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The F-35

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From Flightglobal;The US military has decided to arm unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) already flying two constant surveillance patrols over Libya. President Barack Obama on 20 April authorized the US Air Force to weaponise two combat air patrols of “Predator” UAVs, says Gen James Cartwright, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. It was not immediately clear if Cartwright was referring to the MQ-1 Predator or the MQ-9 Reaper – both manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI). “What they will bring that is unique to the -- to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on particularly targets now that have started to dig themselves in into defensive positions,” Cartwright says. “They're uniquely suited for areas -- urban areas where you can get collateral damage. And so we're trying to manage that collateral damage obviously, but that's the best platform to do that with,” he says. But the USAF was forced to abort the first mission by armed UAVs on 21 April due to bad weather, Cartwright says. Until now, the USAF has not publicized the deployment of two Predator combat air patrols over Libya for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The only UAV acknowledged by the USAF to have participated in the Libyan conflict was the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, flying missions out of Sigonella Air Base, Italy. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters that the Predators involved in the Libya operations are not based physically in Afghanistan, but he did not explain where the Predator flights originated. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 1 April assumed control of Operation Unified Protector to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorized force to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from attacking rebel troops.

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The F35 debate will be featured on CPAC Sunday night, according to the radio. I have not seen the episode but it will be interesting for sure.

Personally I would have preferred to see a twin engine replacement, but let the decision makers make their decisions.

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"Britain and France had called for the Americans to deploy aircraft capable of so-called “low and slow” missions, such as the A-10 Thunderbolt and AC-130 Spectre gunships, which can deliver enormous firepower and intimidation."

So you don't see the irony in certain nations whom, having neglected to invest in certain tactical capabilities, calling on another nation to cough up?

"Perhaps one could surmise that stealth, all purpose, etc. etc. (F35s) are not required in this case..."

And just what took down the Libyan IADS network? Certainly wasn't Warthog, Spectre or Pred A, B or C.

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"Britain and France had called for the Americans to deploy aircraft capable of so-called "low and slow" missions, such as the A-10 Thunderbolt and AC-130 Spectre gunships, which can deliver enormous firepower and intimidation."

So you don't see the irony in certain nations whom, having neglected to invest in certain tactical capabilities, calling on another nation to cough up?

And just what took down the Libyan IADS network? Certainly wasn't Warthog, Spectre or Pred A, B or C.

That is correct...most of the Libyan IADS network was taken down by 110 Tomahawk Cruise missiles fired from ships,

There were F15/F16/F18s as well as 'other' aircraft from the coalition in action and "no" I don't see it as ironic that other nations asked the USA which has a never ending inventory of whiz bangs to cough up.........even though only approximately 3-4% of Libya's oil goes west.

Edited by Kip Powick

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Hi All,

Starting a little late into this conversation but would like to make a few comments.

As Mitch said, the first question needs to be if we want/need an Air Force or Fighters as part of our Air Force. If not, then retire the F-18's now or shortly and the problem is resolved. If the answer is yes, then we need to provide the "fighting force" with the equipment necessary to do the job adequately and safely. Which leads me to a comment made by Dagger.

The F-35 is not akin to replacing your Chrysler with a Mercedes S-Class. The selection has nothing to do with luxury or comfort but everything to do with combat survivability. As was mentioned by av8tor, the F-35 represents the 5th Gen aircraft of which the only other western competitor being the F-22. The F-35 is much cheaper than the F-22 and is hardly the Cadillac some make it out to be.

As for the need of Stealth technology, this technology reduces the ability of radar guided weapons from attaining a lock. It is applicable and necessary for all current and future combat aircraft and honestly, would you like your son or daughter flying into combat without it?

As for the F-18 E/F, had we purchased this aircraft 5-10 years ago, I would say continue with this aircraft for another 10-15 years. But we didn't so why would anyone buy an old design now when a much better product is currently available?

Handyman

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Hi All,

As Mitch said, the first question needs to be if we want/need an Air Force or Fighters as part of our Air Force. If not, then retire the F-18's now or shortly and the problem is resolved. If the answer is yes, then we need to provide the "fighting force" with the equipment necessary to do the job adequately and safely.

