Canada halts planned F-35 purchase

Canada halts planned F-35 purchase

In the latest setback for the Joint Strike Fighter program, Canada’s military made it official Wednesday night when officials announced they would re-examine whether they will purchase 65 F-35s from Lockheed Martin.

The move has been expected for months after the results of an audit found the program would cost the Canadians $45 billion over the life of the program.

Canada will stand up an independent panel to review the options for the Canadian air force as it looks to modernize its fleet. The panel will consider purchasing a version of the Boeing Super Hornet or maintain their plans to buy the F-35.

“We have hit the reset button and are taking the time to do a complete assessment of all available aircraft,” said Rona Ambrose, the public works minister.

If Canada decides to walk away from the program, it means the F-35 will become more expensive to the rest of the nations planning to purchase the fifth generation fighter, especially the U.S. Subtracting the 65 F-35s would not represent a substantial chunk of the 2,443 F-35s the U.S. plans to buy, but any setback hurts a program that has seen costs rise substantially since its start.

U.S. officials are counting on 10 other nations to buy 700 F-35s. The U.S. needs other countries to buy the stealth jet in order to increase the economy of scale and drop the price of the aircraft. U.S. and the coalition of nations planning to buy the F-35 plan for the per aircraft cost to drop below $106 million in the latter years of the program.

Those rising costs is the reason Canada will likely walk away from it. Canadian leaders had expected to the spend about $16 billion on the F-35 program. When word leaked that it had nearly tripled to $45 billion, many speculated the Canadians would halt the program.

The public release of the audit done by KPMG made the move official.

Join the Conversation

Lockheed has no one to blame but themselves.

Lmao, the Media is falling hook-line-and-sinker for the same old Conservative trick. They pulled this same stance just a few months before buying Main Battle Tanks from Germany and Netherlands. They had previously said they had No intentions whatsoever of going this route and would stay with the planned MGS.
So, welcome to the Harper 180 spin program, ie. ‘I’ll do exactly the opposite of what I say.‘
This especially happened with the C-17 acquisiton when the so-called ‘fair, open and transparent’ purchase of Stategic Airlifters was anything BUT ‘fair, open and transparent’.
Canada’s Strategic Airlift Acquisiton FARCE.
And Proven by the ATIP requests I received on the BS review of our ‘Fully Compliant’ BC-17XM submission.

Be better to see Canada dump the crappy little light CF-18 and now the dysfunctional JSF and buy F-15SE or F-22 be better for Canadian air defense.

For the curious, the KPMG report. As for the cost differences, it’s mostly due to a longer timeline (than those reported from the auditor general). http://​www​.documentcloud​.org/​d​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​5​3​7​9​7​0​-​kpm

Right now the biggest problem in Canada is not even the f-35, it’s the broken procurement process. Nothing work. Canceling a bidding process minutes before it start (after bidder spend millions to prepare and move their trucks to the testing facility), trying to buy a handgun in low quantities and expect bidders to give away their manufacturing secrets (i.e. HK?).

Worth mentioning, Canada was not just publicly committed to the purchase of f-35, it invested in that program. As for the “official” “cancellation”, all I hope is that it’s the end of obscure purchase with no professionalism and integrity whatsoever when come to inform their taxpayer.

And people like Peter Mackay (minister of national defence) got no excuse for their arrogance.

I am sparing everybody here from all his speech.

Only problem, all those alternatives are way too expensive. I think that we are in a point where they will need to consider a mixed fleet, more like what Australia is doing. Some drones for collecting intel and perhaps some low-cost air support, some sh for patrolling in the artic and CAS, and few growler (or something lower-cost) for electronic warfare. Or something like a substancial rebate on a few f-15se when a batch of f/a-18 is ordered would make a damn good alternative.

Canadian air force got a low budget, few planes, and a lot of land to cover. As for the drones, we would be better served with something state-of-the-art rather than a 10 years ahead of state of the art ultra expensive black box. Everything that will be designed for everyday use shall be affordable enough to have it and use it when needed.

Back to the f-35, I am very curious to see for comparison how much a cf-18 would cost should it have been maintained like a black box. A second blow in the face those claims that the cf-35 would cost the same to maintain as the cf-18.

I think for Canada, they should follow Australia and go with Super Hornets, Rafele or Typhoons. It’s more likely they will go with Super Hornets over Rafele or Typhoons.

1 f-35 per 3 f/a-18 look more like a balanced ratio for a sane and functional air force. The f-35 should have some role to fill but it’s clearly not the replacement for everything flying in the air, although I would invest in drones before even starting to consider some f-35.

It remains to be seen if they are willing to do it with $45.8 billion on the line though.

“The move has been expected for months after the results of an audit found the program would cost the Canadians $45 billion over the life of the program.”

The Pentagon should hire the same auditors for a genuinely realistic and unsentimental outside review of the entire F-35 program.

There are very powerful people in the Pentagon that are actively trying to get the Super Hornet off the Senate’s new defense bill. This looks like a move to eliminate the F-35’s competition because those same people in the Pentagon really want the F-35 no matter what. I highly doubt that they would want to risk more bad news coming out on the F-35.

That’s why I think the F-35 is not good for small to Medium Air forces. The F-35 is for Large Air forces.

It’s also worth mentioning the significance of what it would mean if the Aussies did buy 24 more Super Hornets. Keep in mind that they had planned on buying a total of 100 F-35s, making 48 Super Hornets almost half of their planned F-35 purchase. This would be a dramatic shift in their long term fighter force. The F-35 is clearly shrinking on their priority list.

Oh boo hoo! Lockheed is crying all the way to the bank. They make 10% on development and on production. Where do you think the higher risks are? Clearly Canada maintains its status as being a marginally bigger bunch of idiots than we are. Congratulations, suckers.

Canada already has the F-18C/D and has been flying them for years. Upgrading to the F-18E/F should be a no brainer for them if they are not able to stick with the F-35 purchases. The problem with the F-18C/D and F-18E/F for the Canadian’s is range (or lack of range to be more specific). The Canadian’s may be able to mix up the F-18E/F with the F-15S to get a good balance for Arctic patrols. Both are Boeing products and should give them leverage for pricing.

Yeah, no brainer. Buy more of the crappy airplane they have and flush all the money they’ve ponied up to date down the toilet, or buy the crappy airplane that is stealthy. Too bad they don’t make the only smart choice they have and revive their own military aircraft industry. I guess they’d have to have a pair to make that choice.

This is why you should sell 5th gen aircraft with 5th gen electronics (the ones you have); rather than trying to make people buy a new fighter and a new electronics package. Lockmart might’ve made more headway if they didn’t have to integrate /new/ systems instead of well-known, proven systems.

Trying to imagine if MD tried to sell the Super Hornet International Roadmap back when it was time to replace the Hornet. It would still be in development hell…

The F-35 is going to shift from “mainline fighter” to “niche fighter” real quick.

We’ll know we’re doomed when F-35s cost more than their weight in gold.

The sole source acquisition was a reckless decision sililar to SECDEF cancelling F-22. It’s hard to believe that after you paint yourself into a corner you are surprised that you are trapped.

Onward with the death spiral.

And the alternative to the F-35, in most cases, is the Lockheed F-16.

Game, set, match…

Buy some F-5’s from Switzerland and the god-knows-other-places America sent them to way back in the day?

F-16’s cost too much?


That said, maybe Mr F-35 has some Lockheed Martin stock…?

