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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rotax View Post
The small Gripen is good for small contries, but becomes irrelevant when you have a huge airspace to defend.
Tell that to the Brazilian Air Force. They have a rather massive country to defend, and right now they're giving the Gripen very serious consideration. Mainly because it's reliable, cheap to buy and extremely cheap to maintain. The single engine design is a bit of an issue, but as J-P pointed out, it is still capable of supercruising and the range is not even that much worse than our existing CF-18 Hornets.

Whether we go with Saab or not is irrelevant, we could go with Boeing or the Eurofighter Typhoon, I just personally think Saab aircraft are superior in a fighting role. The overriding topic is that Lockheed Martin is basically the Chrysler of Aircraft manufacturers. The only difference between the two is that Chrysler's products tend to at least be cheap. Everything they've made has some sort of overriding reliability issue; especially the Raptor, which proved to be an overpriced piece of crap; rusting ejection mechnisms, can't fly over 25,000 feet, practically useless for all intents and purposes. The stealth skin on the F-35 will prove to be the aviation equivalent of the 2.7L engine.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wharn View Post
Tell that to the Brazilian Air Force. They have a rather massive country to defend, and right now they're giving the Gripen very serious consideration. Mainly because it's reliable, cheap to buy and extremely cheap to maintain. The single engine design is a bit of an issue, but as J-P pointed out, it is still capable of supercruising and the range is not even that much worse than our existing CF-18 Hornets.
I would go with whoever actually brings far more than 65 new and modern aircraft to the table, and agrees to have them built almost entirely in Canada. THAT would be some good industry benefit. The Gripen NG is a very capable aircraft and if they made an extremely amazing offer, I'd be hard-pressed to refuse it. However, I know that Dassault has also offered to have Rafales built almost entirely in Canada, and the Rafales have some semi-stealth features, as well as having two engines.

If I were in charge, something tells me that a proper competition and our sets of requirements would lead us to a choice of either the Super Hornet, or the Rafale.
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  #23  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Do I agree that a minimum amount of Canadian gdp should be funneled towards Defense? Yes.

However, the problem at hand here is how that money will be invested and how damn secretive and seemingly incompetent the governement has been on this specific procurement process. From its inception, the F-35 program has been plagued with problems and contrarily to what's been trumpeted, there has never been any guaranties about its benefits for the Canadian aeronautic industry. The Canadian governement was sold a dream by Lockheed Martin and despite all the warning signs about the shortcomings of this aircraft, it systemingly refused to reassess its decision.

Should the Canadian forces have the best tools available to not only effectively protect its own airspace but also meet its obligations in NATO. Absolutely... reason why we shouldn't buy this plane. As I have studied this plane extensively, I could list some of its deficiencies but instead, I will quote a great article published in Foreign Policy (great publication) by Winslow Wheeler, who previously worked for 31 years on national security issues for Republican and Democratic senators on Capitol Hill and for the Government Accountability Office.


Quote:
"In discussing the F-35 with aviation and acquisition experts -- some responsible for highly successful aircraft such as the F-16 and the A-10, and others with decades of experience inside the Pentagon and years of direct observation of the F-35's early history -- I learned that the F-35's problems are built into its very DNA."

A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won't be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission -- or just as importantly, to train pilots -- because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35's "fifth-generation" characteristics, the most prominent of which is its "stealth." Despite what many believe, "stealth" is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see "stealthy" aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a "stealthy" F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.

The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...tagon?page=0,1


We need new planes but like any reasonable consumer, we should assess our needs and above all, we should weight the different options against one another!!
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  #24  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 2:46 PM
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Originally Posted by davidivivid View Post
Do I agree that a minimum amount of Canadian gdp should be funneled towards Defense? Yes.

However, the problem at hand here is how that money will be invested and how damn secretive and seemingly incompetent the governement has been on this specific procurement process. From its inception, the F-35 program has been plagued with problems and contrarily to what's been trumpeted, there has never been any guaranties about its benefits for the Canadian aeronautic industry. The Canadian governement was sold a dream by Lockheed Martin and despite all the warning signs about the shortcomings of this aircraft, it systemingly refused to reassess its decision.

Should the Canadian forces have the best tools available to not only effectively protect its own airspace but also meet its obligations in NATO. Absolutely... reason why we shouldn't buy this plane. As I have studied this plane extensively, I could list some of its deficiencies but instead, I will quote a great article published in Foreign Policy (great publication) by Winslow Wheeler, who previously worked for 31 years on national security issues for Republican and Democratic senators on Capitol Hill and for the Government Accountability Office.




http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...tagon?page=0,1


We need new planes but like any reasonable consumer, we should assess our needs and above all, we should weight the different options against one another!!
Agreed. Also, great article.
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  #25  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 6:35 PM
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War throughout the world is not mostly fought with weapons; it is fought via economics. From where may a country take jobs? From where may a corporation most cheaply produce?

