Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Banner Day For The F35

There must be a liberal media conspiracy or something, because the almost daily deluge of negative stories pertaining to the F35 is starting to reach critical mass. This morning, two stories provide further evidence that this plane isn't suited to Canada's needs or capabilities.

The issue of a single engine fighter has been dealt in the past, and Canada has rejected those fighters because of safety concerns. I guess the question for the government- what has changed, is pilot safety no longer a concern?:
Single-engine F-35’s may endanger Canadian crews

The decision-makers 30 years ago realized that a single engine was a distinct liability for long-distance patrols across the Canadian North and along long coastlines. If the engine failed — and engines do fail — how would the pilot get back?

The decision to opt for two engines when the time came to replace the Starfighters and Voodoos seemed like a no-brainer. Since the twin-engine CF-18 came into service in 1982, it has proved to be reliable. Although some aircraft have inevitably been lost, its safety record sets off no alarm bells.

Yet today Ottawa is proposing to abandon the caution and concern for safety that characterized its CF-18 decision 30 years ago. Why?

Pressure from Washington is clearly a factor...

To be fair, maybe we have solved the single engine "long distance patrol" issue because the F35 won't be able to go very far anyways:

Canada has no way to refuel new jets in air

The Canadian military does not have the ability to conduct aerial refuelling of the F-35 fighter jet it wants to purchase and is now looking at ways to get around that problem.

Options range from paying for modifications to the stealth jets to purchasing a new fleet of tanker aircraft that can gas up the high-tech fighters in mid-air. That option could cost several hundred million dollars, depending on how many new tankers are needed.

In addition, because the F-35 would not be able to safely land on runways in Canada’s north because those are too short for the fighter, the Defence Department is looking at having manufacturer Lockheed Martin install a “drag” chute on the plane.

That parachute would deploy when the aircraft lands, slowing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter down. But some pilots have said that high winds affecting such runways could make using a drag chute tricky or even dangerous.

Cha ching!

Starting to feel like a square peg in a round hole isn't it?


ridenrain said...

Bill Gates will fix it with the next version of F35-2.

Mark Dowling said...

Peter McKay probably thinks by the time the F-35 shows up he'll be retired on a huge pension.

The Airbus A330K tanker/transport (as ordered by Australia) would do the job - the A310 is an older design and it's not unrealistic to think it would be ageing rapidly by the time F-35s show up, but buying the boom F-35 version would allow USAF tankers to refuel CF aircraft (remember when USAF had to ground the F-15 fleet due to cracking issues and CF-18s were patrolling Alaska?)

Of course, if we bought F-18 Super Hornets we wouldn't need to have this discussion...

Tof KW said...

I've been recommending that all along Mr Dowling ...the F-18E/F would be the logical successor to the CF-18. Also they're working on forward stealth technology (though we really don't need it - unless we have plans of helping the US in attacking well defended countries) and it would lower the price considerably without it. Super Hornets would be good for another 30 years, which is how long the US expects theirs to last.

And if the US doesn't like us switching to Boeing/McDonnell Douglas ...we could always tell them we like the Eurofighter. If we really wanna piss them off, we can say we're looking at Russian MiG-35's too :)

BTW - The Eurofighter and the MiG-35 are both twin-engine.

Tof KW said...

ridofbrain's easy to mix up names, I can look someone in the eye and call them a different name. It's a serious level of stupid to forget Oregon and Washington are in between us and California. Now F*ck-off Troll!!!

- - -

To add to my previous post, forgot to add the Super Hornets already have combat experience in the Gulf, and they performed well. That should be another serious reason to choose these over the F-35.

The Mound of Sound said...

The F-35 is a bag of compromises and limitations saddled on the pilots' backs for the sake of just one thing, stealth. Without that stealth advantage the F-35 makes no sense whatsoever. Now it appears this a/c won't be deployed until around 2020 (if ever). The question then becomes will that stealth technology remain a viable advantage then and for how many years beyond?

The Russians claim their L-band radars make this generation of stealth detectable. The Australians have examined the claim and confirm it true. The Russians are said to be fitting their L-band radar system into the leading edges of the wings of their fighters.

If the Russian countermeasure does work, we're going to have to find room within that F-35 for some sort of jamming system but that, too, defeats the notion of tactical invisibility.

The worst part of this, for me at least, is that no one in the US or Canada is addressing these glaring problems. Why aren't the Liberals raising the issue when the Tories have already done the hard work of putting themselves on the hook?

Tof KW said...

Mound, the Serbs figured out how to partially detect the stealth F-117 Nighthawks during the Yugoslav wars, and downed one with a Russian SA-3 rocket. They also partially disabled another that managed to return to base - no US confirmation, but it never flew again.

Now the F-117 is old stealth technology these days, and these planes are all retired. But the Serbs were using even older Russian technology and they figured it out. I'll bet their detection in the Balkans probably lead to their early retirement.

Not knocking the Serb's ingenuity, but the Russians and the Chinese are very smart and they've got much better technology. If they have not figured out how to defeat the stealth technology on the F-35, they no doubt will by the time ours are in the air.

This is a very serious issue. There is no reason for stealth technology on Canadian planes. Especially since the Russians and Chinese are not enemies ...they are very important trading partners.

Kirk said...

There's more wrong with the F35s than the contract being untendered. While the Liberals may be stressing the untendered part to show the Cons have the wrong spending priorities it wouldn't hurt them to bring up these other issues as well to show concern for the pilots and for the right plane not just a better price.

WhigWag said...

plus the alleged stealth capabilities all go out the window as soon as the planes are outfitted with what they'd need to be useful in an actual crisis:
i.e., an extra fuel tank (given it's short range) &/or extra missiles mounted on the wings. (which both make them visible). It's fine for Israel, for short little volleys to neighbouring countries; it's a turkey for us.

marie said...

Ghange of subject. Latest u tube Tory ads here. just as stupid as his last ads.

Steve V said...

Those are a joke. Same voice as the SunTV one.