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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

dimsum

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He lied for everything else so IMO the F 35 is a pipe dream
I'm not so sure about that. He could have doubled down on the "we're not buying F-35s" part of the campaign promise, but he hasn't.

That in itself is making me think that they probably saw all the specs/implications, and said "oh crap, time to backpedal".
 

MarkOttawa

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Start of an article at a US think tank by a former senior American diplomat who "served as Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S, Embassy in Ottawa (2013-16) and at the Pentagon as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army":

Canada’s Jet Fighter Purchase Decision: Planes, Prices, Politics​

By Richard Sanders

As Canada struggles with COVID-19 and its economic fall-out, issues which otherwise might command public attention have largely gone underground. Among them is the long-pending decision on which new fighter aircraft it should buy, where discussion has been largely relegated to specialty aviation publications and websites. Meanwhile, the Department of National Defense keeps mum as it considers the bids of two American manufacturers—Lockheed Martin, which offers the F-35 Lightning II, and Boeing, which offers the F/A-18 Super Hornet, and one Swedish, Saab, which offers the JAS-39 Gripen.

The Long and Winding Road

The effort to find a replacement for Canada’s existing fleet of CF-18 Hornet fighters, which date from the early 1980s, began in earnest during Steven Harper’s government, when he announced his intention to purchase the Lightning II without allowing other fighters to compete. In the face of severe criticism that costs were greatly under-estimated, most tellingly from the Office of the Auditor General, the decision was reversed.https://www.wilsoncenter.org/articl...urchase-decision-planes-prices-politics#_edn1 In his 2015 campaign, Justin Trudeau explicitly ruled out the Lightning II in favor of something “more affordable.”[ii]

Once in office the Trudeau government announced that Canada would purchase eighteen Boeing Super Hornet fighters as “interim” replacements to meet urgent needs, but then reversed itself after Boeing filed a claim with the U.S. International Trade Commission against civil aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, asserting that it had received illegal subsidies from the Canadian government and was dumping aircraft below cost in a sale to Delta Airlines. Boeing lost its case before the Commission, rendering the issue moot.[iii] Ultimately, a majority share in Bombardier was sold to the European Airbus consortium. Unfortunately for Boeing, the Super Hornet deal was not revived, but after the Trudeau government decided in November 2016 to address the fighter purchase issue by holding a new competition to purchase 88 aircraft, it was allowed to participate in the bidding. To bridge the gap until a new fighter is purchased, Canada has bought 25 used Hornets from Australia (which is taking delivery of new F-35s).

While French manufacturer Dassault was interested in selling its Rafale fighter and the pan-European “Eurofighter” consortium its Typhoon, both dropped out of the competition. The Rafale was considered to be insufficiently interoperable with U.S. aircraft[iv] and the Typhoon was burdened by questions regarding the cost of meeting security requirements, given that its manufacture and supply chain was outside of the U.S. and Canada.[v] There was also concern that Canada had revised the bidding specifications regarding local manufacturing offsets in ways which favored the F-35, which was now very much back in the running.

While the Department of National Defense has remained silent while it reviews the bids (each of which may be as much as 7000 pages long), aviation journalists, think tank writers, and aircraft enthusiasts have sought to handicap the race. The reality is that a decision depends not only on price and capabilities, but also on the role given to domestic industry and on purely political concerns, both international and domestic...


Mark
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MarkOttawa

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Swiss cabinet picks F-35, now to parliament:

Air2030: Federal Council decides to procure 36 F-35A fighter aircraft​

Bern, 30.06.2021 - The Federal Council is set to propose that Parliament approve the procurement of 36 F-35A fighter aircraft from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin and five Patriot fire units from US manufacturer Raytheon. An evaluation has revealed that these two systems offer the highest overall benefit at the lowest overall cost. The Federal Council is confident that these two systems are the most suitable for protecting the Swiss population from air threats in the future. The Federal Council took the decision at its meeting on 30 June.


The Air Force’s current equipment will reach the end of its service life in 2030. To ensure Switzerland’s continued protection against threats from the air, the Federal Council intends to replace its current fleet of fighter aircraft and procure a new system for longer-range ground-based air defence (GBAD). In the referendum on 27 September 2020, a planning decision was adopted which set a budget cap of CHF 6 billion for the procurement of new fighter aircraft. In addition, CHF 2 billion will go towards a longer-range GBAD system. (Both figures according to the National Consumer Price Index in Jan. 2018.)

