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F-35 for Canada

Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc said:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/eurofighter-typhoon-to-bid-to-replace-canadian-cf-18-455004/
 

kitnut617

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I read a news article a couple of days ago that indicated that Canada and the UK are in "trade" talks as the Brexit mess continues. I wonder if this has come about because of that ---
 

GTX

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kitnut617 said:
I wonder if this has come about because of that ---
Not really. Typhoon would always be pitched at this requirement even if Brexit didn't exist.
 

kitnut617

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It would be nice if it was the F-35, but my guess is the Super Hornet ---

But who knows, we have an election in a couple of months time ---
 

GTX

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It would be nice if it was the F-35, but my guess is the Super Hornet ---

But who knows, we have an election in a couple of months time ---
I think the election gives the Canadian govt an easy 'get out of jail' to reverse the last election campaign promise to not purchase the F-35. If they win the next election they can put this position behind them and thus still purchase the F-35 without getting blamed for breaking a campaign promise. I believe they will purchase the F-35 since it will give their industry the best outcome in the long term. It also gives the best alignment with the majority of their key allies including especially their closest in the USA.
 

kitnut617

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I agree with you Greg, but you know we're talking about this particular PM we have the pleasure of at the moment ---
 

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The next election will likely end in a minority government. The Liberals could probably backtrack on their campaign promise after the next election, and anyone could ensure that Lockheed wins the competition (now that we actually have one).

Most of the public has probably forgotten about Boeing pushing the C-series into Airbus's control (even if aviation enthusiasts haven't), on the other hand much of the public doesn't have the twin-engine emphasis that the older generation of Canadian aviation buffs have (we're talking about a requirement based on experience with the F-86 and F-104 - something that requires a long memory)! So I'm not sure that Boeing or Lockheed have an obvious advantage at this point.

The Eurofighter and Gripen might have a boost in popular support due to a desire to strengthen ties with Europe and the current uncertainties regarding American support for NATO, along with other points of policy tension etc.

P.S. Despite my criticism of the F-35 compared to other procurement priorities it isn't a terrible option. That said, I'd prefer a winterised F-35B... as odd as that may sound. A Eurocanard might be a better choice... perhaps a twin engined SAAB (FS2020 was offered in a twin engined version, and I wonder how much more it would cost if stealth wasn't prioritised and most of the systems were taken from the NG?)... but I'm drifting off-topic here.
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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A number of 2-seat Gripens (20 examples?) could serve as an interim type as Hornets get pulled due to attrition, until the adoption of a dual-engined FS2020, of which they should play into being a direct partner and their own production line. Not sure how long the C-Series production line is going to last in Canada, but they need to give their industrial base the relevant work. The 2-seat Gripens then could be repurposed as trainers for FS2020. It's also not entirely open whether it's going to be single or dual engine, of which dual engine would play into the size imperative for large fuel carriage and with it long range operations. A straight up single engined "stealthified Gripen" is not what Canada needs.

They could also endeavor to be a partner in Japan's ATD-X program. Either way, they need a long range, supercruise 5th gen fighter, ideally with two engines to deal with their vast frontier. Canada could develop a more multi-role oriented version of the fighter built in Canada for Canada while the Japanese version stays strictly air superiority. I think at this point, Canada would get less say in the overall design and converting it to multi-role will require more work, and there could be potential issues that can't be worked around. For all we know, the ATD-X could have minimal external weapons carriage and that could create potential structural issues if Canada wanted to carry more/larger weapons that don't fit inside the weapons bay.

Then there is KFX, Tempest, TAI TFX, FCAS...........oh yeah and the F-35.
 

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It seems like Canada's idea of participation in NATO is like that 4th in golf that always shows up but never has balls or money for lunch. They'll usually show up to play but you're always paying their way while they argue that without them you wouldn't have a foursome.

