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Finally, FINALLY my Country (Canada) Makes a Decision; 88, F-35s

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Posted (edited)

The Canadian government announced today they're in negotiations to purchase 88, F-35 Lightning IIs from Lockheed Martin. As far as I'm concerned this is a good decision for my county. We were one of the early sponsors of the F-35 ASTOVL program and we currently pay LM about $35 million a year for the right for CDN aviation companies to build parts for it.  So far that's been paying off, with companies here generating over 100 million+ in annual revenues. There were some other nice birds in the competition like the Dassault Rafale and the Saab Gripen, the latter being the 2nd place choice and the official alternate if negotiations with LM fall apart.

It's really no surprise because of our history with the program and a RCAF CF-35 variant with a drogue parachute and refueling probe has been on the drawing board for some time. I've followed the development of the F-35 since the early days of ASTOVL and are convinced it's about the closest thing to a current gen F-18 Hornet. More importantly it's stealthy and a step forward in military aviation, whereas some of the competition seemed to be bridges between 4th and 5th gen aircraft. I'm still pissed the CDN gov't took this long to make a decision which was first suggested in 2011 and which IMO was the inevitable choice. But I'm glad for it none the less.  Canada has only flown USA fighter jets (due to the Avro Arrow being foolishly cancelled) although we domestically manufactured both the F-86 Sabre and F-5 Freedom Fighter. The CF-35 will be the 7th of such jets, so the tradition continues.

Edited by Arrow
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Posted (edited)

Canada did not fly US fighter jets only, they flew the CF-100 (fighter jet but referred as an interceptor), but hey we made it to the production line and it served with RCAF and Belgium :) 

Does the F-35 is the right choice? I can't tell but the JAS-39 Gripen E could have been a good choice too as it would have been assembled in Canada. Not to mention way more less expensive to buy and maintain. But we love to buy American stuff :)

Now I can't wait seeing them land at the airport the CF-18's (and various other) where i live land as a remote strip :)

 

Edited by 1977Frenchie

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I hope we might eventually follow suit. Having to replace the Hornet as well, it might be interesting to look at some made with the same refuelling system, although I reckon there would be more peculiar features for Canada that might not be as needed in Spain. 

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Drag Chute and refuelling probe? Any picture or drawing of this version?

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Congratulation to the Canadian Air Force.:good:

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Also I would like to extend my contradration to the Finland Air Force as the Finland government has finaly finalized its $9.4 billion purchase of 64 Lockheed Martin F-35s and support services.:clapping:

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To buy the F-35 seems to be a fashion today. The only advantage of this plane is stealth. But stealth depends on the computer capacity of the radar system which tries to detect a stealth plane. and the computer become more and more efficient. So radar systems can detect today much smaller radar echos than 10 years before and in 10 years they will be able to detect much much more smaller radar echos. What means, that a point will come when the F-35 s no stealthy anymore.

And at this point the weak points of the F-35 will count, as there are: bad agility compared with a F-16 or F-18, lower weapon load capacity, high maintenance costs. Finally it will be that Air Forces who buy the F-35 will have a very expensive plane, but will not have the money to operate it properly.

I think a plane like the F-18E or the Eurofighter or the modern Gripen, equipet with a state of the art jamming system, will be on long run a much better and cost efficient solution for the most Air Forces of this world. For Germany, for example, i would wish we would buy 250 Gripens instead 35 F-35.

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3 minutes ago, Gepard said:

I think a plane like the F-18E or the Eurofighter or the modern Gripen, equipet with a state of the art jamming system, will be on long run a much better and cost efficient solution for the most Air Forces of this world. For Germany, for example, i would wish we would buy 250 Gripens instead 35 F-35

I totally agree with you the F-18E, Eurofighter or Grupen would be the way to go.  I am so happy when the Kuwait Air Force has selected the two fighters (F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter) it is so great to have two of the best jet in your air force ( with good pilots of course)

12 minutes ago, Gepard said:

And at this point the weak points of the F-35 will count, as there are: bad agility compared with a F-16 or F-18, lower weapon load capacity, high maintenance costs.

your reviews are spot on.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Shootingstar2 said:

why not stick with what you got and buy super hornets ?

It's complicated, but the Canadian Gov't did have an order in for 18, F-18Es as a fit gap measure, but the deal got nixed. to briefly sum up; in the early days of the Trump Administration Boeing filed an infraction with the NAFTA (now called USMCA) trade regulation board against Bombardier Inc. - a Canadian company. They claimed unfair competition practices regarding Canadair regional jets and claimed Bombardier was unfairly receiving government subsidies. When in fact the funds in question were coming from a mutual investment fund who's major clients just happened to be a CDN provincial teachers association. The whole thing got laughed out of court so to say, being dismissed shortly after. Before the dismissal though, the CDN government announced the F-18E deal was dead.

