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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 Star-Telegram 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 reducing the production rate of the F-35 to an even slower rate to allow more time to fix issues discovered in flight testing.

Sources: Star-Telegram, The Star

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Of Course
By Reclaimer77 on 3/14/2012 2:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
We all saw this coming. Once again the United States agrees to stupidly enter a multinational "joint" venture, only to absorb 90+% of the costs and be left holding the bag in the end.

RE: Of Course
By AEvangel on 3/14/2012 2:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why anyone thought the Govt doing anything was going to work out well in the end.

RE: Of Course
By Quadrillity on 3/14/2012 2:47:33 PM , Rating: 1
It's "the American way" now. Next article we will see is the U.S. blamed for not helping [insert war torn nation] with their problems.

And of course, following that story will be one of how everyone hates the U.S. for meddling in everyone's business. I think the worst part is that no-one heeds the warnings of our very first president anymore. Beware of entangling foreign alliances!

RE: Of Course
By theaerokid on 3/14/2012 3:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's "the American way" now. Next article we will see is the U.S. blamed for not helping [insert war torn nation] with their problems.

Funny you should say that. George Clooney is working the talk circuit right now to "raise awareness" of Sudan's crisis after his last trip. Even went before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee right here in the nation's capital.

Right on about the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" point. So what are we supposed to do about Sudan, George?

RE: Of Course
By dark matter on 3/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Of Course
By Quadrillity on 3/14/2012 4:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you missed the point of my post, then I should clarify: I think we should heed the strong advice of our first president about entangling foreign affairs (meaning anything that doesn't directly threaten our freedom and sovereignty).

By the way, how would the world be a safer place? I'm not saying it would or wouldn't, but what made you come to that conclusion?

RE: Of Course
By KCjoker on 3/15/2012 6:15:53 PM , Rating: 1
I wish we would...but then when there's a world crisis guess who they turn to for help? Take Haiti for example, sure other countries helped but the USA did the majority of the work/cost.

RE: Of Course
By vXv on 3/17/2012 5:34:52 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah but this didn't require any fighters (or even a military really).

RE: Of Course
By arazok on 3/14/2012 3:33:07 PM , Rating: 4
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
By Reclaimer77 on 3/14/2012 3:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
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.

RE: Of Course
By Jeffk464 on 3/14/2012 8:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
"We all saw this coming. Once again the United States agrees to stupidly enter a multinational "joint" venture, only to absorb 90+% of the costs and be left holding the bag in the end."

It still benefits the US in the end you get force amplification. Traditionally the US, Canada, Australia,and England go to war together. So you end up with a much larger force than any of the countries could have managed on its own. So even if they bought them without paying any of the development costs its still a good deal.

RE: Of Course
By TSS on 3/15/2012 3:40:13 AM , Rating: 5
Hey screw you buddy. We dutch agreed because you guys said they would be about $30 million a pop. Not $130 million. How about you first learn to calculate before you start pointing fingers.

And our cabinet is basically still saying "we'll leave it up to the next guys" even though 78% of the population (according to the last poll) is calling on them to pull the plug already. Even though they did order a 2nd test plane recently.

Which cost $300 million. Ironically, that's the same amount we're cutting from spending on the chronically mentally ill because "we're spending too much".

Yeah. Don't expect our order of the JSF to go through.

RE: Of Course
By NellyFromMA on 3/15/2012 12:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're writing as if somehow America is being spoken for here as a single person?

You do know America isn't a single person, right?

RE: Of Course
By todd omy on 3/18/2012 8:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm yea see countries are bailing faster than light moving away from the sun, is because costs are spiralling out of control. If the budget for the F35 was a dart board the size of the moon, the dart thrown at that budget may hit mars... BUT that's only what it looks like now, that budget dart might be on a one way ticket outside of the solar system. IF you could build a plane and keep the $ even remotely close to the original cost countries wouldn't be bailing on this epic failure of a project.

