A huge limiting factor of the F-35 is that it has just one engine. In a vast, sparsely populated country with extreme weather (yes, that would be Canada), twin-engine reliability is a huge bonus. One engine goes out – from a bird strike or mechanical failure, whatever – and you’ve still got one to let you limp back to the barn.
The F-35′s vastly more capable big brother, the F-22, has twin engines. So why just a single, massive jet engine for the F-35? There is an answer.
When the F-35 was conceived it had to (Read more…)
There’s one thing F-35 pilots won’t be seeing as much as they’d like – the inside of an F-35. Instead they’ll be spending a good deal more time pretending to be inside an F-35, in a simulator inside some cavernous hangar.
Now how the balance between actual stick and rudder time and simulator time is struck will depend on a lot of factors, some of them political.
One of the big political issues of the day, at least to prospective purchasers and operators of the F-35 light attack bomber, is the cost of operating the warplanes. Some critics (Read more…)
When you’re going “state of the art” you always run the risk that the adversaries you have in mind will quickly find the Achilles’ Heel(s) in your latest & greatest technology. It can be a lot easier and infinitely cheaper to find ways to counter a dramatic new technology than it was to create that advance in the first place. It’s the sort of thing that makes the boffins go “Doh” just like Homer Simpson.
There are growing signs of just that sort of early obsolescence happening with the overdue, over-priced and under-performing F-35 Joint Strike (Read more…) light attack bomber.
What do our “bad guys” know? Plenty. There has been plenty written about the F-35. They’re also believed to have stolen big chunks of its 9-million lines of code and other manufacturing and design data. The Iranians snagged one of Lockheed’s RQ-170 stealth drones and the Chinese are . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Need for Speed, Why Go Anywhere Without It?
Don’t Worry, This Will Only Hurt for a Second
The United States is refurbishing 200 nuclear bombs for use aboard the F-35 light attack bomber.
The old B-61 gravity bombs are being converted with new tail fin assemblies that will transform them into guided weapons. They’ll be kept at various bases in Europe from Belgium to Turkey.
Little Bundles of Instant Sunshine
“What will be going back to Europe will be a guided nuclear bomb,” [Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of Nuclear Scientists] said. “Especially when you combine it with F35 with stealth characteristics, that (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Nuclear Fangs for the F-35 – Obama’s Light Bomber
You can’t trust anything you read on a website that is not coloured blue. This is important to remember. If you accidentally open a website that is not blue, turn your computer off immediately and dial 1-800-TORYBLU. Technicians like these will come to your house and help you reset it. Anyway, it shouldn’t take a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowing…
And now the weather forecast from Environm… I mean from the Harper Government of Canada…
Good mooooorning Edmonton!
It’s going to be another beautiful day today – and I mean beautiful – with clear, Tory-blue (Read more…) and beautiful warm temperatures.
Pack up your winter coats, people! Just put ’em away! Because just like yesterday and the day before and the day before that, the seasonally adjusted temperature is a beautiful 78 degrees Fahrenheit!
And don’t worry, because this is a Conservative . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Today’s weather: blue skies, seasonally adjusted temperature of Fahrenheit 78, not 451
The Dutch already have one F-35 and they’re due to get another in just a few months. They’re the first of what was supposed to be an 85 aircraft purchase. But the Netherlands government and military are getting cold feet for the over-expensive, overdue and under-performing, partially stealthy light attack bomber. So they’ve decided to park the F-35s while they explore their options.
Newly appointed defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced the decision to park the test assets in a letter to the Dutch parliament on 4 April. A first example – delivered in late 2012 – and
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Netherlands Parks the F-35
Former Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Scott Hennig, now the group’s Communications VP, in a nice AstroTurf-coloured sweater at last weekend’s Ottawa conference of the Manning Centre for Undermining Democracy. Below: CTF President Troy Lanigan; CTF member … rrrrrrr … supporter, Riley Climenhaga; CTF Operations VP Shannon Morrison.
When it comes time to hand out the annual Turfy Award – named for AstroTurf, the green synthetic blades that look like grass and feel like grass but do not absorb carbon dioxide like grass – I expect the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to be a contender.
Indeed, consider ’em nominated.
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Minuscule Canadian Taxpayers Federation in running for ‘Turfy Award’
Lockheed’s troubled F-35 is attracting criticism due to pilot complaints that they can’t see what’s behind them. They can’t “check their six” man, bummer.
