Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) News and Discussions

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Mexico tries to sell Canada its VIP 787: Mexico Tries To Sell $130m 787 Private Presidential Jet To Justin Trudeau - Simple Flying

Not as crazy an idea as it might seem. Both Westjet and Air Canada fly the 787, so there is a ready market for maintenance and training already in Canada. It might be a nice change to have our PM flying in something more befitting the head of a G8 country for a change.
G8? Did Russia get invited back?:D As for buying the 787 for junior...might be a political headache for a minority government and there would be a need to acquire a second one. Still, the price seems reasonable at $130 million, wonder what a new VIP 787 would cost? Maybe VIP 737 MAXs with added fuel capacity could be an option, the pricing might be attractive (grabbing some jets from an airline looking to cancel their orders and converting them).
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Even if the USN needed more manned fighters before the Next Generation Fighter they would be better off building additional F-35s rather than more Super Hornets. It's yesterday's technology and to be honest, I am not even sure why Canada is still considering it.
Not every nation can afford to fork out for the F-35, or if they can, want to. Just because Australia has doesn't make it the holy of holies. Yes the F-35 is good but it is not the be all to end all. It cannot lift the load of, nor has the range of a F-15E or F-15EX. Take the C4 technology out of it and put that into a F-15EX or F-18F BLK III, then the only difference is the LO shape and coating. Yes it can still sneak part of the way into an IADS, but that capability is only going to last so long until a counter measure is fielded, then it's just another fast jet in the sky able to be targeted and shot down.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Not every nation can afford to fork out for the F-35, or if they can, want to. Just because Australia has doesn't make it the holy of holies. Yes the F-35 is good but it is not the be all to end all. It cannot lift the load of, nor has the range of a F-15E or F-15EX. Take the C4 technology out of it and put that into a F-15EX or F-18F BLK III, then the only difference is the LO shape and coating. Yes it can still sneak part of the way into an IADS, but that capability is only going to last so long until a counter measure is fielded, then it's just another fast jet in the sky able to be targeted and shot down.
Everything I’ve read recently has the cost of SH and F35 very comparable.
F15 is a beast and ownership is expensive (and that’s not including C4integration cost) so given the alternatives, F35 seems like a low risk no brainer.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Everything I’ve read recently has the cost of SH and F35 very comparable.
F15 is a beast and ownership is expensive (and that’s not including C4integration cost) so given the alternatives, F35 seems like a low risk no brainer.
Agree, the cost to acquire and operate the F-15 would be significantly higher even without the C4 integration. Just can’t see a F-15 being as viable as a F-35 for the next 40 years plus the supply chain for a F-35 with a likely 3,000 plus orders compared to a F-15EX’s (?) should be much better.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Everything I’ve read recently has the cost of SH and F35 very comparable.
F15 is a beast and ownership is expensive (and that’s not including C4integration cost) so given the alternatives, F35 seems like a low risk no brainer.
Currently the F-15EX is going to cost around US$80 million fly away costs and cost per flight hour of US$29,000. F-15EX is a boon to Boeing, but it might not break the international fighter market. The F-35A flyaway cost is US$79.2 million and has a cost per flight hour of US$44,000, although that is expected to drop over time to about US$25,000 by 2025/26. Yes if the full C4 capabilities were integrated it would cost, but those capabilities are gradually been integrated into the F-15 / F16 / F-18 newbuild variants and MLUs as they come on line.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Currently the F-15EX is going to cost around US$80 million fly away costs and cost per flight hour of US$29,000. F-15EX is a boon to Boeing, but it might not break the international fighter market. The F-35A flyaway cost is US$79.2 million and has a cost per flight hour of US$44,000, although that is expected to drop over time to about US$25,000 by 2025/26. Yes if the full C4 capabilities were integrated it would cost, but those capabilities are gradually been integrated into the F-15 / F16 / F-18 newbuild variants and MLUs as they come on line.
If F-35s aren't an option then I think the F-18SH block III would be a safer bet than the F-15EX for the international market.
 

