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New secretariat urges a complete restart of Canada's F-35 buy

Triton

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"New secretariat urges a complete restart of Canada's F-35 buy"
By
Dave Majumdar
on May 1, 2012 4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBacks (0)

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/

Canada's Globe and Mail is reporting that a new secretariat within the Canadian government is urging a complete restart on that nation's Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter purchase.
The recommendation comes on the heels of a Canadian Auditor General's report that highlights problems with the purchase--which some estimates peg at $25 billion in Canadian currency.
"If the military were smart, they would do it themselves, unsolicited," one unnamed senior official told the Globe and Mail. "There seems to be an overwhelming public appetite to ask why [the government is] asking for this capability, and to be involved in a consideration of whether we should continue."

Canada's purchase of the F-35 is a hugely controversial issue in Canada. Much of the debate is over the selection process--critics contend that no alternatives were seriously considered. Canadian government and military officials say they thoroughly vetted alternatives.

There is no indication as of yet that the Canadian Department of National Defence is actually going to restart the F-35 procurement process. But if the country did cancel its buy, it could have serious diplomatic fall-out for Canada's security relationship with the US and other F-35 partner nations.

Based on previous conversations with leading Canadian defense and security experts including retired Lt Gen George McDonald, the former Canadian Forces vice-chief of staff, Robert Huebert at the University of Calgary, and Philippe Lagassé at the University of Ottawa, the real debate surrounding the F-35 is about Canada's role in the world.

While a conventional fighter, for example the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, could replace the existing Boeing CF-18 Hornets for air sovereignty missions to defend Canada's airspace, it wouldn't enable the country to participate in expeditionary warfare past about 2025.

The F-35, however, would enable the country to participate in coalition warfare during major combat operations past that timeframe. This would mean that the recently reborn Royal Canadian Air Force could take part in airstrikes on the first day of a war when enemy air defenses are still at their strongest.

So the debate really comes down to what does Canada want the RCAF to do? And what does Canada want its role in the world to be?
 

Triton

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"Start from scratch on F-35 purchase, DND told"
STEVEN CHASE AND DANIEL LEBLANC
OTTAWA— From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May. 01, 2012 4:00AM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, May. 01, 2012 11:23AM EDT

Source:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/start-from-scratch-on-f-35-purchase-dnd-told/article2418611

An office created to oversee the acquisition of new jet fighters is pressing the Department of National Defence to start afresh on its F-35 Lightning purchase and consider whether Canada needs to buy a different plane.

It’s not an option the military or the Prime Minister’s Office relish discussing publicly as Ottawa refines its strategy for dealing with fallout from the Auditor-General’s hard-hitting report on the $25-billion purchase.

But the question is circulating within a new secretariat that is now riding herd on the acquisition process that is being housed at Public Works and managed by deputy ministers from that department as well as Industry Canada and National Defence.

A senior federal official familiar with the workings of the secretariat said that the hope is that National Defence will see the benefits of starting from scratch to address public concern that the military selected the F-35 without considering alternatives.

So far, National Defence has shown no interest in budging from Lockheed Martin’s F-35, with officials there suggesting the only thing that would derail the purchase would be a sharp increase in cost.

In a sign of internal divisions, high-ranking government executives outside National Defence are urging the department at least to consider other options as a way to demonstrate that it really selected the best plane.

“If the military were smart, they would do it themselves, unsolicited,” one senior official said. “There seems to be an overwhelming public appetite to ask why [the government is] asking for this capability, and to be involved in a consideration of whether we should continue.”

That would mean re-examining the Conservative defence policy statement that underpins the decision to pick the F-35: the 2010 document that calls for a “next generation fighter.”

The Harper government promised on April 3 to hit the reset button on the F-35 purchase, but much of a seven-point plan it unveiled to address criticisms in the Auditor-General’s spring 2012 report amount to ensuring it has clear cost information and sharing it with Canadians.

The government’s plan was vague on whether Ottawa would genuinely start the acquisition anew and entertain alternative procurements – saying only that that it would “continue to evaluate options” for a 21st century fighter.

National Defence signed on to the F-35 program in 2006, and the government effectively etched the acquisition in stone in 2008 with its Canada First Defence Policy, which determined that the U.S.-built jet was the only option to replace the military’s CF-18s.

