*Sorry for double posting*
the Hornet was designed by Northrop as a land-based multi-task (including air superiority) fighter, but that McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) sub-licensed the design from Northrop to upgrade it for U.S. Navy carrier operations. Canada selected the latter version despite not requiring the tail hook gear (for obvious reasons) and may actually have benefited from the stouter landing gear over the long run regarding airframe durability.As has been convincingly clarified earlier in this thread, the F-18 was indeed meant to replace the F-14 as an air superiority fighter, and real world experience over the decades shows that your statement is incorrect and ill-informed.
I could go on refuting your claims by why should I when this thread is full of great reading on those subjects already?
Sorry Admin, but you are dead wrong on both of these statements.
Firstly, the Northrop plane you described was the YF-17. While similar to the hornet in appearance, it can turn circles around the hornet. This is because the F-18 had to go through some major structural overhauls to enable it to survive repeated carrier landings and take offs.
Secondly, The Super Hornet replaced the F-14, not the regular hornet. Differences are significant. The Super Hornet had far superior air to air capabilities over the regular hornet.
However, even with the much improved Super Hornet, the Tomcat still one ups it in air to air missions simply by sheer size. This means bigger radar, more avionics, bigger missiles.
Technology has narrowed the gap significantly, though one may ponder at what the Tom Cat would be like had it received the same upgrades.
Costs were the deciding factor for the replacement, not performance
Finally, the decision to purchase the F-18 as our interceptor is not for it's capability, but rather because it was the only fighter that met our requirements.
1. 2 engined, 2. Price.
F-16 had one engine, Mirages were dated, Tornados, F-15s, F-14s were too expensive. So, we got the F-18s.
I don't agree with the connection you've made. Defending against a stealth fighter does not require a stealth fighter. It requires the very best air defence detection gear on the ground, in the air, at sea, and in space. That's NORAD in a nutshell. A current Hornet under NORAD command and control does the job excellently, and is only being replaced due to its age and not obsolescence. That is simple proof that the F-35 is not necessary.
Um no. To defend against stealth fighters, the last thing you would want is a ground or sea based SAM systems.
Case 1: Interception of potentially hostile aircraft.
We cannot simply shoot down an aircraft without positive identification of both type and intent. SAM network will not accomplish this. We need birds in the air to establish visual identification outside of wartime. This requires birds in the air that can actually combat other stealth fighters. This brings me to
case 2: Ground or Sea based SAM systems are limited by the Horizon, should a hostile stealth aircraft travel below 1000 meters, even given a completely hill-less landscape, and somehow being unaffected by the target's stealth nature, our detection range is limited below 110km. Any lower, such as NOE flight paths of say 100 meters would limit it down to 35km. There is absolutely NO way of avoiding this with ground based systems. This leads to huge gaps in our air defenses, and thus leaves us vulnerable
case 3: Due to the very nature of ground based systems being not very mobile, easily fooled by decoys, and limited in quantity, this leaves the system very vulnerable to any competent foe that has the capability to perform SEAD/DEAD. We've seen this in Gulf War 1 and Kosovo.
The Chinese stealth fighter, whenever it begins service, will not be much of a risk to Canadian air space. China has no aircraft carriers, nor intercontinental air-to-air refueling capability, so in a conflict it would only be seen in Asian airspace.
Partially agree, While the Chinese J-20 won't present any threat to us, export stealth or semi-stealth aircraft could. This combined with Russian PakFA and their routine of flying bombers near our border, does warrant us to take countermeasures.
P.S. China does have air to air refueling capability.
So, given that the primary role of our existing Hornets is as an air defence interceptor, we require the best replacement aircraft for the money, purchased in a transparent, competitive bidding process. The proposed F-35 deal fails us in umpteen ways.
As stated before, to properly detect and intercept stealth fighters or bombers, one would need to use stealth fighters.
Either that or station a SAM battery or compatible networked radar every 4000km^2 along the border. Good luck with that!
Unless you suggest we team up with the Americans(Their f-35 or F-22) every time we patrol the arctic, we need a stealth fighter.