Home » News & Analysis » Congress Notified of Potential $5.23B Super Hornet Sale to Canada While F-35 Questions Remain


Congress Notified of Potential $5.23B Super Hornet Sale to Canada While F-35 Questions Remain

A Canadian CF-18 flies in formation with other aircraft off the coast Hawaii. US Navy Photo

THE PENTAGON — The proposed $5.23 billion sale of 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters to Canada received U.S. Department of State approval, marking a significant step toward U.S. ally’s plan to upgrade its aging fighter jet fleet.

If the sale is completed, Canada will purchase ten F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft with F414-GE-400 engines, and eight F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft with F414-GE-400 engines. Canada will also be purchasing various weapons systems, spare parts, flight gear, and material support as part of the deal, according to a statement released by the Defense Security Co-operation Agency.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability,” is how the agency justified the potential sale, through a statement.

State approval is an important milestone for the potential sale, but the final purchase still must be approved by Congress. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency formally notified Congress of the possible sale on Monday.

The announced deal is also significant because Canada has for years appeared to waffle on how it would upgrade the jets in its air force. Canadian news reports have routinely reported how successive governments have wrestled with the question of how much to spend on new fighter jets.

The potiential cost of the F-35s has been an itense political topic in Canada, the Toronto-based Globe and Mail reported in May the Boeing-made Super Hornet appeared to become the favored option.

The Canadian government was said to also be considering the F-35, along with a pair of European-built fighters, but balked at the higher price tag, according to the Globe and Mail.

An F-35B aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1) during operational testing at sea in May 2015. US Marine Corps photo.

For years, though, the current Liberal Party-controlled Canadian government hinted the F-35 would not be its fighter jet of the future. Not buying the F-35 was part of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign, including a specific “No F-35” plank in his party’s platform.

The following is the complete Sept. 12, 2917 DSCA Statement.

WASHINGTON, Sep. 12, 2017 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Canada of ten (10) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) F414-GE-400 engine spares; twenty (20) AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; twenty (20) M61A2 20MM gun systems; twenty-eight (28) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets; fifteen (15) AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods; twenty (20) Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems–Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS); thirty (30) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); twenty-eight (28) AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures Systems; one hundred thirty (130) LAU-127E/A and or F/A Guided Missile Launchers; twenty-two (22) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting System (DTS); twenty-two (22) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting Processor (DTP); one hundred (100) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles; thirty (30) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); eight (8) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATM); twenty (20) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Tactical Guidance Units; sixteen (16) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II CATM Guidance Units.

Also included in this sale are AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems; AN/ARC-210 Communication System; AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder; AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loader (SKL); Data Transfer Unit (DTU); Accurate Navigation (ANAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation; KIV-78 Duel Channel Encryptor, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); CADS/PADS; Instrument Landing System (ILS); Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); High Speed Video Network (HSVN) Digital Video Recorder (HDVR); Launchers (LAU-115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU-118A); flight test services; site survey; aircraft ferry; auxiliary fuel tanks; aircraft spares; containers; storage and preservation; transportation; aircrew and maintenance training; training aids and equipment, devices and spares and repair parts; weapon system support and test equipment; technical data Engineering Change Proposals; technical publications and documentation; software; avionics software support; software development/integration; system integration and testing; U.S. Government and contractor engineering technical and logistics support; Repair of Repairable (RoR); repair and return warranties; other technical assistance and support equipment; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total case value is $5.23 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 11, 2017.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability. The acquisition of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, associated weapons and capability will allow for greater interoperability with U.S. forces, providing benefits for training and possible future coalition operations in support of shared regional security objectives.

The proposed sale of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will improve Canada’s capability to meet current and future warfare threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Canada will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be: Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO; Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, CA; Raytheon, El Segundo, CA; General Electric, Lynn, MA; and Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ. The Government of Canada has advised that it will negotiate offset agreements with key U.S. contractors.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Canada on and intermittent basis over the life of the case to support delivery of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and weapons and to provide supply support management, inventory control and equipment familiarization.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

  • El Kabong

    To folks outside of Canada, here’s a glimpse into the GALACTIC incompetence the Liberal party has regarding the military.

    Fun fact: Over a decade ago, a previous Liberal prime minister signed Canada up to spend millions as a Tier 3 member of the F-35 program.

    Government estimates put the revenue for Canadian aerospace involvement at over $9 BILLION.

    The liberals hate the military and Canadian industry.

    Look what they did to a company called Paramax regarding the EH101 program to replace the Sea King and Labrador helicopters with a common airframe.