Philippe Lagassé, an expert on military procurement at the University of Ottawa, said the government’s response to the Auditor-General’s report will be meaningless if the defence policy is not on the table.

“Will the secretariat receive a mandate to continue with the F-35 acquisition, or will it be asked to re-evaluate the entire process?” Mr. Lagassé said in an interview.

The ideal situation, he said, would be for National Defence to launch a cost-benefit analysis that could outline for Canadians the price of various aircraft in relation to their capabilities.

He said the government should entertain competing bids before selecting an aircraft.

“The government should call on the Canadian Forces to rewrite the [statement of operational requirements for the new jets] to allow for other aircraft to enter into a competition,” Mr. Lagassé said.

The Prime Minister’s Office isn’t ready to address whether Canada must consider other aircraft.

The first order of business, it says, is to obtain reliable figures on the cost of the F-35.

“First things first. We have to get a proper accounting of where we are,” said Andrew MacDougall, director of communications for the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We’re not going to get into hypotheticals.”

At the public accounts committee of the House last week, Auditor-General Michael Ferguson did not specifically reject sole-sourcing the F-35 contract, nor did he state that Ottawa had to launch a competition.
 

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"Canada's long, troubled history with F-35 fighter jets"
Daniel Leblanc

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadas-long-troubled-history-with-f-35-fighter-jets/article2392591/?from=2414758
 

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Cancelling the F-35 not only means missing out on it's capabilities, but missing out on the Industrial participation (of which Canada is already benefiting).

I wonder if anyone has done a detailed (side-by-side) comparison on lifetime F-35 vs F-18EF costs as it relates to Canada (to include offsets and mission support requirements)?

I think a lot of people would be surprised as to how close the numbers are and why all this blustering is just plain sad.
 

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From April 3:

http://youtu.be/RzbmgbqAXe0

From April 5:

http://youtu.be/HUpyM955d4U

The Rideau Institute presents researchers Professor Michael Byers and Stewart Webb as they share the results of their study of the F-35 stealth fighter, which will be published in the esteemed Canadian Foreign Policy Journal in February 2012.

http://youtu.be/R0pon4FfCxI

I don't have a dog in this dogfight. I am sharing this information just to present the opinions of some opinion leaders in Canada concerning the CF-35.
 

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"I wonder if anyone has done a detailed (side-by-side) comparison on lifetime F-35 vs F-18EF costs as it relates to Canada (to include offsets and mission support requirements)?"

1 - The Canadians certainly haven't.

2 - How do you compare data from 11 years of service and combat experience with estimates, about which different branches of the Pentagon (CAPE, Navair, JSFPO) have loudly disagreed?
 

SpudmanWP

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2 - How do you compare data from 11 years of service and combat experience with estimates
Just as with any new fighter purchase, you have to go with estimates that are backed up with viable numbers. Canada receives about 11,000 pages of detailed JSF info EVERY MONTH. This are not coffee table books but very detailed info on the JSF program. Every year the JSF program releases to the Partners costing info that drills down to the cost of individual parts and components. It includes current cost, cost trends, and future cost estimates.

In case you missed it, LM has been pretty good at projecting near-term LRIP costs. IIRC, every LRIP so far has been produced for less than contracted (not including change orders).

about which different branches of the Pentagon (CAPE, Navair, JSFPO) have loudly disagreed?
It boils down to an apples-to-apples comparison, or lack thereof. The JPO makes it's estimates based on the planned manpower breakdown and procedures. Not all services do this. Many just base it on how they currently do things. Some do not include the benefits of the planned Automated Logistics system.

The worst offender in this regard was Canada's PBO report that too 4th gen numbers per pound and multiplied them by the weight of the F-35. The ignored cost savings from all the automated stuff, reduced need for support assets, economy of scale savings for parts, etc.
 

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A lot of the perceived requirements aren't simply fiscal:
- Short field capability and arrester gear (as used on the CF-188 to operate from smaller and ice covered airfields)
- The need to upgrade other assets (eg. fixed winged search and rescue aircraft are being delayed)
- A traditional preference for twin-engined aircraft (due to the difficulties operating SAR operations)
- A potential need for more aircraft operating from smaller fields or longer range in order to properly patrol Canadian airspace
- The ability to operate with some degree of independence (rather than pure integration with US forces/C4) and with smaller deployments

Of course, the real issue is that other alterantive designs were not considered as possible competitors. In addition, the government repeatedly distorted figures and lied about them to the public - which really doesn't build confidence.

