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The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)

GR66

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FJAG said if we dropped fighters we'd have a Squadron of pers to put towards UCAV.

With 2 aircraft built right now, the literal only UCAV that we'd consider buying is the X-47B. If you look at how long it took to make the F-35, which was a generational change aircraft, there's no possible way a UCAV is ready to bid in the early 2030s that FOC is supposed to be for FFCP. We also need to know what the damn are capable of, and what doctrine they support before we even start a project office and send out a RFP. We're supposed to have our first future fighter in mid-2020s, so for arguments sake in 2025. CF-188s start retiring then. There might be 4x X-47Bs flying around then. Totally a good idea to dump billions of finite defense dollars into an experimental project.

🤦‍♂️
I think it would be fair to guess that FJAG wasn't suggesting that we drop our FIRST CF-18 squadron to be replaced in favour of UCAVs. Why would you do that and have them sit waiting for a platform to be brought online? Roll the first three squadrons into the first 65 x CF-18 replacement fighters while the UCAV technology matures and then the LAST squadron transitions into the new platform.

And Boeing is projecting that they will be mass producing Loyal Wingman by the middle of the decade.

https://www.reuters.com/article/boe...e-by-middle-of-decade-executive-idINKBN22H06F
 

Retired AF Guy

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Interesting to say the least! Looks like the USN is having problem with its conformal tanks on its new F-18 E/F Block III models. I'm wondering if this would have any impact of Boeings offer to replace our CF-18s?

Navy Considers Axing Conformal Fuel Tanks From Its Block III Super Hornet Upgrade Plan

By Joseph Trevithick January 29, 2021


The War Zone

The U.S. Navy is considering removing conformal fuel tanks, or CFTs, from the Block III upgrade package for its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets after discovering various issues with them during testing. Deciding not to pursue these tanks, which are designed to extend the Super Hornet's range even without it having to carry drop tanks in place of other underwing stores, could have significant ramifications for the service's future tactical aviation plans. It could also impact the export prospects for these jets, as well.

Aviation Week was the first to report the potentially serious problems with the CFTs on Jan. 28, 2021. Boeing has been flight testing Super Hornets with the tanks as part of the Block III upgrade program since at least 2019. The company had previously experimented with adding CFTs to the aircraft, in cooperation with Northrop Grumman, as part of a proposed Advanced Super Hornet upgrade package, which it publicly unveiled in 2008.

The Navy told Aviation Week that unspecified "technical, structural, and sustainment" problems had arisen in tests of the CFTs as part of the Block III upgrade effort. The service added that the issues had emerged during testing in a "carrier environment."

While we don't know what the exact issues are, the Navy's disclosure that there is a specific link between them and the operation of CFT-equipped jets from its aircraft carriers could suggest the problems have to do, at least in part, with how the upgraded aircraft handle the stresses of catapult launches and arrested recoveries. At the same time, the tanks were designed to handle the strains of high-g aerial maneuvers.

Another possibility might be that the tanks have been found to block access to key sections of the aircraft when they are installed, requiring their removal to perform certain routine maintenance and other tasks, adding costly time and effort to those processes. It's also interesting to note that the section on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in the latest annual report from the Pentagon's Office of Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, or DOT&E, makes no mention of the conformal fuel tanks, at all.

"The Boeing Block III Super Hornet’s advanced capabilities provide the Navy with multiple options for increasing an air wing’s combat effectiveness," was all Boeing would say in a statement to The War Zone in response to queries about the issues the Navy has uncovered with the CFTs. "Together with the Navy, Boeing will ensure that the Block III remains the most versatile tactical aircraft in the fleet."

The addition of the tanks is just one of the planned Block III upgrades. The full package, which you can find out more about in this previous War Zone piece, also includes new coatings to help reduce the radar signature of the aircraft, new mission computers and data links, and highly customizable wide-area multi-function displays in each cockpit, including the rear ones on two-seat F/A-18Fs. The Navy is also in the process of adding improved satellite communications (SATCOM) systems and the ability to use an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor installed in a modified drop tank, the latter of which you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone feature, to its Super Hornets through separate programs.

message-editor%2F1611946451964-block-iii.jpg

Boeing

A broad overview of the Navy's Block III upgrade program for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

However, the CFTs are a particularly significant part of the upgrade plan. Two of the aerodynamic CFTs, each of which can hold up to 515 gallons of fuel, are designed to be installed on top of the center "barrel" section of the F/A-18E/F's fuselage, fitted one on each side of the aircraft's central spine.

