F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

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F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:46 am

Canada Plans to Buy F/A-18 Rather Than F-35 for Now: Report

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2016/06/07/canad ... ow-report/

For now? At least we're finally moving in the right direction. F-35 has been an absolute embarrassment for anyone involved.

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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Old fella » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:19 am

I believe the Trudeau administration is trying to save face with the electorate by punting down the CF-18 replacements to a very later date as they made an election campaign promise not to go near this F-35 and at the same time holding a transparent/open competition(they say) for the final replacements. Personally I think Trudeau is being a bit dishonest in that he should state in no uncertain terms we are not buying the F-35 but going with this "super Hornet" and be done with it. I mean he stated that(noF-35) in the last election past October. It has been documented the F-35 is an extremely expensive project as the AG/PBO proclaimed past few years so why hide any intentions not to buy into the F-35. I think he(JT) will loose points for not being upfront rather than coming out indicating the F-35 is not on for us - end of story. Come 2019 if the non-purchase of the F-35 is an issue well JT risks being tossed from office, however killing the F-35 in my view won't be a defining issue come voting time.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by PropToFeather » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:39 am

To a degree, I think this is an issue with the Canadian defence procurement process, and the Liberals' tacit admission of that. It's probably a giant pain to spin up a proper competition, with at least 4 viable competitor planes that I can think of (F18, F35, Grippen, Mirage), and a few more exotic ones if RCAF ever decides to buy Russian/Indian. So, as a stopgap, they're buying a few that are basically nicer versions of what we have, while whipping DoD into shape about actually supplying a proper mission requirement (one that isn't just a "We'd like the F35, let's compose one that's basically its features' list", as was the case with the F35 under Harper)
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Darkwing Duck » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:56 am

How much is this going to cost the Canadian taxpayer for canceling the F35? Remember Chretien and the Cormorants? How quickly we forget. And in 4years time when the Liberals are out, the PC will then re-sign deals to purchase the already overpriced Lightening II. Don't get me wrong, I have changed my view from we gotta have this to hmmm, maybe this is another version of the Emperor's New Clothes. We all heard the debate on why we should/should not get the F35. BUT, all the above mentioned replacements for the CF18 and then some are still old technology. The supposed replacement fighters have been in service for years and years already with other air forces. Granted, ours will be a brand new old model but the fact remains...should we really go old new?

My question has always been on any military procurement deal, why does the government, of any nation, not say to whatever branch of it is, here is your budget, buy what you need? Kind of like giving a kid money for their birthday instead of a present. More time and money is wasted by laymen deciding what professionals should have and not what they may actually need.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by PropToFeather » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:10 am

Darkwing Duck wrote:My question has always been on any military procurement deal, why does the government, of any nation, not say to whatever branch of it is, here is your budget, buy what you need?
That's exactly how it happened with the F35 procurement (from my, admittedly, non-insider perspective). The problem with that approach is that defence companies have a very long marketing horizon. They'll hook you with various tactics (ie: technology partnerships, overselling what the product can actually do, wining and dining decision makers, and, in worst cases, bribes), and then, before you know it, your RFP fits only one thing that's around - which may not even be the best option for what you actually need it to do.

Now, there's a different discussion to be had about large government purchases and how (in)efficient they usually are (and this isn't a Canadian-exclusive thing, it happens all over the world), but I'm personally of the opinion that a country's defence needs shouldn't be decided by who buys the generals the most dinners. Which is why there's usually some sort of a checks-and-balances system in proper competitive bids. (Much ink and electricity has been spilled writing about Canadian political elites playing football with defence procurement, I don't particularly want to add (much) more to it)
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Old fella » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:55 am

Don't forget during the last year of the previous Harper administration, they punted the purchase of the F-35 to a future time, also they themselves were concerned about the cost as shown by AG/PBO and moved this procurement to be under the direction of Public Works and out of DND I believe. This suggests there was some excessive baggage associated with the F-35 from a $$$$$$ prospective.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by fish4life » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:55 am

The problem is the US can say they want an aircraft capable of doing _______, and due to the number of aircraft they will buy companies will design something for their needs. In Canada we just have to pick from what is already on built and designed for other nations since a Canadian tailored fighter would be too low of a production volume to be viable.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by PropToFeather » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:34 pm

Fish4life, if only there was another country that has vast expanses of uninhabited, mostly inhospitable land with sparse availability of airfields, that builds modern planes designed to work in that environment...
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:18 pm

I can't see Canada going with anything single engine, Russian, Chinese or Indian.

