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Still Going to Buy the F-35, Really?

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F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets are "strike fighters" by design and definition....always have been.

Yep, and we already know how to fly 'em and fix 'em, so just bring on a few new shiny ones.

Actually no, we don't.

The F18E/F is almost a completely different plane than the CF18s/F18A/B/C/Ds that we fly. They are a substantially larger plane, with different engines (F404 vs F414), different weapons capabilities (upgraded gun on the F18E/F, more hardpoints, etc.) and very different avionics (different Radars, different radio systems). Don't count on the knowledge of the CF18 to be useful at all in dealing with the Super Hornet.. Basically, we'll be largely starting from scratch.

Why does an F- 35 need an F-22 to deal with ground threats any more than an F-18 would need one to deal with airborne threats?

Because when it's loaded it can't maneuver, (turn, accelerate, etc.) very well

Actually yes it can. Or, it can at least maneuver better than most other planes under similar circumstances.

The F35 is capable of carrying a significant number of weapons internally. (It can still carry weapons externally, but depending on the mission it may not be necessary.) Because of that, an F18/F16/etc. carrying the same number of missiles/bombs will likely be slower than an F35 carrying similar armament.

Super Hornet is all we need. Who is it we are planning to attack with this, possibly, stealthy airplane?

In the past, Canada has used its planes in Kosovo, Libya, Iraq (both in gulf war 1 and against Isis.) In all those cases, we actually used our weapons against military targets. (And in some instances, those we were fighting against had weapons that could be used against us.)

And even if stealth wasn't an issue... There are still more than enough reasons that makes the F35 a more logical choice than other options. (Supply lines, compatibility with allies, the ability to carry weapons internally which increases range and maneuvarability, etc.)

You don't need to be shot down to suffer from the single engine problem Especially one that burns as hot as the F 35's. Let's not re learn the F-104 lessons from the past.

Engine technology has greatly improved from the days of the F104.

Right, but there seem to be a lot more reasons to kiss the 35 good bye beyond it's lack of engines.

However, most of those reasons seem to be either political (oh no! the conservatives want them so they must be bad!) or based on faulty logic or information.

Serious competitors will offer production contracts similar to Lock Marts in all likelihood.

Here's the issue... Its possible that Boeing or Eurofighter might offer contracts. But, the number of F18s/Typhoons/Gripens is much smaller than the number of F35s that will eventually be deployed. I would much rather our industry have contracts dealing with a fleet of thousands of F35s rather than hundreds of F18s/Gripens/etc.

Well you can't blame us for trying to get actual value for money spent. How much have those countries you mentioned scaled back their F 35 orders so far?

This is the type of B.S. argument that really shows the flaws in those who are against the F35.

Yes, many of the countries purchasing the F35 have scaled back their orders. But you know what? The same thing probably happened to pretty much every plane out there.... For example, Austria cut its order of Typhoons. And Israel cut orders of the F16. It happens... planes are expensive and sometimes budget concerns take priority.

Yes, some countries are reducing their F35 orders... but they're still buying them.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-austria-eurofighter-idUKL2675028220070626

A word of warning though, don't mess with China or Russia or they may just eat the F 35 for breakfast.

You mean the Russians, who's new PAK/FA was criticized by its partner India for its poor engineering?

http://thediplomat.com/2016/01/india-and-russia-fail-to-resolve-dispute-over-fifth-generation-fighter-jet/

The Chinese, who's engine technology is quite far behind the U.S., and who actually uses Russian engines on some of their planes?

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-military-engines-idUKKCN0V62TR

In any case, I always find that particular article rather bizarre... so you don't think the relatively modern F35 will stand up to Russia/China, so you think they should use an even older plane?

Trying to single source bomb trucks turned out to be quite an embarrassment, especially after the auditor general got done with him.

The main issue there was the fact that the opposition was demanding cost estimates for 40 years, whereas the conservatives were only giving them for 30 years.

Basically, it was pure politics... done for no other reason than to allow the opposition to jump up and down and complain about "rising costs", ignoring the fact that any plane requires ongoing maintenance and things like fuel.

True, but production lines for other aircraft choices will be shutting down, resulting in less competition and a higher price anyway.

Oh it looks like there is still a lot of life in the Super Hornet production line.

Except there's not.

