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Canada Poised To Buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 JSFs

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the time-to-fly dept.

Canada 417

Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes 'Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, sources familiar with the process told Reuters. A detailed, 18-month review of Canada's fighter jet needs has concluded that the government should skip a new competition and proceed with the C$9 billion ($8.22 billion) purchase, three sources said. When the F-35 purchase was first proposed, Canadians were alarmed by the colossal price tag, and also that no fly-off competition had been conducted or was planned. This latest news is sure to rekindle criticism that the RCAF's requirements seem to have been written after the fact to match the F-35's capabilities (or lack thereof)."

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Russia (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47176653)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no. The US presence there might keep them away, but otherwise Canada isn't winning any wars.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176693)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, the US would go back to letting Canada have US nuclear weapons.

Re:Russia (3, Insightful)

JimCanuck (2474366) | about 4 months ago | (#47176813)

Canada doesn't have nuclear weapons due to our own internal laws. Nothing to do with the US, and at the time when Canada decided not to house nuclear weapons in Canada, the United States was not too pleased.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176825)

correct, in fact Canada isn't just 'allowed' to have nuclear weapons we're where most unwanted nuclear weapons go to die.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176991)

Yes, but this thread was started with the hypothesis that Russia may want to invade Canada. If Russia started showing signs of that sort of expansionism, Canada's attitude towards nukes would likely be more welcoming again.

Re:Russia (4, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47177105)

But Canada hos no problem with US nuclear armed ships and aircraft being in Canada [wikipedia.org] .

While it has no more permanently stationed nuclear weapons as of 1984, Canada continues to cooperate with the United States and its nuclear weapons program. Canada allows testing of nuclear weapon delivery systems; nuclear weapon carrying vessels are permitted to visit Canadian ports; and aircraft carrying nuclear warheads are permitted to fly in Canadian airspace with the permission of the Canadian government. There is, however, popular objection to this federal policy. Over 60% of Canadians live in cities or areas designated “Nuclear Weapons Free”, reflecting a contemporary disinclination towards nuclear weapons in Canada. Canada also continues to remain under the NATO 'nuclear umbrella'; even after disarming itself in 1984, Canada has maintained support for nuclear armed nations as doing otherwise would be counter to Canadian NATO commitments.

Re:Russia (0, Troll)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 4 months ago | (#47176705)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no.

Why worry? Obama will draw a red line and say "No further!"

Re:Russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176725)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no.

Why worry? Obama will draw a red line and say "No further!"

Bush saw Putin's soulful eyes and shirtless chest, so we don't have to worry.

Re:Russia (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176771)

Palin will see them coming.

Re: Russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176781)

And Putin saw our Bush.

Re:Russia (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 4 months ago | (#47176963)

Why worry? Obama will draw a red line and say "No further!"

Is that the Mason-Dixon Line?

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176753)

Yeah because Canada's allies won't object to an invasion and Canadians are to polite to point out to the Russian's that they shouldn't invade.

Re:Russia (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47176791)

And Russia have taken control over so many countries lately .

Re:Russia (5, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47176815)

Buy drones instead. They are rapidly making aircraft obsolete.

Re:Russia (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47176841)

Buy drones instead. They are rapidly making aircraft obsolete.

Where do you live? Iran? Drones have a long way to go before they can replace a supersonic air superiority fighter.

But then again, so does the F-35.

Re:Russia (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47176899)

Buy drones instead. They are rapidly making aircraft obsolete.

Where do you live? Iran? Drones have a long way to go before they can replace a supersonic air superiority fighter.

But then again, so does the F-35.

Fighter Jets became useless 20yrs ago. They're only still around because the current generals running the US military grew up whacking off to topgun.

Re:Russia (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47176959)

We're talking about brunettes not fighter jets,,,

Re:Russia (2)

thrich81 (1357561) | about 4 months ago | (#47176999)

The Russian and Chinese generals must have watched the same movies because both countries are developing and fielding their own new (5th generation) fighters. No one yet is fielding drones or defenses to match the 5th gen manned aircraft. Maybe the drone replacements will work, maybe they will have their own huge development problems.