While I believe it is the best choice, I'd be surprised if the Canadian government chooses F-35. I think "a deal" will be made for Gripen or Typhoon. Both countries are eager for production. Other choices are F-15 and F-18. F-18 would be the worst choice for NATO. No other NATO air force will be flying F-18's in 2030. IMHO new F-15's will be full of tech and likely as expensive as F-35.
 

kaiserd

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It seems like Canada's idea of participation in NATO is like that 4th in golf that always shows up but never has balls or money for lunch. They'll usually show up to play but you're always paying their way while they argue that without them you wouldn't have a foursome.

While I believe it is the best choice, I'd be surprised if the Canadian government chooses F-35. I think "a deal" will be made for Gripen or Typhoon. Both countries are eager for production. Other choices are F-15 and F-18. F-18 would be the worst choice for NATO. No other NATO air force will be flying F-18's in 2030. IMHO new F-15's will be full of tech and likely as expensive as F-35.
I’m no massive fan of the Super Hornet but doesn’t the US Navy count as a “NATO Air Force”?
 

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I’m no massive fan of the Super Hornet but doesn’t the US Navy count as a “NATO Air Force”?
Perhaps, in theory. Maybe not in practice.

US F-18's are a naval asset. In a major NATO engagement, near-peer ~2030-2035, wouldn't you expect US F-18's to be with their carrier air wings or augmenting others? I wouldn't expect much forward ground support for a couple of Canadian F-18's. Streamlining logistics was to be one of the advantages of the "joint strike fighter."
 

Avimimus

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It seems like Canada's idea of participation in NATO is like that 4th in golf that always shows up but never has balls or money for lunch. They'll usually show up to play but you're always paying their way while they argue that without them you wouldn't have a foursome.
Getting a bit off-topic here. But, from all of the accounts I've heard, our ground forces tend to be better equipped and have a larger professional element. We also deployed guided weapons extensively at a fairly early date and it is the U.S. which got us to agree to not operate our own nuclear submarines... we have been a bit inconsistent with funding our own domestic projects though (i.e. The days are long gone of domestic jet-fighter production, hydrofoil escort ships, vtol technology, or even guided rockets on LAAVs). We're pretty effective for a country 1/10th the size of the U.S. in population.
 

kaiserd

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Probably best to stick to topic rather drifting off into or reacting to individuals personal views of and metaphors for..... Canada?
Sorry lads but that’s ridiculously off topic.....
 

NeilChapman

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It seems like Canada's idea of participation in NATO is like that 4th in golf that always shows up but never has balls or money for lunch. They'll usually show up to play but you're always paying their way while they argue that without them you wouldn't have a foursome.
Getting a bit off-topic here. But, from all of the accounts I've heard, our ground forces tend to be better equipped and have a larger professional element. We also deployed guided weapons extensively at a fairly early date and it is the U.S. which got us to agree to not operate our own nuclear submarines... we have been a bit inconsistent with funding our own domestic projects though (i.e. The days are long gone of domestic jet-fighter production, hydrofoil escort ships, vtol technology, or even guided rockets on LAAVs). We're pretty effective for a country 1/10th the size of the U.S. in population.

It's not off topic at all. The topic is F-35 for Canada. Canada signed on to the Joint Strike Fighter program. Canadian industry reaped the economic rewards of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Then, the Canadian people voted on selecting "one of the many, lower-priced (fighter) options that better match Canada's defence needs."

BTW..."a bit inconsistent" is not true. Canada has been very consistent in not adequately funding her military commensurate with her economic strength as per the agreed upon metric with NATO.

I disagree that Canada is effective for a country 1/10th the size of the US. Canada has not met its commitment to NORAD or NATO for fighter availability with it's F-18's. Why? They don't have enough fighters, pilots, or maintainers. Why? Because they won't fund them. Is Canada spending too much on defense? No, NATO countries agreed on 2% of GDP. Is that a disproportionate amount of Canadian treasure? No, Canada has a per capita GDP of ~$50k, 15th in the world. Does that sound effective?

