Author Topic: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet  (Read 29195 times)

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Offline Armymatters

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BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« on: January 12, 2006, 02:03:52 »
Issue: Complexity and high costs of the CF-18, plus costs issues basing them far away from parts supplies. Apparently, a deployment of 6 CF-18 Hornet's was scrapped by Hiller due to the high cost of getting the six fighters from 4 Wing in CFB Cold Lake, Alta., to Afghanistan and the technical difficulties involved in basing high-tech aircraft halfway around the world, according to a recent article in the National Post (http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=420aa1ba-bde0-4f0c-a369-080d17073b6b)

So, basing one of the top of the line fighter designs available to NATO to a far away location is a bit expensive, according to this article? My educated opinion:

CF-18's may the best plane we have available to cover the skies of Afghanistan, but rationally, I think they are a bit too much for the mission. The CF-18 is more of a air superiority jet with a secondary attack role (which it does well) to it. It is a great jet for when there is the possibility that there is a chance of encountering enemy planes in the area and you want to deal with them, plus bomb whatever is on the ground, but I doubt that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda have an airforce, or any airplanes for that matter. So shooting down enemy MiG's won't be a issue here. We just need to drop bombs, fire rocket salvos, and strafe whatever enemy is on the ground.

What is more appropriate to send to Afghanistan is a more simpler airplane that is easily maintained, carries a decent load, cheap, and has enough performance for the region. An aircraft that the CF is familiar with already is the BAe Hawk 200 light combat aircraft. This aircraft design, of which Canada is already familiar with (Hawk 115), can carry most weapons that the Canadian Forces already use and are familiar with, is very maneuverable, and has a max speed of Mach 0.82 in level flight, and is able to hit Mach 1.2 in a shallow dive.

What Canada could do to improve its airborne capabilities is to order the BAe Hawk 200 light combat aircraft for service. About 50 aircraft can be procured for light combat duties, such as Afghanistan, operating with the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake for chase plane duties, and point air defense of our territory. Additional airplanes can be ordered in the Hawk 115 variant, for Snowbird Aircraft Replacement Project, replacing the current CT-114 Tutors. I am not advocating replacing the CF-18 fleet with the BAe Hawk; I am advocating purchasing a fleet of aircraft that can operate alongside the CF-18, and supplement the Hornet in the roles it is tasked with.

The Hawk 200, unlike the other Hawk variants are single seat aircraft (All other Hawk variants are two seat designs), carry the Northrop-Grumman AN/APG-66H pulse-Doppler X-band multimode radar in the nose, which is derived from the AN/APG-66 used on the F-16. The cockpit of the latest variants of the BAe Hawk are compatible with the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, meaning pilots can be switched from either the CF-18 or the Hawk with minimal familiarization. The Hawk can carry the AIM-9 Sidwinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AGM-65 Maverick, various 'dumb' and 'smart' bombs (up to 9, count, 9 250kg (550lb) bombs, impressive for a airplane this small), and the CRV-7 series of unguided rockets. The internal cannon is the British 30mm ADEN cannon, which provides a excellent punch against air and ground targets, as shown in the Falklands War. All of these weapons are already in service or are being used by the CF, except for the internal cannons (presumeably, BAe can work on getting other cannon designs common to NATO, such as the GAU-12 Equalizer onto the design). Service range of the BAe Hawk 200 is 2,520 km (respectable, for a airplane this size as the CF-18 has a combat radius of 500 nautical miles for comparison, so technically, the Hawk has more range than a Hornet), and can carry an optional inflight refueling probe and external drop tanks, extending the range even further. Hawk 200's are in service as trainers and as combat aircraft with the Royal Air Force Of Oman, the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and the Indonesian Air Force, with stellar service records, in both roles. Not bad for a basic design that first flew in 1974; over 30 years ago.

