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Canada's F18 replacement news & updates

Armchair

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Hi,

Visibility to a radar is a relative term---. From how far---?

Lock and launch your weapon is the real issue---.
That is true - and there is also a rule of thumb here - EW is more effective the smaller your own RCS is. My intention is to open up a pandora's box here - how much stealth is optimal for the Indo-Pak scenario? Can Pakistan afford the capital expenditure, long development time and incredibly high operational costs of an F-22 or F-35?
 

mtime7

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That is true - and there is also a rule of thumb here - EW is more effective the smaller your own RCS is. My intention is to open up a pandora's box here - how much stealth is optimal for the Indo-Pak scenario? Can Pakistan afford the capital expenditure, long development time and incredibly high operational costs of an F-22 or F-35?
I would say that more investment in ew would be the smart way to go
 

Mastankhan

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That is true - and there is also a rule of thumb here - EW is more effective the smaller your own RCS is. My intention is to open up a pandora's box here - how much stealth is optimal for the Indo-Pak scenario? Can Pakistan afford the capital expenditure, long development time and incredibly high operational costs of an F-22 or F-35?

4---4.5 gen is optimal for the sub continent.
 

TsAr

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That is true - and there is also a rule of thumb here - EW is more effective the smaller your own RCS is. My intention is to open up a pandora's box here - how much stealth is optimal for the Indo-Pak scenario? Can Pakistan afford the capital expenditure, long development time and incredibly high operational costs of an F-22 or F-35?
High operational cost was one of the reasons that the F-22 program was killed. Purpose of F-35 was to make a cost effective stealth aircraft that would replace F-16, F-18 and F-15 in the future. That is why F-35 comes in 3 variants A, B and C. Except USA for most other countries bulk of the fleet would consist of 4-4.5 generation aircrafts and a few squadrons of Stealth for Penetration attacks.
 

Armchair

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High operational cost was one of the reasons that the F-22 program was killed. Purpose of F-35 was to make a cost effective stealth aircraft that would replace F-16, F-18 and F-15 in the future. That is why F-35 comes in 3 variants A, B and C. Except USA for most other countries bulk of the fleet would consist of 4-4.5 generation aircrafts and a few squadrons of Stealth for Penetration attacks.
Problem is F-35s are also far too expensive to operate for many first world countries let alone Pakistan.
 

mtime7

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These three companies submitted bids for Canada’s fighter competition
By: Valerie Insinna

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WASHINGTON — The bids are in for Canada’s fighter competition, and three companies will go head-to-head for the chance to build 88 new jets.
The Canadian government on Friday confirmed that the field is down to two American entrants — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet — as well as Swedish aerospace manufacturer Saab’s Gripen E. All companies submitted proposals before the July 31 deadline.
The contest is scheduled to be decided in 2022, with the first aircraft delivery projected in 2025. Up to CA$19 billion (U.S. $14 billion) is up for grabs.

“Our government committed to purchasing a full fleet of 88 aircraft to be able to meet our NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] and NATO obligations simultaneously,” Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement. “Efficient and modern fighter jets are an integral part of any air force and we continue to work diligently to make sure that we provide the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force the tools they need to protect Canada, both at home and abroad.”
Canada could downselect to two bidders in spring 2021 after an initial evaluation of proposals, though it could keep all three companies as options until the final selection of a single bidder in 2022, the Canadian government said in statement.

The competing companies must submit proposals that offer economic benefits to Canadian defense contractors and other businesses, as industrial incentives and offsets make up 20 percent of the criteria under evaluation. The proposals will also be evaluated on each aircraft’s capability and cost, which will be weighed at 60 percent and 20 percent respectively.
The new fighter will replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of aging CF-18s.

For its proposal, Saab will partner with Canadian defense firms IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, and Peraton Canada, and will offer a competitive package of industrial and technological benefits, the company announced.
“Saab’s Gripen fighter is designed to operate in harsh environments and defeat the most advanced global threats. The system meets all of Canada’s specific defence requirements, offering exceptional performance and advanced technical capabilities,” said Jonas Hjelm, who heads Saab’s aeronautics business.
As a partner nation of the F-35 program, Canada has contributed funding for the development of the Joint Strike Fighter and is involved in the production of the jet. In Lockheed’s statement confirming the bid, the firm said the F-35 program would support an estimated 150,000 jobs in Canada over its life span.

