Respectfully have to disagree on this one, Quirky. Or at least have to disagree with your confidenceWe should go for the F-15EX, which costs more to acquire, costs more operate, yet somehow cheaper and more affordable? What a crazy time to be alive. Don't forget the F-15EX will take much longer to procure and we will need to create a new trade, all for what, because it's somehow the right choice for Canada? Please. There is nothing but doom and gloom on the F-35 because media only makes money with some sensational headlines. Any F-35 cut to numbers is nothing more than politics.
Both the USAF and RAF have both expressed the operating costs for the F-35 are higher than expected, to the point where the USAF is considering either a clean sheet 4th gen. design, or a batch of new-build F-16's, much like they did the F-15EX.
The reality is that we, along with everyone else, base our decision making on published numbers. And it seems that in the case of the F-35, the published numbers for maintenance / operating costs may not be accurate, as the airframe matures. Increased maintenance on engines, stealth coating, etc etc may be higher than published, simply due to the fact that the aircraft in question didn't have many hours on them at the time of publishing.
I leave it to the guys like SupersonicMax to make the good, informed decisions on which airframe is best for us, and best suites our needs.
There are lots of arguments in favour of the F-35, and I think everybody agrees the F-35 is the best jet in terms of capability, acquisition costs, etc etc. I'm with you on that.
However, that doesn't mean the F-15EX is a bad option by any means, either.