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Thread: F-35 v F/A-18 Shornet-play ground style

  1. #31
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    We're not going to be that lucky. Trudeau would be looking for some refurbed superbugs. We're gone from buying second best to second-hand.
    I don't disagree with your suggestion that they'll look at this possibility. I just don't think they'll find any takers. The RAAF is scheduled to keep their Super Hornets until the Hornet force is replaced with the F-35. The USN is in the middle of a fairly well publicized 'strike fighter shortfall' and having serious maintenance issues with their fleets.

    The RCAF getting the oldest birds from the USN (I'm not sure if there's any Block I birds with the C-model avionics still in the fleet) I just don't think is a reality, not with the lack air air-frames currently available.

    If by some black magic the RCAF can lease new Super Hornets off the line from Boeing for 10 years before they are given to the USN, I could see this working. But I doubt the USN is interested in used frames regardless of the cost savings, and it just makes too much sense for Canada to actually pan out.

  2. #32
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    "Interim fighter"... are they thinking of copying the australians? Didn't the RAAF buy the Super Hornet for the same reasons?

    It might have made sense years ago, when the RAAF did it, but now? And wasn't the whole "stop the F-35 in Canada" idea supposed to be based on cost? Won't something like this will increase costs massively?
    I was going to say, this sounds EXACTLY like what the Aussies did a few years ago; buy the Superbug as an "interim" fighter, then fly it for the next 20 years because you can't afford the F-35 yet.

    Boeing's gotta be happy at this point . . .
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  3. #33
    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    The thing that worries me the most about Canada going the Super Hornet route is upgrades to keep it relevant over the lifespan of the fleet. The USN is scheduled to start dropping their Super Hornet fleet in the 2030s as the F/A-XX program ramps up production.

    Assuming Canada starts taking deliveries of Superbugs in the early 2020s that's less than 10 years before the USN stops investing in any kind of improvements to the aircraft. At that point, Canada will have to pay to develop and integrate any potential improvements on it's own as opposed to just buying the new hardware the USN has already tested and installing it. Spreading those developmental and integration costs over ~500 aircraft is a lot easier than trying to spread it across ~65.

    The end result is either a large financial burden on Canada to keep the fleet relevant or flying aircraft that stay at the 2020 standard for another 20-30 years without ongoing modernization.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    If Canada truly does use the Super Hornet as an interim aircraft prior to acquiring the F-35 or F/A-XX somewhere down the line to replace remaining CF-18s, it sticks the RCAF with the logistical burden of managing a mixed fleet that is unlikely to share many components. Any advantageous bulk buys of spares, supplies, or maintenance equipment go out the window.

    Canada will also require separate training pipelines that will have to be setup for all the different types of personnel that are involved in caring for and operating a mixed fleet of aircraft. The training issues might be somewhat offset by sending personnel to train in the US, but it won't change the fact that the RCAF will be unable to focus it's resources in a single direction anymore.

    Hopefully a good solution is worked out, but I'm struggling to find a way this doesn't end up costing Canada in either money or capability going forwards.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Hopefully a good solution is worked out, but I'm struggling to find a way this doesn't end up costing Canada in either money or capability going forwards.
    It's fucking Trudeau. He doesn't care about defence. That's what his pal Obama and girl buddy Clinton is for. We'll do what the CF has always done. Make do and when the time comes, die trying to punch above our weight.
    Chimo

  5. #35
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    The thing that worries me the most about Canada going the Super Hornet route is upgrades to keep it relevant over the lifespan of the fleet. The USN is scheduled to start dropping their Super Hornet fleet in the 2030s as the F/A-XX program ramps up production.

    Assuming Canada starts taking deliveries of Superbugs in the early 2020s that's less than 10 years before the USN stops investing in any kind of improvements to the aircraft. At that point, Canada will have to pay to develop and integrate any potential improvements on it's own as opposed to just buying the new hardware the USN has already tested and installing it. Spreading those developmental and integration costs over ~500 aircraft is a lot easier than trying to spread it across ~65.

    The end result is either a large financial burden on Canada to keep the fleet relevant or flying aircraft that stay at the 2020 standard for another 20-30 years without ongoing modernization.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    If Canada truly does use the Super Hornet as an interim aircraft prior to acquiring the F-35 or F/A-XX somewhere down the line to replace remaining CF-18s, it sticks the RCAF with the logistical burden of managing a mixed fleet that is unlikely to share many components. Any advantageous bulk buys of spares, supplies, or maintenance equipment go out the window.

    Canada will also require separate training pipelines that will have to be setup for all the different types of personnel that are involved in caring for and operating a mixed fleet of aircraft. The training issues might be somewhat offset by sending personnel to train in the US, but it won't change the fact that the RCAF will be unable to focus it's resources in a single direction anymore.

    Hopefully a good solution is worked out, but I'm struggling to find a way this doesn't end up costing Canada in either money or capability going forwards.
    Bang. You hit the nail on the head. And when we're forced to manage our own fleet upgrades we won't, and our jets won't be on any use to our allies because they won't be equipped for a joint fight. This might be just what the current government wants, as they see our military as a peacekeeping force, with no need for overseas fighter deployments at all.

    Another way in which this could work out is if we bought 24 F/A-18F's plumbed for Growler wiring. The extra mass in the fleet will allow the remaining 80 CF-18's to last a few more years before the next fighter is selected. When the F-35 is selected and delivered, we can convert the Super Hornets to Growlers. Of course this also makes too much sense so will not happen, and the strain of mixed fleets on the RCAF should not be underestimated.

