Mark Collins – News flash from the Great White North: “Fighter jets are not snowblowers: the case for the F-35″‘

Just in case you were in any doubt, though snowblowers might be of great interest in certain parts of the US of late:

The Canadian “debate” rages on, but with the authors’ apparently unaware of what is going on in the fighter arena:

…Boeing has announced that it will exit the fighter jet business after the F-18E…

That would be news to the company which has an F/A-XX “sixth generation” fighter in the works:

…Boeing are vying to produce the F-35’s successor.

Boeing’s Phantom Works has been funding the development of such an aircraft, responding to the US Navy’s request for information regarding a new F/A-XX aircraft that could replace its fleet of Super Hornets in the 2030s. The regular hornet aircraft will be replaced by the incoming F-35s, however they do not possess the capabilities to adequately replace the larger Super Hornet aircraft and, as such, the US Navy and Air Force has been examining its options.

Boeing’s proposals appear to have been well received, with the US issuing a Request for Information in April 2012 regarding the company’s F/A-XX concept aircraft…
Concept images of Boeing’s F/A-XX sixth generation fighter have started to emerge. Courtesy of Boeing

A picture worth more than those Canadians’ fourteen words. However, given that the F-35 (A model at least) is looking at a gestation period of over a quarter of a century (see JAST) before reaching initial operational capability (2020 now?), plus US budgetary problems, I wouldn’t bet the carrier (or airbase) on any sixth generation fighter being in service before the 2040s. Unless US procurement practices are drastically reformed.

Seemingly relevant:

F-35: How Much Less Bang for the Buck (how many?)?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute

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3 responses to “Mark Collins – News flash from the Great White North: “Fighter jets are not snowblowers: the case for the F-35″‘

  1. The authors write that “buying advanced systems for war is nothing like comparison-shopping for a snowblower.”

    Really? Surely when buying a blower one needs to seek a “sweet spot” amongst requirements, capabilities and cost. Rather like when buying military equipment, eh? Esp. when one considers the actual complexities involved in that blower buy:

    Mark Collins

  2. From last spring:

    ‘More on the USN’s F/A-XX:

    “US Navy issues F/A-XX RfI”‏

    “Navy Looks for New Jet, on Top of Its Trillion-Dollar Model”‏

    “Senior official raises F/A-XX doubts while retired USMC Generals question USN’s F-35 commitment”

    Mark Collins

  3. Relevant:

    “The Super Hornet Would Out Perform The F-35 In Any Canadian Arctic Operation, Says CF-18 Pilot”

    As is this earlier Comment:

    “Lockheed Martin’s top sales guys pitch F-35s in Ottawa; Canuck test pilot says fighter jets have 50 per cent further range than CF-18s [what about Super Hornets, eh?]”

    Mark Collins

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