F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

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F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby clone » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:02 pm

so I've been reading recently that my Government is planning on purchasing some F-35 lightnings off the U.S. at a projected minimum cost of 9 billion but more like 29 billion+.... 65 fighters in all.

during the cold war their was some logic in buying super expensive tech.... actually their never was, their is some logic in creating it and selling it of course as the spinoff tech may reap a return on the investment but who are we planning on defending ourselves against and seriously who are we kidding?

the ppl who fight from grass huts and caves.... yeah right.

Russia?... the (red menace) they are capitalists and oligarchs now, besides we'd get our ass kicked no matter what we tried, Canada is not a large country and given we are getting so close to the possibility of fighting wars using drones with no pilots the F-35 seems like a stupid waste of coin.

the old / mature F-18's we have now are superior to everything and anything Al Queda will be getting it's hands on anytime soon so do we really need them?... but beyond that perhaps it's time Canada began resurrecting the old Avro Arrow project, modernizing it and using it..... their is no large scale significant enemy on the block and while the Arrow today would be initially outdated, it's far better than what the ppl living in caves and grass huts have and then their is the spinoff benefits gained from employing more Canadians and establishing a tech infrastructure.... if we have to waste the money I'd opt for that route personally.

their was a time prior to the days when missiles could circle the earth, or when accuracy is measured in more than just inches, when having every tool at your disposal was the difference between winning and losing, but those days are done. I believe it's time for Canada to think forward and not ass backwards and consider warfare based on making it so expensive to invade Canada that nations won't consider it, we have a nuclear deterrent, we have a huge moat surrounding us and we've got decent tech already that unfortunately we are buying instead of creating / building.

if we have to have it then it's time to learn how to build it.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:03 pm

during the cold war their was some logic in buying super expensive tech.... actually their never was, their is some logic in creating it and selling it of course as the spinoff tech may reap a return on the investment but who are we planning on defending ourselves against and seriously who the PUCK are we kidding?

Thats roughly how Swedish politicians were thinking in the 1920s. HUGE MISTAKE.
When Germany started to rumble in the mid 30s, military equipment was almost impossible to buy because all who produced it kept it for themself.

If you personally can guarantee without flaw that there will be absolutely no need for this equipment for the next 20 years, yeah then you dont need it quite as much...
It takes 10-20 years to aquire the hardware. AFTER that´s started, you can start training the personnel, which takes at minimum a few years... IF you have an already functional structure to train them that is. And thats where you find the most lovely part, its damned hard to have that base structure if you dont keep up to date overall with a big enough military. And to rebuild THAT, it takes at least 20 years.

the ppl who fight from grass huts and caves.... yeah right.

So you can predict the future with perfection then? I certainly cant.

their was a time prior to missiles that could circle the earth impacting targets where accuracy is measured in inches when having every tool at your disposal was the difference between winning and losing but those days are done, I believe it's time for Canada to think forward and not ass backwards.

Thats a technonerd´s view. Its 60 years ago people absolutely KNEW that next generation fighterplanes wouldnt need guns ever again.

Guess what, they were wrong. So wrong in fact that even today, there are plenty attempts at designing better fighter guns. And no new fighters are built without guns.

but beyond that perhaps it's time Canada began resurrecting the old Avro Arrow project, modernizing it and using it..... their is no large scale significant enemy on the block and while the Arrow today would be outdated it's far better than what the ppl living in caves and grass huts have and employing more Canadians while striving for more high tech R&D is always a good thing.... if we have to waste the money I'd opt for that route personally.

Would be a bad idea. It was a great design at its time, but today it has so many flaws compared to the competition that its better to just start a new design from scratch.
AND, its a BIG plane, and big equals expensive. The SAAB-39 doesnt reach the Arrows empty weight even at max load.
Its also much too shortranged and just modernising probably wont fix that more than marginally.

A modernised Arrow would be a terrible cost/efficiency. Better to start over, and doing that domestically, sure why not, Canada may be a bit low on experience currently but it can probably handle a decent lightweight multirolefighter. But you might well be spending about as much as you would on F-35s anyway.

the old / mature F-16's we have now are superior to everything and anything Al Queda will be getting it's hands on anytime soon so do we really need them?...

And do you know what kind of flighthours those have? IIRC, the Canadian F-16s have already been refurbished once(some even twice?) and thats not the same as resetting their lifespan. And if you think F-16s are good enough, well then you might as well replace them with SAAB-39s. The drawback is range, but in everything else they´re superior to the 16s, including potentially cheaper.

