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Still Going to Buy the F-35, Really?

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What if they had gone and bought a plane that actually exists to replace the CF18? Is that just too radical? Am I in crazy town?

-k

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What if they had gone and bought a plane that actually exists to replace the CF18? Is that just too radical? Am I in crazy town?

-k

Nope kimmy, we should just keep flogging our existing F-18's until 7th generation fighters become available.

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What if they had gone and bought a plane that actually exists to replace the CF18? Is that just too radical? Am I in crazy town?

The problem is that military procurement works significantly different than most people are used to. We, as civilians, may find that our biggest purchase is a new car, something that we may expect to last 10 years or so. Buying planes is different... huge upfront costs, maintenance costs are examined in more detail, and we typically expect our planes to last 30-40 years (long after a new honda civic would have been sent to the junk yard).

Its certainly possible that we could buy an "existing" plane (like the F18, or Grippen, or Eurofighter). They've been around long enough to have the 'bugs' worked out of them. But, not only do we have to consider our current situation, we also have to consider what will happen decades from now. The F18 is nearing the end of its production run. They are still building the Eurofighter, but it too will reach the end of production. If we bought either of those, in 2 decades we may find that we have an 'orphan' plane... one that isn't being produced (making it harder to buy replacements, or to get spare parts).

The F35 does have problems. But, for better or worse, it will be the mainstay fighter for many air forces of the world. And more importantly, it will probably be produced for decades to come, long after they've stopped making the F18, Grippen and Eurofighter. That will make maintaining the plane easier in the long term.

Even if the F35 didn't have significant advantages over other (existing) planes (it does, but I'm pretending it doesn't), the fact that its supply chain will continue to exist further in the future makes it a better choice.

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We will not be getting any new planes. It seems obvious to me. When they says thing like we can't afford 5 million for a memorial for the soldiers that died in Afghanistan will be cancelled and when they say we can't afford 25 million for small towns to build their own cenotaphs, you know the military is going to get gutted. I hope I am wrong. Or is this just cancelling anything harper started?

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our planes to last 30-40 years (long after a new honda civic would have been sent to the junk yard).

Its certainly possible that we could buy an "existing" plane (like the F18, or Grippen, or Eurofighter). They've been around long enough to have the 'bugs' worked out of them. But, not only do we have to consider our current situation, we also have to consider what will happen decades from now. The F18 is nearing the end of its production run. They are still building the Eurofighter, but it too will reach the end of production. If we bought either of those, in 2 decades we may find that we have an 'orphan' plane... one that isn't being produced (making it harder to buy replacements, or to get spare parts).

It is a joke with 3d printing and sintering techs they will be making whole planes for less than the cost of parts in 20 years.

I think you are thinking "the old way" not the new way.

The problem exists in the legal right to produce parts, not the physical ability to produce them.

This is why I favour programs like the Dassault deal because it licenses production rights to Canada and sets up local producers which insures supply chain. You won't get that from any US aviation firm at all, they won't even let you look under the hood without permission.

These jets won't be relevant in a decade let alone 40 years.

However yes in fact if expensive planes are purchased in large quantities they are the last planes that will likely be bought for the next 20.

It is arguable Canada will even exist in 30 years.

This is why a deal that doesn't bind Canada on IP and unilateral parts reproduction and sourcing and modification is important. Canada should be selecting a jet it has the right to upkeep without paying out fees to the origin companies licensed companies. Canada should be free to keep these in the air on its own terms, not the parent companies terms, it is Canada's defence afterall Canada shouldn't be bound by international laws on how they are kept in the air.

Edited by nerve

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It is a joke with 3d printing and sintering techs they will be making whole planes for less than the cost of parts in 20 years.

I think you're seriously over-estimating the ability of 3d printing.

This is why I favour programs like the Dassault deal because it licenses production rights to Canada and sets up local producers which insures supply chain.

I doubt that would really be of much benefit.

The issue is not so much where spare parts are produced, but how much they cost. We will need spare parts (and possibly replacement aircraft), but our needs for such things will not come on an easily planned/scheduled basis. I doubt many companies will be willing to keep open a production line to produce spare parts for only 65 planes "just in case", without some serious cash outlay.

Going with a plane that is actually IN production means that production lines don't have to be stopped/restarted, and costs can be shared among many countries, rather than forcing one country to do everything itself.

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Canada is bound by these laws as part of agreements it has signed, which protects not only the advanced technology we purchase but also the tech we sell or create.....These nations have spent untold bils on R&D development , and want to recoup that investment some how...to just give it away is not how the defense industry works....

Without these laws we would be forced pay for our own R&D costs to develop our own products....or purchase an export version....that lacks the same specs of the original one.