Handyman

As I posted before """"I don't believe that anyone is advocating that we DO NOT NEED an Air Force with the top equipment. Much to the chagrin of some, others favour the POV that the F-35 stealth fighter is not required and that the Air Arm of the CF and government should seriously consider other options....that being a less expensive aircraft, or getting out of the air combat/air-to-ground role with whiz- bangs. The other sections of the Air Arm do have new and better equipment, for example the C-17 and the brand new C130s""""

Only my POV but in case you missed it....................we do NOT need stealth fighters in our inventory.....period.

Have a great weekend....:icon_pidu:

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Hi Kip,

Can I ask where you place the emphasis on your last statement?

we do NOT need stealth fighters in our inventory/quote]

Is it the "stealth" part you have difficulty with or just "fighters" period?

If you're focussed on stealth and if you are referring to the F-117, I agree but if you mean stealth technology then I strongly disagree. This would be akin to purchasing a new car and stating you don't want ABS, stability control etc believing these technologies of being excess and un-needed.

As for "fighters", we just simply need them to maintain our autonomy from the USA unless you support the 51st state agenda.

Regards,

Handyman

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Hi Kip,

Can I ask where you place the emphasis on your last statement?

we do NOT need stealth fighters in our inventory

Is it the "stealth" part you have difficulty with or just "fighters" period?

If you're focussed on stealth and if you are referring to the F-117, I agree but if you mean stealth technology then I strongly disagree. This would be akin to purchasing a new car and stating you don't want ABS, stability control etc believing these technologies of being excess and un-needed.

As for "fighters", we just simply need them to maintain our autonomy from the USA unless you support the 51st state agenda.

Regards,

Handyman

G'morning Handy...

My opinion only............we do not need fighters in our inventory at all, and we do not need them to maintain our autonomy from the USA. Think back a few years during the cold war era....does anyone think that, had the "red hoard come over the poles that the USA would have sat back and said, "Let's wait and see how the Canucks handle the invasion before we get involved?"

Think of the money expended since WW2 on "fighters" for Canada and the times we have actually used them. Let us assume we hung up our spurs when we brought the F-86s home.......would the past world events have been changed in any way shape or form? The answer is a resounding "No".

Give me examples where the RCAF/CF utilizing the CF-100, CF101, F-5, CF104, F-18 made any real difference to world events...and yes I know that we were used as a "deterrent" during post WW2 eras but had we not been there........ would things have turned out differently???

It is time to state to the world that we do not want to be involved in a very expensive game just so we can "look" like we are ready for Armageddon. You and I both know that the strongest advocates of the "new" toys are those that were involved with the "old" toys but I feel it is time to change that attitude and realize that fighters should be scrapped from the CF and we can save money but still have an exceptional functional and tactical air arm at a much lesser cost.

I would much rather we gave the CF ground forces better equipment than give the air arm some very, very expensive birds. Had we the best in the world,( ground vehicles), would we have saved any of the 155 we lost in Afghanistan.......?

And finally, a single engine stealth fighter that will probably cost almost double the proposed acquisition numbers.......Canada doesn't need "stealth" airframes when there are drones and missiles, (ie: Tomahawk), available. World conflicts???........... yes, we can help but not with a few F35s and the multimillions it would cost to support them.......let's take a different path..

But as you know , I am not "King" and will have to live with whatever comes down the pipe ...happy or not.... (sorta like this %^$# election):Grin-Nod:

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Happy Easter Kip,

The Fighter issue is certainly one with strong support on both sides and I respect that you have clearly defined your position. However, I think you may have underestimated the significance of not having a fighter element in our Air Force.

Give me examples where the RCAF/CF utilizing the CF-100, CF101, F-5, CF104, F-18 made any real difference to world events...and yes I know that we were used as a "deterrent" during post WW2 eras but had we not been there........ would things have turned out differently???

I agree that we may not have made any real difference to world events but what about our own position in the world? Where do you think we would be today if we retired our fighter wings when the Sabre's came home? I honestly believe we would be closer to being part of the USA today had we given up this part of our Air Force.

I know the chances are almost nil that we will ever get into a 1 vs 1 with any nation but optics play a huge part in postering in the prevention of a conflict. Look at the Spanish incident of our Grand Banks years ago, A destroyer shadowing and a few flypasts sent a strong message. Should we rely on a crapped out CP-140 to show the force?

As for costs, we have one of the lowest spending per capita on our military in the western world. The savings we would realize would be insignificant to the bottom line but the loss of our identity in just a few short years would be huge in my opinion.