Black Jack Shellac

Active Member
What is the role of our fighter fleet? Are we seeking out unidentified aircraft in our airspace that are typically civilian, are we shadowing overflights of Russian long range bombers, are we loading them up to bomb irregular forces? None of these actions require F35 capabilities. Are we going head on peer on peer with another nations air force? Unlikely. Canada doesn't need F35. A recent review of articles about the aircraft continue to expand upon the failings of the aircraft build and reliability of the aircraft.

We are not a country that borders its opponent(s) with close proximity to masses of unfreindlies. With SH we can provide the maintenance and service. The same for Gripen. We wont be able to maintain our aircraft industry with F35.

Sorry to be the party pooper but even with his minority government $$$ will talk and Juniors government will not buy F35. My money is on SH even though I prefer the Gripen personally.
I think you also have to consider our NATO and NORAD commitments when making these statements. Interoperability with our allies must be a key consideration when making this decision. Canada cannot defend itself by itself, we rely on our allies. In exchange for this, our allies rely on us. If we end up in a first world conflict, we will not be in Canada fighting, we will be somewhere else supporting someone else, and they will likely be using the F35. Now because we are the odd man out, we need to bring our own spares, our own maintenance crews, our own etc etc etc. On top of that, we could be facing peer on peer.
The truth is nobody knows what the next conflict will be, nobody predicted the Crimea fiasco or Georgia. To assume we will never be in a peer to peer situation is pretty naive I think.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I think you also have to consider our NATO and NORAD commitments when making these statements. Interoperability with our allies must be a key consideration when making this decision. Canada cannot defend itself by itself, we rely on our allies. In exchange for this, our allies rely on us. If we end up in a first world conflict, we will not be in Canada fighting, we will be somewhere else supporting someone else, and they will likely be using the F35. Now because we are the odd man out, we need to bring our own spares, our own maintenance crews, our own etc etc etc. On top of that, we could be facing peer on peer.
The truth is nobody knows what the next conflict will be, nobody predicted the Crimea fiasco or Georgia. To assume we will never be in a peer to peer situation is pretty naive I think.
Another consideration which needs to be kept in mind, and it does often appear that politicians, those officials who control the cheque book, and optimistic idealists who wear rose-tinted glasses, all seem to consistently fail to consider what the future can bring, which has led to history repeating itself. Repeatedly, unfortunately.

Just like it typically does not go well fighting today's wars using yesterday's weapons and kit, so too it will be similarly difficult fighting tomorrow's wars using the weapons and kit of today. If that was not a military/naval truism, then the weaponry and kit of today would be little different to that used in 1914, or even that in service before the American Civil War in 1861. Both conflicts led to the very rapid development and integration of new weaponry and capabilities unseen in prior conflicts, as well as the strategies and tactics to make use of such new capabilities.

If one sets the capability requirements for the RCAF fighter force as 'only' interception and identification of unknown and largely civilian aircraft, or shadow/escort flights of foreign long-ranged aircraft near Canadian airspace/territory, or CAS/ground-attack missions vs. irregular forces, then that is an enormous failure in planning, as it ignores both the potential for other scenarios which do exist to occur, and how badly impacted Canada as well as Canadian forces an allies could be impacted. Such a failure in planning is also planning to fail.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
What is the role of our fighter fleet? Are we seeking out unidentified aircraft in our airspace that are typically civilian, are we shadowing overflights of Russian long range bombers, are we loading them up to bomb irregular forces? None of these actions require F35 capabilities. Are we going head on peer on peer with another nations air force? Unlikely. Canada doesn't need F35. A recent review of articles about the aircraft continue to expand upon the failings of the aircraft build and reliability of the aircraft.

We are not a country that borders its opponent(s) with close proximity to masses of unfreindlies. With SH we can provide the maintenance and service. The same for Gripen. We wont be able to maintain our aircraft industry with F35.

Sorry to be the party pooper but even with his minority government $$$ will talk and Juniors government will not buy F35. My money is on SH even though I prefer the Gripen personally.

Personally I would rather see money going to subs instead of Gripens. If junior’s government is leaning towards that as a solution to honour his “ no F-35 promise.”
We can can pay a 500 million cancellation payment when junior is gone. It is not like this would be the first a procurement by the Liberals that came back to bite us in the A$$.
 

