This is a chart I created which compares 2-engine aircraft candidates for Canada’s CF-18 replacement.
It is subjective; but a good generalist comparison when you take a look at the following kinds of performance.
The Super Hornet will be the cheapest to procure. The Rafale should be about the same as the Typhoon on paper except that the Rafale sales force has a history of not performing–especially when the French government interferes.
The F-15 Silent Eagle can carry internal weapons, so it gets some head-on L.O. points.
Cost to operate-
The F-15 in any form will be more expensive to operate. Having seen the depot end of the sustainment cycle I can tell you it is more work. One advantage for the F-15 Silent Eagle / Strike Eagle is that it comes off the show room floor with 12,000 hours of airframe life. Sustainment cost is what you make it.
An easy one. The Super-slow-Hornet will be at the tail end of this competition which measures brake-release to intercept. I am giving a bit of advantage to the Typhoon over the Rafale but still the Rafale is better than a classic or Super-slow Hornet. Also the F-15 is what ever you make it. It can be the L.O. variant. It can pose as a Strike Eagle with lots of gas or you can have it stand alert with just one center-line tank and no conformal fuel tanks and with the big motors it has, is a complete animal.
Pilot Retrain Cost-
Not a small matter in a frugal air force. Super Hornet wins by a large margin. While the F-15 is a two-aircrew jet, I pushed this into part of the cost-to-operate figures.
Currently only the F-22, F-15 and Super Hornet are fielded with a proven AESA. The Rafale and Typhoon will have this some day.
The F-22 can take 2 JDAMs or 8 small diameter bombs (SDB) into a stiff defense. Something the others can’t claim. However at this time it doesn’t have the versatility of the other aircraft in weapons. The Rafale carries a lot but the F-15 when suited up as a Strike Eagle, carries a wider variety of weapons. The Super Hornet can carry a lot, but its pointed outward SUU-79 pylons mean that it won’t be carrying stores as far. Also, Super Hornets list of cleared weapons is narrow and tailored to fleet requirements on a shoe-string sustainment budget. You could clear all kinds of weapons for the Super, but in the case of the U.S. Navy, only what they are willing to pay for to do operations.
I put this in because Canada could gain some versatility by having one of its squadrons spend a calendar year in a work-up cycle and deployment on to an allied aircraft carrier. This could be seen as value-added. So if Rafale was considered, it could be considered as the naval variant.
On paper the F-22 shouldn’t have that much range–until you calculate the effective ground speed (with no wind) at a high indicated air speed zipping along at 65,000 feet. The F-15 as a Silent Eagle can do a radius of around 750 miles. Suited up as a Strike Eagle it will see up to a 1000 miles.
And as for the F-22 not being exportable; granted Canada would most likely never ask for it. However, Canada is an ABC (Australia, Britain, Canada) and shares special circumstances in this area as found in a USAF air war college study many years back. A long shot. But still a shot.