At least in principle, this provides significant benefits in range and performance over draggy drop tanks, which can only hold 480 gallons of fuel each. Jets with CFTs can also carry additional stores on underwing pylons that otherwise would have to be set aside to carry the drop tanks.

In the past, Boeing has said, by way of example, that a Super Hornet carrying two AIM-9X Sidewinders, two AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and two 2,000-pound-class precision-guided bombs would have a combat radius of 594 nautical miles with only the fuel in its internal tanks, plus a drop tank on its centerline pylon. With CFTs, a jet with the same loadout would have a combat radius of 714 nautical miles.
The CFTs would also help make up for the loss of fuel in the new IRST-equipped centerline drop tanks. Those tanks can only carry 330 gallons of fuel, instead of 480 gallons. An F/A-18E/F with one of these drop tanks, as well as six AIM-120s and two AIM-9Xs, would have a combat radius of around 509 nautical miles, according to Boeing. With CFTs, that would be extended out to 611 nautical miles.

The Navy has touted this added range, and the additional stores capacity when operating out to those distances, as an important way to expand the overall capabilities of its carrier air wings. At the same time, it has described the benefits that the CFTs offer, together with the extra range future MQ-25A Stingray tanker drones will also provide, as a critical way to help reduce the vulnerability of its aircraft carriers. Extending the reach of these jets, as well as other aircraft in the carrier air wing, such as the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, means that flattops can launch them while staying further away from ever-growing anti-access and area denial threats, including advanced anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles, especially in any potential future high-end conflict against a near-peer adversary, such as Russia or China.
If the Navy now determines that the CFTs are more trouble than they're worth, its future Block III F/A-18E/Fs will be stuck with the same range and stores capacity limitations as its existing Super Hornets. The aforementioned MQ-25As could help mitigate this, but these drones alone would inherently offer more limited range-extension benefits than they could in combination with CFT-equipped Super Hornets. Those unmanned aircraft will also be heavily in demand to support future carrier air wings' F-35C Joint Strike Fighters, which cannot, at least at present, carry external drop tanks, at all. Any such external tank would negatively impact the radar-evading qualities of the F-35s to some degree, as well, making it unlikely that these jets would carry them on missions where they would need to be in their most stealthy configuration.

The CFTs have also been seen as a feature that could be ported over to the Navy's EA-18G Growler as part of a Block II upgrade program for those electronic warfare aircraft. These aircraft would also greatly benefit from added range, something that also translates to longer time on station, while simultaneously freeing up underwing pylon space. The EA-18Gs already have to lug around extra fuel, along with large jamming pods, to perform their missions.

With the Navy already looking to stop buying new Super Hornets, eliminating the CFTs from the Block III upgrade program could place more emphasis on its efforts to acquire new manned and unmanned carrier-based combat aircraft. The service is still very much in the process of figuring out what exactly its future carrier air wings might look like as it progresses with its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program, which you can read about more in this previous War Zone piece and should not to be confused with the Air Force's effort of the same name.


The Navy cutting the CFTs could have impacts on Boeing's efforts to pitch Super Hornets with some or all of the Block III features to foreign countries, as well. The tanks are a notable component of the offers the company has submitted in competitions to supply jets to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Indian Navy, among others.

If the problems uncovered so far do turn out to be limited to operations from catapult-equipped carriers, this might be less of an issue. The Indian Navy, for instance, only has one carrier in service, at present, and another under construction, both of which feature ski jumps, rather than catapults. Canada plans to operate whatever new fighter jets it ends up buying from bases on land, as does Germany, which recently decided to acquire F/A-18E/Fs as a partial replacement for its aging Panavia Tornado combat jets.


