As you have probably gathered by now your humble reporter doesn't like 'Don the Con Trumplethinskin' much, or most of the stuff he does ........! But I've got to hand it to the orange one, he did something yesterday that not only made sense, but might help Canada as well.
President Trump on Friday said that the U.S. is looking into a “big order” of Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets that may have stealth capabilities.Aside from the cost advantages, it would be nice to have a twin engined plane because of the distances they would have to fly in protecting Canadian airspace.
Trump made the comments during a tour of a Boeing plant in South Carolina. The message appeared to be also directed at Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35 and corporate rival, Bloomberg reported.
“We are looking seriously at a big order,” Trump said, referring to the F/A-18. He said, “If the price (of the F-35) doesn’t come down, we would. The F-18’s a great plane and now put a stealth component onto it.”
After all, two engines are better than one, and that's all the F-35 has!
There is an argument to be made for building upgraded Block III Super Hornets with reduced radar cross-section and other enhancements. Indeed, Boeing has already demonstrated many of those upgrades—including a new external podded-weapons bay, conformal fuel tanks, new cockpit information systems and RCS reduction measures. Other proposed upgrades would add more powerful and fuel-efficient engines and vastly improved electronic warfare capabilities. Once developed to its full potential, the Block III Super Hornet could perform most of the missions envisioned for the F-35C except penetrating strike—it would have to rely on stand-off weapons for that mission.http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/americas-lethal-f-35-vs-f-18-super-hornet-who-wins-15670
The solution is to buy more advanced Super Hornets and its electronic attack variant in the form of the EA-18G Growler while investing in a stealthy new unmanned strike aircraft and a future F/A-XX. To pay for those programs, the Navy could cancel its portion of the F-35 buy and reinvest the money. The Navy would have to accept some risks, but the long-term payoff could save the carrier from obsolescence in the era of precision-guided warfare.