While not on deployment, the aircraft can operate with NORAD as a point defense fighter; 2 AIM-9's on the wingtip launchers, plus a pair of AIM-120's and the centre gun, plus external fuel tanks, and using the radar to find the target of interest. Since the CF-18's are mainly based at Cold Lake, Alberta and near Bagotville, Quebec, the Hawk's can be based at CFB Comox, (to interdict aircraft crossing the Pacific) and at CFB Goose Bay or CFB Greenwood to interdict air travel flying over the Atlantic. Additional Hawk's can be deployed near Moose Jaw, at the NFTC training base (Hawks are already based there for flight training, so we are close to a supply of parts). CF-18's can continue to be based at CFB Cold Lake and CFB Bagotville to provide longer range cover in depth of Canada. The only issue is the slower speed of the Hawk: Max speed of the BAe Hawk is Mach 0.82, compared to the CF-18: max speed of more than Mach 1.8 with afterburners, or Mach 1.0 at fully military thrust. So I say forward deploy the Hawk to so they are physically closer to whatever target you need to intercept, at 3 separate bases (two really, with one being already a Hawk base) to compensate for the slower speed.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 02:49:02 »
Weapons load and time on station are a couple of areas the Hawk would not excel at.  The 18 is an excellent a/g attack aircraft...ECP583 update is excellent capability improvement on a number of fronts.  I think it was the availability of new 583 birds and associated support equipment that hindered deployment within desired timelines.  I think we'll still see Hornet in theatre in the future.  I don't think the Hawk would do the job as well for what would be likely a similar personnel load.  Many folks think the equipment is often the limiting factor when in fact, it is more often the operators and supporters.  I may be wrong, but I don't think the Hawk would be much of an improvement on the personnel side...in some cases worse given current Concept of Support by commercial contractor in Moose Jaw and Cold Lake.  I might be wrong though, guys closer to Tac Air world could probably provide greater insight.

Cheers,
Duey

Offline SF2

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 08:43:25 »
Kudos on a clear, concise proposal - a few flaws however:

1)  The CF isn't really all that familiar with the Hawk, as you eluded to, compared to other aircraft in the CF fleet.  I would argue that the only CF members who are, are the pilots, and a select few members associated with the NFTC project.   The extensive familiarity lies with Bombardier and their emloyees, not the CF.  You mentioned availability of parts, due to an existing supply line.  The CF isn't privy to this supply line, Bombardier is.

2)  The CF is spooked by the whole single engine config, especially in the context of territorial defence as you mentioned.  That was one of the main reasons for not choosing the F-16 25 yrs ago.

3)  As Duey mentioned, the 18 is a very capable air to ground attack platform.  Its original design was not for air superiority, but rather multi-role.  The Tomcat was already the navy's air superiority/interceptor.

This, however, all coming from some lowly helicopter pilot.  I'm sure my comrades in Moose Jaw or Cold Lake can explain in great detail all aspects of your proposal.

Cheers.

Offline Astrodog

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2006, 12:47:14 »
slightly off topic but to do with supporting the CF-188s... does Canada still have many CF-5 mothballed? I have heard there are a few that fly out of Winnipeg every once and a while either to keep the a/c or the pilots current...
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Offline FoverF

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2006, 14:29:23 »
I've saw a pair of grey F-5s do a low and over at Saskatoon last year. No idea who they belonged to. Flight International seems to think we still have 50 or so in storage. Can't confirm that myself.

My $.03 on this topic;

$.01) The Hawk is not fast enough for the typical 'airliner intercept' type missions that are expected of NORAD aircraft these days, much less to intercept military aircraft. The Hawk is only really useful to intercept aircraft that are headed directly towards it's own airfield.

$.02) If we were to use the Hawk as LIC/COIN airfraft, we may as well stick with the two-seater. This way they can still be used for training. Not much point in having a radar for COIN work anyways.

$.03) Having a larger fleet of Hawks may be a much cheaper way of giving the Hornet drivers more stick time. With avionics mimicing the CF-18, it might be useful. I know the Chinese do this by having J-7s (MiG-21s) in their J-11 (Su-27SK) squadrons. Give the pilots of lot of stick time chasing each other around, and practice with the a/c avionics and switchology, while burning a lot less gas.

