Why Canada didn't buy Phantoms?

I wonder, why did't they buy Phantoms in late 60s/early 70s to replace Canucks?
Because they had a obtained F101's by then to replace the CF100 in the interceptor role ?

I suppose in theory they could have obtained F4's in the late 60's or 70's and replaced the F101's, and or F104's with F4's. I'm not sure how long the SAGE capability of the F101 may have been an issue vis a vis potentially replacing the F101.

The "off the shelf" ability of the F101 to use the Genie may also have been a reason to retain the F101. I vaguely recall reading of proposals to equip the F4 with the Genie but don't know what came of those efforts.
 
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But why couldn't they simply licence build them in Canadair?
Re-read my post.
They most certainly could have built them (air frames) under license in Cartierville (Canadair). Orenda was already fully tooled for the ""CANPAT" J-79 (OEL-7), as they built many hundreds of these units for the CF-104 program. We already had A/E tech's in sufficient numbers who were fully experienced in servicing the OEL-7.
The avionics may have proven more "challenging" (particularly the SAGE/Genie integration for the NORAD role) but I can't see this as an insurmountable problem, given the tenor of the times.
Rationalizing our fleet at this point (signed contracts in 1969/70) would have:
A- Given us a far superior capability to meet both of the roles that the current (Trudeau) Government was pushing for. Conventional ground support for the "Air Division" in NATO and a credible force of all-weather fighters (with state of the art radar systems) that could maintain our NORAD commitment.
B- Rationalized the supply/maintenance/technical support needs during this same period. It would have saved hundreds of millions on all of the redundant supply chains that became necessary with the retention of the CF-101/CF-104, and the procurement of the CF-116.
C- Additionally, we could have saved the multi-millions which were historically spent (domestically) by these incompetents, trying to turn the "Zipper" into a conventional ground attack aircraft. Not to mention the idiocy that was the "CF-5" (CF-116). It was a great lead-in trainer. Pretty much useless for anything else.
D- Obviously we must address the "Elephant in the room" when it comes to the F-4E in the NORAD mission. Canada will need to do much more in the way of "tankers" than was historically done for the CF-116. We modified two (of our 5) CC-137's by adding a primitive hose and drogue system (Flight Refueling/UK). This would not be sufficient if we were doing F-4's for NORAD. So add the cost of a half dozen KC-135's into the mix and base them in CYOD.

It's important to note how this (supposed) procurement would impact the RCAF, as we move past Glasnost/Perestroika.
Up to this point (and beyond), Canada will be seen as "pulling it's weight", with a front line force of fighter aircraft that remain relevant throughout the period.

This obviates the CF-188 purchase entirely.
Instead, we get on the ATF project for the NORAD role (which is entirely credible in TTL).
Our (relatively "young") F-4E air frames continue to receive avionics, nav, and attack system upgrades (HARM capabilities?) and we go to the Gulf in 1990 with some of the most advanced Phantoms available.
By 2005 the the Cold War is long dead.
So is the bulk of our "Phantom" fleet, timed out air frames abound. But remember? We have bought 160 of these and careful fleet management will keep a credible force available for the time being.
At this time we also start seeing our first deliveries of the F-22A; we have agreed to purchase 70 of these to replace the Phantom's in the NORAD mission,
This releases dozens of "low-time" Phantoms to the (by now) "expeditionary" mission.
As the F-4's time out, we negotiate a deal for 80 F-35A's to start entering service by 2019.

If only...
 
... 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 said:


Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a liberal intellectual who never understood the Canadian Armed Forces.
Rumour has it they Trudeau blissfully left Centurians to rust. It was only EU trade negotiations that forced Trudeau to rent a bunch of Leopards and agree to purchase upgraded Leopard C1 tanks.

Hint: I was assigned to the Royal Canadian Dragoon’s during the last Renta-Panzer exercise in 1978.
 
