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Nov 25 16 8:47 AM
"...The only reason there was a need for an interim aircraft buy was because delays in the F-35 program pushed their arrival date past the affordable serviceability end-point of the F-111s."
I went looking for official statements and found some timely reporter quotes from the past. Doing that I could see how the idea that is perpetuated today came about BUT it is still wrong in context of what happened at the time.
Weird the way this forum goes in and out of use & when a time is mentioned perhaps stating WHERE the time zone would be nice - not just EST.
Here are some Oz journalist quotes that show morphing of 'reason for buying gap filler Shornets'. Later there was talk of getting an extra 12 Shornets on top of the existing 24 Shornets 'because delay in fielding F-35' however that NEVER eventuated AND 12 Growlers were bought subsequently INSTEAD of modifying the '12 of the original 24' Shornets to G standard (not been done before with costs uncertain). So one cannot claim the Growlers were bought because of F-35 delay. I'm still looking for government statements at time of original 'buy 24 Shornets time'.
$200m refit to give fighter jets growl Ian McPhedran 22 Feb 2012
“THE Federal Government will spend more than $200 million to transform six air force fighter jets into hi-tech electronic warfare planes. The RAAF purchased 24 Boeing Rhino fighters under a $6 billion deal with the US Navy to fill the gap between the retirement of the F-111 fighter bomber and the expected delivery of the first batch of 14 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets later this decade.... ...Meanwhile, Mr Smith is facing criticism from air force brass for his move to buy 12 more Rhinos [however we bought one dozen GROWLERS later instead of upgrading one half of the 24 Super Hornets] to cover the likely delay into service of up to 70 Australian JSFs. A decision is due by September this year, but the RAAF is arguing against more Rhinos because they fear that will leave less funds for Joint Strike Fighters. "The RAAF doesn't want to run two types of fighter jets," a source said....”
RAAF Classifies Growlers As Support Aircraft Bradley Perrett, Aviation Week & Space Technology 18 March 2013
“Canberra last decade adopted a plan to order about 100 fighters to replace the Hornets and two squadrons of F-111 strike bombers that were usually kept at an operational strength of 24, but were retired in [early] 2010 [earlier than planned]. Until last year, all 100 new aircraft were supposed to be F-35s; 24 Super Hornets ordered as stopgap F-111 replacements in 2007 had been earmarked for replacement by the last batch of F-35s....”
Australia to confirm 58-aircraft F-35 order Andrew McLaughlin 22 Apr 2014
“...The Super Hornets were ordered in 2006 as a ‘bridging’ capability [the morphing reason starts] between the retirement of the General Dynamics F-111C in 2010 and the arrival of the F-35A....”
Nov 26 16 5:59 AM
Nov 29 16 3:41 PM
Critics Question Canada's New Super Hornet Plans
By: David Pugliese, November 28, 2016
VICTORIA, British Columbia – The Canadian government’s proposal to buy 18 Super Hornet aircraft as a stopgap measure before proceeding to a full competition for a new fighter jet is not only a waste of time and money but illegal, say political and industry critics of the plan.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Nov. 22 that Canada would enter into negotiations with Boeing for the purchase of the 18 aircraft. Sajjan noted the government had been forced to proceed with the urgent acquisition because a capability gap had emerged with the current fleet of CF-18 fighters. Canada cannot meet its NORAD, NATO and other defense commitments with those aging aircraft, he added.
Dec 6 16 5:39 PM
Liberal’s fighter jet capability gap becomes a credibility gap, says Conservative defence critic
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: December 6, 2016 | Last Updated: December 6, 2016 12:47 AM EST
By James Bezan
As the Liberals attempt to rationalize their sole-source deal of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter jets, their credibility gap on the file continues to widen.
Justin Trudeau’s credibility on the issue first took a hit when he made an impossible campaign promise. He committed to holding an open and fair competition to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets while simultaneously excluding the F-35. Aside from the fact that this promise is self-contradicting; to directly inject politics into a decision of this magnitude is disheartening.
Dec 8 16 4:48 AM
Canada Will Need Additional Fighter Jets to Meet New Defense Posture
By: David Pugliese, December 7, 2016
VICTORIA, British Columbia — Canada has revamped its policy on how to meet its air-defense commitments to protecting North America and contributing to NATO, prompting a decision to boost the number of fighter jets it will buy in the future.
