Canada set to spend $9-billion on 65 US Fighter Jets - F35

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hb_pencil

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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 01:55

geogen wrote:Hotrampphoto:

Thanks for that info and reply. Understand, I'm only interested in trying to piece together RCAF's recap puzzle, as it has eluded me on some of these finer points and a few things just didn't seem to add up. I guess I'll just put a potential question mark on not seeing a requirement for further avionics upgrades for those birds now slated to operate until 2025. It would just seem that there might be some form of unintended modernization-gap perhaps between the 2016-2021 time frame given that the fleet was originally intended to be fully recapitalized by then?

(note: I'm assessing the buy year 2018 to include 9 units delivered in 2020 if correct(?) would form part of the first IOC unit by 2021?)


No that is the delivery date.

geogen wrote:Regarding the 'Unit price' issue, I'm only 'going around in circles on it' :doh: because it's brought up all the time by the contractor as an estimated $65-$75m per unit jet for sale which, I'm sorry Spud, but I'll have to borrow your input there, would seem to be a bit misleading, given it might be closer to a $100m estimate in TY dollars (REC Flyaway). wouldn't you agree? Which could lead into a follow up query, if the supposed $9Bn Procurement budget is also in 2002 dollars? Or in 2011 dollars, or Then Year dollars, etc?

So for discussion purposes let's crunch some numbers... a best case REC flyaway (assuming few reductions in annual orders by the 2017-2018 FRP time frame) could be about $100m... add about 20% to give the Total flyaway at around $120..


No, that's not the "best case." That's a egregious worst case you're premising. Currently LRIP IV F-35A lots are approximately $125 million dollars with engine (111 million+14 for the engine). Its quite the claim that its not going to go down less than $25 million in the next four years, when we're at Low rate production and only producing 30 units vs 180 in six years time.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 02:09

SpudmanWP wrote:More clarification is apparently needed.

A. The Canadian CY2002 $75 quote is larger than LM's CY2010 $65 number for three main reasons:


Its in 2008 dollars, not 2002. US uses 2002 baseline, not Canada.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 02:20

Sorce?
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 03:36

hb_pencil wrote:Yes; data from other programs suggest that you can just use the low usage airframes and extend their life. However Canada is already doing that to a certain extent to their current CF-18s.


Respectfully Sir, I don’t think that I outlined what I was trying to explain to the best of my abilities.

The total number of CF-18’s that have had their centre barrel replaced – which number 40 of the existing 79 aircraft – were the ones that I’m suggesting will be in service until approximately 2025.

The calculation of the 2025 retirement date is based on an average lifespan of a CF-18 being 20 years and the centre barrel replacement adding 70% to the aircraft’s lifespan. Since the last batch of planes (unknown quantity) was upgraded in 2010, using the formula

Lifespan = 2010 + (20*0.70)

provides me with a retirement year of 2024. I added one additional year to account for lower flight times given the arrival of the CF-35.

I hope that helps everyone with where I’m coming up with my figures, and apologize for not being clearer in earlier discussions.

hb_pencil wrote:Per unit cost is a very very important indicator for cost analysis. Its the basis or a key part of any estimate. You can extrapolate the costs of spares, support using it and a few other inputs.


I agree with your observation, and we agree on the 2016 unit cost being $80-85M a copy which will drop to $80~$75 million by 2018 or 19, when full production commences as per the Government’s estimates. What bothers me the most are the people on this board who aren’t using logic in their number crunching…enough to give someone a headache.

markottawa wrote: Plus the RCAF is most unlikely to engage in "first day of war" attacks through and against heavy and effective air defences, the F-35's main rationale;


It won’t matter if Canada uses the a/c on the first day of a war or the 5th day of a war as we recently saw with our CF-18’s in Libya. The true first strike capability will always lie with countries like the US and the UK who will always use B-2’s and Tomahawks to take out those radar installations and heavy and effective air defences.

The main rationale behind the F-35 was to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft. Namely, the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, AV8B, and RAF Harrier GR7 and 9’s. You state that the RCAF isn’t likely to engage in first day of war attacks, and you’re right. One only needs to look at the countries which are involved in the JSF project to determine that only 2 have the capabilities to be involved in first day of war attacks – the USA and the UK. Countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Norway, and Denmark will never be first strike nations; therefore they must have other reasons for eventually procuring this aircraft.

