Why Canada didn't buy Phantoms?

So, in OTL they had CF-100 Canucks ( bought in early 50s ), F-101 Vodoo interceptors ( in early 60s ) and F-104 Starfighters nuclear strike aircrafts ( also early 60s ). I wonder, why did't they buy Phantoms in late 60s/early 70s to replace Canucks?
 
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.
 
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.
OK, that makes sense. OTOH, it was definitly better than what the RCAF had at the moment...
 
Because originaly, the CF-100 was supposed to be replaced by the Avrow Arrow in early 60's but with the project cancellation, the government replaced some CF-100 by Voodoo until the CF-18 was chosen as main modern fighter.
 
The primary reason that Canada didn't buy the F-4 Phantom II is that the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter was dirt cheap.
 
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.
 
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.
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.
 
After the AvRO Arrow and Bomark missile debacles, the RCAF still desperately needed long range interceptors o chase Bear bombers away from Canadian borders (NORAD Maission).
During the early 1960s the USAF was phasing out the single-mission F-101 Voodoo in favour of the multi-mission F-4 Phantom. They needed Phantoms to bomb Viet Cong. That is kind of like hunting mosquitos with a sledge-hammer. Because no self-respecting USAF fighter jock wanted to flee the scene in a sub-sonic airplane.
This allowed the RCAF to buy second-hand F-101s for cheap. The bargain included batches of RCAF exchange pilots to instruct the next batch of USAF pilots for the Viet Nam War.
CF-86 Sabres, CF-104 Starfighters and CF-5 Freedom Fighters were really just efforts to buy enough votes in Quebec to prevent the province from seperating from the rest of Canada.
I always felt that the nuclear role for CF-104 was an awkward “what do we do with all these shiny fast airplanes?”
CF-5 was even more of a waste of money from the RCAF’s perspective. The only role they could assign to these short-ranged twin jets was lead-in training for pilots destined to fly supersonic fighters.
 
Avro Arrow was the GODDDDD plane.
I bet the airframe is still viable today if you replace the avionics and electronics and add some other modern stuff.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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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.
 
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.

These international deals get very tricky.

In 1968 a P3B bought for the RAAF caught fire while still in US hands before delivery, the US accepted responsibility as per the Terms and Conditions of the deal but another TaC was that US Congress never appropriated money for Security Assistance so the US couldn't pay us for the loss.

Fast forward to 1970 we lease 24 F4E, crash one in 1972 and when we go to hand them back there is no mechanism in the lease to pay for a crashed leased aircraft.

In the end it was agreed that us and the US would write off the P3B against the F4E.
 
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.
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.
The politicians of the time had already acceded to the idea that 1 Cdn Air Div. would be re-purposed to a strike/recon role in 4 ATAF and IMO?
They chose the best available aircraft for this tasking. The CF-104 was an absolute beast in this role.
Unless perfectly vectored by their centralized controllers, the MiG-21 had no chance of catching a 104 down in the weeds on a penetration mission.
When the F-4 really comes under consideration is almost ten years down the road, after the Trudeau "revolution".
When the RCAF (soon to be "CAF") were advised that the NATO tasking was to shift to conventional ground support, this is when they pushed Hard to retire the 104's and forestall the delivery of the second batch of CF-101's.
Instead, they recommended that a force of 160 license-built F-4E's could fulfill both the NORAD and NATO commitments, with a considerable efficiency (due to supply chain rationalization) improvement.
Our beloved PM (who has left us with the dubious legacy that we now endure) was having nothing of this however.
Instead we dumped hundreds of millions into indigenous (government "pork-barrel") projects to turn the CF-104 into an effective ground support aircraft.
And how did that work out?
At the same time, they took the other half of the money (which combined would have funded the above noted F-4 programme) and funneled it off to Cartierville (Canadair) to produce an aircraft that the RCAF never wanted in the first place...
Most of these (CF-116A) sat in Mountainview (mothballed) and were sold off to Venezuela circa 1974.
The remainder served predominantly as lead-in trainers with 419 in CYOD.
434(YOD) and 433(YBG) had a "nominal" role through most of the 1970's with Hellyer's wet dream (i.e. "Mobile Command"). I lived in YOD through the tail end of this era and the guys on 434 were somewhat less than "motivated" about their assigned tasking in a shooting war.
They called it the ERB. (End of Runway Bomber)
This is (obviously) anecdotal and should be taken as such. I did hear it referred to in these terms though and these were front line guys with an assigned tasking if the ballon went up.
Pathetic.
 
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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)
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.

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.
 
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.
That might be what I'm remembering then.
 
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