I'd be very interested to see a comparison on the costs/hour of operating the CF-188 sims vs a Hawk. Or, more specifically, the incremental cost of adding another few airframes and additional hours on top of what we're already spending. Could be surprising. And which the pilots would prefer for experience building.
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Offline Armymatters

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2006, 22:11:49 »
To resurrect my old idea, since most of you all feel that the BAe Hawk is not suited for the task, there is another trainer/light combat jet that does have the performance that is similar to a CF-18 Hornet. The airplane is the South Korean KAI’s T-50 Golden Eagle trainer. Specifically, the KAI T-50 Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT). It is equipped with a 20mm Vulcan gun, the same as our Hornet's, has wingtip launchers for AIM-9's, and 5 weapons pylons. Flight International, a major avaiation magazine, did a recent review of the jet here:
http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/2006/02/21/204780/Korea+high+T-50+flight+test.html

What is of note that this jet is powered by a single GE F404-102 afterburning turbofan, which is a very similar model as our current CF-18's GE F404-400 engines. Since we already have the experience of maintaining the GE F404 series engines, engine maintainence will be a minor issue compared to a CF Hawk. Additional trainers could also be purchased for the CF Snowbirds, in the standard T-50 Advanced trainer. We get CF-18 performance in a smaller and hopefully cheaper package. The trainer is designed to be a lead in trainer for the newest fighter types, such as the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16E/F and Saab Gripen, and subsequently, has the performance and manuverability, plus the programability to simulate the new jets.

Offline Inch

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 00:48:23 »
To resurrect my old idea, since most of you all feel that the BAe Hawk is not suited for the task, there is another trainer/light combat jet that does have the performance that is similar to a CF-18 Hornet. The airplane is the South Korean KAI’s T-50 Golden Eagle trainer. Specifically, the KAI T-50 Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT). It is equipped with a 20mm Vulcan gun, the same as our Hornet's, has wingtip launchers for AIM-9's, and 5 weapons pylons. Flight International, a major avaiation magazine, did a recent review of the jet here:
http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/2006/02/21/204780/Korea+high+T-50+flight+test.html

What is of note that this jet is powered by a single GE F404-102 afterburning turbofan, which is a very similar model as our current CF-18's GE F404-400 engines. Since we already have the experience of maintaining the GE F404 series engines, engine maintainence will be a minor issue compared to a CF Hawk. Additional trainers could also be purchased for the CF Snowbirds, in the standard T-50 Advanced trainer. We get CF-18 performance in a smaller and hopefully cheaper package. The trainer is designed to be a lead in trainer for the newest fighter types, such as the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16E/F and Saab Gripen, and subsequently, has the performance and manuverability, plus the programability to simulate the new jets.

Well, considering we used a 60's era Tutor to teach guys Fighter Lead In Training prior to getting into a Hornet, I'd say that the Hawk is fine.

What exactly are you advocating here? I for one, don't think we need to supplement the Hornet with a very limited role light fighter aircraft. I don't see the point.
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Offline IT_Dude_Joeschmo

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2006, 01:01:10 »
I agree, there is no point in taking a step-back in our procurement. If any new airframe is to be attained in any fashion it should be a much more modern and fully-versatile combat aircraft. Although it would be cheaper and easier to maintain a small "supplementary" squadron of trainer-type aircraft, overall, after you factor in man-power, time for maintenance and all the other things that go along with an air wing, you wouldn't be saving much money anyway. Might as well get the most bang for your buck and stick with a robust full-fledged Fighter/Attacker.

I think we need to also step-forward when we do attain the next Canadian Multi-role fighter to be. I have a strong feeling we will get the F-35 eventually, and what we should do also is have a couple (maybe 6-10???) trainer versions of the aircraft so our fighter pilots can actually train on the aircraft they'll be using.

Obviously I'm no bloody expert in this field (WWAAAYYY out of my lane) but how does it work now? They use the Tudor as the first step into the fighter/jet aircraft training and then step onto the F-18 for final fighter training in the end? Whatever they're doing seems to be working well because I've read in many magazines and books that Canadian Fighter pilots kick some major *** in Red Flag excercises and the such down south with the USA.

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 02:56:06 »
Out of my lane but fascinated... :)

My understanding is that effect is created by having things at the target disappear, not by flying lots of platforms.  Together with the decreasing size of the munitions necessary to create the effect because they are more likely to hit the target and the increasing range of the munitions the issue is not so much how many pilots can you put in the air but how many munitions can one pilot carry on her/his aircraft.

