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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2014-12-28 04:39 PM
F-35 Unable To Properly See Battlefield Below

Here's another item to add to the "What a piece of junk!" list of F-35 shortcomings:
When the Pentagon’s nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter finally enters service next year after nearly two decades in development, it won’t be able to support troops on the ground the way older planes can today. Its sensors won’t be able to see the battlefield as well; and what video the F-35 does capture, it won’t be able to transmit to infantrymen in real time.

So, in order to be stealthy (which we don't need, and which the Chinese and Russians have overcome with L-band radar anyways) the F-35 uses an internally mounted technology that is 10 years behind the capability of the newest external-pod-mounted gear on today's F-18s and other similar fighters. But, putting those newest external pods on an F-35 defeats the whole point of the stealth technology, so round and round we go on a hideously expensive piece of junk.
2014-06-09 01:32 PM
Reuters: Canada poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35s

I posted this Reuters story to /. a few days ago in case some of you have already seen it there: Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets. Round and round we go, the silliness never stops. As I've said here repeatedly, this government is hell-bent on buying that plane.
2014-06-09 11:39 AM
JamesK As I recall, one of the reasons for the selection of the F-18 over F-16, many years ago, was 2 engines vs 1.
2014-06-09 10:47 AM
nfitz Looks like a report is confirming what most of us in this thread have been saying for years:

F-35's single engine too dangerous for Canadian military, report says
... Entitled "One Dead Pilot," the report argues that fighter aircraft with a single engine — as the F-35 has — are too dangerous and unreliable to be used by the Canadian military ... compares the F-35 to the single-engine CF-104 Starfighter, which the Canadian air force used from the 1960s to 1987 and which was involved in 110 crashes in that time.

Hopefully we can dodge the return of the Widowmaker that government is so desperate to push on us. If the government continues to push this, I have to wonder who is getting cash in brown envelopes from arms dealers this time.
2013-10-18 03:30 PM
NeilN Thought participants in this thread might like to read the in-depth Vanity Fair article on the F-35's design issues and cost overruns:
2013-03-03 11:17 AM
JamesK ^^^^
Operating costs have often been mentioned by critics. For example, fuel & training costs should not be a significant difference, but that hasn't stopped some from including them in the cost of the program, while ignoring similar costs for the alternative. As I mentioned about the Arrow. The already spent development costs were considered part of the cost of each plane to be delivered, but ignored when claiming the American plane was a better deal. The clearly political nature of that decision was shown by the order to destroy all the plans etc., even though the technology & engines could have been sold to others, even if the Arrow was canceled. So, if you want to "prove" an argument, just juggle the numbers enough to show you're right.
2013-03-03 11:12 AM
Nanuuk Nonsense. Capital programs do not include operating cost projections when speaking of the cost of procurement.
2013-03-01 02:47 PM
Cockroach Financial theorists write off sunk cost if you can't get any monetary value out of it. An analogy is having paid $X for a video store membership (remember those?) of a local store and then a competitor (say Blockbuster) comes around offering cheaper rentals and no membership fees. So whatever was invested in the Arrow at the time was just.. written off.

While Diefenbaker was probably right to have bought U.S.-made a/c, it did not account for the economic benefits developing one's own industry would provide, like forsaking the local video store for Blockbuster.
2013-03-01 01:49 PM
99semaj I guess we need to be careful with the term "commit" since technically there is no purchase commitment at all. Let me rephrase in a way that I think is in line with your quoted source..."The previous government put us on a path to the F-35, and the current government signalled its intention to stay on that path"
2013-03-01 11:06 AM
nic78 @99semaj

The previous Liberal government did not commit to buy F-35, they only committed $200 million to the R&D costs in order to allow Canadian Aerospace companies to bid on contracts.

