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CF-188 Hornet, Canada's jet fighter

Wizard of OZ

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  Before i get slammed all over i am just curious as to how much time people think we have left in our CF-18's.  If there is not much left in them what would we replace them with?  F-15E's? or wait until the Jsf or F-35 is fully ready.  Personally i think the F-15e would fill the role nicely and would cost only a fraction of what the F-35 would cost the Canadian Tax payer. But i am looking for your thoughts on this.  If you don't like my fit then maybe another aircraft comes to mind.  These are the specs i found on the F-15e and will compare them to the CF-18's.

   
BASIC INFORMATION :

Designation: F-15E Strike Eagle
Type: Air-to-ground attack aircraft
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
Country: United States
Service Date: 1988
Crew: 2
  DIMENSIONS:

Length: 63.8 ft (19.44 m)
Wingspan: 42.8 ft (13 m)
Height: 18.5 ft (5.6 m)
Weight (Empty): NA
Weight (Loaded): 81,000 lbs (36,450 kg)

     
PERFORMANCE STATISTICS:

Powerplant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners delivering 25,000 - 29,000 pounds each engine.
Max Speed: Mach 2.5
Max Range: 2,400 miles (3,840 km)
Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
Rate of Climb: NA
  MAIN ARMAMENT(S):

1 x 20mm multibarrel gun mounted internally with 500 rounds of ammunition.
4 x AIM-7F/M Sparrow missiles
4 x AIM-9L/M Sidewinder missiles
8 x AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles
Any air-to-surface weapon in the Air Force inventory (nuclear and conventional)

and now for the CF-18's

     
BASIC INFORMATION :

Designation: F/A-18 Hornet
Type: Fighter / Bomber
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
Country: United States
Service Date: NA
Crew: 1 or 2
  DIMENSIONS:

Length: 60.3 ft (18.5 m)
Wingspan: 44.9 ft (13.68 m)
Height: 16 ft (4.87 m)
Weight (Empty): 23,832 lbs
Weight (Loaded): 56,000 lbs

     
PERFORMANCE STATISTICS:

Powerplant: 2 x F414-GE-400 turbofan engines delivering 22,000 pounds (9,977 kg) static thrust per engine.
Max Speed: Mach 1.8+
Max Range: 1,275 nm (2,346 km)
Service Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Rate of Climb: NA
  MAIN ARMAMENT(S):

1 x M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20 mm Cannon
AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM
AIM-9X Sidewinder AAM (projected)
AIM-7 Sparrow AAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM AAM
Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile
Harm Anti-Radiation Missile
SLAM
SLAM-ER (projected)
Maverick AGM
Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW)
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
Data Link Pod
Paveway Laser Guided Bomb
Plus various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets.

I personally like the idea of getting the F-15's of course this is just MOO in honestity i don't think the feds would go for it.  But think the Americans would be getting rid of these birds as the F-22 replaces them and we could get them for a good deal.  They do everything we need of fighters.  And hell we could even keep some of the CF-18s around as they are both made by the same manfacture and could maybe get a good deal on parts.

thoughts???????



 

Ex-Dragoon

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You do know the CF18s are undergoing a major rebuild and upgrade program right as has been discussed here right?
 

Bert

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Theres alot of factors that determine the best aircraft fit; logistics, maintenance, parts
provision, cost of everything, roles, base support, politics, etc.  The CF acquired the CF-18
for many reasons but one being the ability of the aircraft to be proficientat multi-roles;
interceptor, fighter, bomber, close air support.  Easier to maintain a multi-role
aircraft everywhere than support multiple aircraft for different roles (as the size of the air force
prohibits).  The F-15, though a formidablercraft in itself, may not be as proficient all tasks
as what can be assigned to the F-18.
 

Wizard of OZ

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I know the CF-18 is undergoing this upgrade to bring it on line with NATO standard equipment.  The sad part is we will be losing alot of aircraft to make this upgrade possible.  Is that a balance that we want?  I know that we have aprox 80 in the CF right now (airforce link: http://airforce.mil.ca/dairpa/subjects/aircraftwing/aircraft/hornet_e.pdf)

And i read in the Journal that aprox 66 of these will be refitted to meet NATO standards.  With the purchase of the 15's which are already 2 generations ahead of our 18 not only would we save money we would gain a further enhanced aircraft.  One in which the Americans have never exported as they few it as an extremely lethal machine.  Of course this is only my view I am open to other points.  But i don't see how getting rid of more of our aircraft to make those that remain flyable when we don't have enough now makes any sense.  I think if we could swing a deal and have the 15's for 10 yrs or so until the bugs are worked out of the F-35 then it may be a wise decision.  As long as the cost balance was positive how could it be a mistake.  The F-15E's are more then capable then the Cf-18's we have when it comes to ground attack aircraft as they can handle anything in the American air to ground arsenal.  When it comes to Air superiority not to many other aircraft has the ability to match the 15's in the sky in that manner either.  I see it as a win win for Canada and the US.  They get to upgrade an ally and we get the superior plane that we need.  This is if and only if they will sell the planes to us.