I really don’t think they would take that long to make. The upgrades for the International Road Map Super Hornet are not nearly as complex as the stealth materials, the helmet, and the 24 million lines of code necessary for the F-35’s promised capability. There hasn’t been any funding put up for the Super Hornet upgrades with the exception of Boeing funding the large touchscreen glass ****pit and the U.S. Navy funding the Advanced Mission Computer Type 4 that provides increased image processing for a new ****pit display, which by the way I don’t think is a coincidence that they are funding these at the same time separately. The stealthy weapons bays for the Silent Eagle were very quick to make so the weapons pod would be a simple design. Russia’s OLS for the MiG-35 provides IR-scanning about the entire aircraft, which they made in 2007. I highly doubt that these upgrades be in development that long once they started getting some real funding.

Lockheed will see a few more nations back out now. The plane is just to damn expensive to build and maintain.

Is it too expensive to build or too expensive not to build, that is the question.

F-22 isn’t an option. It’s even more expensive than the F-35, plus you have the extra cost of re-doing the manufacturing line since it’s been dismantled.

BlackOwl, let me rephrase.

“Imagine if MD tried to sell what we call the SHIRM…but back in 1992.” The Super Hornet was procured using mostly modified Hornet bits. It did not “bundle” tons of doodads with it.

Our procurement model is like buying a TV, but it has to come with a playstation 3, xbox 360, a blu-ray player and a HD-DVD player…because well, it’s all the bells and whistles.

if JSF_win==true
else if Raptor_win==true
else if Falcon_win==true

“When word leaked that it had nearly tripled to $45 billion, many speculated the Canadians would halt the program.”

Ho ? Really ? the price is triple (to date !), and clients will cancel the purchase ? What a surprise…

Oh, I see what you mean…

Well in that case, I think its development would be done by 2007 at the very latest if our technical goals were to simply make a SHIRM. Our technology was still ahead of the Russians by several years at that time.

So…1992–2007 to make a SHIRM. That would be pretty damn painful.

Can you imagine doing the ‘90s with just Hornets…Hornets Hornets for decades? Yowza.

Chances are the Tomcat might’ve lived longer with no Super Hornet in the works!

Which is exactly why it was a good choice to make the Super Hornet, then build the upgrades for it later.

I said 2007 at the VERY LATEST because of the Russian advances. We were still 10 years ahead of the Russians so it would be much less than that if that scenario played out. I’m using the MiG-35 as a time line, probably not the best use of measurement. Let me use the F-35 tech’s timeline as measurement. The IR cameras were made on the F-35 well before 2007, even if they weren’t perfect. By that timeline we could have made a fully functional SHIRM in 2002. I think the ****pit and the IR scanners are the parts that would take the longest to develop.

Well, we all know the priority is a new platform, as if only new platforms could have the best equipment. And if stealth was important, then deploy a stealth platform to the fleet as quickly as possible. However, we seem incapable of the latter.

I can sense Boeing being glad that Lockmart got burned over JSF, since they can just talk to the vendors selling JSF toys and integrate them back into their aircraft (which would be F-15 & F/A-18) and go selling it to the customers with a/c that the F-35 was meant to replace in the first place!

I suspect a lot of the tech bloat in 5th gen aircraft came out when the claim was that 5th gen aircraft would just nail their legacy counterparts by the hundreds in computer simulations. Then they realized that as technology scaled up to even the odds, their vaunted kill/death ratios would drop and they too needed to jump on the technology bandwagon…even going to undeveloped stuff to “stay ahead of the game”.

IMHO the only 3 countries that got concrete economics benefits are Norway, Italy and UK. All the others are likely to consider scaling down or cancellation.

The tooling for the F-22 is in hibernation (vs dead) and production can be restarted. The F-22 is far more capable than the F-35.

As the rate of F-35 orders declines and cost increases the F-22 is becoming a better choice and was also preferred over the F-35 by many of our allies.

I guess we have forgotten the McNamara F-111 one size does not fit all experience.

I think for Canada’s alternative to the F-35. It would be the Super Hornet, though the Typhoon and Rafele would be in the running. The Gripen would be an impossible choice for Canada.

By some reports, the F-35 may end up costing less in O&M than the F-22, but that’s all theory right now. Right now we only have LRIP price tags for the F-35 while everything about the F-22 is a known quantity. We know exactly how much the last full rate batch cost us as well as several years of maintenance records. If somehow they were to restart the line, they have a pretty good idea what it would cost. You’re probably right that restarting the F-22 just isn’t going to happen, but I don’t think you can say the F-35 will cost less just yet.

Italy & the UK both have already scaled back from their original comments, and Australia requesting more information on 24 more Super Hornets this week, I think they will be the next major pullout of the JSF.

Italy: Still buying for the same amount. Higher price mean lower quantities.
UK: They are changing their strategies but f-35 is still part of the equations. They moved away from C model due to the cost of retrofitting their aircraft carrier.

Both will buy f-35 because they are major investor in that program. UK will make f-35 and Italy will have the capability to perform more complex maintenance, the only contry that escaped that maintenance model is Israel.

You are right about Italy spending the same amount of $$$, but for far fewer Airframes than the wanted. All so the UK has cut back on their total number of Airframes as well, and changed the types of Airframes.

As for Israel, for them they are basically free, so why would they care?

C’mon people, lets talk basics here. What’s better a 2 engine airframe or a 1 engine airframe ? If your a country willing to purchase a very expensive airframe like the F-35, wouldn’t you want an airframe with 2 engines instead of 1, to begin with ? You could buy F-15’s and F-22’s, F-18’s that have 2 engines (can’t believe some people don’t get this) instead of F-35’s with 1 engine. All of the airframes mentioned above can have the latest & greatest technology instilled in them, but remember this: Redundancy has it’s advantages !
F-15 Eagle Keeper

never call the F-35 a 5th generation fighter~ its a fact that it is 4.5G only~

“What’s better a 2 engine airframe or a 1 engine airframe?”

In many ways, a one-engine airframe has a lot to recommend it.

You get a considerable decompounding of excesses: structure, mass, design complexity, and manufacturing difficulty all become lessened. And of course, cost. The logistic footprint becomes a lot smaller. So does the outer mold line. Being stealthy is made simpler.

Some very successful and capable jets have had only one engine.

The single engine A-4 Skyhawk is still in service in a few places despite having had its maiden flight during President Eisenhower’s first term. Likewise for the roughly contemporaneous Mirage and its descendants.

The A-7 and F-8 did pretty well on one motor. The F-104 set performance records which still stand. And of course there is Harry Hillaker’s brilliant F-16, probably the best all round modern fighter.

But all of those designs had something in common. They were simple enough to build quickly and they were affordable enough to buy in large quantities, so combat losses were not a catastrophe.

What would be a catastrophe would be a single-engined jet that was so complex and costly and hard to build that it was bought in comparatively small quantities. So small that normal attritional losses from training sorties would then become a serious readiness issue.

Unfortunately, we are heading down precisely that path with the F-35. As production rates plummet and cost per delivered airframe soars past F-22 prices.

I understand the basic premise behind having a fighter that has a high degree of commonality across three variants, but I have always thought it a mistake to try and build the Swiss Army Knife of fighter jets. The STOVL version is a bridge too far. I wonder how much the F-22 would have cost if we had decided to build 2,443 of them.

I am not sure I understand how Lockheed could sell the F35 to DoD when all the variants did not meet the ‘commonality’ standard. Kudos to Canada for exercising the courage to walk away from a bad deal put on them by ‘big brother’. .

LRIP prices for the F-22 were also insanely high. Far higher than the $140 million figure often given for the final FRP lot.

The complexity of the F-35 vs. the F/A-18 is in the electronics. New sensors, data-links, all of that stuff is very expensive to develop from the ground up. The engine is quite advanced too, but it is far less of a leap than the P&W F100 was. Much of it is based of the F119 used by the F-22.

