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The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)

childs56

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Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?
Wouldn't a 40 fleet of Stealth and a 100 fleet of conventional set us up for the long term?
These two aircraft build off each other's weaknesses and strengths.
 

DonaldMcL

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?
Wouldn't a 40 fleet of Stealth and a 100 fleet of conventional set us up for the long term?
These two aircraft build off each other's weaknesses and strengths.

Stealth isn't "required" at this moment in time, but you can't predict the future. It's also no longer an "addon" feature. It's included in the price of the jet and doesn't add anymore cost.

Sure you can still get manual windows in your vehicle, but you wouldn't say no to power windows if they were included for free, would you?
 

SeaKingTacco

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?
Wouldn't a 40 fleet of Stealth and a 100 fleet of conventional set us up for the long term?
These two aircraft build off each other's weaknesses and strengths.

Please explain, in detail, these "weaknesses and strengths".
 

Rifleman62

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If we had stealth aircraft how could we whip them out and brag "Canada's' back."
 

GR66

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?

So the enemy doesn't detect our aircraft and destroy them?
 

observor 69

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President Trump explains "stealth aircraft."

More recently, the President strayed into the F-35 realm when talking about relief efforts with Puerto Rican officials while visiting the storm ravaged island, and just as in this latest instance, for some reason he brought the program up while addressing the U.S. Coast Guard, stating:

"Amazing job, and amazing job. So amazing that we're ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. Do you like the F-35? I said how does it do it in fights, and how do they do in fights with the F-35. He says we do very well, you can't see it. Literally you can't see. It's hard to fight a plane you can't see right? But that's an expensive plane you can't see. And as you probably heard we cut the price very substantially, something other administrations would never have done, that I can tell you."

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16375/trump-just-provided-more-evidence-that-he-thinks-the-f-35-is-actually-invisible





 

Oldgateboatdriver

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BobSlob said:
Sure you can still get manual windows in your vehicle, but you wouldn't say no to power windows if they were included for free, would you?

Actually, Bob, I do specifically ask for manual windows on my cars.

Doesn't matter how easy it is to reach for the little window breaking tool they sell at Auto parts dealership, if you fall through the water, you are always able to roll down a manual window and escape - not so with electrical windows. And I do drive a lot near waterways.

For people who don't know about fighter planes, asking why we need stealth is not a bad question to ask for  Canadians. Perhaps it would be easier to explain that the feature we are seeking in the next generation fighter is the situational awareness and fusion of information that its onboard systems provide - not the "stealth" per se, which comes as the complement to the capabilities. Then, they realize they are asking the wrong question when getting stuck at the stealth issue. 
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Baden Guy said:
President Trump explains "stealth aircraft."

More recently, the President strayed into the F-35 realm when talking about relief efforts with Puerto Rican officials while visiting the storm ravaged island, and just as in this latest instance, for some reason he brought the program up while addressing the U.S. Coast Guard, stating:

"Amazing job, and amazing job. So amazing that we're ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. Do you like the F-35? I said how does it do it in fights, and how do they do in fights with the F-35. He says we do very well, you can't see it. Literally you can't see. It's hard to fight a plane you can't see right? But that's an expensive plane you can't see. And as you probably heard we cut the price very substantially, something other administrations would never have done, that I can tell you."

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16375/trump-just-provided-more-evidence-that-he-thinks-the-f-35-is-actually-invisible

This is the F-35 video that he was shown to explain stealth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSqCJ-UGYns
 

childs56

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SeaKingTacco said:
Please explain, in detail, these "weaknesses and strengths".

I am having a hard time finding the article from the US Navy in regards to operating the Super Hornet along with the F35. It kind of follows this line of thinking.
http://natoassociation.ca/the-case-for-a-rcaf-mixed-fighter-fleet/
 

Colin Parkinson

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Actually, Bob, I do specifically ask for manual windows on my cars.

Doesn't matter how easy it is to reach for the little window breaking tool they sell at Auto parts dealership, if you fall through the water, you are always able to roll down a manual window and escape - not so with electrical windows. And I do drive a lot near waterways.

For people who don't know about fighter planes, asking why we need stealth is not a bad question to ask for  Canadians. Perhaps it would be easier to explain that the feature we are seeking in the next generation fighter is the situational awareness and fusion of information that its onboard systems provide - not the "stealth" per se, which comes as the complement to the capabilities. Then, they realize they are asking the wrong question when getting stuck at the stealth issue.

Off topic, they fired 40 vehicles into a lake, all the electronics continued to work. If the water is deeper than 20', it is likely the vehicle will invert.
 

MarkOttawa

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More on Block III Super Hornet, existing airframes modifications section:

US Navy plans to modify 45 more Super Hornets

The US Navy plans to modify 45 more Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the next two years to increase the aircraft’s service life and capabilities, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 27 March.

The potential contract will cover modifications to up to 15 aircraft in fiscal year 2019 and a maximum of 30 aircraft in FY2020, NAVAIR says. The modifications are designed to extend the fighter’s airframe life from 6,000-9,000h, adding up to 10 years of service.

