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

dimsum

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Fixed it for you
Cough Blackhawk cough...
MH-60R can do the AWS job,
It...can.

Some others can chime in if they want without straying too much into capabilities, but it would change crew composition and responsibilities. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that I'm not sure it's "better" (lack of aircraft notwithstanding).

Is it AEREs though or is it DAR?
Little of column A, little of column B...

I’ve only really looked at the NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) part of the entire NH-90; but I remember exercising with NFHs in the Med in 2015 and later and they seemed to perform well. I think it was Manta 2018 we were supposed to do co-op with a HMCS Hfx class. The Sea King was U/S for sonar.
...and the Australians wholesale scrapped their MRH-90s that were supposed to be the common Army/Navy helicopter. It was a matter of serviceability, I think.

Edit to add: They bought Romeos, but that falls in line with RAN helicopter crew composition since they already flew SH-60Bs.
 
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KevinB

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It...can.
It is a smaller platform than the Cyclone - I'd replace them at least a 2 Hawk:1 Cyclone ratio, not sure if you can get two in the City Class hangar - but the CSC could be configured to fit two...
The Hawk is a substantially more capable airframe than the Griffon - so the SAR, UH, SOF role would be better served by the replacement there - I am not familiar enough with the Cormorant to make a claim that the Hawk is better - but a common airframe would allow for more simulators - more spares etc.
Some others can chime in if they want without straying too much into capabilities, but it would change crew composition and responsibilities. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that I'm not sure it's "better" (lack of aircraft notwithstanding).


Little of column A, little of column B...


...and the Australians wholesale scrapped their MRH-90s that were supposed to be the common Army/Navy helicopter. It was a matter of serviceability, I think.
Yes the Aussies went back to the Hawks - (their SOF had never switched out of the Blackhawk), you had put a link to a few stories abut the 90's that where not flattering.
 
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CBH99

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“That can be built here”

This mentality is part of what slaughters our procurement process (probably an insult to the word process but…).

I like the Blackhawk idea. I also like the Herc for Transport/SAR/MPA idea too.

We don’t consider the most important things with the most weight; operational capability.

That is why we have damn old fighters. Our fighters were sub-standard in GW1. That was 1991.

That is why we have a small orphan fleet of MHs that has some significant challenges.

That is why our tiny LRP fleet is going thru upgrades on aircraft that are 4 decades old, while other countries with small fleets are moving to or already have P-8.

How’s that new FWSAR fleet doing?

It won’t change and our military will never be taken seriously because of it.
Good to see morale in the CAF is pretty high these days 😉 Joking ofcourse

At least our 40yo MPA have state of the art upgrades once complete! Yet again, Canada does it’s weird “Upgrade to a P8 standard but leave the airframe as is, please.”

Or the same combat management system installed in our subs as brand new US Navy Virginia class boats.

While clunky and slow, perhaps the above are examples of a savage genius none of us have ever realized? Confusion of the enemy is a good thing!
 

dimsum

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Good to see morale in the CAF is pretty high these days 😉 Joking ofcourse

At least our 40yo MPA have state of the art upgrades once complete! Yet again, Canada does it’s weird “Upgrade to a P8 standard but leave the airframe as is, please.”

Or the same combat management system installed in our subs as brand new US Navy Virginia class boats.

While clunky and slow, perhaps the above are examples of a savage genius none of us have ever realized? Confusion of the enemy is a good thing!

What I'll say is that SSK and SSN are optimized for different missions. One doesn't really replace the other.
 

suffolkowner

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Sweden and Finland have had problems with their NH90's as well. I don't know if its that governments just aren't budgeting enough for spares or maybe some airframes just chew through them. The difference is a lot of these countries seem to take a step back and evaluate the situation and are not afraid to change horses.

