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Harper Government Scraps F-35 Purchase...


conehead
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Oh we'll, no point dragging this out any longer than necessary, I guess they might as well start disbanding the fighter wings tommorow since there is no other alternative to be had.

Seriously... I heard some time back that Boeing was making an offer they couldn't refuse that included free tankers.

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F-35 deal not cancelled, Tories insist

Dec 06, 2012 - CBC News

Update on the government's plan to purchase new fighter jets expected next week

The Harper government says it has not made a decision on the F-35 as a replacement for Canada's CF-18 fighter jets, but the government now appears to concede that alternative fighter purchase options will be considered.

The Prime Minister's Office denied a media report Thursday that the F-35 purchase was dead, calling the report "inaccurate on a number of fronts" and promising to update the House of Commons on its seven-point plan to replace the jets before the House rises for the Christmas break at the end of next week.

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The graphic in the article is sad:

- The Chinese fighter has a listed ceiling of 2,000 metres

- The Russian fighter has a listed ceiling of 20,000 kilometres

- The F22 Raptor was cancelled because 'no enemy country could challenge it'

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The whole 40 year operational cost thing is a political and media fabrication of a non-story.

Rounding to the nearest $5Billion just proves no one has any friggin' idea - it's all guesses.

We need to have fighter jets - anyone disagree? There are bad guys out there and sometimes we need to shove a 2000lbs firecracker up their...

We will need to pay for gas, maintenance, pilots, support no matter what we choose.

This is going to be another expensive disaster like Jean's helicopters from '93. (Which STILL haven't been replaced)

It will cost us a billion dollars and we will have nothing to show for it but a fleet of F18s that are a decade older - Seaking style.

Just buy the damn plane and move on....

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Oh we'll, no point dragging this out any longer than necessary, I guess they might as well start disbanding the fighter wings tommorow since there is no other alternative to be had.

Seriously... I heard some time back that Boeing was making an offer they couldn't refuse that included free tankers.

From the article - Last Paragraph

Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon , and the F-35, are seen as the leading contenders in any new contest to replace the F-18 fleet.

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We need to have fighter jets - anyone disagree?

Most definitely....the reasons for NOT having them are very clear and I have posted those reasons many times.......a complete waste of money, money that DND could spend on what the CF does best...and it certainly isn't air -to-air or air-to-ground combat.

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...what the CF does best...and it certainly isn't air -to-air or air-to-ground combat.

Not that I agree with dropping bombs on people, but your former colleagues proved pretty good at doing so in the Balkans, and Libya. Might show their skills again in Syria soon, who knows. They are no slouches at both air-to-ground and air-to-air combat.

Just sayin'...

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Not that I agree with dropping bombs on people, but your former colleagues proved pretty good at doing so in the Balkans, and Libya. Might show their skills again in Syria soon, who knows. They are no slouches at both air-to-ground and air-to-air combat.

Just sayin'...

Had we not had any "fighters" at either of the stated conflicts, would the outcome have been any different?

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Had we not had any "fighters" at either of the stated conflicts, would the outcome have been any different?

No, probably not, but I was commenting on your comment regarding their abilities, which surprised me. Anyway; are you of the opinion that the RCAF has no need for fighter/bombers at all?

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Wouldn't we be better off with a combination of drones + long-range anti-submarine patrol aircraft? Beef up the navy a bit more because interdiction on water is more of an important mission for Canada than anything requiring billion-dollar jet fighter fleets?