Other things of interest are how high can it fly (higher altitude adds range to glide bombs like the Small Diameter Bomb), how fast can it relocate from one target zone to the other, how long can it loiter, can it be refuelled in midair ( any tankers handy?) and how fast can it return to base, bomb-up and get back into the air?

More than money on new airframes and new pilots (of which I understand there is a shortage in any event) perhaps the money would be better spent on munitions, tankers, maintenance and flying hours.

Just a thought.

Cheers.
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Offline Armymatters

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2006, 03:19:30 »
I am advocating a lightweight, cheap fighter aircraft that can be easily deployed overseas for cheap in situations where a more complex fighter is too much. Take Afganistan or perhaps a possible Darfur deployment. In both situations, it is highly unlikely your going to be encountering a MiG or a Sukhoi fighter. Take Sudan for example. At most, you are going to be encoutering a Chinese copy of MiG-21. In Afghanistan, your not going to be encountering any fighters (except our own and our allies). In short, load up the airplane with some MK80 series bombs, rocket pods, possibility some Maverick missiles, etc, and it will be a quick COIN aircraft to provide our own air support.

Also, it allows our CF-18's to be reconcentrated at the sharp end of our forces. Task the T-50 Golden Eagle or something similar to training, familiarization, NORAD patrols, and other tasks at home. Therefore, aircraft avaiablity for the CF-18 will be much higher, and they can be more easily spared overseas in areas where things are too hot for a light attack fighter. As said earlier, mix a couple of these jets with the CF-18 squadrons so that the pilots get plenty of time in the air without wasting a more expensive jet. Also, since the T-50 Golden Eagle is one of the first trainers designed for training pilots for the latest 4th generation fighters avaiable today and in the future, if we get JSF or any future fighter, the T-50 can easily sub in for pilot training. The jet can shrink the widening training gap from a older subsonic jet trainer to the new fighters, without having to maintain a fleet of the more expensive fighters for training in operation conversion units. Therefore, we can get the most out of our current and future fighters without having to spend more on more fighters for training.

Kirkhill:
The T-50 Golden Eagle has a max service ceiling of 48,000ft, has a max level speed of Mach 1.4, and can cruise at Mach 1.05. It has a max range of 1,000nm fully fueled, and can carry up to 3 externals. In short, it is like a CF-18, but smaller and slightly cheaper. The Koreans have committed themselves for over 90 frames, half of them in a light fighter configuration. Export to other nations appears likely to Greece, Israel, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates being the most likely candidates.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2006, 03:29:13 by Armymatters »

Offline George Wallace

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2006, 07:52:24 »
I am advocating a lightweight, cheap fighter aircraft that can be easily deployed overseas for cheap in situations where a more complex fighter is too much. Take Afganistan or perhaps a possible Darfur deployment. In both situations, it is highly unlikely your going to be encountering a MiG or a Sukhoi fighter. Take Sudan for example. At most, you are going to be encoutering a Chinese copy of MiG-21. In Afghanistan, your not going to be encountering any fighters (except our own and our allies). In short, load up the airplane with some MK80 series bombs, rocket pods, possibility some Maverick missiles, etc, and it will be a quick COIN aircraft to provide our own air support.

Nice idea if you have the money and people to do this.  Unfortunately, Canada does not have the resources to maintain a multi-aircraft type Air Force to the extent that you are promoting.  We don't have the budget.  We don't have the manpower.  This a a common problem of Defence Analysts who like to say that the US has some piece of equipment, so why can't we?  Why?  Well they have a much large military, a much larger Defence Budget, and the resources to maintain a large variety of equipment and roles for their military.  Canada does not have that luxury.  We must pick our role and the equipment to fill that role more carefully and be more frugal.  Flexibility may be the most important factor in all our decisions.
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Offline IT_Dude_Joeschmo

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2006, 08:17:56 »
I am advocating a lightweight, cheap fighter aircraft that can be easily deployed overseas for cheap in situations where a more complex fighter is too much. Take Afganistan or perhaps a possible Darfur deployment. In both situations, it is highly unlikely your going to be encountering a MiG or a Sukhoi fighter. Take Sudan for example. At most, you are going to be encoutering a Chinese copy of MiG-21. In Afghanistan, your not going to be encountering any fighters (except our own and our allies). In short, load up the airplane with some MK80 series bombs, rocket pods, possibility some Maverick missiles, etc, and it will be a quick COIN aircraft to provide our own air support.

