Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) News and Discussions

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Really, that decision should have been made a while back - the consequences of delaying a purchase of new kit has resulted in several costly measures to keep the existing jets flying.

I understand that the existing fleet fully reflects their age and availability isn't stellar.

There are jets that are cheaper per flying hour but there's no point in buying something that doesn't do the job - and believe the fuel fraction and payload for Gripen E doesn't match the requirements set out.
The Gripen isn’t a viable selection, politically or capability wise. It’s a SH or F-35 race IMHO. My earlier post WRT the budget reference about economic damage caused by a vendor leading to penalties convinces me LM is in the lead. Ongoing JSF bashing in Congress might help SH in Canada. If F-35 CPFH improvements had progressed faster, it would be a one horse race.
 

IPCR_quad

Member
The Gripen isn’t a viable selection, politically or capability wise. It’s a SH or F-35 race IMHO. My earlier post WRT the budget reference about economic damage caused by a vendor leading to penalties convinces me LM is in the lead. Ongoing JSF bashing in Congress might help SH in Canada. If F-35 CPFH improvements had progressed faster, it would be a one horse race.
Considering Canada already invested so much in F-35, they might as well buy it. Being single engine, it's not as costly to operate as a twin enginer like F-18. They also don't need to fly it all that much. Mostly it's to intercept Russian bombers off northern Canada. With Russia pummeled hard by covid, Russian bomber flights off northern Canada should be minimal for the foreseeable future.

 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Considering Canada already invested so much in F-35, they might as well buy it. Being single engine, it's not as costly to operate as a twin enginer like F-18. They also don't need to fly it all that much. Mostly it's to intercept Russian bombers off northern Canada. With Russia pummeled hard by covid, Russian bomber flights off northern Canada should be minimal for the foreseeable future.

Last time i looked Canada was a member of NATO not just NORAD, have a few more obligations than just intercepting Russian Bombers in the North.
 

pkcasimir

Member
The Gripen isn’t a viable selection, politically or capability wise. It’s a SH or F-35 race IMHO. My earlier post WRT the budget reference about economic damage caused by a vendor leading to penalties convinces me LM is in the lead. Ongoing JSF bashing in Congress might help SH in Canada. If F-35 CPFH improvements had progressed faster, it would be a one horse race.
I find it rather odd that there is practically no discussion over the fact that if Canada selects Gripen it will have to be certified by the US for use in NORAD. Just how a foreign airplane manufacturer whose country is not a US ally, and refuses to become one, expects to be granted access to sensitive US codes and intelligence that are part of the defense of the US homeland is beyond me. SAAB can give all the assurances it wants to Canada that it can be granted access it wants, but I don't believe the US will trust a country with whom it has no defense treaty with access.
 

IPCR_quad

Member
I find it rather odd that there is practically no discussion over the fact that if Canada selects Gripen it will have to be certified by the US for use in NORAD. Just how a foreign airplane manufacturer whose country is not a US ally, and refuses to become one, expects to be granted access to sensitive US codes and intelligence that are part of the defense of the US homeland is beyond me. SAAB can give all the assurances it wants to Canada that it can be granted access it wants, but I don't believe the US will trust a country with whom it has no defense treaty with access.
I think, at the end of the day, some years from now, Canada will order a token number of F-35. Doing so fulfills Canada's NORAD and NATO obligations and keeps the Americans happy, while at the same time allows funding to be focused on social services and education by minimizing defense budget. Canadian air force has not participated in any combat scenario since Liberals withdrew from War On Terror in 2015 when they came in power. Going for 2 or 3 squadrons of F-35 to replace the existing fleet of 76 F-18 is more than sufficient for Arctic patrols. The Russian threat of the 1970s isn't there anymore. This allows Canada to minimize defense budget to maximize funding for other sectors.
 
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Black Jack Shellac

Active Member
I think, at the end of the day, some years from now, Canada will order a token number of F-35. Doing so fulfills Canada's NORAD and NATO obligations and keeps the Americans happy, while at the same time allows funding to be focused on social services and education by minimizing defense budget. Canadian air force has not participated in any combat scenario since Liberals withdrew from War On Terror in 2015 when they came in power. Going for 2 or 3 squadrons of F-35 to replace the existing fleet of 76 F-18 is more than sufficient for Arctic patrols. The Russian threat of the 1970s isn't there anymore. This allows Canada to minimize defense budget to maximize funding for other sectors.
I think that approach is pretty short sighted. Just because there is no urgency now, does not mean there won't be a need in the future. 2015 was not that long ago. And things can change rapidly, especially with all the nonsense going on in the Ukraine right now as well as the sillyness down in the South China sea. We could find ourselves in a war pretty quick if we let down our guard. That is why it is critical to maintain NATO, NORAD, and our combined deterrent.

Despite how ignorant the current govt has been, they have shown that they do stick to what the procurement department recommends. They are sticking with the Type 26 for a ship (despite all the media attacks), and I think that bodes well for the fighter option.

I think the Liberals will call an election this fall, win their majority and then bite the bullet and go for the full 88 x F35s, no matter how much egg it leaves on Trudeau's face. It is the best option to meet our NATO and NORAD commitments. Most of our allies have chosen that plane, and commonality of weapons, sensors, ammunition, training, spares etc etc means a lot in a conflict.

My opinion
 
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