Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is there any need for the F-35 for Canada?

The last time Canada bought new fighters it was 1980.  Reagen was coming into office and the Cold War was in full swing.   There was a clear defensive need for Canada to have something like the CF-18.  These planes entered service in 1982.  

The Cold War came to an end and the first need for the fighter disappeared.   The planes were used in the first Iraq war and then in the war against Serbia in 1999.    These plains are now close to 30 years old and coming to the end of their useful lives.   Time to replace them, right?

The government seems to have decided to purchase the new F-35 for whole heap of money.  Why do we need an updated Cold War role fighter?

Since 1999 the technology for air combat has changed dramatically and the biggest change is with drones.   In the last ten years drone technology has advanced quickly.   Realistically within five years drones will have the capability to out class human manned fighters.  

A drone will cost you about $10 to $20 million a piece.   The F-35 costs more than $100 million per plane.

There is no future in fighter planes, buying the F-35 is nonsensical and a waste of resources that could be better used for other needs of the military.   The Canadian Forces really could make better use of more transport planes than new fighters.

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