Who cares? If you’re piloting an F-35 and there is something behind you that’s a mortal threat, being able to see it isn’t going to be much help. Chances are very good that by the time you see the threat your fate is already sealed. It’s over.
The F-35 is not much of a dogfighter. It can’t go as fast, it can’t turn as fast, it can’t climb as fast as
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: About that Blind Spot. Don’t Worry, Be Happy.
The Harper government has decided to upgrade Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s to buy a little time while it tries to sort out its blunder over the F-35.
Sources said the changes in the eligible options make it easier for manufacturers to propose a “mixed fleet” of upgraded CF-18s and other fighter jets, or a later delivery of new jets as the CF-18s fly beyond their planned phase-out.
The new proposal is the latest shift of position by the Harper government after last year’s highly critical report by Auditor-General on a planned sole-sourced purchase of 65 F-35 fighters.
The U.S. Air Force general responsible for the troubled F-35 light attack bomber programme caused a stir with his blunt criticisms of the principal contractors, Lockheed-Martin and Pratt & Whitney.
At an Australian air show, Lt. Gen Christopher Bogdan, left a few contractors’ jaws dropped when he lambasted Lockheed and Pratt for trying to “squeeze every last nickel” out of the U.S. government for the F-35.
What seemed to get everybody in a tizzy was that Bogdan made his brusque statements publicly and in a country that is getting cold feet over its own plans to buy the
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Please, Not In Front of The Children
Another apparent setback for the F-35 light attack bomber. The Pentagon has informed Congress of plans to sell twelve more F-18 E/F Super Hornets plus a dozen electronic warfare F-18 Growlers to Australia. The two dozen jets, including the electronically sophisticated Growlers, will come in at around $3.6 billion including parts, training and logistical support.
In 2007, concerned about delays and cost overruns in the F-35 programme and faced with the need to retire aging F-111s, Australia opted to buy an initial batch of 24 Super Hornets.
Australia is becoming nervous about the planned purchase of 100 Lockheed F-35 light strike bombers.
The fighter’s soaring costs have produced rising consternation in Australia, with a number of politicians questioning whether the air force can afford to purchase the 100 fifth-generation stealth aircraft it initially intended to buy.U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, principal executive of the Pentagon’s JSF Program Office, candidly addressed the issue of F-35 cost overruns recently met with Australian defense officials at the Avalon air show in Melbourne, Victoria.Bogdan said that his survey of the JSF program had uncovered “ugly” problems
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Ugly Problems Loom for F-35 Light Bomber
Kids were getting chemical burns from a toilet seat (and probably desk, for a boy with burned elbows) at an Ottawa area school. Most likely the disinfectant was sprayed on but never properly wiped off and rinsed. One of my concerns with using publish washrooms that have just been cleaned, is chemical splash-back or toxic seats. Thanks Ottawa area school for perma-scaring these poor kids for life into avoiding public washrooms…
The Pope quit. Holy Quit, as the Daily Show wrote last night. The jokes on Twitter were non-stop, totally unlike the Pope. He gave up his job for
. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Holy Sit
This line from Wired.com says it all:
America’s latest stealth fighter just got heavier, slower and more sluggish.
For the second time in a year, the Pentagon has eased the performance requirements of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The reduced specs — including a slower acceleration and turning rate — lower the bar for the troubled trillion-dollar JSF program, allowing it to proceed toward full-rate production despite ongoing problems with the plane’s complex design. Under the old specs, the stealth fighter, due to enter service in 2018 or 2019, probably wouldn’t pass its Pentagon-mandated final exams.
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Pentagon Lowers the Bar on the F-35 – Again!
The F-35 programme has been underway for, well, eleven years. Current plans call for completion of testing in 2019. Here’s a sobering look at F-35 development taken from Aviation Week.
The U.S. bill for JSF development and production has increased about $40-million a day, in 2012 dollars, since the program started – while 400 fewer aircraft are planned. As far as the IOC (initial operating capacity) goes.. Initial Operating Test and Evaluation (IOTE) – which is necessary for IOC – will not finish until August, 2019. That would put IOC in 2020.
Will the F-35
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: About That F-35 Bill
The Harper government has tried to scapegoat its way out of the F-35 debacle, blaming bureaucratic bungling, deceit within National Defence, just about any likely target that could deflect responsibility from themselves.
