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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.


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