Re:Russia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177037)

Fighter jets became obsolete 54 years ago !!
That's what we were told when the Regressive Preservative Party scrapped the Avro Arrow !!!! :-(

Re:Russia (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 4 months ago | (#47177087)

Top Gun is a pretty good analogy for the defense industry, though. Even today we get to pay for their fuel and play with their balls.

Re:Russia (5, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | about 4 months ago | (#47176873)

Buy drones instead. They are rapidly making aircraft obsolete.

Unfortunately drones aren't quite there yet. This will probably be the last manned fighter purchased by Canada, but we're not quite ready to go drones-only at this point.

That's actually been one of the only really solid objections to this purchase ... it can be persuasively argued that it makes much more sense to try and extend the lifespan of the current CF-18 fleet (or purchase new CF-18s with a much lower price tag than the F-35s) and wait 10-15 years for drone technology to further mature. I'm undecided on the issue. We do need new fighters in the interim, and the F35 is a fantastic piece of technology, but I'm not convinced it's the wisest decision at this point.

Re:Russia (2)

Eloking (877834) | about 4 months ago | (#47177031)

We do need new fighters in the interim, and the F35 is a fantastic piece of technology, but I'm not convinced it's the wisest decision at this point.

While I'm sure you had other one in your mind, I don't think "because it's a fantastic piece of technology" is the best argument to bring to justify a 9 billion dollar purchase

Re:Russia (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 4 months ago | (#47177127)

What!!! After "wait 10-15 years" everything isn't going to be all peace love and understanding? We have to plan for the next war after the next war we deter?

Next you'll be telling me I am not going to get a flying car before I die.

Re:Russia (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47176923)

I think you are confusing creating a military defence force with a vassal state making a tributary payment.

For those various vassal states like Canada and Australia, that money would be far better spent on turning infantry and armoured units into mechanised combat engineers with full infrastructure building skills. Basically as a part of the extended training doing full trades apprenticeships. Of course you shouldn't let that training go to waste. So when the Federal government sponsors infrastructure spending they send in the combat engineers to do the labour, as they are already paid for and it applies their training honing it in a most useful fashion. Then all the government then has to pay for is materials creating huge savings on infrastructure spending. Of course the military are then useful beyond the service employment and easily go into construction careers. Even that ever demanding corporate US military industrial state should consider making that switch in order to repair it's deteriorating infrastructure.

Seriously, the reality, you want to defend you country, just look at North Korea vs Iraq. Just a handful of nukes is all you need. So forget tributary payments to the US in the form of buying tanks and planes just make your own long range stealth cruise missiles and arm the with nukes. No matter how big that invasion force one or two nukes and they are gone, just like they were never there. Never there being the normal outcome of the threat of tactical nukes.

Re:Russia (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 months ago | (#47176985)

Just a handful of nukes is all you need.

North Korea has Seoul in artillery range and a Chinese protector. They didn't need nukes from 1953 through 2009, and they weren't invaded even when it was well-known that they were developing nukes. See also: Iran.

Re:Russia (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about 4 months ago | (#47177073)

For those various vassal states like Canada and Australia, that money would be far better spent on turning infantry and armoured units into mechanised combat engineers with full infrastructure building skills.

I don't know if you've been paying attention to this, but if you believe current political rhetoric, Australia's biggest military threat is 16 year olds in leaky fishing boats running aground on Ashmore Island.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177093)

Nope useless. All either of them need for defence is planes and/or drones and maybe a few subs. Just shoot down or sink any threats. Infrastructure makes for good stimulus for the economy so doing the work for 'free' with soldiers is counter-productive.

Re:Russia (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47176927)

Buy drones instead. They are rapidly making aircraft obsolete.

Unless "these are not the drone you're looking for", they're also aircraft. Just sayin' ...

Re:Russia (2)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 4 months ago | (#47176823)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no. The US presence there might keep them away, but otherwise Canada isn't winning any wars.

That's not really the point. Having advanced weaponry also allows Canada to have the ability project their force and affect peacekeeping missions or global security.

If they were worried about Russia invading, they would develop nuclear weapons. Fortunately, Canada is under the nuclear umbrella of the US and does not need to do this. Much like North Korea is under the nuclear umbrella of China.

