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If not the F-35, then what?

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If not the F-35, then what?

Postby NAB » Nov 30th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Ottawa is reconsidering its costly pick for Canada’s next fighter jets. Here’s how the F-35 stealth fighter stacks up against its possible competitors:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/30 ... n-the-sky/
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby Smurf » Dec 1st, 2012, 8:53 am

I'm not sure on that question but we have heard that the first ones are arriving at Yuma Marine base this winter. We are going down for New Years with friends and will hopefully get to see them. Possibly even in action if thay are at the annual air show. keeping my fingers crossed.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby hobbyguy » Dec 1st, 2012, 12:39 pm

My thought is that when we ask folks to go into harm's way, we should provide them with first rate training and equipment.

If it were my decision, I would take some lessons from the past where superior numbers overwhelmed technological superiority, but keep in mind that there are times when the technological superiority is devastating.

So if you pick a number, let's say 40 F35's to purchase:

Buy 25 F-35's
Buy 45 Gripens

Now you have the numbers side of the game and the technological superiority to be applied as needed, as well as more aircraft so you can keep more pilots trained and up to snuff - and at the same cost. 70 fighters for the price of 40.

Bear in mind that the Gripens were designed to operate in cold climates, and as artic patrols become more important that becomes a significant factor. The much lower operating cost of the Gripen means that you can carry out these patrols at the same total operating budget. Plus, and I could be wrong here, the lack of stealth could be an advantage for patrols and some other activities where you WANT the opposition to know that you are there.

From what I understand, the Gripen is easily superior to a MIG-29, and there is an upgrade coming that will improve it further. So in terms of peace keeping missions etc. it will generally do the job at a much lower cost and operating cost. Gripens were apparently very effective when deployed to Libya.

The commanders would then have their options, stealth when needed, numbers when needed, and by using combinations (e.g. Gripens doing ground support and F35's doing air cover) should have a more potent overall force.

I gather the US is not prepared to sell F22's to anyone else.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby asas » Dec 4th, 2012, 9:15 am

FWIW....
War games simulated by Australia and others determined that the F-35 is a very poor fighter and did not meet the advertised performance envelopes. That being said, we have had the CF-18 for some time, and the Super F-18 would be a natural, although very expensive, progression. We would have parts that are common, tools that are common and most definitely maintenance people who would have the Hornet knowledge. The greatest advantage over the F-35 would beTWO ENGINES!
Another choice could be the twin engined TYPHOON that out allies fly in Europe. High performance, good maintenance record and cheaper than the F-18.
I have no problem with the GRIPEN, but do consider the twin engine configuration a large advantage in the safety area. I also have concerns with SAAB as their previous high performance aircaft (name forgotten as I type) had a habit of losing control and crashing at air shows! So much so, the the chief test pilot retired....just saying... :)
Last edited by asas on Dec 4th, 2012, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby Captain Awesome » Dec 4th, 2012, 12:36 pm

We all know the correct answer is Avro Arrow - cause it was super awesome, just needs GPS installed.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby NAB » Dec 6th, 2012, 7:23 pm

"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.

Faced with the imminent release of an audit by accountants KPMG that will push the total projected life-cycle costs of the aircraft above $30 billion, the operations committee of the federal Cabinet decided Tuesday evening to scrap the controversial sole-source program and go back to the drawing board, a source familiar with the decision said."

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Federa ... story.html
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby hobbyguy » Dec 8th, 2012, 11:14 am

It's nice to see some common sense being applied.

I wonder if we could politically consider one of the high end Russian aircraft. Probably not eh?
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby grammafreddy » Dec 8th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Captain Awesome wrote:We all know the correct answer is Avro Arrow - cause it was super awesome, just needs GPS installed.


Wonder how that would stack up today .
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby twobits » Dec 9th, 2012, 1:51 pm

grammafreddy wrote:
Wonder how that would stack up today .


Think you missed the sarcasm gram
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby EdCase » Dec 11th, 2012, 5:07 pm

The main reason for rejecting the F-35 is that they are flying coffins for our pilots.

