Dogfight Serve and Lockheed Martin to Become Canada’s Next Fighter


The Saab Gripen E and Lockheed Martin F-35 are dogfighting to replace the aging CF-18 as Canada is finally on track this year to select its next fighter. ..

The Boeing Super Hornet was also in operation, but was officially discontinued in November 2021. Bids from Sweden and the United States are currently competing for standards set by the Canadian Ministry of Public Services and Procurement based on capacity, cost and economy. advantage.

Alex McColl, Master of Public Policy, University of Calgary, recommended Gripen In his 2018 climax.. In an interview with The Epoch Times, he called the F-35 “an expensive, complex and maintenance-heavy fighter-bomber.” This is the kind that Canada wisely avoided when choosing the F-18 Hornet 40 years ago.

“The Air Force at the time wanted to buy a big, heavy, and expensive American Eagle. [Pierre] Trudeau was forced to buy the cheapest jets that met the minimum requirements. This is a much more affordable, small and lightweight F-18 Hornet that has helped us for many years. So you have to do what you did last time, “says McColl.

“Most of the missions we actually fly are NORAD air-to-air missions. [such as the] A NATO aviation police mission in Iceland to defend the Baltic states, “he added.

“Gripen is exactly what we need and is offered on the Meteor out-of-sight range missile, the most advanced air-to-air missile in NATO’s inventory.”

Patrick Palmer, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Sales at Saab Canada, believes his company’s bids are strong.

He said that some of the benefits of Gripen are “advanced features, advanced technology, highest economic benefits, and the most attractive life cycle costs.”

“It’s the fastest fighter. It has the longest range. It’s designed to be generationless, easy to upgrade, and stays at the forefront of technology,” Palmer said in an interview. I am saying.

“We are committed to building, maintaining and supporting it in Canada …. We offer highly competitive, low cost solutions and offer committed prices. We are the only ones doing it. “

Palmer said it was not possible to disclose the quoted price in the bid due to confidentiality obligations.Sweden Order 60 Of the Gripen E series jets, which consist of a one-seater Gripen E, a two-seater Gripen F, and Gripen Maritime, Brazil ordered 36. The latter received the first gripen. September 2020 Under the United States$ 4.6 billion contract Development and production, including related systems, support, and equipment, will cost approximately US $ 128 million per jet.

In contrast, nine countries, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway, Israel, Australia, Japan and South Korea, are already using F-35 aircraft in their own countries. At least 730 planes have already been delivered, with 267,263 sorties recording 463,000 flight times. Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland have also chosen the F-35, with Greece, the Czech Republic and Spain showing interest.

Keith Notts, Lockheed Martin’s Canadian and UK Business Development Manager, said Canada will benefit from the strength of these numbers.

“When we can work with our major allies and friends, the F-35 makes it seamless,” Nuts said in an interview.

“Canada will also enjoy being part of a global fleet of more than 3,200 aircraft, and economies of scale will facilitate its cost-effectiveness with global maintenance solutions that support all of these aircraft. To do.”

The price of the F-35 has fallen by more than 70% since its first release, with the latest lots being produced at US $ 77.9 million per aircraft. Nuts says that if Canada approves his company’s proposal, 88 jets will be delivered during years of peak production, guaranteeing low delivery costs. The cost per unit of flight time has also dropped, with a target of $ 2012 at $ 25,000 per flight hour.

McCall says Due to inflation and exchange rates, flight costs per hour will exceed $ 41,000 in current Canadian dollars. He also asks if that goal will be achieved. Last May, Goldman Sachs hosted a webcast with Lockheed Martin’s Executive Vice President and CFO, Kempossen Ride.

McCall believes that the scenarios listed in Canada’s Future Combat Functionality Project RFP show a bias towards the F-35. In one scenario, you need a fighter that could dodge Russia’s air defenses and bomb the airport. This is a tactical approach that he suspects will not be used even in Canada or the United States.

“There is no option, but F-35”

Canada is one of a group of countries involved in the development of the F-35, and defense experts say jets are the preferred choice for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“The F-35 brings more to the game than theoretically needed,” but this can be invaluable later, a former CF-18 fighter with over 35 years in the military. Pilot Alan Stevenson says.

“Who would have thought that the F-18 would be sent to the Persian Gulf when purchased in 1980? I was part of a team that brought together the squadrons that fell into the Persian Gulf War 1. There was a fighter, “Stephenson told the Epoch Times.

Under Gripen’s bid, IMP Aerospace & Defense built a jet in Halifax. Stephenson, a PhD in Political Science and now a Fellow of the Global Affairs Institute of Canada, said the deal has limited economic value.

“I could have lived with the Super Hornet, but the only advantage of Gripen is local politics, so if they choose Gripen, I have a real problem.” Stevenson said.

“As we have a stronger network of joint command and control systems for all domains developed by Americans, how do we start leveraging products that are underprivileged by American intelligence and security networks?”

Canadian company After 2007 Already awarded Over US $ 2 billion (Over C $ 2.54 billion) Contract work as part of a national industrial partnership in the F-35 program. James Ferguson, deputy director of the Center for Defense and Security Research at the University of Manitoba, said that if Canada rejected the F-35, it would probably disappear.

“Everyone knows that for more than a decade, experts have said that the F-35 is the only option. Gripen would be wrong,” Ferguson said in an interview.

“This is a simple matter for political economy, strategic reasons, our commitment and working with multilateral alliances.”

The F-35’s choice may be politically annoying to the government, but Mr Ferguson said political prices will be kept to a minimum and the problem will be forgotten.

“For the 2015 election, Trudeau’s Liberal Party policy statement clearly stated that it would not buy the F-35, followed by” there is open competition to replace the CF-18. ” rice field. Well, that’s how you rotate this at the end of the day. “

Lee Harding

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Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.

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