In terms of materials and labor, there isn’t some dramatic difference between the F-35 and the F/A-18 or Rafale. At least in regards to the airframe.

Canada couldn’t afford F-15s back when they bought their current CF-18s. What makes you think they could afford them or the F-22 now?

Those 12 F/A-18Fs that were wired for the possibility to be brought up to EA-18G standard haven’t been upgraded yet. Sounds like the RAAF may be looking to operate their F-35As similar to how the USN hopes to employ their F-35Cs.

Neither the F-35A or F/A-18F are top of the line air-superiority fighters however. They don’t have the performance of the F-15, F-22, Su-35, or Typhoon at high speeds and high altitudes.

There is very little commonality between the Super Hornet and original Hornet. Most of that commonality was in regards to the avionics of the aircraft, but that is gone too since the Block II modernized the avionics of the Super Hornet, giving it an AESA radar and other nice new features.

If Canada can’t afford the F-35 and couldn’t afford the F-15 back when they bought their CF-18s, they aren’t going to be able to afford the modern F-15 variants Boeing is offering either.

F35s fleet is so powerful that it can stealthly shoot down the nation that owns it. Canada has made the right choice.

This is what happens when the DOD builds a monopoly. Having Lockheed win prime contractor for both the F-22 and the F-35 was obviously too much for them to handle, and now both projects have led to horrible results. We have less than half of the F-22’s we really need, and we can’t afford the F-35’s less than stellar performance.

Boeing is going to have the last laugh here… and I hope to god Lockheed does not get another fast-jet contract (manned or unmanned) for a long time, at least until new management happens. Sure you can’t blame them for everything as the Pentagon is also responsible for wanting too much too soon, but the fact that Lockheed lies to its partner nations shows how unstable and fearful they are.

The GAO already does an outstanding job of this.

The Australians already made the decision to upgrade them to the Growler. The conversion will be started in 2018. Also, all the money they spent upgrading those 12 F/A-18Fs to EA-18Gs is all money that would have been spent buying F-35s: http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​2​/​0​8​/​2​4​/​a​u​s​t​r​a​l​i​a​-​b​uys–

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is good enough to a point where a pilot that is well skilled and trained right can kill anything made in Europe, Russia, or China. There has even been an instance where an EA-18G got a gun kill on an F-22. The fact is that the pilot matters more than the warplane, but the Super Hornet is good enough and it does everything in the tactical spectrum.

Now if only we could get the courage to do the same…

gun kills during taxi and in the runway do not count!!

Here is the gun camera picture. This is clearly a killing shot. The black box you see at the upper left hand of the picture means that the trigger is pulled down:

Link: http://​www​.​f​-16​.net/​f​-​1​6​_​f​o​r​u​m​_​v​i​e​w​t​o​p​i​c​-​t​-​5​4​3​0.h

This is what happens when you try to make a plane do so much on one shared platform, with so many previously-uninvented goodies stashed inside — its complexity and costs have skyrocketed.

Take a look at the comments section for that forum. That’s a still frame from an engagement we know little about and no video to go with it. For all we know the fight started at close range with the F-22 in a bad position just to see what would happen.

True, but the fact that I’m trying to make is that the F-22 is not invincible and I’m also questioning why the Air Force hasn’t released any details on this engagement anyway. It’s the same thing with an F-5 Tiger that got a gun kill on an F-22 months after this. If the Air Force wanted to save face, as they have always done when discussing anything related to the F-22, then I would assume that they would be quick to release details explaining that this F-22 started from a disadvantage. All I’m saying is that the F-22 is not invincible against 4.5 gen fighters. During the recent Red Flag, EF-2000s also got kills on F-22s once they got into close range.

Lockheed makes 10% profit off of every single day that program drags on. They make less profit for a while if they actually build the airplanes, because setting up a production line is difficult and expensive and things go wrong at a very high rate in initial production, but at least we get a few weapons for our billions of dollars spent on development. Otherwise we just take it up the ass one more time on a weapons program that produces nothing, while Lockheed laughs all the way to the bank.

We tried that once before with the f-4 Phantom

Lockheed could just slim down to Skunk Works and just crank out vaporware all day long…bwahaha!

The Canucks already operate the legacy F-18. I would think the SH would be a better option for them.

Academic. The Growler doesn’t have a gun :-)

I know that, but the point is that it is still a Super Hornet air frame.

I know what you meant. Just kidding.

I wonder if deleting CTOL-specific features (wing-fold mechanism, carrier-grade tailhook & landing gear, structural reinforcements, avionics, etc.) would produce weight savings which, when coupled with longer, non-afterburner takeoffs, might solve the Candians’ range problem. Especially if the “standard” loadout included 3 drop tanks?

*slaps forehead* Sometimes I’m too serious. I need to loosen up.

I think that was a derivative of the legacy Hornet. One of the original LWF competitors as I recall. Be interesting to see how a de-navalized SH would stack up against other gen 4.5 planes.

Haha, no worries. The money we’re wasting on the F-35 IS serious.

It was a T-38, which also lacks a gun. But we don’t know in what scenario that T-38 got that “kill” anyway. Was it after the mock dogfight was officially over? Was it a pilot who took a simulated shot on a passing F-22 for the hell of it? These are fighter pilots after all. Killing a F-22 in a trainer would be something to brag about, even if you didn’t due it under proper rules.

Supposedly that EA-18G got a “kill” against a F-22 with a simulated short range AIM-120 launch. Even at close range that’s rather unusual. But strange things happen.

Many 4th generation designs like the F-16 and F/A-18 are still very maneuverable, even by today’s standards. The newer engines and TVC of the F-22 gives it a performance edge, but in a dogfight that is no guarantee of survival. A pilot without too much experience can also “over-use” TVC to put himself in a bad (low-energy) position. We noted this during one of the Red Flag exercises with IAF Su-30MKI fighters. The same is probably true of pilots new to the F-22.

The truth is that even the best of fighters are not invincible to “inferior” designs in a dogfight. This was the entire reason for the F-16 in its original form. The F-15 had outstanding performance, but if it gets in a dogfight, which would have been pretty likely when dealing with large numbers of Soviet MiG-21s and MiG-23s, there is too much of a chance for losses that the smaller F-15 fleet couldn’t afford. Hence the “cheap-as-dirt” F-16A which would supplement the F-15 and provide numbers.

Over time the F-16 evolved into a more sophisticated multi-role fighter, representing the changing threat as well as new developments like AMRAAM for BVR combat.

An F/A-18E would indeed have a respectable chance against an F-22A at close-range once you factor in JHMCS and the current generation of short-range missiles like AIM-9X. But the F/A-18E has to get close the distance first.

I like what the Super Hornet has become, but at the same time I think Navy also needs a fighter with stealth, as well as the better flight qualities of designs like the F-15, F-22, Su-35, and EF-2000. Meaning great high-altitude and high-speed performance, (good for BVR combat and interception) as well as Mach 2+ capability for those rare occasions that sort of thing is used. The F-35C lacks that performance, but it does provide an excellent stealthy strike aircraft which will be useful in coordination with the Navy’s non-VLO aircraft. If the F-35C were to be cancelled, I’m not very optimistic the USN would be granted the funding for a replacement program that could be ready by a date they need it.

If I remember correctly, YF-16 and YF-17 competed for LWF. YF-16 won and became the Fighting Falcon.

YF-16=General Dynamics

The Navy was looking for its own LWF, and refused the F-16 because it was single (hey hey, and now its okay!) and picked the YF-17. YF-17 design evolved to the YF-18, which becomes the Hornet we know and love.

Northrop realizes they have no naval aviation experience (which is why they buy Grumman years later), and shops for partner. Grumman still has the –14, so says no. Go with McDonnell-Douglas (which is the mfr for the F-4 Phantom).