Some stats...

Of 28 countries in NATO Canada is; 9th by population, 6th by GDP, 15th by % of GDP spent on military

What that means is that Canada may show up for policing actions with enough kit but they are not ready for war. In fact, at this point Canada may not be able to defend her own territory, let alone contribute to a major military engagement with a near peer. Canada's military cant fight at her weight because the people won't feed her. This is why Canada doesn't have the F-35.

But there's more. Canada proposed to buy Super Hornets to fill the gap. That would have exacerbated the problem because the RCAF still would have not met the NORAD and NATO operational requirement and made the personnel shortage worse. Yet Canada is now going to purchase equally obsolete F-18's from Australia "without a plan to deal with its biggest obstacles to meeting the new operational requirement: a shortage of pilots and the declining combat capability of its aircraft" according to the Auditor General.

Does that sound effective?
 

dan_inbox

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It seems like Canada's idea of participation in NATO is like that 4th in golf that always shows up but never has balls or money for lunch.
I disagree that Canada is effective for a country 1/10th the size of the US.
Keep your nationalistic insults for supremacist boards where they'll be welcome. On SPF, since you obviously did not get it yet,
Political, religious and nationalistic posts are discouraged.
 
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overscan

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We should try to stick to relevant facts about the Canadian new fighter requirement.
 

NeilChapman

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We should try to stick to relevant facts about the Canadian new fighter requirement.
From Strong, secure, engaged : Canada's defence policy.

"In order to counter today’s evolving threat environment and remain highly interoperable with its allies and key operational partners, Canada will procure a fighter capability of 88 jets to replace the aging CF-18 fleet.

Military threats across a range of systems such as advanced fighters and anti-access area denial (A2AD) surface-to-air missile systems, in addition to evolving cyber threats, are making the environment within which the Canadian Armed Forces operates more lethal and complex. As such, the Canadian Armed Forces requires a fighter fleet that is capable, upgradeable, resilient and interoperable with our allies and partners to ensure Canada continues to meet its NORAD and NATO commitments in the future. The fighter aircraft fleet is a critical Canadian Armed Forces capability necessary to enforce Canada’s sovereignty, enable continental security, and contribute to international peace and stability.

In addition to the quality of the fighter capability required, the Royal Canadian Air Force requires sufficient numbers of fighter aircraft to ensure control of Canada’s vast airspace, while maintaining an ability to simultaneously contribute to international operations, conduct pilot training, and to allow for maintenance and repair. The fleet size of 88 fighter aircraft will provide the necessary number of aircraft to fulfill Canada’s commitments, including maintenance and readiness training."


Is "highly interoperable" defined somewhere? Is that in the RFP?

From what study does the quantity 88 originate?
 

TomcatViP

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After years of polluting the debate, both Dassault and Airbus have left without even making a formal offer...
I am sure the ones flying the now derelict airframe over remotes territories would appreciate.

What a great opportunity for the "European Industry". So much forward thinking.
 

GTX

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Sweden’s Saab undecided on whether it will participate in Canadian fighter-jet competition
Ottawa
The Canadian Press
Published September 3, 2019

Days after Airbus Defence and Space pulled out of the $19-billion race to replace Canada’s aging fighter jets, the only European firm still eligible to compete says it has not decided whether it will.

Saab Canada president Simon Carroll says the Swedish firm is interested in entering its Gripen jet against its two remaining competitors, both of which are from the United States: Boeing’s Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

However, Mr. Carroll told The Canadian Press on Tuesday that his company is still analyzing the competition’s nitty-gritty details – including a security requirement that forced out two other European jet makers.

All bidders are required to explain by Sept. 20 how they plan to ensure their planes can integrate with the top-secret Canada-U.S. intelligence network known as “Two Eyes,” which is used to co-ordinate the defence of North America.