Eurofighter, perhaps, or Mirage might work.

Boeing likely would cut a deal to get their Hornet's into our hands. Buy and rejuvenate some old F-15Es.

There are too many good, and proven airframes, that match and exceed our current (and very likely future) mission profile to focus on such a pathetic, and costly one from Lockheed.

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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by AuxBatOn » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:23 pm

schnitzel2k3 wrote: Mirage might work.
Oh really? That's interesting as all Mirages are single engine.
schnitzel2k3 wrote: There are too many good, and proven airframes, that match and exceed our current (and very likely future) mission profile to focus on such a pathetic, and costly one from Lockheed.

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Details on your opinion. What is our future mission profile? What are our future threats? Match missions and threats to specific airframes please.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Nark » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:46 pm

I saw an airplane at an airshow, therefore I know without a doubt its mission capabilities!!
We need that plane to replace our current planes. I have no idea what mission capabilities are, but they look and sound cool!
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Rockie » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:11 pm

I doubt there has been a government of any kind in this country that didn't force the military to mold the statement of requirements to whatever the political agenda was. It's why nothing ever gets done properly or within 30 years of it being necessary. Governments change and so too do the requirements. Too many examples to mention.

I have no problem disqualifying the F-35 for a number of reasons, but sole-sourcing it is just as wrong with Trudeau as it was with Harper. We need a proper selection process to determine what the country's needs are, not the government's.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by fish4life » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:42 pm

PropToFeather wrote:Fish4life, if only there was another country that has vast expanses of uninhabited, mostly inhospitable land with sparse availability of airfields, that builds modern planes designed to work in that environment...
Yes but Putin and us don't get along that great.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by co-joe » Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:08 pm

If we opt out of the F35 we'd better buy American. The super hornet is better than the not so super but still really cool hornet we have. No brainer. Get out of the run away costed bloated pig, and buy what is proven and scratch America's back in the process. Win win win win win!
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Gilles Hudicourt » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:31 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:
Oh really? That's interesting as all Mirages are single engine.
He probably meant Dassault, since most of their previous fighters were called Mirage, the model name became confused with the Brand.....
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by rigpiggy » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:30 am

Image

Not all mirages were single engine
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by pilotbzh » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:10 am

They're talking about the Rafale, Dassault proposed to built and maintained the would be canadian version in Canada, good proven twin engine platform....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by rigpiggy » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:33 am

Yer a little biased my french friend. However, I agree with you, never thought I'd say that. We should have bought the mistral's also. They use fewer crew than our Halifax Class, and they would be in port right now, unlike the Irving cluster fornication
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Old fella » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:44 am

Well, if history is any indication we always purchased American starting with Bormarc(aka Arrow replacement), F-86, CF-104, CF-101 CF-5, of course we had our own CF-100 Clunk I think it was and of course our very own Arrow...........

Open competition for sure but is the Canadian Government of any stripe really going to spend millions on a European fighter as good as they are. It will be a first, then again I have no knowledge of fighter ops.......
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by tailgunner » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:54 am

What a political decision.
The SH is nearing the last of its production run. Literally, we will be getting the last marks off the line.
The F35 is now starting to fly with numbers in the USAF. There has been at least 1 fighter wing stood up at Hill AFB. Admittedly, these have early computer loads, but they are quickly progressing to formally being combat certified.
The SH flies nicely without weapons hanging off the wings, ie; at the Abbotsford airshow, but hang stores underneath and it quickly becomes a dog. It has short legs, which has caused endless consternation for the USN, as their CVN's are risked nearer to shore......
If one really researches the two planes, the growth and future lies with the F35
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Rockie » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:39 am

tailgunner wrote:If one really researches the two planes, the growth and future lies with the F35
You could be right as far as the United States is concerned because that program is one of the "too big to fail" disasters and they're stuck with it. However your list of shortcomings for the SH pales in comparison to the F-35 failures. It is also completely unsuited for use in Canada, promises (while not delivering) technology unnecessary for Canada - and Canada cannot afford it.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by teacher » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:51 am

Rockie wrote:
tailgunner wrote:If one really researches the two planes, the growth and future lies with the F35
You could be right as far as the United States is concerned because that program is one of the "too big to fail" disasters and they're stuck with it. However your list of shortcomings for the SH pales in comparison to the F-35 failures. It is also completely unsuited for use in Canada, promises (while not delivering) technology unnecessary for Canada - and Canada cannot afford it.
Short comings of a proven design that is no longer going to be improved VS the short comings of an aircraft still in development with decades of R and D left to go.

