The 5G Argument

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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hotrampphotography

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 15:47

The 5G Argument by Tim Dunne
© FrontLine Defence Vol.9 No.1

The Canadian Government’s July 2010 announcement that it was to replace the aging CF-18 Hornet with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft was met with stern admonishment (and some ridicule) from Rideau Institute president Steven Staples, among others who oppose military purchases.

Their objections revolve around: (a) a belief that Canada does not need a fifth generation (5G) combat aircraft; (b) that there was an arbitrary selection of a single aircraft without a legitimate competitive process; and (c) that the cost is excessive.

Source: http://frontline-canada.com/Defence/ind ... ?page=1799]The 5G Argument
A freelance journalist with a focus on the three branches of the Canadian Forces.
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velocityvector

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 20:45

In any war for resources that involves Canadian territorial claims, Canada's best defense and power projection multiplier would be the U.S. into the foreseeable future. F-35 would give joint command a known, fully-integrated asset that pulls its own weight. Aside from pricetag, Canada's sole question is whether a single-engined aircraft is appropriate for Canadian requirements, and I think that is a legitimate question.
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luke_sandoz

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 21:20

Doesn't really offer much new.

The DND and the government have done a very poor job of selling the need and benefits of the F-35 to Canadians. A second year marketing student could design a better MARCOM plan than the people hired to do so . . . remember theses guys . . http://f-35.ca/2011/ who printed the picture of the picture of the F-35 backwards and had the GAU bubble on the starboard side.

Why they haven't organized a campaign featuring young Canadian fighter pilots talking about putting their lives on the line and needing modern equipment, about the huge extension in mission coverage the F-35 brings to the RCAF beyond the air to air and air to ground capabilities they are currently limited to by the CF 18. Emphasize the non kinetic capabilities of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance role, Electronic Attack and Command & Control capabilities.

They just don't seem to get the need to market the idea to taxpayers.
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hb_pencil

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 21:45

Too bad Frontline's readership is basically all defense professionals, the majority of which are supporters of the F-35 program.
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pushoksti

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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 22:48

luke_sandoz wrote:
Why they haven't organized a campaign featuring young Canadian fighter pilots talking about putting their lives on the line and needing modern equipment,


Truth of the matter is, the regular Canadian tax payer doesn't really care. They see a price tag in the $billions and believe whomever complains the loudest - therefore assume they are correct. Forget facts, people just plain don't like the F35, whether it's the cost, the single engine or simply how it looks. If we were to spend the exact amount of money on another fighter, be it the Super Hornet, the Eurofighter or modernized F4's, people would accept that, because it's not the "useless baby seal". The sheep get their daily feed from all the negativity surrounding the program and don't care what the F35 can really do or the technology surrounding it.
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Unread post08 Mar 2012, 23:16

To their credit, the Canadian economy is growing nicely. Folks there are concentrating on financial betterment now that conservative policies have taken root, as it should be for developed nations. Aside from UN deployments, fisheries poaching, terrorism and Russian encroachments, the Canadians are pretty effin' insulated from military or quasi-military threats. They are penny-pinchers by nature but, really, you can't blame them much given their national risks, which are de minimis. While it might be prudent to integrate with NAmerican aerial defense, the fact is they have "sufficiently" and why not save money.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post09 Mar 2012, 01:09

pushoksti wrote:Truth of the matter is, the regular Canadian tax payer doesn't really care. They see a price tag in the $billions and believe whomever complains the loudest - therefore assume they are correct. Forget facts, people just plain don't like the F35, whether it's the cost, the single engine or simply how it looks. If we were to spend the exact amount of money on another fighter, be it the Super Hornet, the Eurofighter or modernized F4's, people would accept that, because it's not the "useless baby seal". The sheep get their daily feed from all the negativity surrounding the program and don't care what the F35 can really do or the technology surrounding it.


Canadians deserve the Su-35. I don't understand why so much effort is being wasted on keeping them in the program. Their piddling 65 aircraft order isn't worth the false, poorly informed/educated criticism in the international press.
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pushoksti

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Unread post09 Mar 2012, 06:52

1st503rdsgt wrote: Their piddling 65 aircraft order


Now that is not fair. Considering we have less people than in all of California, 65 aircraft is a good number. While we don't have the numbers, we make it up in quality. I think the RCAF deserves a lot of credit of what we accomplished in Libya recently considering we only had 6 aircraft in theatre. The US should not underestimate having Canada as a valuable, stable ally.
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m

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Unread post09 Mar 2012, 11:45

Certainly not fair. The importance of small countries, combined, shows for instance Libya as well as Kosovo (and Bosnia) did.

