Author Topic: Alternative buys for Canada  (Read 1445 times)

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Offline Weaver

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Alternative buys for Canada
« on: January 18, 2019, 10:26:54 pm »
My Alternative Buys for New Zealand thread did rather well, so, given the recent discussion of Canadian Tornados over at the Tornado Themed Build, I though it might be a good idea to have a place for a wider-based discussion. Please feel free to add your own timelines or alternative suggestions, or expand the discussion to vehicles and ships if you want to.



Here's one timeline I've been thinking about. Yes, I know that Canadian politics was very difficult and complicated in the late '60s/early '70s, but I've just assumed that the political situation was different in whatever way neccessary to enable different decisions to be made:


Canada cancels the CF-105 and buys Voodoos and Starfighters as per real life.

The Starfighter's high accident rate and earlier-than-IRL exposure of Lockheed's 'creative' sales tactics leads to a certain coolness in many quarters, including Canada, towards US products.

Canada joins, and stays in, the MRCA programme. However, because MRCA won't produce anything until the late 1970s at least, Canada has to make some stop-gap buys.

Canada buys the Jaguar to fulfil the NATO Northern Flank commitment in the 1970s, instead of the F-5As they bought/built in real life. The aircraft are built in Canada and Canada also gets a share of production for export sales as well (Netherlands/Belgium maybe?). This generally good experience does much to convince the Canadian authorities regarding non-US multi-national programmes, and thereby plays a significant role in keeking them in MRCA.

Canada also adopts the Jaguar two-seater as an advanced trainer. Unilke France and Britain, who change their orders to mostly single-seat strike versions and launch new subsonic trainer programmes, Canada sticks with the original plan and actually uses the Jaguar in the training role, much like the Japanese with their Mitsubishi T.2.

Canada buys Spey-engined Phantoms for the domestic air defence role, replacing the Voodoos instead of exchanging the first batch for another batch as they did in real life. Officially, the choice of the F-4M is due to the Spey's reduced fuel consumption and therefore increased range/loiter time. Unofficially, it's to reduce the US content. Canadian Phantoms lack any strike capability except the basics, but have NORAD-compatible datalinks, dual (probe and socket) IFR capability for compatibility with USAF tankers, and the option to carry two Genies on the inboard pylons. The Genie capability is retained because, given US experience in Vietnam, the Canadians are dubious of the reliability of Sparrow and Sidewinder and of the latter's ability to take down a big aircraft like a Bear with one hit.

The Canadian-produced Tornado IDS starts replacing the Starfighter in the early 1980s. Canadian Tonkas have the RAF-spec fin tank, and adopt the big ADV-style 'Hindenburger' tanks as soon as they're available. Both measures are prompted by the requirement to deploy across the Atlantic.

Canadian Phantoms get updated with Skyflash and AIM-9L Sidewinders in the late 1980s, the improved lethality & reliability of these missiles allowing the Genies to be retired.

Because Canadian Phantoms don't get their fatigue lives chomped into by a period of strike work like the UK ones do, replacing them is not as urgent a priority. Canada therefore waits until UK Tornado ADV production ends in 1993 before buying ADV-specific parts from the UK to mate to standard Tornado parts in it's own factory. Canadian Tornado ADVs then gradually replace the Phantoms during the 1990s.

Following a good performance in the 1991 Gulf War, Canadian Jaguars get a comprehensive upgrade, similar to the RAF ones but with some detail differences. This includes more powerful engines, overwing Sidewinder rails, and smart-weapon capability, one gun being removed to make space for black boxes and the other being replaced by a Mauser Bk.27 for commonality with the Tornado fleet.


Obviously, this is geared toward justifying Canadian F-4M/GR.1/F.3 builds, given recent kit releases and current interests.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 05:34:10 am by Weaver »
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 10:50:35 pm »
Other, more disconnected thoughts:

The UK abandons TSR-2 earlier than IRL, and rules out the F-111K on cost. That leave the Buccaneer, the perfomance of the Spey-Bucc winning over the RAF. This persuades the Marineflieger to buy the Bucc for it's land-based maritime strike role, and that in turn persuades the Luftwaffe to adopt it for overland nuclear strike. All of this makes it a credible choice for Canada instead of the Starfighter for it's NATO nuclear-strike commitment. Earlier-than-IRL RAF/Luftwaffe/RCAF Buccs would probably have more modifications for the land-based role than IRL ones, such as strengthened non-folding outer wings (possibly with integral tankage), four wet main pylons, extra low-rated outboard pylons for ECM pods/Sidewinders, low-pressure and/or tandem-wheel landing gear, land nav/attack avionics including INS and possibly a taller/bigger fin (the Bucc's longitudinal stability was a bit marginal at low speed because the fin height was restricted by hangar height).