Level 3 industrial partner

An F-35 Lightning II test aircraft with the Canadian flag, along with those of other industrial participants, painted on it.
Alan S. Williams of Queen's University, the former Assistant Deputy Minister of National Defence (Matériel) who signed the original industrial participation agreement, has indicated that he believes that the Government of Canada's rationale for joining the JSF project was not due to an urgent need to replace the Canadian Forces' fleet of CF-18 Hornets; instead, it was driven primarily by economics.[5] Through the Government of Canada's investment in the JSF project, Williams says that Canadian companies were allowed to compete for contracts within the JSF project, as there were fears that being shut out from industrial participation in such a large program would severely damage the Canadian aviation industry.[5] Joining the JSF project also furthered Canadian Forces access to information regarding the F-35 as a possible contender when it eventually plans to replace the CF-18 Hornet fleet. Improved interoperability with major allies allowed the Canadian Forces to gain insight on leading edge practices in composites, manufacturing and logistics, and offered the ability to recoup some investment if the Government of Canada did decide to purchase the F-35.[5]
As a result of the Government of Canada's investment in the JSF project, 144 contracts were awarded to Canadian companies, universities, and government facilities. Financially, the contracts are valued at US$490 million for the period 2002 to 2012, with an expected value of US$1.1 billion from current contracts in the period between 2013 and 2023, and a total potential estimated value of Canada's involvement in the JSF project from US$4.8 billion to US$6.8 billion.[5]
2013-03-01 07:50 AM
JamesK ^^^^
The Diefenbaker government made similar arguments when canceling the Avro Arrow. They took all the development costs and the actual production costs and claimed the Arrow was going to be $X per plane, but we could buy the American plane for $Y, which is much cheaper. But they "forgot" to include the money already spent in developing the Arrow, so that investment was thrown away. If they'd considered the actual production costs going forward, the Arrow would have done better in comparison.
2013-02-28 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by travisc View Post
Spin, spin, spin! The Cons added 12 years of "development" up to 2022 when the last plane is delivered, which cost $550ish million into the total, so they can claim that the per year costs haven't really increased. Apples to apples, the number is 30 years at $45 billion.

It's further worth noting that during the election they tried to foist the $15 billion number on us, while the secret DND number was $25 billion. So let's consider the entire life cycle of the spin on this thing before we try to claim they're not pulling the wool over our eyes.
Obvious political bias aside for a moment, I chuckle at the notion of this costing model...if I tell my wife I want to buy a house for a million dollars, I don't factor in the cost of utilities and groceries for the years we will live in the house, the cost of the fertiliser for the lawn each year or the cost of booze for all the parties we might host in it....those are sunk costs because we are going to spend that money whether we live in that house or a different one.

Same thing applies here. We have pilots, bases and maintenance costs regardless of what airframe we fly. This is just partisan BS. And lets not forget that the current government didn't commit to the F35, the previous government did. The same government that squandered $500M in helicopter cancellation fees just to play smoke-and-mirrors politics.

Now a legit discussion could be held around whether Canada even needs fighter jets for the type of military work we anticipate doing...intuitively I think the answer is that we do need interceptor capability, but maybe an advanced stealth fighter is not the answer...
2013-02-28 04:36 PM
Do Terry Milewski and Boeing read Digital Home Forum?

Terry Milewski did a investigative report on how Boeing could provide the Super Hornet at half the cost of the purported costs, and operational costs of the F35. I haven't looked at his footnotes and sources, but it all could have come from the Digital Home Forum!
It is worth looking at if you haven't seen it yet.
2012-12-12 11:28 PM
travisc Spin, spin, spin! The Cons added 12 years of "development" up to 2022 when the last plane is delivered, which cost $550ish million into the total, so they can claim that the per year costs haven't really increased. Apples to apples, the number is 30 years at $45 billion.

It's further worth noting that during the election they tried to foist the $15 billion number on us, while the secret DND number was $25 billion. So let's consider the entire life cycle of the spin on this thing before we try to claim they're not pulling the wool over our eyes.
2012-12-12 10:31 PM
Jake Does any country use 20 year life-cycles for military aircraft of this nature? The Americans must have laughed at our governments use of 20 years for the F-35s. This is what the Americans do,

It counts every possible cost to operate and modernize the F-35 during a 25-year production run, followed by a 30-year operational life. It represents a half-century’s worth of fuel, parts, upgrades, and even related construction costs

And some people get cranky over 3 year cell phone contracts.
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