  • DaSaint

    On a per aircraft basis, they may actually be paying more, with weapons & service contracts included. I’m sure they feel that 1) they’re paying less, 2) they’re fulfilling a campaign pledge, and 3) they’re getting a product they pretty much know and understand, although the E/F is really much different than the A/B and C/D models, and 4) they probably feel they can get 18 delivered faster than 18 F-35’s since they’ve botched that so badly that they’d be at the end of the line, and probably not receive them until 2027-2030.

    Of the 138 airframes they originally ordered, only 80 were significantly modernized. Their oldest aircraft are slated to be retired by 2020, so this is clearly a stop-gap measure to buy time and convince the public that a larger order of 80+ aircraft is needed. Canada likes twin jets, for over-water patrols and arctic patrols. Rafale is too small IMO, Typhoon too expensive, and they’re certainly not buying upgraded F-15s, otherwise they would have chosen them already. They were probably also influenced by Australia, which also isn’t buying F-35s just yet, but know and believe that in the threat environment of the South Pacific, Australia will reconsider that within 5 years, and Canada will most likely follow suit.

    • Duane

      Actually, Australia just made a huge new committed buy of F-35s earlier this year, extending their initial purchase of 14 birds in 2009 by adding another 58 birds last spring, to a total of 72 F-35s all to be delivered by 2023 (meaning, probably even more will be purchased by the time production ends somewhere in the early 2030s).

      LM is having considerable success selling F-35s to US allies in NATO and elsewhere now that the fly away costs for the A model, still in low rate initial production, are down to $93.6M this year and projected high rate production beginning in 2019 at around $80M per aircraft fly away with engine. That makes the F-35 cheaper than any fourth gen birds still in production today, all of which are in the $120+ M range. Bahrain, for instance, just announced a deal to buy 19 F-16Vs at an average cost in excess of $140M each fly away, not including spares or support costs.

      It’s all about the volume of production, All other fourth gen plus birds are being produced at relatively low rates of production, a few tens per year, while the F-35 production is ramping up to about 240+ birds per year in less than two years from now.

      • DaSaint

        Duane, you’re right. I completely forgot that Australia already has placed an offer. Canada will follow suit and most likely just punt the ball for a few years.

        • Duane

          Thanks, DaSaint. Regarding the F-35s, it’s a matter of partisan politics in Canada … the Liberals ran on not buying the F-35 as a means of opposing the Conservatives. The Canadians seem to do politics similar to here in the USA – every other election they switch parties in control. When the Conservatives get back in power they’ll reverse the decision.

          As a matter of politics, I don’t get why which bird the Canadians buy is a political matter at all. Both are US made birds. The F-35 is obviously far superior to the Super Hornet in terms of capability (not just stealth, but everything from sensors to sensor fusion to battlefield data management), and it’s actually cheaper now than the low production rate Super Hornets. Maybe it was nothing more than rank partisanship – arguing solely for the purpose of being different, rather than being right. Just like a lot of internet commenters do in comment threads.

          • El Kabong

            It has to do with Liberal incompetence.

            The Liberals in the 90’s signed us up for the F-35 program and spend millions on it.

            The current libtwit government just blindly opposed the conservative government going ahead with the purchase.

            Now they painted themselves into a corner and are desperate to find a way out of it.

            It wasn’t until AFTER the election that a “fighter gap” magically emerged.

            Kiss the $9 BILLION in revenue that Canadian companies were estimated to make building F-35 parts.

      • mikehorn

        Australia remains committed to the F35, but their legacy hornets are almost unflyable. They ordered Superhornets to fill the gap before their F35s are actually in service. The retirement of RAAF F111s in 2010 added to the urgency since they now lack that sort of strike ability.

        RAAF will be flying Superhornet alongside F35s.

        • El Kabong

          “They ordered Superhornets to fill the gap before their F35s are actually in service.”?

          Nope.

          It was to replace the prematurely retired F-111’s and was the ONLY fighter available.

          NOTHING to do with capabilities.

          The RAAF is studying whether or not to replace the Sub-Par Hornets with a later batch of F-35’s.

          • mikehorn

            That was the first buy 10 years ago. They recently made another buy to fill the delivery gap and start taking over legacy hornets missions.

          • El Kabong

            Nope.

          • El Kabong

            Nope.

            They’re studying whether or not to replace the Growlers with a later F-35 buy.

            Since the F-35 will be able to do EW/EA why waste money on a second fleet of a/c?

            The USMC isn’t buying Growlers to replace their Prowlers, are they?

            What are they buying?

          • mikehorn

            What the Americans do isn’t necessarily what Australia or Canada should do. We tried to get the JSF as a common platform for the whole American military and ended up with 3 aircraft that have a family resemblance and a common engineering starting point 20 years ago. So, even America wanted multiple aircraft out of the F35.

