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Super Hornets, eh? Canadian Airpower falls short on North American Defense

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CDA Institute readers will be interested in the recent publication in War on the Rocks of an article on the recent Super Hornet announcement by Richard Shimooka, one of our Research Fellows, and Gary Schaub Jr. We have included the opening remarks as well as the link necessary to read the full posting.

By Gary Schaub Jr. and Richard Shimooka

When Canadian Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan met with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis last Monday, he likely countered concerns over Canadian defense spending by pointing towards Ottawa’s recent decision to acquire 18 F/​A-​18E/​Fs Super Hornets from Boeing. Last November, Sajjan announced that Canada would immediately close a “capability gap” that might prevent it from fulfilling its defense and alliance obligations. First, Canada would begin negotiations with Boeing to acquire an “interim” fleet of 18 Super Hornets to supplement its 76 ageing CF-​18 Hornets. Second, Canada would initiate an “an open and transparent competition” to consider a replacement aircraft for the entire CF-​18 fleet, reaching a decision in five years’ time. Finally, Canada would remain part of the Joint Strike Fighter program, otherwise known as the F-​35, to keep abreast of developments. Overall, the announcement had the qualities of reasonable action and stewardship of Canadian national security.

But appearances are deceiving. Canada’s decision will leave it a less capable partner — and not only because the Super Hornet is a less capable aircraft than the F-​35.

…Click here to read more.

Image by Jeff Wilson

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Guest Wednesday, 29 March 2017
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