I enjoy reading military history and if there is one thing generals and admirals are good at, it's spending major money on the implements of the last war, instead of preparing for the next one. Think battleships, and their evolution from HMS Warrior until, say, the super-dreadnaughts of WW1. That sparked a tremendous arms race, but there were few major battleship vs battleship conflicts in WW1. Even after WWI countries - the victors mainly - built more battleships but advances in submarine/torpedo capabilities and the advent of serious air power (and aircraft carriers) made battleships obsolete even before that was recognized by the outcome of Pearl Harbour. The Japanese knew the US carriers were more valuable than US battleships, but most of the Japanese military establishment though of Pearl Harbour as a great tactical victory rather than a strategic defeat. The US, too, rebuilt most of the damaged battleships, and built a few more like Missouri (1944), but it was the US carrier construction program that helped win the war in the Pacific. Battleships became expensive support vessels, used to backstop MacArthur's island-hopping invasions. If there weren't any battleships, but more fast cruisers, the outcome of the war would have been the same. Naval air power trumped all. But by the middle of WW2, big battleships were a flag thing, ego, prestige, a sign of state power rather than the projection of actual power. Rather like the aircraft carrier today, which is arguably more vulnerable because of advances in missile systems that can be deployed on something as small as a patrol boat. However aircraft carriers can project actual power and because the seaborne aircraft is much more capable today, they still play an effective role for the US in particular in projecting real power.

Looking at our air force, what is it that we really need to do, and can we do it with multiple options rather than one large fighter fleet trying to do multiple missions?

We need submarine interdiction, coastal defence, preservation of sovereignty. Couldn't advanced drones do some of that. How about 30 or 40 fighters for the rest? We can participate in NATO ops in other ways than flying sorties against dictators, insurgents or other belligerents. And was stealth capability the stuff of the last Gulf War? Will it be the stuff of a future Gulf War, or are advances in radar technology and anti-aircraft missile defence about to reduce or eliminate the value of stealth technology.

I'm proud enough of my country to believe we can be first adopters of new concepts, not perennial followers. Nor do I believe we have to have the very best of the last war's technology.

Edited by dagger
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My issues with the effing 35

#1- and a big one - sole sourced. No competition. This arrogant undemocratic government just started handing out the money cuz the You'alls told them too & we're too damn stupid to stop them.

2 - Single engine in a country this big? Are you nuts? You couldn't pay me or my survivors enough to go 1500 miles over arctic ice. That's what the -18's do now.

3 - Unproven. It's 'helmet' driven and it doesn't work yet by a long shot. These are still in the dreams of the designers .

4 - apparent range issues.

5 - Unmaintainable and fragile stealth away from major maint bases.. These are meant to be 'first in/soften up/first out' of a conflict, then leave the dirty stuff for the backups. We have no way of being effective in this role. These morons WANT us to go to war for all the wrong reasons.

I'll bet that they do cancel the program and the penalties, again, will be huge. Still -dump them and fast (like lots of other early adopters).

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No, probably not, but I was commenting on your comment regarding their abilities, which surprised me. Anyway; are you of the opinion that the RCAF has no need for fighter/bombers at all?

With respect to our pilots flying actual combat missions...............

Yes, At this time in our civilization we would be better off allocating heavy transport aircraft should a conflict arise where western world assistance is required. Certainly Canada has contributed aircraft and manpower to the two WWs and, to a lesser degree, Korea but putting boots on the ground in Afgahnistan was a very big mistake and extremely costly, not only with respect to our losses, of which the vast majority did not occur in actual combat. There was no need to fly in the Libya effort...the outcome would be the same.

We have the ability to be superior in SAR and transport but this country does not need fighters, in the air, or combat troops on the ground.

We have a Department of National Defence, not a Department of National Aggression. Since WWII there has not been one incident in the world where the peace or development of our country has been threatened. Even if the 'Red' hordes had come over the 'poles' our contribution with aircraft and man power would have been minimal....the US would be in our airspace and completely running the show and really, why wouldn't we let them??

Certainly, my stance is not popular but I think it is very realistic. We have the Canadian Forces but we should realize that as a COMBAT force we really can only contribute so much and would be better off spending the money for support personnel and support equipment, there is no need to get involved in actual combat.

I feel so bad for those that have lost loved ones in the "sand box" when there was no real reason to be there........does anyone really think the folks living in the rocks and dunes were a threat to Canada or our way of life? Does anyone really feel that our contribution has changed much?? Not if you read all the recent reports and listen to what is happening there now. I guess those that sent our guys to die never read any history of that country, or better still learned anything from the Russian failure to "change" the country.....

Personally I don't care about 'their' customs/lifestyle etc...unless they try to FORCE their way of life on us over here.