I 'm a fan of the Super Hornet too, but I doubt the CDN government will buy anything from Boeing again - at least not in the near future.

Edited by Arrow

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3 hours ago, Stratos said:

Drag Chute and refuelling probe? Any picture or drawing of this version?

Nope not yet - any existing schematics are secured away on CDN Ministry of Defense or LM servers. All I've been able to see or read is that the prototype is a fair ways along in its design, due to the spec having been agreed upon years ago. Who knows when we'll see our first F-35 in Canada though, as I have no doubt the CDN gov't will nurse the 18 billion price tag along over a number of years. :dntknw:

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Gepard said:

To buy the F-35 seems to be a fashion today. The only advantage of this plane is stealth. But stealth depends on the computer capacity of the radar system which tries to detect a stealth plane. and the computer become more and more efficient. So radar systems can detect today much smaller radar echos than 10 years before and in 10 years they will be able to detect much much more smaller radar echos. What means, that a point will come when the F-35 s no stealthy anymore.

From all I've read, it's the targeting acquisition capabilities which are the stand out feature of the F-35. Based upon the role and mission RCAF jets have flown in since the 1st Gulf War, that's an important aspect of any new jet Canada buys. And while the F-35 won't be as stealthy with the advent of better detection, it'll still show up on screens later than other military jets currently being produced.

3 hours ago, Gepard said:

And at this point the weak points of the F-35 will count, as there are: bad agility compared with a F-16 or F-18, lower weapon load capacity, high maintenance costs. Finally it will be that Air Forces who buy the F-35 will have a very expensive plane, but will not have the money to operate it properly.

I think a plane like the F-18E or the Eurofighter or the modern Gripen, equipet with a state of the art jamming system, will be on long run a much better and cost efficient solution for the most Air Forces of this world. For Germany, for example, i would wish we would buy 250 Gripens instead 35 F-35.

All of those were considered -including the Dassault Rafale-  in the CDN governments RFP. The Rafale was particularly attractive, as Dassault would have allowed them to be manufactured in Canada. And who knows, CDN Gov't and LM could still fail to negotiate an agreement, resulting in Gripens for the RCAF. That's probably a long shot though, as currently roughly 20 CDN companies and agencies are actively manufacturing and conducting research contracts for the F-35. So negotiating a sound deal is very much in the interest of both parties.

I can only go by what I've been reading and I'm admittedly less knowledgeable than others here at combatace. But from what I've read, target acquisition is likely going to become an increasingly important aspect going forward for any warfare that can be classified as close to symmetrical. I see locking up air and ground targets and handing them off via a network to ground or naval forces to deal with (or even older 4th gen jets trailing behind), becoming increasingly important role for military jets. That's where stealth comes in - the closer a military jet can get in before detection to lock up targets, the better. Have your heard about the operations by Aerorozvidka in the Ukraine invasion. IMO military aircraft will increasingly be called upon to perform an equivalent role from the air, for which stealth and an avionics suite capable of long detection is going to be crucial. As to F-35's lack of agility  - while it may not be as agile as some 4th or 5th gen jets, it's still more agile than the Chengdu J-20, which last I looked is the only stealth capable jet being flown by potential adversaries. Russia has the SU-57 in development, but after current events are they even going to be able to afford to procure many of them?

Edited by Arrow

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F-35 is the only choice really - they need something for the next 40 years and yes I know drones but the Lightning 1 was also seen by some as the last manned fighter back in the 1950s

The F-35 has won every comp so far because it is on a different planet and wins on:

Cost partly due to large economies of scale

Capability to cost ratio

Worldwide logistics setup 

Growth potential

Interoperability with NATO countries and Allies

Capability (5 Gen sensor fusion etc)

Regarding Old fashioned metrics - no point comparing with things like the Super Hornet because the F-35A is clearly better at the slow speed high alpha stuff and the F-35A is still 9G at full fuel and M1.6 with an actual combat loadout.:lol:

The Gripen Es main competitor on the export market is really the F-16V...................and quite frankly neither of these are cheap to procure compared to the F-35 despite them being the low end.