Many nations have tried reverse engineering of products all the time, and yet fail to master the same quality and performance of the orginal, to even suggest that 3 d printers will one day be able to produce a complete aircraft with the same specs and performance is a little far fetched....

Many US aviation firms already hold a firm presence in Canada, Lockmart is one of them, with some of the F-35 pieces already being built in Canada or will be built in Canada. not sure where you were going with this....And depending on the contract we sign , our aircraft mechs will be certainly opening up the hood.....and fixing stuff that is deemed sensitive.

If history has taught us anything, it is we lack the will to properly fund and equipped or military forces, these next fighters will be in the air for atleast 30 plus years, if not more.....the only thing that will change that is a major leap in tech that makes these new fighters useless....no we has a nation will be flying manned aircraft well after most nations have switched to unmanned.....

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What if they had gone and bought a plane that actually exists to replace the CF18? Is that just too radical? Am I in crazy town?

Not crazy, but the actual Canadian procurement decision really has nothing to do with the aircraft model. Replacement aircraft have been required for many years but upgrading existing CF-18s was chosen because of lower cost and political expediency, which will remain the primary determinants going forward. Other, even smaller nations have managed to procure such aircraft without nearly as much drama and indecision, and will continue to do so.

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Since Canada doesn't need a 'first strike' aircraft of the 'latest and greatest' design. The hole concept is a joke. If you want to argue that we will loose jobs because of this than just consider that if tour government spent he say money building our own plains we , collectively, would be much further ahead as a nation.

We have everything we need to make our own stuff. cars, air plains, ships, etc... It's time we stopped foreign interest from influencing government policy.

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Oh and there this is little company called SAAB, in a country which is no bigger than Southern Ontario and has a population almost the same as Southern Ontario, and they make some amazing military aircraft.

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SAAB has been making aircraft since the 1930s. A bit of a head start re: development...

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Oh and there this is little company called SAAB, in a country which is no bigger than Southern Ontario and has a population almost the same as Southern Ontario, and they make some amazing military aircraft.

Saab has been building jet fighters continually long since before we cancelled the Arrow. We have little expertise in this field. Look at the financial fiasco Bombardier's C series has become and they need to sell hundreds of them to break even. You would be in direct competition with SAAB and others trying to flog a fighter which as you yourself said would not be the latest and greatest. Whatever that means.

Edited by Wilber

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Well, it seems a majority of Americans think the F-35 is a lemon too and want funding cut.

Good luck with that....the United States is buying new "jets", building new "jets", and developing new "jets".

Canada is desperate to keep the jobs associated with U.S. program(s) funding.

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That's not what it says at all, the poll was about reducing defence spending and the F-35 is one of the systems they are

in favour of cutting.

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Good luck with that....the United States is buying new "jets", building new "jets", and developing new "jets".

Canada is desperate to keep the jobs associated with U.S. program(s) funding.

We'll be building parts for the bomb truck whether we buy the turkey or not.

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I think there are a lot of various partisan voices re: the F-35 and getting a straight answer about this aircraft is impossible. But, as myself and others are quick to point out, this happens regular-like in the world of US aircraft design/deployment. The B-58...F-111...F-4...etc.

The F-4 went through numerous complete redesigns before becoming the greatest aircraft ever made. Dollars flew all over the place...

The Marines (etc) still need an aircraft even if Canada balks.

Still...this is an amazingly short take-off run w/o catapult assist. I understand it can do this in a fully loaded condition...unlike many jump carrier counterparts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9zosD1ST3M

Edited by DogOnPorch

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Ski jump flight decks allowed Harriers to take off at gross weight from the RN's smaller carriers. Russian carriers use ski jumps instead of steam catapults and can operate high performance fighters like the the Mig 29 and Su 27.

Britain's new carriers also use a ski jump and straight flight deck. They are intended for use with the F-35B. The Brits will be buying them regardless.

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The Harrier carries a very light load. The Russians same deal. I think the Russkies just have their odd carrier(s) for fleet protection more than as a strike platform.

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The Harrier carries a very light load. The Russians same deal. I think the Russkies just have their odd carrier(s) for fleet protection more than as a strike platform.

The Russians are practically bankrupt even at this slightly higher oil price. Most of their military equipment makes Canada's look new. Their outlook going forward isn't that great, I'd say.

Edited by Smallc

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The Harrier carries a very light load. The Russians same deal. I think the Russkies just have their odd carrier(s) for fleet protection more than as a strike platform.

The Harrier can take off at its gross weight which includes an 18,000 payload in 400 ft with a ski jump. It needs 750 feet without one. it is also a much smaller aircraft than the F-35.

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