Fighter Replacement: What Now?

F-35 mock-up in Canadian livery.
F-35 mock-up in Canadian livery.

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau is showing every sign of following through on his pledge to cancel Canada’s participation in the F-35 program and that will likely mean a three-way race for a less expensive and less capable aircraft to replace the CF-18.

The bonus is that the RCAF will probably end up with more airplanes.

Ruling out the F-35 (there may not be a legal way to keep it out of the bidding, however) effectively leaves the F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale and the Eurofighter as contenders for the contract. However, without the F-35 in the mix, Saab might rethink entering the race with its updated Gripen NG.

None of those options has the combination of stealth, surveillance and weapons capabilities that the F-35 and some other fifth generation designs from Russia and China have but Trudeau has said he doesn’t think Canada needs a fifth generation fighter because Canada won’t need to attack anything.

As if to punctuate that premise, one of Trudeau’s first acts after the election was to tell U.S. President Barack Obama that Canada will cease participation in the bombing campaign against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. That likely means the Aurora long-range patrol missions will also be halted.

There was no mention of the need to replace fixed wing search and rescue aircraft during the election but that will also be on the new PM’s plate.

Buttonville Airport Closing Nov. 30

In a move that everyone knew was coming, Buttonville airport tenants were notified by letter on May 30 that the privately owned airport, known as Buttonville Municipal Airport (CYKZ) and located in the Toronto suburb […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Give Hope Wings 2023 Expeditions Set to Take Off

Now in its sixth year, Give Hope Wings (GHW) is again taking off on a mission to raise funds for, and awareness of, Hope Air, the national charity that provides travel arrangements for those in […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

TC Extends VMC/IMC Consultation Period

In our May 20, 2023 newsletter we reported to you on Transport Canada’s Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2023-005) to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) that would, among other things, tighten criteria used for defining […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

DND To Consolidate Flight Training Programs

The Department of National Defence will consolidate its RCAF flight crew training programs into one contract when the current contracts that are in place expire. The new program has been named the Future Aircrew Training […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

ALPA Reaches Agreement for Bearskin and Perimeter Pilots

Another deal has been reached with pilots flying for Canadian airlines. The Air Line Pilots Association International has been negotiating with Perimeter Airlines and Bearskin Airlines of Winnipeg for more than three years. Both airlines […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Jet-Fueled Piston Engine Certified

The FAA has received Type Certification for a 180-hp piston engine that will run on either jet fuel or SAF (sustainable aviation fuel). The DHK180 was developed by DeltaHawk of Racine, Wisconsin, and they say […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

TC Proposes Tightening of VFR Definitions/Regulations

Earlier this month Transport Canada released a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2023-005) that proposes significant changes to the CARs that affect visual flight rules. Proposed changes include replacing the terms VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Sunrise Glare a Possible Collision Factor – TSB Report

Glare from a rising sun last September may have been a factor in the fatal collision between a Cessna 172 doing pipeline work and a communications tower near Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. The accident claimed the lives […]

Posted in News, TSB Incidents | Leave a comment

Bombardier to Bid for Airborne Surveillance Fleet Replacement

In February we reported that Defence Minister Anita Anand and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne met with Boeing officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss the eventual procurement of P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to replace the RCAF’s […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Red Deer to Host Air Races

The inaugural Canadian International Air Racing Championships will be held in conjunction with the Red Deer International Airshow on July 29 and 30 at that city’s airport. What the city is billing to be an […]

Posted in News | Leave a comment

You can see a more complete list of our past Front Page Editorials.  Press Here to take a look.