            I’m not convinced you need dedicated EW in a stealth airframe. I’m not disputing the F35’s capacity, or even the utility since it opens up more attack options. But using stealth strike jets combined with dedicated jammers makes more sense to me. In today’s world any EW aircraft should include subtle things like malware and more specifically targeted electronic attack options. This implies at least a two-seat plane. The Superhornet might not be the best choice either depending on what you want or need. A small business jet or even a converted airliner with a half-dozen cyberpukes riding inside might be best. What are the power needs? What is the human workload? Is the F35 judge a kludgy half measure where something more specialized would be far better even if only needed in small numbers as low as a dozen or two?

            America has the ability to purchase multiple platforms where Canada and Australia have more modest budgets. I can see a combined fleet of F35s and something else, either Superhornets or something else.

          • El Kabong

            “I’m not convinced you need dedicated EW in a stealth airframe.”?

            ????

            NO need for onboard ECM?

            “But using stealth strike jets combined with dedicated jammers makes more sense to me.”?

            What’s the RCS of those jammers? You do realize jammers RADIATE, right?

            Are you drunk?

            Go read up on Russian SAM’s like the S-400, S-300, Pantsir, Tsunguska, etc.

            “In today’s world any EW aircraft should include subtle things like malware and more specifically targeted electronic attack options. “?

            Wow…Tell me how that works against a bullet or MANPADS.

            “A small business jet or even a converted airliner with a half-dozen cyberpukes riding inside might be best.”?

            “America has the ability to purchase multiple platforms where Canada and Australia have more modest budgets.”

            “I can see a combined fleet of F35s and something else, either Superhornets or something else.”?

            Which is it?

            We have modest budgets or we need multiple fleets?

            Oh, sweet Jesus, just stop it already, you’re embarrassing yourself.

          • mikehorn

            You misread my post. Not sure it was intentional. Most military planes has carried EW of one sort or other for decades. That isn’t what I’m talking about. A dedicated EW aircraft, which the avionics on an F35 have the potential to be, is not a strike aircraft or a fighter or a tanker or an anti submarine platform. We ignored this type of warfare starting in the 1990s and accelerating after 9/11 because we didn’t see the money as well spent. Now we have changed our minds in part based on the Russian and Chinese AAW in service or development. You mentioned some of those. A dedicated EW plane might be stealthy but not necessarily so since that adds cost. The Superhornet has frontal aspect rcs reduction, which will help a specific ew role, but a modern ew plane would need other capabilities. Onboard electronic power is one. The ability to concentrate attention on an ew mission also implies a person on the plane just doing that, not flying or aiming missiles or bombs. Since you brought up modern air defense, those are increasingly networked, and most have datalinks between sites to produce a composite picture from multiple sensors. They also must link to most weapons for guidance. IR weapons and those with active seekers are also vulnerable. These can all potentially be hacked with malware. All software has vulnerabilities, and if you can find a way in that might be the most effective way to take them down. A dedicated EW aircraft would have modern versions of jamming, but also this. If you don’t think so you don’t understand computer control or networked defenses.

            Infantry and tanks are gaining the ability to hack enemy systems and weapons, the leader right now is Russia in Ukraine. America is playing catch up. The Israelis might have more than they let on. If we don’t put this into aircraft we missed a bet. F35s might already have a rudimentary ability, but a single pilot has limitations – only so many seconds in every minute.

            FTR I also think we need a fully modern SEAD aircraft that would have secondary EW role but would definitely require stealth, speed, maneuverability, a low altitude excellence. The F35 could possibly be a good SEAD plane.

          • El Kabong

            “That isn’t what I’m talking about. A dedicated EW aircraft, which the avionics on an F35 have the potential to be, is not a strike aircraft or a fighter or a tanker or an anti submarine platform.”?

            Technology improves with time.

            EW aircraft used to be the EB-66, EKA-3, etc.
            The EA-6B had four crew, the EF-111 went to two and so did the Growler.
            Electronics are miniaturized and automated, and the F-35 looks to be the next logical step.

            You clearly don’t understand modern avionics.

            The F-35 has latent SEAD capabilities…

          • mikehorn

            I’m not positive you understand the modern electronic warfare environment. Stealth in some radar bands is still an advantage but no longer a winning quality on its own. Part of the reason is that modern computers (as opposed to those in the 1970s when stealth was born or 1990s when the F35 was designed). Modern enemy systems link multiple radars and other sensors like distributed IRST and airborne systems into one display, esssentially creating a very large sensor spanning many miles on its reception. This requires a rebirth of dedicated EW aircraft to supplement stealth strike and cruise missile effectiveness. Not to mention any weapon that requires guidance, or sensors that require data links. Since a feature of 5th gen is data sharing, it is more important now than it was 10 years ago. One weak spot in defenses is the data link. Disrupt it or fool it or hack it.

