Canada’s intended purchase of 65 of the US-designed F-35 JSF- Joint Strike Fighter jet has long been a source of controversy over both the excessive cost and whether it even suits Canada’s needs.
Some critics point out that Canada’s long-gone CF-105 Avro Arrow- scrapped itself in extreme controversy in 1959, could fly faster and farther than the F-35.
Concerns over costs, delays, and performance capabilities, has led several countries to reduce or delay their orders for the controversial fighter
Now Canadian critics of the plan to buy the F-35 as a replacement for ageing CF-18’s have been handed a new argument against the expensive purchase.
“Without the upgraded F-22, the F-35 fleet will be frankly, irrelevant”
A US General has recently said the stealth fighter is limited in what it can do and actually needs to be accompanied on missions by another model fighter, the F-22.
Gen. Michael Hostage is head of air combat command in the U.S. and spoke in an interview with the Air Force Times published in February. While he said the F-35 is still critical for the future of that country’s air force, he said the F-35 needs to work hand-in-hand with the F-22.
“The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform,” Hostage said. “It needs the F-22.” He added, “Without the upgraded F-22, the F-35 fleet will be frankly, irrelevant”
Those comments echo other concerns that the F-35 is mainly designed to strike ground targets and is not well suited to interceptions and air-to-air combat.
Canada’s Department of National Defence originally said the jets would cost $14.7 billion, but the Parliamentary Budget Officer later said the price would be more like $29 billion.
Due to severe criticism of the contract procedure for the purchase of the F-35, the whole procurement process is under review. It has not been decided yet whether to proceed with the F-35 deal, or re-open the bidding to other manufacturers.
The F-22 Raptor and F-35 are both made by Lockheed-Martin. However, it calls the F-22 “the world’s most advanced fighter” and the US bans foreign sales of this aircraft.