A couple of years ago, there was an expectation that the F18E/F production line would close in 2017/18. An order from Kuwait or Denmark, plus replacements for the U.S. military might keep it open for another year or 2, but its doubtful whether they will continue making them past the end of 2020.

http://www.ibtimes.com/boeing-defense-jobs-st-louis-risk-kuwait-f-18-super-hornet-deal-left-uncertain-2284719

Well I think a competition for the spending of such huge amounts of taxpayer money, with the intent to provide our military with proper equipment, is neither a joke or a pretense.

You are of course assuming that such a competition will be done fairly and impartially, with no political interference.

Some of us are concerned that the government will pull a Chretien... i.e. purposely rig the requirements so that any plane but the F35 will win. (similar to what happened when they purchased the cyclone instead of the EH101.)

What planes is that? A few Herc's and 4 C 17's. How many do you think were procured under Trudeau

Actually, if memory serves me, neither Trudeau Sr., nor Mulroney or Chretien purchased C17s. Back then, the Canadian military was forced to either rent planes, or get other countries to fly our equipment on various missions. The purchase of the C17s (even though it was "sole source") has actually worked out pretty well... the planes are serving as workhorses for our military.

The Right Honourable Justin P. J. Trudeau want's to have it both ways, trying to keep existing F-35 JSF subcontractor jobs in Canada.

Which will likely continue whether or not the 35 is successful in a proper competition.

It is true that as a partner we could continue to bid on F35 contracts if we remained a member country, even if we didn't buy the planes. However, bids are not always won based on price.

We may find that we may loose bids to countries that actually purchase the planes, depending on whatever deals are made with Locheed Martain. (e.g. "we'll buy the plane if you give us X jobs" will put a country in a better position to earn a contract than "give us X jobs even though we're not buying the plane").

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Or even partially.

Yes, because (slow) UAV's are not survivable unless air superiority has been established through conventional means (manned tactical air, cruise missiles, combat air patrols, etc.). The U.S. procures unmanned and manned aircraft for various mission requirements. Comparisons to Canadian procurement plans are largely irrelevant.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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True! This year. What about twenty years from now? Thirty? Forty? The new fighter will still be in operation then. We're not merely buying a plane to satisfy our needs now, but in the future.

In 20 years from now but maybe you should start keeping up with current events but we have these things called drones and they are extremely cost effective. And just to drive the point home, we have been flying our current f-18`s for the last twenty years and ya now we need new ones, so why re tool to an unprooven design and abandoned the the latest of what we already haveÉ. Lets take a better example: there was this national army once, back in the twentieth century that nuild some of the most amazing and complex war machines that had ever been imagined at the time and they lost the war. The equipment to too engineered, too precise and too costly to maintain. Technical advancement simply did not have a chance against numbers; not to say this was the only reason that army lost the war but it played a large factor in it. The Russians produced the T-34 un-mass and the Americans did the same with the Sherman's. And lastly, the only reason we need a carrier based fighter is to land on US air craft carriers and short runways in general. For our own national needs the F-22 would serve our purpose better, that is if you wanted to go the premium root. Canada does not need a first strike top of the line experimental fighter (even when they get it to work). Canada need not be the aggressor.

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..... For our own national needs the F-22 would serve our purpose better, that is if you wanted to go the premium root.

The F-22 is not available to Canada (or any other nation), as export sales from the United States are illegal.

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What's this nonsense about "first strike"?

All the latest ``stealthy`type aircraft are by designed to be frist strike type air craft. The F-177 was the best at this during the gulf was (the first one). The stealth tech involved was most impressive but it didn`t last long. I`m sadly just stuck on Canada needing only proven tech we can afford and add to any engagement as support air craft. Funny enough, it`s kind of like the two different kinds of car people, those who buy and keep or those who lease.

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In 20 years from now but maybe you should start keeping up with current events but we have these things called drones and they are extremely cost effective.

As pointed out before... drones have their uses, but drone technology is not at the point where they can replace the role of fighter jets, and likely will not be at that point for several decades.

And just to drive the point home, we have been flying our current f-18`s for the last twenty years and ya now we need new ones, so why re tool to an unprooven design and abandoned the the latest of what we already have

Because weapons technology is continually improving, and trying to stay as current as possible is a good thing, should we ever deploy our military in situations like Libya or the Balkans again.