 

Here are some bits from the Switzerland evaluation:

Fighter aircraft: F-35A offers highest overall benefit at lowest cost by far
All the candidates met the requirements set for the evaluation. For both the fighter aircraft and the longer-range GBAD system, the candidate promising the highest benefit was also the one priced the lowest. In the case of the fighter aircraft, this candidate is the F-35A. With 336 points, it showed the highest overall benefit and was the clear winner with a lead of 95 points or more over the other candidates. This aircraft scored best in three of the four main criteria evaluated:

• In terms of effectiveness, the F-35A achieved the best result because it has a marked technological advantage over the other candidates: it includes entirely new, extremely powerful and comprehensively networked systems for protecting and monitoring airspace. The F-35A is able to ensure information superiority; this means pilots benefit from a higher situational awareness in all task areas when compared with the other candidates. This is especially true for day-to-day air policing. What is more, the F-35A is the only aircraft that has been designed from the ground up to be especially difficult for other weapons systems to detect. The resulting high survivability is a great advantage for the Swiss Air Force. In addition, because the F-35A is comparatively easy to operate and is able to provide information superiority, it requires less training and has a better ratio of flight to simulator hours. Because of this, the F-35A requires about 20% fewer flight hours than other candidates, and about 50% fewer take-offs and landings than the Air Force’s current jet aircraft, which the F-35A will be replacing. Finally, it can be assumed that as the newest of the weapons systems evaluated, the F-35A will be able to sustain its technological lead well into the future. Given the planned service life of 30 years, this is a major advantage over the other candidates.

• In terms of product support, the F-35A achieved the highest rating because of its efficient operation and maintenance, modern training design, and the high security of supply throughout its service life. This is attributable in part to the F-35A being manufactured in the highest numbers and it being the aircraft most commonly used by air forces in Europe.

• The F-35A was also the best performer in terms of cooperation, offering extensive opportunities for operational collaboration and broad access to data and technical resources.

• In direct offset, the F-35A did not achieve the best result at the time the bid was made. The offset obligation of 60% of the order must be fulfilled in full no later than four years after receipt of the final delivery. As far as fleet size is concerned, for all four candidates a fleet of 36 aircraft would be large enough to cover Switzerland’s airspace protection needs over the longer term in a prolonged situation of heightened tensions. The Air Force must be able to ensure that Swiss airspace cannot be used by foreign parties in a military conflict.

F-35A to cost around CHF 2 billion less than competitors
In addition to the benefits, the F-35A also achieved by far the best result in terms of costs. Both procurement and operation costs are the lowest for this aircraft. At the time the bids were made in February 2021, the procurement costs amounted to CHF 5.068 billion – well under the financial cap of CHF 6 billion set by voters. Even when accounting for inflation up to the time of payment, procurement costs will remain below the credit limit.
The F-35A also has the lowest operating costs of all of the candidates evaluated. The total costs of the F-35A (i.e. procurement plus operating costs) amounts to approximately CHF 15.5 billion over 30 years.
This is around CHF 2 billion less than the second-lowest bidder.

 

https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-84275.html

 

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This may shed some light on the subject regarding the Finland government getting the F-35 I think it's interesting regarding expenses and other things.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have read the message where people who often said F-35 have no maneuverability, I don't know about that.  I have seen various videos where F-35 does have an impressive performance. 
 

 

 

 

Edited by Eagle114th
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Eagle114th said:

I have read the message where people who often said F-35 have no maneuverability, I don't know about that.  I have seen various videos where F-35 does have an impressive performance. 

I think the USAF F-35 demonstration team have well and truly put that 'fake news' (poor maneuverability) to bed!

Edited by dtmdragon
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6 hours ago, dtmdragon said:

I think the USAF F-35 demonstration team have well and truly put that 'fake news' (poor maneuverability) to bed!

We know, that the F-22 had a better agility than the F-35. And we know, that british Eurofighter Typhoon had beaten the F-22 in close combat scenarios during Red Flag some years ago. So i guess, that the F-35 is not as agile as the Eurofighter Typhoon.

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good logic. but if the Raptor or Panther were to visually see a hostile Typhoon IRL, something has gone astray. the general idea these days is to zap them BVR

and yes, we have heard this tune before. but since the late 90s we've had the instruments to play it better. no so much in Vietnam, a few years after the BVR song was first written (and the usual goto for arguing against BVR engagements)

finally, with exception to the smaller users that will go to all F-35 fleets, its meant to be an attack aircraft first, fighter second. the F-22 was built to be a fighter first, and had to take on some attack roles second to justify costs on the ones that were built. comparing the dogfighting abilty of a F-35 is like comparing the dogfight abilty of an A-7 to a F-4. yeah it can do it in the right hands and circumstanses. but it wasnt really designed to do that, just protect itself on the way to the main target.

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If you listen to first hand interviews with current UK/ US operational F-35 pilots, F-35 test pilots, as well as engineers and staff officers from platforms such as the fighter pilot podcast, the afterburner podcast, aircrew interviews and pilot episodes. It becomes very apparent that the negative narrative of the F-35 is just that. The reality is the ability provided by the software in the flight control programing is at a level not seen before in an operational fighter including the Typhoon or F-22. As is the digital control of the engine thrust. All these pilots state that it is a very agile fighter in its full up flight control software enabled configuration and they have no concerns in a within visual range fight. Listen to them yourselves...

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