You also underlined single engine stealth which has been commented on by several others too. The single engine is not a concern these days with the advancements made in engine technology. I can't remember the reduction of moving parts of a new generation engine versus the old but we're talking in the range of 70%. I guess it's no different than the 2 vs 4 engine discussion for Pacific/Polar flights.

We're obviously on opposite sides of the fence here but that's ok. That is what makes our country great. Good debate on issues which form the fabric of our country wether popular or not.

Take care.

Handyman

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"That is correct...most of the Libyan IADS network was taken down by 110 Tomahawk Cruise missiles fired from ships"

The 90,000 lbs of ordnance dropped by B2s (you know, the Stealth Bomber) on opening night was superfluous or redundant?

"There were F15/F16/F18s as well as 'other' aircraft from the coalition in action" Not entirely correct. I can access the STAR5 ATO for opening night, and while there were certain other NATO aircraft up, there wasn't a single F15, 16 or 18 over Libya that night.

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"That is correct...most of the Libyan IADS network was taken down by 110 Tomahawk Cruise missiles fired from ships"

The 90,000 lbs of ordnance dropped by B2s (you know, the Stealth Bomber) on opening night was superfluous or redundant?

"There were F15/F16/F18s as well as 'other' aircraft from the coalition in action" Not entirely correct. I can access the STAR5 ATO for opening night, and while there were certain other NATO aircraft up, there wasn't a single F15, 16 or 18 over Libya that night.

Peter...

I don't think I specified a particular night, in fact no one in this thread did. There were/are F15E, F165, F18 and yes, even the A10 in combat and security flying in the air over and around Libya but I do not have specific dates nor do I intend to research them out.

Re-Stealth Bomber...so what..?,.....we are not contemplating that aircraft as an addition to our air arm.

Without beating a "dead-horse" I think I have made my POV very clear and you certainly have the right to disagree but I don't intend to get into a war of words/data aircraft types about the "first day", or any of the following days, of the action in Libya.

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From my very first day as a young Air Force pilot in the 1960's, I have listened (particularly at beer call) to "heavy" pilots (affectionately referred to as "trash-haulers") dismiss the fighter world as not having a "real" job to do. The fighter world has always been quick to dismiss the trash-haulers as being straight and level cruisers whose gyros topple past 30 degrees of bank and who don't appreciate the fighter world until the shooting starts - then we're supposed to be best buddies.

Two different worlds - and it has always been thus. The debate always gets particularly intense when fueled by alcohol. Alcohol usually activates the 3000 psi fingertips that all pilots possess and that inevitably are produced to drive home into the chest of the antagonist, one insignificant point or another. :dueling: Two diametrically opposed positions and I don't ever recall one side convincing the other of the merits of their argument.

Thankfully, decisions such as "do we need a fighter aircraft?" are made at a level that takes into consideration much more than the simple bias of the trash-hauler or the fighter pilot. In the meantime, what's wrong with beating that dead horse, Kip? :icon_jook:

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We're the same vintage av8tor but I guess I had a few unique twists and turns during my time in. I had the fun of flying everything in the inventory, (not fully qualified on every type), with the exception of the Aurora and the F-18. It was a blast and while in the USA managed the F4, F-15D, F102 and F106 as well as the T-38 and Tweet (T-37). A few helos were flown in as well,the Seaking, the twin Huey and a couple from Aérospatiale as my brother was the CEO, (Canada Division), of that company...... before they folded their tent and went to USA.

It was real fun and an ego booster to know I had done some time in some of the best of that era. I understand the fun of fast flying, I enjoyed it and let's face it, the only thing bigger than a fighter jocks ego is his wrist watch :biggrin2: .

And yes, during my last tour instructing on the C130 we did have the beer call hoo-haa and it was us, (trashhaulers vs whizbangs), and bear with me for one short story....

A very young and junior time- in 'puke' was going on and on about the glory of being a F104 jock (he had been in Cold Lake for about a year I think). Differences in aircraft type came up and the young fella asked an older C130 driver what our final approach speed was. The 3rd or 4th tour pilot being converted to the C130 stated that it was 140kts. The young fighter jock started to laugh and guffaw about the speed and stated the last time he saw 140kts was on the flare with his super- sonic- lawn- dart.

The old fella turned to me and said, " Hey, Skipper, that 140 kts is about as low as we go on approach, isn't it...at least that's what I saw on approach on the Hong Kong curve...or wait a minute, I flew the leg into Singapore or was in Sydney Australia...Skipper help me out here !!!"

