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Showing posts from July, 2016

[OPINION] Canada needs more than 65 fighters.

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Sixty-five fighters.

That is the minimum amount the RCAF has stated it needs to fulfill its duties.  This is a sharp decline in the current 77 CF-18s Canada currently operates.  Sixty-five fighters would also be less than half of the total 138 CF-18s procured by the RCAF over the years.  It should be noted that the RCAF also operated the CF-116 (CF-5) Freedom Fighter at the time as well.  
Why so few?
For one, the end of the Cold War has supposedly brought on a "peace dividend" in which military spending can be cut as the world becomes a safer place.  
There is also the argument that a modern, advanced fighter like the F-65 offers so much capability, performance, and reliability that less are needed.
Initially, RCAF brass requested 78 F-35s to replace the CF-18s on a 1:1 basis.  This was reduced to 65, likely to get the purchase price under a $9 billion limit.
While one cannot expect the RCAF to match the USAF in terms of fighter strength, it is all-too-obvious that 65 figh…

Turkish Coup d'Etat... And the JSF

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May you live in interesting times. -Chinese curse 
"Interesting" does not begin to describe the event of the last few weeks.  Mass shootings, terror attacks, the possibility of a Trump presidency...

Now comes word of an attempted coup in Turkey.  While military coups are not unheard of, this recent Turkish coup stands out for two very concerning reasons.

Turkey is a NATO country.  This has ramifications for all NATO members if Article 5 is invoked.  Turkey is a Level 3 partner in the JSF program with plans on buying up to 116 F-35As.   Turkish President Erdogan has been a controversial figure to say the least.  While democratically elected, there claims he is evolving into a dictator.  Turkey's tactics in the war against ISIS/ISIL not only armed extremist factions, but came close to sparking off WWIII.
Normally, this sort of behavior would lead to some sort of sanction, but friends are hard to come by in the middle-east these days.  
The question is:  Should the Joint Pr…

ANNOUNCEMENT... AND RANT.

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Apparently...  I have been lax in keeping tabs on the comment section.  For that, I apologize.

Long-time readers will remember that I prefer to take time away from this blog during the summer months to take advantage of the nice weather, spending time with my family, and other adult stuff.

Imagine my chagrin when I look at the comment section to find it swarming with trolls and off-topic ranting.

Listen, at this point, I don't CARE about the differing fanboy opinions are.  I don't CARE if some think I am an F-35 hater.

All I wanted when I started this whole thing was for Canada to take a step back and re-evaluate its choice of CF-18 replacements.  That looks like it might actually happen.  If so, I will consider it a "WIN" and move on.  It doesn't even matter what fighter is ultimately selected.  Sure, I have my preferences...  But I am not so enamored with them that I would resort to throwing tantrums or name-calling at the mere mention of something else.

Un…

Is Canada actually getting a fighter competition?

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A few weeks of rumors indicated that Canada was going to sole-source the purchase Super Hornets as an interim solution to our aging fighter jet woes.  However, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced in a press conference that his department has made no decision yet.

Instead, Sajjan announced that officials from the DND and other departments will meet with the various fighter manufacturers to assess the options.  Previous requirements (that were written around the F-35) have been unceremoniously tossed aside.
"Officials will seek up-to-date information from leading manufacturers on key issues, including cost, economic benefits for Canada, and their ability to deliver planes quickly," he said. "That information will inform a decision on a procurement path in the coming months." While details are scarce, Sajjan's press conference did reveal some interesting tidbits.

Canada's current fleet of 77 CF-18s is not enough to meet Canada's commitments to NORAD …