I'll feel a bit better once the F-35 is chosen assuming it is. For all the talk coming from the government I do not expect things to change much from a procurement standpoint. Then again we should allow the process to follow through to completion. Cant complain about political interference from one side of our mouth and advocate for it from the other
 

Eye In The Sky

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Good to see morale in the CAF is pretty high these days 😉 Joking ofcourse

At least our 40yo MPA have state of the art upgrades once complete! Yet again, Canada does it’s weird “Upgrade to a P8 standard but leave the airframe as is, please.”

Or the same combat management system installed in our subs as brand new US Navy Virginia class boats.

While clunky and slow, perhaps the above are examples of a savage genius none of us have ever realized? Confusion of the enemy is a good thing!

The problem with upgrades, or some of them at least, include the loss of that airframe for the period it is inducted. Auroras went thru ASLEP, and all of the AIMP (Block 2, Block 3 and now Block 4). That is on top of the normal “off Wing” stuff like TLIR (Third Line Inspection and Repair).

After any of those are complete, there is some level of testing. That takes time and usually is somewhat restrictive; bare dry runway, VFR flight/weather requirements.

If a major testing event is cancelled, it can be a fairly involved process to get all the stakeholders lined up and available again; eg, RCN assets at “the time and place capable of doing what is needed”.

So you’re thru testing and have the upgraded airframe back. Well. Not everything is upgraded. You still have unserviceable a/c because they are old, and things don’t work as well as they did when they are new (despite all these upgrades, 2nd and 3rd line maint, periodicals etc). They are still, at the end of the day, old airplanes.

I posted something in a thread commonality with Allies and how spare parts and tools are very important when you’re away, because you simply can’t take everything you might need on a deployment for spare parts etc. Soon, our MPAs will be working with Allies where the “common airframe” will be the P-8.

So for these and other reasons, despite having decent Integrated Missions Systems, we could find ourselves “with a seat at the table”, but we will be doing secondary or tertiary tasks (like our Fighters did in GW1, or like happened during IMPACT).

We rarely operate independently; a Joint Force Commander is going to use their most reliable kit and units to perform critical tasks. That is understandable of course, 100%. That reality doesn’t necessarily line up well with how Canada funds and equips it’s Armed Forces.

Savage genius? Perhaps; for someone like me who has used this kit in a few locations working with a handful of our Allies on Ex and Ops, it just reinforces that Canadians and our government don’t really care about defence and we are happy if someone else pays the bill, maybe happier still if someone else looks after the tip, too.

Ya, I’m a little jaded. I’ve been embarrassed in front of Allied crews/pers once or 10 times too many on Ops.
 
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Oldgateboatdriver

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So for these and other reasons, despite having decent Integrated Missions Systems, we could find ourselves “with a seat at the table”, but we will be doing secondary or tertiary tasks (like our Fighters did in GW1, or like happened during IMPACT).

Just a small point of info, EITS. I don't know if urban legends have developped aroud the air contribution to GW1, but at the time:

(1) the CF-18 were six and seven year old state of the art fighters; and,

(2) they carried out their primary task, which was one of various primary tasks of the coalition, in providing CAP over RCN assets in theater.

You see, in the lead up to retaking Koweit, the estimates (pre-war) were that Irak had modern fighters with well trained crew that represented a significant air threat to ships. These estimates were not Canadian, but the universally accepted estimates of the US.

Canada's main contribution to the war effort was to be a Naval Task Group, but when, in view of these estimates, we asked the US or the UK to provide air cover, they stated that they could not garantee such protection in view of their own needs for same. That's when it was decided to deploy CF-18's in theatre to provide air cover for the RCN. That in turn lead to the need to deploy some land forces to provide for the air assets force protection. Basically, had the RCN operated a carrier or had the US/UK been able to provide the protection, Canada's contribution would have been warships only.

After, and only after, the Iraqui air force ceased to be a threat, and with air assets already in theatre, was it decided to release them to the commander of the air campaign for use over Iraq. It is unfortunate, but by that time, there was little left to do.
 

GK .Dundas

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Just a small point of info, EITS. I don't know if urban legends have developped aroud the air contribution to GW1, but at the time:

(1) the CF-18 were six and seven year old state of the art fighters; and,

(2) they carried out their primary task, which was one of various primary tasks of the coalition, in providing CAP over RCN assets in theater.