Both mfrs split builds, but MD becomes point for naval Hornet (intended for domestic), and Northrop becomes point for what becomes the F-18L (intended for export). Selling points are ~70% commonality by part with F-18 and ~90% by avionics bits.

Then Northrop sues McD, perceiving that the naval F-18 might get sold export, and violate their agreement.

Wow, quite the soap opera. Where does the two-headed alien love child come into the picture?

Who are they kidding? They’re going to buy it.

The only thing to do is to send the top 100 people in the pentagon to Alaska where they can stack blankets on a shelf or better yet give them early retirement. The people who run Lockheed Martin should be brought up on on criminal charges of fraud for telling the American people they know how to build fighter jets. We are falling behind every other developed country in quality and quantity in the defense area. The F-35 is just one more thing that is putting nails in our defense coffin. This is no longer a sad joke but a serious catastrophe for the defense of this country. I am sure the communist chinese are laughing their heads off at us, and why shouldn’t they.

In what manner is it “wasting”? You can criticize how the program has been managed thus far, or question how ideal it is for USAF and USN requirements, but in the end we still need some sort of new multi-role fighter, and in large numbers. The F-35 is the only thing far along in development that provides a major leap in capability. By ending F-22 production and having no other new fighters in the works, we’ve backed ourselves into a corner where continuing with the program is the only realistic option. Also, the F-22 isn’t a very effective strike aircraft. For the most part it is a pure-bred air-superiority fighter like the original F-15.

Like it or not, the F-35 is quite far along in development and the first steps towards introducing it into operational service have already been made. Sunk costs do count for something in this day and age.

Our options are to go full scale production now and debug later (a la Osprey) or to sit around tinkering until the cows come home and then do full scale production. The longer a program sits in development hell, the easier it becomes to just walk away.

That said, Lockmart *should* have just pushed F-35’s with present-day avionics and then packaged the rest as Block 1 or Block 2. Stealth should be able to stand on its own as an advantage, and not just combined with an enviable electronics package.

Remember, we’re looking at the early 2020s here for Canada to replace its CF-18s. Does it make sense to buy what will be a two decade old design (Super Hornet) or worse, a jet where it’s own air force is replacing it in 2035 with F-35 (Typhoon)??

Acquisition and sustainment cost won’t be THAT different between the contenders (unless you’re talking Gripen — no thanks) so why wouldn’t you buy an aircraft at the height of technology if you expect to use it past the mid-point of the century? No denying the F-35 program is a shambles though. That’s why it doesn’t hurt Canada to sit back a bit and wait for the dust to settle…

In fact the F-35 carries only as many strike munitions internally as the F-22, and with less stealth capability to boot. As for “major leaps in capability”, I am aware of none that Boeing isn’t also offering on the SH Int’l Roadmap or that couldn’t be fitted to the Silent Eagle or other gen 4.5 strike fighter (except perhaps for prohibitive unit and life-cycle costs). And who says the F-22 wouldn’t be effective as a strike aircraft simply because it was designed for air superiority? What about the F-15E? Or the F-4 for that matter?

JSF looks good because it’s high tech and low observable. However, the combination of the two is unaffordable. The three outcomes are stay the course, spiral electronics to legacy aircraft and to field the JSF with tech that can be fielded today; then put it back in when it’s mature. Option 3 will be difficult because systems integration isn’t cheap or a free lunch…

If you think about it, we’re going to dump dumbed-down export grade models on our allies anyways, so why not just field those models first, then put the good stuff back in later? The export customers are probably more important than the United States, since without ‘em we’ll never make enough to keep costs down.

In such a case, JSF-A becomes a priority (maybe Boeing should’ve used the opportunity to field their X-32 in an A configuration?)

Water under the bridge.

Canada needs a mature solution, but obviously not too mature because it’ll go out of date. If Canada waits too long, they will still be sitting in their Hornets today and tomorrow. And war is about what you go in with, not what you wish you had.

Canada wants the bleeding to stop. They want their A’s and to stop paying out the nose. Maybe they can be placated with alpha– or beta-test JSF’s?

I would imagine that the price per aircraft for allies is predicated on prior, significant U.S. volume purchases. Absent U.S. big buys already in the bag, I doubt that the previously discussed pricing for our allies will still stand. At least not without additional U.S. underwriting…

F-35 numbers:
US: ~2,000
UK: 48+ (down from ~140)
Italy: 90 (from 131)
Netherlands: Initially 85, but 1:1 with F-16 would be 68.
Australia: 72?
Canada: ? (down from 65 JSF to replace 80 Hornets. )
Denmark: ?
Norway: ?
Turkey: ? (dispute due to source code argument, down from 100)
Israel: Intends to buy 100
Singapore: Intends to buy 100.

Wow, why do we even bother with the export market? Even the rosiest estimates would put the export market share at fractional compared to domestic consumption.

I don’t know how you come up with this math, but if the program goes under they lose big time. They do far better actually selling 3,000 aircraft and getting contracts to upgrade them for decades to come.

The business of setting up the production line is part of LRIP, so what is your point about that?

The F-35A and F-35C can carry larger munitions internally such as the 2000lb JDAM and JSOW. The F-22 is limited to the 1000lb JDAM and 250lb SBD. It doesn’t have anything like EOTS either which greatly aids in targeting stuff on the ground.

Neither of Boeing’s two offerings are comparable in terms of stealth to the F-35 or F-22. The conformal weapons bay option for the F-15SE doesn’t carry all that much and it reduces the aircraft’s fuel load. The proposed new avionics which compare to those of the F-35 aren’t funded or being worked on at the moment. Boeing’s upgraded F-15 and F/A-18 proposals are a short-term solution, not a long-term one.

The F-4 Phantom II was originally designed as an attack aircraft. The F-15E was indeed developed from a fighter which was built with no such capability in mind. However it carries all of its ordinance externally. The F-22 can’t carry a very large air-to-ground payload internally and doing so externally would defeat its greatest benefits. Upgrades can’t change that aspect of the design. When you start talking about proposals like the FB-22, for the most part you’re talking about an entirely new aircraft.

In the strike role the F-15E complements the shorter-ranged F-16s. But due to costs there are only 230 of them as opposed to 2,000+ F-16s. The more immediate priority is something that can replace the latter. Those F-15Es still have a lot of life left in them.

$46 billion in cancelled programs that failed to produce a single weapon say that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about (http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​1​/​0​7​/​1​9​/​4​6​-​b​i​l​l​i​o​n​-​w​o​r​t​h​-​o​f​-​c​a​n​c​e​l​l​e​d​-​p​r​o​g​r​a​ms/), and if you add C-130 AMP to the list that makes an even $50 billion. If you add to the list programs like B-2 (20 aircraft) and F-22 (170 aircraft) are you starting to see a pattern emerge or are you one of the great unwashed masses of American taxpayers the defense contractors love that are too stupid to be allowed to keep your own money?

The F-4 was definitely NOT designed as an attack aircraft. It was designed for fleet air defense.

So, the F-35’s marginally larger internal payload (in terms of pounds, not number of munitions, in which case it is LESS capable than either the F-22 or F-15SE); and marginally superior stealth as compared to the gen 4.5 alternatives; and technologies which, while certainly impressive, can be integrated into gen 4.5 alternatives (as the SH has proven); all justify the costs? I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Either of those “short-term solutions” would be improvements on anything flying today save the F-22, and we could actually afford them.

I think the size and expected capability (A-B-C) make it completely impossible.

If the f-35 was bigger like torquewrench mentionned in another discussion, along with a more classical incremental approach and designed to share avionics and electronics excluding airframe, then I am sure the f-35 would be flying, and very well by now.

