reply to post by nwtrucker
This one is a harder question. The answer is yes and no. You'll get some of it back as production matures. At some point, someone will come along,
look at it, and say "Why don't we get rid of this widget, and move this doohikie over here." And the people that have been there from the start
will go "Because......" and you lose 150 pounds. That gets you half a G, and a quarter second off the acceleration through transonic time.
As the production matures, and as they solve problems they'll find ways to get some of that back, but right now I don't see them getting all of it
back. I think LRIP 8 or 10 we'll see it close, but it's already so overweight, and they've already removed systems that are sort of important to
save weight, I don't see how they'll get rid of anymore. In fact it'll probably gain weight again some, as they put some of those sort of
important systems back.
Out of all the aircraft mentioned prior to this, in my opinion, Canada's best options are the Super Bug, the Rafael, the Typhoon, or sticking with
the Lightning. The Gripen is a good aircraft, but you're going to run into questions about production (can they build them fast enough to meet your
needs), and engineering support. With the F-16 and other American aircraft sold overseas, the bases operating them have either a Tech Rep assigned,
or have access to a Tech Rep from the company. The Gripen is, to date, in such relatively small numbers, the question is can they supply the same.
Right now, as much as I like some of the Su family, they're the last thing I would buy. They are having huge production problems. I haven't heard
any with the T-50, but that also hasn't really hit big production numbers yet. The Su-34 on the other hand, has had such bad production problems
that it's scary. They first entered service with the Russian Airforce in 2006, and as of December 2012, I believe there were 22 operational (it's
hard to tell with Russian aircraft sometimes though). Of those, the first two are grounded, and the rest have problems from not being able to
navigate, to not being able to use their radar.
Some of these problems are software (Sukhoi is blaming the maintenance people) but many of them are manufacturing. They can take two boards (the same
boards) from different aircraft, and parts are placed in totally different places on both of them (sometimes on the complete wrong side of the board),
and the soldering is far below standards. Sukhoi took pretty much the same line as Boeing took with the 787, and said "every new plane is going to
have teething problems."