Author Topic: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV  (Read 11965 times)

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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2007, 15:51:34 »
This thread brings up a question I've long been asking myself, and I hope someone on army.ca can give me a convincing answer.  If we can deploy Leopard tanks to A'stan (a move which i applauded very loudly on this site), then why can't we deploy CF18's?

I may be able to answer that question: Right now, the CF-188 fleet is in the midst of a much needed upgrade that won't be finished until 2009. I know some Hornet's have received the complete upgrades, but I'm not sure if there are sufficient aircraft to sustain the deployment of a six-pack overseas for any length of time. Not much sense to deploy aircraft all the way overseas and then bring them back six-months later.

(Go here to a CASR article that gives some background to the upgrades: http://www.sfu.ca/casr/id-cf18-oag1.htm)

Besides the fact as to whether more CAS aircraft are required in Afghanistan, if we did send CF-188's/CP-140's over overseas, other consideration that have to be taken into account include:
- Where would we base them?  In Afghanistan? Outside Afghanistan?
- Is there space available? Six CF-188's may not take up much ramp space, but you also need the required hanger/maintenance areas, quarters for the pilots/crew, security, re-supply, money!! and political will.

The same goes for the CP-140 Aurora, even more so. Its a big aircraft and takes up lots of ramp space!  It's also in the midst of a much needed upgrade to convert them into "multi-mission aircraft that can provide over-land surveillance and reconnaissance in addition to its traditional coastal functions." Again, not sure how many have been upgraded and the overall status of the program.

So its not just a matter of deploying a bunch of aircraft overseas; there is a whole lot of details that have to be worked out. As for the will to deploy them overseas? I will say this, I worked for many years in various squadrons and Air Force headquarters and I can say that the Air Force would "Love" to be able deploy aircraft overseas in support of the ground troops, but as I listed above there is a whole lot of factors to be taken into consideration.

I'll leave it there for now. Got to get ready to go to work! 
Years ago, fairy tales all began with, "Once upon a time." Now we know they all began with, "If I'm elected."

Carolyn Warner