The Tories are damned if they do damned if they don't, so they might as well do the right thing and purchase these Fighter Jets because the Military needs them and at least those in the Military will appreciate it unlike the Anti-Military establishment who would rather have the Military relying on NATO members for spare parts like they did during the Kosovo War, a War which had the UN's seal of approval..
If I were a Canadian I would be interested in being able to threaten or discourage exploration and development vessels and equipment from competing powers in the waters of the Arctic Ocean. How does one do that? Warships and attack aircraft.
I've had these discussions with people but Canada's best chance in a defense is not a 100 aircraft but planning for an asymmetric conflict. To that end, stockpiling weapons like
FGM-148 Javelin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (external - login to view)
You can get about 50-100 of these for price and maintainence of a single tank.
Worse case scenario, these can be used by Canadian Guerillas who can hide and/or mount a FGM- 148 Javelin on the back of a GM pickup. A Chinese, Russian or American tank on the Highway wouldn't even know what hit them!
Thesis: Aircraft have no purpose beyond a Clausewitzian method.
Industrial production had increased in Germany; despite the strategic bombardments that amounted to terrorism on the civilian population.
Poor confirmation and overclaiming of aerial victories. Brush aside the newsreels, historians more or less agree that almost 50%; if not more, of real air losses were due to anti-aircraft guns.
Myth that "air power" had won the Western Front. We had P-51 Mustang Pilots, whose aircraft are equipped with 20-mm cannons, claiming by the hundreds that they've "taken out" a Panther Tank which has a 120mm armor... not possible... We were apparently killing more German tanks than those which actually existed on the Western Front - most of the Panthers and Konistigers were on the Easter nFront.
We won the Western Front because we were fighting 10% of the German army and that 10%'s morale was rock bottom when it became clear that the Eastern Front was being lost.
And even then, it is widely known that the Germans had air superority and contestation throughout the Eastern Front.
Our battles with the Germans amounted to pure propaganda. We were writing newsreels about fighting Germans in North Africa, even though the Germans had 4 divisions in Northern Africa and 193 Divisions in Russia... Uh huh...
While aircraft were important during the Pacific War; in that, carrier-launched planes were a method to sink Japanese logistics. On the other hand, airpower didn't accomplish much during the Battle of Iwo Jima and most military Japanese losses throughout the war were due to disease and starvation - not tactical bombardments from aircraft. In our contemporary day, we can use missiles over aircraft.
During the Yugoslav Conflict, we literally had all the airpower in the world and we couldn't stop the Serbs from running around and acting like brigands.
During the Gulf War, the A-10 pilots weren't comfortable with ground attack missions.
Most of Saddam's tanks were taken out; not from A-10s, but from infantry with M47 Dragon Anti-Tank missiles and M1 Abrams which had a range and armanent advantage over Saddam's monkey model tanks.
In 2003, air power didn't make its show and once again it was the tank and infantry that was doing the dangerous work. Even then; facing an opponent with rusted T-72s and militias armed with RPG-7s, it still took two week to enter Baghdad (contrary to "shock and awe" morons on the internet who think a country can be conquered in a day).
In Afghanistan, air power hasn't done a thing for us in regards to winning that insurgency.
Conclusion: The underlining theme are that aircraft are Clausewitzian method and are otherwise useless in tactical conflict against a determined opponent. Furthermore, most of the time they are grounded less we get incidents like a "Stealth Bomber", as was the case in Yugoslavia, being shot down by an obsolete infantry launched SA-7 Grail ground-to-air missile.
True... overwhelming air power can win a war but we've never come close to such figures. 5000 Aircraft (U.S. Airforce) sounds like a lot but only half of those are ground attack aircraft and we have 2000 Aircraft "tasked" with eliminating a half million to million men in uniform... it's simply not possible! Ground attack aircraft have to "go in" for the "kill" and consequentially, that means even a .50 Caliber machine gun has a chance of taking one out.
Economically, for the price of a single fighter jet we can purchase 15 tanks or purchase 20,000 missiles for an infantry missile system.
