets being upgraded despite Canada only operating classic Hornets.

Canadian CF-18 upgrade package OK’d by US

The U.S. State Department has cleared Canada to purchase a package of upgrades for its fleet of CF-18 Super Hornets, including upgraded radars and weapons, intended to serve as a bridge between the legacy fleet and Canada’s future fighter.

...

Among the upgrades included in this potential package: 50 Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II tactical missiles; 38 APG-79(V)4 active electronically scanned array radars; 38 APG-79(V)4 AESA radar A1 kits; 46 F/A-18A wide-band RADOMEs; upgrades to the Advanced Distributed Combat Training System; and technical assistance to support the upgraded jets.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/the- ... okd-by-us/

Obviously Canada are keen to maintain capability between now and the new fighter arriving and upgrading the classic Hornets with an AESA makes sense. Looks like they are piggybacking on the USMC work done to develop and deploy the APG-79 (v4) for their classic Hornet fleet. Having a sub fleet may present some sustainment challenges though unless the plan is to see how these first aircraft go and then progress additional aircraft past that. It could also be a risk mitigation against the Trudeau Government cancelling the new fighter competition...
 
LightningZ71
Posts: 560
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:34 pm

The update also addresses the fact that they had the helmet mounted queuing system for hihg off bore targeting for the AIM-9X sidewinders, but had none of them actually in inventory.

thedrive.com has a decent article on this whole transaction, though the raw details aren't any different from the defensenews article.

Canada had also gained the right to purchase the new AIM-120D AMRAM missiles a few years ago, but couldn't fully take advantage of the additional range of those missiles because the older radar on their CF-18 fighters didn't have sufficient engagement range for them. This addresses that deficiency. Maybe they will now actually make that AIM-120D purchase?
 
Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:29 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The update also addresses the fact that they had the helmet mounted queuing system for hihg off bore targeting for the AIM-9X sidewinders, but had none of them actually in inventory.

thedrive.com has a decent article on this whole transaction, though the raw details aren't any different from the defensenews article.


Interesting, I didn’t even realise Canadian CF-18s were still running AIM-9Ms… 50 X Blk IIs seems a small number given that wouldn’t even equip all upgraded aircraft with wingtip missiles but perhaps the first step in a larger acquisition.

LightningZ71 wrote:
Canada had also gained the right to purchase the new AIM-120D AMRAM missiles a few years ago, but couldn't fully take advantage of the additional range of those missiles because the older radar on their CF-18 fighters didn't have sufficient engagement range for them. This addresses that deficiency. Maybe they will now actually make that AIM-120D purchase?

Now that the only jets left in the competition already have AIM-120 integrated it would seem a wise decision as the missiles could be reused on those platforms no matter which is selected.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3470
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:41 pm

RFP's being published for base infrastructure at CFB Cold Lake and Bagotville to support the upcoming replacement fighters:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-nat ... onnel.html

The Defence Team has been hard at work over the last several months. We’ve opened bidding on design and construction contracts for new fighter aircraft facilities at 3 Wing Bagotville and 4 Wing Cold Lake, our two main operating bases for Canada’s fighter aircraft. This infrastructure will support the long-term operation and maintenance of 88 new aircraft that will be procured for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) through the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

These infrastructure investments will have a significant economic impact in Alberta and Quebec – combined, we expect these construction contracts to total over $500 million, and create more than 900 jobs over the next several years. We’re planning to award the design-build contract for the Cold Lake fighter aircraft facility in August 2020, with Bagotville following in September 2020.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:32 pm

A Carleton University post grad student has published a thesis on the Canadian Future Fighter Competition. It is well sourced and includes some good analysis on the capabilities of the respective aircraft and how important interoperability is to Canada and their Air Force, irrespective of the NORAD or NATO mission.

