15 mars 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

RCAF may not need seven of the 25 used Australian F-18s, says defence procurement chief


The Defence department’s procurement chief says the Royal Canadian Air Force might not need the seven used Australian F-18 aircraft being purchased for parts afterall.

Canada is buying 25 used F-18s from Australia, with 18 of those to be flown and seven to be either stripped down for parts or used for testing. The aircraft to be flown will augment the existing RCAF CF-18 fleet until a new generation fighter jet can be purchased.

But Pat Finn, the Department of National Defence’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Materiel, said there may be no need for the seven F-18s. “The seven, whether or not we actually take them at this point, we’re still looking at that,” Finn recently told the Commons defence committee. “What we’re actually finding is the number of spares that they’ve been able to provide to us is more than adequate. Rather than take aircraft apart and go through that cost, we’re taking the spares. We may not, in fact, at this point look at any of the seven.”

It is unclear whether there will be a reduction in the cost of the purchase or the overall project cost if the seven airframes are not acquired.

The DND also clarified what is happening with the engines on the Australian F-18s. Rumours have been circulating in the retired military community that the engines are being stripped out of the planes and given back to Australia.

“Only the engines from the first two Australian F-18s (four engines total) are being returned to Australia, at their request,” explained DND spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier. “Australia needs those engines to meet their own operational requirements.”

In order to take advantage of an advanced delivery date for the first two Australian aircraft, Canada agreed to return those aircraft’s engines to Australia, but the plan is to get an equivalent number of engines back at a later date, he added.

“Canada has sufficient engines in reserve to support this plan and this will have no impact on operations,” Le Bouthillier stated. “We therefore found this to be a reasonable request, and agreed to it.”


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  • Think The F-35 Is Impressive? Then 6th Generation Fighters Will Blow Your Mind

    17 décembre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Think The F-35 Is Impressive? Then 6th Generation Fighters Will Blow Your Mind

    by Kris Osborn (Washington, D.C.) Drone fighter jets, hypersonic attack planes, artificial intelligence, lasers, electronic warfare and sensors woven into the fuselage of an aircraft - are all areas of current technological exploration for the Air Force as it begins early prototyping for a new, 6th-Generation fighter jet to emerge in the 2030s and 2040s. While the initiative, called Next Generation Air Dominance(NGAD), has been largely conceptual for years, Air Force officials say current “prototyping” and “demonstrations” are informing which technologies the service will invest in for the future. “We have completed an analysis of alternatives and our acquisition team is working on the requirements. We are pretty deep into experimenting with hardware and software technologies that will help us control and exploit air power into the future,” Gen. James Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command, told reporters at the Association of the Air Force Air, Space and Cyber Conference. Part of the progress with the program, according to Air Force Acquisition Executive William Roper, is due to new methods of digital engineering. “I have spent six months with our industry leaders and NGAD team looking at examples of applied digital engineering. I’m impressed with what they have done,” Roper. Digital engineering, as Roper explains it, brings what could be called a two-fold advantage. It enables weapons developers to assess technologies, material configurations and aircraft models without needing to build all of them -- all while paradoxically enabling builders to “bend metal” and start building prototypes earlier than would otherwise be possible. “The reward is more than the risk,” Roper said, speaking of the need to “try something different” and pursue newer acquisition methods which at times results in prototyping earlier in the process than the traditional process typically involves. The Air Force Research Laboratory has been working with the acquisition community on digital engineering techniques, often explored through modeling and simulation, for many years. “Digital engineering is another exciting area and we see the opportunity to accelerate the pace of moving things from the bench level of science and technology into a system, integrating concepts into an operational campaign model,” Tim Sakulich, Executive Lead for Implementing the Air Force S&T Strategy and Air Force Research Laboratory Lead for Materials and Manufacturing, told Warrior in an interview. Current work on a futuristic 6th-gen fighter - to come after and fly alongside upgraded F-35s -- includes development of stealthy drone fighters, hypersonic flight, lasers, new precision weaponry and advanced AI able organize targeting data in milliseconds. 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    25 juillet 2018 | Local, Terrestre, Sécurité

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  • Used Australian F-18s heading to Canada will be a mix of single and dual seat aircraft

    10 janvier 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Used Australian F-18s heading to Canada will be a mix of single and dual seat aircraft

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