They let the B-model jeopardize any possible weight and configuration margin on the airframe, and the helmet on the electronics side. Like I said, there are a lot of good idea in the f-35 but they are not properly implemented. They let scale economy dictate everything, even when that mean 30,000+$/hours. At the end of the day, good idea are all paying for the fundamentally flawed design.

And I have no doubt that the ‘f-35 will became stealthier with time as air friction make surface smoother’ will be both microscopic and short-lived before it became ‘corrosion amplified by air friction have diminished its stealth capability’.

Again, the typhoon is a good example of incremental approach (Initial cost surge have more to see with lack of consensus). Another one is how drones are being developed and implemented.

The real question is how important is it to have the most recent airframe for our mission? For an air force that until recently used nothing but dummy bomb I am seriously questioning the benefits for our army, for the life of our soldiers, our allied and our mission of a more expensive airframe.

What we need is modern avionics, more data integration, more capable data analysis. Air frame is second in the equation. Stealth MAY provide benefits, but it’s not free of cost, nor it is maintenance free.

Here is an article describing a much deeper need that WILL save soldier life. A better data collection/analysis infrastructure including the use of drones shall be a priority.

I would rather go at war with a well equipped M16 with grenade launcher rather than with a all-new all-nude assault weapon –with a better caliber– for which iron sight are still being developed.

> Even the rosiest estimates would put the export market share at fractional compared to domestic consumption.

Factually, the f-35 development have not been designed for any other country’s need beside UK. Yet, others nations have invested (according to the mou update 4) 23.1% of the development cost or 18.7% excluding UK. But it’s more than that because I’ve seen mention that canada has to invest more than 700M$ while the MOU update 4 state a maximum of 551M$, so there are other cost elsewhere.

They cared about export because they serve as a cash cow, but the cost went too big anyway. Also because more f-35 sales mean less market for the competition.

Not all of those programs are Lockheed, there are always cancellation fees involved when one of these programs gets cancelled, plus the sunk cost already invested. How can you place all of the blame on the industry when it is the DoD that begins these programs, gives the requirements, and either them or Congress that later cancels the program?

I believe the F-4 started life as an “attack fighter”, but then the Navy came in asking for a fleet air defense fighter. The design still retained those characteristics of a fighter-bomber however and the Marines and later Navy were soon using it to haul bombs.

The F-22 can carry more air-to-air missiles internally, but not air-to-ground weapons. The conformal weapons bays on the F-15SE can’t match the capacity of either. Marginally superior stealth? The stealth of either the F-22 or F-35 is far superior to any of these 4.5 generation options. You simply cannot retrofit VLO stealth or larger internal weapons bays into an existing design.

Many similar avionics have been proposed for the Super Hornet, but they are just that, proposals not yet funded. Unless Boeing and their subcontractors handle that area a whole lot better, chances are that they’ll run into their own problems when trying to develop things like a next-gen HMDS.

Plus there are whatever new radar, detection, and countermeasure capabilities introduced by the AN/APG-81 and AN/ASQ-239. A classified area, but one that Northrop Grumman and Lockheed have placed a lot of focus on.

I’m certainly not against upgrading some of our F/A-18s and F-15s with new engines, avionics, etc. Yet these are still short-term fixes.

Okay, hold on right there. You have no idea what you’re talking about unless you can prove otherwise. The F-4 was a fleet air defense fighter from the beginning and it won a competition against a vastly superior fighter that was a dramatic upgrade othe F-8 Crusader. The Vought XF8U-3 “Crusader III” was much faster (Mach 2.39), much more maneuverable, and outfitted with guns and few air-to-air missiles. By most accounts the Crusader III could fly circles around the Phantom. The F-4 was chosen regardless because it had a larger payload, it could be used for a secondary attack role, and it relied on missiles at time when guns were considered obsolete. Boy, did that last perception prove to be wrong.

Again, Boeing isn’t trying to make a new HMDS. They are remaining with the JHMCS and using all the data fusion technology to make a new glass ****pit display that is larger than the F-35’s and relays all the information to the pilot through a three-dimensional computer generated map, which is much more simple than Lockheeds attempt at the F-35s helmet and gives the pilot nearly the same informational awareness at a much smaller cost. None of the upgrades Boeing is proposing for the Super Hornet are anywhere near the level of complexity as that of the technology on the F-35, but provide nearly the same performance because they are using more simple approaches to solve the same problem. This is why the Navy should cancel the F-35C and buy upgraded Super Hornets and upgraded anti-radar missiles for the long run. We can develop a 6th gen fighter or something based off the X-47B while the upgraded Super Hornets satisfy our long term fighter gap requirement.

Which is scary since at most export customers were going to be between 15–20% of the platforms. And the cost is still growing. And as the US scales back its bid (it’s coming!) the export customers are going to be larger and larger stakeholders when it comes to platforms.

“export customers were going to be between 15–20% of the platforms”


The entire F-35 program’s cost basis was predicated upon extremely large numbers of airframes being bought, by not only three U.S. services, but also by a dozen different allies. This would bring the cost curve down unprecedentedly, claimed the program’s public relations staff.

Now various allies are bailing out completely on the F-35 (Greece, Canada) or cutting back significantly (Netherlands, Italy, Belgium). While the U.S. services themselves are realizing they simply will not be able to afford to buy the F-35 in the numbers they had expected. The USAF in particular may end up with only half as many jets as their long term road map called for.

What this does is to break the highly touted volume purchasing model. The fewer purchases there are, the less pressure there is on the manufacturing cost curve, so the unit cost goes higher, which means fewer purchases still.

There’s an old joke about an inept businessman who loses money on every sale, but who is hoping to make it up in volume.

The analogy in defense procurement is the inept program manager whose program relies on economies of scale to make its cost target, while not actually being able to scale.

I’ll have to dig around for where I read that about the F-4 Phantom II, but regardless McDonnell Douglas envisioned it as far more than a pure fleet air defense fighter even if the Navy did not at first. The Marines primarily used it as an attack aircraft, and somehow managed to operate that rather large and complex fighter from some downright horrendous airstrips in Vietnam.

By comparison, the saying with the original F-15 was “not a pound for air-to-ground”. The F-15E didn’t emerge until quite some time later, when the USAF was looking for a replacement for the F-111.

The two-seat configuration of the F-4 was also a benefit when it came to radar operation and later the deployment of some of the first precision guided munitions introduced into service. I’m sure the Crusader III would have been a great fighter, and better suited for the reality of air-to-air combat over Vietnam. Yet you can’t exactly argue with the decades of service in many different different roles the Phantom II gave us.

I’m not blaming the industry or the DoD. They are all making money on this crap. I’m blaming you. You’re the one who’s losing. Why they hell are you making excuses for these asses when you should be demanding their heads on a platter?

Hell, we’ll be lucky if we get one squadron of F-35’s. Lockheed is already lobbying to kill that program. You people just don’t get it, do you? Well, actually, you’re getting it. Apparently you’re already so used to getting it, you don’t even know it’s happening.

And what country do you live in? I just happen to understand that screaming “KILL IT” doesn’t fix anything. It simply postpones the problem of getting new fighters.


That’s it, the f-35 is not flying and yet there is already a new way to detect them. It’s a matter of time and nothing more before such technology became more mainstream and accessible to anybody with a decent research and development infrastructure; and never underestimate the capability of the enemy to take some shortcut and steal it from you.

Are we going to meet the worst-case scenario with the f-35?

The other concern is that you can tell if an image is spoofed, but if you bring down S/N enough you won’t know which image is real and which isn’t.