They will purchase this platform because it has the ability to perform in the fighter role, the strike role, and in the ground attack role better than anything else that will be on the market in the next 40 years.

And that is the reason why Canada is purchasing this aircraft, and no others.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 03:48

SpudmanWP wrote:Sorce?


Hmmm. I used to have a source for that figure... but I can't find it. Actually I couldn't find any discussion of the baseline year.

Funny enough people in Sweetman's blog says its 2008 too. I'll search around for it tomorrow.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 05:30

A stealthy, survivable aircraft should not be looked at as a luxury useful only for first-day-of-war scenarios. The anti-air threat can persist for days, weeks and even months after hostilities commence. Mobile SAMs and peripheral systems will be difficult to neutralize and shortening the kill-chain is essential. The Balkans conflict comes to mind.

This is where the F-35 shines.. it can operate in hostile airspace using its superior SA in dynamic targeting mode, employing either its onboard PGMs to get the job done or passing along the information for other assets to prosecute the attack.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 07:17

Using a baseline of 2008 for the $75 brings the BY$USD to $82.6/$86 mil (2014/2016)
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 14:40

hotrampphotography wrote:

The main rationale behind the F-35 was to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft. Namely, the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, AV8B, and RAF Harrier GR7 and 9’s. You state that the RCAF isn’t likely to engage in first day of war attacks, and you’re right. One only needs to look at the countries which are involved in the JSF project to determine that only 2 have the capabilities to be involved in first day of war attacks – the USA and the UK. Countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Norway, and Denmark will never be first strike nations; therefore they must have other reasons for eventually procuring this aircraft.


Australia is acquiring Tactical Tomahawk Block IV to operate from it's Air Warfare Destroyers, future frigates and future submarines.

It currently has JASSM available for "day one" strikes and will have JASSM-ER in years to come (assuming it proceeds).

As of today however you are correct...
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 15:49

Views from a former CF-18 pilot and from a serving officer:

"Steve Fuhr - Continuing the F-35 Debate"
http://www.cdfai.org/the3dsblog/?p=625

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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 16:10

markottawa wrote:Views from a former CF-18 pilot and from a serving officer:

"Steve Fuhr - Continuing the F-35 Debate"
http://www.cdfai.org/the3dsblog/?p=625

Mark
Ottawa


Geez Mark, same crap different site?

I suppose you'd be happy now if I posted my piece found elsewhere on this forum giving credence to a multi platform fleet, but the very fact that I came up with the idea long before you did would only make you look bad - given that you're a "reporter".

Learn to post these things in the appropriate places, and stop with the links to ideas, thoughts, and considerations which aren't even your own.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 19:49

markottawa wrote:luke sandoz: Not much :D--other than our government's exceeding economy with the truth. Plus the RCAF is most unlikely to engage in "first day of war" attacks through and against heavy and effective air defences, the F-35's main rationale; and stealth is unnecessary for the continental air defence mission (our fighters' first priority)--incoming bombers don't use radar to detect approaching fighters as it would give their own position away.


Mark:I think its somewhat misleading to suggest that stealth is what makes the F-35 so costly and therefore is a prime reason for its cancellation. Really structure only accounts for about 15~25% of the airframe's cost. Its not the real cost driver. That can be accounted by the amount of avionics that are fitted into the aircraft, which could be +40% of the costs. That's the sensors, communications, electronic warfare and pilot aids. Those are necessary for continental air defence missions and makes the aircraft better than any of its competitors.

I won't go into how its useful for foreign interventions, others have done a good job of that.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 20:56

@ Hotrampphotography
Quote: It won’t matter if Canada uses the a/c on the first day of a war or the 5th day of a war as we recently saw with our CF-18’s in Libya. The true first strike capability will always lie with countries like the US and the UK who will always use B-2’s and Tomahawks to take out those radar installations and heavy and effective air defences.

The main rationale behind the F-35 was to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft. Namely, the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, AV8B, and RAF Harrier GR7 and 9’s. You state that the RCAF isn’t likely to engage in first day of war attacks, and you’re right. One only needs to look at the countries which are involved in the JSF project to determine that only 2 have the capabilities to be involved in first day of war attacks – the USA and the UK. Countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Norway, and Denmark will never be first strike nations; therefore they must have other reasons for eventually procuring this aircraft.

They will purchase this platform because it has the ability to perform in the fighter role, the strike role, and in the ground attack role better than anything else that will be on the market in the next 40 years.