If your argument is "only use proven technology" then we'd still be using Muskets and horses, rather than modern machine guns and the internal combustion engine. Somewhere, you have to abandon old technology for new, and since we tend to use military equipment for decades, we're better off to get the latest technology to delay its obsolescence as long as possible.

Lets take a better example: there was this national army once, back in the twentieth century that nuild some of the most amazing and complex war machines that had ever been imagined at the time and they lost the war. The equipment to too engineered, too precise and too costly to maintain. Technical advancement simply did not have a chance against numbers; not to say this was the only reason that army lost the war but it played a large factor in it. The Russians produced the T-34 un-mass and the Americans did the same with the Sherman's.

Yup, true... the mass-produced American/Russian tanks managed to handle the supposedly superior German tanks in WW2. But it also meant that there were many casualties on the side of the Allies, as multiple American tanks were destroyed trying to take out a single German tank.

And lastly, the only reason we need a carrier based fighter is to land on US air craft carriers and short runways in general.

We're not getting a 'carrier based fighter'. There are 3 versions of the F35... we were planning on getting the F35A (i.e. the same one that the U.S. air force was getting.)

For our own national needs the F-22 would serve our purpose better, that is if you wanted to go the premium root.

First of all, the U.S. is not making the F22 any more, and even if they did, they have export restrictions on them.

Secondly, even if we could purchase them, they are more expensive than the F35.

Also, the F22 is a fantastic fighter, but it is a little more limited in its ground attack role.... its internal weapons bays can't handle the same bombs that the F35 can. (And Canada has used its planes in that role before.... in Libya, Kosovo and the middle east. And all parties have, at one point or another, supported at least one of those missions. So its not out the realm of possibility we might do so again.)

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The F-22 is not available to Canada (or any other nation), as export sales from the United States are illegal.

Interesting, didn`t know that. The F-18 Super Hornet it is, unless we want to across the pound (which we don`t since that would just be too much of bad trade relations with our friends to the south. Buying a proven product is almost always better than buying into the latest and greatest.

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I never said we should completely phase out fighter jets all at once. What I said was that we could provide a certain amount of operational continuity with a much smaller spend right away. A few hundred million for twenty or thirty. Then augment that with a smaller fighter purchase than whats been proposed... a few billion dollars worth.

Problem is, I don't think that's feasible.

We are a big country, and we have various military obligations and commitments. If we make a smaller purchase, what do we do when one of the planes is down for maintenance? And where do we place them? (We can't station them all at the same location.)

Lets say we scale back and buy 20 planes (and use drones for everything else). Where do you station them? We've got 2 main bases (in Quebec and Alberta) and send the planes out to other bases in B.C., the maritimes and the arctic. With only 20 planes, we end up having only a couple of planes at each base, and if any plane was getting repaired, we'd have a gap in our air coverage. (One that drones couldn't fix.)

65 is probably the bare minimum that we can reliably expect to get away with. (And if I remember correctly, that's actually significantly lower than the number of planes we currently have in our fleet.)

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Interesting, didn`t know that. The F-18 Super Hornet it is, ....

True, but if Canada wants to procure F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, it can't wait until after the production lines have long shut down. Long lead time items would need to be ordered now. Costs will increase per unit production.

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What's this nonsense about "first strike"?

All the latest ``stealthy`type aircraft are by designed to be frist strike type air craft.

Its still nonsense.

Buzz words used by opponents of the F35 in order to falsely paint the plane in a bad light and score political points.

Survivability is a factor in all military hardware, be it the F35 or the F18. The fact that the F35 has features that might make it better able to survive a combat situation is not a bad thing.

I`m sadly just stuck on Canada needing only proven tech we can afford...

As the F35 enters into full scale production, its cost has been steadily dropping. And while its "flyaway" cost is currently slightly more expensive than the F18, long term costs might actually be lower. (Flying an 'orphan' plane like the F18 will be in a decade adds to long term costs, since spare parts are harder to obtain.)

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So what happened to the new government defining requirements, holding competitions, then selection the "best choice" ?

That's as I've just explained what the government is proposing to do.