Re-read my post.
They most certainly could have built them (air frames) under license in Cartierville (Canadair). Orenda was already fully tooled for the ""CANPAT" J-79 (OEL-7), as they built many hundreds of these units for the CF-104 program. We already had A/E tech's in sufficient numbers who were fully experienced in servicing the OEL-7.
The avionics may have proven more "challenging" (particularly the SAGE/Genie integration for the NORAD role) but I can't see this as an insurmountable problem, given the tenor of the times.
Rationalizing our fleet at this point (signed contracts in 1969/70) would have:
A- Given us a far superior capability to meet both of the roles that the current (Trudeau) Government was pushing for. Conventional ground support for the "Air Division" in NATO and a credible force of all-weather fighters (with state of the art radar systems) that could maintain our NORAD commitment.
B- Rationalized the supply/maintenance/technical support needs during this same period. It would have saved hundreds of millions on all of the redundant supply chains that became necessary with the retention of the CF-101/CF-104, and the procurement of the CF-116.
C- Additionally, we could have saved the multi-millions which were historically spent (domestically) by these incompetents, trying to turn the "Zipper" into a conventional ground attack aircraft. Not to mention the idiocy that was the "CF-5" (CF-116). It was a great lead-in trainer. Pretty much useless for anything else.
D- Obviously we must address the "Elephant in the room" when it comes to the F-4E in the NORAD mission. Canada will need to do much more in the way of "tankers" than was historically done for the CF-116. We modified two (of our 5) CC-137's by adding a primitive hose and drogue system (Flight Refueling/UK). This would not be sufficient if we were doing F-4's for NORAD. So add the cost of a half dozen KC-135's into the mix and base them in CYOD.

It's important to note how this (supposed) procurement would impact the RCAF, as we move past Glasnost/Perestroika.
Up to this point (and beyond), Canada will be seen as "pulling it's weight", with a front line force of fighter aircraft that remain relevant throughout the period.

This obviates the CF-188 purchase entirely.
Instead, we get on the ATF project for the NORAD role (which is entirely credible in TTL).
Our (relatively "young") F-4E air frames continue to receive avionics, nav, and attack system upgrades (HARM capabilities?) and we go to the Gulf in 1990 with some of the most advanced Phantoms available.
By 2005 the the Cold War is long dead.
So is the bulk of our "Phantom" fleet, timed out air frames abound. But remember? We have bought 160 of these and careful fleet management will keep a credible force available for the time being.
At this time we also start seeing our first deliveries of the F-22A; we have agreed to purchase 70 of these to replace the Phantom's in the NORAD mission,
This releases dozens of "low-time" Phantoms to the (by now) "expeditionary" mission.
As the F-4's time out, we negotiate a deal for 80 F-35A's to start entering service by 2019.

If only...
Thinking about this topic a bit more with 20 / 20 hindsight..

In my view buying a modest sized fleet of F4's and simply replacing the CF104's in Europe with F4E's and not buying the CF5 would have made a lot of sense in the early 1970's. The CF104's presumably could have been sold to some of the other NATO nations.

Maybe buy 80 F4E's off the shelf ? Perhaps operate 3 small squadrons in Europe and 2 small squadrons in Canada plus a reasonable number of extra aircraft ? During the 1970's basically operate a mixed fleet of CF101's with SAGE and Genie for the Norad role and use F4's for Europe and any contingency missions that arise ? Maybe also buy or more likely build under licence 20 or 30 T38's as a supersonic trainer and utility aircraft ?

Once SAGE and Genie were no longer relevant re the NORAD role, the remaining F4's (perhaps with tanker support ?) could have been used for NORAD missions and something else (presumably the F16 or F18 ?) could have been purchased for the European role ? Once the F4's aged out, the F16 (which by then could presumably be upgraded to carry AIM120) or the F18's could take over the NORAD role ? Something else could have been acquired (maybe FA18 super hornets or perhaps even F15E strike eagles) for the overseas role ?

I suppose the main down side of this plan is that Canada wouldn't have the sheer numbers of available air frames that they had in the 1970's but with the benefit of hindsight I doubt having lots of CF5's in storage, was really that useful in practice. The F4's and subsequently the teen series fighters might also have needed a radar upgrade when the assumed the Norad role but I don't see this as a huge issue ?