Certainly, should offensive actions take place in our country and it has been ascertained that the activities were initiated by those being supported by another country, then action is required and I would not hesitate to use MAXIMUM force and by maximum I mean the really big 'glowing' weapons.((from a "neighbour")

WW2 came to a halt when the US unleashed the horror in Hiroshima and Nagaski, collateral damage was not that much of a consideration and should not be a consideration when total world peace is threatened, or when a complete country is threatened.

The attempt to surgically remove a 'cancer' which we consider as a threat to world stability does not work...it has been proven that only mass destruction works but prior to contemplating using that type of force, one has to consider the final outcome......it's not going to be pretty but sometimes it is the only way to resolve a problem and reach a quick resolution without further loss of life for the non-aggressors.....

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Aaaah....lemme guess? This'd be the opinion of a trash-hauler? :wink_smile:

I guess if you count the 8 years on the "Herc" :biggrin1: taking CF104 parts/CF101 parts/CF5 parts/CF100 parts.... all over the globe .......you might be right.... :Grin-Nod: ...... but you have to exclude all the :"humanitarian" flights we did

and I think there are those that would be offended if you called my pax,..................... (The Royal Family), numerous Heads Of States, the PM, Cabinet members, MPs and too many dignitaries to count when on 412(T) Sqn.............trash.. :biggrin2:

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Certainly, should offensive actions take place in our country and it has been ascertained that the activities were initiated by those being supported by another country, then action is required and I would not hesitate to use MAXIMUM force and by maximum I mean the really big 'glowing' weapons.((from a "neighbour")

Wonderful defense policy: borrow nuclear weapons from a nation that won't lend them, using a delivery system that we don't have.

Couldn't advanced drones do some of that.

USAF recently cancelled all Global Hawk operations in favour of U2s. UAVs and UCAVs are tactical, not strategic.

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Some buyer's remorse in the home market as well....

Costliest Jet, Years in Making, Sees the Enemy: Budget Cuts

Nov 28, 2012 - New York Times

by Christopher Drew

On an October day last year, with Lt. Col. Fred Schenk at the controls, the plane glided toward a ship off the Atlantic coast and then, its engine rotating straight down, descended gently to the deck at seven feet a second.

There were cheers from the ship's crew members, "who were all shaking my hands and smiling", Colonel Schenk recalled.

The smooth landing helped save that model and breathed new life into the huge F-35 program, the most expensive weapons system in military history. But while Pentagon officials now say that the program is making progress, it begins its 12th year in development years behind schedule, troubled with technological flaws and facing concerns about its relatively short flight range as possible threats grow from Asia.

With a record price tag - potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars - the jet is likely to become a target for budget cutters. Reining in military spending is on the table as President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress look for ways to avert a fiscal crisis. But no matter what kind of deal is reached in the next few weeks, military analysts expect the Pentagon budget to decline in the next decade as the war in Afghanistan ends and the military is required to do its part to reduce the federal debt.

Behind the scenes, the Pentagon and the F-35's main contractor, Lockheed Martin, are engaged in a conflict of their own over the costs. The relationship "is the worst I've ever seen, and I've been in some bad ones," Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan of the Air Force, a top program official, said in September. "I guarantee you: we will not succeed on this if we do not get past that."

In a battle that is being fought on other military programs as well, the Pentagon has been pushing Lockheed to cut costs much faster while the company is fighting to hold onto a profit. "Lockheed has seemed to be focused on short-term business goals,"; Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, said this month. "And we'd like to see them focus more on execution of the program and successful delivery of the product."

The F-35 was conceived as the Pentagon's silver bullet in the sky - a state-of-the art aircraft that could be adapted to three branches of the military, with advances that would easily overcome the defenses of most foes. The radar-evading jets would not only dodge sophisticated antiaircraft missiles, but they would also give pilots a better picture of enemy threats while enabling allies, who want the planes, too, to fight more closely with American forces.

But the ambitious aircraft instead illustrates how the Pentagon can let huge and complex programs veer out of control and then have a hard time reining them in. The program nearly doubled in cost as Lockheed and the military's own bureaucracy failed to deliver on the most basic promise of a three-in-one jet that would save taxpayers money and be served up speedily.