            We have and have had many different EW aircraft with different manning. The EF18 growler is a two seater, the current SEAD aircraft is a single seater based on block 50/52 F16s. We also have the EC130H Compass Call, crew of 13. And we need to replace the old AWACS with something more modern that would include electronic attack. A large plane with new AESA running higher power than an F35 can generate might primarily be AEW, but has an inherent EW capability that any AESA has. And a large aircraft without a strike mission has room to add other toys and even swap out work stations depending on mission. The impressive E2D Hawkeyes has a crew of 5. Yes, an AEW has command and control crew, but is capable of much more.

          • El Kabong

            Oh, I’m positive you’re out of your depth here.

            “Modern enemy systems link multiple radars and other sensors like distributed IRST and airborne systems into one display…”?

            Which ones would those be?

            “This requires a rebirth of dedicated EW aircraft to supplement stealth strike and cruise missile effectiveness.”?

            If that’s the case, please tell me what “dedicated EW aircraft” is being developed.

            “We also have the EC130H Compass Call, crew of 13.”

            Sure, tell me when was the last time it was sent up against dedicated IADS?

            “A large plane with new AESA running higher power than an F35 can generate might primarily be AEW, but has an inherent EW capability that any AESA has.”?

            Like what?

            “The impressive E2D Hawkeyes has a crew of 5. Yes, an AEW has command and control crew, but is capable of much more.”?

            NOW you’re deflecting with AEW a/c?

            Not working.

          • mikehorn

            Note than one potential weakness we worry about in the F35 is whether enemies can hack into our planes. I’m more worried about its logistics/maintenance system than some other parts. Bring down the maintenance system, and you could potentially ground every F35 worldwide

          • El Kabong

            I agree, that ALIS needs to be looked at and the threat of cyber attack taken seriously.

          • El Kabong

            POTENTIAL…

          • mikehorn

            Look up “Operation Orchard” to educate yourself on real world applications of what I’m talking about. They had dedicated EW aircraft. The Israelis effectively hacked and took over the entire Syrian air defense network.

            That was ten years ago. Bot electronic attack and electronic defense have improved since then. This includes hacking and counter hacking.

          • El Kabong

            LMAO!!

            Which ones?

            Educate yourself, sonny.

          • Durr

            So in 2007 the only aircraft available on the world market was the Super Hornet? Uh? I think you are wrong. Wasn’t the Eurofighter, F-16, F-15, Mig-29, or SU-27 on the market?

          • El Kabong

            LMAO!!!!

            The ONLY aircraft that could REPLACE AN F-111.

            “I think…”?

            You clearly need to go read up on when ALL those fighters went into production.

            The RAAF ORDERED F/A-18F’s in 2006.

            Russian scrap? You’re joking, right?

          • muzzleloader

            The Aussie F- 111’s were almost 40 years old. I would not label thier retirement as premature. They were replaced because like all older airframes, they were getting increasingly costly to maintain.

          • El Kabong

            The RAAF initial estimate was for the F-111’s to last until being replaced by F-35’s.

            Look it up.

          • muzzleloader

            I have no doubt on what you say concerning the RAAF initial estimates about the life of their Arrdvarks, but that did not pan out. The Aussie Gov. even purchased some ex USAF stocks at one point.
            Nevertheless the fiscal hit they were talking in keeping the F-111 fleet flying moved them to acquire a newer and capable platform that they could have quickly and affordably.

          • El Kabong

            Agreed.
            But the suddenness of the decision to retire the ‘111’s left them with only one choice for a replacement.

            The Rafale and Typhoon weren’t ready and the F-35 was still a prototype.
            The Gripen was too small.

            I really wished people would take the time to learn these facts before displaying their cluelessness on the internet.

          • muzzleloader

            You have to take into account that the Aussie’s were already operating legacy Hornets so transition time to the E/F would be minimal for operators and maintainers. Also the Super Hornet is almost the size of an F-15 with an 9 ton ordinance capacity.

          • El Kabong

            “…so transition time to the E/F would be minimal for operators and maintainers.”?

            Why?

            It’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT fighter.

            NO cross-quals for line pilots or maintainers.

            Using your logic, the AV-8A and AV-8B were “similar”.

            Again, to fulfill a similar role to the ‘111, the Super Hornet was the only aircraft available quickly.
            The USN agreed to allow the RAAF to buy some of their Lots instead of waiting in line.

            The F-15 wasn’t available quickly enough.

    • El Kabong

      ???

      The Norwegians and Danes announced their F-35 purchase and will get them in around 202.

