Showing posts from January, 2022


  Now that we are down to the final stretch of the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), it seems only right to devote some time learning about how the winner will be ultimately chosen. Some suggest that the Joint Strike Fighter's selection is a foregone conclusion.  This is due to the F-35 winning similar competitions in Switzerland and Finland .  While this is an important bellwether, it should be noted that these competitions were held using different parameters and criteria.  It should also be noted that both announcements have met with skepticism and protest .  This is especially true when it comes to claims the F-35 won on " economical " grounds.  It turns out the one of the reasons why the F-35 was cheaper was because it would be flown only 140 hours per year instead of 180 .  Other aspects of the competitions seem to give the F-35 distinct advantages as well.  (This might be worth its blog post...) Whatever the case, it is important to remember that Canada&#


One of the most common criticisms when it comes to the Saab Gripen potentially replacing the CF-18 Hornet is that it would be a "downgrade".  This criticism does have merit.  The Gripen, even the "E" version, is smaller, lighter, less powerful, and carries less payload then the CF-18.  When looked at under these metrics, one wonders why the Gripen should even be considered.   There seems to be a lingering distaste for smaller fighters following Canada's experience with the CF-116 (F-5) Freedom Fighter.  While the CF-5 was not a bad aircraft, it was ill-suited to Canada's needs .   So why should Canada even consider "downgrading" to a smaller, less powerful fighter? The answer, of course, is context .   Yes, the Gripen is indeed smaller than the CF-18.  Roughly 2 meters shorter in length, over 3 meters narrower in wingspan, and just slightly shorter in height; you could fit a Gripen inside the Hornet's footprint with room to spare.  At a mere 8


  It is rather telling that Canada's choice to replace the CF-18 ultimately comes down to two rather different fighters:  The F-35 and the JAS-39E.   The message is clear.  Canada wants a cutting edge fighter...  But it doesn't want to spend a lot of money for it.  These two goals seem contradictory (because they are) but the good news is that the USAF wants the same thing .   While the Joint Strike Fighter program was  originally intended to replace the F-16, the reality has become slightly more complicated.  Put simply, the F-35's operating costs are WAY MORE than the fighter it was intended to replace.  This is despite the fact that the USAF's Viper fleet is getting on in years.  This has led the USAF to study less expensive options.  A "clean sheet" design that incorporates newer technologies without going all in like the F-35.  Like the F-15EX, this new workhorse would be a suitable option for when stealth is not needed.   The nerds at HushKit.Net immedi


F-35 LIGHTNING II   I have spilled a lot of digital ink on why Canada should not  purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.  Contrary to my rhetoric, the world as we know it will not end if Canada does announce an F-35 buy.  In fact, there are plenty of reason why Canada should commit to the JSF.  This may seem a little "off brand" today I am here to tell you why we should  purchase the F-35.   It is  the future. Despite all the naysayers, the Joint Strike Fighter program has delivered on its promise to produce a 5th-generation in massive numbers.  Over 700 airframes have been delivered with production now maxed out at 156 units per year .  One can debate over whether or not the F-35 will match the sheer numbers fighters like the F-16 , but there is little doubt that the JSF will be the  NATO fighter for much of the 21st century.   Unlike the F-22 Raptor, which was deemed "too good" to export, the F-35 has been aggressively marketed to international sales.  In