One Horse Race? A study of interoperability in Canada's Future Fighter Capability Project

Through the $19 billion Future Fighter Capability Project, the Government of Canada will procure a replacement for the CF-18. However, the requirement that the future fighter be “seamlessly interoperable” with key allies calls into question whether the competitive selection process can be run in good faith. This study argues that contemporary Canadian defence policy is oriented around partnerships with other states, especially the US, and that interoperability would therefore best be attained through the selection of a fifth-generation American platform. However, it is unclear that the FFCP evaluation criteria, which include mandatory and rated technical requirements as well as pillars for cost and industrial offsets, account for high-end tactical networking and new allied technical standards. The FFCP may result in the acquisition of a type that prevents the CAF from interoperating “seamlessly” with allies over its lifecycle. This risk undermines Canada’s reliance on partnerships for national defence.

https://curve.carleton.ca/de37d537-9719 ... c12d50ad18

Some of the interesting content of the document is the review of how the Canadian Military looks to use information warfare going forward and how the unique two eyes and five eyes intelligence agreements impact the future fighter selection. I don’t expect everyone to read it but I found it interesting and the issues of how the competition requirements have been watered down or altered to provide the non 5th gen airframes a better chance of competing. Additionally you can see after reading the sections on datalinks and foreign access why Airbus and Dassault withdrew from the competition, the additional cost to make their airframes compliant would have made their selection highly unlikely.

Unless Canada were to withdraw from NORAD and their five eyes agreements the selection of a non US airframe seems incredibly unlikely.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:38 pm

Final bids have been submitted by each of the vendors for the Canadian Competition. Now we wait for the evaluation to begin with the potential that Canada may downselect to two bidders by mid next year before a final selection in 2022.

These three companies submitted bids for Canada’s fighter competition

The bids are in for Canada’s fighter competition, and three companies will go head-to-head for the chance to build 88 new jets.

The Canadian government on Friday confirmed that the field is down to two American entrants — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet — as well as Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab’s Gripen E. All companies submitted proposals before the July 31 deadline.

The contest is scheduled to be decided in 2022, with the first aircraft delivery projected in 2025. Up to CA$19 billion (U.S. $14 billion) is up for grabs.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/the- ... mpetition/
 
744SPX
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:29 am

If they could get the SH block III WITH the F414 EPE (which for some reason the Navy refuses to adopt) then the F-18E/F is a viable option. Otherwise the F-35 is the only aircraft that makes sense. So, the F-35 is the only choice as the upgraded F414 which should have been introduced 10 years ago will clearly never be purchased by the US and therefore not be available to Canada except at great cost.
 
Oroka
Posts: 1135
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:37 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:28 am

744SPX wrote:
If they could get the SH block III WITH the F414 EPE (which for some reason the Navy refuses to adopt) then the F-18E/F is a viable option. Otherwise the F-35 is the only aircraft that makes sense. So, the F-35 is the only choice as the upgraded F414 which should have been introduced 10 years ago will clearly never be purchased by the US and therefore not be available to Canada except at great cost.


Initial numbers I have seen puts the Block 3 Rhino at $70M each... with the F-35A at $77.9M, the Super Hornet isnt that much of a deal any more. With the Gripen E coming in at around $85M each with lower performance... other than to save a few bucks, I cant see why they would buy the F/A-18E/F.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Canada - Future Fighter Capability Project

Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:19 am

Oroka wrote:
744SPX wrote:
If they could get the SH block III WITH the F414 EPE (which for some reason the Navy refuses to adopt) then the F-18E/F is a viable option. Otherwise the F-35 is the only aircraft that makes sense. So, the F-35 is the only choice as the upgraded F414 which should have been introduced 10 years ago will clearly never be purchased by the US and therefore not be available to Canada except at great cost.


Initial numbers I have seen puts the Block 3 Rhino at $70M each... with the F-35A at $77.9M, the Super Hornet isnt that much of a deal any more. With the Gripen E coming in at around $85M each with lower performance... other than to save a few bucks, I cant see why they would buy the F/A-18E/F.

I expect both Gripen and SH are going to be cheaper to sustain initially (first five to ten years) but over the 40 year lifespan I expect F-35 will remain cheapest overall, especially considering a requirement to keep the airframes current and capable. The other side is that even if both SH and Gripen were cheaper to sustain over their operational lifetimes they won’t ever be more capable and survivable. Does Canada want a cheaper aircraft (at best 10-20% saving over the next 40 years) or one that will actually survive in a potential future conflict…

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