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cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: CF-18 Replacements Reply with quote

The current Prime Minister has made it clear he has no interest in purchasing the F-35 aircraft that was developed in part by Canadians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Strike_Fighter_program

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e26455559/

http://news.nationalpost.com/n.....ditch-f-35

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politic.....-1.3237046

The first CF-18's entered service more than 30 years ago (January 1983) and their functional life is approaching its end.

Any thoughts on the alternative?
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, there are two, and possibly three reasons for this.

First, and possibly the most legitimate concern ... there have been a lot of delays and problems with the development of the plane. It never was the 'bidding process' problem -- how many competitors do people think there are for a state-of-the-art, front-line fighter-interceptor? Particularly when it's still on the drawing board, and you want to share in the 'industrial benefits' in building it?

No, the fear is that the plane has become saddled with a lot of problems having to do with trying to please too many different interests.

But there are other, less legitimate reasons for all this posturing. Foremost, here, if they are following the pattern of the Ontario Liberals, would be the desire to destroy the Conservative legacy.

Quote:
How Trudeau plans to undo Harper’s legacy, brick by brick

[....] it is with some regret that I’m pointing out that bringing conservatism back to Ottawa is precisely the opposite of what’s going on in Canada’s capital right now. Nor is anyone figuring it’ll be on the agenda for the next four years of a Liberal majority government.

As a matter of fact, the ministerial “mandate letters” released late last week are notable for the many ways in which Trudeau’s team intends to dismantle much of what Harper and his government did during their decade in office.

I did a rough count of the nearly 300 to-do items listed under bullets in each of the mandate letters, to see how many of the tasks facing the new Trudeau government revolve around undoing the Conservative record.

I think it’s safe to say that more than 50 of the items revolve around rolling back, repealing or amending Conservative policies, in big and small ways. Some of the retreats from conservatism have been announced already — the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census, for example, and halting the shutdown of veterans service offices.

And this count doesn’t include any of the larger reversals in the “tone” set by the Harper era, such as allowing scientists and diplomats to speak publicly about their work and instructing ministers to co-operate with the media.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould appears to have the largest list of Conservative measures to unravel; she’s already announced the move to abandon a court challenge of niqabs at citizenship ceremonies and has been tasked with a wide-ranging review of the past decade’s changes to the criminal justice system. She has also been instructed to restore the old Court Challenges Program and help other ministers repeal bits of the controversial C-51 security law and C-42, the so-called “Common Sense Firearms Act,” which critics said watered down gun control laws in Canada.

[...] Nearly every minister has some Conservative handiwork to undo, according to the mandate letters. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly will be reversing funding cuts to the CBC. Democratic Reform Minister Maryam Monsef will be taking a hatchet to many provisions in the Fair Elections Act. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be scrapping income-splitting for families and other “unfairly targeted tax breaks.”

When Citizenship and Immigration Minister John McCallum is done with the task of getting 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end, he also has to repeal provisions in the Citizenship Act that give the government the right to strip citizenship from dual nationals, and also eliminate a $1,000 fee imposed on those who hire foreign caregivers. [....]
http://ipolitics.ca/2015/11/18.....-by-brick/


The third reason is the most disquieting. It's that they are willing to kiss off hundreds of $millions that have been invested in order to get a part of the jobs and technologies that are required. It's because they don't really believe we are under any threat.

Large-scale military sales are loaded with kickbacks and bribes. Do you think you can sell planes to Pakistan without paying off the generals and cabinet ministers? Remember Mulroney and the Airbus purchases? Same thing, only more-so. This might also be part of the picture. Why let the austere Conservative example stand?

There are a lot more interesting and relevant questions than what the alternative planes are available. Almost certainly, any new model will have a shorter operation life than the F-35 simply because they are already in production. This is important, because the world is moving towards more conflict, as the US pulls back and leave power vacuums.
IanM





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like the F35. Not very much.

However, again, however, it is the best of the options.

