New Fast Jets for Canada

This thread is dedicated to Canada's efforts to replace its existing F-18s with new planes. Previous debate on this topic has taken place as tangential discussions in the F-35 thread. This thread will provide a place to discuss events in a broader sense, as there is no decision yet in Canada as to what plane to buy.

As a baseline for discussion, here's events up to this point for those who want to know how things got to where they currently stand. This is very brief and leaves out many of the twists and turns in this saga.
  • Back in the early days of the F-35 program, Canada signed up as one of the original development partners. This took place under the same party as is presently in power.
  • Subsequent to that, a change of government took place, but the new government maintained the same course with respect to this program.
  • Following a major scandal after an auditor's report showed costs rising far beyond what the government was budgeting, that government backed away from deciding to buy the F-35.
  • Formally, the government's position was that they had yet to choose whether to buy the F-35 as a sole source purchase without entertaining other bids, or whether to hold an open competition.
  • At the last election, there was a change of government. The new government has committed to holding an open competition (one of the options open to the previous government).
The planes being considered are (in no particular order):
  • The new generation Boeing F-18, often known as the Super Hornet.
  • F-35
  • Typhoon
  • Rafale
  • Gripen NG
The first and main role for these aircraft will be for the defence of Canada, with defence of North America (i.e. the US as well) coming into play via NORAD. NATO roles such as Baltic air patrols will be secondary, and anything else will be considered as and if it may arise.

The implications of this are that suitability for air defence in Canada's Arctic will be the overwhelmingly important criteria when choosing a plane. The ability to do things such as bomb Iran will be in the "nice to have" category, and will have little reason to receive much consideration when comparing options.

The decision will be based on:
  • price,
  • ability to meet the main role (as described above),
  • industrial benefits (industry workshare and technology transfer).
 
Recently, the Canadian government has stated a requirement for 18 "interim" jets to supplement the existing planes until the new "permanent" fleet was bought. The reason stated for this was a new requirement to be able to meet both NATO and NORAD commitments simultaneously.

Since the end of the cold war (when there was a dedicated NATO element based in Europe) Canada has operated on the basis of being able to meet one or the other, but not both at the same time. The new policy is to be able to do both at once, as was done in the Cold War. No reason has been given for this change of policy.

The government opened negotiations with Boeing to buy 18 Super Hornet for this interim fleet to be delivered ASAP. This was a controversial decision, and has since run into some major snags. Supposedly the selection of the "interim" plane was not intended to influence which plane was selected for the permanent fleet which would replace both the existing and interim ones. However, there was concern that it would have a major influence, undermining the promised open competition.

This post brings the current situation up to date. The next one will cover major new developments in the purchase of interim planes which may also have additional consequences for the selection of the permanent fleet.
 
This post starts discussion of the current events.

There have been several news stories about a major snag in the purchase of the interim planes. Basically it amounts to Boeing now being on Canada's shit list due to trade issues. Liberals halt contact with Boeing on Super Hornets as trade dispute escalates

To make a long story short, Boeing has picked a fight with Canada over exports of Bombardier's new small jet liner. While Bombardier's new plane does not currently compete directly with anything that Boeing makes, Boeing sees them as a future competitor and are determined to squash them now before they do produce something that does compete with one of their bread and butter planes, the 737. The shadow of Airbus is hanging over Boeing, who regret not having tried to destroy them before they were a major competitor.

Boeing has gone to the US government and asked them to put massive import duties on Bombardier's planes. This is not particularly unusual for US companies, and the US government has for years slapped massive import duties on Canadian imports when a major American industry complains. The US honours the NAFTA free trade agreement as and when it suits them, and ignores it when it doesn't. Hence, the actual facts of the case will have little relevance to how Boeing's request is received in the US.

Aerospace is a major industry in Canada, and the Canadian government have said they are not prepared to take this lying down. The defence minister and the minister in charge of government procurement have both come out publicly and stated that Boeing will suffer consequences if they pursue this course. Canada has halted discussions with Boeing over the purchase of "interim" F-18s.
The tit-for-tat trade spat between the Liberal government and Boeing over the future of the Super Hornet fighter jet purchase escalated Thursday with an acknowledgement that federal officials have been instructed to break off contact with the U.S. aerospace giant.