And that is the reason why Canada is purchasing this aircraft, and no others.



I think you are probably right with your conclusion.
Nerveless, a main point for ordering the F35 is, also flying in a first day of war, or strike role in some countries.

Concerning the Netherlands, ordering Tomahawks has been postponed some years ago (Order: 30 Tomahawks), financial reasons, but still are on the list of the Navy.
The military doctrine speaks about having a capability joining missions on the first day of war with jets and frigates. As well as stated, a reason for ordering the F35.
Personally I think Tomahawks will be on the list for quite some more years … or may be never will ordered? (Nice having them, but don’t see any use why the navy would need Tomahawks)

Like Australia JASSM’s will be ordered for the F35, or may be as well for the F16 (the jet will fly some more years then planned).

Does the Dutch Airforce ever acted in a first strike role? Yes, during Kosovo, first day of war strike and Air Defence missions. (Day one, one mig 29 shot by a Dutch F16).
Will they ever be part of first day of war missions? Have my doubts with that many jets left.



Besides that, war becomes that much complicated, only the US will be able to this (I think).
A first day of war is that much complicated, the US Airforce does this better on their own, than making such a mission more complicated being joined by a partner/partners with only a few jets.

But also when not flying at the first day(s) of war, still having the capabilities of a 5th generation jet will be very important as well. Don’t forget, during Kosovo, even the last day of war, jets
have been shot with AA missiles. A F16 would have not a change in such an environment with double digit AA systems.

Australia does not fit in the list, seems to me, they will have a fully equipped and impressive fighting force for acting in a first day of war.

UK? The UK has some capabilities, not as much as you probably think.
Libya was only possible because the US delivered everything what was needed to do the job. At the first day of war, as well later on.
Europe, including the UK, has no capabilities to do this on their own.
The UK: 14 Tomahawks in four days. The UK possessed some +60 Tomahawks.


Military Operations in Libya (Library House of commons)
www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05909.pdf

Quote: Although the sortie rate between the US and coalition partner nation became more equitable over the period of operations, the Pentagon acknowledged that the US continued to provide nearly 80% of all air refuelling, almost 75% of aerial surveillance and 100% of all electronic warfare missions.

Quote: Action to establish a no-fly zone started quickly, with about 20 French fighter jets going on the first sorties over Libya,5 with the first priority being to weaken the Qaddafi regime’s air defences.
To this end, 124 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched against integrated air defence targets in the first few days, largely from American destroyers and submarines, but also one British Trafalgar-class submarine deployed in the Mediterranean.

Quote: In addition to the launch of Tomahawk land-attack missiles (TLAM), the Pentagon also revealed that by 28 March a further 600 precision guided munitions had also been expended (455 from the US and 147 from the coalition).
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 21:27

Canadian F-35 pilots to train in Florida?

The Canadian Press
MURRAY BREWSTER Published: November 03, 2011


OTTAWA - Canadian pilots are expected to receive training for the F-35 stealth jet at a U.S. Air Force base in Florida, a plan that raises questions about the future of the country's existing advanced fighter training school.

Internal Defence Department documents show that a fee-for-service plan involving an international training centre, already constructed at Eglin Air Force Base by manufacturer Lockheed Martin, has been the main option under consideration.

Several air force briefings compiled last year and obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws show that not only is there "potential for NO pilot training in Canada," but that "pooled" training with international partners is likely the most cost-effective plan.

The country's top military commander, Gen. Walt Natynczyk, deferred questions about the training plan to the head of the air force on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for National Defence says the military is in the early stages of figuring out how training will be conducted and a final decision about using the U.S. base has not been made.

The country's fighter pilots are currently trained to fly the CF-18 at an advanced school at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alta. Changes to the arrangement would be a political headache for the Conservatives.

When it announced last year where the new F-35s would be based, the Harper government was silent on the training aspect.

"We anticipate that once initial conversion training has taken place, the majority of training for Canadian Forces members will take place in Canada," said Lisa Evong in an email response to The Canadian Press late Thursday.

"Any final decision must achieve the best result for training for Canadian Forces members. As the RCAF continues to develop its concepts of operation and training for the F-35, the optimum training solution for Canada will be further refined."

... address questions about the future of the Cold Lake training centre.

Her statement is at odds, however, with the expectations of the F-35 program and the way Lockheed Martin has conducted training on other advanced aircraft, such as the C-130-J Hercules transport.

