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

SupersonicMax

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Silly me I thought that a Nations Air FORCE was supposed to do Air Force things.

I get part of your point - which is why I suggested the EA-18 designation - but if you only have 1 Fighter in your bag of tricks - it needs to be multi role capable against Peer/Near Peer threats - which means you don't always get a say in what threats you actually face - as sometimes the threat comes to you.

It is all well and good to say in a Coalition Environment that you will take certain roles - but over your Nations skies - you need be able to tango with the currently fielded aircraft of hostile actors. Based on that, I do not believe the Hornet family is a good or viable choice in that.

Now if you want to fold the fighter side of the RCAF - and ask us to cover the air - that is fine too -- but then invest in other enablers.
Don't try to snow the snow man that upgrading Hornets at this day and age is a good use of tax payer monies.

Any attempt like that just shows the Fighter mafia cares more about their empire than the CF as a whole, or Canada as a nation.
The thing is that it is not a binary thing; there is a lot of grey in those answers. The spectrum of threats the NORAD mission poses is very different than that of a Taiwan scenario. If Canada’s foreign policy doesn’t see us competing in Taiwan, there is no incentive to invest in capabilities to fight China.

Even when if Canada wanted to get involved, to what level are we going to be involved? Supporting coalition with support aircraft (Strat Transport, AAR)? Maritime Patrol? Defensive Counter Air? Deep interdiction in contested airspace? Interdiction but in the peripheries? SEAD? DEAD? CAS when all the threats are taken care of? And what would be an acceptable level of risk for Canada conducting those missions?

All those questions bring different requirements in capabilities. Some mission sets could be done by Super Hornets. Others, not a chance in hell. The issue is that we do not have answers to almost all of those questions.

For NORAD, thinking that we need to be ready for Russia the same way we would if we were to go downtown Moscow is flawed. Threat concentration and threat types would be very different…
 

Good2Golf

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Please tell me bomb runs in downtown Moscow were not anywhere in the FFCP justification documentation…
 

KevinB

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For NORAD, thinking that we need to be ready for Russia the same way we would if we were to go downtown Moscow is flawed. Threat concentration and threat types would be very different…
Best Defense is a good offense ;)
 

Czech_pivo

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The thing is that it is not a binary thing; there is a lot of grey in those answers. The spectrum of threats the NORAD mission poses is very different than that of a Taiwan scenario. If Canada’s foreign policy doesn’t see us competing in Taiwan, there is no incentive to invest in capabilities to fight China.

Even when if Canada wanted to get involved, to what level are we going to be involved? Supporting coalition with support aircraft (Strat Transport, AAR)? Maritime Patrol? Defensive Counter Air? Deep interdiction in contested airspace? Interdiction but in the peripheries? SEAD? DEAD? CAS when all the threats are taken care of? And what would be an acceptable level of risk for Canada conducting those missions?

All those questions bring different requirements in capabilities. Some mission sets could be done by Super Hornets. Others, not a chance in hell. The issue is that we do not have answers to almost all of those questions.

For NORAD, thinking that we need to be ready for Russia the same way we would if we were to go downtown Moscow is flawed. Threat concentration and threat types would be very different…
In virtually any scenario that involves us dancing with the CCP will likely involve that RCN only and possibly the CA, in small specialized numbers. The RCAF will not have the numbers or the ability to reach the area of operations in terms of fighter planes. Based on the current number of available fighters and what is the talked about numbers going forward, between NORAD and NATO (Rumanian) current obligations, we'll have virtually no fighters left to offer. In any shooting war with the CCP we'll need to keep a greater number of fighters at home as the need for NORAD will come to the forefront as I'm sure the Russians will make our (and the American's) life as difficult as possible here at home by poking our defences constantly.
 

Czech_pivo

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Please tell me bomb runs in downtown Moscow were not anywhere in the FFCP justification documentation…
Why? Can't we relive some of the great Mosquito raids of old?

