A Canadian company is seeking to go back in time to help fly Canada's air force into the future.Documents obtained by Global News indicate an update to the storied CF-105 Avro Arrow was put forward as an alternative to the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets. And among the project's champions is one of Canada's top soldiers, retired Maj.Gen. Lewis MacKenzie. The Arrow was an advanced, all-weather supersonic interceptor jet that was developed in the 1950s. Several prototypes were built and flight tests were conducted, but the project was abruptly shut down in 1959 and the aircraft never went into production. MacKenzie told Global that the Arrow's basic design and platform still exceed any current fighter jet and it is perfect for Canada's needs. "It's an attack aircraft. [Boris: Mackennzie is referring to the F-35] It's designed for attacking ground targets and its stealth is most effective against short range radar, protecting ground targets," MacKenzie said. "What we need in Canada is something that can go to the edge of our airspace, from a sovereignty point of view, and be able to catch up with intruders."
I have no idea how an updated Arrow design might compete with modern fighter aircraft in term of fine-grain performance, but it is a hell of a thought experiment. At a basic level the Arrow meets or exceeds the altitude and speed envelope of modern fighters. Like all modern stealth(ish) machines, it includes an internal weapons bay, giving an aerodyanamically clean design and potential for low-radar cross-section performance.
With the amount of money the government is prepared to spend on the bloated and inefficient exercise that is the F-35 program, I think it is a very fair question to ask what that sort of reinvestment in the Canadian aerospace industry might produce?
Sadly, because we're addled with national governments (Conservative or Grit) who insist on giving away our national defence to the Americans and our raw materials to China, we will likely never find out.