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Showing posts from February, 2016

CABINET COMMITTEE PROCUREMENT PEOPLE

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When the Liberal government took power late last year, they inherited an extremely troubled military procurement system.  To be fair, that broken system was in turn inherited by Conservative Party of Canada when it came to power back in 2006.  While there may have been a few bright spots along the way, some would argue that Chretien's "Decade of Darkness" for the Department of National Defense has lasted for an entire generation.

Thankfully, there are some signs to suggest we may soon see some positive movement.

First of all, there is finally some movement in the agonizing process to replace Canada's fixed wing search and rescue (FWSAR) fleet.

Next comes word that the government has formed a cabinet committee to look over future high-profile defense purchases.  While a committee can be a place where good ideas go to die, the high profile of the participants may suggest otherwise.

It should be obvious that someone representing Canada's military would have a say …

REVISITING THE SINGLE ENGINE DEBATE

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There is an oft repeated trope that Canada requires a twin-engined aircraft for "safety reasons".  Some even go so far as to rule out any single-engine fighter as a replacement for Canada's CF-18 Hornets.

This blog has examined the issue before.  While it certainly is not an unfounded opinion, modern jet engine reliability has rendered the argument all but moot.  Both the RCAF and the Government of Canada seemed to agree when they made the infamous decision to sole-source the F-35 Lightning II. When the current Trudeau government campaigned on the promise to cancel the JSF purchase, it was on the grounds of cost, not safety.

There are still those that lack confidence in a single-engine layout, however.  Perhaps a stronger argument needs to be made.

The best way to make a comparison is to eliminate as many variables as possible.  In this case we will examine two fighters that perform similar roles for a similar service.  Conveniently, they also happen to share common e…

SHOULD THE F-35 STILL BE CONSIDERED FOR CANADA?

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I am not a huge fan of the F-35.

Over the years, the F-35 program has been troubled to say the least.  It has gone over-budget, it is way behind schedule, and the aircraft's performance has been underwhelming so far.

Despite the JSF's problems, the Canadian government announced it would purchase 65 F-35As in a "sole-source" deal to replace Canada's aging CF-18 Hornets.  Other fighter manufacturers were given a brief glance, but only after the decision was made to go with the JSF.

We all know how that turned out.

With the new Liberal government promising to hold an open and transparent competition, the question needs to be asked:  Should the F-35 be given another shot?

Of course it should.


There is no denying the fact that the F-35 will be the preeminent fighter aircraft of NATO.  With over 3,100 airframes planned, the JSF will see service in the USAF, USN, USMC, RAF, RAAF, IAF, RNLAF, ROKAF, JASDF, RNoAF, and others.

Of course, that alone should not warrant t…

Raptor for Canada?

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Lately, the F-22 Raptor seems be enjoying an upsurge in popularity.  
More to the point, some have suggested that F-22s should be bought instead of F-35s.  With the F-35 still facing development issues and unimpressive performance, it is not hard to imagine why.  The argument can even be made that the F-22 was actually cheaper than the F-35.  Using that reasoning, it would seem like a no-brainer to simply acquire the legendary F-22.  
There is very little debate over the F-22's combat effectiveness.  It is the undisputed air-superiority champ.  Fast, maneuverable, and stealthy; the Raptor is still the envy of air forces around the world.  Designed during the Cold War and first flying almost 20 years ago, its capabilities have yet to be equalled.  Even future fighters like the Russian PAK FA and Chinese J-20 may not be able to match the Raptor's lethality.  The F-22 is that damn good.
Unfortunately, production of the F-22 stopped in 2011.  
Perhaps the controversy surrounding …