It is important to stress that the Navy has not yet made a final decision on how it will proceed, or not, with adding CFTs to its Super Hornet fleet as part of the Block III program. Still, that the service is considering axing the tanks from the planned slate of upgrades at all is a significant development that signals there are real challenges preventing the full potential benefits they offer from being realized.

Contact the author: joe@thedrive.com


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MarkOttawa

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Finnish Hornets ten years younger than RCAF's just buy them to complete the fighter force renewal:

Finland Seeks Best and Final Offer for HX Fighter Jets with April Deadline​


The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command sent the Request for Best and Final Offer (BFO) for the HX Fighter Programme today to replace its ageing F-18 Hornet aircraft.

The Request for BFO concerns the following multi-role fighters and their related systems and weapons: Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet (United States), Dassault Rafale (France), Eurofighter Typhoon (Great Britain), Lockheed Martin F-35 (United States) and Saab Gripen (Sweden).

The deadline for finalized tenders is 30 April 21 while the government will decide on the procurement at the end of 2021 [emphasis added].

The Finnish Parliament has approved an authorization order of EUR 9.4 billion to procure multi-role fighters to replace the Hornet fleet.

The tendering phase began in spring 2018 when the Defence Forces Logistics Command sent a preliminary call for tenders and an invitation to participate in negotiations. In October 2019, a revised Request for Quotation (RFQ) was sent, and responses to it were received in January 2020. The negotiations have taken place between tendering phases.

The Request for Best and Final Offer states uniform requirements. It is, however, tenderer-specific meaning that the quotation of each tenderer is based on a package with specifications offered in the quotation and the negotiations. With the Request for Best and Final Offer, each tenderer is requested to compile the information provided in the previous tenders and negotiations into a final and binding package.

The transferable appropriation of EUR 579 million for five years will ensure that the procured system will be introduced as part of Finland’s defence system. EUR 21 million has been granted to cover the costs arising from the preparation of the programme.

HX Options

The HX options of each tenderer differ as to the costs of introduction into service, construction needs and integration into the defence system. This is why each tenderer will be given a tenderer-specific price limit, and, in addition, a similar option will be included in the Request for Best and Final Offer for each tenderer for later purchases and contractual changes. Therefore, the price ceiling set for each tenderer is about EUR 9 billion.

At its meeting in January 2021, the Government’s Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy supported sending the Request for Best and Final Offer. The grounds and steering for finalising the HX project can be found in the Government Programme and the Government’s Defence Policy Report 2017.

The package to be procured includes not only the aircraft but also associated technical systems, training systems, necessary maintenance equipment, test equipment and spare parts along with weapons, sensors and other required type-specific support functions. The package must also include the changes in command, control, communications and computers (C4) and information systems required for its integration into the defence system, as well as the construction of security-critical infrastructure [emphasis added].

Considerations in decision-making

Selecting a multi-role fighter is based on four considerations: the multi-role fighter’s military capability, security of supply, industrial participation and costs
[emphasis added]. Security and defence policy implications will be assessed separately outside of the actual tendering process. A procurement decision also requires contractual readiness with the proposed tenderer.

Since the procurement will have an impact on the Defence Forces’ operational capability and will define the Air Forces’ combat capability into the 2060s, it is important to select a system with the best possible capabilities, including supporting elements and development capacity over the entire life cycle.

The manufacturer must be able to provide industrial participation solutions and a maintenance system that meet the requirements while also ensuring operability in emergencies and sufficient capacity to operate independently in emergencies. It must be possible to cover the operating and maintenance costs of the selected system from the defence budget.

Phases of the procurement procedure from now on

The best and final quotations requested by the end of April will be assessed to make a procurement proposal. When a tenderer passes the requirements regarding security of supply, industrial participation and costs, it will then be subjected to the last phase of capability assessment.

A capability assessment will be made in phases taking into account the packages offered and the capability values verified on the basis of testing events. In the last phase, a long-term war game will be simulated to determine the operational efficiency of each candidate’s HX system. The Defence Forces’ proposal on the system to be selected will be based on the outcome of the war game and an assessment of the future development potential.

finland_h_1611943588.jpg



Mark
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Quirky

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potential shortcomings that have been raised by critics.