Presumably at some point (maybe about now ?) something else would have have been acquired to replace the Teen series fighters that were used in the NORAD role. Maybe F22's if the US would sell them or perhaps the F35 or ?? Having a mixed fleet of F35's and F/A18 super hornets or F15E strike eagles would seem a reasonable option to me for a country such as Canada.
 
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Thinking about this topic a bit more with 20 / 20 hindsight..

In my view buying a modest sized fleet of F4's and simply replacing the CF104's in Europe with F4E's and not buying the CF5 would have made a lot of sense in the early 1970's. The CF104's presumably could have been sold to some of the other NATO nations.

Maybe buy 80 F4E's off the shelf ? Perhaps operate 3 small squadrons in Europe and 2 small squadrons in Canada plus a reasonable number of extra aircraft ? During the 1970's basically operate a mixed fleet of CF101's with SAGE and Genie for the Norad role and use F4's for Europe and any contingency missions that arise ? Maybe also buy or more likely build under licence 20 or 30 T38's as a supersonic trainer and utility aircraft ?

Once SAGE and Genie were no longer relevant re the NORAD role, the remaining F4's (perhaps with tanker support ?) could have been used for NORAD missions and something else (presumably the F16 or F18 ?) could have been purchased for the European role ? Once the F4's aged out, the F16 (which by then could presumably be upgraded to carry AIM120) or the F18's could take over the NORAD role ? Something else could have been acquired (maybe FA18 super hornets or perhaps even F15E strike eagles) for the overseas role ?

I suppose the main down side of this plan is that Canada wouldn't have the sheer numbers of available air frames that they had in the 1970's but with the benefit of hindsight I doubt having lots of CF5's in storage, was really that useful in practice. The F4's and subsequently the teen series fighters might also have needed a radar upgrade when the assumed the Norad role but I don't see this as a huge issue ?

Presumably at some point (maybe about now ?) something else would have have been acquired to replace the Teen series fighters that were used in the NORAD role. Maybe F22's if the US would sell them or perhaps the F35 or ?? Having a mixed fleet of F35's and F/A18 super hornets or F15E strike eagles would seem a reasonable option to me for a country such as Canada.
My first bolded: This does not work. We need to throw a bone to Cartierville, as a matter of Political expediency. Trudeau chose the cheapest possible way to do this...i.e. the CF-116 fiasco.
There is nothing intrinsically "difficult" as with regards to Canadair building F-4 air frames. These are simple riveted assemblies structured around aluminum rib forgings. They (Canadair) already had the capability to deliver these, as is evidenced by the CF-104 programme that they completed.
As some of the youngest F-4's on the block, these should serve both the NATO and NORAD roles until 2010?
By this point our F-4's are "timing out". But we have 160 air frames (less the invertible losses) to meet our commitments, and we are in a better position than as per the historical.
 
My first bolded: This does not work. We need to throw a bone to Cartierville, as a matter of Political expediency. Trudeau chose the cheapest possible way to do this...i.e. the CF-116 fiasco.
There is nothing intrinsically "difficult" as with regards to Canadair building F-4 air frames. These are simple riveted assemblies structured around aluminum rib forgings. They (Canadair) already had the capability to deliver these, as is evidenced by the CF-104 programme that they completed.
As some of the youngest F-4's on the block, these should serve both the NATO and NORAD roles until 2010?
By this point our F-4's are "timing out". But we have 160 air frames (less the invertible losses) to meet our commitments, and we are in a better position than as per the historical.
I figured that license production of the T38 would have helped solve any domestic political "issues" but sure I suppose the F4's could be built under license instead, I suspect it would likely have been more expensive than just buying the US spec air craft from McDonnell Douglass. I get there are certain political realities at play and I figured building a modest fleet of supersonic trainer air craft under license in Canada would be enough of a bone to throw to the Canadian Aerospace industry. I'm also not 100 percent certain that an air craft other than a dedicated US made interceptor air craft for the Norad role was really desirable for Canada in at least the early to mid 1970's for both military and political reasons. (I seem to recall the US did provide Canada with a second batch of upgraded used F101's along the way.) I have a sneaking suspicion that a late 60' or early 70's replacement of the US provided F101's with F4's could have had a number of un desired ripple effects along the way, with the advantage of hindsight it seems simpler to me just to carry on with the US provided used F101's for the NORAD role (and replace them at some point in the 1980's.) I also believe having a modest fleet of T38 class air craft would have been useful.