That said, the next question is when its commercialized, what’s the range? It uses a HeNe large-wavelength laser which is always promising, suggesting superior range to IRST but less than radar.

The more programs that industry fails to deliver on time, the more likely a body politic will bail at the first sign of trouble.

Congress is no stranger to expensive programs: We trust Newport News and Elco with expensive CVN’s and SSBN programs, and have regained trust in the ability to deliver SSN’s on budget (but had to recycle bought-and-paid-for technology developed during Seawolf).

I wish we could return to the Cold War model of encouraging more X-type aircraft instead of bundling all our innovative electronics packages into production aircraft, but you know how people are about R&D…

Considering Elbit has a HMD system, I’m surprised we just didn’t license theirs.

Let’s reinvent the wheel…again, and again, and again…

Just be glad Elbit is not a patent troll like Apple?

Your alternative is to get on the F-16 Block 50/Block 60 program that is funneling aircraft to the Middle East. I think the –15 program might still be open and delivering jets to Israel…?

>The other concern is that you can tell if an image is spoofed, but if you bring down S/N enough you won’t know which image is real and which isn’t.

–Can a fifth-generation absorb, destroy or deviate (or else) photon without any upgrades? Can it do it better than a fourth generation if that’s a matter of an avionics upgrades?
–Even if the return signal is too low, by design the system could still make the difference between altered and unaltered photons. I don’t know much about radar either but it should basically mean lower resolution, until the point where the measuring instrument cannot determine that it got a return signal.
–The most likely effective solution would be to saturate the measuring instruments to the point where part of the system cannot process, analyze, or receive the desired photons. Can it be done? Can counter-measure overcome this? I guess both will be true

In overall, jamming those system will require new techniques that will need to be developed and more importantly it create a new environment where the f-35 have potentially not designed to operate and for which its higher cost fifth generation platform provide little or no help at all. I don’t expect stealth to became obsolete any time soon, but its polyvalence is clearly compromised.

At the end of the day, this model rely on a physics problem that can’t be solved yet, just like rsa algorithm rely on our incapability to easily factorize very large number. But is it?

I assume that since the photon are transmitted from a laser that they wont behave the same as those from traditional radar.

That system could also have complexity of its own, where quantum proprieties are helpless or more vulnerable, perhaps in distributed radar system?

It’s a different sort of HMD system. The problems with the F-35’s HMD are not with the more common features. It’s with displaying the imagery from the EODAS sensors without any latency.

I don’t believe this is the unsolvable problem some would say it is. In a worst case scenario the information could be displayed on the cockpit displays, like BlackOwl pointed out is now being proposed for upgraded Super Hornets. I believe a similar concept was first discussed back during the ATF program.

How necessary is the HMD/EODAS et al to maintaining JSF’s technical superiority; to the point of delaying rollout for its customers?

It won’t be long before active countermeasures in the form of a gimbaled laser are used to blind CCD sensors, knocking out stuff like IRST and this quantum detector system.

Canada is flying the F-18 Hornet can buy more F-18 fighter jets instead of the F-35; but if their F-18 goes up against China’s J-21/J-31 or Russia’s T-50 stealth fighters in any future conflict, Canadian pilots can feel comfortable knowing what clay pigeons feel like as well as saving their country a boat load of money in not buying F-35s.

The Cold War model was not building a few aircraft. They built lots of airplanes with new models coming out sometimes 2 and 3 a year. They never built 20 of anything. That’s a recent phenomenon. When a company makes a profit off of development, why would they ever want to build an airplane? Real airplanes are messy. Sometimes they don’t work. Paper airplanes are great. They always work. Holes never end up in the wrong place. It’s a wonderful world. It won’t keep you safe from anything, but other than that, they are simply the best.

Another customer backs out of this problem project…, and I like Lockheed! Seems some engineers had too big a dream with not enough technology to make it real.…

Oh, the Osprey comment doesn’t equate — Lockheed would never have given that project a ‘go’.

I fear we are building general’s toys for non existant enemies. We need to put more money into our soldiers, sailors, Marines, air crews and Coasties’ education and training. Maybe even throw a few more bucks towards VA Hospitals. 106 million for one aircraft? Egads, think what that could do for the Army training commands.

The nation needs a military that is a magnet for young men and women looking for an education. Off subject, but we also need a draft or 2 year compulsary service for men and women at age 18.


Early or late Cold War? ‘50s and ‘60s were a time of frequent change, which peaked during the ‘80s in the teen series.

Well… from what I understood the CAF quoted the cost of the program over 20 yrs ( this is pretty standard)…
however, they were asked to re-asses because public works wanted the contract quoted over the 32 yr life cycle.. This raised the cost of the aircraft by 6 billion. The auditor also claimed that they did not have enough info data for the sustainment $$$. however, sustainment dollars (maintenance) would be transferred from the f18 fleet to the f35 .
Don’t forget you have to provision for Spares and enough bombs and missiles to sustain operations for 54 days.

The stealth feature is a wash for Canada, but to support the NATO commitment, it’s a necessity due to the capabilities of the new generation surface to air (SAM) solutions SA300/SA400 which are starting to spring up over Europe. a Typhoon/Eurofighter would never survive in an “active denial” environment.

Eventually when the LRIP (low rate initial production) run by lot 10 the aircraft will be below 100 Mill and this prices are on the ramp ready to go..


F-22 is prohibited from export by law. Its not an option.

Law can be changed when needed. A bigger problem is that it got the robustness of a formula 1; I don’t know if it was a software issue or the wind or a structural problem but a f-22 damaged his tail during Pearl Harbor ceremony.

As beautiful as the f-22 is I think there were others reasons for reducing its fleet and shutting down production than saving money for the f-35.

The f-35 is not an air-superiority fighter jet either. After a couple of years after its in active duty, competition will match its all new electronics and outperform it in some area, until the next upgrade. There will no such f-35 that keep its leading edge on everything all the time; it will come and go with the seasons.

It won’t be that easy. You will likely need to detect their position, before it detect you. And IRST is a passive sensor, good luck with that.

Ok gimbaled laser will cover more area than a plain laser but it remain quite unidirectional; even though I don’t know much about signal jamming, you will need a very powerful laser to outmatch a land-based one, considering that your gimbaled laser by definition spread its energy on a large surface, most likely to be many times bigger that the emitting laser.

That won’t be impossible, but unless there is a loophole in the implementation that going to be a very complex task compared to common radar. Especially if they are designed to be very mobile.

It’s called re-constituting. Not re-doing

> from what I understood the CAF quoted the cost of the program over 20 yrs ( this is pretty standard)…

If that was the only problem then there would not be so much noise. Even critics acknowledge that beyond 20years it get imprecise. I’ll try to summarize the other problems.

1.The DND did not make its homework as they have NEVER required any classified information about any other fighter jet, how can you pretend that you got the best fighter jet for the best price? Did they got their information about other jet from f​-16​.com? Wikipedia? Lockheed?

2.They produced tons of hollow claims. One of them is that the f-35 will cost the same to operate as the current hornet. 65 f-35 compared to how many cf-18? 80? 105? 120? That mean nothing without any precision.

3.They produced the list of requirement after choosing the f-35. One of this ‘must’ criteria have been clearly dismissed by the new general Tomas J. Lawson. Stealth is a quality and therefore it cannot be required that it must be stealth. 4th generation aircraft also offer some level of stealth capability. That’s not the exact word used but it’s close.

4.They claimed that the f-35 would cost only 16B$ to operate for 20 years but they did not include common operating cost such like fuel and manpower. That’s also quite misleading. That’s like saying that your car only cost you X$/year to operate but you doesn’t include the license plate and insurance cost. That IS part of the cost.