Do you think the military of the United States -- larger than every country's military, combined -- will protect America against its unimaginable debt to China?

Excessive military spending will cripple the Canadian economy and weaken our war in what is the global economy. Of course we need to reasonably maintain our military, especially now that Canada will have to protect an iceless northern coast in the coming decades, but the deal for the F-35s is clearly not something Canada can afford.

More to the point: the government concealing the details of this procurement cannot be trusted for future procurements.
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  #26  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 7:00 PM
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... the deal for the F-35s is clearly not something Canada can afford.
Poppycock. We can very very easily afford it. It's less than 0.6% of the budget (don't forget to spread the assets over their 30 year lifespan). Around $100 per year per income earning Canadian (I.e. not kids, jobless, etc.). Not even a coffee a day.

Whether we want it or not is another question (NO for me); but it is very easily affordable.

Incidentally, 120km of new subway line in our metropolitan areas is just as affordable. We choose not to do it.
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  #27  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 7:08 PM
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Poppycock. We can very very easily afford it. It's less than 0.6% of the budget (don't forget to spread the assets over their 30 year lifespan). Around $100 per year per income earning Canadian (I.e. not kids, jobless, etc.). Not even a coffee a day.

Whether we want it or not is another question (NO for me); but it is very easily affordable.

Incidentally, 120km of new subway line in our metropolitan areas is just as affordable. We choose not to do it.
No.

It is only affordable based on the low-balled numbers. The amount released from the Conservatives was a lie; please remember that. When all of the honest costs, including fuel, maintenance, weapons, etc are taken into account then this deal is certainly not affordable as it currently stands.

There are different jets we may consider, if not fewer F-35s.
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  #28  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 7:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
No.

It is only affordable based on the low-balled numbers.
I used $35B for rough estimates. Lets triple that though to $100B.

At $100B for the F35 project we have an actual cost to your pocket book roughly equal to 1 cup of cheap coffee (Tim Hortons, not Starbucks) per day.

If a daily Tim Hortons coffee is prohibitively expensive then as a country we doomed to a 100% personal bankruptcy rate by the end of the year. Can't imagine the world of hurt those Starbucks drinkers are in for.

My problem is your definition of affordable and unaffordable doesn't actually fit what we can and cannot pay.


I am against the purchase. Please use a real argument like "unacceptably high cost", or "alternatives are cheaper", or "lack of competitive tendering", or "government should be more transparent", or even "Canadians should have been consulted first".


Saying they are unaffordable hurts those who argue against the Jets because it makes us as a group look like idiots.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 8:15 PM
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That's the most asinine argument I've heard in a long time. How many cups of coffee is too much?
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  #30  
Old Posted May 2, 2012, 8:53 PM
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That's the most asinine argument I've heard in a long time. How many cups of coffee is too much?
I used the cup of coffee as an example of how little the putchase impacts the pocket book of the average Canadian. Many do buy a daily cup of coffee, a non-essential item, which is a significantly higher price without wondering how they'll make the housing payment that month as a result of buying the coffee.

It becomes unaffordable, an unbearable expense, when essentials are given up to support it.


F-35's are an unnecessary and very large expense. Saying they're unaffordable is hyperbole at its worst.

Incidentally, Health Care spending in Canada is closer to $30 per day per income-tax-paying Canadian and rising.
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  #31  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 3:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rbt View Post
I used $35B for rough estimates. Lets triple that though to $100B.

At $100B for the F35 project we have an actual cost to your pocket book roughly equal to 1 cup of cheap coffee (Tim Hortons, not Starbucks) per day.
You may keep your Tim Hortons over which you're obsessing, and instead give back the federal jobs that were cut. Give back the CBC funding, and the enironmental funding; and while you're at it please ask Harper to re-pay Canadians for building an artificial lake next to Lake Ontario for the G8/20 summits.

Careful how you ask him, though; I've heard he's quick with a long-gun.

There have been so many different estimates released from so many different groups -- aside from the political parties -- and what is laughable about the entire process is the lack of foresight in the sustainability of the F-35s, with the strong reality of a much smaller tax base from which the military funds must come. It's no secret that fuel costs will continue to rise, as does its demand -- as absolutely everything else will increase in price, including labour. The full-life cost estimates are always based on possible low outcomes, when historically the observable outcome is usually escalates above the mean toward higher costs, especially for military investments.

Also: the Federal Conservatives are illegitmate.
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  #32  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 4:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
You may keep your Tim Hortons over which you're obsessing, and instead give back the federal jobs that were cut. Give back the CBC funding, and the enironmental funding; and while you're at it please ask Harper to re-pay Canadians for building an artificial lake next to Lake Ontario for the G8/20 summits.
Yup. We should be doing all that too.

We can afford to do it all. We choose not to.
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  #33  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 5:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbt View Post
I used $35B for rough estimates. Lets triple that though to $100B.