Why even bother with aircraft? Propaganda. Once the world finds out how useless these things are; much like the battleships of the old (which was a major military industrial complex in Britain), you won't see anymore money wasted on them.
Even then I think people are starting to have doubts. Afghanistan has proven that aircraft isn't making a difference there - no more than it made a difference in Vietnam.
In the 1920's, everyone had believed that future armies would consist of parachuters... The Soviet Union was the most progressive in that regard.
Fast forward to Crete and most parachuters died when landing into trees, were shot by Greek farmers with shotguns, et al.
People are quick to disregard infantry as useless but they're fools. Infantry doesn't need a huge logistic train. Infantry can dig himself a hole to hid in. Infantry doesn't produce a defeaning engine sound. And infantry, can lug around a missile platform that can fire a missile 5 kilometers away and nail a tank. Most importantly; infantry is cheap and replacable.
Second you lose your $100 million aircraft it's gone. It's another when you lose a conscript who is worth less than his equipment.
Then don't cry if Canada were to ever need defending and the USA is up here in a heartbeat BECAUSE we're under equipped and overwhelmed. And you know they'll do it too!(As they should). And then people(and posters)who didn't support a functional military will have a bunch of bleeding hearts, "Why is AMERICA in MY country!?!?! PATROLLING MY SKIES! WE'RE BEING OCCUPIED!!!".Quote has been trimmed, See full post:
Well boo hoo! Another country has to defend us now because we could never agree on how to equip our military. This wasn't so hard in past generations, I'm sure of it. When you need new war ships, you order new war ships. When you need new planes, you order new planes. Look at the vast improvements in firearms over the years. We've purposely upgraded every step of the way. Who uses a flint lock rifle anymore?
We need the jets. We should aggressively agree to a price BEFORE the cost goes up. The F35 Lightening II is an impressive state of the art machine. It's single seated, can perform ground attacks, reconnaissance, air combat, short takeoff, vertical landing and it has the latest stealth capabilities.
Most importantly, if we get them they would eventually be shown off at the Abbotsford Air Show, and I would get to go.
I think your last sentence says it all. To you these aircraft are interesting toys. Don't worry, I'm sure the Americans will be kind enough to send a few up here for you to look at; and it won't cost the country almost $30 billion.
I know... which is why the essay was okay in as far as it goes, until that last paragraph, at which point it does a crash and burn.
Pity, because otherwise it wasn't a bad essay.
Did you know that for $30 billion, Canada could spend $12 billion of that to launch its own GPS satellite system, with most of the money staying at home because Canada has the engineers and skilled workers to design and build the things. We'd only have to pay for their launch, and Russia's been selling that service cheep these days.
That leaves $18 billion. From that we spend two billion to build the command and control center, leaving $16 billion.
At a unit price of $4.5 million, we could pay Bombardier to build three thousand, five hundred and fifty five drones - money stays at home - and remember, drones are re-usable unlike cruise missiles.
With that, we can have pilots safely at home with not just 65 piloted craft, but with 3555 remote controlled craft having a better range than F-35s.
...*plus* we'd have our own GPS system which we could tune to have better resolution than the US system will allow (for policy reasons) for civilian purposes.
A system like that would me *much* more useful for northern patrol, and if we ever need to participate in some kind of UN/NATO thing, we're not risking pilot lives for what is and always has been a favor.
Plus, when not in combat (i.e. most of the time) they could be put to use patrolling for drug and people smugglers.
With that many craft, it might be possible to actually get some traction.
(Canada's west-coast is very porous to drug-and-people smugglers because there's a steady stream of hobby boaters from the US constantly sailing up and down between California and Alaska, such that it's impossible to stop and search them all. Smugglers disguise themselves as American hobby boaters, and when nobody's looking they stop at one of the hundreds of islands and coves along the coast and do their drop. One of the biggest drop points is the island of Texada, in case anyone's curious.)
Given what *could* be done with $30 billion, those F-35's are obviously a boondoggle...
... Military-surplus, made obsolete by the end of the Cold War, being flogged off on Canadian taxpayers at top-dollar to puff up the profit margins of Harpo's Plutocratic puppet masters.