Enter the Avro?

by Aaron Wherry

Maj0r-General Lewis MacKenzie says a new Avro Arrow should be considered, but figures the fix is in for the F-35.

Tom Clark: Do you think the fix is in for the F-35?

General Lewis MacKenzie: I do. I do. I think…I worked in a bureaucracy for a while; only one year here in Ottawa but I know how these things work and when a submission or a request comes in, it goes down to the sharp end, sharp end comments and then it comes back up and you get your answer. This feasibility study was in the hands of the PMO, the Minister of National Defence; General Lawson, congratulations now the CDS when he was deputy commander of NORAD. I kept getting the same feedback. It was like talking points coming back. I’d like somebody outside the military family and those that support the military family from within the government to at least pass judgement on it and give us an opinion.

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Enter the Avro?

  1. I just outbid Dan Akroyd for the movie rights. Anyone got change for a twenty?

    So far I have Oscar Leroy cast as test pilot. Fitzy’s grandmother in charge of interiors.

  2. MacKenzie is right…it wouldn’t matter if the wings kept falling off the F-35….that’s the one Harper wants.

    • If Harper wants the f35 and I want the f35 quit gabbing and go steal one. We can store it in the Canadian Rockies, tear it apart and learn all it’s secrets and then tell the Americans we found it and deliver it back to them.

      • LOL unfortunately the Chinese have already done that.

  3. History is too kind to the Arrow. Like the “Century Series” fighters with which it was a contemporary, it would have been retired rapidly from the inventory. It was single purpose (bomber interceptor), useless in a dogfight, had a woerul weapons platform, smoky engines, and a huge radar cross section.
    The Americans protect their military industrial complex. That’s why the Arrow died.
    Does anyone really believe a ‘new Arrow’ would suffer a different fate?
    Who would we export to? certainly not the US. Our Nato allies? they’ve all signed up for the F35.
    Finally, it’s far, far, too late. The CF18′s are nearing their end of life. The gargantuan effort required to design, build, and test a front line fighter takes years. And to do it all from scratch?
    The dreamers out there must be enjoying the technicolor!

    • I thought the US took the engine or its design for their spy plane – blue bird or black bird, something like that? The engines were way ahead of their time.

      Smoky engines eh…so maybe we could run it on tar sands…call it the tar baby.

      • It’s the U-2 you’re thinking of. I think the story you’re referring to is the notion that part of the reason the Americans helped kill the Arrow is that they were worried about it letting the U-2 secret out of the bag. In the made-for-t.v. movie on the Arrow there’s even a fictionalized conversation in which someone from the CIA says “This thing could fly circles around the U-2. We can’t very well keep the U-2 secret if the Canadians are able to fly up and see it!”

        • Except it wasn’t really the Americans that killed the Arrow. The U.S. was perfectly happy to let the Canadians develop military technology that they would be sharing with the U.S.

          • Yes and no.

            They were surely MORE happy to keep selling us Bomarc missiles instead (and one of the misguided arguments in favour of cancelling the Arrow was that Bomarcs made fighters redundant), and the Americans surely preferred selling their planes to Canada rather than buying ours from us.

    • Arrow two engines? Crucial for Canada; two engines good; one engine very bad.

      • Yes, Arrow has two, so way back then they figured out that great distances in Canada and harsh conditions below especially in the Arctic, meant for pilot safety two,, not single engine was imperative. Let’s fly that baby home and skip a crash landing or ejection seat.

  4. I am not an engineer, nor do I know anything about jets, but I am greatly skeptical that Canadian engineers developed a plane fifty years ago that would outperform planes today.

    Because of my job, I do know about cars, and if planes are anything like cars, aerodynamic and engine designs have improved considerably in the past fifty years. Canadians might have discovered aerodynamic design that is superior to what engineers have discovered more recently but I would be surprised.

    Also, Canada building its own jet would be exceedingly difficult because we have no history of building fighters while other companies have been building them for decades and have institutional memory. Back to comparing cars to planes, the Chinese stole car designs from vehicle producers around the world but they still can’t build quality cars because they don’t know how.

