Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Get the Right Plane

The F-35 is not the right plane for Canada. The Harper government has suggested that these fighters are going to be used to defend the Arctic against the Russians. The truth is that any purchase Canada is going to make to defend against the Russians would have to be huge. Too big for the likes of us. If the Russians do invade (and that is a big if), 65 planes will not stop the massive Russian Air Force. The US would probably step in.

Now, it has been discovered that there is no way with present equipment that the military can refuel the F-35s while flying. We would need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on upgrades. Also, even though the prime usage for this fighter was supposed to be the Arctic, the runways up north are too short for the plane.

When we spend $16 billion on 65 planes, we should make sure that we get the right one for our needs. If this is not the right plane, and it isn't then we should not get it. Let's save our money for an airplane that will really meet our needs.
OTTAWA -- The Canadian military does not have the ability to conduct aerial refuelling of the F-35 fighter jet it wants to purchase and is now looking at ways to get around that problem.
Options range from paying for modifications to the stealth jets to purchasing a new fleet of tanker aircraft that can gas up the high-tech fighters in mid-air. That option could cost several hundred million dollars, depending on how many new tankers are needed.
Read more at the Ottawa Citizen. 

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  1. Actually HW, the refueling argument simply isn't true. The F-35 has been fitted with the standard drogue and retractable boom system common to our F-18 and other European and US Navy/Marine Corps aircraft. There's video of it, I think on YouTube.

    As the US Navy and US Marine Corps will be the biggest operators of the 35 next to the US Air Force can anyone really believe Lockheed would sell them an aircraft they can't refuel?

    There are so many other reasons for why the F-35 is unsuitable for Canada's needs. Refueling isn't one of them.

  2. It's just that the specific model of the F-35 Canada ordered is not compatible with the refueling system we have now. Read the article.

  3. If that was the case, none of the "partner" nations would be buying the 35 because none of them have the USAF flying boom refueling system. They all have the drogue and probe refueling system we use. The USAF is the exception, not the rule. I think the article is wrong.


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