Then there is the deeper political side: The Russian heavy interceptors most closely match Canadian requirements (as they were designed for patrolling Siberia). Given that Russia is increasingly a U.S. ally and that they'd happily agree to transfer some funds/production back to Canadian firms - this is really the logical choice. Of course, it is politically impossible thanks to an old generation who thinks that the Cuban missile crisis is still going on and the fact that Canada is so securely within the U.S. sphere of influence that we'd hardly even consider going with a European design these days... The Eurocanards tend to be much better at matching traditional Canadian requirements (even if they are falling behind in avionics/low observable features).
 

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Russia a US ally? I think not, they've threatened to attack if we go forward with placing ten (10) SM-3IIBs in Poland in 2018.
 

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"increasingly"

The U.S. and Russia are still playing games over influence in Eastern Europe and vying for reputation (think about how many people are still alive which remember the withdrawal of missiles from Cuba in '62). But Russia is a net oil exporter, acting as a counter-weight to both China and Europe - and is relatively isolated from most areas of U.S. economic expansion. There are very real reasons for such a development. Just sayin' - but this is not what we're really discussing here.
 

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Spud - A cautious person might wait until the LRIPs were delivered and finished to make that statement, since LMT just got handed $114 million "for changes to the configuration baseline hardware or software resulting from the JSF development effort" on LRIP II and III.

The same cautious person might want to see ALIS actually work before taking credit for it, too, because it's very new in concept.
 

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I did not say that LM will "always" produce for less than contracted, just that they have. As I have said, and you pointed out, change orders increase the overall LRIP cost. BUT, they are not included in this comparison because as the name implies, they are a "change" to what was contracted and have no bearing on LM's accuracy as it relates to LRIP estimates. Even the DoD acknowledges this in that they pay LM (or any producer who gets a change order) by paying them more and not expecting the change to be included in the original, contracted price.

As to ALIS and how it relates to the cost estimates, it has been part of the program from the start. If a service does not use it in it's cost estimates (for whatever reasons), they have "no leg to stand on" in calling LM's estimates inaccurate since it is not an "apples-to-apples" comparison.
 

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I have two main points;

1. Participating in the F-35 project originates with the Paul Martin LIBERAL Government, possibly as far back as 2001, the roots are much deeper than this being a conservative-only project as it is so-often painted for political gain.

2. The F-18E and later series aircraft, while highly capable are something of a scam in themselves, the addedd expense and loss inefficiency not being consumate with the enhanced capability over earlier hornet models.

Caveat; ours are freakin ancient.

I feel reevaluating our requirements is important and I question whether one airframe can truely meet all those requirements. We want an expeditionary fighter, fine. But we also have soverignty preservation needs, which require capabilities which are often wasted in an expeditionary fighter; ie/ extreme cold weather capability, preference for two-engine airframes, high speed and range endurance.

I'd like them to sit down, stop getting so excitied to FINALLY have a fighter just like what Big Brother has and take a sober look at other options.

My solution? kick politics in the nuts.

Do side-by-side real comparrisons of siffrent airframes in operational environments, like the NorthWest Territories, like the middle east. Invite the Eastern Bloc manufacturers, make it a company prestige thing, make it an ego contest. And, because it's going to happen sooner or later, put a transpoder in the stealth jobs andsee how they dog-fight against some common adversaries like the Su-27 and Mig-29, as well as the latest stuff. Let's load em all down with bombs and see how well they handle and how hey show up on radar with full wing racks.

Let's do some freakin impartial tests. No need for projections and theorizing when LM has a few pre-production examples.

Before you pan it on politics; think what this would do for sales for the company that comes out on top? Think what it would do to anyone who didn't send a bird to compeat.

Canada aint a big prize to win, LM is likely losing cash on our economic deals anyways, we need to make this work for us somehow.
 

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beachhead1973 said:
Do side-by-side real comparrisons of siffrent airframes in operational environments, ... put a transpoder in the stealth jobs andsee how they dog-fight against some common adversaries like the Su-27 and Mig-29, as well as the latest stuff. Let's load em all down with bombs and see how well they handle and how hey show up on radar with full wing racks.

Let's do some freakin impartial tests. No need for projections and theorizing when LM has a few pre-production examples.