    • Hi Tony, tell me, in reality how different are designs today from a 1949 Ford?

      • They are nothing alike other than we call them both cars. It’s like asking, in reality, how different are the F-35 and Wright Flyer?

        • Tweaked internal combustion engines.

          • Well now, to be honest, how the chassis responds to a collision is night and day from where it was in the 1950′s. All Ralph Nader’s fault…..damned liberal.

  5. Meanwhile the Koreans, the Italians, the Japanese all build their own fighters/stealth aircraf

    • All three have bigger population than we do. All but South Korea have a bigger GDP – and South Korea has the incentive of being next door to North Korea. All three have the military-industrial framework in place to do the work; we’d be starting from scratch.

      I’m not saying we couldn’t or shouldn’t; I’m just pointing out that their circumstances make it more feasible for them than for us at this point in time.

      • More excuses.

  6. Reality is that Gen. Mackenzie is partly right. The C-F18 is a fighter bomber, as was the Arrow design. The F35, JF, is a compliance aircraft, and in theory the best plane for the job. There are several problems. The F35 may be outdated before it arrives, and it is NOT a fighter bomber.
    Could we build a superior aircraft along the lines of the Avro Arrow ? Yes, it’s possible.
    We need several components: skilled airframe people, highly skilled CAD people, a good sized computer system , and an area to start the project, that’s’ for starters. All are available, but not all of the personnel are in Canada.
    Should we do it ?
    I believe that the idea has been hashed out, but it would be difficult to impossible to convince the bureaucrats and the public.

  7. Though I would like to see it happen, re-developing the Arrow would take too long and cost a great deal. The F-35 is nearly completely useless for Canada. It’s stealth is highly over-rated, it has limited range, only one engine, very high wing loading which means it can’t turn, it has very limited payload, it is slow and of course it is way, way over-priced!
    Not to mention that everything coming out of Russia right now out-performs it by a very large margin.
    The Typhoon, Rafale, Super Hornet and F-15 need to be looked at and evaluated. It would be best if we could buy a Russian plane, but that’s just not going to happen. And key to any deal should be that we can build them in Canada with full technology transfer. This won’t happen with F-35. We will be lucky if the Americans let us even look under the hood!

  8. “Unfortunately, what is proposed is not a viable option for Canada’s next generation fighter,” said a letter from Julian Fantino, who was then Canada’s associate minister for national defence, emphasizing unproven stealth capabilities, something the F-35s claim to have.
    Well, participating the F-35 (Just So Failed) program and buying the F-35 is a really a terrible idea at the first place. It’ll be inadequate to deal with the changed threat environment, and if you have the F-35s that just aren’t capable of dealing with the high threat zones, it just doesn’t do you any good of going ahead with the lemon and sink the money. Because the F-35 will be increasingly expensive aircraft that will fail the air defence program and there’s absolutely no point of sticking with the F-35 because some hostile nations could well be purchasing The Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar, advanced S-400 and S-500 SAM systems, as well as the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 and J-21? fighters.
    Also F-35 will also be detected by the L-Band AESA. It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO stealth planes such as the F-35 especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well. Unfortunately the exhaust nozzle of the F-35 will be extremely hot. The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35S or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. And the plume, because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way. The Sukhois will be able to seek and destroy the F-35 when using the heat seeking BVR AA-12 (R-77) Adder AAMs.

    Going back to the 55Zh6M Nebo M “Counter Stealth Radar”. If anyone wants to find out more about this counter stealth radar, here’s a description if you’re interested.
    Development initiated late 1990s leveraging experience in Nebo SVU VHF-Band AESA radar;

    2012-2013 IOC intended;
    Designed from the outset to detect stealth fighters and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters;
    The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets;
    High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment;
    Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM;
    Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

    The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35 at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.
    If the F-35 was to be able to meet its specifications, the aircraft will have the ability of going up against a 1980s Soviet air defence system of the type that we saw destroyed very effectively in Libya about 20 months ago, the F-35 would be reasonably be effective in that environment, because these older Soviet radars would not see it.