All that being said, I am inclined to agree that building F4's under licence would likely have worked out better than building the F5 under license. I also agree that once the decision was made to transition the CF104's to a conventional role, that simply replacing them with F4's probably made more sense than buying the F5, and upgrading the CF104's.
 
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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.
As I understand it a lot of those CF5's went straight into storage. All the CF101's in RCAF service were the F101B variety, the only weapons they carried were AAM's of the Falcon family along with Genie (which they phased out in the mid 70's) and the swap was to allow the RCAF to exchange their high hours aircraft with lower hours ex-USAF interceptors which had all the USAF ADC upgrades never applied to the older RCAF Voodoo's.
 
As I understand it a lot of those CF5's went straight into storage. All the CF101's in RCAF service were the F101B variety, the only weapons they carried were AAM's of the Falcon family along with Genie (which they phased out in the mid 70's) and the swap was to allow the RCAF to exchange their high hours aircraft with lower hours ex-USAF interceptors which had all the USAF ADC upgrades never applied to the older RCAF Voodoo's.
My understanding is that the Canadians operated the Genie well into the 1980's. I seem to recall this being discussed in the Canadian news media at the time.
 
I figured that license production of the T38 would have helped solve any domestic political "issues" but sure I suppose the F4's could be built under license instead, I suspect it would likely have been more expensive than just buying the US spec air craft from McDonnell Douglass. I get there are certain political realities at play and I figured building a modest fleet of supersonic trainer air craft under license in Canada would be enough of a bone to throw to the Canadian Aerospace industry. I'm also not 100 percent certain that an air craft other than a dedicated US made interceptor air craft for the Norad role was really desirable for Canada in at least the early to mid 1970's for both military and political reasons. (I seem to recall the US did provide Canada with a second batch of upgraded used F101's along the way.) I have a sneaking suspicion that a late 60' or early 70's replacement of the US provided F101's with F4's could have had a number of un desired ripple effects along the way, with the advantage of hindsight it seems simpler to me just to carry on with the US provided used F101's for the NORAD role (and replace them at some point in the 1980's.) I also believe having a modest fleet of T38 class air craft would have been useful.

All that being said, I am inclined to agree that building F4's under licence would likely have worked out better than building the F5 under license. I also agree that once the decision was made to transition the CF104's to a conventional role, that simply replacing them with F4's probably made more sense than buying the F5, and upgrading the CF104's.
It is really the redundancy of the supply chains which is the "elephant in the room".
The way it played out under Hellyer/Trudeau was:
A/E techs: Guys for OEL-7, J-57's, J-85 CAN15 & CAN40 (at least these guys can work on the Tutor fleet as well...).
Air frame support became infinitely more complicated as well and the guys handling avionics were also pigeonholed to their specific air frame/tasking.
All of this is obviated by my "better path".
If we had divested ourselves of the CF-104 fleet in 1969-70 we would have found numerous Allies that would have paid a decent dollar for these low-time air frames. We could have sold them (maybe? ) to the FRG, in lieu of their order for "attrition replacements" .
No second "tranche" of F-101B/F's also clips another huge element out of the manpower requirement with regards to all aspects of maintainers.
Even if the CF-116 still happened it would still be a far better scenario than the historical.
Production of these would certainly be on a much more "rational" scale.

Thoughts?
 
It is really the redundancy of the supply chains which is the "elephant in the room".
The way it played out under Hellyer/Trudeau was:
A/E techs: Guys for OEL-7, J-57's, J-85 CAN15 & CAN40 (at least these guys can work on the Tutor fleet as well...).
Air frame support became infinitely more complicated as well and the guys handling avionics were also pigeonholed to their specific air frame/tasking.
All of this is obviated by my "better path".
If we had divested ourselves of the CF-104 fleet in 1969-70 we would have found numerous Allies that would have paid a decent dollar for these low-time air frames. We could have sold them (maybe? ) to the FRG, in lieu of their order for "attrition replacements" .
No second "tranche" of F-101B/F's also clips another huge element out of the manpower requirement with regards to all aspects of maintainers.
Even if the CF-116 still happened it would still be a far better scenario than the historical.
Production of these would certainly be on a much more "rational" scale.