MOO
 

Michael OLeary

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Wizard,

before you get into a debate with the pilots comparing two airframes, why don't you lay out your entire appreciation for us:

Tasks and roles to be conducted.
Aircrew training requirements.
Aircraft maintenance lifecycle.
Number of airframes required, based on your assessment of tasks.
Expected lifespan of "new" airframes, compared to expectation of available manufacturer and principal nation support.
Requirements and costs to retrain and retool all required maintenance facilities and maintainers.
Infrastructure costs to support new aircraft in all Wing locations.
Costs to replace all CF-18 specific support assets with new version.

As you can see, simply comparing statistics and unit costs doesn't quite scratch the surface of what you are proposing based on "As long as the cost balance was positive how could it be a mistake." I'll add new points if I think of any. I am sure the pilots and flight line maintainers (Offr and NCM) on the forum can suggest a few more that must be considered in developing a proposal for new aircraft.

 

Eagle_Eye_View

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Don't forget the major lack of 500 series techs. Its also a reality, and seriously I don't think the CF is capable of buying a new A/c right now.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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first off new combat jets are low on the purchase wish list. there is talk once the new US fighter is on production lines the Canadians might be interested. last time Canadian Forces purcahsed planes we helping to pay  for the line setup and stuff which ran the costs up. Some where I read that  if and when Canada buys new combat aircraft they want to buy in after it is up and running with another country so the production line is up and running, cheaper for us to buy that way.
Second the F 18 is going thru mid life upgrades which is a normal thing to do with an aircraft of this age.
it was the same we got into the airbus conversion program for refuelers wait till the program is running to save money

Canada has always maintained that  aircraft has to have dual engines, because of over water time in flights in and around the country.
has to be dual purpose because Canada is no longer flying more then one kind of airframe. cost saving measure there.
F15 is a very  costly  bird to buy and maintain, more costly  then f18 i would think.
it is not like we have been in any major  air wars in years so number of birds flying is not a huge deal. 66 update aircraft beat 90 out of date aircraft.

it is like everything else here we arm chair quarter back it, not like anyone here is in the decesion making.
because if i had my  choice, we would have  harriers for ground support and  f 22 for air to air, f18 kept as the fighter bomber

 

Pencil Tech

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"I know that we have aprox 80 in the CF right now"

I thought we had 120 or so but they are upgrading 80.
 

TCBF

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Whatever we have left of the 138 we bought, they have been bombing the heck out of the Wainwright Annex these days.

Tom
 

ChopperHead

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American Planes are nice and everything But personally I would much rather see an all Canadian designed and buit aircraft to replace the CF-18 whenever that day comes. I know there is alot of ups and downs to this the biggest ones being cost and time for development and testing etc etc but Never the less I think It would be something for the whole country to be proud of.  :cdn: show the world what Canada can come up with.


Kyle
 

TCBF

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We could call it "The AVRO Arrow 2".  Then, the Conservatives could get elected and cancel it.

Isn't it great living in a sub-arctic banana republic?

Tom
 

oyaguy

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FormerHorseGuard said:
has to be dual purpose because Canada is no longer flying more then one kind of airframe. cost saving measure there.
F15 is a very  costly  bird to buy and maintain, more costly  then f18 i would think.

I know for a fact that both the F-18 and the F-16 were developed in response to the big costs of developing the F-14 and the F-15. Both the US Navy  and the US Air Force got a supremely capable aircraft, but also an expensive aircraft. To equip all their fighter squadrons would have cost too much, even for the US military. So light-weight fighters came into vogue.

I also think that the F-14 and F-15 (especially the earlier production models) were not as flexible as the F-16 and F-18 when it comes to dual roles, that don't quote me on that.

FormerHorseGuard said:
Canada has always maintained that  aircraft has to have dual engines, because of over water time in flights in and around the country.

As Mr. FormerHorseGuard puts the reason why the F-18 was selected over the F-16.

Interesting enough though, Canada almost got F-14s because Iran's F-14s were going to start falling apart due to lack of spares, and the fact they couldn't get any spares from the States. Then the whole Iran Hostage crisis swept into town, and whatever favour Iran was showing Canada back then kind of fell out when the Canadian Embassy smuggled out some American nationals.
 

jmacleod

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Boeing Canada is contracted for the upgrades of the CF CF18A (CF188). DND planners
are focused on the current operational fleet being in full inventory until 2017. There is to my
knowledge no plan at the present time to replace them. On the other hand DND is a financial
participant in the Lockheed-Martin led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to some $400 million. Michael
O'Leary's post is quite correct and well thought out - that is the formula that DND planners
will have to consider when advising the Government of options in a CF major crown purchase
(MCP) of a replacement aircraft, plus some other factors based on Canada's role in NATO and
support for other committments 12 -14 years from now. Difficult and expensive decisions. The
CF-18 A Hornet that Canada bought cost about $18.6 million in 1981 - it appears that a new
state-of-the-art F/A-18 E/F costs approximately $35 million US per ship set, (although this figure
is not confirmed by Boeing or partners at the moment, and the per ship set price is negotiable
in any event) MacLeod
 

