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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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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...


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