      The ELE for the CF-18 has always been around 2020-2025.

      There is no need for these mediocre fighters.

      “Canada likes twin jets, for over-water patrols and arctic patrols.”?

      LOL!

      Where, oh where did you read THAT gem?

      The USAF is basing F-35’s in Alaska.
      The Norwegians are buying F-35’s.
      The Swedes have only used single engine fighters.

      The one vs two engine nonsense is old…

      Go look up how much the Canadian aviation industry could make buy CONTINUING to build F-35 parts.

  • Curtis Conway

    The F/A-18F is an excellent AAW platform. The Canadians should do what the Australians did, and have their F/A-18Fs wired with EA-18G wiring so the Electronic Attack mission can be performed. The EA-18G can conduct an Air Intercept mission if required. Having another Allie who can rotate into an Electronic Attack mission set would be the Cat’s Meow for this NATO member, even if the US had to help them do it.

    The GE F414 engine package should include the Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE), Enhanced Performance Engine (EPE) capability for their entire fleet. Cost of ownership may go up a bit, but greater fuel economy so one can get a few more miles in the air on the same fuel, with the most durable engine produced by GE Aviation will come in real handy when flying over the Arctic Region.

    • El Kabong

      No, it isn’t.

      There’s a reason its nickname is “Rhino”.

      Do your research.

      The ONLY reason the RAAF bought them was due to their F-111 fleet being prematurely retired and the Sub-Par Hornet was the ONLY fighter available.

      The F-35 will have EA capabilities.

      There’s a reason the USMC is NOT buying Growlers to replace their Prowlers.

      “…with the most durable engine produced by GE Aviation will come in real handy when flying over the Arctic Region.”?

      The USAF is basing F-35’s in Alaska.
      The Norwegians are buying F-35’s.
      The Swedes have only used single engine fighters.

      The one vs two engine nonsense is old…

      • Curtis Conway

        First, DO NOT confuse DACT or dog-fighting with Anti Air Warfare. Many things launch AIM-120s and other BVR weapons, with which I would not want to dogfight. It is the politicians that kill us with onerous ROE with which we must contend, and place us at the disadvantage, and the F-35 pilots will have to deal with that when the time comes too. As for the Super Hornets in Australia, they have not been running down the street ringing bells and hollering that Electronic Attack with the F/A-18Fs was where they were going to go, but they did, and a smart move it was too. For US Old Crows we understand how to use the assets, and what their capabilities and limitations are, and the EA-18G Growler combined with an F-35 combat system make a fairly wonderful pair to take into combat, and the US Navy agrees with me.

        As for one engine vs two, I have never met a combat pilot, particularly if he had to perform CAS that actually said “I prefer single engine aircraft”.

        • El Kabong

          LOL!

          You HAVE confused modern air warfare tactics.

          What gets whacked first?

          The fighter with the RCS of a barn door, or the fighter with the RCS of a Pigeon?

          Clearly, you’re too old to understand the EA capabilities of the F-35, that have been talked about since the BEGINNING.

          “…and the EA-18G Growler combined with an F-35 combat system make a fairly wonderful pair to take into combat, and the US Navy agrees with me.”?

          LMAO!!!

          “fairly wonderful”?

          According to what experts?

          Cite your sources.

          “As for one engine vs two, I have never met a combat pilot, particularly if he had to perform CAS that actually said “I prefer single engine aircraft”.”?

          So you’ve never met a pilot.

          F-16’s, AV-8 Harriers, AMX, A-7, Super Etendard, Mirage F.1, Mirage 2000, Mirage III, Kfir, A-4……

          • Curtis Conway

            I have many intercepts in the US Navy controlling aircraft both US and Allied. Every one of them loves to do gun runs on a LARN Target towed behind the ship. Few like to perform real CAS unless they were in an A-10 that has two engines and can absorb damage when they are low and slow in the small arms environment. No, I think I have met a pilot or two performing all missions. Sat in many of their cockpits.

            As for who is confused about air combat tactics vs Anti-Air Warfare, when I wasn’t controlling fighters I would sit on another console and use a different call sign . . . and he is Mr. AAW. Between Fleet Fighter Air-combat Refresher Program (FFARP), and sitting AAW Commander, I think there is very few other things one can do when getting up to speed on these concepts. No . . . I have been there and done that. How about you?

          • El Kabong

            Answer the questions.

            SURE you did….

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      As per the FMS website, the engines included are the standard F414-GE-400 units and not the enhanced version.

      Everything they ordered is the standard vanilla Super Hornet…… for $280m a piece.

      • Duane

        That’s three and a half the cost of a full rate production F-35A.

