|Like the CF-18 Hornet, only "Hornetier"!|
Debuting just four years ago, in 2006, the Block II Super Hornet incorporates the latest defence technology advancements, including an integrated display of fused data from a new wide array of sensors, making it the newest combat fighter attack aircraft in operational service today with the United States forces.
To date, more than 440 Super Hornets have been delivered to the United States Navy and most recently the Royal Australian Air Force, with each and every aircraft delivered on or ahead of schedule and on or under budget.
The Super Hornet today operates in an interoperable manner. It's important to note that the navy's current plans have the F-18-E/F Super Hornet and the other variant, the EA-18G, operating side by side off of carrier decks out to 2035 or 2040, with the F-35 in a complementary role to the Super Hornet. (This point is made several times during the proceedings. For both the USN and the RAAF, the Super Hornet and F-35 are intended to compliment each other, rather than replace or compete with each other.)
The term “fifth generation”, and really the entire generational context, has become more of a marketing term with a lack of a universal definition, and more importantly, with a lack of specificity and the attendant requirements associated with whatever capability would be needed.
With the EA-18G electronic attack, it does close air support, and as the navy operates today, the Super Hornet even operates as a tanker, refuelling other Super Hornets and other legacy Hornets.
(When discussing potential Super Hornet sales to other countries) Sir, each country has their own unique requirements and/or capability needs.
|"Compliant with Quebec's language laws!" The Rafale.|
In the last 60 years, about 7,500 aircraft have been delivered to 70 countries by Dassault--not only combat aircraft but also business jets, as well.
(Regarding interoperability) The aircraft was designed to plug seamlessly into multi-national operations and to provide total interoperability with the hardware of North American and European NATO allies.
The Rafale is required to be in operation with the French armed forces for between 30 and 40 years. As as result, it is essential that it have the capacity to adapt to evolving threats but also to advances in technology and weapons systems. The aircraft's open architecture allows for upgrading to successive standards.
I can tell you that the Rafale meets all the specified requirements.
Our company has a very long tradition of industrial cooperation with its customers. It is part of our corporate DNA.
In cases where the French Government decides to sell a fighter to a friendly nation, we do not restrict the transfer of technology. This is especially important today given the huge number of electronic components in fighter navigation and attack systems. It is also vital given the need for countries with the necessary capacity to be able to tailor weapons systems to their own requirements and to support the operational life and upgrading of the aircraft over a 30 to 40-year period.
I can tell you that the Rafale went up against the F-22, which is the most powerful fighter in the World, during an exercise in the United Arab Emirates last year. It more than held its own.
The Rafale is a stealth fighter. The Rafale was built for the French Air Force. They are our customer. Their approach is different from the one use in the F-35. The French Air Force has focused on a concept it calls "low observability". They define low observability as being a mix of stealth, passive weapon-system management and optimization of mission paths. (It would seem as though the term "Stealth" is in the eye of the beholder. I have little doubt that the F-35 is "stealthier" but the Rafale has been deemed "stealthy enough" for the French armed forces.
We consider this discussion about the generations as a pure marketing tool. Ever since the end of World War II, the philosophy of our company has been to develop successive prototypes and improve them with the improvements in technology.
Like Eurofighter and Saab, Boeing and Dassault seem eager for Canada's business. They are all willing to compete in an open competition and they all believe that their aircraft can meet Canada's needs.
Competition can be a good thing. It not only helps reveal the best aircraft for Canada, but it also encourages the manufacturers to offer up the best value deal they can.