Canada is currently buying 18 Super Hornets from Boeing as a stop-gap measure, before eventually holding a competition to acquire a fleet of aircraft to form its future fighter fleet.
The number of new fighters outlined by the Royal Canadian Air Force for the previous Conservative Party government for that future fleet was 65.
Dec 8 16 4:49 AM
Dec 24 16 7:18 PM
Jan 6 17 3:13 AM
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen | January 5, 2017 10:47 AM ET
and Bulgaria have launched competitions to buy new fighter jets, but
unlike Canada they expect the process to take just a couple of years.
The speedy purchase of much-needed jets for those countries has
raised questions about why it will take the Canadian government more
than 10 years to replace the military’s aging fleet of CF-18s.
India announced Tuesday it expects to choose a supplier for 200
planes and sign a deal by 2020, with a request for bids going out in
2018. In December, Bulgaria announced it was seeking bids for up to
eight jets, with more to follow. The winning bid for that program will
be selected in 2018.
By contrast, the Liberal government expects it will take until the
end of the 2020s — or perhaps even until 2032 — before it can acquire
replacements for its CF-18s.
“There is no reason why any competition should take that long,” said
Conservative Party defence critic James Bezan. “Most of the work is
already done and the capabilities of various planes are already known,”
he added, referring to the efforts by the Canadian military over the
last seven years to examine potential replacement candidates.
But Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said the lengthy period is needed ensure the proper choice is made.
In the meantime, the Liberals will first buy 18 Super Hornet jets
that will be used to fill what they say is a fighter-jet capability gap.
The government does not know when those planes will be purchased or
ready for the flight line. The Liberals will meanwhile launch a
competition to find a permanent replacement for the CF-18s. A choice is
expected in the late 2020s, but Sajjan has said the CF-18s could be
still flying in 2032.
Privately, however, military officers say there is no need to take
more than a decade to determine what aircraft is best for Canada and
Alan Williams, the former head of procurement for the Department of
National Defence, has questioned why the Canadian government would first
purchase Super Hornets for an “interim” role. He noted that Canadian
procurement officials already have a significant amount of information
on various fighter jets and a competition to acquire a permanent
replacement for the CF-18s could probably be run over a one-year period.
Bezan pointed out that both Norway and Denmark selected new planes in
a much shorter period. The Canadian process, he said, “is all about
politics and the Liberal government.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has previously said his government
would not buy the F-35 stealth fighter that the Conservatives wanted,
claiming last year the F-35 was not working. But U.S. military units are
now using the F-35s and Canadian government insiders concede there is
concern in the Liberal ranks the plane could win the competition and be
selected the best replacement for the CF-18s — a result that would
be very embarrassing for Trudeau, they add.
Bulgaria, one of the European Union’s
poorest countries, is looking at either buying second-hand Typhoons or
F-16s, or new Gripen fighter jets
Bulgaria, one of the European Union’s poorest countries, is looking
at either buying second-hand Typhoons or F-16s, or new Gripen fighter
It is expected that Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35, will
enter an upgraded version of its F-16 in the Indian competition while
Saab of Sweden will pitch the Gripen.
Gripens and Typhoons are among the aircraft that Canada has looked at to replace the CF-18s.
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the single-engine
fighter jets would be built in India and the procurement process
would be fast-tracked.
Jan 10 17 5:16 PM
Conservatives hoping Auditor General will investigate Super Hornet deal
David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: January 10, 2017 | Last Updated: January 10, 2017 12:05 AM EST
Conservative defence critic James Bezan said his party has asked Auditor General Michael Ferguson to conduct an investigation into the Liberal government’s proposed sole-source purchase of 18 Super Hornets.
“Given the magnitude of this decision, we have requested that the Auditor General of Canada conduct an investigation to determine that all rules were followed properly,” Conservative MPs wrote in a letter to the Auditor General sent just before Christmas.
No word yet from the Auditor General’s office on whether this investigation will happen.
But Bezan says the party believes the AG can unravel the purchase to see whether it makes financial sense or whether it will end up costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars extra.
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