Boeing will also convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration starting in the early 2020s. This conversion will include adding an enhanced network capability, a longer range thanks to internal conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. Such updates are designed to keep the type effective in combat until at least into the early 2030s [one presumes those are older aircraft, not recent ones and continuing new-builds]...
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-plans-to-modify-45-more-super-hornets-447133/

Mark
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Altair

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Colin P said:
Off topic, they fired 40 vehicles into a lake, all the electronics continued to work. If the water is deeper than 20', it is likely the vehicle will invert.
Great,  unless you are dealing with the ignition switch problem GM was having,  in which case all your electronics go kaput.
 

McG

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?
Wouldn't a 40 fleet of Stealth and a 100 fleet of conventional set us up for the long term?
These two aircraft build off each other's weaknesses and strengths.
You seem to be assuming that a "fleet of stealth" and a "fleet of conventional" would have complimentary strengths and weaknesses.  You also seem to be assuming that a "fleet of conventional" would be sufficiently inexpensive up front so as to cancel out the inefficiencies in life cycle costs for maintaining multiple fighter fleets.  I am not sure either assumption is correct. 
 

Loachman

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?

Because there will not be a secondary jet. There will be an only jet. Extra costs of operating mixed fleets have been discussed here before.

Because stealth improves survivability in combat. The only jet must remain competitive for several decades.

And stealth is only one advantage - fully distributed and integrated sensors plus networking are probably even more important.
 

HB_Pencil

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CTD said:
Why does Canada require a "Stealth fighter" as its primary jet?
Wouldn't a 40 fleet of Stealth and a 100 fleet of conventional set us up for the long term?
These two aircraft build off each other's weaknesses and strengths.

So a few considerations.

So when you say stealth jet, I'm just going to say F-35: I assume you're making a number of assumptions which are just not accurate to the actual situation.

First: the real "cost" of the F-35 is its avionics - the airframe for 5th Gen fighters is about 15~20% of the aircraft's total cost. (see page 72)                                       

Second: The F-35 is cheaper to purchase than all other options (especially the Block III F/A-18E), and are roughly about the same to maintain and operate over the expected lifetime. Remember, 18 Block II Shornets cost $6.4 billion. 65 F-35s come to about $9 Billion.

Thirdly: The capability advantage of the F-35 means you need less aircraft to do the same job. Right from the get go, Canada wouldn't have to buy dedicated twin seat training aircraft with the F-35: operational squadron aircraft would be rotated in on an as-needed basis. If, for example, Canada was to face an ACLM threat in the north, you would need three to four times as many "conventional" fighters as a pair or more F-35s could cover. (this article is supposed to be about "next generation" fighters, but its really about the F-35. also this article talks about line squadron aircraft being used in training. )

Fourthly: there is no cost savings with a dual fleet. DRDC did a report that rubbished that idea. We don't even have the personnel to operate one fleet now with its pipeline. Two will utterly break the system.

Finally, (and somewhat controversially), I would argue that "conventional" aircraft are reaching technical obsolescence much like the pre-dreadnought prior to 1907.. If you look at how DoD is looking at future warfare, with fleets of autonomous and manned vehicles playing a complementary role, having an aircraft that is not a networked part of that fleet is basically just wasted money.

I hope that clarifies things.
 

childs56

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Finally, (and somewhat controversially), I would argue that "conventional" aircraft are reaching technical obsolescence much like the pre-dreadnought prior to 1907.. If you look at how DoD is looking at future warfare, with fleets of autonomous and manned vehicles playing a complementary role, having an aircraft that is not a networked part of that fleet is basically just wasted money.

I hope that clarifies things.
[/quote]

Second: The F-35 is cheaper to purchase than all other options (especially the Block III F/A-18E), and are roughly about the same to maintain and operate over the expected lifetime. Remember, 18 Block II Shornets cost $6.4 billion. 65 F-35s come to about $9 Billion.

Your telling me that a SH costs $355,000,000 each. While the F35 Costs $138,000,000 each? I think when you post up total cost it should include what is in the purchase package. Other wise it looks more dramatic then it really is.

Thirdly: The capability advantage of the F-35 means you need less aircraft to do the same job. Right from the get go, Canada wouldn't have to buy dedicated twin seat training aircraft with the F-35: operational squadron aircraft would be rotated in on an as-needed basis. If, for example, Canada was to face an ACLM threat in the north, you would need three to four times as many "conventional" fighters as a pair or more F-35s could cover. (this article is supposed to be about "next generation" fighters, but its really about the F-35. also this article talks about line squadron aircraft being used in training. )

When you say you need less Aircraft to do the same job. Hour for hour those jets still fly and they collect hours on their airframe. If you have fewer jets that means fewer airframes to cycle airframe hours. So your smaller fleet will require to fly more hours to perform the same job. When you want a platform for the next 30 or so years you need to buy a system in place that can provide the numbers for attrition, life cycle and future threat.
Hour for hour the F35 costs around $28,000hr to operate, the SH D model is around $13,000hr to operate. (operating budget is going to shrink even more with less platforms, because that is how the Government works)

When you say you need less Airframes to do the same job. Does that mean instead of deploying 6 Jets to Iraq, and 6 to Norad, 6 to Unkraine. We can get away with deploying only 2 Airframes per deployment? Does that take into consideration multiple missions on multiple targets in multiple target areas not close together. (knowing the Government they would try to cut cut cut).