        • SpudmanWP

          Bare in mind that it included a lot mare than just the plane.. but yeah, It’s ridiculous.

  • RobM1981

    I mean no disrespect, but…

    According to Wiki, Canada fields a total of 73 CF-18’s (as they re-brand them).

    You could house the whole strike arm of the RCAF on a single CVN, with a bit of space left over.

    I’m sure this is very important to them, but in the greater scheme of things?

    I love our neighbors to the north, and it’s nice to see them investing a bit in defense, but we all know who actually defends Canada’s shores. If a foreign power set so much as one toe on Canadian soil, the USA would be fully committed to repulse the invader. We’d tolerate an attack on England before we would Canada or Mexico.

    They know it, and they benefit enormously from it.

    • mikehorn

      First, the CF18 is actually a distinct aircraft from American models. Their need to constantly operate in colder climates drives things like tail hooks on land based planes and drag chutes, both for icy runways.

      Second, Canada does now and will continue to fly missions in collaboration with NORAD for air interception roles. The Cold War was reborn in 2008, and Russian bombers coming over the North Pole is again a threat.

      • El Kabong

        “..drives things like tail hooks on land based planes and drag chutes, both for icy runways.”?

        CF-18’s have drag chutes?

        Yeah, no.

        • D. Jones

          Landing gear is modified to accept tire chains.

          • El Kabong

            Add “sarc” to the end of a sarcastic comment or some folks will think you’re serious.

        • mikehorn

          Sorry, you are correct. There is talk of F35 drag chutes and I got Norwegian operations in my head.

          Should have been more obvious. Where would you put one on an F18? That would be a bit of work.

          • El Kabong

            Not needed for a Hornet.

        • mikehorn

          Still, the CF18 is based on the F18L export model, and has some differences from American jets.

          • El Kabong

            LOL!!!!!

            Wrong.

            SO wrong…

            The CF-18 is a USN/USMC standard Hornet without the carrier landing instrumentation.

            Go educate yourself about the paper-plane F-18L.
            For starters, it had COMPLETELY different landing gear.

    • El Kabong

      What do the rest of NATO’s fighter fleets look like?

      Not everyone has an obsessive need to be the top military spender in the world.

  • SpudmanWP

    lol… 18 Super Hornets are going to cost half of what the original deal was for 65 F-35As….

    Way to save money Libtards.

    • sferrin

      Libtards are the same the world over.

      • SpudmanWP

        True that

    • El Kabong

      A group of generals wrote a letter to the government saying how BAD an idea this was.

      The training, the logistics, the crew requirements…

      The RCAF is only capable of keeping the current CF-18 fleet operational and meeting it’s requirements, let alone adding a completely different fighter to the force.

      Libtwits hate the CF.

    • RedStatePatriot

      Yeah, half the cost for 1/20th the capability, and obsolete within a few years if not already.

  • SpudmanWP

    The only reason that they want Super Hornets now for the “gap” is to use the “one fleet” argument to either “sole source” the CF-18 replacement or give Boeing more points during the “Open Competition” when it loses to the F-35.

    • El Kabong

      Luckily the libtwits will be punted in a couple of years.

  • Deplorable Jon

    At least one country is using good sense on the F 35. Now others need to cancel orders as well for the flying turkey.

    • sferrin

      LOL! Good joke. Oh, you were serious. You might want to uhm, educate yourself.

    • El Kabong

      Clearly, you have no sense.

      How many countries are buying F-35’s?

      Who’s bought the Sub-Par Hornet with its cock-eyed wing pylons?

      • Durr

        Hmmm, lets see how many countries are part of the manufacturing of the aircraft? Lockheed Martin took the business model of having an item built at different sites to ensure local support to a global level.
        At least the Super Hornet can carry more than two bombs. How may can the F-35 carry internally? And if you have to go external what’s the point of stealth.
        P.S. Combat record wise. Not counting Turkey’s F-4’s what other aircraft has the combat record (A/G strikes & A/A kills) than the Super Hornet?

        • El Kabong

          Answer the questions.

          Clearly, you have NEVER seen the F-35’s external pylons.

          “And if you have to go external what’s the point of stealth.”?

          LMAO!!!

          The F-35 CAN be stealthy WHEN NEEDED.
          THe Sub-Par Hornet can NEVER be stealthy.

          P.S. Has the F-35 DEPLOYED yet?
          P.S.S. Did a Rhino EVER rake up a 15:1 kill ratio at a ‘Flag Ex?

          How long did it take B-1B’s to see action?

          What’s the A-A record for Hornets vs F-15’s and F-16’s?
          What did that ANCIENT MiG-25 shoot down over Iraq?

          You amateur fan-boys are amusing! LOL!

