CF-18 Replacement - Stealth vs No Stealth - Canada has a Plan B? - Typhoon Eurofighter & Dassault Rafale - Ah The Twin Engine Safety!
New Canada Military European Connection - Or Should we say Thanks to Boeing Complaint?
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October 2017 - Defence Industry Daily
Canada's large and remote territories have traditionally pushed their air force toward twin-engine fighters, and the Europeans offer a pair of advanced options. Of the two, EADS/BAE's Eurofighter Typhoon has far better odds, because it's compatible with the American weapons that Canada's air force currently stockpiles, and is used by a number of NATO countries who will help to modernize it over time. The cockpit's sensor fusion and voice commands got high marks from Canadian evaluators, and Libyan operations demonstrated their ability to Mach 1.2 supercruise at 40,000 feet with air-to-air weapons mounted. On the industrial front, Eurofighter's connections with firms like Airbus and Thales offer it a good starting point to fulfill industrial offset requirements.
The Eurofighter's flip side includes a cost that's at or above current totals for the F-35A. It also has a very limited set of integrated weapons, with significant gaps in key areas like suppression of enemy air defenses and naval attack. Fortunately for Eurofighter, Canada's arsenal is pretty basic, but the cost issue won't go away as easily. Based on sales to date, Eurofighter costs are comfortably above USD$ 100 million. That will make it difficult for them to position themselves as a better deal than Canada's existing F-35 commitment.
Rafale by Dassault
Dassault's Rafale is a capable, combat-proven multi-role plane, but it comes with a number of problems from Canada's point of view. Industrial presence and offsets may prove to be a challenge for Dassault, and the plane has no confirmed export sales yet, despite promising signals from India and the Middle East. Unless that promise turns into orders by the time Canada needs to make a decision, long-term modernization costs must also be a serious concern for the Rafale.
Then, there's the question of absolute purchase cost. The Rafale was judged to be slightly cheaper than the Eurofighter by India's evaluators, but it's still a high-end fighter in the $100 million range. Worse, weapon incompatibilities mean that Canada would need either new stocks of missiles, or an expensive integration program. The combined purchase cost would be unlikely to beat the Eurofighter, let alone the F-35.
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