You see, in the lead up to retaking Koweit, the estimates (pre-war) were that Irak had modern fighters with well trained crew that represented a significant air threat to ships. These estimates were not Canadian, but the universally accepted estimates of the US.

Canada's main contribution to the war effort was to be a Naval Task Group, but when, in view of these estimates, we asked the US or the UK to provide air cover, they stated that they could not garantee such protection in view of their own needs for same. That's when it was decided to deploy CF-18's in theatre to provide air cover for the RCN. That in turn lead to the need to deploy some land forces to provide for the air assets force protection. Basically, had the RCN operated a carrier or had the US/UK been able to provide the protection, Canada's contribution would have been warships only.

After, and only after, the Iraqui air force ceased to be a threat, and with air assets already in theatre, was it decided to release them to the commander of the air campaign for use over Iraq. It is unfortunate, but by that time, there was little left to do.
Now you know why the air force insists that it controls all navair and army aviation.
 

dimsum

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Now you know why the air force insists that it controls all navair and army aviation.
Sorry - maybe I haven't had my coffee yet, but I don't follow how not having fleet defense air cover means RCAF insists it controls other aviation?
 

Eye In The Sky

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Just a small point of info, EITS. I don't know if urban legends have developped aroud the air contribution to GW1, but at the time:

(1) the CF-18 were six and seven year old state of the art fighters; and,

(2) they carried out their primary task, which was one of various primary tasks of the coalition, in providing CAP over RCN assets in theater.

You see, in the lead up to retaking Koweit, the estimates (pre-war) were that Irak had modern fighters with well trained crew that represented a significant air threat to ships. These estimates were not Canadian, but the universally accepted estimates of the US.

Canada's main contribution to the war effort was to be a Naval Task Group, but when, in view of these estimates, we asked the US or the UK to provide air cover, they stated that they could not garantee such protection in view of their own needs for same. That's when it was decided to deploy CF-18's in theatre to provide air cover for the RCN. That in turn lead to the need to deploy some land forces to provide for the air assets force protection. Basically, had the RCN operated a carrier or had the US/UK been able to provide the protection, Canada's contribution would have been warships only.

After, and only after, the Iraqui air force ceased to be a threat, and with air assets already in theatre, was it decided to release them to the commander of the air campaign for use over Iraq. It is unfortunate, but by that time, there was little left to do.

Our CF 18s didn’t have PGM abilities. They sat out the air strike side until our Allies (the US IIRC) gave us some once the hard lifting was done. That’s not a state of the art weapons system to me.

Much like today, the US, UK and other forces maintain better Wpn Sys capabilities than we do. Our MPA fleet is another example of this delta.

The CAF motto could be “fitted for, but not with”…
 

SupersonicMax

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Our CF 18s didn’t have PGM abilities. They sat out the air strike side until our Allies (the US IIRC) gave us some once the hard lifting was done. That’s not a state of the art weapons system to me.

Much like today, the US, UK and other forces maintain better Wpn Sys capabilities than we do. Our MPA fleet is another example of this delta.

The CAF motto could be “fitted for, but not with”…
PGM was pretty novel back then. US Hornets and Vipers didn’t have them either.
 

Eye In The Sky

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PGM was pretty novel back then. US Hornets and Vipers didn’t have them either.

I recall reading the “US gave the RCAF PGM kits” part, but for the life of me I can’t find the article or recall where i saw it. Have you ever seen that in a CMJ or other article by chance?

This article eludes to an OP IRON SABRE but there is no "separate entry" for it on the website:


Canada’s commitment to Gulf operations increased on 14 September, when the Prime Minister announced that the CF would provide a squadron of fighter aircraft to provide Combat Air Patrols (CAP) for the Canadian ships in the Gulf. These aircraft came from 409 Squadron in Baden, augmented by aircraft and personnel from 421 and 439 Squadrons. The last of the 16 aircraft arrived in Doha, Qatar on 12 October, through Operation SCIMITAR.