          • Duane

            Also, external weapons can be made just as stealthy as the aircraft itself. The Brits have already developed a stealthy externally-mounted AIM to substitute for the AIM-9X.You can bet that Raytheon is already busy at work devising a stealthy airframe for their AIM-9X so as not to lose sales to the Brits. We already have at least one stealthy air launched missile – LRASM – an air to surface weapon. Pretty soon we’ll have quite a few stealthy air launched munitions.available that will only minimally increase the RCS of the F-35.

          • El Kabong

            “…external weapons can be made just as stealthy as the aircraft itself. “?

            LMAO!!!!!

            Show me those “stealth” pylons, launchers and racks.

            I need a laugh.

            “The Brits have already developed a stealthy externally-mounted AIM to substitute for the AIM-9X.”?

            You mean ASRAAM?
            Go ahead, cite your sources.

            I’d take your bet.

            “We already have at least one stealthy air launched missile – LRASM…”?

            Wow…Just. WOW.

            You clearly aren’t comprehending the concept here.

            The AIRCRAFT are not LO when carrying external weapons.
            Doesn’t matter if the weapons are stealthy.

    • Ty Harris

      When the balloon eventually goes up and the F35 sees combat against an adversary with advanced surface to air systems it’s value will be vindicated and the 4th gen aircraft will be flying coffins. Canada can use these for continental air defense and for bombing runs after we have cleared the road for them using our stealth. Stealth has to drive the design going forward for countries who may seriously need to go into harms way in contested airspace. They may have saved a couple of bucks but the capabilities they are going to be giving up aren’t worth it. And thats assuming they even came out ahead on this. The F35 unit price is heading to parity not to mention the value of being a manufacturing partner in the program. All in all it seems like a bad move for Canada. But whatever. I wish them well.

  • SpudmanWP

    How about now. Block 3F F-35s are rolling off the lines and being delivered to units as we speak. The reports you cite are at least a year old and do not take into account any of the fixes since then.

    Here is the quote from Gilmore’s late IOT&E report:
    “Based on these ongoing problems and delays, and including the required time for IOT&E spin-up, the program will not be ready to start IOT&E until late CY18, at the soonest, or more likely early CY19. In fact, IOT&E could be delayed to as late as CY20, depending on the completion of required modifications to the IOT&E aircraft. ”

    The fact is that per the latest info released this month at Tailhook, IOT&E is on track to start in the 1st quarter of CY2018.

  • Duane

    The gun works, the only issue was the integration of the (useless and irrelevant to modern aerial combat) gun with the fire control system. Just like all guns on all aircraft and all ships have to be integrated with their respective fire control systems. As Spudman writes here, 3F is already out and the (useless and irrelevant to modern aerial combat) gun was never scheduled to be deployed until 3F.

    • Durr

      The gun may work but with 188 round capacity, what’s the point.

      • Duane

        The fact that it’s a gun at all, what’s the point? Aerial guns are obsolete in the 21st century … just like horse cavalry and battleships became utterly obsolete in the 20th century.

        • El Kabong

          LOL!

          Clearly, you weren’t paying attention to the STRAFING being done in Afghanistan.

          • Duane

            We strafed because the A-10s faced zero threat from SAMs or even manpads, with the US enjoying 100% air supremacy.

            In any other type of conflict against peers or near peers with contested airspace, the AF won’t even allow the A-10 anywhere near the theater … and will not allow our high and fast attack birds to go down low and slow either, whether stealthy or not.

            Guns require that the shooter be low and slow and in great visibability for line of fire targeting … exactly the conditions conducive to shooting down the shooter with even simple manpads, let alone sophisticated SAMS or capable attacking aircraft with AAMs.

          • El Kabong

            “USNI Moderator – where are you? You’re tolerating this kind of commentary in strict defiance of the commenting rules?”

            Don’t try talking to me.

            You might get your fee-wings hurt.

            BTW, look up the Israeli’s use of the gun in ACM.

      • El Kabong

        LOL!

        What’s to point of such a comment when you have no idea what modern fighters carry for ammo?

        Most carry around 150 rounds.

      • SpudmanWP

        The F-35 carries more rounds than the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, or any SU/Mig. It’s also a bigger round than the F-16/15/22.

      • WHOHE

        Derp Derp Derrrrrrp! Some research and you’d be not looking the fool right about now. #TheMoreYouKnow.

  • El Kabong

    You’re lucky we don’t ban the sale of Stryker parts to the US Army.

    Douche.

  • El Kabong

    So, tell me why the wing pylons on a SUB-PAR Hornet are cock-eyed?

    What competitions has the F-35 lost out to another fighter type?

    Cite your sources, boy.

