Post 1 of 3: Upgrade options for a classic Hornet operator
1. There is a greater risk of a large, overt Russian military escalation in its neighbourhood now than any point since 2015, but if you misinterpret their goals, you may prepare for the wrong scenario or take actions that won't deter that escalation.
(a) Canadian soldiers stationed in Latvia and the other Baltic states, under NATO command, are naked, vulnerable and potentially exposed to Russian aggression — Latvia has a whole-of-government approach. They hasten societal preparedness for crises in a document called ‘72 hours: What to do in case of crisis
’. This handbook from Latvia covers a broad range of crises, from natural or man-made disasters to military threats and war. See also: How Latvia Accomplishes Comprehensive Defence
(b) If Russian troops move, Canadian troops will be fighting out numbered. Canadian sailors and troops are in the direct line of fire from their support of Baltic states. As Rob Lee said: “In the 2nd Karabakh War last year, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic lost 60% of its air defense systems and 40% of its artillery in the first 30-40 minutes of the war. Modern Warfare is extremely fast and lethal, and Russia has much more capable fires.”
Canada does not have the budget of China and Russia to match their air power. Canada's primary focus in modern times is peacekeeping, anti piracy, humanitarian missions.
2. Given Russian military activity at the borders of NATO, Canada’s military focus is not and cannot be peacekeeping or counter-piracy. The country has alliance responsibilities, as a NATO member. These are must do treaty commitments — not good to do HADR items. I wish Paull Fuzzball would stop with his efforts at supporting Russian propaganda or misinformation campaigns. It is Russian propaganda and misinformation to generate the myths that:
(a) NATO are not willing to dialogue with Russia, as there is a standing offer to hold a NATO-Russia Council meeting. The Russians have a huge advantage in long-range fires and air defenses. An invasion would involve heavy casualties for the Russian military, whereas they could devastate Ukrainian targets with Iskander-M, Kalibr, MLRS and so on. The Russians are often willing to use little green men to shoot against a weaker side, like Ukraine, to prove a point; and
(b) they are not responsible for the little green men in Ukrainian soil or the shoot down of a Malaysian airliner. Russia’s fierce campaign to undermine the Ukrainian government has combined traditional military aggression with hybrid warfare: cyberattacks on government sites, political disinformation and strong-arm tactics in trade and energy markets.
If NATO is determined to avoid mistakes made in 2014, and effectively deter Russia, they will need to strengthen NATO presence in the Baltic states, and Poland.
I mean, you could patrol in a single engine propeller plane, a helicopter, or a cargo jet, but why do you need a fighter plane and is the Gripen well suited for that need? Gripen was designed by a country with a relatively small land mass to be cost effective as opposed to existing alternatives. May be a mismatch for NORAD in my opinion.
3. Agreed. As a point defence fighter, the Gripen has its limits for upgrades. If Canada wishes to commit to NATO, it needs a modern platform to take the Canadian Air Force well into the 2040s — with range especially important as Canadian fighters need to fly across the Atlantic to get to the fight for a NATO deployment.
As for whether or not the Gripen E is "cost effective" that too is questionable, '
4. @Paull Fuzzball
has an irrational fetish for JAS 39E. His proposal to acquire the Gripen is not based on logic or reason — if a fighter type is less suited to perform it’s required mission set (without a huge strike package to clear the way), it cannot be seen as more cost effective. Unless proper air power investments are made, the outnumbered Canadian troops in the eFP battle group will not have the required air cover from the Canadian Air Force. Gripens are small point defence fighters that are not threat relevant in the late 2020s.
5. Why would a classic Hornet operator, make such a huge payload trade-off and buy a smaller less capable platform?
(a) Does the JAS 39E Gripen even have access to the HARM anti-radiation missile? The classic Hornet and F-16s, flew HARM profiles, during Operation Allied Force.
(b) Do the Brazilians even fly HARM profiles or SEAD profiles? Hard to take them seriously, when they can’t do a SEAD mission set.