Lancaster

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Most countries are purchasing new fighters such as France's Rafaele, Europe's Euro fighter and USA's F-22 which are air-superior fighters. They are expensive and have two engines for reliability. Since we have existing F-18s Hornets that are two engine and are a multi-role (bomber and fighter) air superiority fighter we should keep this versatile tradition by considering the new US Super Hornet F-18E/F as a replacement by year 2010, instead of the Joint Strike Fighter for 2017 (JSF F-35), which is basically a stealth bomber, and under development. But stealth has important advantages of lower radar detection. Also, US General Loh's view (from book Fighter Wing 2004) any air force that buys new aircraft that are not stealthy nor equipped with new generation precision aircraft and fire and forget weapons is committing a "criminal act". But the US 2004 defence subcommittee hearing, US Admiral Vernon E Clark on the F/A -18E/F program said "Highly praised for tactical capability and platform reliability" and also compatible with the F-22's. If we purchase the US. Super Hornet F-18E/F by 2010 our existing F-18s will be on average 25 years old, so if the recent Canadian budgets have produced surpluses we should purchase new fighters now while the economy is hot. By year 2017 Canada's Air Force will retire the F-18s, but what happens if we are in a recession? Would a new government say that we need fewer fighters because we have started a precedent with only 80 updated F-18s in last 10 years? The U.S. Super Hornet F-18E/F cost is $57 US million each, but if we negotiate and buy 80 Super Hornets on the last production block around the year 2010, we could potentially get $41 US million each or $3.3 US billion total(price based on last production run cost), instead of JSF (carrier version) fighter of $67 US million each or total of $5.4 US billion. The difference between the two fighters is a saving of $2.1 US billion. So buying a fighter at the end of Super Hornet production run is much cheaper than at beginning to mid  JSF production run in 2017, which will be will be very expensive. The Super Hornet is low maintenance with 40 % fewer parts and the old Hornet has been reliable and would be an all-weather fighter in the Canadian climate with a larger payload than the old F-18 Hornet. The experience with the US Stealth bomber shows that it requires a lot of maintenance for the stealth coatings so I presume it would be the same with the JSF. Australia wants 100 JSF fighters and the Netherlands wants some too. Canada paid out millions to be a partner but it doesn't mean you must buy that fighter. Since Canada are Spain are both mid size countries we both have same size total GDP economy. Spain is in the process of buying  87 Euro fighters that will cost them approx. $9.0 US billion ($104.5 US million each) to replace their F-18's(and some Mirages) which are the same age of fighter as Canada's, so then why can't Canada afford new fighters?

 

Michael OLeary

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Lancaster said:
....., so then why can't Canada afford new fighters?

An excellent question, and rather than just tossing out numbers from industry and military websites, I will offer you the same challenge that was put forth to Wizard:

Michael O'Leary said:
before you get into a debate with the pilots comparing two airframes, why don't you lay out your entire appreciation for us:

Tasks and roles to be conducted.
Aircrew training requirements.
Aircraft maintenance lifecycle.
Number of airframes required, based on your assessment of tasks.
Expected lifespan of "new" airframes, compared to expectation of available manufacturer and principal nation support.
Requirements and costs to retrain and retool all required maintenance facilities and maintainers.
Infrastructure costs to support new aircraft in all Wing locations.
Costs to replace all CF-18 specific support assets with new version.

As you can see, simply comparing statistics and unit costs doesn't quite scratch the surface of what you are proposing....
 

a_majoor

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A few other things to think about:

The "CF-15E" will be much bigger and heavier than either the CF-18 or its F/A-18  cousin. This would limit the ability to deploy to fairly large and sophisticated airfields with long runways. (This is not to say you could land a CF-18 on a dirt road...) This will limit the ability to support overseas expeditions, since not only are there range issues, but also "space" issues, since the airfields which can handle F-15s will already be full of American F-15s, taking up the hard stands, hangers, maintainence bays, etc.

In fact, if we were really serious about getting some hot new airplanes to support deployed expeditionary forces in austere environments, we would start looking at something like the MiG-29 or the Swedish SAAB Gripon instead....
 

TCBF

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No doubt, all of the aviators on this board are shaking their heads at all of us pongos saying "Lets buy SR-71s and use them on CIMIC overflights" and whatnot.  Just like all of the light and dark blue jobs telling us what tanks to buy.

Loads of laughs.


:D


Tom
 
A

aesop081

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TCBF said:
No doubt, all of the aviators on this board are shaking their heads at all of us pongos saying "Lets buy SR-71s and use them on CIMIC overflights" and whatnot.   Just like all of the light and dark blue jobs telling us what tanks to buy.

Loads of laughs.


:D


Tom

you read my mind Tom !!
 

Zoomie

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TCBF said:
"Lets buy SR-71s and use them on CIMIC overflights" and whatnot.

Better yet Tom, they just retired the fleet of Concorde's - why not pick them up for a fair penny, paint them grey and VOILA - instant strategic troop lift - get yer boys to combat super fast!
 
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