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F-18 Advanced Hornet

This is a discussion on F-18 Advanced Hornet within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; New interesting plane that i think would be very good for Canada. Longer range with CFTs, AESA radar and a ...


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Old September 4th, 2013   #1
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F-18 Advanced Hornet

New interesting plane that i think would be very good for Canada. Longer range with CFTs, AESA radar and a stealth weapons pod.
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Old September 9th, 2013   #2
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New interesting plane that i think would be very good for Canada. Longer range with CFTs, AESA radar and a stealth weapons pod.
Agreed, this upgraded Superhornet is worth looking at. The Growler version should be considered as well. Canada should buy a 1-2 dozen and wait and see how the F-35 pans out.
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Old September 10th, 2013   #3
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Canada is at a fork in the road. It can decide to invest in the past 4th gen technology or invest in the future in the form of the F-35. I think I'll take the word of the pros as to which is the right choice.

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Regardless of how much the Air Force has to shrink, it can’t do the air superiority mission with just fourth-generation fighters, no matter how “efficient” they may look on paper, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said on June 17... There’s “nothing else that can do” what the F-35 can, he said. “Out there where people fight and die, for real, if a fourth-generation aircraft meets a fifth-generation aircraft, the fourth-generation aircraft may be more efficient, but it’s also dead.”

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Old September 17th, 2013   #4
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Canada is at a fork in the road. It can decide to invest in the past 4th gen technology or invest in the future in the form of the F-35. I think I'll take the word of the pros as to which is the
The Canadian Govt planned to buy 65 F-35As. This is still possible only if the pricing gets down to the 85-90m range. If not, the number of jets that Canada could afford would be too small making a dual purchase more feasible, 16-24 F-35s for operating in high threat environments and a 30-40 mix of F-18/EA-Gs for less contested environments.

Last edited by ADMk2; September 18th, 2013 at 12:05 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2013   #5
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If the numbers drop, the incidental costs of running two aircraft rise per aircraft. You'd be better off running a single fleet of whatever you pick.

Running stocks of parts for both types, keeping pilots and maintainers current, these only work out if you've a large pool of aircraft. Otherwise, there's a minimum level of support needed to keep stuff working that gets very expensive per cab.


As far as I understand it, the full rate production price of the A model will drop to the range you've indicated anyway, in short order
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Old September 17th, 2013   #6
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As far as I understand it, the full rate production price of the A model will drop to the range you've indicated anyway, in short order
^^^^ THIS

It's by far going to be the most numerous variant, the US alone is getting around 1,800 A's and combination of B's and C's for the USN/USMC is only about a third of that IIRC. It's also the most popular example internationally too.

FRP is a beautiful thing.

Last edited by RobWilliams; September 17th, 2013 at 01:04 PM. Reason: thought i was in the F35 thread for a min
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Old September 18th, 2013   #7
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The Canadian Govt planned to buy 65 F-35As. This is still possible only if the pricing gets down to the 85-90m range. If not, the number of jets that Canada could afford would be too small making a dual purchase more feasible, 16-24 F-35s for operating in high threat environments and a 30-40 mix of F-18/EA-Gs for less contested environments.
First of all you've got to stop dividing the number of jets by the overall contract price as this gives an incorrect assessment of the price (the favoured trick of the Euro-canard manufacturers and their pet websites like defence-aerospace.com and it's ridiculously biased and disingenuous editor - Giovanni de Briganti) to make their prices look more attractive.

Overall contract price includes simulators, other training devices, infrastructure, test and repair capabilities for aircraft, engines, systems etc, weapons inventories and so on.

If you want to measure this way (and I think it's a good way to do it personally, despite the sticker-shock because it informs you as to what a capability costs rather than what an individual airplane costs) then you need to be consistent across ALL possible aircraft types and measure the "capability price" of every aircraft rather than the aircraft price of one possibility and the capability price of another (as is done constantly with F-35).

When you do this, in the case of Australia's F/A-18F fleet (24 aircraft at $6.3B) you can make a (weak) argument that F/A-18F Super Hornets individually cost $224m each (at 2007 prices...) or about $5B past your Countries budget if you stick to the 65 aircraft plan... The reality is that price includes everything you need to run that capability for 13 years, it's not the aircraft price though.