Novascotiaboy

Active Member
To all I agree with your comments regarding shortsightedness but let’s look at our fighter history. With virtually every fighter purchase we have gone the wrong direction. No matter what the decision it will be wrong in some way. Spares support for the F18 has always been on us as besides the USN and Spain within NATO no one else uses the F18. Yes Australia does but I do not believe our aircraft cohabitated at any joint operation.

John I agree with subs over fast jets. But a new technology industry is unlikely to have the political power of the Montreal aviation industry.

Interoperability hasn’t been an issue with the classic F18 to date considering the USAF preference for F22 and F15. As long as we have the 2Eyes systems we should be good. Growler makes a lot of sense for the RCAF to provide a niche capability to allied peer on peer situations while maintaining the 2Eyes interoperability and Montreal support.

Looking at a mixed fleet of Growlers and Rhinos gives great flexibility to operations. If the GOTD sticks with 88 air frames then an even split of 44 of each would give the RCAF the second largest fleet of dedicated EW fighters after the USN. Two working squadrons of each split between Bagotville and Cold Lake with attrition and training aircraft available.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I would not object to an investment in a Growler fleet but SHs will not have the same shelf life IMHO. If a mixed fleet were to be considered then add the F-35 ( perhaps B versions) . I guess the case for a Growler/ Gripen could be made if it where to be replaced by a 6th Gen fighter. Good luck selling that politically, too bad, it does have some merit assuming 6th Gen arrives in 20-25, years. Joining a program now for workshare might help the selling effort to the electorate.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
What is the role of our fighter fleet? Are we seeking out unidentified aircraft in our airspace that are typically civilian, are we shadowing overflights of Russian long range bombers, are we loading them up to bomb irregular forces? None of these actions require F35 capabilities. Are we going head on peer on peer with another nations air force? Unlikely. Canada doesn't need F35. A recent review of articles about the aircraft continue to expand upon the failings of the aircraft build and reliability of the aircraft.
Sources for F35's failings please. And if you will, not 5 year old articles, ones quoting outdated reports or those pushed by vested interests or Tyler Rogoway.

Sorry to be the party pooper but even with his minority government $$$ will talk and Juniors government will not buy F35. My money is on SH even though I prefer the Gripen personally.
Navy Cuts Super Hornet Production to Develop Next-Generation Fighter - USNI News

This suggest that your window to buy F-18E/F is slamming shut shortly unless Canada wants the added cost of being the only customer keeping the line open. F-18 is already quoted as more expensive than F-35A with the price trajectories heading in opposite directions. If Trudeau wants to convince his public that buying a *more* expensive replacement now is the right thing to do, yet buying a *more* expensive replacement was wrong when F-35 was cancelled, he's going to need a thicker than usual skin to wear the charges of hypocrisy.

oldsig
 

76mmGuns

Member
Sources for F35's failings please. And if you will, not 5 year old articles, ones quoting outdated reports or those pushed by vested interests or Tyler Rogoway.



Navy Cuts Super Hornet Production to Develop Next-Generation Fighter - USNI News

This suggest that your window to buy F-18E/F is slamming shut shortly unless Canada wants the added cost of being the only customer keeping the line open. F-18 is already quoted as more expensive than F-35A with the price trajectories heading in opposite directions. If Trudeau wants to convince his public that buying a *more* expensive replacement now is the right thing to do, yet buying a *more* expensive replacement was wrong when F-35 was cancelled, he's going to need a thicker than usual skin to wear the charges of hypocrisy.

oldsig

Since you're talking about it here, does the US have an alternative to the Growler?

If not, it's possible the SH line won't close completely, even if it's reduced a lot. The Growler seems rather unique, in being a fast, and powerful EW asset. Pod size matters, and being able to keep up with fighter jets matters.

As an aside, since the F35 is being looked at, the single engine criteria isn't really an issue.

With that in mind, perhaps the Gripen could be looked at, given there are a number of articles showing it performs well against Chinese and Russian planes in joint exercises against Thailand.

PLAAF Senior Pilot Reveals Poor Performance in Joint Exercise With RTAF
 
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