Friday, March 1, 2013

Boeing makes a fighter jet that rivals the F-35



There’s been a lot of talk about the ballooning costs of the fleet of fighter jets Stephen Harper wants to buy. The fact that they can’t be used in the arctic to protect Canada is a huge concern,. The fact that one of his candidates lobbied for the company that builds them is another. Turns out Boeing makes a fighter jet that rivals the F-35 for half the price.

Lets see… Boeing has experience making planes… It certainly is worth a look. Canada needs some jets. How many and what for is the question. Spending billions on insider trading jets that can’t be used in the arctic is simply corruption. Especially when it means cutting funding for personnel and everything else in the military. Closing the Vancouver coast guard in lieu of this expenditure is irresponsible.

In the Boeing Super Hornet, additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system. That’s a lot better than having to contract out the air to air fueling in the F-35.

12 comments:

  1. there's also an F-14 Silent Eagle that is what the USA uses in Alaska. It can go further I believe than the F 18 Super and is faster. It would be a great plane for intercepting the Russians...because that's what we're supposed to be doing...not going on US adventures in the Middles East to benefit a few CEOs.

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    1. The "Silent Eagle" variant has not actually been built, there are few test of concept airframes but there has been no actual production run of this model yet, and may not be.

      Canada already has the Hornet/Super Hornet. There's nothing wrong with that airframe, and no need for Canada to buy anything new, Eagle, F-35, or anything else. The Hornet is more than capable of being upgraded well into the future in whatever ways can be shown to be actually needed, not just "nice to have".

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  2. "AgentK Aerospace Consulting Services", LOL....seriously, how jacked up is that the average citizen can do better choosing the next gen airframe than the G?


    Of course, they are not really interested in defending Canada's sovereignty much anyway, why would they be when they've been selling it a piece at a time for years.....

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  3. As an aviation historian, I'm sure I could find my previous posts all extolling the F-18E/F. I is as good as we need to be, and I still stand by the F-18F. Again, the F-35's has all been grounded, the computer code is crazy, the troubles never end, contractors are actually at WAR with the disastrous USAF procurement issues.

    Everyone else is backing away as politely as possible...

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  4. F-15, not F-14. F-14 was the "Tomcat", a twin engine, two seat interceptor/air superiority fighter used by the US Navy and made famous by the movie "Top Gun". Tomcats are no longer in service, the last one was retired a few years back.

    The F-15 Eagle OTOH is a twin engine, primarily single seat (dual seat for training and strike versions with a navigator/bombardier)
    with such an impressive power to weight ratio that it can actually accelerate going straight up, from ground level to 30,000 ft in 60 seconds. Even with the F-35 program, the Eagle/variants are expected to be in US Air Force service until 2025, making it a good choice for Canada, being that they are dependent on the US for spares regardless of which of the three airframes they choose.

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  5. "The F-15 Eagle OTOH is a twin engine, primarily single seat (dual seat for training and strike versions with a navigator/bombardier)
    with such an impressive power to weight ratio ..."

    Correct, but it's a very expensive, single-role, air superiority jet, not for Canada's aim for ground-strike as well. Then you'd have to buy the F-15E...."Strike Eagle", which is surely a most costly option, more than F-18E/F.

    The F-18 also has a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio; and I watched one do a tail-stand at Williams Lake Airport, where I myself was based out of.

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  6. "Stealth Jets Return to the Air Following Engine Snafu — For Now."

    "The Pentagon’s fleet of next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters has been cleared to resume flying, six days after the discovery of a half-inch crack in an engine blade led to the grounding of all 50 or so training and test jets."

    "Engine-maker Pratt and Whitney said it is confident it has isolated the source of the crack in the F135 engine and can fix it. But the stealthy F-35′s propulsion problems are anything but fixed. Finicky motors are an inevitable side effect of the plane’s design."

    "Pratt and Whitney put the best possible spin on the turbine blade’s potentially catastrophic flaw, which if undetected could have caused a crash..."

    "... the F135 runs extra hot — a problem that has concerned Lockheed and Pratt and Whitney engineers for at least seven years and likely contributed to turbine problems in 2007, 2008 and 2009."

    http://tinyurl.com/bkhu4gp (Wired.com)

    Yechh, forget this hangar queen...

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    1. Agreed, Canada cannot sustain the costs for this aircraft. Let the US work all the bugs out first, then get in on a buy when they're doing a production run at much less cost per unit, if you buy it at all. High ranking officers who hope to work for the manufacturer after retirement (more an American phenomenon) saying they are needed is not a reason to buy anything.

      Re: the Strike Eagle, I do not believe Canada needs a strike aircraft, we are primarily looking at long range interception and CAP roles. I agree that for the money involved, we just put drop tanks on the Hornets, except that they don't get dropped unless they're involved in a real world engagement, which doesn't appear likely. Aircraft is not really my area of expertise or anything, but I think an AIM-120D on each wingtip, leaving all the under wing mounting points for external fuel stores would do the trick. How you gear up to go out for the day when the possibility/reality of a real fight is almost non-existent is different from how you load up after shit is underway. Then you go heavy.

      As a force multiplier (in the sense that they enable whatever Hornets are being used to be used more efficiently) I would look at Canada acquiring AWACS platforms (if they don't have any, I have no idea if they do or don't) which are known for ability to stay in the air and provide accurate information for long periods of time long before I was throwing scads of cash at F-35's.

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  7. I've looked @ Saab's *Gripen*, multi-role, low-cost fighter.

    "In 2007, a two-seat "New Technology Demonstrator" or "Gripen Demo" was ordered; it was presented on 23 April 2008. It has increased fuel capacity, a more powerful powerplant, increased payload capacity, upgraded avionics and other improvements. The demonstrator serves as the testbed for numerous upgrades for the new Gripen NG (Next Generation), also referred to as Gripen E/F."

    http://tinyurl.com/ajfoaaf (Wiki.)

    This aircraft is for sale now and is very practical and low-cost to operate.

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  8. Single engine though. Not what I'd want to be flying thousands of miles away from anything over an arctic wasteland, or over water.

    "Two is one, one is none". ;)

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  9. Oh Yeah:

    "The U.S. Navy is carefully backing away from the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program — and putting in place a backup plan in case the trillion-dollar, jack-of-all-trades stealth jet can’t recover from mounting technical and budgetary woes."

    "...and more copies of the older Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-based fighter, which the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 was originally meant to replace. In the unlikely event the F-35C — the naval version of the radar-evading plane — gets canceled, the Super Hornet could be upgraded past its current shelf life. The twin-engine F/A-18E/F is already getting new weapons. Extra fuel tanks and some stealth treatments could be added as well."

    http://tinyurl.com/btw3cp7 (Wired.com)

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