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F-35 taking off  (Source: Defense News)
Canada promises more due diligence on F-35 purchase

As the costs for the F-35 Lightning II program continue to grow, partner nations seem to be increasingly reconsidering their purchase of the aircraft. More than a few countries have said they would consider cutting back on the number of aircraft they purchase if the price continues to grow. Recently the lifetime cost of the F-35 program in the US was pegged at $1.45 trillion.
 
Some maintain that the costs of the fighter aren't growing as quickly as the numbers would lead people to believe because the U.S. government continues to change how they determine costs. Canada's auditor general accused the Canadian Defense Department of misleading lawmakers on the F-35 program costs this week.
 
Canadian auditor general Michael Ferguson asserts that military officials are so deeply committed to purchasing the F-35 that they did not "exercise due diligence" on the most expensive military procurement program in Canadian history.
 
“The department did not provide parliamentarians with complete cost information or fully inform decision makers about risks created by problems encountered in the (F-35) program,” he said.
 
“Only the most optimistic (cost) scenario was put forward,” and “key approvals (were) obtained after decisions were made.”
 
Canada still maintains that it intends to buy the 65 F-35 fighters, even though reports surfaced last month the Canada might cut back on orders. Canada intends to replace its fleet of CF-18 Hornets with the F-35. 
 
Canadian officials originally pegged the cost of the F-35 at $9 billion plus $7 billion for maintenance. Ferguson claims the true cost estimate is more in closer to $25 billion.
 
Ferguson also claims, “The department did not acknowledge that the decision to purchase the F-35 was well underway four years before it was officially announced.”
 
Ferguson isn't alone in his harsh criticism of the F-35 program in Canada; Democrat MP Christine Moore also criticizes the program. She said, "The government knew the F-35s were going to cost more than anticipated, but they intentionally hid it from parliament and the public." 
 
“This was an outrageous attempt to try and pull the wool over the eyes of Canadians.”
 
The Canadian government has pledged to freeze allocation for the fighter jet at the original $9 billion and turn the procurement process over to the Public Works ministry.

Source: Defense News



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F-35 not needed by Canada
By BernardP on 4/4/2012 11:35:53 AM , Rating: 2
The F-35 is not the best plane to fullfil the main mission of patrolling Canada's northern borders. The F/A-18 Super Hornet could do that job at a fraction of the cost, and with the safety of two engines.

Canada has announced an intention to buy only 65 F-35. This is already too few. Reducing the number of planes to stay within the 9,0 B$ allocation is not a viable option.




RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Apone on 4/4/2012 12:00:26 PM , Rating: 4
@ BernardP

- I understand your reasoning behind the Super Hornet's preference over the F-35 but you have to look at the big picture. Sure it's cheaper to use current F/A-18 Super Hornets, etc. but the name of the game is Air Superiority (even though the F-35 is classified as a multi-role fighter). If you want the best national defense, then you can't have a sense of complacency. The F-35 has better capabilities in stealth, tracking, targeting, maneuverability, etc. which all contribute to it being a more efficient and updated solution to protecting Canada's borders. Granted, I'm not saying the F-35 isn't without its flaws or budget issues, but you wouldn't want your aerial defense to have a tactical disadvantage in the event of a skirmish or border conflict.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Flunk on 4/4/2012 12:13:24 PM , Rating: 4
I believe he's referring to the fact that the F-35 is not rated to run in the extreme cold of Canada's north and the cold weather equipment won't be available for at least 2 years.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By TSS on 4/4/2012 1:40:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
but you wouldn't want your aerial defense to have a tactical disadvantage in the event of a skirmish or border conflict.


It's canada we're talking about. What border conflicts? Some secret eskimo invasion?

The only country they're in danger of being invaded by is the US. Which has already done so, twice. And buying defensive weaponry from the only nation that poses a militairy threat, isn't going to work.

So i'd say either get top of the line hardware from another country, or considering that isn't availble, just go for the cheap option.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By darkpuppet on 4/4/2012 2:14:33 PM , Rating: 1
*ahem* -- Last I checked, Canada burnt washington to the ground. twice.


By ltcommanderdata on 4/4/2012 2:35:17 PM , Rating: 3
Canada's actually making the War of 1812 Bicentennial a national event.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Geminiman on 4/4/2012 4:34:47 PM , Rating: 5
Hey idiot. (and i say this as a Canadian). Canada has never been in a war with the US nor burned Washington! canada didnt even exist for more than 50 years AFTER the war of 1812.