But in announcing its withdrawal from the competition on Friday, Airbus said meeting the requirement would place “too significant of a cost” on non-U.S. aircraft. French firm Dassault cited the same requirement when it pulled its Rafale jet in November.

“We are still looking at that security assessment side of things from the Two-Eyes perspective,” Mr. Carroll said.

“We don’t see any major issues with it as this point in time. Having said that, we’re still reviewing everything through the whole [request for proposals] at this point in time and we will reserve the right to make our judgment on whether or not we provide a bid.”

Airbus also raised concerns about changes to a long-standing policy that requires bidders on military contracts to legally commit to invest as much money in Canadian products and operations as they get out of contracts they win.

Bidders can now instead establish “industrial targets,” lay out a plan for achieving those targets and sign non-binding agreements promising to make all efforts to achieve them. Such bids do suffer penalties when the bids are scored, but are not rejected outright.

That change followed U.S. complaints the previous policy violated an agreement Canada signed in 2006 to become one of nine partner countries in developing the F-35. The agreement says companies in the partner countries will compete for work associated with purchases of the planes.

While Saab has previously raised its own concerns about the change, saying it would shortchange Canadian taxpayers and industry, Mr. Carroll said it was “not a hurdle” and that “we think we have a very good offering for what we can offer in Canada.”

Even participating in the competition is not a cheap proposition for fighter-jet makers; while Carroll would not speak to the potential cost to Saab, analysts have previously pegged the cost in the millions of dollars.

While companies are expected to submit their plans to meet the Two Eyes security requirement on Sept. 20, the government has said it will provide feedback and let bidders amend their submissions.

Final bids aren’t expected until next winter, with a formal contract signed in 2022. The first plane won’t arrive until at least 2025. Successive federal government have been working to replace Canada’s CF-18s for more than a decade.

Mr. Carroll praised the government for being transparent as it has worked for years to launch the competition, which followed an aborted attempt between 2010 and 2012 to buy F-35s without a competition.

“We’re supportive of the government processes and what they’ve done moving forward,” he said.

“The transparency from the government has been very good. They’ve given ample opportunity for us to review documents. They’ve been very open in saying that these are the dates and these are the times.”
 

Avimimus

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That makes it very hard for Canada to strengthen ties with Europe... or have a competition with more than two offers for that matter.

Such considerations are important parts of procurement policy & national security, but they do border on political policy as well - so I'll just make that observation and let people draw their own conclusions about the position Canada is increasingly in.
 

Archibald

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After years of polluting the debate, both Dassault and Airbus have left without even making a formal offer...
I am sure the ones flying the now derelict airframe over remotes territories would appreciate.

What a great opportunity for the "European Industry". So much forward thinking.
This is a little unfair. If they chose NOT to compete or throwing the towel, maybe it is because they feel the competition is not fair, and that the F-35 will be the winner whatever its flaws, single engine, or else ? At core, Canada's Air force don't know what it REALLY wants.
If they want a modern twin-jet aircraft, it boils down to Rafale, Super Hornet, or Typhoon. If politics drive the competition, then it is F-35.
As simple as that.
And since Typhoon and Rafale are now out of the picture...
Dassault is no saint by any mean, although they tuned down the bribery compared to the 60's (to you, Michel Van).
Their Rafale sale team is pretty agressive and stubborn, considering all the failure they endured between 1996 and 2011, before Quatar and India.
Yet if that sale team said "it is hopeless, the politics are against us, forget it" then what can Dassault do bar throwing the towel ?
 
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kaiserd

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After years of polluting the debate, both Dassault and Airbus have left without even making a formal offer...
I am sure the ones flying the now derelict airframe over remotes territories would appreciate.