The young fella stood very quietly and said little else as the C130 pilots starting dropping world wide names...all in fun,....... to point out that their role was world wide, not restricted to an MFA and gunnery range !!:Grin-Nod:

Certainly we all knew of the 104 Squadrons overseas, Lord knows we were the ones who took their parts oversea and, on occasion, had a fighter jock "on the bunk " helping him get home to Canada.

There was, and always will be a friendly rivalry between the Military pilots as to who has the better job and that is a good thing....at least when a tour was over and you "merged" with another different 'metal" Squadron there certainly wasn't the bitterness that can be evident when different factions of civilian airlines merge......or so I have been told :biggrin1::Grin-Nod:

The "dead-horse" I was referring to was anyone attempting to change my mind about the usefulness of the F35 in Canada's inventory...as you know.......just my opinion...I am not the King.... just doing my personal reality check.

Have a nice week.:rolleyes:

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Hey Kip,

I know, I know! I love your story of the grizzled old world traveller taking apart the "very young and junior" on your own home territory no less - easy kill. Let's not forget the part where the trash-haulers stay overnight in high-class hotels while we fast movers always get stuck in a barracks somewhere. Or the great meals (steak and lobster) that are enjoyed during the 10 hour drone from Valhalla 1 to Valhalla 2. If you have to sleep off that fuzzy feeling from the night before well then the bunk always beckons, not to mention the loo which is ever-present to accomodate nature's call, be it from Ralph or otherwise!

Speaking of short stories, I remember a common acquaintance doing a round-robin in the YWG quadrangle and having to make an unplanned landing in Rivers because nature called. The horrors of it all! That really was too funny! We fast-movers never get to enjoy the luxuries of life that are taken as a given by the heavies of this world. :Grin-Nod::biggrin1:

I'm not interested in trying to change your mind on the F-35 or the fighter world, Kip. You're not changing and I get it. Your personal reality is different than mine and I respect that. I think that we both can agree to look back on the past with a great deal of fondness - and towards the future with the same hopes of a better world for us all. As long as it includes the F-35! :023::thumbup:

Cheers,

Doug

Edited by av8tor

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You guys are breaking me up with your drip, drip, drip, water torture assault written by newspaper journalists whose job is to sensationalize issues in order to sell their newspapers. These journalists know (and care) about military aviation and the F-35 about as much as they do about the sex life of the Fraser River sturgeon. And of course these articles have nothing to do with the election campaign underway ... naw, not a chance.

However, in the interests of balance you might take a few minutes to read this article: http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/HackettGrantRDSSummer2010.pdf

Now it might be fair to say that the authors of this document are as biased for the F-35 as your journalist sources are against it. The difference, in my view, is your journalists have probably already moved on to their next "story" while the authors of the above article are infinitely knowledgeable and involved full time in airpower studies in general, and the F-35 in particular.

Feel free to poke holes in their paper anyway; no doubt they're used to the hounds nipping away at their heels.

Cheers,

Doug

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You guys are breaking me up with your drip, drip, drip, water torture assault written by newspaper journalists whose job is to sensationalize issues in order to sell their newspapers. These journalists know (and care) about military aviation and the F-35 about as much as they do about the sex life of the Fraser River sturgeon. And of course these articles have nothing to do with the election campaign underway ... naw, not a chance.

However, in the interests of balance you might take a few minutes to read this article: http://www.rusi.org/...SSummer2010.pdf

Now it might be fair to say that the authors of this document are as biased for the F-35 as your journalist sources are against it. The difference, in my view, is your journalists have probably already moved on to their next "story" while the authors of the above article are infinitely knowledgeable and involved full time in air power studies in general, and the F-35 in particular.

Feel free to poke holes in their paper anyway; no doubt they're used to the hounds nipping away at their heels.

Cheers,

Doug

Doug

Let's be fair . You are correct in your assumption that journalists are not experts versed in much of anything but do bear in mind that what they do write has been researched and most journalists have reliable sources. True, they may move on to another subject but putting out what their editor deems is information, controversial or not, is their job.

In the same vein "your" author while on the pro side of the F35 debate, could just as well have been a reliable source for the "nay" side had he had an opposing opinion...yes?. I am also sure that "your" author does not spend his entire life defending the validity of the F35...he too must move on to other topics. While he/she may have more knowledge of "air power" it must be conceded that they too are protecting their "turf".

