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New Fast Jets for Canada

Both the Hornet and Super are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighters with the F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F twin-seat variants larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.

Although they do share many characteristics, avionics, ejection seats, radar, armament, mission computer software, and maintenance/operating procedures, the ‘Rhinos’ are significantly heavier and about 20% larger.

The Rhino is 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) heavier maximum weight than the Legacy version and carries 33% more internal fuel, which increases its mission range by 41% and endurance by 50%. It also is equipped with an aerial refuelling system (ARS) or “buddy store” for refuelling other aircraft, filling an airborne tanker role the U.S. Navy lost with the retirement of the Intruder and Viking tankers.

The advanced cockpit system (ACS) of the latest Hornet iteration now being offered as a possible to Canada, takes the legacy displays of the Block II and puts them all into one big touchscreen similar to the F-35 display. Conformal fuel tanks (CFT) should, slightly increase the range of the Block III Super Hornet hold around 3,500 pounds more fuel and bringing up closer the the range of the F-35C.

It will have special coating to further reduce its radar signature and a powerful new Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) mission computer and Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) data link, however TTNT won’t allow the Block III Super Hornet to receive data directly from or pass data like the F-35 but rely on the still relevant but 30 year old Link-16 tactical data link system. The block III’s service life has been extended from 6,000 to 10,000hrs

But… the Hornet family are not stealthy. Very capable with a reasonably small RCS for a 4th gen plane they will certainly play a role for decades to come… but against a true 5th gen stealth fighter it is still at the moment 'bringing a knife to a gun fight.'
 
I was/am, describing what we now know as the F-18 as "bigger, newer, (with) added-goodness", in comparison to the small(er) original F-18 ( . . . the F-16 contemporary/competitor).

I am aware that what we now know as the "bigger, newer, (with) added-goodness" F-18, is smaller than the BFO . . . F-14, that has/is being superceeded.

I have no knowledge of relative/comparative service times/requirements.
With respect to the newer model Super Hornet, it's a bit more complicated than that. The US navy are replacing their older model Hornets with a mixture of Super Hornets and F35Cs.

The US marines are eventually replacing their (older model) Hornets with F35Cs (the F35Bs are replacing their Harriers). However that replacement will be phased in over a number of years, and for now they are upgrading their Hornets to extend their life out to around the 2030 time frame or beyond. Canada will be doing the same upgrades to its Hornets as the US marines. The two are sharing development costs to save money. The upgrades include fitting components from the Super Hornet into the older Hornet, such as radar.

Australia replaced some of their F18s with Super Hornets, and are replacing the rest with F35As. They will be operating a mixture of both models out to their full life. A mixed fleet for a small air force tends to be suboptimal due to cost and maintenance burden. They felt forced into it however due to how late the F35 program was and they had no reassurances about getting new planes before the old ones had to be replaced.

Finland kicked off their Hornet replacement program about a year before Canada did and expect to award a contract about three to six months after Canada does and expect to start to take delivery of new planes and complete delivery and reach full operation at the same time as Canada. They are looking at the same five planes that Canada were originally looking at. The two programs followed remarkably similar paths on similar time scales. I don't know how Finland expect to handle the same issues which led the US and Canada to pursue upgrades. It would not surprise me if they have some of their Hornets upgraded in the US or Canada to the same standard for the same reasons.

So, the Hornet (original model) replacement goes something like this:
  • US Navy - replace with a mixture of Super Hornet and F35C.
  • Australia - replace with a mixture of Super Hornet and F35A.
  • US Marines - upgrade existing Hornets and eventually replace with F35C (the F35B is the Harrier replacement).
  • Canada - upgrade existing Hornets and eventually replace with TBD.
  • Finland - possibly upgrade existing Hornets? (speculative) and eventually replace with TBD on the same time scale as Canada.
 
Canada has taken delivery of its first of 16 new SAR aircraft. The C-295 will be known in Canada as the "Kingfisher" (a type of bird).

A new era for military search-and-rescue begins with the Kingfisher


The Kingfishers will replace the existing Hercules and Buffaloes filling that role now. The (DeHavilland Canada) Buffaloes are used in mountainous areas where Hercules lack the performance necessary to serve adequately. The Kingfishers are supposed to fill both roles with one type.

Six aircraft are to be delivered in 2020. The first has arrived at Comox in BC and will remain there while the aircrew complete training. A maintenance trainer arrived at Comox in February, where a new training centre was built, including various simulators.

The planes will be based at Comox (BC), Trenton (Ontario), Greenwood (Nova Scotia), and Winnipeg (Manitoba).

 
Canada has taken delivery of its first of 16 new SAR aircraft. The C-295 will be known in Canada as the "Kingfisher" (a type of bird).

Well it's great that they're entering service, but the fact that it took *sixteen years* from the start of the process to get this far with a COTS airframe is ridiculous and shows how broken is military procurement nowadays.

The USAF has the right idea with the Digital Century Series; iterate rapidly, hit 90% of requirements and get something into service ASAP. Perfection is unattainable so don't aim for it.
 