Also, it allows our CF-18's to be reconcentrated at the sharp end of our forces. Task the T-50 Golden Eagle or something similar to training, familiarization, NORAD patrols, and other tasks at home. Therefore, aircraft avaiablity for the CF-18 will be much higher, and they can be more easily spared overseas in areas where things are too hot for a light attack fighter. As said earlier, mix a couple of these jets with the CF-18 squadrons so that the pilots get plenty of time in the air without wasting a more expensive jet. Also, since the T-50 Golden Eagle is one of the first trainers designed for training pilots for the latest 4th generation fighters avaiable today and in the future, if we get JSF or any future fighter, the T-50 can easily sub in for pilot training. The jet can shrink the widening training gap from a older subsonic jet trainer to the new fighters, without having to maintain a fleet of the more expensive fighters for training in operation conversion units. Therefore, we can get the most out of our current and future fighters without having to spend more on more fighters for training.

Kirkhill:
The T-50 Golden Eagle has a max service ceiling of 48,000ft, has a max level speed of Mach 1.4, and can cruise at Mach 1.05. It has a max range of 1,000nm fully fueled, and can carry up to 3 externals. In short, it is like a CF-18, but smaller and slightly cheaper. The Koreans have committed themselves for over 90 frames, half of them in a light fighter configuration. Export to other nations appears likely to Greece, Israel, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates being the most likely candidates.

I do see your points, however as it's been stated above our posts here and below, Canada does not have the capacity to man several different airframes. Also, the problem isn't that we cannot use the CF-18's in Afganistan or most likely that we wouldn't be able to in other nations like you've mentioned. Even if we cannot use the "hosting" nations airfields or they don't have any, we could use allied/friendly nations next to or close to that nation as the USA does. Mid-air refuel the fighters and ferry them in. It would be long-a$$ flights for the fighter boys but that's what they're there for right? We can technologically deploy the CF-18's if we really wanted to. We do not have the MONEY to borrow or have the USA provide mid-air refueling capability to us and the Canadian public would go hairballs if we deployed fighter jets to a theatre of "peace keeping" as they're intent on seeing it... You know how it is, some hippies would be protesting all over Ottawa with signs saying "Stop bombing Sudanese Children" and all that crap when realistically we'd probably only be using them for CAS when called in by the ground troops under fire!!!

No political will/motivation and it would cost us out the wazoo to deploy fighters. What is it? I remember reading on DND's website for every flying hour it is 20 man-hours of maintenance for a CF-18? We have any of those guys on this website? Think about the logistics supply train just for that alone!

Joe
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Offline Mortar guy

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2006, 09:42:04 »
Nice idea if you have the money and people to do this.  Unfortunately, Canada does not have the resources to maintain a multi-aircraft type Air Force to the extent that you are promoting.  We don't have the budget.  We don't have the manpower.  This a a common problem of Defence Analysts who like to say that the US has some piece of equipment, so why can't we?  Why?  Well they have a much large military, a much larger Defence Budget, and the resources to maintain a large variety of equipment and roles for their military.  Canada does not have that luxury.  We must pick our role and the equipment to fill that role more carefully and be more frugal.  Flexibility may be the most important factor in all our decisions.

George I agree with you here but I would argue the issue from another point of view. We are so short on resources that we can't afford to go for the 90% solution in every situation. By that I mean the CF-18 may represent overkill in some situations. Actually, I don't think it's too much for us right now but the real issue will come to a head when we look at replacing the CF-18. If we try to replace the CF-18s with one 4th or 5th generation fighter we will find ourselves with a small fleet of outstanding fighters that may not be well suited to our potential tasks.

