Skip to comments.Canada mulls replacing aging CF-18 jets
Posted on 03/27/2012 9:25:44 PM PDT by U-238
Canada is aiming to replace its aging CF-18 Hornets fleet, or what remains of it after nearly three decades of service, and much hangs on what will replace the aircraft.
The planned replacement of the CF-18s, some dating to the early 1980s, coincides with intense discussion on Canada's plans to buy up to 65 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets as part of a much delayed air force modernization.
Debate has flared on the F-35's escalating costs and the feasibility of buying the jets when, according to critics, cheaper alternatives are available in the market.
Critics have called for closer scrutiny and suggested alternatives, even the adoption of unmanned aircraft, to fulfill the military's needs. Costs for Canada's F-35 program have fluctuated between $17 billion and $29 billion.
Canada faces no immediate military threat but analysts say both the government and Parliament have been spooked by Russian navy incidents in arctic territories shared with Nordic European countries.
Supporters of a hefty military buildup point out that Canada, as the second largest country in the world after Russia, has much to defend.
However, as the F-35 controversy continues, the debate has widened, questioning the government's stance on the plane's choice. Earlier this month senior officials injected uncertainty into the government's position on the planned purchase.
Plans for replacing the old CF-18 jets tie in with the defense industry's comparative analysis, which places Boeing's Super Hornet ahead of rivals in terms of cost and convenience of integration into a military familiar with Boeing Co. hardware and software.
Canada bought 138 CF-18s in the 1980s but
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I’ll take twin engine over single engine any day. Canada should restore/modify/upgrade their F-18’s!
They should to stick to their commitment to the F-35 project
Great Canadian F-18 video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4d4FLNVnBM
Twin engine, superior range, speed, and endurance over either the F-35 or the F/A-18E/F, larger payload, and affordable.
Second choice should be F/A-18E/F, although commonality with the CF-18 is mostly cosmetic.
F-35As made sense when the decision was first made almost a decade ago, because of the tremendous capabilities for the money. But with the price creep and delayed service entry date of the F-35, the CF-18s may not last long enough.
And if anybody thinks Canada no longer needs an Air Force, remember who patrolled our skys when our entire fleets of F-15Cs were grounded due to structural issues a few years ago.
They committed to the deal and they should stick with it.