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Canada The Military

Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs 417

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-fly dept.
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes 'Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, sources familiar with the process told Reuters. A detailed, 18-month review of Canada's fighter jet needs has concluded that the government should skip a new competition and proceed with the C$9 billion ($8.22 billion) purchase, three sources said. When the F-35 purchase was first proposed, Canadians were alarmed by the colossal price tag, and also that no fly-off competition had been conducted or was planned. This latest news is sure to rekindle criticism that the RCAF's requirements seem to have been written after the fact to match the F-35's capabilities (or lack thereof)."
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Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

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  • Suckers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Suckers

  • lawl. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:20PM (#47176687)

    Brought to you by the fiscal conservative party of Canada.

    • by qeveren (318805)

      Yep. Cut those social services, but boy do we need some new, untested, and buggy-as-hell jet fighters.

  • No Bid Contracts! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:22PM (#47176697)

    Yes, let's absolutely buy the jets that can't stay up in the air and cost ridiculous amounts to purchase and maintain when they do manage not to crash!
    In rougher climates than they're designed for! Instead of something cheaper and more rugged that would be just fine for our purposes!

    This is the greatest idea ever!

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I'm wondering what the US is offering countries buying these aircraft. Japan was looking at both the F-35 and the Eurofighter, with the Eurofighter being obviously a better fit for them in pretty much every way. Yet they went with the much more expensive and still not debugged F-35. Now Canada too.

    • by davecb (6526)

      I fear that corruption is starting to set in: the ex-Reform members who lead the current federal government used to hatewasting money. Now they're pissing it away it like drunken sailors.

      Time for a change: either the party replaces the PM, or the voters replace the party.

  • REALLY STUPID Canada (Score:5, Informative)

    by dltaylor (7510) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:33PM (#47176731)

    What's wrong with a few SuperHornets? Extra survivability in case of an engine failure; both interception and ground attack (unlike the attack-only F35); easier to maintain; larger fuel capacity than the original Hornet; they actually FLY.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      You mean the Superhornets that will be replaced by the F-35 leaving Canada yet again unable to us the US supply chain?

  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:34PM (#47176737)

    Only recently in Australia did the government suggest that it was going to purchase the F-35 as well. This all became clear in the same budget that suggested raising the pension age to 70 and an increase in taxes, and prompted much outrage.

    Despite the flaws in the F-35, this purchase seems to be more of a five-eyes strategic thing, than it is any burning need to buy these planes.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      No, the Australians bought into (and bought) the F-35 under previous governments. The announcement from Abbot was that they were going to buy MORE F-35s.

    • by khallow (566160)

      This all became clear in the same budget that suggested raising the pension age to 70 and an increase in taxes, and prompted much outrage.

      It's pretty much a universal developed world problem that pensions pay out too much and governments run large deficits. Everyone will need to raise their pension ages and raise their taxes/cut spending.

      • by epine (68316)

        Everyone will need to raise their pension ages and raise their taxes/cut spending.

        Alternatively, we could roll back our immense gains in life-expectancy. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

        The problem seems to be that human nature is willing to work very hard for $20 (if that pays for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) or for a $20 million xmas bonus (if that's your second vacation home) but we're all pretty slack-assed when motivated by any sum in between.

      • Absolutely right. You simply cannot have more of your life spent not working then you do working. Think about it. You work from age 21* to 65 or 45 years. During that time you average paying 30% of your income in tax. You then live to 90. That means you spend 46 years not working. That 46 years needs to be funded in some way and the maths simply doesn't work. That 30% tax had to cover all those things we like, such as roads. There isn't much of it left. So unless you saved 50% of your take home du

        • "I am 34, by the time I get to retirement it should be at least 70....."
          Spoken like a true optimist.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    While Harper's cock, pushed by his corporate puppet masters, goes deeper into the average Joe's rectum, I'm super happy that my taxes are going to China via tar sands AND corporate welfare in the USA.

