I think that it is extremely important for someone who wants to increase their knowledge, to listen to the opinions of others.

Maybe someone should interview some aviation engineers from Lockheed Martin to explain why the CF-35s are such a wonderful aviation creation? In fact, I have an even greater idea!!!… Why don’t we interview several authorities of the aviation world, from the countries that already possess the CF-35 Fighter Jets—-they can extol the virtues of these mechanical birds of the sky???  Yaaaaaaaaaa!!!

 ~ Vaq


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Myths of the CF 35

By Paul Manson and Angus Watt, Citizen Special January 24, 2011
The federal government’s decision to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has generated a lively debate, not all of it based on reality. There is a lot of mythology out there about the F-35 program. This is not surprising, given the complexity of the technology, the uncertain strategic threats facing Canada and her allies, and the cost of the acquisition. Canadians need to be able to see through the many misconceptions that surround the F-35 acquisition, which is a vital element in the securing of our nation’s future. Here are 10 myths in particular that need to be debunked, together with a more realistic view of each.
Myth No. 1: The F-35 is unsafe because it has a single engine.
Reality: Modern jet engines are so reliable that there is little safety advantage, if any, in a twinengined configuration. Two engines also mean more complexity and higher cost.
Myth No. 2: We are buying the F-35 to protect Arctic sovereignty.
Reality: Tracking Russian bombers around the Arctic is only part of the requirement. Many potential threats, global and domestic, face Canada in the coming decades. The rational approach is to replace the CF-18 with a modern multi-role fighter capable of deterring and opposing a variety of threats to our security and prosperity for many years to come.
Myth No. 3: Canada could do with a less capable fighter, or even none at all.
Reality: Arguments that we could get along with less-advanced fighter aircraft are naively based on the presumption of a benign future security environment. Even more far-fetched are suggestions that all we need are drones, or that we don’t need fighters at all. As threats emerge through to mid-century, so must Canada’s ability to respond. The F-35, with its remarkable flexibility and adaptability, was designed to cope with a wide range of future challenges, including combat. There are certain inviolable responsibilities that come with nationhood. Protecting security and contributing to international stability are two of the most important. Without a top-notch fighter aircraft, Canada could not meet the test, and would in effect turn over those responsibilities to others.
Myth No. 4: The F-35 is slower, has less range, is less manoeuvrable, etc., than other fighters.
Reality: The F-35 is the best multi-role fighter available to Canada, combining excellent capabilities in all of the needed fighter missions. Top speed was important in the Second World War, but today it is the missiles that do the high-speed work. Dogfighting is a thing of the past. Electronic systems are dominant today, and the F-35 is unmatched in this regard.
Demonstrators in Ottawa  protest Canada's plan to buy F-35 stealth fighters in October. Far  from sinister, the jets will ensure pilot safety and operational  effectiveness, say Paul Manson and Angus Watt.

Demonstrators in Ottawa protest Canada’s plan to buy F-35 stealth fighters in October. Far from sinister, the jets will ensure pilot safety and operational effectiveness, say Paul Manson and Angus Watt.

