back to article Stealth fighter in Canadian Wikipedia brouhaha

National politicians in Canada have become involved in a row over government computers being used to amend the Wikipedia page describing the controversial F-35 stealth fighter, which the Canadian government intends to buy. Canada's Conservative government intends to spend as much as CAN$18bn buying F-35s. The jet is …


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  1. Code Monkey


    If I didn't spend so long on the Reg forums I'd moan about them having nothing better to do.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    F18 Hornets for the Royal Navy or F35C catapult-launch instead of F35B STOVL?

    1. Adam Azarchs
      Thumb Up

      Catapults are a good idea

      Even if you're getting the STOVL planes, catapults mean they can, with the same short runway, take off with a heavier load, or consuming less fuel in the take-off process, thus extending their range. Arrestor cables are a tricker proposition, as you need more deck length and pilot training to make good use of them, not to mention the extra wear and tear on the landing gear. Leaving out the F35/F18 issue (the main feature difference being stealth) I'd expect catapults would be a good investment.

    2. Irp

      F18s ?

      What he said.

      Then again, the RAF probably wouldnt like the Navy having the F-35C, since its superior to the F-35B

  3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Catapults and arrestors

    Of course it is more reasonable and less expensive to put catapults and arrestors.. if you have a big enough carrier.

    Problems is, how much have they already lost to F35B? maybe twice than the cost of catapults and arrestors for the new carriers? ten times?

  4. frank ly

    What are the rules for this in Canada?

    "Canadian defence spokespersons deplored the matter and stated that the perpetrators of the naughty edits will be hunted down."

    What are the written regulations/laws, which state that it is forbidden to write disparaging comments about a politician (or anyone, or anything) on a public website? Will every blog and comment section of every website be swept, to find traces of this type of 'bad behaviour'?

    1. Tom 35

      Government workers on government computers

      Would not be allowed to do this kind of thing.

      There is no law or regulation that I can't say the Liberals are a bunch of asshats that cancelled the order for new (too expensive) EH101 helicopters that were to replace our old falling apart Sea Kings (with big contract penalties) and ordered a cheap helicopter that was only in the planning stage (so the price will go way up if we ever do get them, should have been in 2008). I expect the Liberals will do the same thing with the Jets if they get back in. Cancel them as too expensive (they may be) but not order new CF-18s or anything that exists... they will order some new "cheap" jet that only exists as a CG promo video.

      I'm not surprised that Canadian defence workers are poking fun at the Liberal though, they like to spend the budget on pork and send people to Afghanistan with WWII weapons and a pointy stick.

    2. Pablo

      That's not the issue

      The problem is that he posted it from work, thus making the Department of National Defence look bad. I think just about any employer would object to that.

  5. Prag Fest


    I'm sure this one is a can of worms, but did they ever seriously consider a carrier based version of the Eurofighter?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yes they did

      and once the hearty laughter subsided, they went back to debating F18 vs F35C

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @Prag Fest

      The cost of developing a navalised Eurofighter would be prohibitive (even though some work was already done on this early on, as I recall).

      A better euro-friendly choice would be the Rafale or a navalised Saab Gripen. Both are a similar age to the over-hyped, expensive Eurofighter, but both are actually capable of multirole work already. The latter is more UK friendly as BAe are already involved, has incredible STOL performance and wouldn't take much to navalise beyond it's already rugged design.

    3. Gerhard Mack

      don't know

      You would need to ask the previous Liberal government that. I would hope they considered a few options before they signed the very same memorandum of understanding that they are complaining has led to the current purchase that they are whining about.

  6. JaitcH

    Canadian Conservatives are out of touch like Republicans

    Canada has a sad excuse for a 'defence' department - following years of fiscal abuse that has resulted in antiquated and misplaced equipment purchases.

    The F-35 Lightning II is a crippled version of a stealth fighter aircraft with one engine and one seat which means Canada only needs a few pilots to keep these things in the air, when the budget permits it, of course. The single engine means it also saves gas.

    Meanwhile our air-sea rescue service is still awaiting decent rescue helicopters to protect our valiant deep sea fishermen and those on oil rigs in the North Atlantic. They were once on order, then cancelled - maybe the Conservatives can't raise enough back-handers as was once the allegations involving an earlier Conservative prime minister.

    The Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta, is the same province where the 'Progressive' Conservative Party has it's electoral power base which means the are building jobs for their supporters.

    Alberta is also, fittingly, the site where prehistoric skeletons have been discovered and is also known for not having any 4-legged rats. It is also bloody cold in the winter.

    The whole mess is typically Canadian - and we have three coast lines in need of protection.