If Canada wasnt so big i would totally recommend that even.
Im not sure what would be most suitable for Canada though, it has some tricky combinations of requirements. Typhoon would be suitable but is way too expensive.
Rafale is alot cheaper and keeps many of the good points of Typhoon, but its still rather expensive.
Canada doesnt really have any "perfect" alternatives. But it NEEDS SOMETHING.
Whenever countries start disarming, war tends to happen, because there´s always someone somewhere who thinks that anyone disarming equals easy pickings.
They´re usually not very right, but wars still happen and it takes a lot to stop them.

Russia?... the (red menace) they are capitalists and oligarchs now, besides we'd get our asked kicked no matter what we tried

The question might not be if you can "kick their ass", no the IMPORTANT question is, how costly will it be for them or whoever else that might think of it, how much will they have to pay for it?

Canada is not a large country and given we are getting so close to the possibility of fighting wars using drones with no pilots the F-35 seems like a stupid waste of coin.

Drones are at its worst against advanced enemies. Any enemy you would need an airforce against will likely be an advanced enemy. And drones have some serious vulnerabilites then.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Hammer_Time » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:30 pm

I agree with you Clone, and ranted about it already here: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18267

We could use more ships ( Coast Guard ) and new reliable Search and Rescue Helicopters , instead of useless expensive fighter jet fleet...

And do you know what kind of flighthours those have? IIRC, the Canadian F-16s have already been refurbished once(some even twice?) and thats not the same as resetting their lifespan. And if you think F-16s are good enough, well then you might as well replace them with SAAB-39s. The drawback is range, but in everything else they´re superior to the 16s, including potentially cheaper.


Actually they are old CF-18 ( aka CF-188 , same thing ) Hornets, not F-16s...

http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/v2/equ ... ex-eng.asp

"Canada Day Edition CF-18" :wink: :

http://img159.imageshack.us/i/cf18fdl2.jpg/sr=1

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Oops!! :

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Our full air force:

http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/v2/equip/index-eng.asp

Notice how they ALREADY include the yet-to-be purchased F-35's in the complete list there!!?? :shock: :fist: :x :P :roll:
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:47 pm

Actually they are old CF-18 ( aka CF-188 , same thing ) Hornets, not F-16s...

Oh yeah. I thought it sounded a bit odd with 16s in Canada but i didnt bother to check and since more than 4/5 F-16s are well beyond their original lifespan, well i know only USA has any of the last 1/5 left with few flighthours...

Well at least the 18s tend to be slightly better condition, not to mention a good bit easier to upgrade. OTOH, they´re also heavier and dual engine, meaning they´re damned lot more expensive to fly than F-16s.

We could use more ships ( Coast Guard ) and new reliable Search and Rescue Helicopters , instead of useless expensive fighter jet fleet...

Fighter planes comes in VERY handy when you need them.
But of course, Canada has a silly amount of coast and water to keep an eye on so certainly it needs more ships and helis, and i can say that confidently even though i dont know how much it has now.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Fuzz » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:47 pm

The reason Canada went with the F18's in the first place was the dual engine design. It was decided (wisely) that any fighter servicing the arctic needed 2 engines, should one fail. That proved to be a good decision, as it saved more than one life(and aircraft) so far. I don't think we should abandon that idea. Our fighters should, first and formost, be able to service the countries needs, not oversees missions. The F-35 are a poor choice for those reasons. I'm not sure what way to go right now, but making Canada's single largest military purchase on somthing that has as many uncertanties as it does at this stage seems like pure folly. But then, the Conservatives were never known to make good economic desicions for the country, just for their buddies.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Hammer_Time » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:43 pm

Yup, we do need replacement jet fighters, the question is why the F-35's are the only option, no-bid contract awarded to them. There are cheaper competitors that could fulfil this role for much cheaper. How about less F-35's and more choppas???
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Celt » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:34 am

You need to consider that the F-35, like the F-18 is not just a fighter, but a multi-role combat aircraft. A Typhoon, or a Rafale is a pure air-superiority fighter, where the F-35 can also be a tactical strike aircraft for example, so you get two jobs for the price of one and that traditionally is how Canada sees its air force - not so much pure intercept, but as a flexible force that can be deployed in many different circumstances. That limits the options available . . . dramatically . . . and I don't see Canada buying Su-33s do you? The F-35 is going to be the main NATO multi-role fighter for the next 40 odd years, and that has benefits in terms of maintenance and parts, especially when deployed, so it has probably been Hobson's choice.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Akram » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:37 am

Reading someone mention Al-Qaeda in a air fighter's thread is quite ridiculous just to mention it.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Sauron_Daz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:45 am

Why so? It was used to illustrate something.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:27 am

The reason Canada went with the F18's in the first place was the dual engine design. It was decided (wisely) that any fighter servicing the arctic needed 2 engines, should one fail. That proved to be a good decision, as it saved more than one life(and aircraft) so far. I don't think we should abandon that idea.