Well it's great that they're entering service, but the fact that it took *sixteen years* from the start of the process to get this far with a COTS airframe is ridiculous and shows how broken is military procurement nowadays.

The USAF has the right idea with the Digital Century Series; iterate rapidly, hit 90% of requirements and get something into service ASAP. Perfection is unattainable so don't aim for it.
  • 2003 - Chretien makes it a priority project, funding allocated.
  • 2008 - Harper, deciding a whole new procurement strategy is needed, restarts the project.
  • 2010 - Harper again, decides the new strategy isn't good enough, so a new, new strategy is needed to replace the new strategy.
  • 2012 - Funding allocated again.
  • 2016 (January) - Harper gone, Trudeau just stepping into power. Bidding closed on project.
  • 2016 (June) - Bids evaluated.
  • 2016 (December) - Contract awarded.
  • 2020 - Airbus starts to deliver aircraft.

Through all this elements in the DND are busy trying to undermine the intent of the project so they could divert the money elsewhere. This includes "cooking" the specifications to suit a specific vendor, something that came out in an audit, created a huge scandal, and required the project to be rebooted (leading to Harper having to do it over a second time). Similar problems plagued the provisioning ships for the RCN, and the fighter replacement project (another huge scandal after DND officials were found to be cooking the specs). The Sikorsky ASW helicopters were a long running shambles about which I previously posted on this site that I thought should have been cancelled for gross non-performance of contract and bought Merlins instead.

There's talk about taking procurement away from the DND and giving it to a special procurement office.
 
New fast jets for Canada seems a bit of a joke given this thread started in 2017.

NATO and NORAD commitments being met?
 
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Both the Hornet and Super are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighters with the F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F twin-seat variants larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.

Although they do share many characteristics, avionics, ejection seats, radar, armament, mission computer software, and maintenance/operating procedures, the ‘Rhinos’ are significantly heavier and about 20% larger.

The Rhino is 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) heavier maximum weight than the Legacy version and carries 33% more internal fuel, which increases its mission range by 41% and endurance by 50%. It also is equipped with an aerial refuelling system (ARS) or “buddy store” for refuelling other aircraft, filling an airborne tanker role the U.S. Navy lost with the retirement of the Intruder and Viking tankers.

The advanced cockpit system (ACS) of the latest Hornet iteration now being offered as a possible to Canada, takes the legacy displays of the Block II and puts them all into one big touchscreen similar to the F-35 display. Conformal fuel tanks (CFT) should, slightly increase the range of the Block III Super Hornet hold around 3,500 pounds more fuel and bringing up closer the the range of the F-35C.

It will have special coating to further reduce its radar signature and a powerful new Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) mission computer and Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) data link, however TTNT won’t allow the Block III Super Hornet to receive data directly from or pass data like the F-35 but rely on the still relevant but 30 year old Link-16 tactical data link system. The block III’s service life has been extended from 6,000 to 10,000hrs

But… the Hornet family are not stealthy. Very capable with a reasonably small RCS for a 4th gen plane they will certainly play a role for decades to come… but against a true 5th gen stealth fighter it is still at the moment 'bringing a knife to a gun fight.'

derivative?

the Super Hornet was the best procurement trick the US Navy ever played on Congress.

it’s an entirely new design that shares only an outline similarity and the name, played off as just a better version of the ‘Hornet’.
 
derivative?

Yes, despite being a substantially differing aircraft and the US Navy retaining the F/A-18 designation to help sell the program to Congress as a low-risk "derivative", both Hornet and Super Hornet do share many characteristics, including avionics ejection seats, armaments, mission computer software, flying and maintenance/operating procedures. It was derived from the original Hornet so the word applies.
 
Yes, despite being a substantially differing aircraft and the US Navy retaining the F/A-18 designation to help sell the program to Congress as a low-risk "derivative", both Hornet and Super Hornet do share many characteristics, including avionics ejection seats, armaments, mission computer software, flying and maintenance/operating procedures. It was derived from the original Hornet so the word applies.

Im not so sure Photex hasent got the right of this

It would appear to be an entirely new airframe - so other than fastenings - little comonality there
Differrent Avionics fit
Differrent Engines
All the electrical harnesses will be differrent

I doubt theres very much apart from the likes of nuts bolts connectors** and the like thats interchangeable between the 2

Im not sure you can cite it catties the same weapons as a point for commonality - elstwise Mirage - Typhoon, F35, Phantom can all be said to have 20% commonality.

Of course it scores better than the RAFs we will just swap the engine from a piston to a Jet and voila a Jet trainer.

**And 99% of those are common to pretty much every thing flying out there.
 
Im not so sure Photex hasent got the right of this

It would appear to be an entirely new airframe - so other than fastenings - little comonality there
Differrent Avionics fit
Differrent Engines
All the electrical harnesses will be differrent

I doubt theres very much apart from the likes of nuts bolts connectors** and the like thats interchangeable between the 2

Im not sure you can cite it catties the same weapons as a point for commonality - elstwise Mirage - Typhoon, F35, Phantom can all be said to have 20% commonality.