5.Even though the kpmg report is based on the same information that those from which the DND had made its cost estimate, it conclude that it should have more money to cover the risk of that program. Right now they conclude there is enough money to cover the cost of only 55 fighter jet.

6,There are a lot of Canadian whom does not support military at all and would only give pea-shooter along with styrofoam fighter jet to our army. That not a reason for not providing rigorous and precise information about their major purchase to the public, to the parliament. Their attitude is close to anti-constitutionalism.
Sometimes I suspect that some military have not grown well with that and now are ready to use any trick to get what they want.

In overall, what irritate me is not the fact that Canada was publicly commited to purchase f-35 but the way it did it and the way it talk about it. Any official pro-f35 speech never give relevant information and only provide evasive information.

I am fully aware that some of their decision are based on classified information, but that something easy to say. I don’t care about which brand of coffee-maker the jtf2 have purchased, how much it paid and why. I feel very concerned when it’s about billions of dollars, our biggest acquisition contract ever without any trace of professionalism. No thorough research, which homework have been done? And all the information that the media report does not look good.

They reported how open and professional the open contest for the cf-18 had been; we are at the antipodes right now.

After having detected that a laser is being used, they decided to power-up a back-up unit just when your fleet is passing over their head.

You mad?

canada needs something like the f22

That story holds true even against radar. The standard case study is the Serbian air defense net and how they brought down a F-117 complacently sent down the same route over and over and over and over again…

DND struggle so much to old its 9B$ purchase that it reduced the number of simulators and munitions, spend less hangar and … aerial refueling will rely either on allied or on subcontract.

And after that they claim that the f-35 will cost the same to operate. :/
(We got two politician with a similar name. McKay-Opposition– and Mackay-Minister of defence-)

What I understood was that brute-forcing air defence with stealth –without adequate preparation– is a very bad idea. I did not read more than what the new had to offer. Wasn’t that was attributed to lower-frequency radar as their air-defence system was very old?

Yes it’s a cat and mouse game. My point is that it will create scenario more complex than before. Lets not forget that we are talking of a worst case scenario. We might end up in a world where tier-world countries can be defeated just like today and other where fifth-gen fighter jet won’t be the solution to justify a one-size-fit-all f35.

The idea is to use a combination of many different capabilities to defeat any large modern air defense network. VLO stealth working with stand-off jamming and electronic warfare support, advanced decoys, and anti-radiation missiles should prove very potent.

One of the challenges over Serbia was that those air defense units that survived the initial strikes became very good at hiding their SAMs and setting up spare antennas to be absorb HARMs. Newer sensors should make this much more difficult.

If the F-35 is too expensive for them, how are they going to afford that, or something like the F-15SE?

At least the crazy idea that they should resurrect and produce the 1950s Avro Arrow hasn’t been seriously proposed here.

Canada has hardly made any final discision with regards to any F-35 purchase. As a matter of fact she is likely just trying to get a better deal with more work share. Also, while some partners in the short term may order fewer F-35’s than originally planned. That doesn’t mean they won’t order more don’t the road. Especially, considering the F-35 will likely be produced over the next 2–3 decades. Really, the only thing slowing massive orders for the F-35 is the Global World Economy! Which, has nothing to do with the capabilities of said aircraft.

Your exactly right.….…..Which, is why in the end Canada will stay with the F-35 Program. If, it has to it can order fewer F-35’s in the short term. Then purchase more as funds become available.

The RCAF needs the F-35 which fits perfectly for it’s needs.

That is wild speculation hardly support by fact.….…

Well thank god they made the right decision in each of those instances. The MGS. Seriously? You just invoked the useless MGS in an attempt to make your point seem valid? And time critical decisions involving the C-17 where we couldn’t take 3 or 4 years to make a decision and needed hardware, yesterday, for troops who were already in Kandahar? Epic fail = your entire point of view.

Which part?

GOOD for them…that plane is a PIG.…upgraded F15’s and 16’s better and cheaper way to do business…PolicyWonk is on target!!!

Please, you Armchair Generals have no idea what your talking about. Hell, let Canada purchase upgraded F-15’s, F-16’s, or F/A-18’s. Only to be blown out of the sky by 5th Generation PAK-FA’s, J-20’s, and J-31’s to name a few.

Rather be in a F-18 then the F-35 which has all the manueverability of a target drone.

Canada has a much better chance with 100 f-18s rather than 30 F-35s. Particularily since the F-18 has better performance.

The idea that western airforces around the world will be decimated by 60% because they buy they F-35 and can only afford 1/3 as many aircraft is a joke.

No one is going to go ahead with this madness. Much as Lockheed would like the whole world to commit suicide to its finacial gain its not going to happen.

The F-35 is already dead, it is simply financially unviable by a huge margin. Lockheed knows thwe F-35 is a death martch which is why it is stringing out development for as long as possible just hoping to die later rather then sooner.

Except it doesn’t have better performance. The F-35 handles much like the F/A-18, but with better acceleration.

“The F-35 handles much like the F/A-18, but with better acceleration.”

The F-35 is already failing to meet spec for transonic acceleration. So saith the _Marine Corps Times_.

However, all of this debate over whether it makes more sense to buy F-35s or upgraded teen series jets must be considered in light of the following four propositions:

(a) Truly sophisticated IADS with networked sensor fusion and broadband radar did not exist when any of these airplanes were first designed.

(b) Such high capability IADS are proliferating widely and rapidly, and any jet bought today is certain to face such systems in combat.

© The survivability of teen series jets against such advanced IADS is essentially null; their signature management and kinematics are not good enough to enter the IADS envelope and escape alive. Upgrades can’t solve this problem.

(d) The survivability of F-35s against such advanced IADS is, while slightly better than that of teen series jets, still too low to bother with, especially given the F-35’s enormous unit cost. Again this is because of unsolvable shortfalls in signature management and kinematics.

So essentially what the teen-versus-F35 debate comes down to is an endless rehashing of which of two different obsolescent alternatives deserves funding.

A debate leavened by a considerable amount of technically illiterate fanboi enthusiasm on the one hand, and by dishonest paid propagandizing from industry interests on the other. Little wonder that the resulting ratio of light to heat is as low as it is.

You cannot upgrade a F/A-18C&D to super F-18E/F ! They are two different Birds ‚that would be like upgrading an F-35 to a larger F-22.

What makes you think they have to buy American? Anti-American sentiment in Canada hasn’t been this high since the War of 1812. The Oppisition party is planning on taking Lock-Mart and the US Government to the world court to reimburse every penny they have spent on F-35 for the US’ inability to hold up their end of the contract.
Dassault and Saab are both offering packages similar to Dassault Rafale package in India. The first 8–10 aircraft will come from Europe and the rest will be built in Canada, thus re-invigorating the Canadian Aircraft industry, they would be fools to pass that up.

I just came back from Windsor,Ontario and you need to know that the Taliban is much more popular on the Canadian street than Americans at this time. The opposition parties are making it a priority to buy NON-American.
For what they do with NATO/NORAD and the great ranges of the Artic, maybe they will be the Jump start customer for the SU-34 Fullback. Twin engine, great range, large ordance load for Air Support(after the USAF has established Air Supremecy).

Maybe Rafale and Typhoon with Meteor would fit their needs better?

That report was specific to the F-35C, and as far as I know the acceleration requirements for all three aircraft were the same. The target goal for acceleration is between the performance of a clean F-16 and clean F/A-18. The F-35 is supposed to meet this with a full internal weapons load.

Considering the F-35C has larger wing and tail surfaces, physics are going to take their toll and it isn’t going to match the A or B variants here.

(a) Those threats did exist or were in development when the F-35 was being designed. The concept emerged earlier but that doesn’t mean the design is outdated.

