Author Topic: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)  (Read 734459 times)

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Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2700 on: September 14, 2019, 20:58:20 »
Back to the old Colonial way of thinking I see.

Screw it, just give the Americans the 21.5$ billion a year and have them defend us in name as they already do in spirit.

I’m sick of this second tier way of thinking that Canadians suffer from.  It’s time that we pay our own way and have what it takes to sit at the table with the Adults.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2701 on: September 14, 2019, 21:20:00 »
...
Canada absolutely needs fighter aircraft but it also needs RPAs, New Maritime Patrol Aircraft, New Ships, Submarines and many other capabilities which it is presently lacking.  It somehow needs to fit this in to that $21.6 billion and sacrifices will need to be made for that to be accomplished. 

So you don’t believe that FFCP was properly and fully budgeted completely into DND’s Investment Plan accrual profile, then, and if not reduced in scope, will endanger other programs?

Regards
G2G
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 21:33:13 by Good2Golf »

Offline Dimsum

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2702 on: September 14, 2019, 22:51:31 »
Back to the old Colonial way of thinking I see.

Screw it, just give the Americans the 21.5$ billion a year and have them defend us in name as they already do in spirit.

I’m sick of this second tier way of thinking that Canadians suffer from.  It’s time that we pay our own way and have what it takes to sit at the table with the Adults.

To be honest, we never really got out of the colonial way of thinking.  It was first the French, then the Brits, then the Americans. 

The one thing that would change this mindset is if the US attacked us.  Until then, most of the public will think the US will protect us and therefore not give a whit about Defence.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2703 on: September 14, 2019, 23:01:05 »
To be honest, we never really got out of the colonial way of thinking.  It was first the French, then the Brits, then the Americans. 

The one thing that would change this mindset is if the US attacked us.  Until then, most of the public will think the US will protect us and therefore not give a whit about Defence.

I’d argue that there was a time from 1945 - 1960 that we grew a pair and stood, for the most part, on our own two feet.

If the US “attacked us”, it would make the Germans going through Denmark look like a never ending saga.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2704 on: September 14, 2019, 23:19:30 »
I’d argue that there was a time from 1945 - 1960 that we grew a pair and stood, for the most part, on our own two feet.

If the US “attacked us”, it would make the Germans going through Denmark look like a never ending saga.

I agree with that. Then Hellyer  and the best friend  :sarcasm: of the CAF - PET - gutted the military and we have never recovered or allowed to recover from that.
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2705 on: September 15, 2019, 08:07:16 »
... choosing to be a country with an adult foreign and defence policy.
Wow, I just heard Martin Luther King's voice in my head saying  "I have a dream..."  :pop:
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Offline GR66

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2706 on: September 15, 2019, 11:39:02 »
One topic I've seen come up on various sites is the need for the USAF to increase it's ability to conduct "Distributed Operations" due to the vulnerability of airfields to missile and air attack (https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR2900/RR2959/RAND_RR2959.pdf). 

This is particularly true in the Asia-Pacific theater due to the relatively limited number of air bases and the number of missiles that China can deploy, but I'd imagine it would also be an issue in a conflict with Russia as one of their key objectives would be to eliminate NATO's ability to secure air superiority.

Saab claims a minimum take-off distance of 500m and minimum landing distance of 600m for the Gripen-E (https://saab.com/globalassets/gripen.com/downloads/gripen-e-fact-sheet--en.pdf) but I imagine this is for an unloaded aircraft, but from what I've read it is designed to operate from a network of 800m runways distributed across Sweden in their "Bas 90" (Air Base System 90) network (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas_90) in time of war so I assume the 800m runway length is for combat loaded aircraft.  I've also read claims that a group of 10 Gripen-E's can be supported in operations by a single C-130. 

By comparison the F-35A requires a minimum runway length of 8,000' (2438m) for safe operation according the the RAAF.

Does this have any impact on the concept of operations for the RCAF?  I know our CF-18s operate from multiple airfields in Canada as I'm sure the F-35A's will as well, but does an 8,000' minimum runway vs a 2,625' minimum runway pose a significantly greater risk? 

This website (https://www.indexmundi.com/canada/airports_with_paved_runways.html) suggests there are a total of 40 airports in Canada with runways over 8,000' but 444 airports with runways over 3,000' (914m).  Could an enemy effectively ground our fighter force or keep them so far south as to be ineffective against threats in the far North by hitting a fairly small number of targets? 

Similarly, could China by attacking key long airfields in the region prevent our fighters from being able to deploy within effective combat range of a conflict area like Taiwan or the South China Sea?

Should this be a factor in our selection of a replacement fighter?

Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2707 on: September 15, 2019, 12:25:51 »
I find this to be interesting - granted it might have been taken out of context - In November 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Lars Helmrich of the Swedish Air Force testified to the Riksdag regarding the Gripen E. He stated that the current version of the Gripen would be outdated in air-to-air combat by 2020.[170] With 60 Gripens having been judged to be the minimum required to defend Swedish Airspace, the Swedish Air Force wants to have 60–80 Gripens upgraded to the E/F standard by 2020.[171]

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2708 on: September 15, 2019, 16:29:10 »
HB:  how do you assume our mission set is unopposed CAS exclusively?  Have you read SSE and how it relates to what we, the fighter force, need to be ready to face?

Never assumed any such thing.  I have read SSE and it's beyond vague which is why I don't place a whole lot of value in it as a capstone document.

Quote
the Canadian Armed Forces requires a fighter fleet that is capable, upgradeable, resilient and interoperable with our allies and partners

  • capable of what?
  • upgradeable to what?
  • resilient against what?

Interoperable is the only piece that's pretty self-explanatory but there is no evidence that European aircraft suffer from any real interoperability issues beyond bureaucratic inertia. 

The big concern for me isn't whether we have a Fighter Force or not as we clearly need one.  It's how do we procure a new fighter force while also being able to afford all the other capabilities we need to replace/generate?

Quote
  • Replace the CF-18 fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft to improve Canadian Armed Forces air control and air attack capability.
  • Acquire space capabilities meant to improve situational awareness and targeting, including: replacement of the current RADARSAT system to improve the identification and tracking of threats and improve situational awareness of routine traffic in and through Canadian territory; sensors capable of identifying and tracking debris in space that threatens Canadian and allied space-based systems (surveillance of space); and, space-based systems that will enhance and improve tactical narrow- and wide-band communications globally, including throughout Canada’s Arctic region.
  • Acquire new Tactical Integrated Command, Control, and Communications, radio cryptography, and other necessary communications systems.
  • Recapitalize next generation strategic air-to-air tanker-transport capability (CC-150 Polaris replacement).
  • Replace utility transport aircraft (CC-138 Twin Otter replacement).
  • Acquire next generation multi-mission aircraft (CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft replacement).
  • Invest in medium altitude remotely piloted systems.
  • Modernize short-range air-to-air missiles (fighter aircraft armament).
  • Upgrade air navigation, management, and control systems.
  • Acquire aircrew training systems.
  • Recapitalize or life-extend existing capabilities in advance of the arrival of next generation platforms.
  • Sustain domestic search and rescue capability, to include life extension of existing systems, acquisition of new platforms, and greater integration with internal and external partners.
  • Operationalize the newly acquired Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue aircraft fleet.

Lots of other pieces in that list from SSE that the CAF needs to invest in but the big piece is the integration of all those pieces of equipment and the effects they are able to deliver in the Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Concept which is a great little capability that the RCAF has that needs to not only be maintained but enhanced.  When we deploy Canadian Air Assets somewhere, they need to be able to show up and not rely on someone else for everything from AAR, ISR, Targeting, etc.  That includes investments in capabilities we don't presently have like Armed RPAs.

I personally think focusing primarily on the fighter force at the expense of everything else is a fools errand, which is why SSE is such a weak document from an Air Power perspective. The Army has the Brigade, The Navy the Task Group.  The Air Force has the AEW but they don't talk about it at all, only that they need those new fighters!

Fighter Aircraft are nothing without all the other enablers that support it. That includes everything from Logistics, C2, ISR, EW, AAR, etc.  It's the sum of all those parts that when combined, give a military an actual combat capability.  It's like trying to play a game of chess only focusing on moving the Queen.  The Queen can do a lot of damage but is usually pretty useless without shaping actions and mutual support provided by the Rooks, Knights, Bishops and Pawns all of whom serve different but equally important roles.

So you don’t believe that FFCP was properly and fully budgeted completely into DND’s Investment Plan accrual profile, then, and if not reduced in scope, will endanger other programs?

Regards
G2G

You can add FFCP along with every other procurement program to the list of overpromising and underdelivering when it comes to cost(s).  It's the nature of our schizophrenic Defence Policy. 

The Fighter Force will have their Ferraris and then the next hot combat theatre we show up in where Canadians are getting shot at and killed, we won't have the right coloured uniforms, any helicopters, a proper NSE with adequate logistic support for our operating area, tanks, etc, etc...

Oh, those Ferraris won't be able to support the troops in contact either, wouldn't want to scratch the them.