So, an option might be to buy a small fleet of top-of-the-line fighters to enable to contribute in less likely scenarios like a war against China or some other near-peer opponent. However, by only buying a small fleet of these aircraft, we free up funding and manpower for a somewhat larger fleet of 'utility' fighters. These fighters would be just good enough to provide CAS and possibly recce in low-intensity conflict scenarios. Ideally, these aircraft would also be able to perform NORAD tasks as shooting down an airliner does not require a stealthy, super-cruising fighter. So, as an example (and this is only an example) we could purchase ~40 Eurofighters to perform the high-end tasks and about 80 Mako light attack aircraft. The former would ideally be Tranche 3 multi-role variants while the latter would be limited to CAS (say JDAM, SDB, Maverick) and territorial air defence (Sidewinder, AMRAAM). I would assume the Mako is considerably cheaper to operate than the Eurofighter (and the CF-18 for that matter) so there would be savings in the cost per flying hour that might offset the disadvantages of operating two fleets.

I have a feeling (and Duey probably knows a lot more about this) that the reason this wouldn't fly is because a CAS/AD lightweight fighter isn't sexy. The fighter mafia are known for their reluctance to do anything other than air to air and this attitude might be the biggest impediment to an idea like this. Then again, maybe there are guys in CAS who would love this idea....

Just an Army guy's two pennies...

MG

P.S. Great idea Armymatters (I think we actually agree on something)
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Offline Lance Wiebe

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2006, 11:48:34 »
Out of my lane here as well, but............. ;)

Do we need an airplane as capable as the CF-18?  Can we park the beast, and replace it with the 80% solution, or even the 70% solution?  How many airframes are we still trying to operate now, around 50, I believe.  We've parked a huge number of the '18's because we simply can't afford to run them, upgrade them, or replace them.

After all, we seem to be heading toward replacing the Leopard tank with a 15% solution............
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Offline Garry

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2006, 17:04:41 »
Lance,

Exactly correct, but with one twist:

The F-18 is a multi role fighter. It can fight it's way in, bomb the target, then fight it's way back out. The F-18 in it's world is kinda like a Leopard in ours- if you added Air Defence, Recce, Engineer, Artillery, and Infanteer support into the Leopard chasis.

No fooling, the F-18 takes the place of several aircraft, rolls them all into one, and off it goes, self supporting, doing the job.

Armymatters,

What you're proposing is wrong for the troops that fight. I read your profile, thanks for being honest (makes a difference!) and I'll try and be gentle.....we, as taxpayers, ask these brave young soldiers to go in harms way to defend our lifestyle. If they do it, then I submit that we, as taxpayers, must ensure that they have everything they need to do the job in the quickest, safest manner possible. Anything less would be breaking our promise to them. Air support saves lives, end of discussion. Granted, the Army can get the job done without air support, but it will cost them in both time and casualties. Same could be said, I suppose, for all of the supporting arms: the Infantry could go it alone, but boy they'd be hurting.

I feel a rant coming on, I'll quit here, but one last reminder: cheaping out on tax dollars inevitably costs us in human suffering.

Cheers-Garry



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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2006, 17:32:39 »
...I have a feeling (and Duey probably knows a lot more about this) that the reason this wouldn't fly is because a CAS/AD lightweight fighter isn't sexy. The fighter mafia are known for their reluctance to do anything other than air to air and this attitude might be the biggest impediment to an idea like this. Then again, maybe there are guys in CAS who would love this idea....

Just an Army guy's two pennies...

MG

P.S. Great idea Armymatters (I think we actually agree on something)

MG, you Jarmy guy!  ;)  Yup!  Concur with you.  Amazingly, the fighter mafia alone eats almost half the AF O&M $ and National Procurement $, won't do anything other than NORAD, and still they rule the roost...  ::)

I know, I know...even though you and I saw plenty of single-engine fighters/attackers out there (F-16, Harrier, etc...) I don't think the Canadian AF would have anything other than a dual-engine machine as the "front-line" fighter, even if that actually endangered the long-term viability of the capability overall.  *sigh*

Garry, only problem with you feedback to Armymatters is that the fast air/CAS/OAS Air Force is NOT out there supporting the guys on the ground and yet still eating up the relative lion's share of AF resources.  Hard to argue money spent on that community and how many deployments after 1999?

Cheers,
Duey

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2006, 17:45:32 »
Duey:

Could the Air Force deploy a 6-Pack of CAS CF-18s to Kandahar?  I assume the airfield will take them.
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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2006, 17:52:39 »
Duey:

Could the Air Force deploy a 6-Pack of CAS CF-18s to Kandahar?  I assume the airfield will take them.


