Report: Canada Considers Cutting F-35 Lightning II Orders
March 14, 2012 1:53 PM
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Canada reserves the right to back out of F-35
The cost overruns on the F-35 project are
legendary and continue to mount
. The costs of the F-35 program are spiraling at such a fast rate that many partner nations are considering canceling orders or
significantly reducing purchase plans
The latest partner nation considering reducing the order in place for the F-35 is Canada. The Canadian government has admitted that it might not complete the purchase of F-35s. The United States has long said that if partner countries cancel orders or reduce orders, the cost of the jet will spiral for all nations.
Canada originally agreed to purchase $9 billion worth of F-35 fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canada intends to replace its aging CF-18 jets with the F-35.
“The… decision has not been made as to whether or not we are actually going to purchase, buy, acquire the F-35,” said Julian Fantino, associate defense minister.
“We have not as yet discounted, the possibility of course, of backing out of any of the program. None of the partners have. We are not,” he told the Commons Defence Committee Tuesday.
A group of Lockheed F-35B Lightning II fighters [Source: Lockheed Martin]
Fantino's comments are marked contrast to other comments offered by Canadian officials in the past who were staunch advocates of the F-35. In the past, Canadian government officials have gone so far as to accuse people who didn't support the F-35 of not supporting the armed forces.
The first indication of trouble in Canada came last month when Defense Minister Peter MacKay refused to confirm how many F-35's Canada would buy.
However, a spokesman for the Canadian Defense Ministry press McClusky told the
in an email, "Our position has not changed. We remain committed to the Joint Strike Fighter Program. A budget has been allocated. A contract has not been signed. We will make sure that the Air Force has aircraft necessary to do the job we ask of them."
The Pentagon has considered
the production rate of the F-35 to an even slower rate to allow more time to fix issues discovered in flight testing.
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RE: Of Course
3/14/2012 3:33:07 PM
Well the old way saw the US government absorbing 100% of the costs, and holding the bag in the end. So this seems like an improvement, doesn't it?
This really isn't that big of a deal. Everyone signed up to this deal knowing that if we all bought XX number of jets, they would cost $## to produce per jet. As the recession hit and countries began backing out of the deal, the costs rose, leading more and more countries to back out.
Canada was one of the few countries to grudgingly stick by this deal, until it became clear that even the US government was planning to scale back it's order - dramatically increasing our costs even further.
If you guys can't commit to your own deal, why on earth would anyone else?
And really, nothing happens as far as NATO goes without the US leading the call, so having NATO partners buying jets and using them to bomb our enemies is really just a foreign subsidy of your own military operations anyway. It's not like Canada could ever decide to attack...lets say, Syria on it's own accord without getting explicit permission from the US.
RE: Of Course
3/14/2012 3:36:58 PM
Hey you're preaching to the choir. I never wanted the damn thing to be built in the first place. I said years ago, if you think the F-22 is too expensive, wait until this "JSF" business starts.
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