How is negating the designed capabilities of a platform such as the F-35 (i.e. by totally negating it's LO capability with a transponder) offer an impartial assessment? You might as well deactivate one engine in a twin engined fighter so that it doesn't have an unfair advantage against its singled engined rivals...
 

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LowObservable said:
Spud - A cautious person might wait until the LRIPs were delivered and finished to make that statement, since LMT just got handed $114 million "for changes to the configuration baseline hardware or software resulting from the JSF development effort" on LRIP II and III.

The same cautious person might want to see ALIS actually work before taking credit for it, too, because it's very new in concept.

A cautious person might also take a wait-and-see point of view before trying to convince the world the F-35 is a POS before it's even entered service. A cautious person might think twice before trying to convince the world that old 4th-gen Eurocanards are superior to a 5th generation stealth aircraft. A cautious person might see the sheer stupidity in thinking an aircraft who's design has it's roots in the 60's (SH) is somehow going to remain competitive when everybody else is moving to 5th gen stealth aircraft. I guess you're not cautious either. I would suggest that "wreckless" might be a more apt descriptor but then I'm sure you know exactly what you're doing. Keep up the good fight. Wouldn't want you to miss out when they retire the Typhoon and are left with an all F-35 force.
 

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beachhead1973 said:
I have two main points;

1. Participating in the F-35 project originates with the Paul Martin LIBERAL Government, possibly as far back as 2001, the roots are much deeper than this being a conservative-only project as it is so-often painted for political gain.

This doesn't provide evidence that they intended to actually buy the aircraft though.
For the record though - I think the F-35 is one of the prettiest American fighters. I'm just not so sure it fits (especially while its actual service costs and performance are unknowns).

sferrin said:
A cautious person might also take a wait-and-see point of view before trying to convince the world the F-35 is a POS before it's even entered service. A cautious person might think twice before trying to convince the world that old 4th-gen Eurocanards are superior to a 5th generation stealth aircraft. A cautious person might see the sheer stupidity in thinking an aircraft who's design has it's roots in the 60's (SH) is somehow going to remain competitive when everybody else is moving to 5th gen stealth aircraft. I guess you're not cautious either. I would suggest that "wreckless" might be a more apt descriptor but then I'm sure you know exactly what you're doing. Keep up the good fight. Wouldn't want you to miss out when they retire the Typhoon and are left with an all F-35 force.

True. I wouldn't be surprised if advances in tactics and sensor technology counteract contemporary LO aircraft by mid-century (not so certain about VLO aircraft). Improved tactics, sensor fusion and communications may make feasible OPFOR weapon system which are much lower technology in all other respects.

IMHO, A country like ours should buy a dozen 4th generation aircraft for intercepting the Tupolevs and Boeings, a bunch of modernised sub-sonic trainers to provide some CAS and prevent an overall loss of our force capability until the overall technological landscape has matured in another thirty years. It is quite plausible that a VLO subsonic strike aircraft capable of arctic patrol using stand-off munition could be more useful in actual combat scenarios (as it provides the potential for greater area in which security is denied for opposing forces and can also be used for strike operations).
 
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GeorgeA said:
Russia a US ally? I think not, they've threatened to attack if we go forward with placing ten (10) SM-3IIBs in Poland in 2018.
Yea, I'd like to get a Russian members take on this (in the bar).....
 

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Avimimus said:
IMHO, A country like ours should buy a dozen 4th generation aircraft for intercepting the Tupolevs and Boeings, a bunch of modernised sub-sonic trainers to provide some CAS and prevent an overall loss of our force capability until the overall technological landscape has matured in another thirty years. It is quite plausible that a VLO subsonic strike aircraft capable of arctic patrol using stand-off munition could be more useful in actual combat scenarios (as it provides the potential for greater area in which security is denied for opposing forces and can also be used for strike operations).


This is not a bad idea. Canada can only justify buying F-35 to participate in actual combat operations (something like Desert Storm I) or to please the US. All other missions do not require LO and can barely justify a supersonic fighter. As to defense of Canada, lets be realistic. Any opponent who has the capability to even reach Canada will wipe out Canadian Forces in a week, no matter which fighter is purchased.


An interesting point I have never heard mentioned before: Canada operates CF-18 full time on two bases, Cold Lake Alberta and Bagotville Quebec, which are about 2800km apart. Unlike CF-18, F-35 cannot fly this distance without refueling.
 