Tabloid journalism is a real problem these days, these so called "experts" are clueless and only put out articles to entice web traffic.

Lets look at the hard data:

610+ Currently built.
First combat mission was in 2018 by the Israeli Air Force.
Dozen international partners
Foreign militaries deliveries
Decades of sustainment, support and upgrades on the international level from our closest ally

You'd have to be crazy to think anything else can offer the same level of capability and long term support for the price.

The UCAVs would be cheaper than manned fighters and would be economically (and possibly politically) easier to replace/upgrade going forward as technology advances.

Assumptions. When a UCAV can intercept an airliner or northern threat, dogfight and make split-second life or death decisions, then it's an option. Until then, having a pilot at the controls of his machine, on location, is still Canada's only option. Plus we don't want "pilots" walking around in flight suits having never flown anything, save that debate for the US.
Our biggest problem from all your ideas is people, we don't have them to operate multiple fleets of fighters/UCAVs in semi-isolated locations that's a hotbed for retention issues.
 

dimsum

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Assumptions. When a UCAV can intercept an airliner or northern threat, dogfight and make split-second life or death decisions, then it's an option. Until then, having a pilot at the controls of his machine, on location, is still Canada's only option. Plus we don't want "pilots" walking around in flight suits having never flown anything, save that debate for the US.
Our biggest problem from all your ideas is people, we don't have them to operate multiple fleets of fighters/UCAVs in semi-isolated locations that's a hotbed for retention issues.
I agree with you about the UCAV capabilities at this time. However, I'm sure companies are looking at air-to-air capabilities too.

As for your other points:
  • Why would RPA crews be operating them out of semi-isolated locations? The tech is there now that they don't even need the local launch/recovery units - everything is done via SATCOM. The crews could be in somewhere like Winnipeg or Ottawa (I'm spitballing bc of prox to Command) while the aircraft are deployed around the world. The maintainers would be with the aircraft obviously, but its long endurance means the aircraft doesn't need to be located in Cold Lake or Goose Bay.
  • Why don't we want RPA pilots without other experience? If the USAF can train them from scratch successfully, can we not take their lessons and do the same thing?
  • RPA pilots and sensor operators are pilots and sensor operators. Period. There was an Air Force Blues cartoon years ago that I'm trying (and failing) to find, but the gist was "if EOD stops using the bomb suit and uses remotely-operated bomb-disarming robots, are the operators no longer EOD operators?" Does EOD need to be within bomb blast radius to be considered a "real" EOD operator?
 

Rifleman62

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Still don't know how all these aircraft and new ships will be powered in Trudeau's New Climate Plan, nor Biden's.
 

GR66

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Tabloid journalism is a real problem these days, these so called "experts" are clueless and only put out articles to entice web traffic.

Lets look at the hard data:

610+ Currently built.
First combat mission was in 2018 by the Israeli Air Force.
Dozen international partners
Foreign militaries deliveries
Decades of sustainment, support and upgrades on the international level from our closest ally

You'd have to be crazy to think anything else can offer the same level of capability and long term support for the price.
It's not only in "tabloid journalism" where the F-35 is being questioned. The USAF's own internal roadmap is calling for capping F-35 purchases at 1,050 rather than the 1,763 originally called for by the program and the Air Force is looking into expanded buys of F-15EX and and F-16 Block 70/72's in addition to attritable UCAVs and the 6th Generation NGAD fighter in place of the F-35 funding.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-sp...alks-new-f-16-orders-latest-acquisition-shake

From the same article:

"Asked by a reporter on Jan. 14 for his thoughts about the F-35, then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller referred to his department’s largest weapon system program as a “piece of shit.”

And Will Roper, the recently departed Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics stated this about the F-35 program: “I think it’s a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk,” Roper told reporters on Jan. 14. “That’s why other tactical aviation options are appealing to have in the mix so that the Air Force has options.



