Author Topic: Scrap the Aussie F-18's -There is a new Plane in Town  (Read 35 times)

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Offline Ken Gigliotti

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Scrap the Aussie F-18's -There is a new Plane in Town
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:25 PM »
Instead of having the Canadian Armed Forces purchase used F-18s from Australia another option presents itself. New advanced two seat trainers are being built to simulate the design of the advanced 5th generation fighter the F-35.Buying these cheaper versions would be a good investment considering Canada's purchasing time line.

The debate over the rejection of the F-35 held years ago was flawed because Canadian media and politicians could not understand the early version pricing of the F-35. An election issue.Recently the Boeing/Bombardier SNAFU tainted the new F-18  purchase. Canadian media needs to ask pilots and retired generals to get a different perspective on this important issue. US pilots require at least 100 hours flying in these new advance trainers before getting into an F-35 or F-22. Canada currently uses BAE's Hawk II but it's partnership for a “clean slate”plane fell through with Northrop.

Aerospace and defense are strategic industries. At the beginning of WW2 a Toronto factory had a contract to built Hurricane fighters for Britain, when war broke out they just kept building them for our air force. That could never be done again. 

Canadian media should be all over this story. 

Lockheed Martin teamed up with Leonardo (Italy) and South Korean to built the T-50  an F-35 like trainer. The F-35 will need training aircraft and ground simulators to qualify pilots to fly the much more expensive F-35. Lockheed Martin is the maker of the F-35. Since Canada has continued to contribute an annual payments for the development of the F-35 under the former Conservative government it might be in the taxpayers interest to actually buy the plane.
The Liberal government put the breaks on the purchase of the F-35 because of it's high cost. The 5th generation fighter was built in 4 plane lots. The first lots are the most expensive but purchasers get to be involved in their development. NATO allies  like Norway (cold northern flying country), Netherlands plus the US, and Australia have taken part and are now taking delivery of the F-35.
Australia liked the F-35 so much they are basing their entire air force around the plane and retiring F-18's that Canada will be purchasing. The cost of the plane drops as more planes are being produced.

The later lot F-35's cost less and less. Canada's time line is over ten years in the future making the F-35 purchase a likelihood so buying a F-35-like trainer would be a good move into that future investment. The Lockheed Martin /Leonardo/South Korean M-346 (T-100) is currently being flown by Indonesia,Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines and Iraq. It was based on the F-16 design. Interestingly  Leonardo was based on an Italian /Russian collaboration that fell through. The resulting M-346 is being currently being  flown by Italy, Israel, Singapore and Poland. These are two seat trainers and light attack aircraft.

These are small country aircraft analogous to the time when Canada bought CF-5's . The CF-5 was considered a regressive choice , but buying an F-35-like plane could be seen politically as good planning. The light attack aircraft would be in line with the current governments,read between the line policy of staying out of bombing missions and hot wars. The stepping stone to the top line F-35 would be a future governments  option if there is a need. Win ,win. At worst Canada could buy ten year old F-35's from Australia in the next decade instead of their really old , second hand F-18's.

Canada may still buy a Boeing/Saab product if they win the competition. A better choice than buying old CF-18's and the competition would be fair. Boeing has a big plant in Winnipeg.


There are a number of companies involved in this  trainer competition and the Boeing /Saab is “clean slate” contender with a two seat ,twin tail ,single engine like the F-35 and would be built in the US , St. Louis plant. America first.  Short sighted US/Can politics could see Airbus absorb Bombardier and Boeing future projects would pull out of Winnipeg. A far sighted and safe approach  could land a big light fighter contract for both. Notice how  Saab is still building planes and Canada's Avro projects of the  same era died over politics. 
See a story by David Freed ,What Replace a Worn-Out Talon. Opinion by Ken Gigliotti

« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 04:11 PM by Ken Gigliotti »