The Federal Council based its decision on a comprehensive technical evaluation of four new fighter aircraft candidates (Eurofighter by Airbus, Germany; F/A-18 Super Hornet by Boeing, USA; F-35A by Lockheed Martin, USA; Rafale by Dassault, France) and two candidates for a longer-range GBAD system (SAMP/T by Eurosam, France; Patriot by Raytheon, USA).

Fighter aircraft: F-35A offers highest overall benefit at lowest cost by far​

...
[Read on.]

Mark
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dapaterson

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Given the fierce neutrality of the Swiss, the F35 and its heavily US controlled IT infrastructure is a surprising choice.
 

Kirkhill

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Given the fierce neutrality of the Swiss, the F35 and its heavily US controlled IT infrastructure is a surprising choice.

And yet one of the first foreign buyers was Israel.

It is not impossible to me that the Israelis, Japanese, Swiss and Koreans could buy non-US spec F-35s and then develop national proprietary modifications that would "improve" on the US specs.
 

Weinie

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And yet one of the first foreign buyers was Israel.

It is not impossible to me that the Israelis, Japanese, Swiss and Koreans could buy non-US spec F-35s and then develop national proprietary modifications that would "improve" on the US specs.
Like Israel did on the F-4
 

dapaterson

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And yet one of the first foreign buyers was Israel.

It is not impossible to me that the Israelis, Japanese, Swiss and Koreans could buy non-US spec F-35s and then develop national proprietary modifications that would "improve" on the US specs.
Source code under US lock and key. No development outside their labs.
 

Kirkhill

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Its all a matter of the interfaces. How smart are their munitions?

You can work around the source code and not interfere with it.
 

Weinie

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A bit on Israeli mods to the F-35A:


I am trying to find an article that I read that posited that the Israeli Air Force had made more than 2000 changes/upgrades to the original F-4, all of which had been demanded by real time combat experience. The IAF F-4 at that time was the most capable variant in the world,
 

MarkOttawa

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Good analysis of Swiss choice of F-35A, and comparison with Finnish competition, by Corporal Frisk:

Swiss decision rolls in F-35’s favour​


...The debate about whether Switzerland need a stealth fighter misses the point. The main reason why the Swiss appreciate its effectiveness isn’t the stealth features, but the networked nature and integrated sensors giving the pilots a higher situational awareness. Oh, and by the way: it’s stealthy which is a nice bonus. And it seems set to stay in service the longest. The last two points arguably in of higher importance in HX, but even then F-35 took home AIR2030.

The point about staying in service further resonates with the product support question. ALIS gets good points, the maintenance system is modern and simple, and the large number of both fighters produced in general and European operators in particular ensure cooperation opportunities in both training and operational usage.

Crucially, the calculations made by the Swiss also showed that the aircraft was significantly cheaper compared to the second lowest bid when calculating full life-cycle costs (i.e. acquisition and 30 years of operations), coming in at approximately 2.0 Bn CHF cheaper (3.2 Bn EUR).

The big deal here is that as opposed to several of the recent wins for the F-35 where it has been the favourite from the outset, in Switzerland the F-35 is most likely the most difficult political choice. That the evaluation still found that the F-35 won three out of four categories including combat capability, product support, and cooperation opportunities is significant, as if the race would have been close the temptation to fudge the numbers a bit to ensure a more politically acceptable winner could certainly have been there. And crucially, unlike some other evaluations, the fact that the F-35 wasn’t the bestest and greatest in all measurable ways ironically lends a bit more credibility to the evaluation.

That’s the good news for the F-35, and it would be naive to think that the Swiss findings are taken out of thin air...

" [from Swiss selection document] All candidates were able to guarantee data autonomy. In the case of the F-35A, the system’s cyber management, the security of its computer architecture and its cyber protection measures combine to ensure an especially high level of cyber security. As with all other candidates, with the F-35A Switzerland controls which information to exchange with other air forces via data link, and what logistics information to report back to the manufacturer."

This is also certainly a good sign for F-35 from a Finnish point of view, as the cyber security and sovereignty aspect are among the questions still lingering with regards to the fighter. While Lockheed Martin has stressed that it isn’t an issue, it is one of those things that are next to impossible to judge based on open sources. However, that Switss evaluators has reached the conclusion is certainly promising.

But there’s also a few flies in the ointment.

The cheapness is… strange...

Perhaps more worrying is how the aircraft became 3 billion euros cheaper to operate – by offloading flight hours into simulators. This is certainly one of those ‘Yes, but…’-arguments...