“The 5th Generation F-35 would transform the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet and deliver the capabilities necessary to safeguard Canadian skies,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s F-35 program executive vice president. “The F-35′s unique mix of stealth and sensor technology will enable the Royal Canadian Air Force to modernize their contribution to NORAD operations, ensure Arctic sovereignty and meet increasingly sophisticated global threats.”
Boeing’s argument for its Super Hornet Block III was simple: The Royal Canadian Air Force already operates F/A-18s, and buying the latest version of the Super Hornet is a proven, affordable option that will allow the service to reuse existing infrastructure and reduce sustainment costs.
“We have a partnership with Canada that spans more than 100 years. We don’t take that lightly. The response we submitted today builds upon that great legacy and allows us to continue to bring the best of Boeing to Canada and the best of Canada to Boeing,” said Jim Barnes, Boeing’s director of Canada fighter sales. “Our proven, two-engine design can operate in the harshest environments and provide support no matter where the mission takes its pilots. That, coupled with Boeing’s 100% guaranteed industrial plan, will also deliver long term, well-paying jobs.”
 

mtime7

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Boeing Shows Super Hornets Bristling With 14 Missiles In Formal Sales Pitch To Canada
Boeing's Super Hornet is now formally competing against Lockheed Martin's F-35 and Saab's Gripen E to become Canada's next fighter jet.
BY JOSEPH TREVITHICKJULY 31, 2020
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Boeing has formally submitted its Block III F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the Royal Canadian Air Force's competition to select its next fighter jet. The company also released concept art of the configuration it is pitching to the Canadians, which shows aircraft equipped with conformal fuel tanks, carrying a podded infrared search and track sensor, and armed with an impressive 12 AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and a pair of shorter-range AIM-9X Sidewinders. Lockheed Martin is also competing with its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Saab has submitted its Gripen E.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is hoping to receive 88 new fighter jets to replace its existing CF-18A/B+ Hornets under what is officially known as the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP). Canada's Public Services and Procurement department announced that it had received all three formal proposals on July 31, 2020. The final contract could be worth between 15 and 19 Billion Canadian dollars, or between around $11.2 billion and nearly $14.2 billion in U.S. dollars at the present rate of conversion.

"We have a partnership with Canada that spans more than 100 years," Jim Barnes, the Director of Canada Fighter Sales at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement regarding his company's submission. "The Super Hornet is the most cost-effective and capable option for the FFCP, and a Super Hornet selection will help the RCAF meet their mission needs."


The Boeing press release doesn't highlight any specific features of the Super Hornets that it is offering to the RCAF, but, as noted, the concept art shows jets with conformal fuel tanks (CFT). The CFTs are a key component of the Block III Super Hornet, which the Chicago-headquartered plane maker first developed for the U.S. Navy and that you can read about in more detail in this past War Zone piece.

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The firm has highlighted in the past how the CFTs would fit well with Canada's requirements for its fighter jet fleets, which includes major air defense mission sets as part of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and NATO's air policing operations in Europe. The extra fuel gives the jets extra range and allows them to stay on station longer without the burden of drop tanks that also take up underwing hardpoints that could be used for weapons or other stores. One of the aircraft in Boeing's concept art is also carrying a buddy refueling store, which would allow RCAF Super Hornets to refuel each other in flight. This could help further extend the ability of aircraft on patrol to stay aloft.

The podded infrared search and track sensor (IRST), which is built into a modified drop tank that the aircraft can carry on its centerline station, is another upgrade for the Super Hornet that the U.S. Navy has been working on for years now and that you can read about in much more detail in this recent War Zone feature. The IRST system offers an invaluable additional tool for spotting and tracking targets, including stealthy aircraft, at extended ranges that is also immune to electronic warfare jamming.

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The Super Hornets would also come with an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar that would also offer improved target detection and target capabilities, especially compared to the RCAF's existing Hornets. Last month, the U.S. government actually approved the potential sale of an upgrade package for the CF-18A/B+s that would notably include refitting them with AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA radars.

That prospective deal also included a batch of AIM-9Xs, which are not presently in Canada's inventory, but is another item that Boeing has highlighted in announcing its Super Hornet offer for the RCAF. These Sidewinders are still receiving upgrades that are increasingly making them a longer-range, multi-purpose weapon rather than just a dogfighting missile, as you can read about in more detail in this previous War Zone story.