The British burned Washington. Of which upper and lower Canada was a small part.

Further contrary to Canadian textbooks the US didnt attack Canada, because it couldnt. They attacked Britian because Britian committed an act of war by hijacking US ships and enslaving US citizens to serve on British ships in their war against the French.

And yes Canadian textbooks are WRONG about the war of 1812. And I say this as a history teacher, because they treat Canada as a country when it was not.

The threat to Canada is the Russians and what they see as their land in the north. I could eqsily become a shooting war if oil is struck in the far north.

And as much as that worries me, what worries me more is that were going to use these to aid the US in their stupid wars against Iran and Syria like we did with libya. We dont need to be in American wars of agression. It makes us be hated worldwide and is evil.

And yes thats the reason for using f35s. They will integrate with American squadrons so that we can ligimize American wars for them.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By FITCamaro on 4/5/2012 8:13:13 AM , Rating: 1
There people go again calling for historical fact.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Argon18 on 4/5/2012 12:24:45 PM , Rating: 3
Yes one country that had a terrorist sponsoring government who attacked the US on numerous occasions, killing thousands of people. And another country that had a leader on par with Adolf Hitler, killing hundreds of thousands of his own people and dumping the bodies into mass graves. Yes, the US wars against those two are clearly "wars of aggression". :rolleyes:


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Natch on 4/5/2012 8:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure you're thinking of England.

The only conflict we've had with Canada was back in the war of 1812 (when they were still a colony of England), and the invasion & burning of Washington DC was done by the Brits.


By ltcommanderdata on 4/4/2012 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The F-35 has better capabilities in stealth, tracking, targeting, maneuverability, etc. which all contribute to it being a more efficient and updated solution to protecting Canada's borders.

If the primary function of Canada's fighter jets is to be border security, are stealth capabilities really critical? I would think that the effective capability to detect enemy aircraft will be the most important and that can be most effectively accomplished with dedicated AWACs aircraft or other dedicated detection mechanisms. The AWACs can then direct Super Hornets to intercept threats while the Super Hornets operate passively and perhaps fly nap of the earth to avoid detection. While not stealth aircraft, I believe Super Hornets do have reduced radar profiles on their front aspects compared to contemporary 4th gen aircraft and the proposed Block III spec would further improve this. With early detection, an AWACs can vector Super Hornets to maximize use of the radar reduced front. For Canadian sovereignty missions, I'm not sure the Super Hornet gives up much against the F-35 especially if twin engines, reinforced landing gear, and arrestor hook (features that made the F/A-18 stand out against the F-16 for Canada to select the original CF-18) allow the Super Hornet to give additional flexibility in Arctic patrols.

What stealth capabilities will be very useful for is offensive combat operations into other countries. While Canadians do support war when necessary, the government trying to market the F-35 for stealth capabilities most useful for invading other countries probably isn't the best tact.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/2012 2:36:23 PM , Rating: 4
The "big picture" is that Canada simply does not need an F-35. And I mean nothing nationalistic or offensive by saying that in any way. Just being practical.

I simply cannot envision a present or future where America wouldn't provide for the defense of North America and where Canada would be left to defend their own. Any threat to Canada is a direct threat to the United States, obviously.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Apone on 4/4/2012 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 3
@ ltcommanderdata

- Regarding Canada's border security, I was replying to a previous commenter's (BernardP)earlier post who mentioned it. But my point was that with ANY type of aerial defense/security/protection, it's common practice among high-rolling countries (ahem, the G8) to push for continuous deployment of the latest & greatest technology to protect themselves from ANY type of threat that might arise. In a nutshell, when you need it and don't have it, you sing a different tune.

@ Reclaimer77

- I agree with your practical assessment of what Canada needs (and doesn't need) as I think the F-35 program is an ambitious however expensive campaign for all participating countries. Unfortunately this is how government defense contracting works, our respective governments want the latest & greatest military toys; Some are justified while others were just a waste of taxpayer money (ahem, the $6.9 billion dollar canceled RAH-66 Commanche helicopter program).
- I also agree that Canada and the United States would help each other out if, heaven forbid, a foreign attack/invasion ever occurred on North American soil but to rephrase my point, our military/government officials "have a champagne taste on a beer budget".