True, but you DO realise that adding a 2nd engine raises the running cost radically, like 50% or more?

Our fighters should, first and formost, be able to service the countries needs, not oversees missions.

Of course!

The F-35 are a poor choice for those reasons. I'm not sure what way to go right now, but making Canada's single largest military purchase on somthing that has as many uncertanties as it does at this stage seems like pure folly. But then, the Conservatives were never known to make good economic desicions for the country, just for their buddies.

+1
F-35 gives some of the bad sides of a large 2 engine fighter while not having its good sides. It certainly wont end up a bad plane, but it may end up VERY expensive.

You need to consider that the F-35, like the F-18 is not just a fighter, but a multi-role combat aircraft. A Typhoon, or a Rafale is a pure air-superiority fighter

Totally incorrect. The initial production run of the Typhoon was air to air only to get the production started early(it could physically carry the munitions but it lacked the SOFTWARE and pylon connections), second and current production run(Tranche 2) is totally multirole and the early planes are slowly being upgraded to Tranche 2 standard.
Rafale has never been anything but multirole.

and that has benefits in terms of maintenance and parts

IF USA lets you handle your own maintenance rather than enforcing the rule of "anything breaks, you have to send it to USA for fixing, you´re not authorised to open the box", as they did to Norway in particular and other F-35 buyers in general.

That limits the options available . . . dramatically . . . and I don't see Canada buying Su-33s do you?

Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen. All 3 are 100% multirole, the former 2 are twin engined while the latter is waaay cheaper to operate.
The Rafale is a good midpoint compromise if you want to try to get the best from everywhere. It wont be cheaper to operate than the F-35 but it will be a lot cheaper to buy at least.
The HAL Tejas from India is less advanced but its fairly small, its the cheapest alternative and still manages to have good range and while its weapon load isnt exactly superheavy its still multirole. It fails Fuzz preference for twin engines, but thats the tradeoff for its low operating costs.

The SK Kai KF-X and the Indian MCA wont be ready until at the very earliest 2020 so they´re out.

The Yak-130 is a hypersmall twin engine trainer/multirole fighter that is literally dirt cheap. The Italian-built Aermacchi M-346 that was developed from the Yak-130 is still a bargain and has pretty much the same abilities but with NATO-standard hardpoints instead of Russian standard ones.
Both planes have the downside of low topspeed though(just Mach 1.2), but excellent range. But they´re probably the cheapest good twin engine planes you can find.

The Czech Aero L-159 is another trainer/multirole fighter but its subsonic so i expect that makes it a no go.

South Korean Kai T-50 is another trainer/multirole fighter, a bit speedier and a bit more expensive, a fair choice. Its only downside is that its designed more like a 70s or 80s fighter than the 21st century one it is. OTOH, that was deliberate to make it cheap, and it very much IS. An absolute bargain at around 20-25M USD, only the Yak-130 comes in cheaper.

Mitsubishi is sofar only building a tech demonstrator so their next generation plane wont be around for a long time yet.
Their F-2 is like a hypered up F-16 and is a decent plane though. At far over 100M USD per plane its ridiculously expensive though(even if the price includes extras normally not included in the pricetag, its still a bloody expensive plane no matter how good).

The MiG-35 if it ever goes beyond prototype isnt too bad. Midsized but with twin engines.

And no, i most certainly dont expect Canada to buy Su-33 since its the Russian carriercapable version of the Su-27... :mrgreen:

And while the Su-30MKI fits Canadian needs very well, its a HUGE plane which means the bills for flying them is likewise BIG. And while its very capable overall, its primary job is air superiority rather than multirole.

