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post #1 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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F-35 issues

Canada seems intent on purchasing F-35s in a deal worth approximately $14 billion. Some details as well as some issues were reported here, F-35 purchase will help Canadian Forces, bolster economy, Baird asserts.

Today I was reading a story, Undisclosed Problems with F-35 Fighters Surface in Pentagon Report, which, obviously is discussing more problems with the planes.

Some of the problems reported include:
Quote:
According to a report compiled by the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, the F-35 aircraft all suffer from various problems with handling, avionics, afterburner, and the helmet-mounted display systems. The F-35A and F-35B variants are specifically said to suffer from "transonic wing roll-off, [and] greater than expected sideslip during medium angle-of-attack testing" according to the report. The report also notes that many of the components being used in the aircraft are not as reliable as expected.

The F-35B has had various issues with subcomponents in the past, specifically the ones that allow the door behind the cockpit to open so the aircraft can get the air needed for vertical landing. The F-35B has made successful vertical landings recently.

One key problem that is common on the aircraft is an issue described as afterburner "screech" reports Defense News. Apparently, the F-135 engine provided by Pratt and Whitney has a problem where airflow causes severe vibrations that prevent the engine from reaching maximum power.
Why are we buying these planes again?
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post #2 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 05:54 PM
 
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Here's the thing, we have to replace our fighter jets eventually. I guess the current Government feels that now is that time.

I'm not against getting a few of the F-35s, they're good, but what I think we should get more of, are the F-22 Raptors. Problem is they're under a export ban by the US Congress and Pentagon. And you know, we put a lot into the development of the F-35 as member of the partnership, might as well get something out of it.

My biggest issue really, is that we're getting our jets without shopping around. We should at least take a look at the Sukhoi PAK FA, which is supposed to come out in 2015. But no, that would upset our neighbours to the south too much if we ever dared to shop elsewhere.
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post #3 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 06:26 PM
 
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The F18 is a great performer, with two engines that with current updated avionics would probably meet or exceed the capabilities of the F35 in everything except stealth capabilities.

With the reduced costs of production we could probably get two F18's built for the cost of one F35. I don't think we should or could back out of the deal now, but Canada should probably look at also buying some new F18's as well.
I certainly don't want to see another EH101 fiasco, or and Avro CF105 scandal either. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_CF-105_Arrow

One of the reasons Canada opted for the F18 was the two engines for patrolling over water and the Arctic, the F35 just does not have that.

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post #4 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 06:53 PM
 
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We can debate this till the cows come home. There is more to the stories that the average public knows. In this day and age, the F-18 isn't really cutting it, and when you look around the world, our fellow NATO allies have been updating their fighter planes.

As a member of the CF myself, I personally the decision is a good one, although The F-35 cannot supercruise, it is not extremely agile, and its so-called stealth, or technology that makes it harder to detect, is limited unlike the F-22.

The arctic sovereignty issue is a big one for us and you have no idea what goes on up there and what we do on a monthly basis to protect Canada.
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post #5 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 07:19 PM
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I don't think anyone is questioning the need for new fighters. That includes the Official Oppositon. There are two questions: One, is the F-35 is the right new fighter, or whether the next generation Super Hornet or F-22 are better choices for Canada; and two, is it appropriate for the federal government to commit to this type of expenditure without any competitive tender process.

On question one, I am not an expert but everything I have read suggests a very strong case for the next gen Super Hornet. At least a strong enough case that they should be carefully considered. As for the second point, it's absolutely irresponsible that this contract was awarded in the fashion it was, notwithstanding our involvement in the development phases of the F-35.
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post #6 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyCanuck View Post
or F-22 are better choices for Canada.
Those aren't even an option because of the export ban. Australia wants them too, and asked for the ban to be lifted and so far, it's been denied by the US. One of the reasons for the export ban is because, as much as the US supports Israel, they don't wanna have to back them up in a war with Iran, and fear the F-22s would give Israel too much of an advantage and may actually do an attack.
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post #7 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 07:44 PM
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Not sure I agree with your analysis. I think there's a pretty good likelihood that Israel will attack Iran, F-22's or not. And they'll do it with the USA giving approval. And the USA will back Israel if Iran really gets out of hand in their response to an attack.
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post #8 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 08:23 PM
 
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It's not MY analysis, it's based off of what experts have said in speculation regarding the export ban. And yes, while Israel has done strikes on Iran before, and may again, the situation is different: Now Iran is at a stage where they could actually fight back, whereas before, when Israel last striked, they were way behind. And all that aside, the F-22 WOULD be a huge advantage, that you can't deny.