Lockheed has delivered 41 planes so far for testing and initial training, and Pentagon leaders are slowing purchases of the F-35 to fix the latest technical problems and reduce the immediate costs. A helmet for pilots that projects targeting data onto its visor is too jittery to count on. The tail-hook on the Navy jet has had trouble catching the arresting cable, meaning that version cannot yet land on carriers. And writing and testing the millions of lines of software needed by the jets is so daunting that General Bogdan said, "It scares the heck out of me."

With all the delays --full production is not expected until 2019 - the military has spent billions to extend the lives of older fighters and buy more of them to fill the gap. At the same time, the cost to build each F-35 has risen to an average of $137 million from $69 million in 2001.

The jets would cost taxpayers $396 billion, including research and development, if the Pentagon sticks to its plan to build 2,443 by the late 2030s. That would be nearly four times as much as any other weapons system and two-thirds of the $589 billion the United States has spent on the war in Afghanistan. The military is also desperately trying to figure out how to reduce the long-term costs of operating the planes, now projected at $1.1 trillion.

'In World War II, he said, "We managed to either invent or refine jet propulsion, nuclear weapons, radar, radio communication, electronics in three years and eight months." In that time today, he said, the Pentagon cannot even finish the initial design of a system.

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Edited by Lakelad
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I guess if you count the 8 years on the "Herc" :biggrin1: taking CF104 parts/CF101 parts/CF5 parts/CF100 parts.... all over the globe...

And we thanked you for bringing us those parts Kip! Those who stood on the ramparts always appreciated the efforts of our support troops.

...and I think there are those that would be offended if you called my pax,..................... (The Royal Family), numerous Heads Of States, the PM, Cabinet members, MPs and too many dignitaries to count when on 412(T) Sqn.............trash.. :biggrin2:

Well, not to encourage thread drift, but I’m sure there are thousands who DO call The Royals, various Heads of States, the PM, his cabinet and many MPs - ‘trash’. And much worse.

Anyway, I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek and go back to watching the ‘experts’ discuss the F35.

mic

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Not to make too big a deal of it ... but as any self-respecting pilot knows ... there are only two types of aircraft ... fighters and targets ... the "experts" be damned ... when the balloon goes up, what they think matters little anyway.

Now I'll take my tongue out of my cheek too and let all the smart ones resolve the issues of the world. :icon_pray:

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As a US Army officer during the Viet Nam war I completely concur with Kip's point of view. While I was never sent to Viet Nam at least 5 of my classmates at Infantry Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning were killed in that war. And for what? While I'm certainly in favour of maintaining a military capability there are a good number of conflicts throughout the world that do not warrant intervention by either Canada or the United States. Viet Nam was one of them.

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Interesting comment posted to this article:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/07/john-ivison-f-35s-officially-costed-at-45802000000-in-new-report/

on national post.com (italics and bold mine):

"The report validates much of the costing done by National Defence. The acquisition costs are identical at $8.9-billion. DND calculates sustainment costs will be $7.3-billion, while KPMG says $15.2-billion. On operating costs, DND estimates $9-billion, whereas the accountancy firm calculates $19.9-billion.

But the vast majority of those cost differences can be explained by the different time-scales used – DND’s costs are for a 20-year period, while KPMG fulfilled the mandate given it by the Auditor-General to give Canadians a full costing over the 42-year lifespan of the F-35s.

people need to understand that the acquisition costs of 8.9 billion is what we're REALLY talking about. the sustainment costs will be similar with ANY new fighter acquisition and the operating costs will be in the same ballpark too.

if you want to have a conversation about whether we SHOULD have advanced fighters, or which ones are the best fit for our requirements, go to it. i welcome that conversation, but the F35 program and it's proponents are being railroaded."

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Congrats to the Harper Regime!

They carried on about how the Libs messed up the helicopter purchase, now they've show us once again they know how to do it better :wink_smile:

With all associated costs eventually, care to wager the over/under on the final price?

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