Canadian military to ask Ottawa to approve up to $500 million in spending for CF-18 upgrades

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Canadian military to ask Ottawa to approve up to $500 million in spending for CF-18 upgrades

Post by bruce72 on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 19:51

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/canadian-politics/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/canadian-military-to-ask-ottawa-to-approve-upgrades-for-cf-18s

The Canadian military is hoping to ask the government early next year for approval to spend up to $500 million to modernize its CF-18 fighter jets.

The upgrade would keep the planes flying until 2025, giving the government some breathing room to organize the purchase of replacements and make sure they are delivered before the older jets are taken out of service.

Work has already started to ensure the CF-18s are structurally sound.

Now, the military is analyzing improvement options for communications equipment to deal with changes in civil aviation regulations. There could be other upgrades to weapons and how the CF-18s communicate and operate with Allied fighter jets.

“This project is expected to go for potential government submission early in 2017,” said Ashley Lemire, Department of National Defence spokeswoman.

The options focus “on what is required from a regulatory and interoperability perspective.”

The DND estimates the cost of the modernization at between $250 million and $499 million, depending on the options chosen and what the government accepts, say defence sources.

Military officers say the upgrades will have to be done by 2021 to make financial sense — new fighter jets are expected by 2025. That means decisions on the upgrades must be made and contracts placed by 2018.

Since 2002, Canada has spent $2.6 billion modernizing the CF-18s. The planes were bought in 1982.

The Conservative government planned to buy 65 F-35 stealth fighters to replace the CF-18s. The purchase was put on hold as the cost ballooned and technical problems emerged.

During last year’s federal election, the Liberals said they would buy a less expensive fighter jet if they came to power.

In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the F-35 “does not work, and is far from working.”

But the Liberal promise not to buy the F-35 has been thrown into question by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who has said any competition would be open to all jets. He  has insisted the government must move “quickly” selecting a new fighter jet, but has not outlined any timetable.

Last month, the House of Commons defence committee called on the government to pick a replacement within a year. It pointed out the costs of the new jets should be well documented so other military equipment programs would not be affected.

Both the NDP and Conservatives argued the report was written to support the Liberal government’s defence strategy.

“The committee report marshals evidence to bolster the Liberal decision to sole-source the purchase of Super Hornets,” the NDP said in its submission.

That refers to the Liberals’ attempt in the summer to buy Super Hornet fighter jets, built by Boeing, instead of holding a competition. The plan was put on hold after it prematurely became public when Postmedia revealed the scheme.

Industry sources say they believe some senior Liberals still hope to revive the Super Hornet sole-source purchase in the near future.

Sajjan has said the Canadian military is facing a “capability gap” since the CF-18 fleet can’t handle  the country’s commitments to NATO and the North American Aerospace Defence Command’s needs to protect the continent.

“Between our NORAD and NATO commitments and how many jets are serviceable at one time, we cannot meet both those requirements simultaneously,” he said in July.

“The Canadian Armed Forces have been risk-managing this problem for some time now and the previous government found it acceptable. I do not, and I want to make sure that we give all the tools necessary not to put the Canadian Armed Forces in a scenario to risk-manage.”

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RCAF’s Lt.-Gen. Hood throws a monkey wrench into Liberal claims about CF-18s

Post by Trooper on Fri 25 Nov 2016, 18:13

RCAF’s Lt.-Gen. Hood throws a monkey wrench into Liberal claims about CF-18s

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN

Published on: November 25, 2016 | Last Updated: November 25, 2016 5:36 PM EST


A Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 Fighter jet from 409 Squadron taxis after landing, in Kuwait in this file shot

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan claimed that the government had to proceed immediately with the purchase of 18 Super Hornets from Boeing. Negotiations would begin soon. Sajjin said the reason was that a “capability gap” had materialized. It was serious, he warned. It meant that there were not enough CF-18s around to meet Canada’s defence needs. Both Sajjan and Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance warned that Canada could be vulnerable to a 911-type attack because of the lack of fighter jets.

It looks like that memo didn’t reach the desk of Lt. Gen. Mike Hood, the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Testifying back in April to a Commons defence committee, Hood never mentioned anything about a capability gap. In fact, he said he was comfortable that the CF-18s could continue operating until 2025 – or even beyond. That was more than enough time for a full replacement of the fleet, he suggested.

So the committee went back for clarification on that point. The RCAF obliged with an answer this week.

“The Commander of the RCAF is confident that, based on the latest information available, there is sufficient capacity to support a transition to a replacement fighter capability based on the ongoing projects and planned life extension to 2025 for the CF-18,” it noted in a statement provided to the defence committee this week.

“New upgrades to F/A-18 (CF-18) systems are being developed and implemented by Allies, which would reduce operational, technical and cost risks to Canada’s CF-18 fleet if additional capability improvements are required.”

UPDATE – Defence Minister Sajjan’s spokeswoman Jordan Owens has responded to this Defence Watch article. Here is what she has to say:

“The capability gap is about there being an insufficient number of aircraft available on any given day to meet our existing NORAD obligations and NATO commitments combined, not to mention having the capacity to react to unforeseen and emerging threats. Keeping old planes flying longer won’t address the capability gap. With the current availability rate of Canada’s 77 CF-18s, there is a capability gap that the Air Force has to risk manage. With the current availability rate what it is, even if the 77 airplanes could fly forever, there still wouldn’t be enough of them to simultaneously meet our NORAD and NATO commitments. The only way to address the capability gap is to improve the availability rate of our fighter fleet. This means we need more people and it means we need more planes. The situation the previous government left us in absolutely means we will need to extend the life of the fleet, in order to make up for the time they wasted not procuring a replacement for the CF-18s.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/rcafs-lt-gen-hood-throws-a-monkey-wrench-into-liberal-claims-about-cf-18s
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Re: Canadian military to ask Ottawa to approve up to $500 million in spending for CF-18 upgrades

Post by 1993firebird on Fri 25 Nov 2016, 19:27

There goes the Marijuana funding.

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Re: Canadian military to ask Ottawa to approve up to $500 million in spending for CF-18 upgrades

Post by LostTrucker on Fri 25 Nov 2016, 19:49

1993firebird wrote:There goes the Marijuana funding.

among other things
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