Personally, I don't see why not as far as infrastructure at KAF is concerned.  I have heard conflicting stories as to why they're not there currently; both personnel issues and maintenance/support equipment are raised as topics of conversation in some circles -- not sure what the real reason is, but that community is in danger of not deploying itself into small-NORAD-fleet-for-DCA-only oblivion.

Cheers,
Duey

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2006, 19:52:52 »
I am thinking of how the South Koreans are arranging their air forces. Canada and South Korea are about equal in terms of GDP. In terms of government income, Canada and South Korea are equal. However, while Canada spends 1.2% of it's GDP on defense (for a total of around $13 billion US), South Korea spends 2.5% of it's GDP on defense ($20 billion dollars). For their future, the South Koreans have purchased 40 F-15K's and are currently procuring the T-50 as a replacement for their F-5's and early model F-16's, plus acting as trainers. The F-15K's are replacing their F-4 Phantom II jets, while newer build F-16's remaining in service.

I am thinking we can do something similar. Procure a state of the art, highly advanced fighter in limited numbers, say 50 F/A-18E Super Hornet's, and procure a large number, say 110+ T-50 Golden Eagles. The Super Hornet's can be concentrated with the cream of the CF fighter pilots in 2 squadrons, 12 aircraft each, based in CFB Cold Lake and CFB Bagotville. The remaining 26 jets will be for both a operational conversion unit (12 aircraft), and the rest for depot level maintenance. The T-50's in the LIFT configuration can be based in 4 squadrons, 12 jets each, one in CFB Comox, one in CFB Cold Lake, one in CFB Bagotville, and the last one in either CFB Goose Bay or CFB Shearwater, for a total of 48 jets based in operational squadrons. 12 T-50's will be based with the 2 Super Hornet squadrons for training (reduce flying time on the Hornets without reducing flying time for the pilots), 6 aircraft each squadron. The rest (50+ jets) will be for fighter pilot training (2 squadrons, 12 aircraft each) and depot level maintenance.

This is how I am proposing to reorganize the CF air force, based on public information:
CFB Cold Lake, 4th Wing
- 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron (F/A-18E Super Hornet + T-50 Golden Eagle)
- 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
- 417 Combat Support Squadron (CH-146 Griffon)
- 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron (F/A-18E Super Hornet)
- 419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
CFB Comox, 19th Wing
- 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron (CP-140 Aurora)
- 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron (CC-115 Buffalo + CH-149 Cormorant)
- 4XX Tactical Fighter Squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
CFB Bagotville, 3rd Wing
- 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron (F/A-18E Super Hornet + T-50 Golden Eagle)
- 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
CFB Goose Bay, 5th Wing
- 4XX Tactical Fighter squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
- 444 Combat Support Squadron (CH-146 Griffon)
CFB Moose Jaw, 15th Wing
- 431 Air Demonstration Squadron (T-50 Golden Eagle)
- 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (T-50 Golden Eagle + CT-156 Harvard II)

All the Tactical Fighter Squadrons (except the Training Squadrons) can be deployed on deployments to say, Afghanistan, Darfur, etc, but which squadron is getting sent depends on the threat level present in the region. If we are going to be encountering high end enemy fighters, send the squadrons with the Super Hornets. If at most there will be ground fire, but little or nothing in the way of air threats, send the T-50's instead.

Maintenance-wise, there is commonality between the two engines both jets are using. The T-50 uses the GE F404-102 engine, which is similar to the GE F414-400, as the GE F414 is an advanced derivative of the F404, and shares some parts. Ejection seats in both are by Martin Baker.

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2006, 20:28:22 »
Lots of good ideas Armymatters...  But if we are looking for a cost-effective CAS aircraft and commonality when it comes to parts and training why not look at Raytheon's T-6B http://raytheonaircraft.com/government/t_6b.shtml#main

Pilot training for these support aircraft could be stream straight out of Moose Jaw, avoiding the costly trip to Cold Lake and the Hornet's altogether.  Drop tanks extend the range for Littoral patrols and FFAR pods add the needed punch for ground support.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2006, 11:12:00 »
Duey,

Point well taken (on doing the job). Right now it's A'stan- and it was a political decision not to spend the $$. I do NOT know, but I'm wondering if the USAF was able to devolve some NORAD commitments onto the CAF, thereby freeing more of it's forces to deploy to A'stan..?? Economy of effort, etc..??

