Canadian defense procurement shocker

(Image courtesy Lockheed Martin)

In defiance of 143 years of tradition, the government plans to replace our aging CF-18s before they enter their third or fourth decade of obsolescence.

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4 Responses
  1. Nicholas says:

    I hope you don’t mind . . . this had to be my QotD entry today (http://quotulatiousness.ca/blog/2010/06/10/qotd-historic-first/). I usually try to avoid quoting entire posts, but in this case I made an exception. ;-)

  2. Nathan B. says:

    Hi Chris,

    I don’t believe I’ve seen what you’ve thought of this purchase in terms of the actual plane. Is the F-35 the right plane for us? Would the F-22 be better? Will the F-35 hold up in Arctic temperatures? Can it do combat with other airplanes? Is it substantially worse than the competition? I’m hoping that the F-35 is a dream plane, but I don’t think so; it is, I am certain, though, many times better than our CF-18s! Anyway, I hope you’ll write a post on this when you get a moment.

    Best wishes,
    Nathan

    • Chris Taylor says:

      I agree, I will address it at length in the future.

      The short version is that the F-35 will be a very capable aircraft but I have doubts about its combat survivability. It won’t have any better maneuverability than an F-16, and in contested airspace of the next 30-40 years, that will be fatal. US DoD is banking on the F-35’s sophisticated sensors to keep the enemy from closing to knife-fight range where dogfighting ability really counts. I don’t think that is realistic; there are always countermeasures to sensors. But unless DND funding changes drastically, we will never be able to afford the F-22 either.