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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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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?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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