"On 30 January 1943, two daylight missions were carried out to bomb Berlin using low-level daylight tactics. These attacks were timed to disrupt speeches by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, head of the air force, and Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich's Propaganda Minister. The first, in the morning, comprised a flight of three Mosquito B Mk. IVs from 105 Squadron, which attacked the main Berlin broadcasting station,[9] at 11:00, when Göring was due to address a parade commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Nazis' being voted into power. The mission gave the lie to Göring's claim that such a mission was impossible, and kept Göring off the air for more than an hour."
 

dimsum

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In virtually any scenario that involves us dancing with the CCP will likely involve that RCN only and possibly the CA, in small specialized numbers. The RCAF will not have the numbers or the ability to reach the area of operations in terms of fighter planes.
Well thankfully the RCAF is more than just fighters. Off the top of my head, you'll need:

  • Maritime Helicopters
  • Long Range (Maritime) Patrol Aircraft
  • Tactical Helicopters
  • Strategic and Tactical Airlift
  • Air-to-Air Refuelling

All of which are RCAF assets. The only ones I haven't listed are fighters (although I suspect we'd need them too), SAR (domestic capability), and trainers.
 

Czech_pivo

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Well thankfully the RCAF is more than just fighters. Off the top of my head, you'll need:

  • Maritime Helicopters
  • Long Range (Maritime) Patrol Aircraft
  • Tactical Helicopters
  • Strategic and Tactical Airlift
  • Air-to-Air Refuelling

All of which are RCAF assets. The only ones I haven't listed are fighters (although I suspect we'd need them too), SAR (domestic capability), and trainers.
Yes, agree with the above.

1) Maritime Helicopters - would be paired with RCN asset
2) Long Range (Maritime) Patrol Aircraft - yes, could be used in theatre for patrolling out of Okinawa or Japan or Guam
3) Tactical Helicopters - possible use with the small number of CA forces on site in Taiwan, though I doubt that we'd use them there
4) Strategic & Tactical Airlift - Yes I certainly expect that our Globemasters would be in demand and possibly the Hercs
5) Air-to-Air Refueling - possible that our Polaris's would be asked for, I doubt that they'd in-theatre but maybe in Japan/Guam
 

dimsum

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Yes, agree with the above.

1) Maritime Helicopters - would be paired with RCN asset
2) Long Range (Maritime) Patrol Aircraft - yes, could be used in theatre for patrolling out of Okinawa or Japan or Guam
3) Tactical Helicopters - possible use with the small number of CA forces on site in Taiwan, though I doubt that we'd use them there
4) Strategic & Tactical Airlift - Yes I certainly expect that our Globemasters would be in demand and possibly the Hercs
5) Air-to-Air Refueling - possible that our Polaris's would be asked for, I doubt that they'd in-theatre but maybe in Japan/Guam
Yes, but my point was to rebut against your comment on "involving the RCN only and possibly the CA".

RCAF is integral to that, as I mentioned above.
 

Drallib

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The concept of having the procurement system so dependent on a single person’s opinion, as experienced to the role as they may be, is very far removed from best practices. Imagine they believe the F/A-18E to be best and the government chose that based on their personal opinion. That doesn’t come anywhere close to seeming a good idea. Imagine if the Army selected one soldier to have their opinion used to decide replacement boots. All jokes aside about how that might actually result in a good boot for once, the risk of personal opinion overriding best capability is not acceptable to evaluation of capabilities against appropriately developed criteria.
I wouldn't say it should depend on their opinion, but have it taken into consideration. I do understand what you're saying though and agree with you.

I just want some F-35s already.
 

KevinB

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Building hangars and infrastructure before the aircraft?

No - we need to store and support the aircraft somewhere when they arrive.
But what standard to you build to?
As @Good2Golf pointed out make it for the largest option and you are golden - not end up with something you don't want because the hangar wasn't the right size
 

Good2Golf

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We would build infrastructure for the Gripen and then buy the F15 Eagle. Then we would give SNC lavilan the contract to do a bandaid fix at the cost of the original contract. Then tie all those cost to the fighter program.
I 😢 a bit because I could actually see that happening, but then 😊 since I knew you meant it 50.000001% to raise spirits a bit on the topic (and figured 49.999999% clairvoyant).
 

