Anything and everything anytime
The Lockheed F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighter undergoing final development and testing by the United States. The fifth generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, and air defense missions.
This is arguably the most sophisticated high-tech fighter jet in the world. It is basically a super powerful 360 degree sensor platform that can fire at enemy aircraft way before the enemy planes would even know it is there. It doesn’t even have to be facing the enemy planes when it fires its missiles. It can be flying away from enemy aircraft and shoot missiles that would pull a 180 and go after the bad guys.
In other words, this jet is way too advanced for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canada doesn’t need a weapon system like this. This jet is made to engage top of the line fighters from China and Russia if all hell was to break loose. In all likelihood Canada would not be involved in such a conflict. Canada gives its token support to Allied operations as it did in the Balkan wars of the 1990’s and as it does today against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Putting such an advanced and incredibly expensive fighter in harms way in these brush wars makes no sense. There are fighters out there that are extremely capable of fulfilling Canada’s strategic and tactical military necessities that are half the price.
F-35 in Canadian mock-up
The current price for a single F-35 jet in Canadian dollars is $120 million. Canada wants to buy 65 of them. Canada doesn’t need to spend that kind of money on a Lamborghini jet, when there are Cadillac jets out there for half the price that are completely capable. The Boeing F-18 Super Hornet would fit the bill perfectly. Current single F-18 Super Hornet price is 60-70 million dollars apiece. For long range patrols over the arctic, the Super Hornet has two engines as opposed to the single engine in the F-35. Better to have two engines when flying thousands of kilometres from an airstrip.
Trudeau said the savings from not buying the F-35 would go to building arctic patrol ships. There we go, more bang for the buck!
F-35 General characteristics
F-18 Super Hornet
F-18 Super Hornet General characteristics
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