Assumptions. When a UCAV can intercept an airliner or northern threat, dogfight and make split-second life or death decisions, then it's an option. Until then, having a pilot at the controls of his machine, on location, is still Canada's only option. Plus we don't want "pilots" walking around in flight suits having never flown anything, save that debate for the US.
Our biggest problem from all your ideas is people, we don't have them to operate multiple fleets of fighters/UCAVs in semi-isolated locations that's a hotbed for retention issues.
In fact, the AI to control UCAVs in just those kinds of situation are well into development. This past August DARPA's Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program pitted AI programs against a human F-16 pilot in simulated dogfights and the AI defeated the human pilot 5-0.

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-...ight be the,pilot in five simulated dogfights.

And I have a bit of a problem with the "we can't operate multiple fleets of aircraft" argument that always seems to be brought up whenever a split fleet is mentioned. I have absolutely no doubt that there are retention problems for both pilots and maintainers in the RCAF. Those problems exist with a single fighter airframe, so the root cause isn't the prospect of having multiple airframes. A solution to this issue will have to be found regardless of what aircraft we purchase (single type or multiple types) so it really shouldn't be framed as a split fleet only issue.

And with regards to the idea of a split fleet, we once had 138 Hornets in operation. My original question was about the possibility of having 65 manned aircraft and 65 unmanned aircraft (130 aircraft total).

Is the ability to support a similar number of aircraft that we had in the early 1980's simply outside the capability of the CF? Is the prospect of supporting TWO different airframes for the air combat role impossible for us? For rotary wing aircraft we manage to support the Cyclone, Cormorant, Chinook and Griffon (4 airframes...not sure who provides the support for the Bell 412CFs and Jet Rangers), and in the fixed-wing world we have the Tutor, Aurora, Buffalo, Hercules, Kingfisher, Globemaster, Twin Otter, Challenger, Polaris, King Air (10 airframes plus multiple training airframes).
 

Quirky

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It's not only in "tabloid journalism" where the F-35 is being questioned. The USAF's own internal roadmap is calling for capping F-35 purchases at 1,050 rather than the 1,763 originally called for by the program and the Air Force is looking into expanded buys of F-15EX and and F-16 Block 70/72's in addition to attritable UCAVs and the 6th Generation NGAD fighter in place of the F-35 funding.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-sp...alks-new-f-16-orders-latest-acquisition-shake

From the same article:

"Asked by a reporter on Jan. 14 for his thoughts about the F-35, then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller referred to his department’s largest weapon system program as a “piece of shit.”

And Will Roper, the recently departed Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics stated this about the F-35 program: “I think it’s a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk,” Roper told reporters on Jan. 14. “That’s why other tactical aviation options are appealing to have in the mix so that the Air Force has options.

I guess Canada should buy F-35s and F-16s then?


n fact, the AI to control UCAVs in just those kinds of situation are well into development.

Wake me up once they are operational and in service. Betting on unproven technology we have no infrastructure for is a great idea! The F-35 is operational and flying NOW.

Is the ability to support a similar number of aircraft that we had in the early 1980's simply outside the capability of the CF?

Yes. Forget about the 1980s. It's like those avro arrow nutjobs who are convinced we can just spin up production and it will be the greatest fighter jet in history purely on specifications and performance of prototypes.
 

kev994

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It's not only in "tabloid journalism" where the F-35 is being questioned. The USAF's own internal roadmap is calling for capping F-35 purchases at 1,050 rather than the 1,763 originally called for by the program and the Air Force is looking into expanded buys of F-15EX and and F-16 Block 70/72's in addition to attritable UCAVs and the 6th Generation NGAD fighter in place of the F-35 funding.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-sp...alks-new-f-16-orders-latest-acquisition-shake

From the same article:

"Asked by a reporter on Jan. 14 for his thoughts about the F-35, then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller referred to his department’s largest weapon system program as a “piece of shit.”

And Will Roper, the recently departed Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics stated this about the F-35 program: “I think it’s a long way from being an affordable fighter that we can buy in bulk,” Roper told reporters on Jan. 14. “That’s why other tactical aviation options are appealing to have in the mix so that the Air Force has options.