    But if you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful Russian radars and some of the newer Chinese radars, the aircraft is quite detectable, especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.
    The F-35 has shown that the aircraft has a lot of limitations which shows it cannot do a lot of things as expected to promise that is a true fifth generation fighter, because it does not meet all the requirements of partner nations. Its fuselage is too overweight which has too much cross section; the wings are too small which lacks the extreme manoeuvrability. The wing planform is optimised for subsonic cruise and transonic manoeuvre which doesn’t provide enough lift and drag to defeat Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and Within Visual Range (WVR) air-to-air missiles (AAMs) from enemy fighters in the dogfight and stand-off ranges, advanced surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and ground fire during top end threats. It also has inferior acceleration at Mach 1.6, short range with no loiter time and very limited weapons payload that is unsuited for bomber and cruise missile defence and totally unsuited for air superiority role when compared against Sukhoi family, upcoming J-20 and perhaps the J-21 of aircraft, particularly post 2010 configurations; definitely post 2015 evolved growth variants.
    Single engine is a very nasty risk for
    the artic and over water operations, which makes the aircraft more vulnerable to engine failure. The Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine and integrated power package exhaust from the F-35A model will cause excessive damage to the flight deck environment and runway surfaces, with heat build-up and exhaust impedes the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions in hot environments that may result in operating limits or drive costly upgrades and repairs of JSF basing options.
    The APG-81 AESA radar. The nose geometry of the F-35 limits the aperture of the radar. This makes the F-35 dependent on supporting AEW&C aircraft which are themselves vulnerable to long range anti-radiation missiles and jamming. Opposing Sukhoi aircraft have a massive 1 meter radar aperture enabling them to detect and attack at an JSF long before the JSF can detect the Sukhoi. It has Medium Power Aperture (0) (Detection range around 140 – 150 nm at BVR)

    Compared to which other aircraft’s radar?
    The N011 Irbis-E (Snow Leopard) for the Su-35S Super Flanker-E

    NIIP claims a detection range for a closing 32.3 square feet (3 square metre) coaltitude target of 190 – 250 NMI (350-400 km), and the ability to detect a stealthy aircraft while closing 0.11 square feet (0.01 square metre) target at ~50 NMI (90 km). In Track While Scan (TWS) mode the radar can handle 30 targets simultaneously, and provide guidance for two simultaneous shots using a semi-active missile like the R-27 series, or eight simultaneous shots using an active missile like the RVV-AE/R-77 or ramjet RVV-AE-PD/R-77M.

    The PAK-FA will feature the N050 BRLS IRBIS AFAR/AESA?, similar to the Su-35S N011.

    * Frequency: X-Band (8 – 12 GHz)
    * Diameter: 2 ft 4 in (0.7 m)
    * Targets: 32 tracked, 8 engaged
    * Range: 248 mi (400 km)
    EPR: 32.3 ft² (3 m²): 99.4 mi (160 km) and 0.11 sq.ft (0.01 sq.m) target at ~50 NMI (90 km)
    Azimuth: +/-70°, +90/-50°
    * Power: 4,000 W
    * Weight: 143 to 176 lb (65 to 80 kg)
    Again, the F-35 will be detectable from behind the fuselage, the upper side and from the lower sides as well, except for the front area, a conservative estimate for the frontal RCS of the F-35 would be 0.0015 square metre which is only stealthy in the front, this is what I call “Partial Stealth” which the F-35 does have. Because if the situation arises, the Sukhoi family of fighters, upcoming J-20 or J-21? can out-run, out-climb and out-manoeuvre, and be able to track the F-35 using L-band AESA, IRST sensor (from the upper and lower sides and aft fuselage) and launch their AAMs from any altitude at speed etc.