Likely competitors:
    Euro fighter Typhoon
    F18E Super Hornet
    F35 Lightning
    Dassault Rafale
    Dassault Mirage 2000
    Saab JAS 39 Gripen


Now, lets look at the list, the Mirage 2000 is old, and production is done, so we can exclude that. I am also assuming we're not buying Russian or Chinese.

Euro fighter is a good bid.
Boeing will practically give the F18E away.
Saab is a big maybe.

So we can probably narrow the list down to (serious contenders.)
    F18E Super Hornet
    F35 Lightning
    Eurofighter Typhoon


I wouldn't be surprised if someone put a new F15 variant on the list, however the three above are the big ones.

The big thing to look at with the F35 is that it's design has been long, pro-acted and hellish, simply because it's the first of the fifth generation fighters, and is designed for the future.

The last time the US designed a jet from the ground up was in the 1980s, that became the F22.

A lot of technology has changed, improved, been invented and moved on. Rather than incrementally releasing aircraft, as they did from 1945-1980, they are pushing forward with an all in one solution. So the cost calculations are different.

I look at the F35 as more of a technology demonstrator and guinea-pig for a lot of future technologies. This of course drives up the cost. Especially as drones, UAV, and different applications of doctrine come into play.

One big thing, we've been an early partner in the development of the aircraft, and our industry does have several major contracts involved with the development and production. 300 million IIRC since 1997 was spent by Canada.

The second is, it's going to be a widely used aircraft, so the costs of keeping a niche and orphan fleet will be less over the life of the aircraft.

It's not ideal for everything, however without some massive investments to have multiple fast air fleets, it's the best compromise. The fast jet force of the RCAF has a lot of missions : Air Defense, Suppression of Air Defence, Ground Attack, Sovereignty Patrols, etc. Without there being a funding increase, and personnel increase, they really can only afford one fleet of aircraft.

My ideal fleet would be a 30/40/30 mix.

30% Air Defense Optimized aircraft (F15 or similar), 40% Multi Role aircraft (Say F35), and 30% lighter ground attack (Hawk, Tucano, A10, etc.)
I would also keep the F18s in service as well.

However, that would probably cost an additional 3-4000 personnel across national defence, and upwards of 1.5 billion in infrastructure and operational costs.

So its a rock and a hard place.

Not to mention, we want to be able to integrate with our largest partners (US / UK). Buying Saab or Eurofighter means we have to then spend the money to refit aircraft to our specifications. (Which could cost a lot of money, and I mean a lot.) Or accept vastly reduced capability.

The big problem with the F18E, is we're at the tail end of production, and they will cost a boatload to upgrade in 2030. It's like buying a playstation one, a week before the playstation two comes out.

The F35 is sufficiently future proof for that, and since we will be buying and adopting when everyone else is, not after, we should be able to tag into any refitting / upgrading / rebuild programs.

Also, we get a cut of the production, maintenance and development work. I don't think Saab or Dassault, or Eurogroup will want us building much, if not anything in Canada. Also, it would be cost prohibitive. (Example, in the 1980s, we bought the Iltis, to have them built by Volkswagen would have cost 23000 CAD. Instead, bombardier built them for 83000 CAD per unit.)

Its also a problem of, hidden costs, actual costs, up front costs.

9 Billion, over the life of the fleet is really not much more than we paid for the CF18s (5 Billion in 1980s dollars). I think the sticker shock is that the 9 billion involves a contract for parts and maintenance over the life cycle of the aircraft. Just add fuel and crews.

You have to remember, they need to buy all the extras as well, such as ground handling equipment, paint, tugs, fuel nozzles for trucks, maintenance manuals, etc.

For an all around "good" alternative, for the lifecycle of the aircraft. I think the F35 is the best option.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the wonderful summary!

I had read something about Boeing EA-18G Growler?
Am I correct to assume they are just a fancy version of the Super Hornet?
IanM





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The EA-18G is a variant of the Super Hornet built for Electronic Warfare. They built it in response to the fleet rationalization the US Navy did in the mid to late 90s. (The Super Hornet replaced a few different platforms from 95-2005....

Essentially the USN only runs base Hornets and Super Hornets from the carrier for fast air. Other platforms were divested and merged into Hornets / Super Hornets.
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