I have written about my opinions on the F-35 before (F-35s Scrapped and Government and Military: Bad Decisions) and my opinion hasn’t really changed: I still think the F-35 is potentially the wrong plane for Canada.
Now, there is an article on the Toronto Sun talking about the potential of the Taranis unmanned drone platform.
I have always thought that a mix of drones and real fighter planes is the future of most modern air force systems in the world, and Canada is no exception.
I think the Taranis could be a great first line defender of Canada’s arctic airspace, and support during our overseas missions.
Of course, the abilities of the Taranis is such that it can’t compete with the F-35 in abilities or weapons payload, but it is still much better than the current Predator and Reaper drones that are running missions for the U.S. and its allies.
The British are leading the way on the development of the Taranis and have left the F-35 behind. They are only a few weeks from flight testing their new UCAV, and I wish them success. I would still like to see what the U.S. military complex could do with some serious funding towards this kind of weapons platform.
Reducing the human capital risk is one of the most important things a modern military can do, and a large part of why governments spend a great deal of money developing weapons systems.
There will always be a need for smart men and women to lead the way on the battlefield, and I can’t say the Taranis is the right platform for Canada, but I am intrigued and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it and its soon to be developed kin.