The main issue is its poor maneuverability. With its 0.85:1 thrust-to-weight ratio and a wing loading of 108lb/sq.ft., this turkey - and I use the word advisedly - is even worse than the infamous F-105 of Vietnam war fame, known by its pilots as 'Thud' or 'Lead Sled'. What does an enemy pilot call a fighter that can't out-accelerate & out-turn them? A kill.

The F-35's stealth capability is also grossly exaggerated. Typical long-wavelength search radars used from the ground can and have detected so-called stealth aircraft. During the Bosnia crisis, the Serbs shot down a stealth F-117: beside the wreckage they put a sign saying, "Sorry, we didn't know it was supposed to be invisible." Even in air combat situations the F-35's stealth capability only works at certain angles and only against certain types of radar-guided air-to-air missiles.

Add to this the inherent risks from a single-engined design and we are putting our pilots at grave - as in where they will end up - risk.

The Pentagon is also having real issues with the F-35 and has 425 of their original 2400 purchases on hold: the purchase cost per plane has risen 70% since 2001. Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan USAF, now in charge of the project, has described the relationship between the Pentagon and Lockheed as, "…the worst I've ever seen." Lockheed are feeling so threatened that their website now has a link to a petition urging people to stop the cancellation of the project.

And this from a government that blabbers on about 'supporting our troops with the best equipment' and 'fiscal responsibility'!
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 12th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Pretty funny that Canadians elected a government based on the F-35 costs.

Remember?

Oh wait there is no hockey season - what F-35's?
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby GrooveTunes » Dec 13th, 2012, 11:33 am

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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby erinmore3775 » Dec 13th, 2012, 12:32 pm

This opinion article sheds some light on how we got to this position.

Super-costly F-35s, a global wrecking ball
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012 ... -jets.html

"...America's problems [with the F35] here put Ottawa in a most uncomfortable position as it finds itself wrestling with a fighter option it can't afford with an aerospace giant in decline and likely unable to extend as many economic side benefits as were initially promised.

A further wrinkle is that a number of countries are concluding that the F-35 is not only too expensive, but far more sophisticated than is required in today's global environment.

In Canada's case, cabinet has yet to make a convincing argument that buying 65 hybrid stealth fighter-bombers makes more strategic sense than, say, buying a mixed fleet, or even a smaller fleet with cheaper alternatives.

It now says it will "reset" the whole decision. But given the enormous stakes involved, we can expect immense pressure from the U.S., our closest ally, to not reject this plane before the eyes of the world..."


It will be interesting to see how the government reacts and resolves this problem.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby hobbyguy » Dec 13th, 2012, 2:08 pm

One of the Australian concerns about the F-35 is that if the SU-35 is the opposition, the F-35 will be "overmatched".

Would be a terrible blow to Canada-US relations, but from what I can see the SU-35 is faster, more maneuverable, and a heck of a lot cheaper. The figures I saw put the F-35 at $133 million flyaway, and the SU-35 at $65 million flyaway. So 65 F-35's flyaway cost = $8.6 billion, 65 SU-35's flyaway cost = $4.2 billion. (I also saw a figure of $197 million flyaway for the F-35 as an estimate of what it will cost when finally produced - ouch - that would be $12.8 billion!)

The other thing that strikes me is that having two engines has always seemed to be a big safety concern for the Canadian air force. The SU-35 has two engines, the F-35 has one.
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Re: If not the F-35, then what?

Postby Captain Awesome » Dec 13th, 2012, 2:24 pm

hobbyguy wrote:One of the Australian concerns about the F-35 is that if the SU-35 is the opposition, the F-35 will be "overmatched".


If SU-35 went against F-25/22, Flanker would lose and wouldn't even know there was a fight. They are a generation apart, and it shows. It's an awesome jet fighter - for something that was designed in 80's. In reality, it's a glorified SU-27.

You want to compare F-22/35 to something Russians made, compare it to Su PAK FA. But it's only a working prototype at this stage.
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