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F-18 Advanced Hornet

Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by Guynumber7, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. Guynumber7

    Guynumber7 New Member

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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.
     
  2. John Fedup

    John Fedup Active Member

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    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.
     
  3. colay

    colay New Member

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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.

    Dead Man Flying



    Dead Man Flying

    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.”

    Gen. Mark A. Welsh III
    USAF Chief of Staff
     
  4. John Fedup

    John Fedup Active Member

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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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2013
  5. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

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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
     
  6. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^^^ 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: Sep 17, 2013
  7. ADMk2

    ADMk2 Just a bloke Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  8. sea spear

    sea spear New Member

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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 :
     
  9. John Fedup

    John Fedup Active Member

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    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.
     
  10. CB90

    CB90 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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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.
     
  11. Shanesworld

    Shanesworld Member

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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?
     
  12. t68

    t68 Active Member

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    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/Technolo...rainer/?RAAF-9fFc0zNz47KFOWz+8bfp/DTtS+SDzyxb
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  13. CB90

    CB90 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    More often than not, modern fighters don't have dedicated trainer aircraft.
     
  14. Shanesworld

    Shanesworld Member

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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?
     
  15. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    The Russians use different training models... you can't do a comparison as such
     
  16. Pathfinder-X

    Pathfinder-X Tribal Warlord Verified Defense Pro

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    Problem with selecting a different plane now is that Canada had already invested a large sum of money into the F-35 program. Also, contractors in Canada will be building some of the parts, so there is also a job creation issue. The money will go down the toilet if they opted for the Hornets instead, not to mention votes lost.
     
  17. John Fedup

    John Fedup Active Member

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    I don't believe existing contracts would be at risk if Canada does not select the F-35 but future contracts most likely would go to other partner countries that stick with the F-35. As for votes lost, who knows. Judging by posts in Cdn media, the F-35 is a vote loser and this is largely due to false information and a pi$$ poor job by DND and the Govt explaining the life cycle cost for fighters, regardless of which one is selected. The latest LRIP price of 113m is an indication that the cost is trending in the right direction for the F-35. By mid to end of 2014, we should have a good idea of eventual cost and program status to make a decision. The problem is by that time an election will be looming and the F-35 might be the same cross to bare as the EH101 was in 1993 for the Tories.
     
  18. Jonton

    Jonton New Member

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    I like the idea of CFTs on the Hornet but now the weapons pod. I think it sacrifices far too much capability and payload for a very minor gain in stealth.
     
  19. ADMk2

    ADMk2 Just a bloke Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Depends on how much payload you think the Hornet needs. That pod is very much a 'first day of the war' capability, clearly the intent is to mimic as far as possible the capability that currently only the F-22A and F-35 can bring to those scenarios, neither of which feature impressive internal payloads compared to what a modern fighter COULD carry if necessary (albeit at the expense of range, performance and low observability).

    However that is the point. If you need large payloads at the expense of LO, it can do it. If you need maximum available LO and some weapons it can do that as well.

    It looks a bit clunky I agree but short of building an F-35-esque aircraft how else are you going to get the desired LO performance AND manage to carry the weapons you are likely to require?
     
  20. King Wally

    King Wally Member

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    Just looking at it quickly other platforms, like say the F-35 have a similar issue when they only use their LO internal weapons bay's. Your looking at highly reduced payloads there as well.