So, why didn't they have bought them for RCAF?
OK, that makes sense. OTOH, it was definitly better than what the RCAF had at the moment...Because by the late 60s/early 70s it was a design that was nearly 15-20 years old. The Phantom was developed in the early/mid 50s. It was still a good plane, but it was clear that there were better designs on the horizon (namely the F-14 and F-15). By the time the RCAF could get Phantoms into service, Eagles and Tomcats would be entering service with the US. Why buy an old design when new ones are around the corner? Plus, there's the not insignificant fact that the Phantom was vastly more expensive to buy and operate than their current fleet was.
Wasn't the Tomcat given serious consideration as well? IIRC, it was the only aircraft which met or exceeded every requirement the RCAF submitted. And for the NORAD mission, it was perfect. I know it was eliminated because of cost, but I was under the impression that it basically came down to the Hornet and the Tomcat, with the Hornet winning because the RCAF could get 3 -18s for the cost of 2 -14s. Or at least that's what I'm remembering (may be way off)I recall the procurement process which resulted in the CF-18 being selected. The contenders were F-18, F-16, F-14, maybe F-15, Panavia Tornado, and I think the Saab Viggen. Canada wanted a 2 engine multi-role plane, so the only real contenders from that list were the F-18 and the Viggen, and Canada had a bit of preference for American hardware.
Viggen is single engine.I recall the procurement process which resulted in the CF-18 being selected. The contenders were F-18, F-16, F-14, maybe F-15, Panavia Tornado, and I think the Saab Viggen. Canada wanted a 2 engine multi-role plane, so the only real contenders from that list were the F-18 and the Viggen, and Canada had a bit of preference for American hardware.
One small correction to your post. The "first" batch of CF-101's were actually newer air frames from Blk115+ production.The Canadian contribution to NORAD is pretty complex IIUC. The CF100s were replaced by BOMARCs and Voodoos, the Voodoo were done as 2 batches; an early model that were swapped out for later models some years later. As @riggerrob said there was an instructor exchange with the USAF as part of the quid pro quo, but I also think Canada took over the operation of several Pine Tree Line radar sites, so I don't think Canada actually paid for the Voodoos only the BOMARCs. This is why Canada diodn't get Phantoms for the NORAD task.
As for the 'Tactical Air Force' tasks Canada operated the F104 which was pretty typical of the sort of fighter medium NATO powers operated in the 60s, the Mirage III/V was another example of this class of aircraft. The F5 was also used by the RNLAF so is typical of what medium air forces were using at the time.
Just for context, IIUC most smaller air forces wanted the Phantom as a long range strike aircraft, the RAF evaluated the R4C in 1963, leased the F4E in 1970-73 and Israel got the F4E for long range strike in the late 60s. Only the Royal Navy and Luftwaffe (IIRC) initially got the Phantom primarily as a fighter. Canada likely didn't have a major requirement for long range strike, it's needs were met by the F104s.
One small correction to your post. The "first" batch of CF-101's were actually newer air frames from Blk115+ production.
The second batch (TOS in 1970/71) were "low-timers" and were from a "mish-mash" of earlier production Blocks (61-100).
All of these low time air frames were put through a standardization process and received upgraded avionic systems (under Operation "Peace Wings"), prior to delivery to the RCAF.
Most of our "survivors" from the first batch (46) were returned to McDonnell and converted into RF-101's, then assigned to USAF TAC units with their original USAF serial numbers.
The RCAF never "bought" these machines. They were one small piece of a very complex negotiation between the US and Canada which involved basing/support, maintenance and operational staffing of US built facilities in Northern Canada, weapons control (custodial) agreements, and a multitude of other matters.
When the CF-188A replaced the last of the CF-101B's in the mid-1980's there were a series of discussions between our two Governments as to the ultimate disposition of these (now very obsolete) machines. They were still USAF property after all.
Agreements were reached between our two nations which allowed them to be SOS (Struck off Strength) with the USAF and some 50% of the survivors were retained as "Gate Guardians" in appropriate locations and in museums here in Canada.
The Alberta Aviation Museum here in Edmonton has two of these. One mounted on a pedestal in the CAF livery it wore at retirement and the other blasted back to bare metal and decorated as one of the "first batch" aircraft. Both of these are in fact "second batch" machines.
I don't know the true serial number of the "imposter" but any one interested can probably figure it out pretty quickly on Google.
The one on the "pole" is 101060 IIRC.
I have never heard of any "serious" consideration of the F4H-1 as being in the running for the replacement of the F-86/CF-100 in the NATO Air Division.Canada actually did seriously consider Phantoms both in the late 50's and early-mid 60s. The first time they chose F-104s instead because PM Pearson wanted Canada to get tactical nukes and the F-104 was a cheap but very good airframe to use those (same reasoning as the Germans btw, with the same bribery...), and because the F-4 was then a brand new aircraft that was just entering service/hadn't even entered service with the Americans and was at this point quite expensive.
The second time the idea was to get rid of the F-104s (could have been easily done as plenty of countries in Europe or abroad wanted those) now that Canada abandoned the nuke mission overnight (Canadian politics are amazing...) and purchase IIRC around 100 F-4s. This was preferred by the RCAF but Defense Minister Paul Hellyer had other ideas because he and some other politicians and members of the military wanted to turn the Canadian forces which were then geared towards mechanized warfare into lighter units that could be moved by air for NATO flank defense and UN missions as well as defense of Canada.
However this meant that Canada would have to purchase many transport aircrafts and Hellyer also wanted to purchase F-5s because they were cheap enough he could get a lot of them and they were "fine" for the light missions expected (the aircraft actually was pretty much a glorified supersonic trainer with terrible range, payload and avionics completely unsuited for conventional warfare in Central Europe which was a Canadian NATO mission too). Of course he could also easily get a license production in Quebec which was a big deal at the time. But this meant Phantoms were a non-starter because Hellyer really wanted his 100+ F-5s and transports...
Anyway, when it was being considered the Phantom was a perfectly adequate aircraft that would really have been good both for NORAD missions and war in Europe. Another victim of weird Canadian politics and doctrinal change was the Main Battle Tank which was considered soon to be obsolete or unsuited for the light brigade profile of the new Canadian Forces, which meant that the Centurion tank had to soldier on until 1977 without the major refurbishment or replacement that was planned in 1968-69 at the latest (and as early as 1964). The Canucks then considered the M60A1 and the Chieftain, and eventually the Leopard 1 but the latter wasn't procured and delivered until 1979 when the Canadians finally returned to reason.
My understanding (from my recollection of readings from a few decades ago) was that the two finalists were the F16 and the F/A 18. My understanding is the F/A 18 was selected due to higher off the shelf capability (ie. it was already in service with the Aim 7) and greater growth capability. I wouldn't be surprised if the twin engines of the F/A 18 were seen as an advantage as well.Wasn't the Tomcat given serious consideration as well? IIRC, it was the only aircraft which met or exceeded every requirement the RCAF submitted. And for the NORAD mission, it was perfect. I know it was eliminated because of cost, but I was under the impression that it basically came down to the Hornet and the Tomcat, with the Hornet winning because the RCAF could get 3 -18s for the cost of 2 -14s. Or at least that's what I'm remembering (may be way off)
That might be what I'm remembering then.There was also reportedly some discussion of the Canadadians acquiring the Iranian F14's and likely a smaller buy of F16's but the F14 discussions apparently stopped once Canada's role in helping US diplomats escape Iran was revealed.