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Captain Orgazmo on 4/4/2012 7:16:33 PM , Rating: 3
The way the US economy is going, pretty soon we'll be defending you... food stamps can't buy missiles :P


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By rlandess on 4/5/2012 9:08:36 AM , Rating: 2
And what are you hosers going to do? Beat the Russians down with your gravy fries! Or spray them with your ice cold Molson... Wait... Do you guys still have the bomb?... -er, um, I for one would like to welcome our new Canadian overlords.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By random2 on 4/5/2012 3:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
The only problem with the statement of how the F35 is more capable, is the fact all of the navigation, targeting, and weapon systems have yet to be developed and/or configured for the F35. Further to this the costs associated with these systems has yet to be worked into the price of the fighters. As they sit now, they have no capability other than stealth. I am guessing of course, but I suspect the new systems are going to add a substantial amount to the cost.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By michael67 on 4/5/2012 3:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but the name of the game is Air Superiority

May i ask over what enemy you need a Air Superiority fighter for?

As i don't see any conflict ware even F-4 Phantom's could still do the job, and do we need a 220M a pop plane to do it better?

Don't get me wrong, I think the F35 is a marvelous plane, i just don't see the real cost/benefit of this multi-trillion project.

Would it not have bin more further develop the F22.

quote:
F-22A – single-seat production version. Was designated "F/A-22A" in early 2000s.
F-22B – planned two-seat variant, but was dropped in 1996 to save development costs.[228]
Naval F-22 variant – a carrier-borne variant of the F-22 with swing-wings for the U.S. Navy's Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF) program to replace the F-14 Tomcat. Program was canceled in 1993.
FB-22 was a proposed medium-range bomber for the USAF. Program appears to be canceled with the 2006


Al these canceled project have costed all ready billions, everything the F35 dose, the F22 could also do.

I just seriously wonder what would happen if someone would calculate what would be cheaper, continue like we do now, or drop the F35, and sell the F22 international, and upgrade the program for a extra naval version.

Not to Troll, but to me the hole f35 program looks like a big money pit, ware only Lockheed Martin the winner of is.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Jeffk464 on 4/4/2012 9:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, that's an air superiority role so the best two planes would be the f22 and then f15. Even after they finally get F35's the F22 will still be the plane of choice for air defense.


RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
By Jeffk464 on 4/4/2012 9:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
Its hard to beat a specialized design at its own specialty, multi-role is by definition a compromise.


what?
By Flunk on 4/4/2012 12:11:30 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Democrat MP Christine Moore


Canada doesn't have a Democratic party. Christine Moore is a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP) which is Canada's socialist party and not really equivalent to any party in the US political system.




RE: what?
By JohnThacker on 4/4/2012 12:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, the NDP really isn't that socialist, especially after electing Mulcair as its leader The only big difference between the US Democratic party and the NDP (or other technically socialist center-left parties like Labour in the UK or the Socialist Party in France) is that the US Democratic Party runs away from the socialist label whereas other parties embrace it (despite not favoring nationalization, and in many cases proposing privatization.)

Both groups of parties are more properly considered social democratic. The "socialist" parties in Canada and Europe are not as socialist as they claim.


RE: what?
By jabber on 4/4/2012 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
Quite right. Very few centre left parties left anywhere in the West, mostly centre right. The powers that be have made all of them pretty much of a muchness. So whoever you vote for the Government always gets in and the status quo agenda carries on.

Take the current US President, take away the healthcare reforms (the token policy to give the illusion of change) and you'd still think Bush was in charge.

Same old same old.


RE: what?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: what?
By cruisin3style on 4/5/2012 2:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
I could swear I've seen you post something to the effect of

"Obama is not the hope and change he promised, and instead has continued almost all of Bush's policies"

several times on this site. I could be forgetting the context of those comments or maybe that wasn't you, but just thought i'd throw that out there


RE: what?
By just4U on 4/6/2012 2:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
From a Canadian perspective, It doesn't matter. Democrat or Republican their both to the right of anything we have in Canada. Your country is a right wing society after all. Whereas ours sits mostly in the middle and flirts with both sides of the political spectrum.

Our Conservative government here In Canada would be considered to far to the left to even be electable in the United States.. and yet our peers on the left sometimes say their extreme right which is laughable.

