Tag Archives: Canada

The F-35 takes a hit – from Canada

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II on Tuesday 22 November took a major hit. Not in any mock 1 vs 1 dog fight or any large scale military exercise, but in the political arena. By choosing the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as an interim solution to its immediate fighter jet needs, Canada is signalling that the F-35’s development takes to long and its price tag is to high.

Canada is looking to buy 18 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as  immediate replacements of ageing ‘legacy’ model F-18 Hornets. If a deal with Boeing is finalized, delivery of new jets should take no more than two or three years.

With the F-35, that would take considerably longer, not to mention the fact that development and testing of this 5th generation fighter jet – and its software along with it – may not even be finished by then. Recent progress in the program still doesn’t mean the jet is capable of firing its internal gun, for example.

Later purchase

Canada has pondered and postponed an F-35 purchase for many years. Today’s selection of the Super Hornet does not exclude the possibility that the Canadian government in Ottawa may still purchase the F-35 at a later stage. However, the 400 billion USD weapons program has been the subject of much criticism in Canada, especially its 100 million USD per piece price tag.

A RAAF F-18 in flight (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
An F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Partner nation

Nevertheless, Canada’s choice is remarkable and concerning for Lockheed Martin and the F-35’s Joint Program Office (JPO) in Washington, since the country is a level 3 partner in the program. Other level 3 partners are Australia, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, all of which have selected the F-35 as their new fighter jet.

Unique

In fact, Canada now is unique in being the only partner nation in the program not to actually buy the F-35 – for now. By doing so, it’s industry will benefit from taking part in the program, without tax payers having to cough up billions of dollars to actually buy the jets. For other nations however, it means that their jets will have higher price tags, since fewer jets sold means that development and production costs per aircraft remain higher than anticipated. That will cause some sour faces in other partner nations.

A CF-188 is preparing for flight at Bagotville in Quebec (Image © Corporal Marc-André Gaudreault, Canadian Forces Combat Camera / DND-MDN)
One of Canada’s ageing ‘legacy’ Hornets. (Image © Corporal Marc-André Gaudreault, Canadian Forces Combat Camera / DND-MDN)

Reputation

Yes, both Lockheed Martin and Ottawa will downplay this and probably point to a possible Canadian fighter jet competition still to be held. But the truth is, it is a major hit for the JPO’s promise of lower unit costs and the F-35’s reputation – which saw a change for the better in 2016, partly due to appearances in the Netherlands and the UK.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of other fighter jet competitions that see the F-35 and Super Hornet go head to head, such as the current ones in Belgium and Finland. The former beat the latter earlier this year in Denmark. Following today’s decision in Canada, that makes the score even.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

 

Swedish-Canadian aircraft “to make stealth obsolete”

Behold of the newest invention from Sweden. It doesn’t come in flat cardboard box, but in a fancy composite materials finishing on the back of a Canadian designed business jet. The Saab/Bombardier GlobalEye 6000 is about to make stealth technology, like of the Lockheed Martin F-35 and the Irkut T-50, obsolete.

Or at least that is what Micael Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence Systems, is telling these days. The GlobalEye will automatically detect and track air and surface targets over a huge area, both on land, at sea and in the air.

‘Stealthy’ aircraft

Ground surveillance of moving vehicles can be conducted through long-range, wide-area ground moving target indication (GMTI) radar modes. The GlobalEye system can track very low-observable air and sea targets, including ‘stealthy’ aircraft, cruise missiles or submarine periscopes, even in heavy clutter and jamming environments.

Surveillance

“GlobalEye is a game changer that delivers a unique swing-role capability for simultaneous air, maritime and ground surveillance in a single solution, with the ability to change role dynamically, while airborne during any mission,” says Johansson.