...
...Swiss DSCA-notification include a grand-total of 40 AIM-9X Sidewinders, 12 Mk 82 500-lb bombs with JDAM-guidance kits, and 12 SDB-II small glide-bombs. You do not fight a war with that kind of stock, although the possibility to carry on the weapons currently used by the Hornets are there. As has been discussed for Finland, the weapons and spares bought will be a huge part of the overall acquisition costs, suddenly making the 8.2 Bn EUR Swiss pricetag look less than stellar (although granted the Swiss DSCA-notification included more spare engines compared to the Finnish bid). Comparing costs is a case of apples against pears against olives with the occasional mango thrown into the mix, but the resulting smoothie evidently tastes like Finland won’t be able to acquire and operate 64 F-35As at Swiss prices.

More confusingly, if that is 20% cheaper than everything else, there’s some serious discrepancies between what the Swiss asked for and the five packages offered to Finland for 9.6 Bn Euros.

Mark
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GR66

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It appears that the long term sustainment costs of the F-35s continue to be a major issue.

Pentagon services face unaffordable F-35 operations and sustainment costs by 2036

If the US military is projecting sustainment to be "unaffordable" for them, then what are the cost implications for a country with a small Defense budget like Canada? What are the opportunity costs in relation to other key military expenditures that can't be afforded due to the cost of maintaining one particular platform?
 

medic5

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LINK REMOVED BY MODERATOR

“The expensive weapons are largely useless in responding to natural disasters, providing international humanitarian relief or in peacekeeping operations,”

Pierre Trudeau is proud. Responding to national disasters, peacekeeping and humanitarian relief.
 
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Lance Wiebe

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The American GAO says the cost per flight hour of the F35 is US $38,000.
While I have no idea what the cost of the CF18 is per flight hour, apparently the F16 is US $25,000.
That's a significant difference, no wonder the USofA is concerned.
Should we be concerned?
 

CBH99

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“The expensive weapons are largely useless in responding to natural disasters, providing international humanitarian relief or in peacekeeping operations,”

Pierre Trudeau is proud. Responding to national disasters, peacekeeping and humanitarian relief.
They sure are useless at responding to natural disasters. Good thing that isn’t what they are bought for or employed for… that would be a nightmare!! I suppose strafing dry mountainside with HE rounds wouldn’t help the forest fire situation much.

Humanitarian relief? Also a good call. Dropping water bottles & IV bags would be a bit hard on the locals if they were crammed inside 500lb JDAM casings.

And peacekeeping! We have so many troops deployed on peacekeeping operations right now, they are right. Fighter jets are USELESS during peacekeeping operations. Low level show of force? Recce flights over areas of interest? Deterrent towards aggressive factions?

No way man, that’s aggressive. It triggers their non-existent PTSD from that conflict they weren’t in. That shit was crazy.

Oh wait…did they mean the kind of peacekeeping that doesn’t exist? The kind where combative factions fight each other over nonsense, justify it because of something that happened ages ago, and target each other’s civilian populations? (Or their own, if it furthers their strategy. Looking at you Bosnia.)

because if THAT is what they meant, I’m pretty sure having jets fly low and quick over roadblocks and dickheads seemed to work pretty well. (He’s circling around and coming back - and next time he flies over he’s leaving your roadblock as a crater. You may want to move…)


Hippies, dumb people, and celebrities - please take note:

- fighter jets are extremely useful. They get places fast. They are good at killing things (oh yikes) both on the ground and in the air. They are cheap to deploy both financially and in terms of risk. They are also good at keeping an eye on bad guys (like ISIS, who would chop your heads off in an instant just for fun) and watch areas of potential conflict.

- we have NORAD commitments. NORAD, for all of you morons who have never watched the news, is a bi-lateral agreement with the USA to safeguard US & Canadian airways and seaways. When those pesky Russians practice their skills near our airspace, we practice our skills at interception. (We have this magical, unspoken agreement where we help each other train without much warning.)

- we don’t have anybody deployed on peacekeeping operations because peacekeeping doesn’t really exist. Just read up on it, I can’t explain it all now. Any UN peacekeeping operations are directed by - you guessed it - the UN. The organization that makes us look streamlined. (And the troops come from countries most of you haven’t even heard of. True professionals.)

- Humanitarian aid tends to be fairly short duration operations. And we have DART for that, along with cargo planes, medics, etc.


I think OldSolduer said it best. Just STFU and go back to protesting whatever it is your protesting.
 
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