(b) Which is exactly why you use a combination of VLO stealth, ECM and EW support, decoys, anti-radiation missiles, and other assets.

© Agreed unless you have some very good ECM support and a large number of the latest stand-off weapons. Our current jammers (not the aircraft carrying them but the electronics themselves) are due to be replaced and probably aren’t enough against the latest generation of SAMs on the market.

(d) What do you based that on? The aircraft is certainly features VLO stealth even if it doesn’t match the F-22 from all angles. Its electronic warfare suite is extremely advanced for a fighter. You keep bringing up kinematics but what are you looking for here? Very high altitude Mach 3 performance isn’t going to stop modern long-range SAMs and has all sorts of costs, both in price tag and other areas of performance. Sustained supersonic flight at low altitudes is great, but there are many short range air defense systems that aren’t relying on radar.

You seem to think that we already need to jump to a 6th generation fighter, which is something that can’t really be defined yet. But a new standard of stealth, greater performance than existing designs, directed energy weapons, and whatever else that involves isn’t going to be cheap and it is going to take time. Time during which our current aircraft aren’t getting any younger or more capable.

I am not quite sure that Taliban are more popular than American in Canada; despite the official position there is a far stronger anti-Israeli consensus across the street. But that doesn’t necessarily make Taliban popular.

Excluding politics, I would say that there are two things that the average Canadian doesn’t like of Americans: gun proliferation and vandalism (for those crossing the border with their cars); on the other hand crossing the border is quite popular, and it’s not only for shopping.

As for the guns control –even though my opinion is more in line with the NRA– the casual word is crazy, and the hideous massacre at Newton only make the consensus stronger. The average Canadian believe that banning the tac-50 mean a safer country…

I never said that they have to buy American, but there are huge econo-political pressure to buy from american company. And considering that we got many american company like P&W canada and Heroux-Devtek that add-up pressure.

But seriously, what would you expect for reaction when you sign for an MOU, have the American government “favorize” their industries –de facto the f-35– that show very limited economics benefits and once the official words became less strong towards the f-35, lockheed change his position to buy it or you won’t get any other contracts.

If that was depending on me, lockheed would get a 10years ban on any federal contracts. Or is it the fault of the MOU itself?
F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin is warning that Canadian companies will lose out if the federal government decides not to purchase the stealth fighter.

“Right now we will honour all existing contracts that we have,” Lockheed Martin vice-president Steve O’Bryan told Postmedia News on Thursday. “After that, all F-35 work will be directed into countries that are buying the airplane.“

And now public work canada, the entity now in charge of the fighter jet purchase found that someone had access to their system for days in May-June. And I wonder why I get the feeling that f-35 files might have been compromised.

Torquewrench, my friend… Penetrating a state of the art, high tech, well trained IADS is indeed a very daunting task, not just for the “teens” but for anything that flies and is larger than a sparrow (the feathered variety!). But then a bit less than 100 years ago we learned that infantry advancing behind “cold steel”, i.e. a bayonnette charge, did NOT work well against entrenched Maxim and Browning machine guns. Neither the utility of infantry, nor the usefulness of airpower, was lost with the advent of machine guns or highly capable IADS’s, but the tactics changed. Pretending that aircraft can be built that will penetrate ALL IADS and defeat ALL air defense tactics is akin to some of the plans to equip the sturdy French infantry of 1915 with cuirasses (bronze breastplates like the lancers wore!) to allow advance under fire. Today we equip our infantry with body armor far more effective than a brass cuirrass, and try to build aircraft with the lowest possible signature, but we do NOT expect our infantry to advance, line abreast, with fixed bayonettes to attack machine gun installations! As for our aircraft attacking an IADS by penetrating it, except behind a cloud of HARMS, JDAMS, LGBs, a haze of ECM, and other long range defense suppression measures… is no less shortsighted.

Agreed Michael, the political parties of Canada all accept substantial donations from Canadian branches of American Corps. The pressure to buy American is large. Lockheed Martin should be told to produce completed functional aircraft with no further funding, or key senior officials should be charged and prosecuted. The contract administrators from DOD should be in federal prison alreaddy.

I think Canada should purchase two different aircraft. One for routine use and one for statigic use. First purchase 48 CF-18 Super Hornets for the more routine tasks. purchase 36 CF-35 for stratigic defence. This would give you more planes and save some budget dollars. Maintanence and training for the change over of the Hornets would save some money and if the CF-35 purchase was delayed for a few years the price might settle down. If the price settles to something reasonable replace the CF-18 Super Hornets near the end of the production of the F-35s. Then going forward half your fleet would be new and half would be upgraded. It would be better to have a CF-18 Super Hornet to do most of the regular patrol flights and the CF-35 be in the back ground ready to take action when needed. Just like the navy, you can spot the ship but don’t know if there is a sub close by till its to late.

To me this seems like a better way to go…

For those who wonder what an analysis without proper documentation look like, ocanada posted an article about it. An high school student could better extrapolate about RCS signature than the DND.–
“The Swedish-built Saab Gripen required minimal maintenance and was considered “fairly stealthy” thanks to its small size, though there were concerns whether it could operate alongside U.S. fighter aircraft.

The Dassault Rafale was fast, manoeuvrable and had above-average range, but it also featured a clunky cockpit and the French company couldn’t say whether the jet’s two engines could operate in the cold Canadian north.

The Boeing Super Hornet was a solid, proven aircraft Canadian military pilots and mechanics would have little difficulty getting used to, but it was seen as a fall-back option at best.

And the British-led Eurofighter Typhoon was a powerful fighter with sophisticated sensors and excellent flight controls, but it still had developmental issues and purchasing it would require major changes at Canadian Air Force bases.

These were among the findings Defence Department officials made seven years ago as they reviewed possible replacements for Canada’s aging CF-18 fighter jets.
The Defence officials were not told how much each aircraft would cost; instead, they were forced to put come up with their own estimates based on outside information — though those figures are blacked out.”

And I wonder how they came to the conclusion that the f-35 cost no more than a (30 years old) cf-18.

“And the British-led Eurofighter Typhoon was a powerful fighter with sophisticated sensors and excellent flight controls, but it still had developmental issues and purchasing it would require major changes at Canadian Air Force bases. ”

Which means a gamble like with the JSF?

Just buy the Super Hornet. The US will continue to run Super Hornets. Boeing will welcome the opportunity to thumb noses at Lockheed. Something about the CEO smelling like elderberries and Kelly Johnson spinning in his grave!

Note: If the Navy has to cut Super Hornet air wings to “save” JSF, then Canada should be first in line to get them.

The most important fact to remember is that they never asked for any classified information about any other jet but the f-35.

When you call the grippen fairly stealthy because it’s smaller there is something very wrong out there. It have been proved that with specific angle a bigger object can appear as smaller on radar.

You don’t do this kind of supposition when it’s about national security, you do your homework and you must have reliable information from the constructor itself, not wikipedia or f​-16​.net. Even worse, the information lurking on the web say that all those recent 4gen platform have more or less the same frontal RCS signature. Anybody in charge of an analysis ought to know that RCS signature is more than just a xx m^2 value, and it’s classified.

Before anymore talk of an F-22 rebirth, I was reading a recent article that put the cost of one of these planes at over 400 million each once the R&D costs were factored in.

BTW an A380 costs less. (Around 300 million each)

So at 400+ million dollars lets see, Canada could afford maybe 10 f-22’s?

Great aircraft…for either the Smithsonian or some other aviation museum. Let’s kill this pig and share the pork with other more deserving programs.

F-15 well but do not landing on the ship. You can’t rest on the ship. You can rest when you are allowed only by country that you go.

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | , and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.