The Fighter Force has also deployed without the Army (Gulf War 1, Serbia from Aviano) and no one complained.

Sure don't want to go down the road of knifing each other to gain a little more for ourselves....heck, I'm out, it's no longer personal :)

In much the same way that, when asked, I argued in favour of keeping the MBT role...and the AD role....and the SP Arty role....and the Recce role for Tac Hel......Lord, I even argued to keep the Bonny...imho, it will save lives, and THAT'S the right thing to do.

We're downsizing, and specialising, and maybe that's ok.....and maybe I oughta stay out of "what if's" on a cosmic level, as I still remember (and believe in) a combined arms heavy fighting force.

Cheers-Garry
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 11:16:53 by Garry »

Offline Armymatters

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2006, 13:54:53 »
Lots of good ideas Armymatters...  But if we are looking for a cost-effective CAS aircraft and commonality when it comes to parts and training why not look at Raytheon's T-6B http://raytheonaircraft.com/government/t_6b.shtml#main

Pilot training for these support aircraft could be stream straight out of Moose Jaw, avoiding the costly trip to Cold Lake and the Hornet's altogether.  Drop tanks extend the range for Littoral patrols and FFAR pods add the needed punch for ground support.

I am thinking that the airplane should have some point defense capability to do NORAD patrols over our cities. The jets I have mentioned have the ability to fire AIM-9 missiles at airplanes, plus have some form of radar to help spot them.

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2006, 14:11:11 »
While I don't question the capability of the '18's, do we really need an platform that can carry ordinance, then fight its way out from wherever it's dropping its stuff?  It would have to be escorted in, anyway (not much of a dogfighter loaded down with bombs and rockets).

I think we can all agree that northern patrols can be completed by less capable aircraft, and in the ground support role there are very capable, and cheaper airframes available.

The CF18 initial purchase price was the same as the cost of 20 tanks would cost.  Then they cost much, much more to fly and maintain.  More modern airframes cost even more.....I guess what I'm saying is, are we getting the most bang for our buck with the CF18's?  Should we replace them with something like the BAE Hawk 200?
"It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who served beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag." - Charles M. Province

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2006, 15:01:21 »
Garry, I concur that there will always be a need to have fast air capability.  The question effectively is what specific capabilities will fast-air have to provide.  The "in what form/type of aircraft" question then will flow from the chosen capability set.  Although many sverdrup's under the bridge, I think that back in the NFA project days (79-82), there might have been better choices made than the CF-18.  I personally think that, although more expensive, we should have procured a much smaller fleet (like 60 or 72 compared to the 138 CF188s we acquired) of CF-15s for NORAD DCA-role and looked at whether close air support, offensive air support and battlefield air interdiction were going to be supported by the air force.  If the answer was to have been yes, then continue to use the CF-5 in that role as flown by 10 TAG and FG, or update with something geared more to the OAS/CAS role...A-10's anybody?

Cheers,
Duey

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Re: BAe Hawk as supplement to CF-18 Hornet
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2006, 15:12:54 »
Hey Duey,

I'm not sure we need fast air- in all honesty, the case has been (well) made that since we've pretty much tied oursleves to the US, we're never going to go to war alone, that maybe we should specialise- Recce, Light Infantry, heck, pick one of whatevver, and be the best in the world at it. Not sure that point is wrong. Guess the point I'm trying to make is that if we (we as taxpayers, we as Canadian Citizens) are going to ask you to defend our countries interests,. then we owe it to you to train, equip, lead, and support you to the best possible standard available.

F-18 is a simply outstanding CAS platform. It will hit what it wants, every time, with a wide variety of weapons. Yes, even better than an A-10.

Lance- No need to escort- it fights as very well loaded.

Loads more I could argue on behalf of the F-18, but not necessary- the concept of the best, or none, is, imho, the salient point.

Cheers-Garry