Canada buys/builds Mirage 5s as cheap number-boosters instead of F-5s in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Canada buys/builds the Mirage F.1 instead of the Mirage 5 (see above). It's more expensive, but it's short-field capability is more credible in the NATO Northern Flank role and it could be built in fighter and strike versions.

Canada buys/builds the Mirage IIIE instead of the Starfighter in the early 1960s.

Canada buys US-spec Phantoms in the early 1960s replacing the Voodoos (which may be only on loan in this scenario) ASAP.

Canada buys the F-15 (reportedly the military's preferred choice) instead of the F-18. The cost of the F-15 might lead to them keeping the Eagle for domestic air defence and buying the F-16 as a Starfighter replacement for the NATO role. Effectively, this lets them piggy-back off local logistics and support: F-15s are easily supportable in North America and F-16s (assuming the sale-of-the-century went through as IRL) are easily supportable in Europe.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 05:38:58 am by Weaver »
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Offline The Rat

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 01:11:05 am »
Interesting...
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Offline AS.12

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 02:51:28 am »
Another point of divergence: Grumman gets NORAD-specific kit into the F-14 well before it does in real life and that swings the Canadians to it as a Voodoo successor*.  They were poking at it as early as 1973 but it wasn't sufficiently integrated.

They then top-up with the ex-Iranian fleet around 1982, as nearly happened IRL until scuppered by Uncle Sam being a nuisance.

With the run-down of the ( Mirage V || Jaguar ) fleet in the 1990s the Maplecats underwent Bombcat and F-14B-type upgrades.  Big spares acquisition when the US Navy retired theirs. 

By the mid-2010s they were becoming elderly and had their flying-hours restricted** whilst arguments continued regarding successors, with the F-15X being a leading candidate.


* standard loadout: six Sparrow, two Genie and two tanks  :wub:

** an exception occurred in 2018 when eight of the lowest-fatigue airframes were exempted from restrictions to participate in filming of flashback scenes for the movie Top Gun 2.  Accurate USN liveries were applied but the keen-eyed noted the Canadian-specific observation lamp on the portside nose.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 03:10:57 am by AS.12 »

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2019, 03:06:52 am »
Yeah that all sounds good: the doco I posted on the Tornado thread mentioned the F-14.

* standard loadout: six Sparrow, two Genie and two tanks  :wub:

How? Four Sparrows on the fuselage stations and two tanks under the ducts just leave the two glove pylons for the Genies and maybe a pair of Sidewinders. You won't get Sparrows on the glove side-pylons.

The UK decision process in the 1970s came to the conclusion that the F-14 with Phoenix was very, very expensive (running costs plus acquisition costs) and without Phoenix it was over-specified. Of course, that's not to say that that judgement was automatically right, nor that, even if it was, Canada wouldn't come to some other conclusion anyway...

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 04:07:45 am »
Here's a thought: what if Canada bought the Voodoo for the strike role as well as the fighter role?

TAC inherited the F-101A/C from SAC and didn't appreciate it's limited stores options, amongst many other things, so let's say they were even less enamoured of it than they were in real life and decided to proceed with the RF-105 recce-Thud instead of the RF-101 (in hindsight, that's an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire kind of choice, but they wouldn't know at the time). This frees up McDonnell production space, so since the Canadians are buying the F-101B anyway, they propose the F-101C and RF-101C for the Canadian NATO strike requirement. Since commonality across the fleet is the big selling point, the aircraft on offer are hybrids: single-seaters with F-101C avionics but the F-101B's J57-P-55 engines with long afterburner cans. The common fleet argument wins the day and the Voodoo is accepted rather than Lockheed's Starfighter proposal.