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Why are you fixated on this 'first strike' drivel? The purpose of stealth is to make it much harder for the other guy's systems to lock you up and fire a missile on you, and for the missile to track in and blow your ass away. It doesn't matter if that is on attack or defense.

I know the purpose. I also get your drivel that you don't seem to get that it doesn't work as it has already been hacked.

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Re: Stealth and "first strike"....

I know the purpose. I also get your drivel that you don't seem to get that it doesn't work as it has already been hacked.

Actually no, it hasn't been "hacked".

Stealth is not an all-or-nothing thing. All planes are detectable to some degree by Radar, the point of stealth is to reduce that detectability as much as possible. Some radars do a better job at others at detecting certain planes, but regardless of the radar, an F35 will always be less detectable than an F18.

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Actually no, it hasn't been "hacked".

Stealth is not an all-or-nothing thing. All planes are detectable to some degree by Radar, the point of stealth is to reduce that detectability as much as possible. Some radars do a better job at others at detecting certain planes, but regardless of the radar, an F35 will always be less detectable than an F18.

vhf radar scans can already see the 35.

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That's an excellent point because we don't even know if the F-35 will satisfy the needs of the future. We don't even know if military aircraft will have pilots in 40 years.

Doesn't really matter because when the time comes you would have us buying old stuff anyway.

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vhf radar scans can already see the 35.

From: http://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-f-35-vs-the-vhf-threat/

Because of their relatively long wavelength, VHF radars generally lack sufficient accuracy to guide a missile to a target on their own...

There have been some improvements, but even with improvements to VHF radar, you are still better off being in a stealth plan than a non-stealth plane in a combat situation.

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From: http://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-f-35-vs-the-vhf-threat/

Because of their relatively long wavelength, VHF radars generally lack sufficient accuracy to guide a missile to a target on their own...

There have been some improvements, but even with improvements to VHF radar, you are still better off being in a stealth plan than a non-stealth plane in a combat situation.

The longer wave vhf's detect teh target and then "coach" the short wave vhf's to guide the missile to the target.

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As pointed out before... drones have their uses, but drone technology is not at the point where they can replace the role of fighter jets, and likely will not be at that point for several decades.

Honestly, I have to respectfully disagree 100% on this point. 20 years ago the drone we new was called a cruses missel, today they can stay on target for hours and be air refueled and fire Hell-fire Missiles at targets selected and fired on any location from a base in the united states, by some kid who couldn`t pass basic military training. Computer and AI development is everything. How much does it cost to train real people to fly planesÉ

Because weapons technology is continually improving, and trying to stay as current as possible is a good thing, should we ever deploy our military in situations like Libya or the Balkans again.

We should not be in Libya, let England, France and the US clean up there own mess.

If your argument is "only use proven technology" then we'd still be using Muskets and horses, rather than modern machine guns and the internal combustion engine. Somewhere, you have to abandon old technology for new, and since we tend to use military equipment for decades, we're better off to get the latest technology to delay its obsolescence as long as possible.

The AK-47 seems to work pretty good...

Yup, true... the mass-produced American/Russian tanks managed to handle the supposedly superior German tanks in WW2. But it also meant that there were many casualties on the side of the Allies, as multiple American tanks were destroyed trying to take out a single German tank. Not with the T-34.

We're not getting a 'carrier based fighter'. There are 3 versions of the F35... we were planning on getting the F35A (i.e. the same one that the U.S. air force was getting.)

Wow, your right, damn didn`t know that, I`m at a loss for words.... That kind of money and we can`t even land it on a US carrieÉ.

First of all, the U.S. is not making the F22 any more, and even if they did, they have export restrictions on them.

Just learned that, too bad... or good perhaps, I mean I don`t need the latest I-phone either.....

Secondly, even if we could purchase them, they are more expensive than the F35.

But they have a solid service record..É

Also, the F22 is a fantastic fighter, but it is a little more limited in its ground attack role.... its internal weapons bays can't handle the same bombs that the F35 can. (And Canada has used its planes in that role before.... in Libya, Kosovo and the middle east. And all parties have, at one point or another, supported at least one of those missions. So its not out the realm of possibility we might do so again.)