Photograph by: Jean Levac, Ottawa Citizen, Citizen Special


Myth No. 5: Stealth is somehow sinister and unnecessary.
Reality: Stealth is simply a means of improving pilot survivability and operational effectiveness, by making the aircraft very difficult to detect visually, by radar or by other enemy sensors.
Myth No. 6: The F-35 is too expensive.
Reality: It is an expensive program, as was the comparably priced (in today’s dollars) CF-18 acquisition 40 years ago. But the $9-billion purchase cost will be spread over the next 12 years or so, while the in-service support cost — not yet known, but estimated to be about $7 billion — will be expended over 20 years from first delivery. Taken together, these two expenditures will amount to approximately three per cent of the defence budget. It is important to recognize that the expenditure will give our nation the ability to make a vital contribution to national and collective security for at least 30 years.
Myth No. 7: A competition is called for.
Reality: Competitive procurement is preferable in most cases, but not for this program. A true competition requires at least two viable contenders. The F-35 stands alone in its ability to meet Canada’s requirements, so a forced competition for essentially political reasons would be time consuming, costly and a sham. Furthermore, to switch to competitive bidding at this critical stage, Canada would have to withdraw from the nine-nation Joint Strike Fighter program, thereby giving up its preferred place on the production line and the favourable pricing that goes with it, while losing special access to the JSF’s massive industrial benefits from the manufacture and maintenance of thousands of F-35s.
Myth No. 8: The stealth fighter project could actually cost Canada more jobs than it will create.
Reality: The history of industrial regional benefits from aircraft acquisitions has demonstrated time and again that guaranteed offsets don’t often produce long-term, high-quality benefits for Canadian industry. Mandated work on 65 aircraft doesn’t come close to the value of competitively earned contracts for work on many thousands of F-35s. The Canadian aerospace industry is a world leader, and doesn’t need artificial protection to thrive in the F-35 program.
Myth No. 9: The F-35 development program is in serious trouble.
Reality: Headlines claiming that the F-35 has been put on “probation” are inaccurate. This story refers to the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing model being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, a version which has run into numerous technical problems due to its complex propulsion system. This is not the aircraft Canada is purchasing. Ours is the conventional takeoff/landing version. While some problems have shown up in the course of the development and testing of this particular model (not at all unusual for a new fighter aircraft), there is a high degree of confidence that they will be routinely resolved.
Myth No. 10: Canada’s acquisition of the F-35 should be put on hold pending a review.
Reality: Little or nothing would be gained from such a review, and it would introduce some serious risks. The inevitable delay could jeopardize Canada’s place in the multinational JSF program, affect our relationship with the other consortium members, and hinder the timely and efficient replacement of the CF-18, whose end-life is due in the 2018-2020 period.
Gen (Ret’d) Paul Manson is a former chief of the defence staff. Earlier in his military career he was program manager for the CF-18 acquisition. Lt.-Gen (Ret’d) Angus Watt retired in 2009 as the chief of the air staff and commander of Canada’s air force.


Dogfight: Comparing the F-35 and CF-18 fighter jets

  Jul 16, 2010 – 2:47 PM ET | Last Updated: Jul 16, 2010 5:12 PM ET

In announcing the Harper government’s decision to replace Canada’s current fleet of CF-18 fighter jets with more advanced F-35s, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said:

“We need an aircraft that enables Canadian men and women to meet [the] increasingly complex demands we ask of them. This aircraft does that. This aircraft is the best we can give our men and women in uniform.”

But just how much better are the F-35s and are they worth the $9-billion price? Compare:

McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet

• maiden flight

• entered Canadian service

• cost
$4-billion for 138 units, plus $2.6-billion fleet upgrade program completed this year

• country of origin
United States, with maintenance contract in Canada

•  maximum speed
Mach 1.8 (1,911 kilometres an hour at 40,000 feet)

•  range (unarmed)
3,700 kilometres

• engines
two General Electric turbofans generating 7,250 kilograms of thrust each

•  other forces that use it
Air forces of Australia, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia; U.S. Navy and Marines

Notes: Back in the late 1970s, Canada chose the F-18 over the lighter, single-engine General Dynamics F-16. Despite accidents over the years (16 units lost, eight pilots dead), the choice is generally regarded as having been wise, as the CF-18 has proven relatively reliable for a front-line fighter-bomber. Canadian CF-18s have flown combat missions in Iraq and Kosovo.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter)

• maiden flight

• scheduled to enter Canadian service

• cost
$9-billion for 65 units

• country of origin
Joint venture between lead country the United States, “Level 1 partner” the United Kingdom, and Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Turkey, Norway and Denmark

•  maximum speed
Mach 1.67 (1,773 kilometres an hour at 40,000 feet)

•  range (unarmed)
2,220 kilometres

• engine
single Pratt and Whitney turbofan with 12,700 kilograms of thrust

•  other forces that plan to use it
All partners listed above except possibly Norway; plus Israel and Singapore

Notes: The Joint Strike Fighter is regarded by some military observers as the most advanced combat aircraft ever devised and will be Canada’s first stealth fighter-bomber. However, critics note the F-35 has yet to enter regular service in any air force and a bloated development program is running two years late and 50% over budget.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter)

McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet



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