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  • Discussion Forum

    Discussion forum

    Canada is purchasing the wrong ZIG.

    Forum post

    Author
    Message

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-04-04 21:06:42.000
    So Canada is looking to replace it's current stock of FA-18s with a newer fighter. They have chosen the Lockeed F-35A as it's replacement, which has caused no small bit of howling from various factions within Canada.

    The concerns are valid.

    The Joint Strike Fighter program that produced the F-35 Lightning II was from the start an attempt to meet an impossible amount of demands: stealth, air-superiority, first rate avionice, carrier capable, STOVL, and somehow find enough time to be cheap.

    So it ended up being all of those things and none of those things at the same time.
    http://www.ausairpower.net/jsf.html

    Basically, it's the worlds greatest stealth attack aircraft, so long as you don't want to carry too many munitions and don't wade too far into another significant Power's aerial defense.

    And, so help you if you actually encounter another fighter that wasn't refit since the Cold War....

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-04-05 01:32:25.000
    Meanwhile, in Europe, the Eurofighter's promised air-to-ground capability still has not materialised years later.

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-04-05 02:09:16.000
    The Eurofighter makes AYB appriciate the Raptor, who was widely panned for it's cost (which is essentially $67 billion for the entire program)

    The Eurofighter's cost stands about about $59 Billion US dollars, and it's nowhere near the airplane the Raptor is.

    The Eurofighter, as far as anyone can tell, isn't really "stealth" in the real sense of the term. and it's doubtfull it can actually achive supercruise. it looks like simply a Gen 4+ fighter....

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-06 10:04:06.000
    This is really interesting, because it seems to be a problem that a lot of other countries have as well. The Raptor is too expensive, and the JSF tries to be all things to all people and does nothing well. The older airframes like the F-16 and F-18s are just getting too old.

    Even in the US, apparently, they kept reducing the number of F-22 Raptors they plan to build. The Raptor was supposed to be the new front-line fighter but instead they are building more JSFs. And they aren’t building any more F22s:

    [quote]
    In April 2009 the US Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 operational aircraft.[10] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 lacked funding for further F-22 production. The final F-22 rolled off the assembly line on 13 December 2011 during a ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
    [/quote]

    So... what’s going on?

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-04-06 10:31:46.000
    Well, one is that the Raptor is barred from foriegn sales, and who knows, maybe for good reason.

    The other is that a lot of other high-profile NATO fighter projects are comming up very short.

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-04-06 10:36:40.000
    Also, I think they are building JSFs and purchasing them because they are just going to go ahead with plan A because they are just so invested in it.

    At least they kept up with the STOVL "B" version since whithout it, it looses a lot of what made it unique as a weapon.

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-04-07 04:53:35.000
    I think many of the problems are a combination of lacking focus, lack of competition, and good old "kickbacks".

    Politicians and military want wonder weapons, jobs for their constituents, campaign donations, and high paid jobs after leaving office/military.

    Nobody cares if the new toys are even necessary or how much they cost the tax payer.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-10 11:48:30.000
    It's not clear how necessary the fighters are, but one sort of thinks that a sovereign nation should have <i>some</i> sort of military, even Soviet Canuckistan.

    Our CF-18s are still serviceable, but they won't last forever. At some point it starts to cost more just to maintain them than to purchase new airframes.

    Given that the F-22 Raptor was never available for export and isn't even being built any more, one wonders what planes we should be purchasing other than the JSFs?

    The Eurofighter?

    Or maybe bring back the <a href=http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/equip/hst/arrow-eng.asp>Avro Arrow</a>!

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-11 09:41:36.000
    Fun fact: the Arrow hit Mach 2.0 in test flights in 1958.

    The "modern" F-18 maxes out at Mach 1.8, and that's with full afterburners.


    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 06:22:40.000
    Top alternate choice: The Dassault Rafale.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale

    It recently beat out the Eurofighter in Indian tests.
    One of the reasons was: the Rafale groundstrike ability actually exists.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 11:57:51.000
    That’s a lot of fighter that you get for about one-third the cost.

    Hmmm.

    EDIT: It looks like Canada might be slowly backing away from the JSF:
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1145684--canada-may-not-buy-f-35-fighter-jets-ottawa-admits

    Of course that article doesn't really confirm or deny anything.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 12:20:07.000
    One of the many fascinating details about the F-35's woes is that a lot of the problems are software-related:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/initial-f-35-jets-could-be-unable-to-track-troops-talk-to-older-planes/article2245111/

    According to this article, the F-35s will have to wait for a "software upgrade" due in 2019 (and the software is ALREADY behind schedule-- I hope the people involved in the project have read the <i>Mythical Man-Month</i>!) in order to tell friend from foe and communicate with other planes.

    According to Wikipedia, the software for the F-35s is being written in C++, which was supposed to make development faster, but it ended up with the opposite result.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 15:23:25.000
    I kind of like the idea of purchasing Super Hornets... they aren't quite as "sexy" as the F-35s, but they are also a proven platform and have twin engines (which is a HUGE deal when flying long distances or over water, as much of Canadian flying involves)

    Probably not going to happen though.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 15:25:52.000
    Also, if they want something sexy, they could get Su-35s...



    I think, scientifically, this is the sexiest airplane ever built.

    Ajar
    Posts: 2413
    Posted on: 2012-04-13 16:46:40.000
    It is indeed pretty attractive.

