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The Case for AEW&C Aircraft

Zoomie

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Low-cost option to supplement a fleet of P-8s? CP-295W - heck the SAR variant we currently have sitting in Hgr 14 is a MPA.

Swordfish/Poseidon/etc are all nice capabilities and great dreams - in 10 years we will be flying our 295s ISO fishpat/DIX-Ex/ISR/etc - everything except actual ASW tasks.
 

CBH99

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Since we're spitballing different platforms here, I just thought of something. It's a solid 50/50 either a good idea, or a terrible one. Not quite sure.

If we intend to replace the Aurora with something along the lines of the P8 - what about that equipment/similar equipment, but on a Canadian made aircraft??


Canada still produces medium passenger jets, no? What about a pretty straightforwards installation of the same equipment (or similar) used on the P8?

Although the economies of scale will be minimal, it also shouldn't be that hard to install those systems & software on an airframe other than the P8.

It allows the government to purchase Canadian aircraft, support our aviation industry with something other than a bailout, and would give us the same capability (or similar) than if we had just went with a P8.

Could also put us in a position to possible sell some abroad, if Bombardier actually worked at it.


Just an idea :unsure:


(Some of you folks have first hand experience in the MPA world. Is that doable? Are the systems on the upgraded Auroras similar to the P8?)
 

dimsum

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Fair enough. My main point remains the same though...if we were to look at the Swordfish I'd only look at it as a possible supplement to a proper Aurora replacement (P-8?) rather than as the replacement itself. That being said I wouldn't be opposed to a lower-cost platform to augment a fleet of P-8s. I think ISR assets should be a key focus for Canada as essentially an island nation. The Bombardier Global series of jets has the added advantage of being a Canadian product.

Even a couple of GlobalEye AEW & C aircraft would be a good supplement to the Auroras/P-8s for maritime domain awareness as they have maritime surveillance radar as well (but unlike the Swordfish are unarmed).
I'm not sure what your background is, and I'm not AEW&C expert, but those aircraft (and AWACS) go far beyond Maritime Domain Awareness. Their main role is battlespace management (like airborne ATC). Also, Auroras and other ISR aircraft don't vector fighters onto targets - they are the sensors while AEW&C (or AWACS) also do the "control" portion.

The follow-on effect is that we would need more AECs and AC Ops since it wouldn't be the same crew type (maybe the Pilots but even then I'm not so sure due to quals needed) flying the AEW&C aircraft and the ISR aircraft.
 

GR66

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I'm not sure what your background is, and I'm not AEW&C expert, but those aircraft (and AWACS) go far beyond Maritime Domain Awareness. Their main role is battlespace management (like airborne ATC). Also, Auroras and other ISR aircraft don't vector fighters onto targets - they are the sensors while AEW&C (or AWACS) also do the "control" portion.

The follow-on effect is that we would need more AECs and AC Ops since it wouldn't be the same crew type (maybe the Pilots but even then I'm not so sure due to quals needed) flying the AEW&C aircraft and the ISR aircraft.
I'm aware that the GlobalEye has capabilities that go beyond an MPA/ISR aircraft. I'm just noting that among their capabilities they also have a maritime search radar which would allow them to supplement the capabilities of our MPA's if/when required. We have the World's longest coastline. The more assets that we have that can let us know what's going on there the better...even if it's not their primary purpose/capability.

As far as the additional personnel, doesn't that apply to ANY new capability we are proposing to add to the CF? More tanks = more Armoured Crewmen and techs to support. More logistical support capabilities = more Log O's and MSE Ops, etc. If we always fall back on the idea that we can't add any new capability because we currently lack the proper staffing then we are locked in to exactly what we have now. Obviously any changes will require a review of how the CF is organizes and staffs itself. It just happens to be my personal opinion that due to our geographical position in the World that naval, air and ground assets that monitor (and protect) our territory should be the highest priorities for our military. I'd count MPA's (and AEW&C aircraft) among the key components of that capability that should be invested in.
 

MilEME09

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Now I have no experience but is there not a point where we are trying to do too much with one platform? What is the number of aircraft we would need to preform an AEW&C role? Some mention the CP-140, but any aircraft we upgrade/ convert would reduce the rest of the fleet. If we are adding rolls to a future aircraft, we will need many more airframes, after all a bird doing a Maritme patrol off the north sea cant be doing AEW&C in Romania. That means we need more crews, techs, infrastructure, etc... something that might be a hard sell right now.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Not sure how accurate it is but the Quwa website has a chart comparing the P-8 and Swordfish.

And here is an article from the Royal Aeronautical Society that gives a good overview of the Swordfish and its capabilities. Interestingly, besides the Bombardier air frame the aircraft would also use some other made-in-Canada components including flight deck (Bombardier) and MAD boom (CAE).
 
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