Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why we Might not Need F-35s

For starters, we already have CF-18s that are 30 years ahead technology wise over our most likely threat, the Russian TU-95s.

Secondly, as Philippe Lagassé, a defence analyst at the University of Ottawa has remarked, "it would be thoroughly against all [Russia's] national interests to ever contemplate sending a fleet of aircraft into our airspace.” Not to mention the rest of the world would be ill-advised to enter our airspace, as the US would probably view it as an action ultimately aimed against her.
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  1. Yeah, let those Americans defend the arctic.
    We wouldn't have needed to buy all that fancy new camoflage or those new vehicles if Chretien didn't put us in Afghanistan either.

  2. I'm sure the Americans would love to defend the Arctic. We'd just have to give them a part of our country to build a giant airbase with. Are you willing to do that?

    As for the CF-18's, yes, they are more advanced than the Bear. They are also falling apart, putting the lives of their pilots in jeaopardy in the medium term. We may not need the F-35, but we need something, or else we'll be responsible when they start killing our people a la Sea King.

  3. Why are F18s good enough for the US Navy - including the Blue Angels - their aerial acrobatic squad (at least I think it's called the Blue Angels)... The Air Force Thunderbirds use the F16, and that fighter is still the mainstay of the Air Force... The F18 is a multipurpose fighter, as it can be configured as a shortfuel tanker, fighter-bomber, or pure interceptor/fighter... I'd rather have a multipurpose mule, than a "thoroughbred", especially if I can buy 10 of those mules for the price of one Derby-winning thoroughbred (which may have a lame leg according to some reports from the US Air Force pilots themselves).

    Yes, I also grew up a Star Wars fan, and a gung-ho army/Air Force fanboy... That doesn't mean I'll let a passion for new toys get in the way of practicality. We keep hearing the age argument. If the President of the USA can fly about in Air Force 2 - a Sea King helicopter - which the purchasers for the CAF thought was too ancient for our Navy, then something is VERY wrong. Tail waggin the dog, or so it seems. Flyboys and their fanboys want new toys... Practicality does not merit it - neither does today's economic situation.

  4. The F-18 is long in the tooth - er, airframe - and will need to be replaced, just not by the uber-costly F-35.

    The F-35 is not suitable for defending Canada's vast north. Its combat radius, according to Lockheed Martin, is a paltry 730 nautical miles. That's at cruise speed and cruise altitude. A meagre 65 of these things cannot begin to cover our vulnerable northern frontier.

    If we were attacked out of the north it'd be by submarine-launched or air-launched high-speed, long-range, ground-hugging cruise missiles. Just a handful of those would overwhelm our air defences leaving the skies clear for the main wave of missiles. Makes no difference whether it's an F-35 or a Sopwith Camel, we cannot defend our territory from a cruise missile attack with 65-mid-range interceptors tied to but two operational bases.

    As long as the Russians run staged, low speed, high-altitude patrols sufficiently close to Canadian airspace at convenient locations with highly visible 1950's vintage prop planes, we'll be able to get fighters up to meet them but what they're flying is a totally, non-threat profile. It makes for nice pictures and gives Harper some hilarious sound bites. The whole thing is beyond ridiculous.

  5. I'm all for Canada getting some nuclear subs. It's definatelythe tool for this job.

  6. The F18s the US navy uses are a newer version of the F18 Hornet we have, called the Super Hornet.

    I agree that we don't need the best aircraft on the market but we do need a top tier fighter. There is no second place in air combat, that would be death. Why buy already obsolete technology, especially when we have a track record for keeping it 30 years.

    Its amazing that people can complain that we buy new military equipment when most don't drive cars older than 5 years and a small minority drives cars older than 10 years yet we expect our military to not only operate but potentially fight with antiques.

  7. This article by the leading blogger on Hubpages (one of America's top 125 websites) describes a completely innovative and effective solution to the ongoing Quebec issue. He envisions the creation of a Canadian Capital District stretching from Ottawa to the West Island and to just east of Cornwall where bilingual rights are strictly protected, and which can also act as a tax-exempt Free Foreign Trade Zone to boost the area's economic development: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Canadian-Capital-District-The-Solution-To-Finally-Achieving-English-French-Equality


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