In the end, you, me, Dagger, Peter, et al will be standing on the side watching the parade go by and hopefully we all can appreciate the fact that the clowns are mere mortals, providing entertainment for all.:Grin-Nod:

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Some background information on what has led us to today, and which should refute the viewpoint that Canadians have been cheated out of the benefits of a competition/tendering process:

http://ipolitics.ca/...-for-air-force/

Cheers,

Doug

Hola Doug.....

1) What are DND's complete requirements for the new fighter?

2)So we're buying the Honda and the USAF is buying the Porsche and BMW models so we can be "interoperable". Yeah sure...... I guess in a "road race". the Honda could pretty much do what a Porsche and BMW could do. How long until the Honda driver wants to upgrade all his cars to be equal to the Porsche and BMW and it would have to be done....the rationale would be that we already have the chassis and all we want to do is dress up our Hondas a bit so cost should not enter into the equation....just operational functionality....:biggrin1:

3)So if we withdraw from the agreement.....it makes it very difficult to run another competition, ( a competition that apparently we had, but where the vast majority of details are missing from the public domain).......really....how difficult?

And finally, one of the authors of the document is surely unbiased seeing he was once the head of the CF Air Force. See who he works for http://www.ottawakiosk.com/government-relations/tactix.html and scroll down to Government Relations....

and the other an assistant professor of Business...at Carleton, no less :rolleyes:

Sorry Doug....couldn't resist...but that's the end for me...got to get the boat ready :Victory:

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No need to apologize Kip - I know where you stand and I am in no way trying to change how you feel! :white:

I find it somewhat ironic that anyone intimately involved in the program who speaks in its defence is automatically suspect, even biased, but any journalist can spend 30 minutes at a keyboard condemning the project and their words are accepted as gospel. :018:

Enjoy the boat!

Cheers,

Doug

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http://www.google.co...ff0b06d8430.b11

F-35 now 'unaffordable': Defense official(AFP) – 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The cost of building the F-35 fighter jet, set to replace a large part of the US warplane fleet, is "unaffordable" in its current version and must be reviewed, the Pentagon's top acquisition official said Thursday.

"Over the lifetime of this program, the decade or so, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft we want has doubled in real terms," said Ashton Carter, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"That's our forecast for how much the aircraft's going to cost.

"Said differently, that's what it's going to cost if we keep doing what we're doing. And that's unacceptable. It's unaffordable at that rate."

The cost of the plane has jumped to $385 billion, about $103 million per plane in constant dollars or $113 million in fiscal year 2011 dollars, said Christine Fox, the Defense Department's director of cost assessment and program evaluation.

Republican Senator John McCain called the figure "truly troubling," considering the original price was $69 million per airplane.

"The facts regarding this program are truly troubling," said McCain. "No program should expect to be continued with that kind of track record, especially in our current fiscal climate," said McCain.

"It seems to me we have to start at least considering alternatives"

The F-35 or Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), made by Lockheed Martin, is the Pentagon's most costly weapons program.

An additional appropriation of $4 billion brings the cost of development of the plane to $51 billion, "dismaying" figures," said Michigan Senator Carl Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"These are dismaying; indeed, they are disturbing numbers in costs to us and to the taxpayers of the United States," Levin said.

Carter attributed the cost overruns and delays to the plane's complexities and its radar-evading equipment, as well as the short-takeoff and vertical takeoff versions. And he said the culture of easy money at the Pentagon since 9/11 was also to blame.

"In the decade of ever-increasing defense budgets, which we just enjoyed, it was always possible for our managers, when they ran into a technical problem or a difficult choice, to reach for more money," said Carter. "And the money was available in the decade after 9/11."

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Edited by dagger

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Cue the Koolaid Brigade!

It's gonna be fun to watch 'them' twist in the wind..............:biggrin2:

.as an aside, I watched the head of the Canadian Senate attempt to justify the re-appointment of 3 Conservatives who left the Senate and attempted to get elected as MPs. All three lost but were whisked back in the Senate, by HARPER, moments after he stepped away from taking questions about his Cabinet shuffle. The three couldn't get elected so Harper gave them a free pass back to their $132,000.00 (plus) job.......

:head:

So much for the Conservative promise of transparency and Senate reform.:lol:

Oh, yes...and another Conservative, JF Larose, just elected, has had his claim of graduating from University, on his resume, disputed by the University he claimed to have attended.:006:

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/20/another-ndp-mps-resume-padded

Edited by Kip Powick

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