Well, I'll be frank with anyone reading this. I am not one for politics. I do not follow them, I see them all lying and putting others down. I read from several news sources on the same topic, and get my news that way, because if I don't, it'll be biased to no end. I read and I study often, and I won't support something unless I know all the info from both sides of the story. Well, onto my point with this blog.
Canada's government, with the Conservative party, are planning to buy the F-35 to replace it's F-18 fleet. The Liberals, the opposing party, beg to differ in their plans. The Liberals want to completly deny any upgrading in the military. The Conservatives want to update Canada's fighter force.
I can't speak for everyone in my country, no matter what. Most people want to "Support Our Troops", encourage them when they're over seas and such. I say "most people" instead of everyone because I can't speak for everyone, that would just be foolish. Most people want to support Canada's troops, but it seems nobody but the Conservative party wants to supply them with what they need: An upgraded military that can compete in a war if need be. "Support our troops! but don't supply them! That's bad!" The logic of some people is beyond my comprehension, I dare say.
The F-18 Hornet: a beautiful, capable plane that's just amazing to see. I love it, it's capable, it's been proven, it's almost become an iconic plane really. But, it's old. It's a design from the 1970's. It's a good 40 years old now. Not the planes themselves, but the design. The planes are from 1982 or so. Combat has changed dramatically since then, but it's also retained a lot of things. Maneuvering and speed are still important in the plane, but stealth has been added. It's no longer how fast and how maneuverable you are in a fight, it's now how long you can stay hidden, and if you can get that "first shot, first kill".
The Hornet isn't stealthy. It's a fourth generation fighter competing in a fith generation world. That means that it will get seen first, and shot at first, meaning that it's the "first kill". it simply can not compete in combat as a multirole or fighter anymore and be successful. The conditions as well, the frams were cracking, and were replaced with shells, but the engines are still the same, and the avionics are still the same. Old, and in need of replacement. As unfortunate as it is, it's time the Hornet were to step down from it's job, and hand the reigns over to a new, more capable plane.
But what plane? The F-22? No, that's not an export plane, and it's too expensive to build and maintain. The PAK FA? No, I doubt Russia is going to sell Canada a 5th generation plane while the U.S. is still right below Canada geographically. The Eurofighter, as I've noted some say? No, that's only a fourth generation plane as well, and it will become outdated when Europe upgrades theirs. China's J-20? When the hell is China going to give Canada of all countries a brand new plane? Really? But anyways, what does that leave us then? What could be used? There's only two choices left: The Silent Eagle, and the F-35.
Silent Eagle? What's that? It's a majorly upgraded F-15, with some stealth characteristics, and some other improvements. But's it's not in production yet, that'll take a while.
So we're stuck with the F-35. It's not a complete 5th generation plane, but's it's more advanced and capable than the trusted Hornet we have now. Canada's already got a proposed variant of it (I think a modified A variant), and put money into the program. Seems like a waste to help pay for something like this, but not use it. (That's just my opinion.) The F-35's already started production from what I've read. It's advanced, and at least gives pilots a better chance against other 5th generation planes. Overall, I find that it's just the thing for Canada to use as a multirole plane for years to come.
But it's not just the jets that need to be replaced. Everything does (air force wise). The Polaris is really a passenger plane changed into a transport one. Not too bad of a thing to do, but a devoted design would be better. The Hawk, a small jet from the 1970's as well. The Tutor: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm just plain disapointed that we're using that god damn midget ancient plane as a demonstrator with the Snow Birds. It's 50 years old for God's sake, replace it and show your country a little respect! The Buffalo is also from the 60's, a little old don't you think?
I'm going on a rant here, possibly the first one I've done in about a year. Back to the topic of the F-35, I think it's really our only choice if we want to have a chance in combat. I know about the price scandal that happened, and I know that the plane is expensive. But is saving money more important than national security? Compare it to cars: The old car from the 1960's is cool looking, it may be kept in an alright condition, but it's not fuel efficient. The car from 2011, though, is also efficient, and to some, cool looking, as well as being fuel efficient. Now, take the gas mileage, and use that as the combat capability of the planes. The old car, the Hornet. The new car, the F-35, or any other replacement plane.
As I stated at the beginning of this blog, I'm not a political person, I try to remain out of politics. I really can't understand them. I read often, and I like to read from different points of veiws on things. I have one final thing to say to you, though: I would feel more safe in Canada if we had a more capable force with us while we maintain a neutral point of veiw. After all, we can't stay neutral forever, can we?