Anyhow, regarding this thread, I still say we should shop around before blindly going for a US fighter. The Europeans and Russians make very good ones these days, and even the Japanese are working on their own 5th generation fighter.
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post #9 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 08:52 PM
 
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To me, stealth capabilities are a waste of money because who Canada intends to defend itself against have much radar detection anyway, other than the U.S. which is the only realistic threat (and we can't defend ourselves against a U.S. invasion anyway). In offensive usage, I'd say pretty much the same thing too. Remember the Serbs used pretty simple technology (networking antennas together) to find and kill the F-117 shot down there.

F-22 is probably going to be killed by the U.S. and there's not much plans for further procurement, unless Congress adds it in. They simply can't afford it.

I'd say new F-18s would be the best option. However the PMO does want to support the U.S. at any cost to Canadian taxpayers.
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post #10 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-19, 09:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cockroach View Post
F-22 is probably going to be killed by the U.S. and there's not much plans for further procurement, unless Congress adds it in. They simply can't afford it.
Is that why 168 have been built as of October 2010, with 187 planned? That's a lot of planes for someone who can't afford it.

And ofcourse we could defend ourselves against the Yanks. We'd have the whole Commonwealth on our side. Go read up on Canada's "Defence Scheme No. 1" of 1921, and the US's "War Plan Red".
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post #11 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-20, 03:51 AM
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The F-35 is a colossal waste of money for an unproven product whose "capabilities" we do not require as a non-aggressor nation. The much less expensive and readily proven Super Hornet is the direction we need to go in, and any claims that it is obsolete or incapable of our requirements are ill-informed.

This is only the latest politically-based fighter jet controversy since the Avro Arrow (my dad was training on the proposed RCA Astra avionics/weaponry systems on the Arrow back then). Time and again our politicians have screwed up our defense by making stupid, politically-based decisions, and my hope is that a miracle will happen and good sense will prevail. After Paul Helyer's purchase of those silly CF-5s, the ludicrous use of CF-104s in low-level European nuclear strike roles, and the decrepit CF-101s being used way past their usefulness, our air force was finally given the right bird for the job(s) with the Hornet. Now we're back to playing stupid political games instead of providing the best aircraft for our needs. Show me the Air Force personnel who actually think the F-35 would be better than the Super Hornet and I'll show you a bunch of puppets.
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post #12 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-20, 03:33 PM
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I agree. I think the Super Hornet would be just fine for our needs, which quite honestly are pretty limited.
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post #13 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-20, 04:53 PM
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Potential F-35 buyers are starting to balk: the UK, which planned to replace it's Fleet Air Arm Harrier fleet with the F-35's VSTOL version, has instead decided to get rid of aircraft carriers entirely and so have dramatically cut their purchase plans. Spain, France, and Italy are not talking seriously about VSTOL F-35s for their own carriers. Without a solid market for the new planes the expectations for economies of scale in the F-35 manufacturing process, or for spinoff economic benefits, are dwindling, so those "selling points" for buying the new fighter are less and less convincing.
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post #14 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-20, 05:24 PM
 
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I am surprise the Chinooks we bought are not getting as much press as the fighter jets or the new C-17s. The jets are not just used at home, there are exercises that we take part in abroad that pits our jets against other countries and you have to be able to measure up.

Folks that live in Cold-lake Alberta will be farming with the yearly war game like show that brings other countries to Canada to show their air power.
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post #15 of 377 (permalink) Old 2011-01-21, 12:04 AM
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International prestige is a sideshow that has no $ value to citizens, so it doesn't matter. The best bang for the buck is what matters, not whether other nations might esteem us for having what is purported to be the "latest, greatest". Other nations will take more notice of the bloody nose they'll get for messing around in our airspace, and for that the Super Hornet is quite fine. The arguments for buying the F-35 are woefully poor.
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