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AdamF said:
This is not a bad idea. Canada can only justify buying F-35 to participate in actual combat operations (something like Desert Storm I) or to please the US. All other missions do not require LO and can barely justify a supersonic fighter. As to defense of Canada, lets be realistic. Any opponent who has the capability to even reach Canada will wipe out Canadian Forces in a week, no matter which fighter is purchased.

I just created a thread for such speculation:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,15092.0.html
AdamF said:
An interesting point I have never heard mentioned before: Canada operates CF-18 full time on two bases, Cold Lake Alberta and Bagotville Quebec, which are about 2800km apart. Unlike CF-18, F-35 cannot fly this distance without refueling.
What about external tanks? If this is true - it is quite odd to claim that a platform allows the effective policing of airspace when it can't reach between its two bases (which it is centralized at).
 

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Avimimus said:
AdamF said:
An interesting point I have never heard mentioned before: Canada operates CF-18 full time on two bases, Cold Lake Alberta and Bagotville Quebec, which are about 2800km apart. Unlike CF-18, F-35 cannot fly this distance without refueling.
What about external tanks? If this is true - it is quite odd to claim that a platform allows the effective policing of airspace when it can't reach between its two bases (which it is centralized at).

That's also the first time I've heard of an early-model Hornet cited as being particularly long-ranged.
 

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Madurai said:
Avimimus said:
AdamF said:
An interesting point I have never heard mentioned before: Canada operates CF-18 full time on two bases, Cold Lake Alberta and Bagotville Quebec, which are about 2800km apart. Unlike CF-18, F-35 cannot fly this distance without refueling.
What about external tanks? If this is true - it is quite odd to claim that a platform allows the effective policing of airspace when it can't reach between its two bases (which it is centralized at).

That's also the first time I've heard of an early-model Hornet cited as being particularly long-ranged.

This. "Long range" and "Hornet" go together like oil and water.
 

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GTX said:
beachhead1973 said:
Do side-by-side real comparrisons of siffrent airframes in operational environments, ... put a transpoder in the stealth jobs andsee how they dog-fight against some common adversaries like the Su-27 and Mig-29, as well as the latest stuff. Let's load em all down with bombs and see how well they handle and how hey show up on radar with full wing racks.

Let's do some freakin impartial tests. No need for projections and theorizing when LM has a few pre-production examples.


How is negating the designed capabilities of a platform such as the F-35 (i.e. by totally negating it's LO capability with a transponder) offer an impartial assessment? You might as well deactivate one engine in a twin engined fighter so that it doesn't have an unfair advantage against its singled engined rivals...

It's supposed to be stealthy. Sooner or later someone is going to figure a way around that. I want to see how the F-35 would do without that advantage. Everyone knows how two-engine jobs fly on 1-engine; badly, but they still fly, mostly. I want to see if the F-35 is as survivable as a non-stealth fighter when it is deprived of it's stealth capability.
 

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beachhead1973 said:
I want to see if the F-35 is as survivable as a non-stealth fighter when it is deprived of it's stealth capability.

I want to see how survivable a Eurocanard is with no missiles and a jammed gun. ::)
 

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Interestingly - it would appear that the F-35 has about 2/3rds the ferry range - at least until drop tanks enter service (which it currently doesn't appear to be cleared for). So, given the already unimpressive performance of the Hornet, it is still decidedly unimpressive. A turboprop with BVR missiles might be better ;)
 

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Avimimus said:
Interestingly - it would appear that the F-35 has about 2/3rds the ferry range - at least until drop tanks enter service (which it currently doesn't appear to be cleared for). So, given the already unimpressive performance of the Hornet, it is still decidedly unimpressive. A turboprop with BVR missiles might be better ;)

What's the Hornet's range without drop tanks? Let's compare apples to apples (since we all know tanks will be cleared for the F-35 as soon as it's deemed necessary).
 

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Well, my point was not that the external fuel tanks (and/or CFTs) capacity won't be operationally demonstrated for some time. Rather, it is that the ferry range is similar to the Gripen, and markedly inferior to the Rafale and Typhoon. In fact the combat radius is only about 20% better than the HAL Tejas. The Tejas would also be slightly easier to decentralise to smaller airstrips than the F-35A...
 