I find this to be interesting - granted it might have been taken out of context - In November 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Lars Helmrich of the Swedish Air Force testified to the Riksdag regarding the Gripen E. He stated that the current version of the Gripen would be outdated in air-to-air combat by 2020.[170] With 60 Gripens having been judged to be the minimum required to defend Swedish Airspace, the Swedish Air Force wants to have 60–80 Gripens upgraded to the E/F standard by 2020.[171]

That's the Gripen C he is talking about.  Which is why Sweden is upgrading to the Gripen E.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 16:42:06 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2709 on: September 15, 2019, 16:42:39 »
...I personally think focusing only on the F35 at the expense of everything else is a fools errand, which is why SSE is such a weak document from an Air Power perspective.

You seem to be the only one focusing on the F35 at the “expense of everything else.”

CFD ran all those capabilities through CIPPR prior to SSE being released, so the CAF has done the appropriate due diligence to assess the viability and affordability of all the capabilities noted in SSE. 

The “fools errand” is trying to present an F-35 based FFCP capability as unaffordable and being the only COA that is endangering the viability of the entire Defence Services Program.  My personal view is that CSC is a far greater threat to the viability/affordability of DND’s capability set, but that’s just an opinion of a retiree so that and $2.10 will get you Timmies large double-double...

Regards
G2G

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2710 on: September 15, 2019, 16:59:38 »
...so that and $2.10 will get you Timmies large double-double...

But unlike anything from Irving, every 7th Timmies is free...


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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2711 on: September 15, 2019, 17:37:04 »
But unlike anything from Irving, every 7th Timmies is free...

True, otherwise we would be getting 17 CSC for the price of 15.

And since the Government is in the mood to buy things at $4B a pop, why don’t we sneak in two B-2s...kind of a BOGO deal?

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2712 on: September 15, 2019, 17:41:59 »
True, otherwise we would be getting 17 CSC for the price of 15.

And since the Government is in the mood to buy things at $4B a pop, why don’t we sneak in two B-2s...kind of a BOGO deal?

You appear to be confusing government procurement with a desire to acquire usable capability, and not merely as a wealth transfer mechanism where capability is merely an afterthought.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2713 on: September 15, 2019, 17:56:39 »
You seem to be the only one focusing on the F35 at the “expense of everything else.”

CFD ran all those capabilities through CIPPR prior to SSE being released, so the CAF has done the appropriate due diligence to assess the viability and affordability of all the capabilities noted in SSE. 

The “fools errand” is trying to present an F-35 based FFCP capability as unaffordable and being the only COA that is endangering the viability of the entire Defence Services Program.  My personal view is that CSC is a far greater threat to the viability/affordability of DND’s capability set, but that’s just an opinion of a retiree so that and $2.10 will get you Timmies large double-double...

Regards
G2G

It's not the only COA but my concern is how do we continue to not only deliver the program we are currently delivering while also affording flexibility for new and emerging capabilities?

The NSPS isn't going away, ships are going to be built.  I've already mentioned that I don't believe 15 CSCs will be built because as you say, the $$$$ aren't there.  I think we will probably end up with approximately 2/3 of what's been promised due to cost overruns.  That's consistent with other nations shipbuilding programs as well which have had to manage expectations.  If the UK is getting 8 and Australia is getting 9, I have a very hard time believing Canada will build 15.  More likely we will build 8 to 10 and if we do build others, it will be for someone else's Navy.

Even with the NSPS, the Air Force is getting the vast majority of new funding if you believe what SSE says.

Quote
  • The Government will provide $17.5 billion to fund equipment projects for the Royal Canadian Navy over the next 20 years.
  • The Government will provide $46.4 billion to fund equipment projects for the Royal Canadian Air Force over the next 20 years.
    • The Government will provide $18.9 billion for Canadian Army equipment projects over the next 20 years.
    • The Government will provide $1.5 billion to fund equipment projects for Canada’s Special Operations Forces over the next 20 years.
    • The Government will provide $4.6 billion for joint capability projects in domains such as cyber, intelligence as well as joint command and control over the next 20 years.
    • The Government will provide $4.9 billion over the next 20 years to infrastructure projects across Canada in order to maintain the necessary portfolio of real property holdings.
So 50% of the money is going to the Air Force, 18% to the Navy and 20% to the Army over the next 20 years. 

Here is my prediction:

Navy:  We end up with 8/10 CSC, Submarines are divested without replacements.
Air Force:  We end up with the F35 but we lose our AAR capability and have to rely on the USAF for that overseas, we also don't replace the MPA capability and other capabilities lag like Armed RPAs, Tac Hel replacements, etc.  I seriously doubt we will have any sort of Armed RPAs in the CAF by the time I retire.
Army:  Tanks quietly go away in 10-15 years but we keep the Mobility/Engineering variants. No new Air Defence capability, etc. 

