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Showing posts from March, 2014

RCAF to refurbish (really) old fighters.

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In a surprise move, the RCAF has released a statement describing a plan to reinvigorate their aging fleet of CF-18 Hornets.  With no funding available to purchase new fighters, or anything else for that matter, top generals at the RCAF have decided to refurbish several retired CF-101 Voodoo interceptors.

The choice to refurbish the Voodoo was a natural one.  There are currently 30 examples being used as gate guardians, museum exhibits, and the like.  Heck, some CF-101 proprietors are literally giving them away.

The RCAF's man in charge of the CF-101 Voodoo refurbishment, Lt. Colonel Gilbert "Gull" Able, had this to say about the project:
"It makes a lot of sense, when you think of it.  We got all these Voodoos laying around, doing nothing.  Most of them have less wear and tear than some of our CF-18s!" Indeed, the Voodoo only flew for 26 years in Canada.  The CF-18 has been in service for over 30, and will be likely hit 40 before a replacement comes.  The CF-10…

Facepalm of the day: "Canada doesn't need fighter-capable aircraft"

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From the Ottawa Citizen today comes an interesting opinion piece penned by no less than Charles "Buzz" Nixon, Canada's deputy minister of national defense way back from the Trudeau days.

Nixon believes that Canada has no need for a CF-18 replacement, citing that they are simply too expensive and "drones" should be used for asserting Canada's sovereignty and protecting against terrorist attacks.  Any incursion by a foreign nation should be met with diplomacy.
The sovereignty of Canada’s airspace can be affirmed by any aerial vehicle carrying an official logo of Canada. A non-credible event of a rogue Russian scouting aircraft actually entering Canada’s airspace would be addressed by a diplomatic response. Let's ask Ukraine how that's working out...

Canada needs fighter jets.  We may not need many, but we certainly need a few.  Enough to police our own airspace, support our ground troops, as well as honor our NATO commitments.  We can't do this w…

South Korea considers leasing old jet to fill F-35 gap.

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After announcing a $6.8 billion deal to buy 40 F-35A Lightning II fighters, South Korea is now left with the quandary of filling the gap left in the F-X program.  With the original intent to purchase 60 fighters, South Korea's ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) is left short 20 fighters with only $500 million of its $7.3 billion budget left.

In the days of $100 million fighter jets, $25 million (each) doesn't buy you a whole lot.  Not new, anyway.

Fortunately for the ROKAF, the USAF has an abundance of F-16s that it can no longer afford to fly thanks to sequestration cuts.  Instead, it has put that money towards other priorities.

So now, South Korea is looking to fill its fighter gap by leasing used American F-16s.

For those of you following at home, that means:

The USAF can't afford to fly some of its F-16s because the F-35 is too expensive.The ROKAF couldn't afford the 60 fighters it wanted because the F-35 was too expensive.Both air forces are now taking a hit to …

Shout out!

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I just want to give a special shout out to my friend Joe Green.

Joe has been a fantastic inspiration to Canadians and has been kind enough to allow me usage of his Super Arrow concept, among other things...  The Super Arrow is an all-Canadian 6th/7th generation concept meant to be as impressive today as the original Avro Arrow was in the 1950s.  It should NOT be confused with attempts to simply bring back the original Arrow design.  Joe's working on a smaller, simpler version of the Super Arrow, called the Peregrine, that looks even better (keep in mind my preference for single-engine fighters) in my honest opinion.  Stay tuned.

Check out Joe's Super Arrow concept at http://www.superarrow.ca, as well as his Facebook page.  His ideas may be lofty, but nobody made any breakthroughs by thinking small.

Thanks again Joe and keep up the fantastic work!

GAO F-35 Report: It's bad.

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The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter earlier this week, and the results were fairly predictable to anyone who has been paying attention to the program in the last few years.

The report can be found here.

