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Boeing's bid to replace CF-18s gets readers talking

Categories: Canada, Community, Politics

Terry Milewski's look at the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, now emerging as a rival to the Lockheed Martin F-35 as the Canadian Forces' replacement for its aging CF-18s, really got the CBC Community talking.

Many of the comments on our story were enthusiastic about the Super Hornet being considered, as Ottawa reviews its commitment to buy F-35s.

  • "We are a northern Arctic country and two engines is a must for the safety of our investments. That and an F-18E can do circles around the F-35 in every performance area other than stealth attack," said Eagleone.

  • "You mentioned the cost of acquisition and operation of the Super Hornet was half the price of the F-35; however, it gets even better than that. The cost of transitioning our pilots and mechanics from our existing F-18 fleet to the Super Hornet is minimal considering the transition to an entirely new aircraft like the F-35. Furthermore, I suspect there are a lot of parts we have for our existing F-18 fleet that would be applicable to the new Super Hornet," said GGaudreau.

  • "We do need to upgrade our fighters and in my opinion the two jets we should have been looking at are the Super Hornet or the Eurofighter Typhoon. The F-35 just seems over engineered and complicated. If our government was smart they would ditch the F-35 and seriously look around at the better options available to them," said zontral.

  • "How come this was not tabled in 2006? Canada has wasted seven years on the F-35 file, and still no decision. Canadian tax dollars being squandered, for seven years," said Strathcona123.

  • "No tax dollars were wasted. Canada has not spent a dime on the F-35 as yet. We were not scheduled to spend any money until 2017, until we started to take delivery of the aircraft. In respect to why this was not tabled in 2006, you would have to ask Boeing. They lost the competition to Lockheed Martin put forward to the consortium of countries back then. Thankfully we have a clean slate again, primarily because Lockheed Martin has not been able to keep their target costs in line with expectations. This is a bonus for us as we can now take a sober second look at procurement of our next fighter," replied robotech.

  • "The more that is revealed about the F-35s and what is truly available to Canada's air force, the more egg there is on Harper & Co.'s face about their lack of knowledge, respect, commitment and responsibility to this country and each and every taxpayer," said rgbrook.

But some questioned the purchase of fighter jets from an American military contractor, or purchasing new fighter jets at all.

  • "I'd rather see a Canadian company like Bombardier building aircraft for the RCAF, rather than relying on American companies like Lockheed and Boeing which sell the stuff to us at a premium because of the small market. I wouldn't have a problem if my tax dollars going to fund the R&D for a Canadian plane if it means producing a product that's more practical and tailored to Canada's needs," said SnackCrackers.

  • "Personally, I'd rather see billions used for Canadians, than thrown away supporting a US company and their manufacturing jobs," said IvanNano.

  • "A better fighter jet is no fighter jet. Give it up, boys, and join the 'human' race. Take a deep breath and just 'imagine' a better world," said fantic.

One commenter criticized the CBC for giving Boeing a platform to pitch its jets to the government and to taxpayers.

  • "I am appalled that the CBC is providing Boeing free advertising for their war machines. This story is way over the top and out-of-line reporting with my tax dollars," said lite heart.

We value all the comments, criticism and discussion that the CBC Community brings out in our stories. Thanks for following our coverage.

Tags: CBC, Community, Community Reaction

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