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RE: F-18C range

Range: Combat: 1,089 nautical miles [round trip] (1252.4 miles/2,003 km), clean plus two AIM-9s
Ferry: 1,546 nautical miles (1777.9 miles/2,844 km), two AIM-9s plus three 330 gallon tanks.

RCAF claims 3,700 km ferry range for CF-18 (http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/equip/cf18/specs-eng.asp). Perhaps they use different drop tanks?

Combat radius for F-35 has just been reduced to 1,080 km (583 nmi) according to http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pentagon-agrees-to-f-35a-combat-radius-reduction-369287/ This compares quite well to CF-18's combat radius. As for ferry range, drop tanks are off the table IIRC. Has there been any news about them?
 

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Surely with aerial refueling the issue of range (especially ferry range of all things), becomes rather a moot point... ::)
 

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GTX said:
Surely with aerial refueling the issue of range (especially ferry range of all things), becomes rather a moot point... ::)

Leaving aside much increased peacetime costs, one problem would be that in wartime, tankers would have to venture much nearer to the front line to refuel F-35's, not only potentially neutralising quite a bit of the advantage that the F-35's stealth features are supposed to give it, but also endangering precious tanker aircraft. And somehow I don't think the Canadian Defence budget could cover the costs of developing and procuring, say a 'KC-2C' (in other words a purpose built stealthy tanker).
 

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Grey Havoc said:
GTX said:
Surely with aerial refueling the issue of range (especially ferry range of all things), becomes rather a moot point... ::)

Leaving aside much increased peacetime costs, one problem would be that in wartime, tankers would have to venture much nearer to the front line to refuel F-35's,

See post #26 Where are you getting "much nearer" from?
 

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Grey Havoc said:
GTX said:
Surely with aerial refueling the issue of range (especially ferry range of all things), becomes rather a moot point... ::)

Leaving aside much increased peacetime costs, one problem would be that in wartime, tankers would have to venture much nearer to the front line to refuel F-35's, not only potentially neutralising quite a bit of the advantage that the F-35's stealth features are supposed to give it, but also endangering precious tanker aircraft. And somehow I don't think the Canadian Defence budget could cover the costs of developing and procuring, say a 'KC-2C' (in other words a purpose built stealthy tanker).


Don't the Canadian forces already have a couple of [font=arial, sans-serif]CC-150s modified to act as tankers, so why is there any need to procure new tankers? If you are only worried about ferrying, then those should be acceptable. Mind you if you're only talking of ferrying, then why not simply land somewhere on the way to refuel...[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]As to wartime, it's not as though anyone is planning on refuelling in the immediate combat zone. The tankers are typically out of range or at least sufficiently back to be of reduced risk. Besides, that's why stand-off weapons also assist with, if the range is really that tight.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Anyway, every time one bags the F-35 on some point, I suggest that they also use the same measure/criteria on any other alternative platform out there. For example, if one wants to decry the need for the F-35 to use a non-LO tanker, why not also use the same criteria against an alternative: e.g. surely any situation that will require the F-35 to use a tanker will also require a F/A-18E/F or Typhoon or other to also use a tanker? How therefore is this any different for them?[/font]



 

Avimimus

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The Typhoon has considerably better range (not that I'm recommending it).

One thing that people have to wrap their heads around: We're talking about partoling/demonstrating superiority over an area of land which is more than 200 times the size of England - and its surrounding coastal waters. If aircraft are completely reliant on a fleet of two tankers to reach some areas - they're pretty darn useless.

The solution is either to either increase the maximum range (eg. CFTs on a larger or slower platform) or to use rough-field, STOL capable aircraft. If one looks at Russian procurement (which faces a similar requirement) one finds fighters with special air intacts and landing gear for rough fields, and larger twin engined interceptors. The JSF is designed for scenarios with more logistic support (carriers, tankers etc.) or larger number of survivable and highly integrated aircraft (eg. overwhelming the enemy with compound formations and good exchange ratios) - 65 aircraft and two tankers doesn't work for either scenario - and certainly doesn't work well for the previously mentioned NORAD oriented role.
 

GTX

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So given what you say regarding the Canadian requirement, how have they managed to survive with F/A-18 Hornets over the last 20 - 30 yrs??? After all, is it not shorter legged, with no special cold weather or rough field capability? Moreover, unless I am mistaken neither were the F/A-18s predecessors in Canadian service. Kind of sounds like a unfair requirement to somehow demand it now for the F-35.