In fact, the AI to control UCAVs in just those kinds of situation are well into development. This past August DARPA's Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program pitted AI programs against a human F-16 pilot in simulated dogfights and the AI defeated the human pilot 5-0.


https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/ai-wins-5-to-0-in-simulated-dogfights-against-human-f-16-fighter-pilot/139848.article#:~:text=in your browser.-,AI wins 5 to 0 in simulated,human F-16 fighter pilot&text=In what might be the,pilot in five simulated dogfights.

And I have a bit of a problem with the "we can't operate multiple fleets of aircraft" argument that always seems to be brought up whenever a split fleet is mentioned. I have absolutely no doubt that there are retention problems for both pilots and maintainers in the RCAF. Those problems exist with a single fighter airframe, so the root cause isn't the prospect of having multiple airframes. A solution to this issue will have to be found regardless of what aircraft we purchase (single type or multiple types) so it really shouldn't be framed as a split fleet only issue.

And with regards to the idea of a split fleet, we once had 138 Hornets in operation. My original question was about the possibility of having 65 manned aircraft and 65 unmanned aircraft (130 aircraft total).

Is the ability to support a similar number of aircraft that we had in the early 1980's simply outside the capability of the CF? Is the prospect of supporting TWO different airframes for the air combat role impossible for us? For rotary wing aircraft we manage to support the Cyclone, Cormorant, Chinook and Griffon (4 airframes...not sure who provides the support for the Bell 412CFs and Jet Rangers), and in the fixed-wing world we have the Tutor, Aurora, Buffalo, Hercules, Kingfisher, Globemaster, Twin Otter, Challenger, Polaris, King Air (10 airframes plus multiple training airframes).
You need more people and parts to have two fleets of x aircraft than you do to have one fleet of 2x aircraft because you end up having to duplicate people/parts.
 

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You need more people and parts to have two fleets of x aircraft than you do to have one fleet of 2x aircraft because you end up having to duplicate people/parts.
Exactly.

All the other aircraft listed by GR66 have different roles. Multiple fleets for a single role doesn’t make sense. It would be like saying we should also get A400M to ‘tween the C-17s and Hercs, or also getting NH90s to backstop the Cyclone.
 

GR66

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I guess Canada should buy F-35s and F-16s then?




Wake me up once they are operational and in service. Betting on unproven technology we have no infrastructure for is a great idea! The F-35 is operational and flying NOW.



Yes. Forget about the 1980s. It's like those avro arrow nutjobs who are convinced we can just spin up production and it will be the greatest fighter jet in history purely on specifications and performance of prototypes.
So I assume you were 100% against Canada signing on to the F-35 program when it began because it was a new technology and we didn't (and still don't) have the infrastructure for it? And some of the originally planned capabilities are still under development? Same for the Type 26 for the CSC?

So when I note that the US Secretary of Defence and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics have expressed some concerns over the F-35 program as a single all-purpose combat aircraft I get lumped in with "Avro Arrow nutjobs"?

All the other aircraft listed by GR66 have different roles. Multiple fleets for a single role doesn’t make sense. It would be like saying we should also get A400M to ‘tween the C-17s and Hercs, or also getting NH90s to backstop the Cyclone.

Are our CF-188's a "single role" aircraft? I thought that specifically we selected the Hornet because we needed a multi-role aircraft and that hasn't changed with our requirement for its replacement. We need platforms that can conduct an air-to-air role as well as an air-to-ground role. Are the Twin Otter, Herc and Globemaster not all transport aircraft? They contribute different parts of the same basic function.

I originally put forward the question of manned fighters plus UCAVs for discussion and not because I am convinced that it's the right choice for the RCAF but I find myself defending the suggestion because some of the arguments I'm seeing don't seem very logical to me. I have no doubt having a split fleet would create logistical and manning challenges, but I have trouble accepting the argument that these challenges are either insurmountable or fundamentally different than similar challenges that have been faced by other parts of the CF in adding new/different capabilities. I also have some difficulty with the suggestion that we should not even consider investing in and developing new capabilities simply because the technology is not yet mature. That seems a recipe for permanently having an outclassed military as we'll always be a generation behind the leaders in our capabilities.
 