  • El Kabong

    Tell you what, you’re a douche.

    No wonder the rest of the world thinks you’re obnoxious blowhards.

    • Duane

      USNI Moderator – where are you? You’re tolerating this kind of commentary in strict defiance of the commenting rules?

      • El Kabong

        No one likes a tattle tale, Duane.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    You are quite a bit behind the times there chief.

    Attention Jon…. the Falklands have been invaded… I repeat, the Falklands have been invaded!

  • muzzleloader

    Someone from Maryland calling a person displaying a confederate flag a redneck.
    How typically arrogant and conceited.

  • muzzleloader

    Kind of amusing how the article specifies that the FA/-18E has the F414 GE 400 engine, and the FA/-18 F has the F414 GE 400 engine. The only difference is the E being a single seater and the F model is a 2 seater, it is the same airframe.

  • omegatalon

    $5.23 billion sale of 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters which works out to being about $290Million for each F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; proving the old line.. there’s a sucker born every minute as this is Donald Trump showing ‘the art of the deal’ in convincing Canada that the F/A-18 Super Hornet is cheaper than the F-35A.

  • RedStatePatriot

    GOD…. try keeping up.

  • John B. Morgen

    If the Canadians hadn’t cancelled their CF-105 Arrow Project during the Cold War, the Canadians would not have the need to purchased F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. The CF-105 Project would have given Canada a profound jump in Mach 2 designed fighter aircraft, and would be equaled with American Mach 2 fighters, or if not better..

    • El Kabong

      ???

      All fictional nonsense.

  • El Kabong

    Hey, look at your BANNED comments.

  • leroy

    OK, OK, so Ottawa wants F/A-18 over F-35. Dumb decision but that’s fine. Just don’t expect to reap economic benefits from the JSF Program. You no buy, you no play. Another industrial partner nation that’s actually purchasing the fighter can take over any F-35 parts or maintenance contracts you have or will have in the future. NO INDUSTRIAL PARTICIPATION FOR CANADA ON THE F-35 PROGRAM! That seems fine to me too. Fine and fair!

    • Ty Harris

      We should be partnering with India as a replacement for Canada.

      • leroy

        No. Can’t trust they wouldn’t let Russia tear one apart, examine it, put it back together.

        • WHOHE

          They wouldn’t be able to hack the F-35, but you’re right about India being too close to the Russians.

          I wonder how the Canadian SH fanboys at bestfighter4canada are taking this news that 18 Super Hornets will cost $290million!!! Lol.

          • leroy

            They’re idiots. Like Sol’s boys, they’ll deny that they were wrong, that they screwed up, and won’t man up. Now I say cut Canada out of the F-35’s industrial benefits. No parts built there, no maintenance, no nothing! Give all the work to Partner Nations who are actually buying the plane. Let Canadian aerospace deal with that. Let the Canadian people find jobs at the burger joint of their choice.

          • Mali King

            Spot on!

          • El Kabong

            Agreed.

            Yeah, that fanboy circle jerk would deny those facts about the costs.

      • Ty Harris

        India is the closest thing to a natural ally and partner in that area against Pakistan and China. Common values, aspirations, enemies, and rivals. We are fated to grow closer economically and militarily to the world’s largest democracy.

        • El Kabong

          ????

          Since when has Canada become an adversary to Pakistan and China?

          • Ty Harris

            India as a replacement for canada in the F35 program. I was obviously speaking of India as a strategic and natural ally against China and Pakistan not Canada.

          • El Kabong

            LMAO!!!!

            What would that be?

            Which military debacle are you talking about?

            The junk Tejas?
            The rehashed Su-30?
            The rejected PAK-FA?

            Go read up on the past Indian debacles.

            MBT’s, submarines, carriers, trainer aircraft, fighters, destroyers…

            NOTHING the Indians have made has worked properly.

          • Ty Harris

            Which is why they should be buying the F35 instead of trying to build their own fighter which will be 40 years behind the state of the current art before it even gets started. I dont think I am being unclear. Is english your second or third language?

          • El Kabong

            The F-35 isn’t available to them.

            Clearly your ESL classes didn’t take.

          • Ty Harris

            It should be. That was my point. And double dumba$$ on you.

          • El Kabong

            It is NOT available and will NOT be available to them.

            Are your mother and father, brother and sister?

            Sure seems that way.

      • El Kabong

        You should be in comedy.

    • El Kabong

      Oh, that’s a given.

      Canadian companies according to the Dept of Finance are estimated to make over $9 BILLION in revenue making F-35 parts.

      Kiss it ALL GOODBYE if the libtwats bungle this deal.

  • El Kabong

    Nope.

    Just your fellow Americans not tolerating your trolling.