It's amazing how our views on Right/Left political thought vary so much when we all live so close to each other.


RE: what?
By Uncle on 4/4/2012 1:10:29 PM , Rating: 3
Right, thats like saying the Dems are socialists vs the reps because of health care. I suppose if your Canadian you voluntarily ask if you can pay for your doctors visit or emergency care at a hospital and if they say no its free, you refuse their service.


RE: what?
By Captain Orgazmo on 4/4/2012 7:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
Healthcare in Canada isn't free, fool. Last time I checked the government took a third off my pay cheque to fund their monopolistic, union/bureaucracy-choked, worst-in-the-developed-world "free" healthcare system.


RE: what?
By Uncle on 4/4/2012 9:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
I apologize its free if your in a union or as my wife pays 50%, then pays tax in box 40, for a tax benefit, for family coverage or 135$ for a family without coverage. Now if your talking yearly income taxes thats a whole different ball game.


RE: what?
By Captain Orgazmo on 4/4/2012 10:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
Of course I'm talking income tax, and GST, and resource royalties, and sales taxes. To pretend that healthcare is even remotely free is the definition of foolishness. We pay out the nose for our healthcare, and the unions and politicians have successfully brainwashed the masses into thinking that a government run monopoly is a good thing.

The government can break up a company when it gets too big and powerful; who breaks up the government when it gets too big?


RE: what?
By rcc on 4/5/2012 2:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
No one understands TANSTAAFL anymore : (

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, someone pays for everything. How does society in general keep loosing sight of this obvious fact.


RE: what?
By random2 on 4/5/2012 3:52:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think they may still have a few plots of land for you to choose from south of the 49th, if you care to check. :-)


I understand the cost concerns
By Beenthere on 4/4/2012 12:09:46 PM , Rating: 4
Personally I would prefer that no one but the U.S. have the F-35 and it's technology. Sell Canada F-18's.




RE: I understand the cost concerns
By Seagrave on 4/4/2012 1:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
except this was a joint program with cost burdens shared among the partner countries.. so your point just isnt there.

the last figure i heard was the maintenance cost of the f35 program in the US was projected to go 1 trillion OVER the original projections that we were sold.

if enough partner countries back off/out, the cost of the planes will rise.


RE: I understand the cost concerns
By just4U on 4/6/2012 2:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's becoming increasingly apparent that no one country can shoulder the financial burdens in designing new fighter jets. That is why these joint programs are going to become the norm moving forward. It's not that an individual government can't afford it.. it's just it's hard for them to justify it all to the electorate especially when there are no guarantees that it will ever materialize into a finished product.


By darkpuppet on 4/4/2012 2:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would prefer that too.

F22s would have made much more sense for Canada's needs... Considering the F22 is a much more capable air superiority fighter and the immediate needs of the country, it's the smarter choice for a country on a budget.

Over time, the F35 might come down in cost so why not wait until it goes on sale?

I know, I'm just a taxpayer...


Do you ever get the feeling that....
By jabber on 4/4/2012 12:14:23 PM , Rating: 1
.....this gear is just getting too expensive for any government to risk using in a real, more evenly matched combat situation?

You have just 60 of them, that's just too precious a resource, especially if only 40 are airworthy at any time. Effective deployment of a large area must be a bitch too.

Does it make sense against having far more of a cheaper alternative that can swarm out the aggressor that may be using fewer more advanced but precious aircraft?

Like the Tiger tanks in WW2. Far superior to the good ol' Sherman but as a Tiger Tank Captain said once "One of our Tigers was worth four Sherman tanks. Unfortunately, the Allies always had five of them!"




RE: Do you ever get the feeling that....
By bobsmith1492 on 4/4/2012 12:32:28 PM , Rating: 3
The key with air superiority is that a more advanced jet can take out many less advanced jets before they even know it is there. Swarming doesn't help that much.

Pilots are the other reason. It is super time-consuming and expensive to train pilots, so you'd prefer none die than let many die in a swarm attack.


RE: Do you ever get the feeling that....
By Jeffk464 on 4/4/2012 9:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
We beat the german's with prop driven p51's and sherman tanks when they had jet fighters and far superior tanks.


By Jeffk464 on 4/4/2012 9:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Basically if you have more population and resources you can pull off the swarm attack.