Essentially, we end up with a military that is able to conduct flag waving exercises overseas and nothing more.  We don't offer much more than that now in many cases.  It was mostly luck that the CAF was able to put the right pieces of equipment together with the right upgrades and bring high levels of value to the Air Campaigns in Libya & Iraq.  I don't see any sort of deliberate plan to maintain that institutional inertia.

My personal opinion, which is what's driving my present dissension with basically everyone in this thread, is the CAF needs to find a way to provide similar capabilities to what it can deliver now, while also planning for financing emerging and new capabilities, without breaking the bank account which is eroding due to a number of factors: aversion to military spending, inflation, etc.  That means buying in certain cases, an SKS i.e. the poor man's deer hunting rifle.

With that in mind G2G, I have to agree with you that CSC will probably do equal amounts of damage to the Defence Services Program.  This thread isn't about CSC though, it's about the Future Fighter procurement.  I certainly don't think the Gripen or Super Hornet is a better aircraft than the F35, the F35 is clearly a more capable aircraft, the question I am really wondering is how much more its going to cost and is that cost worth it?  It's too bad that Airbus & Dassault dropped out as I would have been interested to see an objective competition held between all five competitors.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2714 on: September 15, 2019, 19:25:44 »
Keeping in mind that SSE is a living document, and even itself is not current. To wit, CSC ranged from DND estimates of $55-60B to PBO’s estimate of $70B.  Those figures were for the 26-year project duration, but you can see that SSE’s ‘division of the pot’ as it were, is not accurate. $17.5B for ALL Navy projects in the next 20 years?  That doesn’t true up even with CSC cash flow alone.  In 20 years, at least $40-45B will be disbursed on CSC alone. Add JSS and AOPS, etc. and the Senior Service is looking to spend more than the Air Force and Army combined...

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2715 on: September 15, 2019, 19:45:05 »
Keeping in mind that SSE is a living document, and even itself is not current. To wit, CSC ranged from DND estimates of $55-60B to PBO’s estimate of $70B.  Those figures were for the 26-year project duration, but you can see that SSE’s ‘division of the pot’ as it were, is not accurate. $17.5B for ALL Navy projects in the next 20 years?  That doesn’t true up even with CSC cash flow alone.  In 20 years, at least $40-45B will be disbursed on CSC alone. Add JSS and AOPS, etc. and the Senior Service is looking to spend more than the Air Force and Army combined...

Are we talking accrual or cash based?  Depending on delivery timelines and amortization periods, $17.5B may well be accurate for the 20 year horizon.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2716 on: September 15, 2019, 20:24:46 »
I don’t know the section of SSE that HB quoted, but I wouldn’t think it would be cash account V1 monies. When I see the word ‘project(s)’ I have difficulty believing that doesn’t include a healthy amount of accrual-based investment cash pulled from the Fiscal Frameworkz

Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2717 on: September 15, 2019, 21:42:59 »
Can someone please explain how Spain, with about 15.5$ Billion USD in military spending and 120k in the Armed Forces can have an Aircraft Carrier, a comparable sized navy to ours, a larger Air Force by about 40%, a larger army and a 5,000 strong naval marine unit in the same pay packet.
I mean, they are looking at the F-35 for their carrier and quite possibly for their remaining 120 F18’s fighters.
Why the difference? Are we so top heavy in Brass as some are saying that large piles of cash are being sucked up needlessly?  Is it our massive size and small population that leads to such large discrepancies and inefficiencies?  Do we pay our soldiers that much more then they do that our bang for the buck is sucked up in payroll?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 21:52:47 by Czech_pivo »

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2718 on: September 15, 2019, 22:13:08 »
I’ll be f$&king dead before the RCAF gets a replacement for the F-18. Its been eight or nine years now with no decision.
Maybe (tin foil hat) the current or future GoC will just decide the RCAF cannot have any fighters at all....you know because it’s 2019.
I genuinely fear for the future of the CAF.
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2719 on: September 15, 2019, 23:06:40 »
Can someone please explain how Spain, with about 15.5$ Billion USD in military spending and 120k in the Armed Forces can have an Aircraft Carrier, a comparable sized navy to ours, a larger Air Force by about 40%, a larger army and a 5,000 strong naval marine unit in the same pay packet.
I mean, they are looking at the F-35 for their carrier and quite possibly for their remaining 120 F18’s fighters.
Why the difference? Are we so top heavy in Brass as some are saying that large piles of cash are being sucked up needlessly?  Is it our massive size and small population that leads to such large discrepancies and inefficiencies?  Do we pay our soldiers that much more then they do that our bang for the buck is sucked up in payroll?