MarkOttawa

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Boeing putting on full-court press (see also: "‘Boeing needs a bridge’: Planemaker looks abroad to keep Super Hornet line rolling" https://www.stltoday.com/business/l...4b1b-dfc1-5fcf-b363-27960307f2de.html)--start of lengthy article, clearly placed by Boeing:

Boeing makes hard sell for Super Hornet as Canada’s future fighter​


As a decision in Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) nears, Boeing is pulling out all the stops to convince Canada that the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the right future fighter, over Lockheed Martin’s F-35A and the Saab Gripen E.


Much of the pitch rests on Boeing’s long history of doing business with Canada’s aerospace industry and the economic windfall it promises will accompany the replacement of aging CF-188 Hornets with the larger, more capable F/A-18E/F Block III [would RCAF go for conformal fuel tanks that USN has rejected?}.

Boeing is promising an influx of work and funding to companies of all sizes in every Canadian province, Maria Laine, the company’s vice president of international business development, said during a Nov. 9 media day at the St. Louis plant where Super Hornets are built. An economic impact study performed by Canadian technology market analysis firm Doyletech showed Boeing’s Super Hornet offering would create 250,000 jobs and infuse the Canadian economy with a total $61 billion over the aircraft’s service life.

“Our key competitor is not guaranteeing that same package,” Laine said. “They won’t guarantee it and even what they think they can do on a best-effort basis creates at least 100,000 less jobs and only one-third of the economic value
[emphasis added]. So, think about that. We have three times the economic benefit impact on Canadian defense and aerospace and the broader ecosystem, with what we’re delivering.”

Under FFCP, Canada plans to purchase 88 new aircraft to replace its CF-188s at a cost of between $15 billion and $19 billion. Sustaining the new jets over their 30- to 40-year service life promises billions more in annual work for the winning bidder.

Boeing’s proposal is designed to meet Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) obligations, in which the company signs a binding agreement to invest up to 100 percent of the contract value in the Canadian economy.

“The magnitude of that program, the number of aircraft, the fact that it is associated with a 100 percent ITB program… that has profound implications for the future of the aerospace and defense industry in Canada,” said Laine. “It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly and it’s something where you really want to make sure that you have a trusted partner to work with.”

Boeing is also hammering the relative affordability of the Super Hornet versus the F-35, which is notoriously expensive to fly and maintain [emphasis added].

“The F-18 is the most affordable multirole combat aircraft to operate in the U.S. inventory, significantly less expensive than our key U.S. competitor,” said Laine.

She highlighting the “wonderful, enduring partnership” between Boeing and Canada since 1919, when Bill Boeing and a co-pilot delivered 60 letters by air mail between Seattle and Vancouver in a home-built float plane. From that humble, yet momentous, beginning, the relationship has grown to where Boeing now spends $2.3 billion each year in the country, Laine said. Adding in the job impact of 1,500 Boeing employees and 20,000 supporting the company’s supply chain in Canada, that figure jumps to $5.3 billion every year, she said.

“Right now, when you look at the Boeing footprint in Canada, when you buy Boeing, you’re really buying Canadian,” she added. “Every single commercial aircraft Boeing develops and produces has Canadian parts, Canadian-produced components. We’ve got a robust supply chain with over 500 companies spread all across Canada from coast to coast to coast.”

While Lockheed touts the F-35 as a “fifth-generation fighter” with unparalleled stealth and sensor technology, among many other futuristic refinements, that capability comes with a significant cost to procure, operate, and maintain. The unit price for a conventional take-off and landing F-35A has dropped precipitously in recent years to about $80 million. Boeing says a Block III Super Hornet comes in just below that.
But that is only the cost to buy, not to operate or maintain the aircraft. The current cost per flight hour for the Super Hornet is around US$18,000. The F-35A’s cost per flight hour sat at US$33,600 in fiscal year 2020. The OEM is currently working to reduce the operating cost to US$30,000 by 2023, and US$25,000 by 2025 [emphasis added]...

Read on.

Mark
Ottawa
 
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