Reading MoS, I'm struck not for the first time, that some senior members of the Air Staff here, I suppose Australia too, live in a fantasy world. If I were in charge (come on, we all have these moments), I'd retire or fire any military leader who couldn't see past the F-35.
They be fantasists willing to bet the nation's defence on something non-existent.
I'm less convinced than ever that Canada really and truly needs a combat-ready air force. Arctic sovereignty sure, but not if we manage to sign resource and access treaties with the other circumpolar nations.
Offensive capability for "large package coalition"operations over the
developing world? No. Not at all core requirement, more of a political
and ego luxury. If Libya had a seriously sophisticated air defence
system, there'd be no RCAF there.
Terrorists and airliners? OK, but you don't need an air armada of 5th generation fighters to shoot down airliners.
Coastal? Maybe in the rare event that have a serious problem with someone elses Navy that we fighters on the coast.
NORAD compels us to maintain a credible air defence presence over the continent, but Canada isn't much a buffer from any serious adversary. In fact, this is the only practical reason for maintaining a fleet of fighters. And even that is contigent on some sort of threat on the horizon to mobilise them against...