    1. Tom 35
      Thumb Down

      Check your history

      "They were once on order, then cancelled - maybe the Conservatives can't raise enough back-handers"

      It was the conservatives that ordered them (EH101) and the Liberals that cancelled the order paying millions in cancellation fees. Called the EH101 too expensive as you don't need two engines when flying a rescue mission over the ocean. Then ordered a vaporware single engine helicopter that they said would arrive in 2008...

  7. Willy Messerschmitt

    Stealth Fighters Protecting Estonian Airspace

    See Here:

    Oh wait, it's a Luftwaffe Eurofighter. Sorry. The F-22 will show up in 2017, I am sure.

  8. Willy Messerschmitt

    F-35 can do Catapult launches

    Here is the video:

    (It's the french F-35 variant)

    Why don't the British and the Canadians just talk to Mr Sarko and Dassault ? I am sure a nice package of nuclear carrier&Rafale are on sale *right now*.

    Most work could certainly be done at various BAE sites. And the result would be much more cost effective than F35&midget carrier. But it would certainly cost the pride and carreer of some jumpjet guys.

    Then france has some real industry left and makes their own SLBM and the corresponding submarine. More scope for Entente Cordiale industrial cooperation.

  9. David Lucke

    @ Prag Fest

    The initial design of the eurofighter was land based only, and the first orders were already placed when the carriers were first proposed in 98. JSF had been in the works for some years before that as a replacement for Harrier, with early UK involvement. When the new carriers came about, putting JSF on them was pretty much a slam dunk.

    That said, when they were looking at catapults, they looked at navalisng the Eurofighter (the other catapult options being F35C, F/A18 or even Rafale), but by this point it would have been pretty much a total redesign. The whole structure would have had to be strengthened to survive catapult launch and arrestor recovery, the airframe would have had to be redesigned to handle the low speeds required, plus the whole thing would need to be immunised to salt corrosion. It would have been almost as expensive as designing a whole new plane.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Six toes?

    Ignatieff doesn't sound like a Norfolk name...

  11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @What are the rules for this in Canada

    Meanwhile an investigation continues into the possibility that someone in the Harper government can read and write. When found, this dangerous intellectual will be punished.

  12. Ned Ludd

    You can stuff your title...

    "The whole mess is typically Canadian - and we have three coast lines in need of protection."

    Not to mention a border to the south.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can stuff your title

      Because invading Canada is actually possible? And who would want to?

      Any planes they'd need would only require to ward off illegal fishermen. WW2-era biplanes can do the job.

  13. J 3

    The real question is...

    ...fighter jets? in Canada? What for? Are they going to attack the 'Merkins, or the Ruskies? Or both at once in the biggest suicidal operation in human history?

  14. Tron Bronze badge

    Well obviously...

    ...Canada need to blow billions on stealth fighters rather than use it to guide their nation through tough economic times. I mean hardly a year goes by without someone trying to invade them, hell bent on stealing their snow and their trees.

  15. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @F-35 can do Catapult launches

    Catapults need steam, which means reactors, which means:

    1, the French get to build the engines rather than RR+BAe

    2, you can't sell any of them to foreigners - except foreigners who already have nuclear powered aircraft carriers, and they aren't going to want a sub-compact version.

  16. Willy Messerschmitt

    Not True

    "Catapults need steam, which means reactors, which means:"

    Please Google for my previous posts: "Willy Messerschmitt USS Kitty Hawk".

    No, I am doing it for you:

    "The Brits claim they haven't and Rolls-Royce tells the illiterates of the Royal Navy that this means you need pseudo-VTOL. That the Kitty Hawk class launched F14s, which are the heaviest naval fighters of all, invalidates that argument completely. USS Kitty Hawk is also named Carrier Vessel 63 (CV-63). A nuclear carrier would be a "CVN-XX".

    I venture to say that The Royal Navy would operate a cheaper and three times more powerful carrier force if they dumped the three midget carriers and simply bought USS Kitty Hawk and the FA 18E/Fs. And then five frigates of the size of USS Vincennes, rip out the weaponry and convert them to fast oilers. They would also serve the role of "Exocet Decoy Target"."

    If there were a single competent Engineering Officer left at the Royal Navy, he would cut through that Rolls Royce Jumpjet Bullshit and call "USS Kitty Hawk". Apparently the time of Nelson and properly schooled British Naval officers is long over and the MBAs have taken over this organization, too.

    My Gymnasium-level physics demonstrates the "Catapult means Nuclear Reactor" argument is simply WRONG. Look it up.

    13kgs of Kerosene burning. That's what you need AT MAX to launch a fully armed, fully fuelled Rafale with a catapult. Probably just two kgs, if the steam generator is efficient..

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