Sure it would be "shocking" to have Canada go with a Russian built plane but they have many marks on the good side, in part because they´re built for exactly the same kind of country and environment. Large, with lots of rough and cold areas.
The only non-Russian fighter you will find that can land and take off in the middle of nowhere is the Harrier family, and you wont be seeing any more newbuilds of that because as part of the F-35 VTOL version deal, the manufacturing tools for the Harrier II were wrecked (gotta love military procurement politics dont you?).
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Fuzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:28 am

From what I have read briefly, it sounds like getting new F-18 E's are our best option. Everyone already knows how to use them, the infrastructure is there and the pricetag is about 4 billion all in. Sure, they will not be a long-long term replacement, but so what. In 20 years, there will probably be a better option anyway. I'd rather spend 4 billion now, and 20 billion later when we actually have some solid info on how these jets will perform in the arctic.

As for the argument of flying costs of f-18's because of dual engines, I think that's a pretty small argument and shouldn't play into the decision. When it comes down to it, as far as I'm aware those planes don't see a huge amount of airtime anyway.

The other issues wiht the F-35's is our mid air refueling planes can't handle them. So that's anothe rcost for upgrades or replacemnts. ANd our northern airstrips are to small, so parachutes need to be added to the planes for northern service. I'd imagine that's a major hassel for a pilot to deal with. THe planes just don't make sense for Canada.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby clone » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:35 am

ok 1st thanks for all of the replies it's nice to see the thread go active.

2nd I edited my opening post because I was stupid and mentioned F-16's which was wrong Canada is using F-18's.

ok.
Direwolf wrote:Thats roughly how Swedish politicians were thinking in the 1920s. HUGE MISTAKE.
Direwolf had Sweden chosen to spend decades modernizing it's military the end result would have been the same but have taken 2 days longer, Sweden would have wasted all of that coin and still failed, it like Canada is too small a player for the forces that were in play which is my point.
Direwolf wrote:So you can predict the future with perfection then? I certainly cant.
actually I sort of can, jet fighters are cool but let's be honest Canada can't afford to cover all of the bases, Canada is not a hostile / aggressive nation and if we plan towards defense then the issue is not about bringing a fighter to an air battle it's about bringing a means to pick off fighters so that the enemy can't use them.

how much does the missile cost to maintain and expend vs how much does it cost to maintain an air fleet?
Direwolf wrote:Better to start over, and doing that domestically, sure why not, Canada may be a bit low on experience currently but it can probably handle a decent lightweight multirolefighter. But you might well be spending about as much as you would on F-35s anyway.
I agree with most of this and only approve of the option in hopes of spinoff economic benefits that return some of the expense.

with Canada choosing to receive others tech we have lost the infrastructure and are now dependent upon it which is why I'd prefer to know how to fish as opposed to receiving a fish.
Direwolf wrote:Drones are at its worst against advanced enemies.
that is a technical limitation that will be addressed in the near future, my guess less than 10 years no more than 20.
Hammer Time wrote:There are cheaper competitors that could fulfil this role for much cheaper. How about less F-35's and more choppas?
I'd go with that, Canada could make use of a new helo fleet that is more versatile.
Celt wrote:The F-35 is going to be the main NATO multi-role fighter for the next 40 odd years, and that has benefits in terms of maintenance and parts
I wonder if NATO is being as slow as Canada in it's reasoning.... they can't see past the old cold war mentality or aren't ready to admit it.

as multi role fighters go I wonder if a rethought A-10 Thunderbolt II wouldn't be the best choice.
Akram wrote:Reading someone mention Al-Qaeda in a air fighter's thread is quite ridiculous just to mention it.
I know it's why it was mentioned.
Direwolf wrote:True, but you DO realize that adding a 2nd engine raises the running cost radically, like 50% or more?
sure, the problem being the political and immediate financial hits when a fighter doesn't make it home after flying over the arctic because of malfunction.
Fuzz wrote:The other issues with the F-35's is our mid air refueling planes can't handle them. So that's another cost for upgrades or replacements. ANd our northern airstrips are to small, so parachutes need to be added to the planes for northern service. I'd imagine that's a major hassle for a pilot to deal with. THe planes just don't make sense for Canada.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Hammer_Time » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:12 am

F4 Phantom FTW!!! :twisted: :lol:

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It's "multirole" and cheap!!!!

You can get these cheap ( used ) too:


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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:24 am

As for the argument of flying costs of f-18's because of dual engines, I think that's a pretty small argument and shouldn't play into the decision. When it comes down to it, as far as I'm aware those planes don't see a huge amount of airtime anyway.

Finland have been pissed off for a long time now because of the high operating costs of their F/A-18s.
And its simply fact that the engine is the single most complex part on a fighter, and having two means you´re doubling the "fun".
Not flying them reduces the effect, but it is still there and if you´re flying them too little you risk additional problems from that aside from having a poor airforce.