Now the recently retired assistance deputy minister of defence materiel has come out swinging.
Dan Ross, the former assistant deputy minister of defence materiel, blames the Harper government’s culture of secrecy, and a lack of accountability at all levels of government, for the project having run so disastrously off the runway. At the same time, Ross provides an explosive window into a military procurement system that
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: F-35 Fiasco Dumped Into Harper’s Lap
Harper DefMin, Peter MacKay, like a trained seal smacking its flippers, constantly barks about the Lockheed F-35 being a “Fifth Generation” fighter and, hence, oh so much superior to all the Gen 4.5-fighters on today’s market.
As The Fifth Estate noted in its expose on the stealth light bomber, the “Fifth Generation” business was a term coined by Lockheed’s marketing/p.r. branch.
But if the F-35 is a 5th Gen warplane, it’s very much a Beta issue. It’s prototypical, a complicated, hyper-expensive, aerial experiment that is still years away from its testing completion target.
Even when Lockheed finally
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Fifth Generation, Maybe, But It’s Still Gen 5.0
Maybe Canada should just give the F-35 a pass and wait for something a lot better. Like the Aussies and US Navy we could opt for a proven, capable, reliable, affordable alternative, like some new F-18s and sit by while America’s next-generation technology works through its considerable teething problems. It even seems that the F-35 and its vaunted “5th Generation Technology” may be on its way to a premature passing to make way for 6th Generation warplanes.
“…the U.S. military is laying plans for what it is calling a “sixth generation” aircraft to replace the F-35
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The F-35, Should Canada Sit This One Out?
Lockheed Martin has a number of F-35s built and flying. Surely it’s got more than enough to get a few up to the Cold Lake air base to strut their stuff against the competition.
Let’s see how they do in dogfighting, in ground support, in the interceptor role. Let’s see how they stack up on range, payload, speed, climb and turn rate, reliability and survivability. Let’s see how they handle defensive and offensive roles or missions that can turn from one into the other quite unexpectedly. How are they on sortie generation, that is how many
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Why No Competition?
If you felt relieved that the Harper authority had given up on the F-35, think again. That the stealth light attack bomber is still very much alive in the bosom of the Harpies is obvious from the remarks of MacKay’s parliamentary secretary on CBC’s The Current: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/12/13/fighting-words-over-f-35-fighter-jets/
The first thing to note, there’s not going to be a real competition for a replacement for the CF-18. There’s not going to be any competitive fly-off for the rivals to show their stuff. There won’t be any Canadian pilots sitting in cockpits wrenching these things around to
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Campaign to Rehabilitate the F-35 Has Begun
As a face-saving measure the instinctively dishonest Conservatives say they have ‘reset’ the programme to find a CF-18 replacement and, this time, there’ll be a proper competition.
Don’t hold your breath.
A real competition would have the rivals all flying in to Cold Lake for flight demonstrations and evaluations. That’s how the United States chose the F-22 Raptor over the Boeing/General Dynamics contender, the F-23. Both were put in the air, tested extensively and then a winner chosen.
When the Trudeau government went fighter shopping all the rivals took their latest and greatest to Cold Lake. The
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Will Lockheed Even Compete for Canada’s Fighter Business? Don’t Count on It.
The numbers are in and the big number is 46 as in 46-billion dollars to purchase, arm, fuel, fly and maintain a paltry fleet of 65 F-35s over a 42-year lifespan.
The KPMG report puts the lie to the Harper/MacKay/Ambrose/Fantino fabrication machine. Yet the number might actually be on the low side.
The KPMG auditors factored in just one-billion loonies to make good aircraft attrition. That sounds like something in the order of six fighters lost to accidents or other causes over the lifespan of the airplane. Given the single-engine vulnerability of the F-35 and the remote
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Harper’s 46-Billion Dollar Boondoggle
Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, Canada is fast becoming a real “surveillance state”. One that obsessively monitors critics of public policy and government action… and the “tone” of what these critics say. The Ottawa Citizen gives us a glimpse into the Harper government’s emerging heart of darkness. Yesterday, it reported: “Opposition parties READ MORE
…are due out as early as today. And they might be embarrassing for the CPC government as the real costs may come in as much as three times higher than the Harperites have claimed and vigourously defended. All to which I say “BAH”! EVERYONE knows that KPMG is part of the left-wing conspiracy that, along [...]