All of the countries buying the radar-evading jet were expected to use the company's high-tech centre in Florida, where pilots will learn to fly the plane and aircraft maintainers receive similar expert instruction, according to reports in the U.S.

Once the crews have been qualified, each squadron receives a simulator that allows for follow-up exercises where pilots refresh their skills and conduct dry-runs of operational missions.

The questions over training come as the Pentagon's chief weapons tester raises concerns about whether the F-35 is ready for pilots to use. A memo leaked to the U.S. media and penned by Michael Gilmore describes the F-35 as an "immature aircraft" and that hands-on instruction should be delayed.

Canada does not take delivery of its first F-35 until 2016-17.

Natynczyk, appearing before the House of Commons defence committee Thursday, defended the multi-billion dollar fighter purchase and supported the government's decision to buy only 65 planes.

That number is the "minimum requirement," the defence chief told the all-party committee. His comments, while not directly contradicting Defence Minister Peter MacKay, provided clarification on the military's position.

MacKay told the Commons on Wednesday that the military was satisfied with the number of planes.

"The short answer is that's the number the air force asked for and they have clearly indicated that is the right balance," MacKay said in answer to the NDP. "They have clearly indicated this will allow our pilots in the air force to carry out the important work that we ask of them."

The controversial fighter — with a price tag of between $75 million and $150...[

... million per plane — has been a political lightning rod since the Conservatives announced their intention to buy it in July 2010.

But internal briefings show one of the reasons the air force wants to farm out training to the U.S., is because it is worried not enough aircraft can be set aside to satisfy both instruction and operations.

Canada is committed to providing at least 36 fighters for North American air defence and when normal maintenance cycles are included, the government's purchase leaves few jets available for overseas missions.

The Americans have long complained that even with the current fleet of 77 CF-18s, Ottawa does not have enough aircraft to defend all of the country's major cities in the event of war — or major emergency, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The air force briefings note that Canada is the only country involved in the joint strike fighter program that does not account for the potential loss of aircraft due to accident.

Natynczyk said not buying so-called "attrition aircraft" is a long-standing policy of the Canadian government.

Liberal defence critic John McKay questioned whether unmanned aerial vehicles could fill the gap in manned fighters, but Natynczyk says he doesn't believe the technology is mature enough to allow for that.

The general wouldn't say what number of fighters would be comfortable, but when Canada signed a memorandum for development of the F-35 it indicated it was buying 80 planes


http://www.metronews.ca/calgary/canada/ ... eet--page0
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 21:43

RCAF Op MOBILE Accomplishments

Task Force Libeccio:

The seven CF188 aircraft deployed on Operation MOBILE conducted 946 sorties, which made up 10% of NATO's strike sorties. Over the course of their sorties, the CF188s dropped 696 bombs of various types in protecting Libyan civilians and enforcing the no-fly zone.

The two CC150T and one CC130T aircraft deployed on Operation MOBILE flew 389 air-to-air re-fuelling sorties. They dispensed a total of 18,535,572 lbs of fuel to aircraft from six nations involved in Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR - The United States, The United Kingdom, France, Italy, The United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The CC130T aircraft re-deployed to Canada 12 September.

The two CP140 aircraft deployed on Operation MOBILE conducted 181 sorties off the coast of Libya and on land. They conducted Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance sorties as well as strike coordination and armed reconnaissance-coordinator sorties which provided information which helped the NATO effort to protect civilians.

GBU-12 500-lb bombs dropped 495
GBU-10 2000-lb bombs dropped 188
GBU-38 500-lb bombs dropped 11
GBU-31 2000-lb bombs dropped 2

Hours flown by CF188 3881.7

19 March- CF188 Fly first operational mission;
26 August- CF188s surpass 3000 hours of operational flying;
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 21:53

As for where the training will take place, it really doesn't matter. As the article points out our J-Herc crews currently train in the US anyways, and you don't hear a peep out of Canadians about that.

Finally with regards to Tomahawks and other first day of war arms - it's one thing to have the capability to carry them, to acquire and utilise them is something else entirely.

Oh, one last thing - someone earlier, I forget who, made a comment about Canada needing an IMF loan to purchase our CF-35's. Unlike Europe and the United States, Canada is in a fine financial state and this purchase, along with our purchase of new naval vessels, will be paid for from our own pockets, thanks very much.
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