Re:Russia (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 months ago | (#47176865)

The difference is NK leaders are bat-shit crazy and are developing their own nukes anyway.

Canuks are mostly interested in preserving the integrity of the Stanley Cup and the Maple Syrup Cartel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Russia (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47176847)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no.

Umm, are you trolling or completely naive about geopolitics? Canada is a NATO member. An attack against one is an attack against all. There are three nuclear armed NATO states, and all three of them share common languages and cultural heritages with Canada. They aren't likely to look kindly upon any attempt to violate her sovereignty.

More to the point, Russia's MO isn't to invade her neighbors. It's to destabilize them, using restless minorities. That strategy works in poor countries with disparate ethic groups that share no common history. It isn't likely to bear fruit if applied to a rich developed country and I doubt that Moscow would try.

Re:Russia (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47176947)

Umm, are you stupid or just relying on ad hominem arguments?

Seriously, if Russia "claimed" a few Arctic islands which happen to be Canadian, do you think NATO would nuke them?
You've been playing too much Twilight:2000.

Re:Russia (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47176971)

Claiming them is all fun and games. Whats the plan to put troops on them, and how do you intend to deal with the largest navy in the world (Canada's good buddy) dropping by to say hi?

NATO doesnt need to nuke them. It can just plant an aircraft carrier near Greenland, and let that say "No" in lieu of any nukes.

YOU'VE been playing too much Command and Conquer. Russia attacking Canada would be suicide.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177109)

NATO should make Russia expect to get nuked if they invade (at least by tactical weapons). Why waste soldiers' lives in conventional fighting?

Re:Russia (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 4 months ago | (#47176913)

Why would they want Northern Canada? They have enough problems trying to keep China out of their South-East. Their country is biggest on the planet and has a very low population density already.

Jets are mainly needed for patrol and "believable defense deterrent" - i.e. showing any other regional power that may want to attack that you have enough defenses to make it exceedingly difficult or impossible to do so. Of course, with US as your land neighbour, that makes for a one tall order...

Re:Russia (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47176953)

If Russia wants a piece of northern Canada, they're taking it, 65 jets or no.

Yea, have fun with that. You have any guesses as to what the US response to that would be? Or any sort of plan for getting an invasion force over here?

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177101)

Because with over 5 billion square kilometers of Siberia, they need a few million more square kilometers of empty arctic.

Crimea at least gave them a warm water port.

Re:Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177285)

Have you ever heard of NATO? You're an idiot.

f-35, beta feature set (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176655)

the plane is still in beta. nowadays beta seems to mean ready to ship.

something sucking less is not a reason to be grateful.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176671)

Lockheed can always patch it later. If it's really bad, they can just issue a recall. It's the way business is done in the 21st century.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (3, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47176689)

My opinion, the F-35 will always be in beta. The design and procurement process is fundamentally broken. That being the case, they might as well buy now; it's not gonna get any better.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 4 months ago | (#47176827)

My opinion, the F-35 will always be in beta. The design and procurement process is fundamentally broken. That being the case, they might as well buy now; it's not gonna get any better.

So, beta as in Slashdot beta as opposed to beta as in Google beta.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 4 months ago | (#47176877)

Or you could buy 250 super hornets at the same price. The ONLY advantage of the f-35 is stealth, and given that a stealth fighter was shot down I'd not put much faith in the stealth capabilities of these things.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177061)

Stealth only decreases the distance the plane can be spotted at. That means that the radar stations that are supposed to overlap a country no longer do, and the airplane can fly in without being spotted. With enough radar overlap, stealth airplanes don't stand a chance.

Re: f-35, beta feature set (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 months ago | (#47177131)

The cost of these F-35s are 124m/ea. The cost of a previous generation Super Hornet is almost 70m/ea, with older electronics packages and no stealth.

Where you are going from 65->250, I have no idea.

Now, the F-16 is much cheaper and still in use, so maybe you are confusing the F/A-18 with that?

Re:f-35, beta feature set (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176743)

It isn't called the Joke Strike Freighter without reason.

Re:f-35, beta feature set (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 4 months ago | (#47177239)

Cute, but they aren't really buying them right now. It's agreeing to buy from one of the tranches in future.

