What’s Canada Buying? September 10, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Someone wanted to replace the (proposed) F-35 with what again? “The Harper Conservatives quietly dismissed a Canadian company’s plan for an alternative to the plagued F-35 program — a revival of a national legend that one of the country’s most celebrated infantry commanders says is far superior to the planned American purchase. The alternative aircraft can fly 20,000 feet higher than the F-35, soar twice as fast and will cost less, the project’s organizers wrote in documents obtained by the Global News program The West Block. The jet in question is the storied CF-105 Avro Arrow — the project designed, produced and tested more than half a century ago, before the government suddenly cancelled the program and ordered all data destroyed, sparking an enduring political debate. From the pages of history, a consortium of Canadian manufactures and aerospace executives in July 2010 presented a plan to the federal government that would see the 1950s CF-105 Avro Arrow upgraded and re-modelled with modern technology. The result, they say, will be a jet that flies faster and more powerfully than the F-35 — or much else on the market. “The basic design and platform still today exceed anything that’s on the books, or anything that’s flying by way of a fighter — easily more than the F-35,” said retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, a staunch defender of Canada and its military missions. MacKenzie is a core advocate for this project, although he says he holds no financial stake in it ….” – more on the idea here and here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) An update from the U.S. “The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter–aka the “Lightning II”–will be starting its Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) on Monday. It’s basically an evaluation of the early block F-35s and the training pipeline to make certain that the jets are safe and robust enough to operate during routine training operations. Should the F-35 pass muster with the operational test community, Air Education and Training Command (AETC) will approve the formal start of training operations at Eglin AFB, Florida, sometime early next year. Pilots at Eglin say that there is every indication that the F-35 and the syllabus they have designed will make the grade ….”