Canadian Government Once Again Lashes Out at F-35 Lightning II Program
April 4, 2012 11:04 AM
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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
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
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.
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RE: F-35 not needed by Canada
4/4/2012 3:26:39 PM
- 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.
- 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".
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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