By jabber on 4/6/2012 8:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
You didn't read all my initial post did you?


$1.45 trillion?
By Boingo Twang on 4/4/2012 12:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
That's with a "t" right? Yet we see no "spending spree" headlines on this story but we do on a story about a $200 program. Go figure.




RE: $1.45 trillion?
By ebakke on 4/4/2012 1:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, yeah. We heard you in that thread. http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=24350...

And it's $200 million, not $200.


RE: $1.45 trillion?
By Boingo Twang on 4/5/2012 12:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, yeah. We heard you in that thread. http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=24350... And it's $200 million, not $200.


I noticed my omission after posting but was sure some fine person would be along shortly to make note of my error and you didn't disappoint. Beyond that 1.45 trillion dollars sounds like quite the spending spree to me compared to a measly 200 million dollars.


Misleading headline
By Uncle on 4/4/2012 1:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Canadian Government Once Again Lashes Out at F-35 Lightning II Program". Wasn't the government, it was the Auditor General." Ferguson found that many of the steps and documents used to support the government's 2010 decision to buy the F-35 were "of little consequence" because the key questions, including whether to run an open competition, were taken much earlier, "calling into question the integrity of the process." In other words the Cons broke their own rules by not tendering the work and the Cons even ignored the cost over runs, that any Cons minister could have Googled, that was coming from the states. I guess the Cons Minister of Defence Peter Mackay liked being wined and dined by the Lockheed Martin group.
Another example of the Cons selling out to the Americans. Even India rejected the F35 in favour of the French Rafale jets because of the cost overruns, single engine etc etc. The F35 couldn't even do what the Canadian Cons asked of it and that was to be able to patrol the Northern Artic. Talk about a sellout, reminds me of the Arrow project that the Cons scuttled in 1959, because the Americans had no plane like it. Imagine a single engine F 35 and you blow a fuel line, kiss the plane goodbye.




RE: Misleading headline
By just4U on 4/6/2012 6:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Your post is reminicent of what you might see in the Star or G&M.. very onesided and biased.


In all fairness...
By Motoman on 4/4/12, Rating: 0
RE: In all fairness...
By Warren21 on 4/5/2012 1:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you were rated down, I take it some people thought that you meant "Canadians try to pull the wool over the eyes of Americans", when clearly in context you meant "politicians (regardless of origin; in this case American) do the same thing to Americans."


RE: In all fairness...
By Motoman on 4/6/12, Rating: 0
By seraphim1982 on 4/4/2012 4:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Usually, arms stockpiling usually only leads to one thing.... war.

If you want to patrol Canada's border, buy more updated CF-18's at like half the cost. Training and maintenence would be much lower as well. With which you could train a much larger airforce. Stealth technology is usually for people invading or spying on other countries, do we really need this? At most we need and interceptor

Furthermore, who is really going to invade Canada? Canada is one country you would want to invade. We're pretty much allied with a country with one of the largest armies in the world. Furthermore, our biggest natural resource, which will be one of the most scarce in the next 50 years, is clean water. The largest Superpower, who is probably on the worst terms with Canada is China or Russia, but really, that would start a global war.... so really what do we need planes for




Nobody is going to invade Canada
By GatoRat on 4/5/2012 12:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody is going to invade Canada; spending more than a token amount on military is a waste of time. The notion that if oil is discovered... Oil has been discovered, but even Russia isn't dumb enough to go to war over it.

The F-35 is a giant waste of money for all involved. It's a solution in search of a problem.

Incidentally, the Tiger tank is also a great example of a weapon that looked great on paper, but was big, heavy and slow, complicated to manufacture, unbelievably expensive and so unreliable that it ultimately wasn't worth the money (despite some outrageous successes in battle.)

The next major war will likely be fought with drones and low level flying missiles that will simply ignore the F-35. (And despite the advanced electronics, which incidentally could be back-ported to older, cheaper, airplanes, there simply won't be enough F-35s on active duty to matter. Exactly how are 20 or so F-35s, at any given time, going to effectively patrol 3000 miles of coastline?)




Air Defense
By FUNFINDER on 4/5/2012 7:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad the Canadian government destroyed the Avro CF-105 Arrow. Now that was a beautiful aircraft, and at the time could fly circles around anything else in the sky. Maybe with some modern tech upgrades, that airplane might still be patrolling the skies over Canada.




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