At $100B for the F35 project we have an actual cost to your pocket book roughly equal to 1 cup of cheap coffee (Tim Hortons, not Starbucks) per day.

If a daily Tim Hortons coffee is prohibitively expensive then as a country we doomed to a 100% personal bankruptcy rate by the end of the year. Can't imagine the world of hurt those Starbucks drinkers are in for.

My problem is your definition of affordable and unaffordable doesn't actually fit what we can and cannot pay.


I am against the purchase. Please use a real argument like "unacceptably high cost", or "alternatives are cheaper", or "lack of competitive tendering", or "government should be more transparent", or even "Canadians should have been consulted first".


Saying they are unaffordable hurts those who argue against the Jets because it makes us as a group look like idiots.
This is not a valid argument favor/against this (or any other) government expense.

CBC funding is what, 5 cents/day/Canadian? 32 nickels = $1.60 (medium double-double of Rim's coughee). Heck, that ain't even 12 coffees a year!

How about the equation of 4 planes = HSR from QC to Windsor?
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  #34  
Old Posted May 4, 2012, 8:29 PM
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This is not a valid argument favor/against this (or any other) government expense.
Your right. It wasn't supposed to be.

It is an argument against using the word "unaffordable" to describe the purchase.
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  #35  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 4:36 AM
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Okay, so we can apparently afford to spend too much on a plane that doesn't suit our purposes. That inspires confidence. After all, who cares, it's only one coffee a day out of our pockets.
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  #36  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 10:39 AM
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Okay, so we can apparently afford to spend too much on a plane that doesn't suit our purposes. That inspires confidence. After all, who cares, it's only one coffee a day out of our pockets.
Now you have the opportunity to create a arguments against the purchase that isn't based on hyperbole.

Do write letters to the paper. Do write letters to you MP and the Prime Ministers office. Do use rational arguments against the project.

You might even make some headway.
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  #37  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
This is not a valid argument favor/against this (or any other) government expense.

CBC funding is what, 5 cents/day/Canadian? 32 nickels = $1.60 (medium double-double of Rim's coughee). Heck, that ain't even 12 coffees a year!

How about the equation of 4 planes = HSR from QC to Windsor?
Forget about that. The cost of the project as a whole probably equals:
  • Toronto's subway expansion ($8 Billion)
  • Ottawa's Rapid Transit System ($3 Billion)
  • Montreal's subway expansion ($4 Billion)
  • London's Ring Road ($600 million)
  • Winnipeg's LRT and Ring Road ($2.8 Billion)
I think all of those combined would be massively more useful than a bunch of stupid, troublesome American jets.
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  #38  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 5:25 PM
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Forget about that. The cost of the project as a whole probably equals:
  • Toronto's subway expansion ($8 Billion)
  • Ottawa's Rapid Transit System ($3 Billion)
  • Montreal's subway expansion ($4 Billion)
  • London's Ring Road ($600 million)
  • Winnipeg's LRT and Ring Road ($2.8 Billion)
I think all of those combined would be massively more useful than a bunch of stupid, troublesome American jets.
Hear, hear!

More useful and certainly more profitable. These transit investments always help promote development toward urban density, as well as reduce our carbon emissions, while transporting healthier pedestrians of whom shall be spending their money in increasingly walkable city communities.
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  #39  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 12:46 AM
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I'd go with a mixed fleet of 40-50 Saab Gripen NGs and 40-50 Dassault Rafales. We currently have 80-something CF-18s in service, which is probably already too few, so the plan to reduce to 65 F-35s (it used to be a larger number) is likely problematic.

We, as a country, have two basic roles for our fighters and it is unlikely that one aircraft alone would do it. We have a continental air defence and patrol requirement on the one hand, and a requirement for a fighter to be deployed on missions overseas to support Canadian foreign policy (including troop deployments abroad) on the other. The CF-18s probably fare far better in the latter than the former owing to their limited range.

The Rafales, with their twin engines and good range, would do well for air defence and patrols over the north.

The Gripens would be our "expeditionary" fighter since it requires few personnel to maintain and has minimal take-off requirements in terms of quality of runway - it's what we would deploy for something like the Libya campaign. They would also do well in the role of domestic city defence (e.g. Olympics, presidential visits, G8/G20 meetings, etc) - so long as we deploy them to our cities, that is. You don't really need big fighters for that role.
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  #40  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 3:47 AM
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I'd go with a mixed fleet of 40-50 Saab Gripen NGs and 40-50 Dassault Rafales. We currently have 80-something CF-18s in service, which is probably already too few, so the plan to reduce to 65 F-35s (it used to be a larger number) is likely problematic.
There are 77 F-18s in service, but reducing to 65 F-35s changes nothing. There will still be 2 combat squadrons of 24 aircraft. What we're doing is farming out most of the training to the US.
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