Thoughts?
To recap I believe replacing the CF104's with F4's and either not acquiring any F5's or perhaps only acquiring a small number of that type of aircraft makes sense once the CF104s's were transitioned to a conventional only role.

With regards to potentially replacing the CF101 with the F4, some of the questions that occur to me are:

What did it actually "cost" Canada to obtain the CF101's ?

What would the cost difference to Canada have been between obtaining the CF101's and building the needed number of F4's under licence ?

How important were the various "unique to the Norad role" features of the dedicated interceptors in this time frame ?

How difficult, expensive and risky would it have been to add any needed features to an F4 ? Would it have been feasible for all the Canadian F4's to be be the same or would two separate fleets have needed to be be maintained ?

To what extent would any extra up front costs of acquiring suitable F4's for the NORAD role been off set by lower ongoing maintenance costs (vis a vis maintaining CF101's and F4's.)

How much "better" or "worse" in the Canadian Norad role would a suitably equipped F4 been than the historical CF101 ? If it was better would the advantage have translated into any tangible advantages for Canada ? (Ie. more influence with the US, more deterrence vis a vis possible Soviet attacks , a greater sense of security for the Canadian population etc ??)

What political costs and risks would Canada have incurred by not acquiring dedicated US made interceptors in this time frame. (One thought that occurs to me is that as the CF101's were supplied by the US it may have been harder for the US to quibble with Canada over any perceived inadequacies of the Canadian interceptor force ?)

Edit to add: In my view simply flying normal F4's as NORAD interceptors may not have been seen as politically (and perhaps militarily) desirable by Canada circa 1970 when the US had already provided Canada with nuclear armed interceptors that presumably had any other "unique to NORAD" systems, and apparently the US was offering Canada a refreshed batch of similar interceptors.

My suspicion is that the CF101 was probably seen as a relatively inexpensive, "good enough" and politically safe choice by the decision makers at the time. It is an interesting question (to me anyways) what Canada might have done vis a vis NORAD interceptors in the early 70's if the CF104's had been replaced by an aircraft such as the F4. I suspect if Canada had wanted to spend the required amount of money a suitably equipped fleet of F4's could have been obtained that would have been at least as capable NORAD interceptors as the CF101's were. It is not clear to me if that money would have been well spent.
 
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what if they take over some of the cancelled royal navy orders for the spey f4
I have my doubts Canada would have gone that route, although perhaps if the price was low enough it might have happened.

How many airframes were possibly avalaible ?

I also believe there would have been a lot of political pressure within Canada to build the F4's within Canada. Retrofitting UK built Phantoms acquired by Canada with US made "unique to NORAD" weapons and equipment might also have presented a number of "issues."

Edit to add: I also suspect any replacement for the CF101 circa 1970 with a new type of aircraft (other than perhaps the F106) might also have opened a proverbial can of worms regarding the CAF having access (presumably subject to U.S. approval) to U.S. supplied nuclear air defence weapons. I suspect this was a can of worms that most Canadian governments would have been reluctant to open in that era.
 
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The Canadians had access to nuclear Air Defense Weapons with BoMARC and the F-101.

Why would they want the cludged up Spey Phantom? It was more expensive, and couldn't be supported by the existing F-4 parts system. Better to go with the standard F-4E.

But the real issue is they didn't need an advanced aircraft for Air Defense by then. There was no real threat of a bomber attack on North America by then. If anything there was a need for a modern multirole aircraft that could participate in NATO and other alliance missions. If they want to cannibalize the Air Defense force to provide that, or admit that the Air Defense force is simply a holding tank to provide the multi-role force something to do until they are needed elsewhere that is fine. But if that is what is being done then equip it with aircraft and other equipment that they are going to operate with and not some oddball aircraft that has very few common parts other than the jet fuel.
 
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