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Canadian fighter competition

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On 8/16/2020 at 3:41 AM, Robin-42 said:

Roy Braybrook wrote a great article years ago in Air International about how fighters are picked and the rational. In Canada’s case we wanted some more fighters I forget some of the details, but it went down something like this. 


Military “We want to look at the following list”

Government “Why isn’t the F5 on it..”

Military “ Waste of time, it doesn’t meet a single one of our requirements.”

Government ”Add the F5”

They then did a paper study, F5 came dead last.

Military, we would like to test fly the following short list.

Government “Why isn’t the F5 on it”

Military “Still came dead last, we don’t want it.”

Government “Test fly it”

They then flew it, and the others.

Military “We want F4’s”

Government “Umm ya, that’s great, we are buying F5’s and building them in Montreal”


Nothing ever changes.


It should be said that the Military are not without faults when it comes to the process...

Many times what's in their list is the newest, greatest and shiniest toy that the industry have proposed, regardless or not of the real need for such a type.

And many times the military have added requirement to requirement to keep types out of their lists for reasons that are not really justifiable from an operational point of view.

Even worse happened during the development of new types in those countries that can afford it, with more and more capabilities requested that led to massive cost overruns,

If a country were a family and military aircraft were cars, the military would most of the times ask for the latest Ferrari or Lamborghini "ehi look, this is really fast!".

The government would suggest buying a Skoda estate "we think that this would serve the family needs well enough, it's roomy and cheap. And your Ferrari can only seat 2 with little baggage room... and we know that you will then ask another car for those times when we need to carry 4 people". To which the military would reply "come on, the Skoda is not up to the task. Let's look at least at an Audi RS estate..." and so on and so on, until some compromise is reached. All while in the meantime each side would pass "information" to the media to try and get the people to support their position.


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This suggests that new designs originate with the industry.  Far from it.  They all come from long and at times tedious discussions with the Ministries/services.  The service requirements are always for something better and cheaper.  Which would matter less if they were consistent about what they did want, but they never are.  There is a steady rotation of officers from staff duties to flying duties, and every new officer has his own ideas about what is really necessary and why his predecessor was wrong.  Changing governments (even keeping the same party) producing fluctuating overall defence requirements and budgets sit on top of this.  One thing that is never allowed for properly is that if every service wish was achieved, then the future overall budget would be grossly exceeded, even if held constant in real terms.  Then the Americans come out promising some absolutely superb advantages and their worshippers insist that this must be included.  And the cycle continues...







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16 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Because the older aircraft are running out of hours?  The Gripen would be cheaper to operate per hour and would last longer?  Not that I think they should buy it, but those look like strong advantages.


Surely however the F-35 is primarily a fighter-bomber not an interceptor?  Who does Canada want to bomb?

Really, you buy the cheapest? When I was in Royal Military College in Defence Procurement classes they taught us that you don’t purchase a weapon system for today’s wars, you purchase them for future wars against your absolute toughest possible adversary. You purchase the equipment that will give your fighting personnel the absolute best odds to fight another day.


The F-35 is a multi role aircraft. It fits the needs of Canada, better than anything available. The fighter community in Canada is fully behind it.


Canada is always present in the world stage, we may be small but we are big contributors and are always side-by-side with our allies and friends.


Going back to buying the cheapest, if you were sending your children off to war, would you want them to have the cheapest equipment?

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The comment was directed at the possible buy of Gripens as "aggressor" aircraft for DACM, not as the main component of the force.  It was to counter the suggestion that they had no advantages over named alternatives, for this specific role.  Note that I didn't actually recommend this, even then.


I would however suggest that the philosophy of always buying to counter the greatest imaginable future threat has been responsible for more "gold plating" and cost inflation than any other single factor.  I would wish my children to have the most appropriate equipment, in sufficient numbers.  The former is obviously difficult to predict, but the latter appears much more difficult if always chasing the ultimate.  However, when your hands are tied by your neighbour's policies, as described above, you don't have an open choice.

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On 8/20/2020 at 2:07 PM, Giorgio N said:

Let's look at least at an Audi RS estate..." and so on and so on, until some compromise is reached.

Hmm there speaks the voice of experience....🤣

Good similarly too👍

Edited by junglierating
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  • 4 weeks later...

As a German I would add quite frankly, that it will most like boil down to a purely political decision, at least halfway regardless of what the actual military requirement / preference might be. Luftwaffe inspector general getting fired over publicly advocating for the F-35, us ending up with Super (most likely not even duper) Hornets (for carrying freefall nukes??? bwuuuaaahahahaha!!!) ...... first units probably arriving not before 2025 ...... anyone?!!!! (They could at least have opted for chiming into the F-15EX but hey, we would have run danger of actually being taken seriously with that nuclear assistance thing then; god forbid).


I say, whatever Canada might get eventually depends a lot on whether DJT wins a second term and premier Trudeau remains in office, rather than actual military requirements. Those two are not directly BFFs, are they now?!


Hey, I have a thought here: Wasn't Canada almost up to buy the Persian F-14s off the Mullah regime short after the revolution if it wasn't for their aid in freeing the US hostages? Hey, those Persian cats are old enough today. I say let Canada and Germany join up and buy these old birds for a tip and a dime and share the fleet. They do seem to have just about the right age now for us to operate them for another 20+ years hahahahaha!😂


On a serious note: Anyone know why the Typhoon was out of the race? Was it performance or price mainly?




Edited by bushande
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