YZT580

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The F35 is at its best when it lurks in the bullrushes so to speak and oversees the battlefield. It should be bought in tandem with another airframe that would actually carry out the strike whilst the F35 identifies the next and next and next target without having to defend itself because its first shot showed everyone where it was. We've had multifple fleets before when our national population was a third less than it is now. Heck we had more combat aircraft in Lars and Baden alone then we own now. I don't believe that out of 35 million people we can't find and keep a few hundred flying fighters.
 

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Are our CF-188's a "single role" aircraft? I thought that specifically we selected the Hornet because we needed a multi-role aircraft and that hasn't changed with our requirement for its replacement. We need platforms that can conduct an air-to-air role as well as an air-to-ground role. Are the Twin Otter, Herc and Globemaster not all transport aircraft? They contribute different parts of the same basic function.
Sure, I’ll play your semantics game. Fighter operations is the role category and Canada wants a multi-role fighter that can perform both the Control of the Air and Air Attack doctrinal roles, like the CF-188 does currently. I posit that Canada needs but one platform for the Future Fighter Capability Program to carry out the fast-air multi-role mission.

All the other platforms fulfill unique designated doctrinal roles in the RCAF, with the only arguable overlap being CH-146 Griffon being used for primary rotary-wing SAR in Trenton.
 

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The F35 is at its best when it lurks in the bullrushes so to speak and oversees the battlefield. It should be bought in tandem with another airframe that would actually carry out the strike whilst the F35 identifies the next and next and next target without having to defend itself because its first shot showed everyone where it was. We've had multifple fleets before when our national population was a third less than it is now. Heck we had more combat aircraft in Lars and Baden alone then we own now. I don't believe that out of 35 million people we can't find and keep a few hundred flying fighters.

Back when we had a multi-fleet of fighters was post-WWII / Cold War time frame which there was a threat and necessity for the capability. The 4th-Gen fighters seems to have been a leap in technology and upgradability. Even when we ordered 138 hornets, there was still that necessity in the late 70s/early 80s with our base in Germany and our mission requirement.

Ordering hundreds of fighter now wouldn't solve anything. The RCAF only wings 120ish Pilots a year for either rotory, multi-engine, or fighter. The amount that release yearly is close to it also. And if you build that many more fighters then you need many more techs, more training, etc.

We even had an aircraft carrier. Yes, it was built at the latter days of WWII, but that less population argument isn't the best I don't think. It all depends on the mission we have.

Is it possible? Yes. I'm not saying we aren't capable, but with our current mission and with politicians needing a justification for such a purchase, especially in a pandemic economy, it wouldn't be likely.

My 2 cents.
 

FJAG

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Back when we had a multi-fleet of fighters was post-WWII / Cold War time frame which there was a threat and necessity for the capability. .
Back many years ago, just after the F5 came into service, I was at, I think Bagotville on my ACO course and there was an F5 siting on the hanger floor next to the engine of a Voodoo. There wasn't much of a size difference. We still had 104s in Germany as well.

That's me a few years later on my FAC course in the back seat of an F5 for my familiarization flight about to attack Gagetown. No cookies lost.

FAC course Summerside PEI Sep 1974.jpg

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daftandbarmy

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Back many years ago, just after the F5 came into service, I was at, I think Bagotville on my ACO course and there was an F5 siting on the hanger floor next to the engine of a Voodoo. There wasn't much of a size difference. We still had 104s in Germany as well.

That's me a few years later on my FAC course in the back seat of an F5 for my familiarization flight about to attack Gagetown. No cookies lost.

View attachment 64450

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OK, Goose, you win maximum cool points for today!

goose GIF
 

Drallib

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Finnish Hornets ten years younger than RCAF's just buy them to complete the fighter force renewal:



Mark
Ottawa

It seems our timeline isn't too far off from Finland's, with their Final Proposal date in April.

Our proposal evaluation is set to be completed in February, with the down-select decision and announcement expected April 2021, revised proposal submissions sent by Jul-Aug, evaluations of proposals Aug-Nov.

Would this evaluation of proposals in Aug-Nov be the Final and Best Offer to Canada though before a contract is awarded in 2022?

Another thought, does anyone think that if Finland selects the F35 then it is likely we will also?
 
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