The CF-101C/CF-101R fleet is expanded and maintained over the years by remanufacturing unwanted USAF Voodoos and passing them on to Canada. They make it through to the mid 1970s, when a Canadian decision to get out of the tactical nuclear weapons business (a little later than IRL) renders all but the recce versions useless, since they have little conventional weapons capability. This pushes Canada to make a quick decision on replacements, and since they're now used to a single-type fleet, they go for the F-18, seeing it as a compromise between the F-15 and F-16.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 05:42:29 am by Weaver »
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2019, 10:19:15 am »
I think you can rule out any French buy/build Harold, for the same reason most French deals go down the tubes. They'd want to build it all in France.
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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2019, 10:58:04 am »
Totally different tack: trainers.

Canada built the CT-114 Tutor (closely comparable to the Jet Provost) for the basic trainer role, so what if they built on that success and developed an advanced tandem-seat trainer of their own design, to replace the CT-133 (Shooting Star)? What might such an aircraft look like?

They'd probably want a wide undercarriage track for use on snow-covered runways.
They'd probably also be concerned about snow/spray ingestion into the intakes.
They might want two engines, although the fact that the CT-114 had only one means that isn't clear.
They'd probably want it to have export potential, which means an armed version.

Two layouts occur to me:

1. A similar layout to the L-39 Albatros, with a low wing (wide u/c track), shoulder-mounted intakes behind the wing leading edge (snow/spray ingestion), and either a single Orpheus engine, two Vipers or two J-85s, the latter giving compatibility with the CT-114 fleet. This is probably more appropriate to a later-timescale, after the benefits of stepped cockpits had been established.

2. Since Canadair built the Sabre under licence, they might go down the same route that both Fuji (with the T-1) and Fiat (with the G-91) did, i.e. take the Sabre's basic aerodynamics and shrink them to fit an Orpheus-powered two-seater. You might imagine this as an independent project or coming from participation in the G-91 project in the name of NATO cooperation. As an independent project, it could have twin J-85s, thus making it very like the G-91Y. This is probably more appropriate to an earlier timescale, since it's hard to give it stepped cockpits.

Modelling options:

For scheme 1:

Single-engine: take an L-39 kit and re-purpose it. Optionally, you could replace the straight wings with swept ones from any number of sources.

Twin-engine 1: take an L-39 kit as above, but give it the twin J-85 nozzle fairing from the Matchbox G-91Y, enlarged intakes, and PSR them in.

Twin-engine 2: take an Aermaccchi Mb.339 kit, fair over the jet nozzle, replace the wings with swept, intakeless ones, and add two engines in biz-jet style pods on top of the rear fuelage.



For scheme 2:

Single-engine 1: Take a Fuji T.1 kit and re-purpose it. I'm not 100% sure that the aircraft is big enough for Western pilots though, so maybe check it against other types first?

Single-engined 2: Take a G-91R and convert it into a G-91T, either by use of a conversion set (they have been made in the past) or by using a T-33 canopy, which would be a nice throwback to the Canadair Silver Star. Replace the camera nose with a plain one (Doesn't the Airfix G-91 come with a plain nose?)

Twin-engined: Take a Matchbox G-91Y and give it an tandem canopy and plain nose as above.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2019, 11:09:10 am »
I think you can rule out any French buy/build Harold, for the same reason most French deals go down the tubes. They'd want to build it all in France.

Not neccessarily true:

Australia licence-built their Mirage IIIs locally, and the French would have been willing for them to build their own, unique version (Avon-Mirage) if they'd opted to.

Switzerland licence-built their Mirage IIIs locally and they DID do so in a unique-to customer type, with their own oddball choice of weapons and electronics.

Belgium built their own Mirage 5s, which again, had mostly US avionics instead of French ones. IIRC, part of the deal was that the SABCA line provided parts to Dassault for other users' aircraft as well.


With a big, prestigious NATO order like Canada's in the offing, I'm sure Dassault and/or the French government would be up to cut a deal.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 11:11:03 am by Weaver »
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2019, 02:35:06 pm »
I think you can rule out any French buy/build Harold, for the same reason most French deals go down the tubes. They'd want to build it all in France.

Except the Mirage III/V.   They were built in Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Israel IIRC (not sure about South Africa but I suspect so).

It wasn't until after the 1960s that, that changed because the numbers weren't large enough to allow licensed production (and the price wasn't right).
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 03:01:59 pm »
It wasn't until after the 1960s that, that changed because the numbers weren't large enough to allow licensed production (and the price wasn't right).

Also, the majority of French customers can't licence-produce anyway. Most of the possible countries with aircraft industries are US allies and the US government often subsidises the deals for political, military and economic reasons.