The issue is whether or not they were going to (re)open the bidding process and under what terms. We could buy aircraft right now if we wanted to buy used, or we could buy Eurofighters or modernized F18's reasonably quickly. F18's and F35's would come with industrial guarantees (we buy x billion in aircraft we get some fraction of x in guaranteed production of boeing or F35 parts in canada). Or a couple of other options that have various features (the rafaeles from France or the Gripen from Saab or F16's etc.).

But of course we already agreed to be part of the R&D for the F35 and the point of that was to be in on the programme from the beginning and to buy aircraft, so we could withdraw but that would likely make more than a few people angry, and all of the other options entail different risks. I'm not sure in the end that it makes a great deal of difference, countries fly all of the potential aircraft on the list, and the F35 is slated for significant production, and really any of them would mix some sort of industrial, combat capabilities and strategic interests in a reasonable way.

USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176661)

world class bully and corrupting agent.

Re:USA (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47176669)

OR - a place to outsource your defense development to. Canada has money, the US has the jets. The US population (face it, Boeing is kept alive by taxes) pays for all the endless R&D and other countries can just buy what they need.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176911)

face it, Boeing is kept alive by taxes

The F-35 is a Lockheed/Martin product. In the trials, the LockMart prototype out-performed the Boeing prototype. But I'll always wonder if Boeing would have executed better and actually produced the plane with fewer problems, had Boeing won this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Strike_Fighter_program#Outcome [wikipedia.org]

Re:USA (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47176965)

Lockheed has a cooler sounding name that Boeing.

Re:USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177309)

Northrop beats them all with a 25 year old plane...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y... [wikipedia.org]

Suckers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176673)

Suckers

It's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176683)

It's all a kickback scheme from the beginning. Someone somewhere is getting a big secret bank account in Switzerland.

lawl. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176687)

Brought to you by the fiscal conservative party of Canada.

Re:lawl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176839)

Yep. We have the same thing in Australia. Conservative government increasing defence spending - its so they don't have to be diplomatic...

Re:lawl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176897)

It's called having a backbone. You ought to try it sometime. Oh wait, you think that's obsolete. If somebody came and brutally raped your wife you would sing koombaya to him.

Re:lawl. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#47177017)

If somebody came and brutally raped your wife you would sing koombaya to him.

No, but the point is that it would be a lot cheaper and cause a lot less collateral damage to simply whack him with a $20 cricket bat.

No Bid Contracts! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176697)

Yes, let's absolutely buy the jets that can't stay up in the air and cost ridiculous amounts to purchase and maintain when they do manage not to crash!
In rougher climates than they're designed for! Instead of something cheaper and more rugged that would be just fine for our purposes!

This is the greatest idea ever!

Re:No Bid Contracts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176785)

Another Voodoo!

Re:No Bid Contracts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176983)

Instead of something cheaper and more rugged that would be just fine for our purposes!

You really think the purpose of buying these jets are for fighting someone? Wrong. Who would be dogfighting Canadian jets in the air anyway?

This is called "protection money". The sole purpose of buying these jets is to give money to corporate overloads of the MI-complex, so the important points of this deal are (1) the dollar amount and (2) the recipient of the money.

If the jets can actually DO something, well, that's just an added bonus that no one in the decision chain cared about much.

Simple and correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176701)

What? No squirming around with half-assed alternatives?

Grats. Nice to witness a grown-up decision once or twice a lifetime.

REALLY STUPID Canada (5, Informative)

dltaylor (7510) | about 4 months ago | (#47176731)

What's wrong with a few SuperHornets? Extra survivability in case of an engine failure; both interception and ground attack (unlike the attack-only F35); easier to maintain; larger fuel capacity than the original Hornet; they actually FLY.

Re:REALLY STUPID Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177025)

That would be too SENSIBLE !!! You're talking about Harper here .... :-(

Re:REALLY STUPID Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177049)

Best part is the acquisition process was just as criminal.

Re:REALLY STUPID Canada (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 4 months ago | (#47177065)

You mean the Superhornets that will be replaced by the F-35 leaving Canada yet again unable to us the US supply chain?