Can the Super Hornet be upgraded with the F-35's avionics?
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by frosti » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:49 am

teacher wrote:
Can the Super Hornet be upgraded with the F-35's avionics?
F35 avionics are all integrated, you can't just swap out box for box.

This decision is purely political and has nothing to do with capability or what the Air Force needs. Can't wait to see those "50 million" dollar super hornets the Canadian media was telling us all about.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by frosti » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:51 am

The Danes have figure it out. Correctly.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/comment ... -dont.html
Canadian governments of different political stripes have spent more than a decade trying to figure out whether to buy new fighter jets and which one to buy.

The Conservatives developed an aversion to military-procurement commitments, deferring some, bungling others; Liberals, by contrast are in the habit of politicizing military procurement decisions.

First they make an election plank out of scuttling the F-35 sole-source fighter purchase, now we learn that they are looking at sole-sourcing the F-18. Instead of politicking, which jet Canada buys and how many is secondary to having a proper process that generates and legitimates a commitment on which to follow through.

Recently, the Danish government concluded the F-35 is cheaper, more efficient, and more effective than the alternatives and recommended the F-35 over the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its aging F-16 fleet. Contrary to the approach taken by Conservatives or Liberals in Canada, the Danish options analysis was transparent, public, and its findings were validated independently. There are important lessons for Canada here on both substance and method.

The Danish government considered four criteria: military performance, acquisition and life-cycle costs, industrial benefits, and strategic considerations — primarily the “ability … to support or fulfil Danish defence and security policy objectives, including potential co-operation with other countries.”

They evaluated each category separately and concluded the F-35 trumps the F/A-18 and the Typhoon in all four categories.

Given the F-35’s reputation, the conclusion about costs was most surprising — and key to the budget-conscious Danes. The detailed analysis provided to the parliament and public found that life cycle costs were driven by the number of expected flight hours of each aircraft: 8,000 for the F-35 and 6,000 for the F/A-18 and Typhoon. Since they last longer, the Danes concluded they could meet their defence needs over 30 years with fewer F-35s.

Critics have questioned the data used by the Danish Ministry of Defence. But the information was supplied by the companies themselves as part of the bidding process. Eurofighter explained they were very conservative in their estimate then, but have since calculated the Typhoon could fly for 8,300 hours. Boeing made a similar case: that the actual flight hours for each F/A-18 Super Hornet is 9,500.

The Danes have stood by their process, using data the manufacturers submitted, which they verified and was validated independently by external auditors. It is now up to the Parliament to consider the government’s recommendation.

There are two lessons here for Canada. First, reach a cross-party consensus in principle. In the Danish case, the political parties agreed in 2012, as a matter of principle, that a new combat aircraft purchase will take place, even with a minority government now in power.

Second, Parliament’s external validation can challenge but should not substitute new metrics for those used by the government. In Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Office, the Auditor General, and KPMG all used different metrics, including different life cycle lengths: whether you calculate jet fuel over 20 or 40 years makes quite the difference!

The Danish process included external validation by RAND Europe and Deloitte Consulting — whose joint report is also publicly available — as well as independent, outside experts. Barring illegality or incompetence on the part of the New Fighter Program Office, the Ministry of Defence, RAND Europe, and Deloitte, it is difficult to see how Boeing or Eurofighter can convince the Danish parliament to forego the government’s recommendations.

The Danish process is democratic and transparent, which makes it difficult to assail. It demonstrates democratic representatives can agree if the processes in place have integrity.

But process does not determine outcome: Canada might well conclude an aircraft other than the F-35 best meets its defence needs. That the largest military purchase in Danish history is proceeding so quickly and with little controversy puts Canadian military procurement processes to shame.

If the Canadian government is serious about the Defence Policy Review it has initiated, learning from Danish technocrats how to procure it may be a good place to start.
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Re: F/A-18E vs F-35: Why is the government still debating?

Post by Rockie » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:08 am

frosti wrote:The Danes have figure it out. Correctly.
While the Danish process is to be admired and emulated, don't assume because they're getting it we should. There are many reasons why we shouldn't. Here are some:

http://country-facts.findthedata.com/co ... vs-Denmark
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