"We have suspended discussions with Boeing and that is what we have decided," Steve MacKinnon, the parliamentary secretary for the public works minister, told reporters following a speech to defence contractors.
Boeing was forced to scrap a public announcement of which suppliers and partners would be working on the project with them.
The public rebuke prompted Boeing to scrap the planned unveiling of its Canadian industry partners for the Super Hornet program Thursday morning.

The company cited the "current climate" for the decision.
Should this dispute continue, it has the potential to knock Boeing out of the running altogether and to advance the prospects of the other bidders for the permanent fleet.
 
This post starts discussion of the current events . . .

Should this dispute continue, it has the potential to knock Boeing out of the running altogether and to advance the prospects of the other bidders for the permanent fleet.
What about alternative suppliers for the "interim" requirement?!

@Magic_Mushroom, Does the RAF have any "full service record", "one careful owner", Tornadoes parked-up at the back of the used vehicle lot?! ;) .
 
Last edited:
What about alternative suppliers for the "interim" requirement?!

@Magic_Mushroom, Does the RAF have any "full service record", "one careful owner", Tornadoes parked-up at the back of the used vehicle lot?! ;) .
It will have in two years time!
 
My gut feeling is that the RCAF will end up with Gripens.
 
...Does the RAF have any "full service record", "one careful owner", Tornadoes parked-up at the back of the used vehicle lot?! ;) .
It will have in two years time!
Our Tornadoes are knackered, the RCAF requirement is for AD orientated jets, and they've not had FJ WSOs since they binned their F-101s over 30 years ago (stand fast some fossils on contractor operated Alpha Jets). Therefore, the Tornado GR4 is entirely the wrong type for the RCAF.

A far more credible interim option would be some Tranche 1 EF2000 from Germany or Italy or some refurbed FA-18Cs dragged out of the desert and bought under a govt-govt FMS deal so they can't be seen to have backed down re Boeing.

My gut feeling is that the RCAF will end up with Gripens.
They're relatively cheap but are the shortest ranged of the types being considered. Given the enormous expanse of Canada's 'high north', I'd suggest that that's kind of critical!

Regards,
MM
 

arfah

LE
i hope someone is pushing new Typhoons their way for the long term?
 
i hope someone is pushing new Typhoons their way for the long term?
The Canadian procurement environment is confusing as hell for potential bidders right now and EF are hindered in many respects by the politics of which nations take 'lead' for specific areas. If there's any sense, the UK will lead this for obvious reasons. But yes, overtures are being made.

In my view, Typhoon is the type most suited to Canada's long term needs (more so than the F-35) and the FVEY status of Canada would ensure they could get UK spec jets which we have of course spent considerable time integrating with US 4th and 5th Gen types. This would arguably be an important factor in a NORAD context.

However, as ever, capability will form only one aspect of the final decision.

Regards,
MM
 
Last edited:
Our Tornadoes are knackered, the RCAF requirement is for AD orientated jets, and they've not had FJ WSOs since they binned their F-101s over 30 years ago (stand fast some fossils on contractor operated Alpha Jets). Therefore, the Tornado GR4 is entirely the wrong type for the RCAF.

A far more credible interim option would be some Tranche 1 EF2000 from Germany or Italy or some refurbed FA-18Cs dragged out of the desert and bought under a govt-govt FMS deal so they can't be seen to have backed down re Boeing.



They're relatively cheap but are the shortest ranged of the types being considered. Given the enormous expanse of Canada's 'high north', I'd suggest that that's kind of critical!

Regards,
MM
It wasn't really a serious comment!

Anyway, what do think will happen to the GR4s and the thousands of cubic metres of tat that goes with them? G2G to other user nations?
 