  6. #36
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    So the Trudeau government is about to buy an older, less capable fighter at the same price as a newer and significantly more capable aircraft, deal with the older aircraft's shorter designed service life, carry the risk of being it's only operator in a couple of decades, expose themselves to multi billion dollar lawsuits, lose out on bidding rights to supply the new aircraft while still paying an annual fee to be a part of the f35 program?

    Got it. The very cynical might say that this is politically motivated....

  7. #37
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    So the Trudeau government is about to buy an older, less capable fighter at the same price as a newer and significantly more capable aircraft, deal with the older aircraft's shorter designed service life, carry the risk of being it's only operator in a couple of decades, expose themselves to multi billion dollar lawsuits, lose out on bidding rights to supply the new aircraft while still paying an annual fee to be a part of the f35 program?

    Got it. The very cynical might say that this is politically motivated....
    Crazy hey...except for the last part: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stea...ment-1.3619469

    The Trudeau government has missed the deadline for a multimillion-dollar payment that keeps Canada in the club of nations involved in the F-35 stealth fighter program, CBC News has learned.

    The $32-million membership fee was due on May 31, but a spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed late Monday that the U.S. project office overseeing development of the highly complex jet has not received the instalment.

    But Jordan Owens cautioned not to read too much into the oversight and that Canada is still on the hook for the cash.

    "We will honour our financial commitments," she said, responding for the minister who was in transit from a defence conference in Singapore.

    It's unclear when the instalment will be made and whether there are any penalties associated with a late payment.

    The policy issue is an uncomfortable conversation for the Liberals.
    Who knows if they're lazy or incompetent. They appear to be risking penalties and contracts for Canadian companies in the largest defense project EVER.

  8. #38
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    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blo...rcraft-forever

    I'm guessing the national post is not a Liberal newspaper, but still good points.

    Also, comparing like for like loadouts between the f35 and sh, guess which one is cheaper?

  9. #39
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    Know what? I am going to reserve my judgement. This really depends on how many planes we're going to buy and it ain't 65. 20 or less, than we can believe this Liberal lie. In the end, it's going to costs us more but not that much more. The other realistic number is 40, then, Trudeau and Sanjij deserves all the venom we give them.
    Chimo

  10. #40
    Senior Contributor chakos's Avatar
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    Except what the Canadians are doing is dumb and what Australia did made complete sense. We bought the super bugs because our F111s were retired long before the F-35 would be available to replace it. We decided from the get go that we did not want to accept a reduction in airframes and as such we structured it so that the super bugs would be the last to go when the final batch of F-35s were delivered.

    We have 24 F models and are picking up 12 Growlers with 70 F-35s on order. The Growlers are not going anywhere and the F bugs are staying till the final batch of F-35s are ordered (as in a batch of 24-30 after the already ordered 70).

    Long story short we maintain a combat force of 100-110 aircraft with no loss in capability.

    One of the very few procurement programs that we didn't royally screw up.
    The best part of repentance is the sin

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chakos View Post
    Except what the Canadians are doing is dumb and what Australia did made complete sense. We bought the super bugs because our F111s were retired long before the F-35 would be available to replace it. We decided from the get go that we did not want to accept a reduction in airframes and as such we structured it so that the super bugs would be the last to go when the final batch of F-35s were delivered.
    Yep, this. The RAAF bought them 7 years ago. Then, it made sense. Not today...

  12. #42
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    Another way in which this could work out is if we bought 24 F/A-18F's plumbed for Growler wiring. The extra mass in the fleet will allow the remaining 80 CF-18's to last a few more years before the next fighter is selected. When the F-35 is selected and delivered, we can convert the Super Hornets to Growlers. Of course this also makes too much sense so will not happen, and the strain of mixed fleets on the RCAF should not be underestimated.
    And, again, that's pretty much what Australia is (successfully) doing; IIRC, the last batch of F-18F's they bought were pre-wired to be converted into a "G" at a cost of $35 million per airframe. I know the Navy is planning on retiring the F-18E/F in about 2030, although I suspect the EF-18G will soldier on a bit longer than the F-18E/F, just like the EA-6B did.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  13. #43
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    The government is holding a new competition to replace the CF-18 and will look into acquiring 18 Super Hornets to operate along with the CF-18s until the replacement fighter comes online (unless the Super Hornet is selected).

    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do;...69&crtr.tp1D=1

    Operating 18 Super Hornets alongside 77 Hornets doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    The government is holding a new competition to replace the CF-18 and will look into acquiring 18 Super Hornets to operate along with the CF-18s until the replacement fighter comes online (unless the Super Hornet is selected).

    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do;...69&crtr.tp1D=1

    Operating 18 Super Hornets alongside 77 Hornets doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
    Government thinking:
    -buy the "cheap" new Hornets
    -sell of the old ones
    -delay proper decision for government 2025-30
    -????
    -political profit

  15. #45
    Senior Contributor JA Boomer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlvfr View Post
    Government thinking:
    -buy the "cheap" new Hornets
    -sell of the old ones
    -delay proper decision for government 2025-30
    -????
    -political profit
    I don't see it that way. This is not an interim replacement of the CF-18 with the Super Hornet, they are just going to look at "supplementing" the 77-plane strong CF-18 fleet with 18 Super Hornets (Super Hornets that would be returned to Boeing most likely should the Super Hornet not win the overall competition). Plus I would expect a decision on the winner in the early 2020's at the latest.

    I will wait and see if they determine the supplemental Super Hornets are worth it. I know there's a lot of commonality between the legecy Hornet and the Super Hornet, but it will be quite an undertaking to add another fighter aircraft type to the RCAF. Does it need to happen? Does it really add value?
    Last edited by JA Boomer; 22 Nov 16, at 21:22.

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