Re:REALLY STUPID Canada (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 months ago | (#47177125)

Canada can buy both. Because they largely avoided the mortgage crash due to sufficient buyer screening regulations, and because of oil profits, they have some shoppin' money.

Canada following Australia (4, Interesting)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 4 months ago | (#47176737)

Only recently in Australia did the government suggest that it was going to purchase the F-35 as well. This all became clear in the same budget that suggested raising the pension age to 70 and an increase in taxes, and prompted much outrage.

Despite the flaws in the F-35, this purchase seems to be more of a five-eyes strategic thing, than it is any burning need to buy these planes.

Re:Canada following Australia (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47176787)

No, the Australians bought into (and bought) the F-35 under previous governments. The announcement from Abbot was that they were going to buy MORE F-35s.

Re:Canada following Australia (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 4 months ago | (#47176993)

Yes, the RAAF have had a long working history with Lockheed.

Re:Canada following Australia (1)

khallow (566160) | about 4 months ago | (#47176789)

This all became clear in the same budget that suggested raising the pension age to 70 and an increase in taxes, and prompted much outrage.

It's pretty much a universal developed world problem that pensions pay out too much and governments run large deficits. Everyone will need to raise their pension ages and raise their taxes/cut spending.

Re:Canada following Australia (1)

epine (68316) | about 4 months ago | (#47176819)

Everyone will need to raise their pension ages and raise their taxes/cut spending.

Alternatively, we could roll back our immense gains in life-expectancy. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

The problem seems to be that human nature is willing to work very hard for $20 (if that pays for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) or for a $20 million xmas bonus (if that's your second vacation home) but we're all pretty slack-assed when motivated by any sum in between.

Re:Canada following Australia (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47176859)

Alternatively, we could roll back our immense gains in life-expectancy.

I suppose we could start using all of those F-35s.

Re:Canada following Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176995)

this purchase seems to be more of a five-eyes strategic thing, than it is any burning need to buy these planes.

There IS a burning need to give protection money to the corporate overlords though.

Re:Canada following Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177281)

No shit sherlock.
Somebody has to pay for Lockheed's R&D bill to cover them for their collossol fuckup on the f35 project.
I'm certain that the democratic interests of the citizenry is going to be overlooked and ignored.

Wow, I'm so proud (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176749)

While Harper's cock, pushed by his corporate puppet masters, goes deeper into the average Joe's rectum, I'm super happy that my taxes are going to China via tar sands AND corporate welfare in the USA.

OHHH!!! CANADAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

What a mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176763)

The wrong plane for the wrong war in the wrong hands. Canada needs a low observable first strike aircraft like the NSA needs another scandal.

I'll say it again, the Super Hornet is the perfect aircraft for us. Sort of similar, cheaper and it's good enough for the US Navy...

The real question is who is behind the F35 welfare program that the Canadian government is gleefully embarking on and where are the kick backs?

And a HAPPY 70th D-DAY ANNIVERSARY to a!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176799)

And especially to you Frau Merkel. You did look awful funny walking on stage with the Allies.

You don't have to attack the American Empire (0)

plopez (54068) | about 4 months ago | (#47176801)

Just sit back and wait for it to bankrupt itself. Than after it collapses move in and pick up the pieces.

Re:You don't have to attack the American Empire (0)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 4 months ago | (#47176885)

And where will all the Republicans move to once that happens? Bad enough having to listen to them on TV without them buying the house next door.

Re:You don't have to attack the American Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176939)

How do Obama's balls taste today, fruity?

Re:You don't have to attack the American Empire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177075)

Republicians seem rather fixated on Obama. Now they're focusing on his genitals. Closet homolust hypothesis confirmed.

I think its a conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176851)

They want everyone to think the F35's suck but secrete classified tests show them shooting down alien ships in low earth orbit and shooting the fly's off a cows arse at mach 10 all while syncing your ipod and massaging your balls

Really stupid Canada? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176891)

I think a lot of people here are misunderstanding what the F-35 is doing and where the 'can't fly' comments are coming from. Basically, your average current F-16 and F/A-18 are still very maneuverable jets. They're relatively light when flown clean and so they are still competitive in this configuration. In order for these planes to go to war effectively, you need to hang a whole pile of mission equipment off of them. IR and laser designator pods, weapons, extra fuel. This makes them heavy, draggy, and slow.