    The bad news is, with the changed environment the F-35 will be obsolete when the aircraft arrives in 2018 or later, the US as well the allies are armed with this aircraft will make their air power totally ineffective in the next 30 to 40 years. I’m complaining about LM lying and misleading to the military and the public what they state their facts what the F-35 can do etc etc. And I don’t see any contradiction with the way I’ve promoted these new Russian/Chinese radars etc.

  9. Also the F-35 is totally incapable as a close air support asset (CAS).
    Why is the F-35 or any supersonic fighter incapable of performing CAS?
    The Background History can be traced back to the Vietnam War, the vulnerability of US fighter/attack aircraft against small arms, SAM/AAA sites.
    The criticism that the U.S. Air Force did not take CAS (close air support) seriously prompted a few service members to seek a specialized attack aircraft. In the Vietnam War, large numbers of ground-attack aircraft were shot down by small arms, SAMs (surface-to-air missiles), and low-level anti-aircraft gunfire, prompting the development of an aircraft better able to survive such weapons. In addition, the UH-1 Iroquois and AH-1 Cobra helicopters of the day, which USAF commanders had said should handle close air support, were ill-suited for use against armour, carrying only anti-personnel machine guns and unguided rockets meant for soft targets.
    For fast jets such as the F-100 Super Sabre, F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom II proved for the most part to be ineffective for close air support, because their high speed did not allow pilots enough time to get an accurate fix on ground targets, they lacked sufficient loiter time and also they are wrapped with fuel around the engine which can easily be penetrated through the skin of the aeroplane and causes to catch on fire, most likely to get shot down. At the time the effective, but aging A-1 Skyraider aircraft was the USAF’s primary close air support aircraft proved to be a fantastic aircraft to support the ground troops which the US Army loved the A-1. Which is why the A-10 was developed to fulfill the CAS requirements.
    Supersonic fighters can perform CAS role, but not as effective as the A-10 or other turbo-prop aircraft, as mentioned above. They (supersonic fighter/attack aircraft) can only perform two roles: interdiction strike and air superiority.

  10. The updated version of the CF-105 Avro Arrow is a another great alternative to the failed F-35 program as a replacement for the CF-18A/B Hornets.
    To develop the updated Avro Arrow, incorporate the new upgrades for the aircraft such as:

    1. Propose more development variants of the CF-105.
    2. If you want the CF-105 to be a dedicated air superiority fighter, develop a 2D or 3D thrust vectoring nozzles to enable the aircraft have great agility to defeat the adversary in the dogfight and defeating missiles/gunfire in the high threat theatre as a consideration.
    3. Supercruising turbofan engines can also be considered to cruise at supersonic speeds without the use of afterburners to save fuel and reducing IR heat signature.

    3. Add more range for the CF-105, for e.g. to be flown more than 3,000 miles (for ferry flight) and for combat radius of action can be flown more than 1,000 miles (unrefuelled).
    4. Redesign the cockpit area for the aircrew to have wide field of view for improved situational awareness, improved pilots visibility for observation for landing on runways etc etc. Also redesign the air intakes with F-15 style variable geometry rectangle shaped inlets to allow more airflow to the engines to improve better acceleration.

    5. Add a wider weapons bays, to enable the CF-105 to carry more ground attack weapons as well as air-to-air missiles.

    6. Add sensors such as IRST (which can be located next to the windshield at starboard).
    7. Digital fly-by-wire system
    8. Develop the longer range AESA radar. To have better detection range at 190 – 250 NMI (350-400 km), and the ability to detect a stealthy aircraft while closing 0.11 square feet (0.01 square metre) target at ~50 NMI (90 km). In Track While Scan (TWS) mode the AESA can detect 40 targets simultaneously, and provide guidance for two, three or more simultaneous shots using a semi-active missiles e.g. AIM-120 or new BVRAAM.
    9. Advanced avionics such as the touch screen cockpit displays
    10. Modern weapons: J-series of bombs and cruise missiles, Laser Guided Bombs. Air-to-air missiles such as AIM-9X Sidewinders, AIM-120D AMRAAMs or new advanced BVRAAM beyond visual range missile.
    11. Special RAM coatings to reduce radar signature.

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