Two days later Canadian CF-18s began to conduct patrols in area Whiskey 2 - the Coalition fleet’s second line of air defence – and turned back an Iraqi two-aircraft patrol. Within two weeks, having by then figured out how they could be fully integrated into the US – led air defence scheme and operations, they replaced US Marine Corps F-18s patrolling in area Whiskey-1, a front-line sector. Further proof of Canadian capabilities came when they were tasked to provide CAP for the US Navy aircraft carrier Midway while it was transiting through the Straits of Hormuz. The carrier was prohibited from launching its own CAP while in the Straits.

The air force contribution was already well integrated into the coalition, but it would be increased to twenty-four aircraft and about 550 men and women. Pilots from 421 and 439 Squadrons in Baden and 416 Squadron in Cold Lake replaced the initial deployments.

The air war began the night of 16 January with the CF-18s flying CAP, in Whiskey – 1 and immediately raised the chance of blue-on-blue conflict when allied pilots returning from offensive operations entered the Canadian patrol area without having turned on their Identification – Friend – Foe (IFF) transmitters. All these aircraft had to be intercepted and positively identified as friendlies – at night, often with closing speeds of Mach 2 – and no mistakes were made. This CAP of Whiskey-1 was almost exclusively Canadian until 19 January, at which time the arrival of two more American aircraft carriers allowed the Canadians to reduce their flying hours.

Starting 20 January, the Canadians started “sweep and escort” missions. CF-18s would sweep ahead of a group of attack bombers to ensure that the area was clear of enemy aircraft. Other CF-18s would provide close escort to manage any threats that popped up after the sweep aircraft had passed. These missions were not without risk. The anti-aircraft fire over Iraq was intense; the Iraqi forces also appeared to have a surplus of surface-to-air missiles, many of which were spotted approaching Canadian aircraft. Luckily, the missiles dropped away at the last minute, falling short.

On 30 January two CF-18s were diverted to attack an Iraqi fast patrol boat that had managed to escape destruction by other aircraft. After two strafing runs with the CF-18s 20 mm guns, the boat was irreparably damaged and later found to have sought safe-haven in Iran.

In mid-February, plans were underway at National Defence Headquarters for the CF-18s to take on a more offensive role – attacking Iraqi targets on the ground. To provide the necessary bombs, Operation IRON SABRE (see separate entry) was initiated on 22 February. Two days later the CF-18s conducted their first bombing run, dropping thirty-two Mk 82 500 lbs bomb, and it was intended that they would conduct between eight and sixteen sorties a day for up to thirty-two days. However, hostilities would end on 28 February, and as a result the CF-18s conducted only 56 bombing missions.

The CF-18s returned to Baden, with the last aircraft leaving Doha on 9 March.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I was sure I read something somewhere about RCAF CF-18s getting kits that allowed "dumb" bombs to be dropped on targets that were being designated for them. Something like that....but I am getting old and stuff.
 

KevinB

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I was sure I read something somewhere about RCAF CF-18s getting kits that allowed "dumb" bombs to be dropped on targets that were being designated for them. Something like that....but I am getting old and stuff.
There was something. It was news back then, but I’m too old to remember exactly what was done. I’m wondering if it was a clip on Lantirn type pod on a hard point.
 

Eye In The Sky

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The FE that sits across from me was a Tech who was posted to Baden with the 18s then and deployed on the first bunch in. I’ll have to ask him tomorrow, see if he remembers. The way I remember it in whatever article I read was “in the process of making it happen” when combat sorties ended. I searched the internet for Op Iron Sabre info. Nothing.

“posted to Baden”; that makes me feel old just keying that in!
 

Colin Parkinson

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I was sure I read something somewhere about RCAF CF-18s getting kits that allowed "dumb" bombs to be dropped on targets that were being designated for them. Something like that....but I am getting old and stuff.
Wasn't that the "Sniper pod" that was supposed to allow our CF18 to find and lase targets and then use smart munitions on the targets?
 
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