Post 1960s:

South Africa was originally going to licence-produce the Mirage F.1, but this plan was cancelled when the international arms embargo was announced. F.1s were instead delivered quickly, just before the embargo took effect, from the Dassault production line.

Had the Mirage F.1-M53 won the four-nation NATO order that eventually went to the F-16, it's highly likely that the aircraft would have been licence-produced by a similar international consortium.

France was in talks with India to licence produce up to 150 Mirage 2000s. The only reason licence production was canned was that the purchase was reduce to 36 which wasn't enough to make it worthwhile.
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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 03:12:20 pm »
Totally different tack: trainers.

Canada built the CT-114 Tutor (closely comparable to the Jet Provost) for the basic trainer role, so what if they built on that success and developed an advanced tandem-seat trainer of their own design, to replace the CT-133 (Shooting Star)? What might such an aircraft look like?

They'd probably want a wide undercarriage track for use on snow-covered runways.
They'd probably also be concerned about snow/spray ingestion into the intakes.
They might want two engines, although the fact that the CT-114 had only one means that isn't clear.
They'd probably want it to have export potential, which means an armed version.

Two layouts occur to me:

1. A similar layout to the L-39 Albatros, with a low wing (wide u/c track), shoulder-mounted intakes behind the wing leading edge (snow/spray ingestion), and either a single Orpheus engine, two Vipers or two J-85s, the latter giving compatibility with the CT-114 fleet. This is probably more appropriate to a later-timescale, after the benefits of stepped cockpits had been established.

2. Since Canadair built the Sabre under licence, they might go down the same route that both Fuji (with the T-1) and Fiat (with the G-91) did, i.e. take the Sabre's basic aerodynamics and shrink them to fit an Orpheus-powered two-seater. You might imagine this as an independent project or coming from participation in the G-91 project in the name of NATO cooperation. As an independent project, it could have twin J-85s, thus making it very like the G-91Y. This is probably more appropriate to an earlier timescale, since it's hard to give it stepped cockpits.

Modelling options:

For scheme 1:

Single-engine: take an L-39 kit and re-purpose it. Optionally, you could replace the straight wings with swept ones from any number of sources.

Twin-engine 1: take an L-39 kit as above, but give it the twin J-85 nozzle fairing from the Matchbox G-91Y, enlarged intakes, and PSR them in.

Twin-engine 2: take an Aermaccchi Mb.339 kit, fair over the jet nozzle, replace the wings with swept, intakeless ones, and add two engines in biz-jet style pods on top of the rear fuelage.



For scheme 2:

Single-engine 1: Take a Fuji T.1 kit and re-purpose it. I'm not 100% sure that the aircraft is big enough for Western pilots though, so maybe check it against other types first?

Single-engined 2: Take a G-91R and convert it into a G-91T, either by use of a conversion set (they have been made in the past) or by using a T-33 canopy, which would be a nice throwback to the Canadair Silver Star. Replace the camera nose with a plain one (Doesn't the Airfix G-91 come with a plain nose?)

Twin-engined: Take a Matchbox G-91Y and give it an tandem canopy and plain nose as above.

CL-41 topic including CL-41T:
http://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php/topic,44062.msg776314.html#msg776314

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Offline joncarrfarrelly

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 03:17:30 pm »
Speyed Phantoms make little sense as RCAF air defense Phantoms
would be operating with US forces most of the time, keeping J79s
would simplify logistics when operating from US bases.
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Offline kerick

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 04:19:48 pm »
Boy thatís a lot to digest!
Just some wild thoughts:
Iíve thought about extending the life of Sabre jets by replacing the engine with a pair of J85s in pods and filling the fuselage with fuel tanks like the Skyfox conversion of the T-33. Might make sense for Canada.
Canadian F15s or Tonkas would be awesome whiff material and would make such good sense IRL. Iím going to have to find a source of decals!
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Alternative buys for Canada
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2019, 04:54:52 pm »
Speyed Phantoms make little sense as RCAF air defense Phantoms
would be operating with US forces most of the time, keeping J79s
would simplify logistics when operating from US bases.

I agree, but then Canadian purchases not making sense is hardly unrealistic is it?  ;)

I imagined it being as much a political thing as a military/logistics one. It's also, frankly, one of the few alternative users for the F-4M that I can think of.
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