Overall, Boeing's concept art shows a serious air-to-air loadout overall, including five AIM-120s under each wing and another two on the aircraft's fuselage stations on the sides of the engine air intakes, representing around between $12 and $13 million in weapons alone. The Canadians had previously expressed an interest in buying AIM-120D missiles, the most advanced version of the AMRAAM to date, which would be a good fit for these new aircraft.

Boeing, which for a time looked like it might get shut out of the Canadian fighter jet competition over a tangential trade dispute, could actually have a leg up in the competition because of its long history working with the RCAF and its CF-18A/B+ fleet. The company's offer is "leveraging existing infrastructure to drive down the long-term sustainment cost of the aircraft," Barnes, the Director of Canada Fighter Sales, added in his statement. This is true in that there is an extensive commonality between the legacy Hornet and Super Hornet that goes far beyond hardware. Training and sustainment, in particular, enjoys substantial continuity between the two types.

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Still, the Super Hornet offer is likely to face significant competition for the final contract, especially from Lockheed Martin's F-35. Canada is already a member of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, which has created unusual, but serious complications for the FFCP. Canadian authorities had planned to buy 65 of those jets before the Liberal Party government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scrapped that deal after coming to power in 2015. The Canadian Department of National Defense subsequently agreed to buy 25 ex-Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A/B Hornets as an interim option, after a proposed purchase of 18 new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from Boeing collapsedin 2017.

"We are extremely proud of our longstanding partnership with Canada, which has played a key role in the F-35's development," Greg Ulmer, F-35 Program Executive Vice President at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement. "The 5th Generation F-35 would transform the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet and deliver the capabilities necessary to safeguard Canadian skies. The F-35's unique mix of stealth and sensor technology will enable the Royal Canadian Air Force to modernize their contribution to NORAD operations, ensure Arctic sovereignty and meet increasingly sophisticated global threats."

The concept art that Lockheed Martin released along with its proposal notably shows F-35A variants with an optional drag chute installed on top of the rear fuselage. Lockheed Martin developed this feature first for Norway's F-35As, which is intended to help with landings on runways covered in snow or ice. The RCAF similarly operates from bases in areas where these weather conditions, as well as extremely low ambient temperatures, are common. Curiously, however, Canadian authorities have previously said that they will not conduct cold-weather testing on any of the entrants in the FFCP and instead rely on data already gathered as part of evaluations by other countries.

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Saab's Gripen E is certainly more of a dark horse contender. The Swedish aviation company has been promoting significant potential industrial cooperation as a key component of Gripen offers to Canada and other prospective buyers, as well.

"The system [Gripen E] meets all of Canada’s specific defense requirements, offering exceptional performance and advanced technical capabilities," Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab's Aeronautics business area, said in a statement. "A guarantee to share key technology, in-country production, support and through-life enhancements will ensure that Canada’s sovereignty is enhanced for decades."

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Gripen was designed to operate highly efficiently from austere conditions by small teams in cold climates, something that Canada could find attractive.

Canadian authorities hope to pick the winner of the FFCP competition in 2022. The goal is to have the first new fighter jet touch down in the country in 2025.

The competition over who will supply Canada's next fighter jet already looks set to be fierce in the coming years.

Contact the author: [email protected]
 

mtime7

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Does anyone know why there was no bid from Eurofighter or Rafale?
 

Khafee

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Does anyone know why there was no bid from Eurofighter or Rafale?
I remember, I once asked a major OEM to bid for a tender, and he said the tender specs, are too much in favor of a certain manufacturer, so not worth our time.

This could possibly be the issue.
 

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I remember, I once asked a major OEM to bid for a tender, and he said the tender specs, are too much in favor of a certain manufacturer, so not worth our time.

This could possibly be the issue.
It has to be boeing and why not.The canadians already had the CF-18
 

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Absolutely Kahfee, but probably faster than the first RCN CSC frigate trials (probably around 2027). We (Canada) likes to be fashionably tardy which could come to bite us in the backside if we are not careful! Ha!! Cheers bro!
 

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I'm thinking of a Canadian JF-17. PW engines, Selex radar. Offer "Made in Canada". Conformal fuel tanks. Would be cheap and give Canada the minimum deterance to harass erring airliners and periodic Tu-95s.

Meanwhile, buy old Hornets from the US to keep their fleet operational.
 

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