I have also heard this so-called cold issue raised for Canada before. I will simply ask you to explain exactly what special additions are required to deal with this?

Moreover i will add that it gets pretty damn cold at 30000+ ft! Besides, the need to operate in the cold conditions isn't anything new. Even American jets (F/A-18s and F-16s) have been known to do that...Alaska anyone???

Besides, another of the F-35 partners (Norway) has similar conditions and they still seem extremely keen...and by the way, by being part of the F-35 program, Canada has already been able to influence the design to cater for this.

Re the range issue, I seem to recall that the USA is a big place, as is Australia...not to mention the issue of operating from Carriers over the open ocean or in the Arctic. Therefore, I fail to see how Canada's requirement is anything special when it comes to the F-35.
 

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Canada has even flown Starfighters. Harldy a craft known for long range. ;D
 

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GTX said:
So given what you say regarding the Canadian requirement, how have they managed to survive with F/A-18 Hornets over the last 20 - 30 yrs??? After all, is it not shorter legged, with no special cold weather or rough field capability? Moreover, unless I am mistaken neither were the F/A-18s predecessors in Canadian service. Kind of sounds like a unfair requirement to somehow demand it now for the F-35.

I have also heard this so-called cold issue raised for Canada before. I will simply ask you to explain exactly what special additions are required to deal with this?

Moreover i will add that it gets pretty damn cold at 30000+ ft! Besides, the need to operate in the cold conditions isn't anything new. Even American jets (F/A-18s and F-16s) have been known to do that...Alaska anyone???

Besides, another of the F-35 partners (Norway) has similar conditions and they still seem extremely keen...and by the way, by being part of the F-35 program, Canada has already been able to influence the design to cater for this.

Re the range issue, I seem to recall that the USA is a big place, as is Australia...not to mention the issue of operating from Carriers over the open ocean or in the Arctic. Therefore, I fail to see how Canada's requirement is anything special when it comes to the F-35.

If I were Canada I'd consider one thing most important - do I plan on helping allies overseas. If yes, then the F-35 is the obvious choice. If they plan to let everybody else do the heavy lifting then I'd go with F-15SGs (not the SE nonsense).
 

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Whilst I agree that one can never know where the next threat may come from, you do have to remain realistic.

In Canada’s case, I would assume that any direct military threat would conceivably come either from the following (note however, that I acknowledge that I speak as an outsider here who may not fully understand or appreciate things from a Canadian perspective):

USA – theoretically your biggest threat given the common border and military imbalance. However, outside the realm of fictional novels, Hollywood and whatif scenarios, do you really believe there is a military threat there? There is a lot of common history, values and other reasons to overcome first for that scenario to become real. And even if there was, short of massively arming yourself to the teeth (probably also with nuclear weapons), how exactly would any Canadian Military fight off an attack (just on population the USA outweighs Canada something like 9 times over). Whilst I am sure that in any such scenario. Canadians would make a damn hard resistance movement; this is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the type of weapons we are apparently discussing here.

Russia – historically (at least for the last 60 odd years), Canada’s apparent primary threat. Also assumingly, the reason why Canada is part of both NORAD and NATO. Interesting then that many seem so ready to acquire weapons from them. Surely to defend against this threat, the most cost effective strategies would be to ally yourself with a strong ally …such as the USA and thus a reason for commonality ( I.e. F-35s)

Greenland – well unless Denmark starts arming to the teeth, I think you can easily handle this one even without new fighters. There may however be some scope for territorial disputes over natural resources though I think that hardly needs much more then what you already have/are planning upon.

Iceland – I think we can agree that apart from once again some possible territorial disputes over natural resources, there is little risk of the Greater Icelandic Empire causing any concern for Canada;

Japan – since WWII, I doubt Canada really views Japan as a military threat worth planning for. However, even if you do, is there really any direct threat to Canada?

UK/Ireland – well, unless you really piss off the ‘parent’, I doubt the UK will come looking at giving you a ‘spanking’. Therefore, once again, a totally implausible scenario.

North Korea – the apparent favourite ‘rogue nation’ of late. Whilst there maybe a theoretical threat to Canada from long range missiles, I think that if ever that scenario played out, you would find that they would be aimed at the USA first or even if they weren’t, that the USA would intervene first. This theoretically, however might be a justification for ABMs or similar?