F-35s carry a lot of fuel and all of their mission equipment internally to preserve stealth. It also means it is less heavy, draggy and slow because the jet is aerodynamically clean when it is flown operationally.

For a very narrow suite of missions, this means you are carrying some stuff you don't need. For America, these missions will typically be F-15/F-22 territory. For every other set of missions it is much more efficient than any other strike fighter out there because it won't have as much reliance on external tanks or airborne tankers.

I'm not saying it doesn't have it's problems. It's stealth is only refined in the forward hemisphere. It is expensive and I feel it is forcing countries to adopt smaller fleet sizes to buy it. It does IMO feature design compromises that are forced upon it from being a close to common a tri-service, VTOL capable jet. But, the politicians did that, not the designers.

As many problems as the F35 has (2)

Ecuador (740021) | about 4 months ago | (#47176917)

It is probably better than the crap the Canadians got after scrapping the Avro Arrow. Of course the F35 is very expensive as well... Oh, well...

Re:As many problems as the F35 has (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176937)

Are you stunned? The CF-18 is an excellent fighter plane and the Super Hornet would have been a much better purchase than the F-35 for Canadian defence needs.

How will history judge the F-35? (5, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | about 4 months ago | (#47176951)

Sometimes a new thing looks like a disaster for a while, but in the long run proves itself. The M-16 rifle is a tremendously successful design, but there were issues with the first models that made it look like a huge mistake.

So I am watching the F-35 and I am wondering: will this be as big a disaster as the nay-sayers claim, or will this work out in the long run?

I'm guessing it will limp along as a middle-of-the-road thing: not a complete horrible disaster, just a really expensive airplane that doesn't live up to its expectations.

Also, I have read that it is intended that a bunch of F-35s will share data with each other, and help each other detect and deal with threats; but the giant costs of the program have made it much less likely that enough F-35s will fly together at one time for this to work out.

One thing I am certain about: It's a mistake to try to replace the A-10 Warthog with F-35s. I don't even understand how the F-35 is supposed to do the same mission.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/a-10-f-35-air-force-budget [motherjones.com]

Re:How will history judge the F-35? (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 months ago | (#47177071)

Probably a little of both. In the long run, it is likely to be an amazing jet. Pilots say the thing is just amazingly capable, and near impossible to fight against. So while it is expensive, it pays for itself in terms of a force multiplier. Like say it could take enemy jets 11:1 which cost 10% of the price (I'm not saying it can, just say). It is actually superior then, since you spend less on it. Even more so because you keep your people safe and that has all kinds of repercussions.

However, it isn't very likely to be needed. A major conflict against another large power is pretty much out of the question and barring that, the jets already available are more than fine. So it is going to be a big pricey powerful toy, that does a job expensively that something else could do much cheaper.

Also the cost could potentially equalize out a bit in the long run if everybody uses them. If lots of services from lots of nations use them, that'll help reduce the over all cost.

So my guess is it'll be seen as just another jet in the long run, nothing particularly disastrous, or particularly great.

Re:How will history judge the F-35? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177091)

The F-16 was lambasted when it was first introduced, and it turned out well. Also, the USAF is going to buy almost 1800 of the things, I think they will have enough to make the data link useful.

As for the A-10 thing, it basically comes down to them asking, "what the hell are we going to do when the A-10 retires, since we have no replacement for it". They might have to use the F-35 just because there wont be anything else.

Re:How will history judge the F-35? (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#47177167)

One thing I am certain about: It's a mistake to try to replace the A-10 Warthog with F-35s. I don't even understand how the F-35 is supposed to do the same mission.

That's like asking how a rifle can possibly replace a pike, since it can't do the same thing. The F35's sensors and guided munitions are multiple generations more advanced, so it does the same mission from well outside of gun/eyeball range.

All these posts comparing the F35 to much older aircraft like the F18 on the basis of airframe are clueless. It's all about the sensors, weapons, and comms. The part you can see from the outside is just to get you there. (Of course, stealth and mach 1+ without afterburners helps with getting there, too).