The other issues wiht the F-35's is our mid air refueling planes can't handle them. So that's anothe rcost for upgrades or replacemnts.

Hmm? Dont you use NATO standard already?

ANd our northern airstrips are to small, so parachutes need to be added to the planes for northern service. I'd imagine that's a major hassel for a pilot to deal with. THe planes just don't make sense for Canada.

Yeah, and USA isnt exactly known for building military equipment suitable for cold climates. That was one of the main reasons why Sweden picked the Leopard tank above the M1, because when the M1 was here for the winter trials(the summer trials it did just fine in), it actually ended up getting towed around several times by either the Leopard 2 or the T-80U that was also taking part. That was utter embarassment for them to say the least. They have since improved matters, but its not normal design standards.

From what I have read briefly, it sounds like getting new F-18 E's are our best option. Everyone already knows how to use them, the infrastructure is there and the pricetag is about 4 billion all in. Sure, they will not be a long-long term replacement, but so what. In 20 years, there will probably be a better option anyway. I'd rather spend 4 billion now, and 20 billion later when we actually have some solid info on how these jets will perform in the arctic.

Certainly true. The expense caused by the -18s might very well be a tradeoff against what it would cost to replace or add the support system for new planes.
Even with standardisation, this tends to be quite costly.
I dont think it would even out if compared to a cheaper competititor, but the F-35 ISNT one of the cheaper ones.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:32 am

Direwolf had Sweden chosen to spend decades modernizing it's military the end result would have been the same but have taken 2 days longer, Sweden would have wasted all of that coin and still failed, it like Canada is too small a player for the forces that were in play which is my point.

THE SAME?? :roll: How can you be so utterly clueless?
The above is about on par with a certain other posters claim about what a great idea it would have been to invade nazi Germany across the Alps from Italy.

Having an airforce, effective weapons and the ammo needed for them wouldnt make a difference? That´s so far out you left the known universe far behind.

Im practically stunned by your complete lack of logic.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby clone » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:16 pm

THE SAME?? :roll: How can you be so utterly clueless?
yes Direwolf if only Sweden had Militarized prior to Germany beginning World War II, without a doubt Sweden would have been the deciding factor and the U.S. and Canada would never have needed to fight in Europe at all and just kicked Japan's ass instead.

Europe would never have been conquered because it was Sweden that had the answer to the Blitzkrieg and in reality if only Sweden had militarized then we wouldn't look back upon 1939 - 1945 as a world war but merely as a small police action where Germany would have taken back the Rhineland and then Sweden would have destroyed them so utterly as to put them back into the stone age.

if only Sweden had militarized their would never have been a cold war, if only Sweden had militarized Germany would never have been split and the world would be a land of milk and honey.

damn I wish Sweden had militarized back in 1939 and saved us all because even today if Sweden had only militarized perhaps the U.S. would have thought long and hard about invading Iraq, if only Sweden had militarized back in 1939 perhaps we'd all be speaking Swedish instead of English..... well at least I can console myself that the problems of the world are because of Sweden and whenever I'm pissed I'll just speak aloud, F'ing Swedish politicians!

note the sarcasm.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:23 pm

note the sarcasm.

The extreme stupidity overrides it with ease.

If you want to be dumb, fine.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby clone » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:25 pm

The extreme stupidity overrides it with ease.

If you want to be dumb, fine.
Direwolf what do you believe Sweden would have accomplished back in 1939 when Germany started it's war, do you really believe Sweden would have been the answer Europe and Russia didn't have?

your silliness and pride obscure your vision from reality just like an Apple fanboys love of Steve Jobs and everything Apple.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Fuzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:11 pm

DIREWOLF75 wrote:
The other issues wiht the F-35's is our mid air refueling planes can't handle them. So that's anothe rcost for upgrades or replacemnts.

Hmm? Dont you use NATO standard already?


I don't know much about that, jsut read it here:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/01/31/cana ... n-mid-air/

And they mention needing entirely new aircraft, not just a retrofit.
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Re: F-35 Lightning a total waste for Canada or no?

Postby Tiggerz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:22 pm

Celt wrote:You need to consider that the F-35, like the F-18 is not just a fighter, but a multi-role combat aircraft. A Typhoon, or a Rafale is a pure air-superiority fighter


Is not designed as such though, it is air, sea and land capable. The initial batch which are currently only air superiority models will be upgraded. I would suggest that it partners the F35 quite nicely.
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