Over Libya, some 40% was done, strike missions, by the small countries – Canada, Norway, Denmark and Belgium – with a total of only 25 aircraft (F18 and F16)

Canada: 7 CF F18-188 Hornet, 2xCC -150 Polaris tankers, 2xCP-140 Aurora
Denmark, Norway, Belgium: 18 F16’s
Later on: 16 F16’s (Norway 6 >4 F16’s, june 24)

Compare this with France, more aircraft in theatre than the combined small countries and the UK as well operated more aircraft than any of these small countries.
o France: 33%
o UK: The UK flew 10% of sorties, for 700 strikes by August 15.
o Denmark: 11% of the strike sorties (third of all countries, with 6 f16’s)
o Canada: some 10%

As an example, some countries as Belgium operated with 6 F16’s over Libya, as well operated in Afghanistan with 6 F16’s at the same time:
o Total 60 F16’s: 12 F16’s > 20% operational, two different theatres
o Figure with for instance some 50-60% of their F16’s operational (30-36 F16’s): 40% -33% operational over Libya and Afghanistan


The small countries also did had less problems with not enough stock (bombs etc.) than France or the UK, because they all are equipped with US armament.

o Belgium did had no problems with not enough stock.
o Denmark either came into problems (third country strike missions) and asked the Netherlands to equip them with Dutch stock
o Canada: ? Suppose no problems with not enough stock


Figures Atlantic Council (Aug 22): Each country’s most recent number of strike sorties to the number of total strike sorties :

France: 33 %
US: 16 %
Denmark: 11 %
Britain: 10 %
Canada: 10 %
Italy: 10 %
Norway: 10 %
Belgium: unknown

http://www.acus.org/natosource/national ... ties-libya


UK: Although David Cameron claimed 20% by the UK, the MoD revealed: 12 %
Quote: In an interview with Radio 4 David Cameron claimed the UK conducted 20 per cent of all Nato strike sorties in Libya. He said: “Britain performed 1,600 of those, so around a fifth of strike sorties and I think that is punching, as it were, at our weight or even above our weight.”
The MoD confirmed the numbers to FactCheck and revealed that the UK has conducted 12 per cent of all sorties overall.

http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/fac ... libya/7648


Seperate these small countries seem not that much important for the US. but combined they are a very capable force within Nato and alley for the US
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hotrampphotography

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Unread post09 Mar 2012, 15:45

Easy everyone...I don't think his shot was at the accomplishments of the RCAF throughout the course of time, or for those who know anything about military aviation for that matter.

I think it was geared more towards the naysayers who have nothing better to do than suggest we get a Russian made aircraft, and then have them duck and cover when they start falling from the sky for real.

While 65 may be a small number, I doubt it will be the final number. There are other projects, Air Force ones including SAR platforms amongst others, that need funding at this time and that is the reason the $9B was allotted for the aircraft acquisition.

On a more personal note, I would agree that the current government hasn't done a good enough job of selling these planes to the Canadian public, which is why this debate continues. The fact that certain media outlets have taken editorial positions against the purchase without giving any type of details as to why they oppose it only further aids in the speculation of the acquisition.
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Unread post10 Mar 2012, 08:48

hotrampphotography wrote:..I don't think his shot was at the accomplishments of the RCAF throughout the course of time


Suppose so ….the RCAF, as a small Airforce, did a hell of a job over Libya.
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Unread post11 Mar 2012, 06:28

Geez, no offence intended against Canadian pilots (who I understand are eager to get the F-35), but no one is holding a gun to the Canadian public's head here. If they insist on complaining about the plane's performance and the cost of a *piddling* 65 copies, they are free to take their business elsewhere. I dare them to do it, as I'm sure someone else will be happy to make up the shortfall in orders later. I'm guessing the Canadian media won't make a peep when the RCAF shows up at Red Flag 2021 with their shiny new 4++ fighter... only to have their own a$$ fed to them by the baby-seal.
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Unread post11 Mar 2012, 08:20

Nobody "in the know" is complaining about the F-35's performance. It's the armchair quaterbacks that are making all the noise.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post11 Mar 2012, 22:15

Problem is that those "in the know" aren't the ones that Canadians seem to be listening to. To be honest, I'm not sure what the Canucks need with the F-35 anyways. Personally, I think that the Gripen works best for very small air-forces that are only likely to see action as part of an expeditionary coalition. While not that much cheaper than the F-35, it is already proven in the northern climate and easier to support in austere environments overseas. Then again, the F-35 represents *new hotness* and a chance to "get in on the ground-floor" as it were. We'll just have to see.
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Unread post11 Mar 2012, 23:09

1st503rdsgt wrote:Problem is that those "in the know" aren't the ones that Canadians seem to be listening to. To be honest, I'm not sure what the Canucks need with the F-35 anyways. Personally, I think that the Gripen works best for very small air-forces that are only likely to see action as part of an expeditionary coalition. While not that much cheaper than the F-35, it is already proven in the northern climate and easier to support in austere environments overseas. Then again, the F-35 represents *new hotness* and a chance to "get in on the ground-floor" as it were. We'll just have to see.


It’s not only a case for small air-forces that are only likely to see action as part of an expeditionary coalition.
Hardly none mission will be done by a country alone, except for the US.
A real mission of some importance can’t even be done by Europe, without the help of the US.
They just don’t have the tools to do that.

For especially small airforces appeared how important it is to operate with a same kind of jet.
EPAF F16’s for instance in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya (maintenance, spares, technical personnel and etc.), as well as US armament and also cooperation with the US.
During Libya, Denmark asked for Dutch stock (armament)
At the moment Dutch technical personnel assists Norway, because there is lack of personnel.

During Kosovo F16 MLU’s appeared to be an advantage, one of the few capable to operate, first entry, at the first day of war. Belgium operated with the Dutch. Norway with Denmark
In Afghanistan all of the EPAF countries have been operating with each other

With a Gripen, one will be the only operator, or otherwise there will be very few who will operate with this jet on a mission.
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