As I have said in a earlier post the US Navy and the Airforce will be operating a mixed fleet well into the next 30 years. Simply put one fleet does not provide for all levels of service. Even the US Airforce under ideal conditions will be using the F22 along with the F35 together, (if they ever get them to communicate together). In the larger picture both if these Aircraft will compliment each other. Both have their abilities. Both built for a specific aspect of future warfare.

Fourthly: there is no cost savings with a dual fleet. DRDC did a report that rubbished that idea. We don't even have the personnel to operate one fleet now with its pipeline. Two will utterly break the system.

The Cost savings of running a dual fleet is not really known as a savings. It is known as a force multiplier. Not any one platform will suit every mission. Many countries are banking on the F35 to be a miracle jet be all end all. In reality they are sacrificing some function over others. Does the F35 have the future ability to be everything we want it to be. Of course, but at what cost. Financially and operationally.


Here is how I would do the program. 2 options.
buy the 65 F35. Send them to Bagotville. They become the advanced Fighter Deployment Center for Operations.
Buy 100 SH or other Gen 4+ Post them in Cold Lake, Used for Training, low entensity deployments. NORAD, UN missions. , 6 in Comox, 6 in Yellowknife. 6 Iraq, 6 Ukraine 12 in Bagotville for training. The rest In Cold lake for Training and Deployment.

Or Go 160 F35 Split between the two Bases and deployed as needed around the World, Domestically. At any time you can expect 50% of your aircraft to be down. Sign an agreement to buy an initial 60, Deliver over two years or sooner. Then sign a contract to build the other 100 over a 5 year time frame. This way your getting the Airframes coming out over the up fitt stages. By the time you have your last Jets out the door  your first production will be good for their upgrade to the newest.

Or buy 65 now of any platform. Run the living snot out of the and have nothing in 20 years. Hopefully you have an option to buy a 6 gen a some point. 
 

CBH99

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While I agree "in theory" to your idea CTD, the reality is we are never going to operate 160 fighters.  Period. 

We don't have the pilots, and operating what would essentially be twice our current fighter force & then some, we just wouldn't have the manpower, pilots, etc etc to do so.  Not as things currently stand.


I think a big difference between the US and almost any other country, that people fail to consider, is that the US Congress routinely funds aircraft purchases above & beyond what the US services are even asking for.  Just recently, US Congress authorized the US Navy to acquire something like 10 or 14 more Super Hornets than what they were even asking for, as part of their Unfunded Priorities list. 

So here we have a situation where the US Navy funds the purchase of X number of aircraft.  They then go to Congress with a list of things they want, but didn't originally budget for - which, for this example, is say 10 additional aircraft.  Congress then says "Here's 24 aircraft instead of just the 10 additional ones you wanted."


No other military on the planet has the luxury of a government giving them MORE than what they ask for, on a regular basis.  And as such, they can consistently bring out new 'blocks' of aircraft off the production line, then upgrade their oldest to the newest standard - as you suggest.  Much easier to do if you have a consistent influx of new machines, which nobody else really does.
 

GR66

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Out of my lane, so not going to talk about specifics but when people talk about the impossibility of a mixed fleet or that we can never have "X" number of fighters the arguments seem to be locked into the assumption that we're stuck with the existing structure of the CF. 

No doubt a mixed fleet has more overhead and support costs than a single fleet and more aircraft cost more than fewer aircraft and sure the current training system can't pump out enough people to handle that.  But do the advantages of a mixed fleet...maybe a 2nd aircraft with greater payload that can take advantage of the F-35's stealth and sensor ability...or simply not having all our eggs in a single basket in case an enemy finds a way to neutralize some of the advantages of the F-35...make it worthwhile looking at ways to make a mixed fleet work?

Would the overall military benefits to Canada of having a mixed fleet of say 130 aircraft (# pulled out of my ass) be worth finding those costs elsewhere?  Is it worth the cost of giving up a Reg Force Infantry Battalion for example?  A Regiment?  Reserve Force "Armoured" units?  Some other capability?

I'm not suggesting any one of those things or even saying that yes we should have a mixed fleet but like so many of the discussions here the problem comes down to the government (any government) not having the political balls to do a REAL review of Canada's defence requirements. 

We have X number of fighters now...how many can we afford to buy and still do roughly the same stuff without breaking anything else?  What kind of defence strategy is that?  The government isn't willing to declare clear role for the CF and the CF leadership isn't willing to stick its neck out and say here's what we need to be able to do the things we've typically been asked to do or in our opinion we need to be prepared to be able to do. 

Sorry...end of rant.
 

Cdn Blackshirt

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For us civvies (as it's hard to have this discussion  without current deployment context) what's the approximate distribution of Cf188's per base now?
 
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