They are organized to be a military not just a institution, 15 brigades in 6 military regions. If we wanted efficacy we would drop down to two army, one air division, not to mention our bureaucracy is overly redundant and meant to keep people employed not be effective.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2720 on: September 16, 2019, 08:02:34 »
They are organized to be a military not just a institution, 15 brigades in 6 military regions. If we wanted efficacy we would drop down to two army, one air division, not to mention our bureaucracy is overly redundant and meant to keep people employed not be effective.

So basically if we cut the bloated brass, trim the GHQ numbers, amalgamate some units, close some of the lesser needed/used bases, that our current budget would allow us to increase our Armed Forces by 50% in numbers, easily afford 88+ F-35's, get all 15 CSC's, replace the subs, CP-140's, the Kingstons and a bunch of others things??

So, who I have to fire first to get the ball rolling? 

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2721 on: September 16, 2019, 19:48:05 »
Can someone please explain how Spain, with about 15.5$ Billion USD in military spending and 120k in the Armed Forces can have an Aircraft Carrier, a comparable sized navy to ours, a larger Air Force by about 40%, a larger army and a 5,000 strong naval marine unit in the same pay packet.
I mean, they are looking at the F-35 for their carrier and quite possibly for their remaining 120 F18’s fighters.
Why the difference? Are we so top heavy in Brass as some are saying that large piles of cash are being sucked up needlessly?  Is it our massive size and small population that leads to such large discrepancies and inefficiencies?  Do we pay our soldiers that much more then they do that our bang for the buck is sucked up in payroll?

Spain is also broke, and one of the leading economic basket cases in Europe.... just sayin'  :whistle:
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Czech_pivo

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2722 on: September 16, 2019, 19:57:37 »
Spain is also broke, and one of the leading economic basket cases in Europe.... just sayin'  :whistle:

Very true - but another 4yrs of this gov’t and we’ll be neck and neck with them.

Offline Underway

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2723 on: September 16, 2019, 20:06:44 »
Can someone please explain how Spain, with about 15.5$ Billion USD in military spending and 120k in the Armed Forces can have an Aircraft Carrier, a comparable sized navy to ours, a larger Air Force by about 40%, a larger army and a 5,000 strong naval marine unit in the same pay packet.
I mean, they are looking at the F-35 for their carrier and quite possibly for their remaining 120 F18’s fighters.
Why the difference? Are we so top heavy in Brass as some are saying that large piles of cash are being sucked up needlessly?  Is it our massive size and small population that leads to such large discrepancies and inefficiencies?  Do we pay our soldiers that much more then they do that our bang for the buck is sucked up in payroll?

The CAF are the second highest paid military in the world considering all the benefits etc...  The cost of people in the CAF is very high.  Spain doesn't have those issues.  The infrastructure costs in Spain are also much lower given that the country is smaller, and doesn't need to spread bases around everywhere, and the fact the US pays for at least one of their large naval/air bases (Rota).  I don't see the US carrying the freight for Halifax and Shearwater combined.

Spain also does not spend very much to keep older equipment going.  We pay quite a bit to ensure our older equipment works.  For example my last NATO the Spanish OHP had a 30mm that they hadn't fired in 15 years.  Their new ships are cheaper to operate than our old ships, so maintenance costs are lower. Which leads me to my next point.  New ships (read CSC) even with the sticker price will be cheaper on a year over year basis than keeping our current ships going.  It's at the point where payments on the new car are less than the repairs/maintenance on the old car.

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Re: The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)
« Reply #2724 on: September 16, 2019, 20:32:23 »
Can someone please explain how Spain, with about 15.5$ Billion USD in military spending and 120k in the Armed Forces can have an Aircraft Carrier, a comparable sized navy to ours, a larger Air Force by about 40%, a larger army and a 5,000 strong naval marine unit in the same pay packet.
I mean, they are looking at the F-35 for their carrier and quite possibly for their remaining 120 F18’s fighters.
Why the difference? Are we so top heavy in Brass as some are saying that large piles of cash are being sucked up needlessly?  Is it our massive size and small population that leads to such large discrepancies and inefficiencies?  Do we pay our soldiers that much more then they do that our bang for the buck is sucked up in payroll?

One area where they may save money is in wages/benefits. From '99-'03 I was stationed in Naples, Italy at AFSOUTH HQ and I worked with two Spanish Army WO's  and they received a fraction of the benefits that I did. Example, one of them was married and they received very little/no benefits to help them. Mind you, since then their benefits may have improved.
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