Saturday, December 8, 2012

Canada cans JSF

I am always interested in military technology, partly because it is impressive stuff to watch (and usually features the leading technology too) and partly because it is such a political and economic battleground. 
Mind you, who needs to fight the enemy if you can suck them into buying  preposterously pricey military machines that are so expensive it could put the nation in the poorhouse?

The JSF (2)  sure looks like that to me anyway: just like the previous wonderplane JSF-1 (which never arrived, please note: our airforce got recycled F-111's instead) we now have JSF-2 and sure enough it is doing exactly the same thing as the previous plan: It certainly looks like Canada has decided to opt out of the plan based on realistic cost projections. Naturally, they will be in trouble with Uncle Sam for that: if too many players opt out, the whole thing will die and billions will need to be "written down". 
None of this affects the quality of the plane itself though folks: I fully expect it to go into service, probably some years and some billions overbudget as these things do . . . . . . . but I still think little countries like ours should not be stumping up zillions for this stuff when it does not even look to me to be suitable for our theoretical needs.
The F-111 was actually useful because when fitted with wing tanks it had enough range to cover a fair slice of this huge mostly empty continent. it had a big airframe that provided  plenty of room for the various local mods that we gave it over the years too.
How will this single seat high speed fighter fit with that? I have grave doubts, and I am just a normal guy, not some planning bigwig.
I sure hope they are a hell of a lot smarter than I am and can figure out what the point of all the billions of cost will give us.

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