Sign in to follow this  
GDR

The F-35

Recommended Posts

Is this now an argument against due to acq & O&M cost? If so, then maybe a little perspective:

Have heard numbers ranging from $16B over 20 years from DND to $30B over 30 years from PBO. Assume the (current) worst of $30B over 20 years, or $1.5B per year. Although there are approx 33M people in Canada, have read that 40% do not pay income tax, so the cost is borne largely by 20M people, which works out to $75 annually per. Wow, about 1.5 lattes a month.

The Liberals touted cnx'ing the F35 and putting the money instead into health care. Great idea, but the money would run out by week 15, and then where will you find more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The election of a Conservative majority government did not mean that the F35 is a sure buy for Canada. It means the opposite as now the government can freely make any decision that it wants and budget squeezing elsewhere just might squeese out the F35.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh ....more good news on the replacement??.

OTTAWA—Canada’s new multi-billion dollar stealth fighters are expected arrive without the built-in ability to communicate from the country’s most northerly regions.

A series of briefings given to the country’s top air force commander last year showed that the F-35’s radio and satellite communications gear may not be as capable as that of the current CF-18s.

Military aircraft operating in the high Arctic rely almost exclusively on satellite communications, where a pilot’s signal is beamed into space and bounced back down to a ground station.

The F-35 Lightning will eventually have that the ability, but the software will not be available in the initial production run.

A senior Lockheed Martin official says it is expected to be added to the aircraft’s when production reaches its fourth phase in 2019, but that is not guaranteed because research is still underway.

The official says the solution hasn’t been nailed down and a lot of work is being done to fix the problem.

Just another of the many reasons why Canada should not be investing in this thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given how well this program is executing and how stubborn Harper is I fully expect after the F-35 is finally put out of its misery by the US Congress that Harper will deploy a squadron of unarmed F-35 mock-ups dangled from helicopters and send them into combat and saying that was always the plan from the begging and a roaring success.

10d5649ab033c4c6ca9050c98258777b_1M.png

Edited by Super 80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strange that the technology already exists on the F-18 but cannot be adapted to the F-35. This is why the damned thing is so far over budget. Stick with the tech that works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Defense: Pilots who arrived a year ago to train on the fighter of the future are still waiting as safety concerns, cost overruns and questions about the whole program's feasibility mount.

The F-35 is meant to be America's next-generation fighter, the heir to the Air Force's F-15 Eagle and the Navy's and Marines' F/A-18 Hornet. Those two aircraft have fulfilled their air superiority and ground-attack roles well, yet many are well beyond their expected life expectancy.

The F-35 would fill America's defense needs in an age of budget constraints, we were told. So far it has not been a smooth takeoff.

About 35 of the best fighter pilots from the Air Force, Marines and Navy who arrived in the Florida Panhandle last year to learn to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are still waiting. They've been limited to occasionally taxying them and firing up the engines.

Otherwise, their training is limited to three F-35 flight simulators, classroom work and flights in older-model jets. Only a handful of pilots get to fly the F-35s.

Concerns have arisen, ranging from improperly installed parachutes under the pilots' ejector seats to whether the aircraft have been adequately tested.

Production has been slow and delayed, and the cost has risen from $233 billion to $385 billion. Only 43 F-35s have been built, and an additional 2,443 have been ordered by the Pentagon.

Part of the problem is that the F-35 is a one-size-fits-all aircraft designed to fit roles from taking off a carrier's deck to hovering and landing in a confined space on a foreign battlefield. It's meant to be a ground-attack and air-superiority fighter. The question is whether it can adequately be both.

As we learned in past conflicts, relying on one-size-fits-all aircraft can be perilous. Our reliance on the carrier-based F-4 Phantom during Vietnam is a case in point. An aircraft designed to hunt down Soviet bombers during the Cold War, it carried missiles but no guns and was ill-suited for dogfights against MiG fighters designed for a single role — that of air superiority.

That was the role originally designated for the F-22 Raptor, a stealth fighter designed to simply sweep the skies of enemy jets and let other aircraft do their thing. Production was stopped at only 187 planes, with the excuse given that we couldn't afford multiple aircraft for different roles. So the F-35 was designated as our flying jack-of-all-trades.

We've seen these one-size-fits-all and on-the-cheap procurement policies before. The 1960s saw the development of the TFX (Tactical Fighter Experimental), later the F-111, which was to fill all requirements from being a land-based fighter-bomber to a carrier-based aircraft. It wound up too heavy to be a carrier jet and not fast or agile enough to be in a dogfight. Other aircraft had to be procured to fill those needs.

F-35 supporters such as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have acted as if the two planes are interchangeable. They are not. The Raptor is designed as an air superiority fighter; the F-35 was originally designed for ground attack. It does not have a Mach 1.5 supercruise capability or high-altitude vectored thrust for enhanced high-altitude maneuvering.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., in whose state final assembly occurs, says "the F-35 was designed to operate after F-22s secure the airspace and does not have the inherent altitude and speed advantages to survive every time against peers with counterelectronic measures."

We've put all our chips on a fighter chosen seemingly on financial, and not military, needs. Just as the government picked the wrong car with the Chevy Volt, it may have picked the wrong fighter with the F-35.

On the highway, trying to pick winners can be merely unfortunate, but on the battlefield it can be deadly.

Edited by Maverick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend in Ottawa tells me that Boeing is going to come forward, possibly publicly, offering more than a hundred Super Hornets and a couple 767 tankers free for the price of the F-35 contract as Harper perceives it to be.

Edited by Super 80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend in Ottawa tells me that Boeing is going to come forward, possibly publicly, offering more than a hundred Super Hornets and a couple 767 tankers free for the price of the F-35 contract as Harper perceives it to be.

