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The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)

Colin Parkinson

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interesting this article:

More importantly, they contend, the coating is easily applied in the field and requires no environmental control facility as with previous versions of stealth aircraft. Lockheed says the interval between maintenance events for the F-35’s low-observable coating is now 19h – better than the targeted 9h.


From this New and Old F-35 Coatings Compared in Recent Photo of Two Italian Lightning II Jets - The Aviationist

The old livery presented very evident panel lines which were painted a lighter gray than the rest of the aircraft, resulting in the characteristic saw tooth panel lines above and on the sides of the fuselage. In a weekly update by Lockheed Martin’s General Manager Jeff Babione dated April 13, 2017, the new coating system was announced as able to cut-off 128 hours in the painting process, resulting in a reduction of the costs by USD 16,000 per aircraft and 49M USD in the total life of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Here is an extract of the aforementioned update:

Through a new coating system, the team was able to give the F-35 one uniform coat that saved a significant number of hours per unit in defects and rework.

James Thistle was the first to suggest the new coatings, now referred to as the Z13 overcoat. It took five years and a lot of hard work to incorporate the new coatings. The team used AF104 as a trial run with no issues, and James said it was worth the wait.

The Z13 overcoat significantly reduces the need for many of the labor-intensive tasks that drove rework and repair hours up.


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Surprise! Two Boeing-connected former NORAD commanders push Super Hornet, start of an article:

The best option for Canada? Former NORAD commanders’ perspectives on the next-generation fighter​

In a presentation to the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence in March, Gen Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), was asked his thoughts on Canada’s future fighter capability. He deftly sidestepped the implied question about which fighter might be better, politely declining to “weigh in on the fighter debate.” But he did offer his perspective on the general fighter capabilities NORAD requires for its threat response – long range, endurance to loiter, significant weapons capacity, and the ability to rapidly share information.

It’s a capability list two of his predecessors can appreciate. Admirals Timothy Keating and William Gortney both served as commanders of USNORTHCOM and NORAD (November 2004 to March 2007 and December 2014 to May 2016, respectively), but neither is reticent about which fighter jet the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) should acquire to replace its fleet of CF-18 legacy Hornets.

Now retired, both consult for Boeing. Each has over 5,000 hours flying off the decks of aircraft carriers in the A-7E Corsair II, FA-18 A-model Hornet, and in Gortney’s case, the FA-18E Block I Super Hornet. Having led the unique binational command, in which the NORAD commander operates inside both the U.S. and Canadian chains of command, they appreciate what is at stake when RCAF pilots and aircraft are assigned to quick reaction alert duty.

With VanHerck’s response priorities in mind, both believe the Boeing-built F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet, more so than the Lockheed Martin F-35A or Saab Gripen E, is best suited for Canada’s NORAD role...