What has changed that it is suddenly acceptable to have a single engined fighter in Canada? This requirement has existed as long as fighter jets as far as I know. Even in the US the decision to make the F35 a single engine fighter is still highly debated.
Engine technology and reliability has improved drastically since the 80s.
Could you explain why stealth is a requirement for an interceptor? Unless you're suggesting that we have enough fighters in the air at a time that we can visually screen our huge perimeter? If you're suggesting that visual acquisition is a requirement to combat stealth aircraft than a network of unmanned long stay drones guiding in faster non-stealth interceptors seems like a much more applicable solution.
Look at it this way, when somebody truly has intent on striking us with bombers, their bombers won't act alone. Stealth escorts is expected to lead the assault. Once we have detected their bombers, legacy fighters simply will not be able to perform the intercept as they'd get shot down by hostile stealth fighters.
Looking at it another way, should the enemy perform SEAD/DEAD missions against us, legacy fighters will be completely useless should they use stealth fighters for cover, along with our SAM network.
And yes, having fighters patrolling the arctic provides far more coverage than a SAM network against a competent foe. Fighters are far less vulnerable to NOE.
All current combat tested stealth aircraft do not use radar or radios and are subsonic, aka bombers.
Explain how this is compatible with how you intercept an enemy aircraft.
No one has ever had an opportunity to test what an F22 can actually do, but you can be sure that people are thinking of alternate ways to figure out how to 'see' it.
F-22s have intercepted Russian bears before, and in combat exercises, performed unbelievably well against legacy fighters.
Stealth, while the purpose is to remain hidden, also provides excellent survivability in aerial combat.
but I'm not sensing a convincing set of proofs that the F-35 is the right aircraft for our needs.
Alright, I can try to provide proof.
Let us remove stealth from the equation, and strap on wing tanks on the F-35.
What we get is a great fighter with the most advanced active and passive sensors in the world, second only to the F-22, with tremendous range. Adding onto that, the fighter is fully network integrated, meaning all data, including those that supply targeting data, allowing for shared sensors and weapons between aircraft. This is unparalleled by any other fighter, including the F-22.
On range, F-35 while maintaining stealth, has a combat radius of a patrol missing > 750nm.
This is comparable to the competitors, i.e. Typhoon of 750nm, although rafale with 3 giant fuel tanks can put out 1000nm.
F-35, when having 8,000lb of external fuel in theory can achieve as well.
Then we have flexibility, when NATO calls us to provide air support, or air cover, F-35's multirole capability is unmatched by any other aircraft. This is due to the combination of F-35's EOTS, HMDS, network integration and large payload capability.
Then we have price. F-35 at roughly the price of 75 million a plane as shown in my previous post, is comparable to the Super Hornets and Rafale, while lower than the Typhoon. Gripens while relatively cheaper at ~50 Million, is no where near as capable in payload, range, sensors, avionics, or just about any aspect of the plane.
So to sum it up, F-35, while disregarding stealth, costs less, performs better, and can fly just as far as the competitors.
So, for the interceptor role, the F-35 would be a slower,
None of the competition can cruise at a useful higher speed than the F-35, no air force in their right mind would tell their pilots to use afterburner to perform routine intercepts.
It isn't, as demonstrated before and above.
single engined aircraft
Yes, but do keep in mind, European engines are typically less reliable when you look at the MTBOs.
This leaves the super hornet as the only contender, but if you look at the capabilities of the super hornet, the F-35 is still a better choice.
Today we face the need for speed and reliability of our interceptors in our air space. For many reasons, the F-35 is not the answer.
For speed, you can't just look at the Maximum speed, as that is rarely ever used in a war. The cruise speeds of the F-35 and all other "contenders" are roughly the same, ~Mach 1
Does this rule of thumb hold for untested first generation designs?
F-35 isn't the first of the 5th generation.
Has Canada ever purchased an untested/vetted design before?
Has Canada ever had to choose between one current generation fighter, and several previous generations that cost roughly equal?
Can you explain why a person sitting in a seat reading instrument output is different than a person sitting in a control room reading the same thing will make a better decision?
When it comes to making the decision, not much. But when it comes to CAN you make the decision, it's a lot. Under heavy EW interference such as the case of most modern conflicts, it has already been established that one cannot reliably control drones.
Can you explain how adrenalin of the moment is less likely to affect a fighter pilot than a person watching a monitor?
And how much would visual contact with eyeballs over watching through a camera? Keep in mind, flying in person allows you to see the surroundings much better.
Can you explain who has a transportable EW system that is compatible with stealth? Or are you suggesting that border defense is now the same as attacking over an entrenched enemy?
F-35 has been suggested to have it. Plus, you do not necessarily need it to be on the same platform. SEAD for example was performed with stealth fighters in conjunction with dedicated EW platforms.
[QUOTE=GrimJack;1259644]Right. Except that when you're an interceptor, which to my knowledge is the main reason these planes are being purchased, you're the hunter. They don't have the range to fly around and hope to passively encounter the enemy.
Another mission for interceptors is routine patrols.
The second you turn on your air combat radar or use your radios you are no longer in any way stealthy.
Common mistake. You can turn on the radar and remain "Stealthy", heck you can even broadcast to everyone in the area your exact location and direction to remain "Stealthy"
Remember you require 3 things in order for an enemy to shoot at you.
1. He needs to detect you. Turning on radar would allow the enemy to know your presence, but not necessarily where you are.
2. He needs to track you with his radar. This means, his radar must be able to maintain prolonged detection of your aircraft, and has nothing to do with your radar being on.
3. Finally, the hardest of all, his Missile needs to track you. The tiny radar head of the missile makes it extremely difficult tot rack onto a stealth fighter.
So, even if you are waving a giant EM flag that you are here, they still can't shoot at you, therefore, you are still "Stealthy".
NORAD interceptors are vectored towards their targets based on satellite and ground-based detection, along with other less direct means (SIGINT, spycraft, etc.) so any aircrew aboard a hostile aircraft already know that we are trying hard to "paint" their aircraft for lock-on and that our birds are coming at them. Our interceptors would never have the element of surprise, so the need for our interceptors to likewise be stealthy is moot since they know just as well as we do that a world of hurt is on the way. They hope that their stealthiness will either prevail or at least buy them some time to attack their secondary if the main objective is aborted.
The advantage of having stealth is beyond simply getting the jump on the enemy.
As one fighter pilot said when fighting against F-22 in mock exercises, The most frustrating part was when "I"'m right behind the Raptor, I still cannot provide a lock.
While surprise is a big advantage of stealth, Survivability is a far more important one.
People always confuse air to air combat as if once a fighter knows where the stealth aircraft is, then the fighter can provide a firing solution.