My gut feeling is that the RCAF will end up with Gripens.
I dunno, they ended-up with the 'light' end of the spectrum back in the 1960s when gov.ca chose the F-5A instead of the force's preferred F-4. That choice haunted them* for several decades and I think they'll resist being shafted-for-cents again.


* One of their first ones set a new Canadian coast-to-coast record, 4.5 hours... with two stops for fuel. Not what you want for a country that size.
 
It wasn't really a serious comment!...
Don't get me wrong, I think Gripen is a very credible contender indeed for the RCAF, particularly the new E/F/NG variant.

However, it's still a tad short legged, is single engine (not ideal for lengthy trips over the arctic tundra) and would probably require some NORAD integration.

...what do think will happen to the GR4s and the thousands of cubic metres of tat that goes with them? G2G to other user nations?

Nobody will want our GR4s.

Regards,
MM
 
Don't get me wrong, I think Gripen is a very credible contender indeed for the RCAF, particularly the new E/F/NG variant.

However, it's still a tad short legged, is single engine (not ideal for lengthy trips over the arctic tundra) and would probably require some NORAD integration.



Nobody will want our GR4s.

Regards,
MM
But will anyone want the warehouses full of parts? Seriously?

PS. Gripen not my suggestion;)
 
This thread is dedicated to Canada's efforts to replace its existing F-18s with new planes. Previous debate on this topic has taken place as tangential discussions in the F-35 thread. This thread will provide a place to discuss events in a broader sense, as there is no decision yet in Canada as to what plane to buy.

As a baseline for discussion, here's events up to this point for those who want to know how things got to where they currently stand. This is very brief and leaves out many of the twists and turns in this saga.
  • Back in the early days of the F-35 program, Canada signed up as one of the original development partners. This took place under the same party as is presently in power.
  • Subsequent to that, a change of government took place, but the new government maintained the same course with respect to this program.
  • Following a major scandal after an auditor's report showed costs rising far beyond what the government was budgeting, that government backed away from deciding to buy the F-35.
  • Formally, the government's position was that they had yet to choose whether to buy the F-35 as a sole source purchase without entertaining other bids, or whether to hold an open competition.
  • At the last election, there was a change of government. The new government has committed to holding an open competition (one of the options open to the previous government).
The planes being considered are (in no particular order):
  • The new generation Boeing F-18, often known as the Super Hornet.
  • F-35
  • Typhoon
  • Rafale
  • Gripen NG
The first and main role for these aircraft will be for the defence of Canada, with defence of North America (i.e. the US as well) coming into play via NORAD. NATO roles such as Baltic air patrols will be secondary, and anything else will be considered as and if it may arise.

The implications of this are that suitability for air defence in Canada's Arctic will be the overwhelmingly important criteria when choosing a plane. The ability to do things such as bomb Iran will be in the "nice to have" category, and will have little reason to receive much consideration when comparing options.

The decision will be based on:
  • price,
  • ability to meet the main role (as described above),
  • industrial benefits (industry workshare and technology transfer).
You may as well cut that down to F-35 and Gripen NG. By the time Canada gets round to making a decision everything else will have closed the production line down.
 
But will anyone want the warehouses full of parts? Seriously?...
As ever, usable spares will be stripped and offered to other Tornado operators with the Saudis probably the most likely takers. But most of the airframes will be junked.

...PS. Gripen not my suggestion;)
Apologies; I was conflating responses!

Regards,
MM
 
As ever, usable spares will be stripped and offered to other Tornado operators with the Saudis probably the most likely takers. But most of the airframes will be junked.



Apologies; I was conflating responses!

Regards,
MM
Thanks - that's what I was afraid of.
 
I dunno, they ended-up with the 'light' end of the spectrum back in the 1960s when gov.ca chose the F-5A instead of the force's preferred F-4. That choice haunted them* for several decades and I think they'll resist being shafted-for-cents again.


* One of their first ones set a new Canadian coast-to-coast record, 4.5 hours... with two stops for fuel. Not what you want for a country that size.
If you've not seen it already, this is quite interesting on the F-5 buy
 
Top