Now THAT is a viable solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We've put all our chips on a fighter chosen seemingly on financial, and not military, needs.

Huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE...........

OTTAWA—The federal government plans to shake up its process for buying new fighter jets in the wake of a scathing report that will raise questions about Canada’s purchase of stealth F-35 jets, the Star has learned.

The F-35 — designed to evade radar, take on enemy fighters in dogfights and bomb far-off targets — will face damaging flak from an unlikely adversary Tuesday: Auditor General Michael Ferguson.

Ferguson’s damning report is expected to conclude that the sole source process to procure the jet was flawed and misleading, problems he will pin on the defence department.

As a result, federal officials are expected to act fast and strip the defence department of responsibility for the jet’s procurement and give it to the public works department.

“Clearly there is a view that there needs to be some changes and I think that’s what is going to happen,” a source told the Star Monday.

Public works is also faulted in Ferguson’s report, sources say, but comes off better than defence. As well, public works drew praise for their evaluation and awarding of more than $32 billion in shipbuilding contracts last fall.

While the controversial F-35, made by Lockheed Martin Corp., has suffered cost overruns and delays, some officials think Canada’s involvement in the program can still be salvaged.

“But I think there’s going to be a good hard look at all of the various elements of it to make sure we are on the right track,” the source said.

Ferguson is said to have concluded that buying the jet was a unique and different purchase that required different rules to match the situation.

As well, bureaucrats fault politicians for not doing more to inform the public about the big-ticket purchase.

The federal government has set aside $9 billion to buy 65 F-35 aircraft. But suddenly last month, after ardently defending the F-35 as the only jet able to meet the needs of the Royal Canadian Air Force, federal politicians began beating a retreat, after draft copies of the auditor’s report had begun circulating in government circles.

Associate defence minister Julian Fantino conceded last month for the first time that the government may not buy the F-35.

The “decision has not been made as to whether or not we are actually going to purchase, buy, acquire the F-35,” Fantino said during an appearance before the Commons’ defence committee.

Now, in the face of increasing opposition pressure, the government has taken to insisting that it has not signed a contract for the sophisticated single-engine jet, a signal that other options may soon be on the table.

“Ultimately, we will replace Canada’s aging CF-18 aircraft and will do so within our allocated budget,” Fantino told the Commons Monday.

Eager competitors are waiting in the wings, such as Boeing which is offering its Super Hornet, a redesigned version of the Hornet jet that Canada flies now.

“As a current Hornet customer, we definitely feel that the next-generation Super Hornet would be an ideal fit for Canada’s defence needs,” said Mary Brett, spokesperson for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

“Given what I’ve been reading in the Canadian press lately, a potential opportunity seems to be opening up, but we also take our cue from the customer,” Brett said Monday.

Boeing is hoping that Canada goes the same route as Australia, another potential F-35 customer that bought 24 Super Hornets as a stop-gap.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said the tough message expected from the auditor general should be the catalyst to scrap the F-35s and launch a new process to replace the CF-18s.

“It’s completely deficient. Won’t work in the Canadian Arctic. Not suited to our purposes. Completely overpriced. So we should start all over again,” Mulcair said Monday.

“We do need to replace the CF-18s. They are an aging fleet. That has to be done. But they’ve really muffed it,” he said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CAnada should start development of its own purpose built fighter. Made in Canada for Canada. We did it once and sold out to the US. We were leaders in the field with some of the best and brightest engineers in the world in the field of aviation and engineering. We could do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a thorough review with an eye on possibly switching to the Super Hornet is long overdue. Even if they decide to stick with the F-35, let it be after a more objective process without the pre-conceived biases of DND for buying the shiniest, fastest toys.

I would add that whatever happens to the F-35, it has pushed the technology envelope in areas that could have spinoff benefits for the rest of the aerospace sector. Manufacturing automation is moving into aerospace, where a lot of the work building wings and fuselages is low value, ergonomically stressful and mindless riveting (or in a composite, fastening). Some pretty bold ideas are being tried. I've seen a couple of automated manufacturing concepts in development. This is one of the first full-line integration to go into regular commercial use.

http://www.onlineamd.com/aerospace-manufacturing-F35-Fuselage-040312.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess we could do a reverse hire..... bring engineers etc from NASA to replace the ones we shipped south when Diefenbaker . canned the Arrow Program.

We could. I think NASA laid off something like 20,000 people shortly after Obama came to power and cut their funding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No foreign country with an air force of any substance is going to buy a Canadian designed fighter interceptor bomber etc no matter how good it is for a myriad of political, economic and possibly even strategic reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well they certainly do today only they do it through a middle man calle the USA. Canadian Companies design and build components for lots of military and civilian aircraft. Besides that have a look at some of the fighters in the era after the Arrow shutdown you will notice design detail that resemble the arrow in several of them. Again designed and built by Canadians in the US.

Besides all that I said By Canada FOR Canada. I didn't mention selling it. The US can sell all the NATO variants of its fighters it wants. We just build our own and mind our own business.

Then in several years when its mature we unleash it in the international exercise we regularily kick the US butts at and show them up yet again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This discussion about a Canadian built fighter aircraft really belongs in the other thread

"Back in the Stone Age"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only question I want to throw into the mix is...

When taking off out of Cold Lake, wouldn't a pilot appreciate the second engine on the trip up into the Arctic? :Scratch-Head:

Iceman :whistling:

Two engines was one of the criteria when the F18 was selected. The lack of suitable landing areas in the arctic hasn't changed. Why should this criteria?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that the defence minister was not allowed to answer any questions in the house of commons today. Not exactly a vote of confidence ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this