Of course it scores better than the RAFs we will just swap the engine from a piston to a Jet and voila a Jet trainer.

**And 99% of those are common to pretty much every thing flying out there.
Previously in this thread I wrote a post commenting on an open letter from more than a dozen retired RCAF generals recommending that Canada buy used Australian F-18s as an interim jet (to boost the size of the RCAF, which was part of the new defence plan) instead of buying Super Hornets. The Auditor General in a report also recommended against buying Super Hornets as an interim jet.

The reason is that there is so much difference between the original Hornet and the Super Hornet that there is little in the way of skills carry-over for pilots or maintenance personnel. They would need to be retrained whether it was the Super Hornet or some completely different aircraft.

Buying the Super Hornet would result in a split fleet, which would require more personnel and higher cost, reducing capability as compared to a unified fleet.

So the Hornet and Super Hornet are not really very closely related.
 
So on the one hand Canada is advised little commonality, while in the US, Congress appears to have been swayed by commonality.

Seems not a few have been divided over the subject, and I not alone on the subject.
 
So on the one hand Canada is advised little commonality, while in the US, Congress appears to have been swayed by commonality.

Seems not a few have been divided over the subject, and I not alone on the subject.

Or put another way
People advised by experts in the field accepted the arguments that there was little transferable in terms of parts - procedures and technical familuarity.


People lobbied by reps of major industry and an armed service that needed something fast* were swayed by the Super Hornet name.

I cannot think of a single Military or engineering individual who has ever claimed the 2 had more in common than the name.
In fact I would go sa far as to suggest the bulk of the lots in common argument is because they share the name.

Much like Challenger 2 has lots in common with Challenger (1)


*And lets be honest lack of commonality isnt an issue when you are replacing F14s - which couldnt be more differrent to the F18 if they tried.
 
Previously in this thread I wrote a post commenting on an open letter from more than a dozen retired RCAF generals recommending that Canada buy used Australian F-18s as an interim jet (to boost the size of the RCAF, which was part of the new defence plan) instead of buying Super Hornets. The Auditor General in a report also recommended against buying Super Hornets as an interim jet.

The reason is that there is so much difference between the original Hornet and the Super Hornet that there is little in the way of skills carry-over for pilots or maintenance personnel. They would need to be retrained whether it was the Super Hornet or some completely different aircraft.

Buying the Super Hornet would result in a split fleet, which would require more personnel and higher cost, reducing capability as compared to a unified fleet.

So the Hornet and Super Hornet are not really very closely related.

Basically, the same plan as the USMC.
 
Basically, the same plan as the USMC.
Who had their sights set firmly on the B and did not want anything messing with that purchase.

Canada doesn’t seem to have a clue...but wait, the pace is definitely picking up.

...so by 2025 they anticipate something new...unless there are further changes.
 
Basically, the same plan as the USMC.
Canada are working jointly with the US marines on the upgrade package for the F-18. Details can be found in these previous posts, with the first dating back to January and the most recent from early August.


The US marines are planning on keeping their older model F-18s flying for at least as long as Canada are.
 
Who had their sights set firmly on the B and did not want anything messing with that purchase.
For the US marines, the F-35B is the replacement for the Harrier. The replacement for their F-18s is the F-35C. They have already taken delivery of some of the latter, so they currently have both F-35B and F-35C. However, as noted previously on this thread, that procurement will be a lengthy affair and they intend to keep F-18s in service until the 2030s.

Canada doesn’t seem to have a clue...but wait, the pace is definitely picking up.

...so by 2025 they anticipate something new...unless there are further changes.
The news about bids having been received was posted here back in July when it was announced. The date had been delayed at the request of Boeing.
 

Mufulira

War Hero
For the US marines, the F-35B is the replacement for the Harrier. The replacement for their F-18s is the F-35C. They have already taken delivery of some of the latter, so they currently have both F-35B and F-35C. However, as noted previously on this thread, that procurement will be a lengthy affair and they intend to keep F-18s in service until the 2030s.


The news about bids having been received was posted here back in July when it was announced. The date had been delayed at the request of Boeing.
This decision has all the hallmarks of the new Service Pistol bid --plenty of hearking back to WWII Browning High Power and time for a new pistol --- but no-one asks pistol users,regular users anyway what does and doesn't meet requirements or calibre choice, 9mm or .40? As CAF no longer use SMG's a calibre change might be inthe offing?
 
This decision has all the hallmarks of the new Service Pistol bid --plenty of hearking back to WWII Browning High Power and time for a new pistol --- but no-one asks pistol users,regular users anyway what does and doesn't meet requirements or calibre choice, 9mm or .40? As CAF no longer use SMG's a calibre change might be inthe offing?
9mm is the NATO standard calibre, so there's no reason to pick anything else.

As for .40 calibre, it was a fad whose time came and went. It's well on its way to being an obsolete calibre with all the problems that entails.
 

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