Europe – well, once again you would need to see a major breakdown in relations before this became a serious, realistic threat. Moreover, arguably in such a scenario, you might well find that the USA would stand shoulder to shoulder with you to fight off the European invaders; and/or

Space Aliens – might as well include this scenario as it is just as likely as any others. In fact, it might even be more realistic then some, depending upon your point of view. As to what you would equip yourself to fight this theoretical enemy is up to you.

You will note that I leave off three scenarios here:

Terrorist/non-state group action – hardly something that you will be looking at making major equipment decisions around…unless of course you look at intervention scenarios such as Afghanistan (in which case, Canada would most likely be doing so either as part of the UN or some other coalition…in fact a good reason to pursue commonality with your allies);

Internal Civil War – i.e. something like the Quebec breakaway scenario. This one is interesting in that how would you do anything (equipment wise) that prevents or prepares for this?

Deployed operations – probably the most likely by far (at least based upon the last 60 odd years of Canadian Military experience.). Typically these style of operations are not so much defence against direct threats to Canada (well, maybe NATO deployments could be considered a form of forward defence) but more of defence of Canadian Interests around the world. They are usually also typically undertaken either as part of the UN or some other coalition in which case, my earlier comments regarding commonality and interoperability hold true...in which case the F-35 will again be a good choice.
 

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GTX said:
Grey Havoc said:
GTX said:
Surely with aerial refueling the issue of range (especially ferry range of all things), becomes rather a moot point... ::)

Leaving aside much increased peacetime costs, one problem would be that in wartime, tankers would have to venture much nearer to the front line to refuel F-35's, not only potentially neutralising quite a bit of the advantage that the F-35's stealth features are supposed to give it, but also endangering precious tanker aircraft. And somehow I don't think the Canadian Defence budget could cover the costs of developing and procuring, say a 'KC-2C' (in other words a purpose built stealthy tanker).


Don't the Canadian forces already have a couple of [font=arial, sans-serif]CC-150s modified to act as tankers, so why is there any need to procure new tankers? If you are only worried about ferrying, then those should be acceptable. Mind you if you're only talking of ferrying, then why not simply land somewhere on the way to refuel...[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]As to wartime, it's not as though anyone is planning on refuelling in the immediate combat zone. The tankers are typically out of range or at least sufficiently back to be of reduced risk. Besides, that's why stand-off weapons also assist with, if the range is really that tight.[/font]

[font=arial, sans-serif]Anyway, every time one bags the F-35 on some point, I suggest that they also use the same measure/criteria on any other alternative platform out there. For example, if one wants to decry the need for the F-35 to use a non-LO tanker, why not also use the same criteria against an alternative: e.g. surely any situation that will require the F-35 to use a tanker will also require a F/A-18E/F or Typhoon or other to also use a tanker? How therefore is this any different for them?[/font]




How is it different!? Before the F-35 Canadian Fighters never had to refuel in the air- ever! This is completely new. It will require advanced training for Canadians:

"Take that hockey stick looking thing there eh, and stick in that conical hockey net ya hoser."

We are talking ferry range people. This is no joke. Ferry Range. The penultimate decider of combat success.

Canada is seemingly getting bigger somehow, and now even more range is required. Its also getting even colder I guess. These are all problems that can not be solved by 21st century tech --there is no way we can make modifications to improve performance on icy runways, nor can we invent some kind of external dropable fuel tanks. These primitive "jettisonable gas holding tubes" if you will (working title) could never be added to an aircraft to improve the F-35s already impressive internal fuel capacity.

It finally happened. Canada expanded to the point where no technology could possibly contain it.
 

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Great thread guys ;)

Of course, a number of the arguments in this thread amount to: 'if we didn't need it in the past, there is no way we'll need it in the future' ...so let's pay three times as much. If Canada doesn't need increased performance to accomplish its missions - than why not buy more CF-18s?

Can you make the case?

I'm enjoying this thread btw.
 

Avimimus

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GTX said:
Whilst I agree that one can never know where the next threat may come from, you do have to remain realistic.

In Canada’s case, I would assume that any direct military threat would conceivably come either from the following (note however, that I acknowledge that I speak as an outsider here who may not fully understand or appreciate things from a Canadian perspective):

I'd love to discuss GTX's post sometime in more detail (perhaps in the other, more speculative, thread - http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,15092.0.html or another thread in the bar / alternative history forums).
 

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