    OHHH!!! CANADAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @10:19PM (#47176891)

    I think a lot of people here are misunderstanding what the F-35 is doing and where the 'can't fly' comments are coming from. Basically, your average current F-16 and F/A-18 are still very maneuverable jets. They're relatively light when flown clean and so they are still competitive in this configuration. In order for these planes to go to war effectively, you need to hang a whole pile of mission equipment off of them. IR and laser designator pods, weapons, extra fuel. This makes them heavy, draggy, and slow.

    F-35s carry a lot of fuel and all of their mission equipment internally to preserve stealth. It also means it is less heavy, draggy and slow because the jet is aerodynamically clean when it is flown operationally.

    For a very narrow suite of missions, this means you are carrying some stuff you don't need. For America, these missions will typically be F-15/F-22 territory. For every other set of missions it is much more efficient than any other strike fighter out there because it won't have as much reliance on external tanks or airborne tankers.

    I'm not saying it doesn't have it's problems. It's stealth is only refined in the forward hemisphere. It is expensive and I feel it is forcing countries to adopt smaller fleet sizes to buy it. It does IMO feature design compromises that are forced upon it from being a close to common a tri-service, VTOL capable jet. But, the politicians did that, not the designers.

  • by Ecuador (740021) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @10:27PM (#47176917) Homepage
    It is probably better than the crap the Canadians got after scrapping the Avro Arrow. Of course the F35 is very expensive as well... Oh, well...
  • by steveha (103154) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @10:36PM (#47176951) Homepage

    Sometimes a new thing looks like a disaster for a while, but in the long run proves itself. The M-16 rifle is a tremendously successful design, but there were issues with the first models that made it look like a huge mistake.

    So I am watching the F-35 and I am wondering: will this be as big a disaster as the nay-sayers claim, or will this work out in the long run?

    I'm guessing it will limp along as a middle-of-the-road thing: not a complete horrible disaster, just a really expensive airplane that doesn't live up to its expectations.

    Also, I have read that it is intended that a bunch of F-35s will share data with each other, and help each other detect and deal with threats; but the giant costs of the program have made it much less likely that enough F-35s will fly together at one time for this to work out.

    One thing I am certain about: It's a mistake to try to replace the A-10 Warthog with F-35s. I don't even understand how the F-35 is supposed to do the same mission.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/a-10-f-35-air-force-budget [motherjones.com]

    • Probably a little of both. In the long run, it is likely to be an amazing jet. Pilots say the thing is just amazingly capable, and near impossible to fight against. So while it is expensive, it pays for itself in terms of a force multiplier. Like say it could take enemy jets 11:1 which cost 10% of the price (I'm not saying it can, just say). It is actually superior then, since you spend less on it. Even more so because you keep your people safe and that has all kinds of repercussions.

      However, it isn't very

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @11:47PM (#47177167)

      One thing I am certain about: It's a mistake to try to replace the A-10 Warthog with F-35s. I don't even understand how the F-35 is supposed to do the same mission.

      That's like asking how a rifle can possibly replace a pike, since it can't do the same thing. The F35's sensors and guided munitions are multiple generations more advanced, so it does the same mission from well outside of gun/eyeball range.

      All these posts comparing the F35 to much older aircraft like the F18 on the basis of airframe are clueless. It's all about the sensors, weapons, and comms. The part you can see from the outside is just to get you there. (Of course, stealth and mach 1+ without afterburners helps with getting there, too).

      Having a fly-off of the F35 against (what exactly?) is like having a race between a Corvette and a Ford Torus. That doesn't necessarily mean the Corvette is a better solution for your needs, and it may well not be a better value. But the differences are big enough to be obvious. Weigh them and make a choice.

      • by mirix (1649853)

        Canadian jets don't use weapons though, so more advanced ones don't provide any improvement.

      • The A-10 can fly slowly enough to stay for a long period at the site of action, can continue flying even being heavily damaged and have a cannon capable of destroying tanks. Put an F-35 in the same scenario and it would be a fireball in the sky in a few minutes.
    • I don't care if the F-35 works as planned. It's just another totally corrupt vile thing the Harper government of Canada is doing to lower the nation down to the likes of the USA. (I'm American and I realize we are not #1 at anything. except perhaps the number of literate creationists and global warming deniers.)

