Feb 28 2013

Canada: Boeing offers rival of F-35 — at half the price

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 21:01 onder Global F35 News

Canadian CBC News television says “Boeing smells blood” after the Canadian Parliament forced the government to do a new evaluation in their fighter purchase process to replace the obsolete old CF-18 Hornets.

Boeing offers the new Super Hornet F/A-18 Super Hornet as a proven “real thing” against the “F-35 as a “shiny brochure of promises” and CBC News reports: “It has two engines to the F-35’s one — and, unlike the F-35, it’s ready now. Some 500 Super Hornets are already in service with the U.S. Navy. Dozens have already been sold to the Royal Australian Air Force, which, like Canada, was once committed to the F-35 but gave up waiting for it to prove itself.”

At half the price

The operating and support costs of the F-35 are sky-high. As CBC News writes: “The Super Hornet costs about $16,000 an hour to fly, he says — and the F-35 will be double that. Really? That sounded too good to be true — so CBC News dug into Boeing’s figures to see how credible they are.
According to the GAO, the Super Hornet actually costs the U.S. Navy $15,346 an hour to fly. It sounds like a lot — until you see that the U.S. Air Force’s official “target” for operating the F-35 is $31,900 an hour. The GAO says it’s a little more — closer to $32,500. CBC also asked Lockheed Martin to say if it had any quarrel with these numbers — and it did not
.”

CBC News asked Boeing about the “stealth argument”:

The next question is, though — is it a second-rate plane? Instead of the “Fifth Generation” stealth fighter that Lockheed Martin advertises, does Canada want to settle for a not-so-stealthy Generation 4.5?
Boeing is ready for that question, too. Mike Gibbons, the VP, phrases his answer carefully.
“We know that the Super Hornet has effective stealth, and that’s really the key. In fact, we believe we have a more affordable stealth than many other platforms that are being designed specifically and touted as stealthy platforms.”

Possibly a real competion in Canada

CBC News contacted the European manufacturers of the Typhoon — also known as the Eurofighter — as well as Dassault, the French maker of the Rafale, and Sweden’s Saab, which makes the Gripen. All said they’ve been contacted by the Canadian government and were ready to make their pitches.

Read more: CBC News; 27-feb-2013; “Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price

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