What a great opportunity for the "European Industry". So much forward thinking.
This is a little unfair. If they chose NOT to compete or throwing the towel, maybe it is because they feel the competition is not fair, and that the F-35 will be the winner whatever its flaws, single engine, or else ? At core, Canada's Air force don't know what it REALLY wants.
If they want a modern twin-jet aircraft, it boils down to Rafale, Super Hornet, or Typhoon. If politics drive the competition, then it is F-35.
As simple as that.
And since Typhoon and Rafale are now out of the picture...
Dassault is no saint by any mean, although they tuned down the bribery compared to the 60's (to you, Michel Van).
Their Rafale sale team is pretty agressive and stubborn, considering all the failure they endured between 1996 and 2011, before Quatar and India.
Yet if that sale team said "it is hopeless, the politics are against us, forget it" then what can Dassault do bar throwing the towel ?
Without getting into any politics of it all (though I would note there are perfectly valid non-politician reasons for potentially going for the F-35) I think the simple point is that the various competitors are best placed themselves to judge to cost/ benefit of staying in the competition and it’s not fair or reasonable to attribute such decisions to lack of forward thinking or resolve or whatever some contributors are trying to suggest.

There are pros and cons for all the (current & former) competitors; the Gripen and Super Hornet will likely be cheaper but still capable, the Eurofighter Typhoon probably the most aligned with an air defense/ air-to-air role, the Rafale is a quality all-rounder, the F-35 is the low-observability strike fighter who will very likely out live them all in production and on-going updates etc.
(I would note that despite comments by some contributors Canada is not looking at F-15s.)

For what my opinion is worth I can’t really see the compelling argument for Canada not picking the F-35 for myriad reasons, unless they make a wider decision to go for something substantially cheaper (up front and over its life) like the Gripen while accepting the extra risk and hassle that may come from that.
Arbitrary (non-) requirements mentioned by some contributors like twin engines appear to belong to an earlier age.
 
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TomcatViP

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Anyone selling a fighter aircraft to Europe knows that NATO compatibility will be required among NATO partners. If you are suggesting that nobody at Airbus and Dassault did take the time to unroll a map to learn that Canada was part of NORAD that would be something comical that I would take as such.

Regarding the alleged burden of extra cost, SAAB hasn't shy away so far suggesting that it's reasonably doable.
 
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kaiserd

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Interesting short summary of some of the related salient points in the article below:

What in my comments (or any other contributors comments) remotely suggested that I (or other contributors) was (were) suggesting that the European (former) bidders hadn’t checked Canada was in NORAD?
I literally have no idea where you pulling that from.

Re: your point (?) it appears the Airbus are saying that they were being asked to fulfill a specific requirement without being given enough associated details on that requirement to be able to manage the risk of meeting that requirement while managing much it would cost to do so. Throw in concerns around the US control of the associated certification and the parallel changes to the industry/ off-set aspects and both Airbus and Dassault thought better off out of it.
Given their lack of ability to influence or control these aspects from their perspective they probable consider their mistake was to have wasted their time and money having got involved in the first place.
Which doesn’t suggest that the Gripen really has much of a chance at all or of Canada being able to readily buy any non-US major defense piece of kit in the foreseeable future.
 

Foo Fighter

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THAT is a sad state of affairs and harks back to the US bribing folk into buying their kit.
 

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Agreed, it looks as though the contest has been open and honest in terms of the conditions attached. Airbus and Dassault went into it with their eyes open, figured out the costs and decided it wasn't for them.

While we could whine, the fact is there is no fighter procurement competition anywhere is not bundled up with local politics, from Bulgaria to India, Egypt to Poland. Its not an easy business trying to sell fighters.
 

TomcatViP

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Some industry sources are nonetheless worried the U.S. could use the certification requirement to block Canada from choosing a non-American plane, particularly given the Trump administration’s approach to trade.
It you stumble on any speculation from unidentified sources you'd get on your way, the question is why are you on the business.
Lakota are certified and KC30 would have been certified (CC-150 Polaris probably are in due logic) to name a few. Airbus wasn't howling in the wind from the pain of such burden.

Plastic excuses my friend. Not even CFRP'd.
 
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