      Canada could have spent all that $$$$ on robotics and then they could lead the world in the field... plus they could hire China to make a million dumb drones then put in their robotic brains... then

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The F-35s suffer a fundamental design flaw: the wide body. The wide body is needed to accommodate the VTOL that the marines wanted but it really fucks up performance. Most any 4.5 gen craft should be able to outperform it handily, and at a much reduced price.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The last of the gold plated, profit earning, export winners before the first good drones.
    • There's no reason why the F-35 shouldn't work well. Just drop that stupid vertical takeoff requirement and tell the US Marine Corps to work together with the Air Force. That would have dropped the development costs significantly.

      The real question is, what are actually the Canadian Air Force requirements? I seriously doubt that Canada needs stealth strike fighters to patrol the remote north. Who's radar do they want to evade? What really irks me is that the so called conservative government wants to blow a s

    • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday June 06, 2014 @02:11AM (#47177563)

      One thing I am certain about: It's a mistake to try to replace the A-10 Warthog with F-35s. I don't even understand how the F-35 is supposed to do the same mission.

      The F-35's primary mission is to make Lockheed Martin shitloads of money (the secondary missions being to make its subcontractors shitloads of money, and get politicians shitloads of campaign contributions). Since the A-10 is not made by Lockheed Martin (or anybody else anymore), the F-35 will be infinitely more successful at its mission.

    • The problem with the A-10 is that its already built and flying. That doesn't generate tons of money for defense contractors and politicians like developing a new aircraft does. The F-35 has the same compromise that every "one size fits all" design has. It does everything "OK", but not as well as a purpose built aircraft could and costs a ton of money to achieve it.
    • by hey! (33014)

      Well, if you look at the initial failures if the M16 and F35 as black boxes, this seems like a reasonable analogy. On the other hand if you open up the black boxes to see what actually happened, the analogy falls apart.

      The M16 rifle's initial failure was due to deploying it with different ammunition than it was designed for. The ammunition used powder that was incompatible. Also, soldiers were told (incorrectly) that the M16 was self-cleaning. If the F35 were failing for an analogous reasons, those reaso

  • rekindle criticism that the RCAF's requirements seem to have been written after the fact to match the F-35's capabilities (or lack thereof).

    Like an H1B job ad, eh.

  • Of course there was no fly-off and the requirements were tailored for it... THE ONLY OTHER 5TH GEN FIGHTERS ARE THE F22 AND ONES BY RUSSIA AND CHINA THAT CANADA CAN'T BUY.

    This isn't controversial. Canada wanted a modern aircraft, and right now, there are only 4 out there. The F22 isn't for export, the PAK FA isn't for sale, and the J-20 (based on stolen F22 tech) is still light years away, and also not for sale.

    If there was another candidate, I am sure Canada would have compared them, but when facing $124m
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @12:55AM (#47177391)

    The population of Canada is 35,105,000 people according to a google search.

    Canada's planned purchase is the 6th-largest by a country and would further safeguard the $399 billion program.

    If that "program" were instead just given to the people (it's their money after all), they'd *EACH* have $11,365 or basically a free car.

    Imagine how much the country would change if every single person's tax dollars provided a voucher for $11,365 off of a vehicle purchase.

    Talk about world change......

    • $8B Jet Purchase / 35M People = $228.57/Person

      I agree that the costs are out of proportion to what Canada should be spending, but it's no where near the number you suggest.

      Maybe you can provide a bicycle voucher instead of a car voucher. :)

  • Peacetime designs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Friday June 06, 2014 @01:29AM (#47177473) Homepage
    Don't buy peacetime designs - they are never great. The urgency of war forces designers and engineers to act quickly, with well-defined briefs and no extraneous "nice to have"s; peacetime designs are the opposite - bloated, every Tom Dick and Harry involved wants his pet add-on, and no pressure to get it out the door.

    All the great military aircraft ever built have been produced in wartime for the jobs needed doing right then. And I include Vietnam and the Cold War among them. The post-soviet skirmished the west has got involved in don't seem to need fighter planes at all, and in the meantime, the bloated F-35 slithers along, as unpopular as Jabba the Hut.
  • australia has just committed to buying 12 billion bucks worth of em as well, they much have some fucking slick sales guys

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