When you drill down to actual contracted aircraft prices, you will see that F-35A's aren't significantly more expensive than their competitors as even the current low rate production is greater than any of their competitors and from LRIP 8 onwards (71 aircraft per year from recollection) it's build rate is actually greater than virtually all of it's competitors (in the Canadian context) combined.

Last edited by ADMk2; September 18th, 2013 at 08:06 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2013   #8
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f35 conformal

This is my first post and excuse me if its not up to par
My question though is on the possibility of f/a 18e/f Growlers with conformal tanks acting in conjunction wth the f35 on longer range patrols and being able to refuel the f35 on such patrols :
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Old September 30th, 2013   #9
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This is my first post and excuse me if its not up to par
My question though is on the possibility of f/a 18e/f Growlers with conformal tanks acting in conjunction wth the f35 on longer range patrols and being able to refuel the f35 on such patrols :
The USN could likely do this as they have both Shornets and Growlers and it wouldn't be necessary to upgrade their existing aircraft with CFTs although Boeing would welcome the upgrade. Australia is the only other operator of Superhornets and Growlers and neither of these jets or their planned F-35As will be used from carriers so they will use their new EADS tankers based on the Airbus 330 airframe.
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Old September 30th, 2013   #10
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And if the idea is to combine EW support and tanking, you'd have to balance what stores the Growler needs to carry to accomplish its EW mission with what the SHornet airframe needs in order to perform the buddy tanking mission.

I have a feeling the two aren't going to be compatible.

What may also be interesting is what happens to the other aircraft if you try to bring in a friendly aircraft for AAR while the EW pods are active.
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Old September 30th, 2013   #11
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First of all you've got to stop dividing the number of jets by the overall contract price as this gives an incorrect assessment of the price (the favoured trick of the Euro-canard manufacturers and their pet websites like defence-aerospace.com and it's ridiculously biased and disingenuous editor - Giovanni de Briganti) to make their prices look more attractive.

Overall contract price includes simulators, other training devices, infrastructure, test and repair capabilities for aircraft, engines, systems etc, weapons inventories and so on.

If you want to measure this way (and I think it's a good way to do it personally, despite the sticker-shock because it informs you as to what a capability costs rather than what an individual airplane costs) then you need to be consistent across ALL possible aircraft types and measure the "capability price" of every aircraft rather than the aircraft price of one possibility and the capability price of another (as is done constantly with F-35).

When you do this, in the case of Australia's F/A-18F fleet (24 aircraft at $6.3B) you can make a (weak) argument that F/A-18F Super Hornets individually cost $224m each (at 2007 prices...) or about $5B past your Countries budget if you stick to the 65 aircraft plan... The reality is that price includes everything you need to run that capability for 13 years, it's not the aircraft price though.

When you drill down to actual contracted aircraft prices, you will see that F-35A's aren't significantly more expensive than their competitors as even the current low rate production is greater than any of their competitors and from LRIP 8 onwards (71 aircraft per year from recollection) it's build rate is actually greater than virtually all of it's competitors (in the Canadian context) combined.
Out of curiosity did you know why it is a period of 13 years?
Also does anyone know what the training cycle will be like for pilots as there is no two seater?
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Old September 30th, 2013   #12
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Out of curiosity did you know why it is a period of 13 years?
Also does anyone know what the training cycle will be like for pilots as there is no two seater?
Bridgeing capability for the F111, which was retired early was originally planed to last untill 2020 from memory. Then move to an all F35A fleet.

http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/asd/air5349/index.cfm

We also operate the F/A-18F two seat variant we use the Hawk trainer for pilot training

http://www.airforce.gov.au/Technolog...fp/DTtS+SDzyxb

Last edited by t68; September 30th, 2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2013   #13
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Out of curiosity did you know why it is a period of 13 years?
Also does anyone know what the training cycle will be like for pilots as there is no two seater?
More often than not, modern fighters don't have dedicated trainer aircraft.
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Old September 30th, 2013   #14
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More often than not, modern fighters don't have dedicated trainer aircraft.
So just simulator and lead in trainer/light fighter? Didn't know that.
Does anyone know the likely numbers of support staff to maintain say a squadrons worth of F-35's?
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Old September 30th, 2013   #15
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So just simulator and lead in trainer/light fighter? Didn't know that.
Does anyone know the likely numbers of support staff to maintain say a squadrons worth of F-35's?
The Russians use different training models... you can't do a comparison as such
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