F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

22 posts

Is close air support a capability we need to have?

Social commentary around the F-35 issue is in general acceptance that they are needed, based almost exclusively on the age of the F-18s.  There is an interesting comment in the paper today about the CF-18s in Libya (The Globe and Mail, “NATO split threatens Libyan effort”).  Seems that the CF-18s […]

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Necessary dialogue is being prevented for partisan purposes

I’ve found this series of exchanges VERY helpful, and many, many thanks to Hugh [Williamson] for collecting and distributing the party platform materials in such accessible form. [Moderator’s Note: These documents will be posted shortly.] I have nothing to contribute to the discussion on the technical side, although I confess […]

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Is ‘full spectrum’ fighter capability relevant for the air force?

In response to Anne Griffith’s comment about the F-35 brief, I was at the same briefing and was similarly unimpressed.  It was very much a “glossy brochure” type of brief – very shiny but very much lacking any convincing argument.  One thing that bothers me is the lack of any real […]

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A really good aircraft but do we really need them?

I am certainly not an expert on the joint strike fighter, so I can’t comment on the technical merits of the purchase. I would, however, like to comment on the purchase and the sales job that the government and DND are making on the plane. I went to a briefing […]

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What change will competition for limited dollars provoke?

Brian Stewart, Senior Fellow with the Monk Centre at the University of Toronto, has raised the spectre of an internal struggle within DND over how to allocate the capital portion of the defence budget.  In his article entitled “$30B fighter jets just the start of defence-spending boom” (CBC News, 06 […]

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Two points

First, I think Dan/Eric’s arguments that the government will force the air force to live within its budget on this buy have already been given some support. When we signed the 2006 Production, Sustainment, and Follow-on Development Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the F-35, we did so on the assumption […]

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Making the candidates ‘speak on the issues’

Unfortunately it’s like preaching to the choir, but I agree with Eric Lerhe that this dialogue need to be publicized, ‘blogged’ or whatever else works to get some debate going in this election about the greater defence picture; other than the $35B F-35s. I’ve been reminding our candidates, that in […]

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The Politics of Canadian defence procurement: The F-35 case

Once again, Canada is faced with another complicated military procurement decision. Like other examples before this one, the F-35 procurement involves the competing demands of professional military advice on the one hand, and political judgements about affordability, ‘guns-versus-butter’ trade-offs, transparency, regional equity, and a host of domestic considerations on the […]

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Finding the right balance is key

I agree with much of Ken Hansen’s analysis.  While we have indeed done badly at maintaining leading edge capabilities after purchase (note, however, exceptions of Halifax-class, CP-140, and CF-18 mid-life projects), I would not immediately accept your second point that the F-35 is entirely for conflict against a peer competitor.  […]

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Plans cannot be rationalized without the strategic perspective

The F-35 purchase and NSPS elicit the same question for me: “What is the government’s concept for the employment of Canadian military force in a future conflict?”  The F-35 contract suggests a front-line, high-risk combat role against a peer competitor.  But, our history of procurement in peace and war suggests that we are […]

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