Saab Erieye

The new radar system is marketed on the back of a Bombardier Global 6000 business jet. It is the successor of the Saab Erieye, of which 22 have been delivered on different aircraft to various countries: Brazil (5 R-99 (Embraer E145/Saab Erieye)), Greece (4 EMB-145H (Embraer E145/Saab Erieye), Pakistan (4 Saab Erieye 2000 (Saab 2000), United Arab Emirates (2 Saab 2000 Erieye, plus 2 Bombardier Global 6000/Erieye ordered), Saudi Arabia (2 Saab 2000 Erieye (Saab 2000), Sweden (2 Saab S 100D (Saab 340/Saab Erieye)), Thailand (2 S 100B (Saab 340/Saab Erieye), Mexico (1 E-99 (Embraer E145/Saab Erieye).

United Arab Emirates AEW&C

The United Arab Emirates will be the first to field a version of the new radar mounted onto the Global 6000, of an order placed in November 2015. Although there is some criticism in Swedish parliament against selling the AEW&C system to countries at war (the UAE fights in Yemen), the deal is considered to go through.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: Computer rendering of the new Swedish-Canadian Saab/Bombardier GlobalEye 6000 (Image © Saab AB)

Canadian F-18 Hornets ‘knock it off’

Royal Canadian Air Force F-18 Hornets end their contribution to the fight against Daesh forces in Iraq and Syria in two weeks, the Canadian government announced on Monday 8 February. The Canadian mission went by the name of Operation Impact and until 1 February totalled 237 air strikes.

Canada’s liberal prime-minister Justin Trudeau was sworn into office last November and had promised voters to stop Canadian bombing. Trudeau now lives up to that promise, much to the dismay of the US and coalition partners.

The aircraft from Canada started their contribution on 2 November 2014, flying only missions over Iraq. In April 2015, the Canadian government also authorized missions over Syria. Six F-18 Hornets and CC-150 Polaris tanker were involved. The aircraft operated from Kuwait all the time.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A RCAF CF-188 Hornet escorting a CC-150 Polaris (Image © Sgt Alain Martineau / DND-MDN Canada)

Bombardier CS100 certified in Canada

Canada has issued a Transport Canada Type Certification to Bombardier’s new CS100 CSeries aircraft, the company reported on Friday 18 December.

The certification is the result of  a comprehensive and rigorous testing program, which included more than 3,000 flight test hours and the validation of thousands of test results. The result paves the way for the delivery and entry into service of the CS100 with first launch customer SWISS in the first half of 2016.

Certification is the second major scoop for Bombardier and its CSeries, following the type’s international trade show debut during the Paris Air Show in June. Both follow a development and test phase that was marked by delays. Also, the CS100 is falling behind in sales, with Bombardier to no avail trying to get Airbus involved on the program.

Cash

The Canadians are now reportedly looking for a business partner in China, and have also asked the Canadian government for a cash injection. Meanwhile, certification for the larger CS300 is expected within the next six months.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

The CS100 flight deck. (Image © elmer van Hest)
The CS100 flight deck. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Flight tests Bombardier C Series getting somewhere

Bombardier is getting somewhere with the flight tests of its new CS100 aircraft. More than 80 percent of the required certification tests have been made, with more than 2,250 flight test hours clocked up till 20 August 2015.

Earlier in the summer, Bombardier announced that the C Series aircraft’s maximum range is confirmed to be up to 3,300 nautical miles (6,112 km), some 350 nautical miles (648 km) more than originally targeted. According to the Canadian company the aircraft is delivering more than a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage compared to in-production aircraft, and a greater than 10 per cent advantage compared to future re-engined aircraft.

The C Series is undergoing testing to confirm aircraft’s relatively low community noise level is up to 20 Effective Perceived Noise in Decibels (EPNdB) below the Federal Aviation Authority’s so-called Stage 4 limit, making it a nice choice for city centre operations.

Currently both the CS100 and CS300 are under development, focusing on the 100- to 150-seat market segment. The aircraft have a 95 per cent parts commonal­ity, as well as the same type rating. They are powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines.

Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 603 C Series aircraft, which include firm orders for 243.

Source: Bombardier
Featured image: The Bombardier CS100 Flight Test Vehicle-5 in Swiss livery (Image © Bombardier)