Having a fly-off of the F35 against (what exactly?) is like having a race between a Corvette and a Ford Torus. That doesn't necessarily mean the Corvette is a better solution for your needs, and it may well not be a better value. But the differences are big enough to be obvious. Weigh them and make a choice.

Re:How will history judge the F-35? (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 4 months ago | (#47177247)

Canadian jets don't use weapons though, so more advanced ones don't provide any improvement.

As another example of how BAD Harper is for Canada (2, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | about 4 months ago | (#47177249)

I don't care if the F-35 works as planned. It's just another totally corrupt vile thing the Harper government of Canada is doing to lower the nation down to the likes of the USA. (I'm American and I realize we are not #1 at anything. except perhaps the number of literate creationists and global warming deniers.)

Canada could have spent all that $$$$ on robotics and then they could lead the world in the field... plus they could hire China to make a million dumb drones then put in their robotic brains... then maybe we'd have many good robots to battle against Skynet when the USA eventually builds it (which will be tiny because it'll cost 1000x what a robotic overlord should.)

universal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177003)

as the basic common sense peaked with an f15 that never made it to every country. This f35 is a long time coming. I remember canadian planes flying in to maine where I worked.. way behind, stone age... like t37 old, and those were the fighters. The more that buy the given level of fighter, the more input there will be to make it even better and cheaper. Way to go canada, and any country that dives in.

F35 (1)

hackus (159037) | about 4 months ago | (#47177081)

is currently not even a finished aircraft, with multiple problems with its airframe durability, pilot survivability and software and avionics that haven't been fully tested yet.

Just the maintance costs to maintain more than 30 of these aircraft in wartime could exceed the total tax revenue for the united states at 2 trillion.

heard that before (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 months ago | (#47177107)

rekindle criticism that the RCAF's requirements seem to have been written after the fact to match the F-35's capabilities (or lack thereof).

Like an H1B job ad, eh.

F35 aint that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177157)

I know its trendy and all to trash the F35 but its a pretty good piece of technology. Sure its expensive, sure its not perfect. No aircraft is.
It does fly vertical, it is stealth, etc. thought.

Its a bit like the F22 story in many ways. Yet good luck defeating the F22 - and I'm not american - and my country does not purchase american planes even. I just like planes.

As for the "planes are useless today" it'd be real fun to see what happens if the US air force was removed (not grounded, removed).
Funny fact: some countries have a rule that they must be able to destroy any aircraft in their airspace within 15 to 20min since WWII. Some of them averted hijacks and got a lot of credit for that (like France).

The USA did not have that rule. If it did, there would be no 9/11. You sorta need planes for this. A lot of them.

Summary is disingenuous (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 4 months ago | (#47177165)

Of course there was no fly-off and the requirements were tailored for it... THE ONLY OTHER 5TH GEN FIGHTERS ARE THE F22 AND ONES BY RUSSIA AND CHINA THAT CANADA CAN'T BUY.

This isn't controversial. Canada wanted a modern aircraft, and right now, there are only 4 out there. The F22 isn't for export, the PAK FA isn't for sale, and the J-20 (based on stolen F22 tech) is still light years away, and also not for sale.

If there was another candidate, I am sure Canada would have compared them, but when facing $124m USD/plane versus many tens of billions to develop their own, the F35 is a bargain.

Justin Bieber, flying high. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177195)

Folks like to say that the F-35 is expensive, but compared to what? It costs in the neighborhood of $40 to $60 million (depending on model and options) for the Gulfstream jet that keeps the Biebs in the clouds. The F-35 does, and will do, so much more. No doubt, the current generation of aircraft will continue to serve us for a while longer. But realistically, I don't think anyone can expect the Chinese and Russians to simply throw in the towel. They've got their stealth models in development, and news reports of late don't indicate they're backing down from anything.

Back when the Democrats were allegedly looking for shovel ready jobs, one glaringly obvious option would've been to keep the F-22 factory up and running. Now here we are a few short years later and the Russians want to play top gun. Well, if we had more stealth aircraft, they'd have to think twice. And I for one don't want our pilots to be at a disadvantage in that kind of game.

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