    It's interesting, getting Canadian news from outside Canada. I knew it would be different, but listening to NPR on my drive to work instead of the CBC, you kind of forget what you're missing.

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-04-14 05:41:54.000
    Man, the F35 is even more of a disaster than I thought.

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-04-17 23:58:36.000
    Jeremy spake:

    "I kind of like the idea of purchasing Super Hornets... they aren’t quite as "sexy" as the F-35s, but they are also a proven platform and have twin engines (which is a HUGE deal when flying long distances or over water, as much of Canadian flying involves)"

    Why not next block F-15s or Rafale? For some reason, the French are having a horrible time selling it to anyone besides India, and it's not like Canada has any carriers (although maybe having a carrier fighter lets them participate more in Nato offenses...)


    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-04-27 04:20:37.000
    [quote]The F-35 is a boondoggle. It's time to throw it in the trash bin.[/quote]
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/26/the_jet_that_ate_the_pentagon

    Interesting article on the new and many failings of the zig.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-04-27 11:06:26.000
    I think the main problem was right at the beginning, when they were designing the plane.

    They wanted it to be stealthy and super-advanced, but cheaper than the F-22.

    Then they wanted it to be good at air-air as well as air-ground.

    Then they wanted it to be a good carrier plane for the Navy.

    Then they wanted it to be a plane they could sell to lots of allies.

    It’s just too much! You end up with <i>this</i>:

    <img src=uploads/homermobile-f35.jpg>


    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-02 20:29:19.000

    Canada should consider this::
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn6nx_GGERQ&feature=context-vrec

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-02 20:35:21.000

    They tried to save money by making it "modular" enough to for three different aircraft needing to be capable of three different missions and sharing as many parts as possible.

    Making the JFS STOVL, however, really changed the entire paradigm of the project. AYB is at least glad they kept the STOVL model for the United States Marine Corps, as if you drop that STOVL capability, you've basically removed what shot the entire program in the foot years after the fact. Might as well start over with a new airplane.


    On the flip side, the F-35 is going to have world-class avionics and weapons. Pretty much it's still going to get the first shot against anything else (besides the Raptor) currently in the air.

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-05-03 14:44:45.000
    We know the F35 is not even in production to be a disaster, but look at the latest F22 problems:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fighter-pilots-20120502,0,1192307.story

    [quote]Some of the nation's top aviators are refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet with ongoing problems with the oxygen systems that have plagued the fleet for four years.

    At the risk of significant reprimand — or even discharge from the Air Force — fighter pilots are turning down the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of the F-22, the world's most expensive fighter jet.[/quote]

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-05-03 14:53:48.000
    I don't blame the pilots for not wanting to fly the F22. Oxygen deprivation and carbon monoxide poisoning can cause permanent brain damage.


    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-03 21:36:10.000
    How can that not be solvable?

    :?

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-05-08 04:53:30.000
    I don't know if non-Goons can read this at the moment, but http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3483296 lists all the issues Canada has with the F-35.

    Jeremy Reimer
    Posts: 9342
    Posted on: 2012-05-08 13:49:16.000
    It’s a good thread (I was able to read it) and it sums up all the basic problems.

    To me, a more worrying problem seems to be that the cost of designing and building modern fighters seems to be increasing faster than the ability of nations to pay for them.

    The F-22 was finally killed due to cost overruns and the F-35, despite being politically unkillable, is going to have its production delayed and then scaled back.

    This was never a problem in the days of the F-16 and F-18. Nations just figured out how many they needed and bought them. It wasn’t a big deal.

    To me, the whole point of technology is that it gets <i>cheaper</i> and <i>better</i>. If it only gets more expensive and you get less and less of it, why are we even bothering? How the hell are we supposed to get our flying cars at this rate?

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-17 01:50:20.000
    "It’s a good thread (I was able to read it) and it sums up all the basic problems.

    To me, a more worrying problem seems to be that the cost of designing and building modern fighters seems to be increasing faster than the ability of nations to pay for them."

    Wait until we have to defend our satelites. Suborbital Scramjets are silly expensive, except for AYB.

    [quote]The F-22 was finally killed due to cost overruns and the F-35, despite being politically unkillable, is going to have its production delayed and then scaled back.[/quote]

    The F-22's costs were by then well known when it was cut. I attribute it's termination based more off ideals and vision rather than just plain affordabilty.

    "This was never a problem in the days of the F-16 and F-18. Nations just figured out how many they needed and bought them. It wasn’t a big deal."

    Yeah, and it'll only get worse. It used to be that warplanes were built by enterprising bicycle repairmen.

    "To me, the whole point of technology is that it gets cheaper and better. If it only gets more expensive and you get less and less of it, why are we even bothering? How the hell are we supposed to get our flying cars at this rate? "

    There is some truth to that. Considering that the F22 is multple times as effective as an F15 in a lot of projectable roles, it could actually indeed be cheaper.

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-17 01:51:13.000
    Wait until we have to defend space from satelite hunting scramjets. that will be ridiculously expensive on both ends!!

    AllYorBaseRBelong2Us
    Posts: 10468
    Posted on: 2012-05-17 01:52:07.000
    we will be talking about 10 billion dollar scramjets, not accounting for inflation.

    Riso
    Posts: 3303
    Posted on: 2012-05-17 01:54:53.000
    10 billion $ scramjets destroyed by 10 million $ missiles. Woo!


    Views: 10423