Well the way I see history I don`t think Canada should be the aggressors in any war. Korea is the last time we went to war on the right side of history (and I`m not even sure how that happened). Canada doesn`t need to be on the cutting edge of the tech, we just have to be good with what we can afford and if the sh*t ever did hit the fan, I doubt the F-35 would make any difference what so ever. We Canadian`s will get up and stand up and come at the enemy sideways if we need to, but today our enemy is not Russia or China and if it was an air plane is not going to be the deciding factor, our enemy are those messed people blowing themselfs up.

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True, but if Canada wants to procure F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, it can't wait until after the production lines have long shut down. Long lead time items would need to be ordered now. Costs will increase per unit production.

Maybe our purchase would encourage others, besides all they need is new buyers and they'd be happy to keep producing. I agree that we need some new military tech, but, I think our politicians need to use the money to start making smart choices instead politically driven choices which we are driven by the lobbyist who sponsor the different parties (hay, keep it on the down low, but, do you know any who wants to build a gas plant in Southern Ontario..;-)

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Maybe our purchase would encourage others, besides all they need is new buyers and they'd be happy to keep producing. I agree that we need some new military tech, but, I think our politicians need to use the money to start making smart choices instead politically driven choices which we are driven by the lobbyist who sponsor the different parties (hay, keep it on the down low, but, do you know any who wants to build a gas plant in Southern Ontario..;-)

Considering how much of a farce we make of our military procurements, I doubt many are looking to Canada for leadership.

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Considering how much of a farce we make of our military procurements, I doubt many are looking to Canada for leadership.

Hard to argue with that, however, we still are basically bound to buying an American Aircraft (since we don`t make our own.... hm). Since the only countries that we have to worry about, actually go toe to toe with, the super hornet will do (NATO countries excluded) anf they are the Chinese and the Russians, and if comes to going to town on the battle field with theses kids, is going to be lunch money for us (canon fauder). We could have revived the Arrow program for the same money and it would make no difference.

Back to the point: All we need to do is buy them, they`ll build them.

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Doesn't really matter because when the time comes you would have us buying old stuff anyway.

I never suggested buying new stuff. In fact the plane I suggested as a possibility only went into production in 2007, and the most current version is still in development. Arguing with voices in your head maybe?

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I never suggested buying new stuff. In fact the plane I suggested as a possibility only went into production in 2007, and the most current version is still in development. Arguing with voices in your head maybe?

I know, you suggested the opposite, that's why it doesn't matter if you don't know whether the F-35 will meet requirements 40 years from now or whether manned fighters are still being built because you wouldn't want ones that do anyway. You can use that as an excuse to not by anything, let alone aircraft. The Super Hornet is based on a 40 year old concept, yes it is new and improved but it is still based on a 40 year old concept, just as a revamped Arrow would be based on a 60 year old concept. The Super Hornet would fill our present needs but are bound to have a much shorter shelf life than the F-35.

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Problem is, I don't think that's feasible.

We are a big country, and we have various military obligations and commitments. If we make a smaller purchase, what do we do when one of the planes is down for maintenance? And where do we place them? (We can't station them all at the same location.)

Lets say we scale back and buy 20 planes (and use drones for everything else). Where do you station them? We've got 2 main bases (in Quebec and Alberta) and send the planes out to other bases in B.C., the maritimes and the arctic. With only 20 planes, we end up having only a couple of planes at each base, and if any plane was getting repaired, we'd have a gap in our air coverage. (One that drones couldn't fix.)

65 is probably the bare minimum that we can reliably expect to get away with. (And if I remember correctly, that's actually significantly lower than the number of planes we currently have in our fleet.)

I would have to do a bunch of research to have my own opinion on whether its feasible or not, but I read quotes today from a top military official that says armed drones would be good for recon and patrols dfdfand that the military wants them.

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I know, you suggested the opposite, that's why it doesn't matter if you don't know whether the F-35 will meet requirements 40 years from now or whether manned fighters are still being built because you wouldn't want ones that do anyway. You can use that as an excuse to not by anything, let alone aircraft. The Super Hornet is based on a 40 year old concept, yes it is new and improved but it is still based on a 40 year old concept, just as a revamped Arrow would be based on a 60 year old concept. The Super Hornet would fill our present needs but are bound to have a much shorter shelf life than the F-35.

Sorry I made a typo. I meant to say I never suggested buying OLD stuff. And I didn't even mention the super hornet. So again I'm left wondering what you're even talking about.

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