The general gist of it?  The F-35 is going to be late, and it's going to take a lot more money.  The very first page states, in big letters:
Problems Completing Software Testing May Hinder Delivery of Expected Warfighting Capabilities It's not all bad, however.  The report actually praises the "flight sciences" aspect of testing, meaning that the aircraft is meeting most of the goals associated with hardware, like taking off, flying, dropping bombs, and landing.
The program accomplished nearly all of the flight sciences testing, including weapons testing, it had planned for 2013. Progress has been made on the troublesome tail hook, the STOVL system seems to work well, and the aircraf…

Why everyone should be scared of the PAK FA.

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Okay...

Given the recent excitementin what used to be part of the Ukraine, now is just as good a time as ever to start seriously discussing the great big bear elephant in the room, the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA.

When I started this blog, I never honestly thought that I would be writing it under the pretense that Russian expansionism would be a thing.  As a child of the Cold War, I remember watching those silly "duck and cover" films at school and referring to the Soviet Union as "The Evil Empire".  I still remember watching the 7 o'clock news reporting that Soviet Su-15s had shot down a civilian passenger jet, KAL Flight 007.

The threat of nuclear annihilation was still very much a thing in the early 80s.  Movies like WarGames, Red Dawn, and The Day Afterhelped put fear of "The Russkies" into us.  But it turns out the Cold War was even harder on the Soviets.  Years of military buildup, as well as a failed war in Afghanistan had left their economy in…

LOL...

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I'll be back to (quasi-)regular posting soon, but in the meantime I'll post this.

I hope it's a photoshop.  The ridiculousness of an F-35B performing aerial refueling from a V-22 Osprey while hovering and the afterburner on is just too much to believe.

The fuel being burned is likely faster that that being transferred.What would be the possible reason to do this instead of more traditional in-flight refueling?WAY UNSAFE! Whatever.  The 10-year-old in me still thinks this is kinda cool.

A few housekeeping items.

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First of all, I want to apologize for not posting much over the last week.  Between my "day job" and March break, my free time and energy levels were pretty much reduced to zero.

There has been a few developments, that I will touch base on soon.  I would also have a different undertaking in mind soon.



Second:  I have a trip to Pima Air & Space Museum coming up, and I hope to get a lot of shots of the AMARG "boneyard".  Stay tuned...

Third:  I have decided to enable ads on this blogsite, just on a trial basis for now.  While I have no misconception of making it rich, I hope any revenue generated will allow me to access some paid content both online and in print.  The ads are run strictly through Blogger's "widget", which means I don't directly have any say in what goes up.  Conversely, they will have no effect on editorial content.   If you see ads for Boeing or Lockheed, it's only because that is what software deems suitable.  It's a…

Old news: The F-35 still isn't an air superiority fighter.

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The F-35 is back in the news (what else is new).  This time, over the comments made by USAF General Michael Hostage.  While Hostage us adamant about the F-35's important, he goes on to state the F-35 would be "irrelevant" without the F-22 to provide support.
“The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform,” Hostage said. “It needs the F-22.” Regular visitors of this site will realize this is nothing new. I mentioned General Hostage's comments over a month ago.  I've also questioned the F-35's air-superiority chops in May of last year at the gripen4canada.blogspot.ca.

For those of you who missed it, I'll repost it here:

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Contrary to some of the posts I have made on this blog, I don't see myself as a "F-35 hater".  I prefer to see myself as a "F-35 realist".  There is simply no denying that the JSF program h…

Does Boeing have a "Plan B" for Canada?

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It was no real surprise Tuesday that the Pentagon's budget request for fiscal year 2015 didn't include any funding for building more F/A-18E/F Super Hornets or EA-18G Growlers.  Boeing's St. Louis assembly plant has enough USN and Australian Super Hornet orders to keep going until 2016...  And that's it.

Boeing has a few prospects for continuing the line, but the outlook is less than rosy.  Losing Brazil to the Saab Gripen was a definite blow, as Brazil's order for 36 aircraft would have likely been just a start, with the Super Hornet possibly finding a new home on Brazil's S ãu Paulo aircraft carrier.  Denmark and Canada are still possibilities, but both are "resets" of F-35 purchases.  There is no guarantee that a fighter competition will even be declared, and even then, no guarantee the Super Hornet would win.  Denmark in particular looks like it would favor the Saab Gripen, no surprise given that it was a Draken customer.

There are a few other i…