This will keep the Boeing production lines running into the 2020's when the F-35 failure will impact heavily. Even currently the F-35 program is on life support. Lockheed manufactured only twenty useless prototypes in the first six months this year. A primary production contract is now two years late while unit acquisition costs near $200 million on faulty non-deployable planes. (The money still flows without a primary contract.) So the main reason for these sales is to provide an alternative to the boondoggle F-35.
The F15SE is based on a proven aircraft platform with a solid airframe with sizeable payload. It is able to carry a large variety of onboard weapons, has two engines as opposed to one on the f35, an ideal benefit considering Canada's need to patrol vast arctic geography, does not require a special communications pod installed to ensure communications can be relayed to it when flying in the Arctic, cheaper in maintenance costs, and has longer range.
This is what cruise missiles and anti-radiation missiles and such are for. Big missiles with long stand-off ranges, the kind of which are unlikely to fit into the tiny internal weapons bay of an F-35. Try to hang an external weapon on an F-35 and you're defeating the stealth right there.
The F-35A is a huge mistake from every aspect, high cost, poor performance, reliability and type it would be another Cyclone helicopter debacle in the making. Canada doesn't need an expensive ”Hangar Queen”. It's not an air superiority/interceptor with its high wing loading & poor thrust-to-weight ratio. It can't carry much weaponry unless it carries them externally thus losing its stealth characteristics. It is slower than existing F-15's and has less range in combat radius and ferry mode. Canada doesn't need this hard to maintain "Lead Sled". Canada needs a fast agile plane to defend their huge country. We are told that existing or new built F-15's with some upgrades can fulfill Canada's NORAD and NATO commitments till beyond 2030.
Talking about 'combat radius'; and the truth is that neither the F/A-18E/F nor the F-35A have very much in the way of combat radius, so the comparison isn't exactly indicative. The operational concept of the F/A-18E/F is that it would be sent to target most of the way via an aircraft carrier. With its cruciform wing design (which makes them easily foldable), they were first envisaged for naval usage. The CF-18A/B variants do have folding wings, but they have the same cruciform design, which means very little wing area compared to the weight of the aircraft. For this reason, Canada would be better served by a delta wing design, with two engines. By these specs, excluding Russian aircraft, the list is short to chose from: F-15SE Silent Eagle or F-15E+ Advanced Eagle, Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. I would like to see Canada officially evaluate these three aircraft and pick the one that makes the most sense in the Canadian context.
The F-15 has twice the performance capabilities of the other two planes including twice the range, speed and armaments of both the F-35A and the F/A-18E/F plus it has partial stealth capabilities like the F-35. Along with a proven record of reliability and adaptability it would serve Canada far better than the F/A-18E/F or the boondoggle F-35A.
The Super Hornet, used by the US Navy, is a poor choice. Even more alarming was that this a relatively this plane could become a long-term replacement if the F-35 program collapsed.
No one else has bought the Super Hornet. Israel, Singapore and South Korea, for example, all bought variants of the F-15 instead of the Super Hornet. There is no evidence at all that a rigorous evaluation has been done by the Department of National Defence or that the Super Hornet is the best solution.
If air superiority and maritime capabilities are at the top of the list, then for the money the clear western aircraft is a new F-15, even the SE option if Boeing offers it again. Two engines, great radar and missile load out.
The F-15 is FAR more capable aircraft, longer range, better radar, capable of carrying many more weapons, etc.
Everyone should be a fan of the F-15. Even though it’s older than the F-22 Raptor and in some ways doesn’t have the Raptors advantages, it is still competitive with everything else and that is rather amazing. To help make the advanced F-15E+'s advantage is to equip the aircraft with 3D thrust vectoring nozzles and supercruising engines to enhance its agility and acceleration. Singapore might’ve gone Typhoon if it had mature air to ground capabilities at the time of the competition there, but they didn’t wait for the Typhoon, the just took the F-15 (the proven tech) and then exercised the option to buy more...That’s not the action of a country that thinks the F-15 is obsolete compared to the newer Typhoon.
Speaking of stealth. How do you expect to hide the radar signature coming off the back of the F-35? There is nothing stealthy about the back of that plane. How are they going to hide the heat signature coming from the back of that plane with those exposed engine? Stealth isn't all about the shape of the plane. I guess Lockheed Martin hasn't figured that out yet. This plane is nothing more than a peanut shell without the peanuts inside.
You don't need stealth for Canada's missions. Arctic and air patrols do not need stealth or BVR. No Canadian is going to shoot down an unidentified aircraft over Gander without visually identifying it. Even overseas... Missions are rarely first strike and almost never against first world countries. These planes are now $100M+. Far better to get several less expensive, non-stealthy Super Hornets. Take the extra $20B dollars and pay down the deficit or spend it on things Canada's military needs -- transport aircraft, transport ships, etc.
In reality, Canada doesn't necessarily need an F-15 Silent Eagle. The cost of this aircraft would be astronomically high, and the country doesn't have any particular use for it. Canada has better uses for its money and shouldn't be making such unnecessary purchases when its own economy could use some help.
In this day and age, conventional warfare is becoming redundant. Unless Canada becomes a war mongering state, then there is little to no need for an upgrade in aircraft. Aircraft costs are rising higher as the research and development for them takes longer. Canada has little to gain from buying F-15 Silent Eagles, it could be better spent in infrastructure, medical research and renewable energies. America dumps billions into military research, why should Canada? It is okay to buy maybe 1 or 2 of these for research, but why should Canada buy a fleet? What is going to attack Canada from the air which cannot be engaged by fourth generation aircraft?
-interdiction aircraft are important but improved drone capabilities will likely emerge over the next decade that will circumvent stealth requirements
- The option for a Growler suite to complement the Super Hornets can offer more cost effective ecm and tracking. This can contribute effectively to NATO responsibilities
- Dual engine reliability for Canadian conditions in a proven rugged airframe
- Cost savings can be put to better use on future aircraft R and D as new technologies emerge. $70m Super Hornet vs F15 or f 35 $120m USD price tag steep with the anticipation of these changes