It's a White Elephant.
By dark matter on 3/14/2012 4:07:17 PM , Rating: 3
The way these things works is company a bankrolls politician b to get into power in exchange for buying x amount of product y using taxpayers money.

No-one finds out so long as everyone keeps there mouth shut.

However, politician b is probably wondering how on Earth they are going to stay in power when it comes to explaining that these jets are essential to our safety, when they are absolutely useless against men with beards and backpacks and nerdy Chinese teenagers at a computer.

Especially the latter, as not doubt 50% at least of those planes are "manufactured" in China....

Seems a bit hard to swallow.

Hot air balloons...
By wordsworm on 3/14/2012 6:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
Canada should stop investing in these crazy expensive jets and start buying hot air balloons... Canadians have the brain power and financial clout to make the world's first balloon brigade. It would suffice for most of our 3rd world involvement.

Don't believe anything Fantino says
By DukeN on 3/14/2012 11:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
This guy's a serial liar as long as he's been around.

He's also the champion of racial profiling, dating back to the 80s

Americans, here's what happens when you put a cop in a defense post (sort of like if you elected Giuliani prez).

By Gondor on 3/15/2012 4:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
There is a typo in the second paragraph:

"The Canadian government has admitted that it might not complete the purchase its purchase of F-35s."

Single Source
By gamerk2 on 3/15/2012 8:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
Right now, I think the US is seriously regretting allowing all those mergers in the defense industry in the early 90's. Gone are Republic, Fairchild, Northrop, North American Aviation, and the like. When building new fighter jets, its basically Grumman/Lockheed now. No competition in the marketplace means there is no meachanism to keep price down, per basic market economics.

So just remember: All that talk about mergers being necessary to keep costs down is just that: Talk.

The REAL fail
By pcfxer on 3/15/2012 7:19:52 PM , Rating: 1
The REAL fail is that building a project by committee has failed yet again and people are still surprised by the fail bomb. Managers/Lawyers do NOT attend Engineering schools ergo, stay the fuck out of any design decisions or you'll be screwed by your own ignorance.

A lot has been learned from the F35 project on both sides of the table; business/engineering. It is clear that the project is almost done, but it would be nice to know some of the performance specs of this plane considering it is from published information, more money per plane than the F22.

Can I say it again though? Build a long-range, high-speed, twin-engine, interceptor for protecting the North and sub-in some non-delta for non-interceptor missions (AVRO ARROW). With the money that Canada has put into this project I'd be damned if we couldn't just build our own damn plane....and hell the gov't would actually be "creating jobs", as much as I hate that damn buzz word.

By Da W on 3/14/2012 3:11:24 PM , Rating: 5
Lol. Like Canada's a big threat.

By StevoLincolnite on 3/14/2012 3:23:36 PM , Rating: 5
Didn't Canada fight off and win the invasion by Americans in 1812?

Just saying, don't count out the little guys, they can sometimes surprise you and cause allot of damage.

By ebakke on 3/14/2012 3:35:44 PM , Rating: 4
If we invade Canada in the near future, we have much larger problems than the F35.

By Solandri on 3/14/2012 8:45:29 PM , Rating: 3
The U.S. also invaded Canada at the beginning of WWII. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the fear was that it was the prelude to a Japanese campaign against North America. The closest part of North America to Japan is Alaska, then a U.S. territory. The U.S. was eager to fortify it against Japanese attack.

There were no roads to Alaska - all equipment had to be transported by ship or plane. So the U.S. Army was itching to build a road through British Columbia and the Yukon into Alaska. The U.S. asked Canada for permission to enter and build the road, and Canada dragged its feet. After nearly a week, the U.S. Army said !@#$ it and invaded Canada. It just moved all its equipment across the border and began building the road. The next day, the Canadian government quietly approved the U.S. request with the stipulation that the road be turned over to Canada after the war.

And that's how the ALCAN highway was built.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/14/2012 3:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh we didn't "invade" Canada. We were in a war against the British who were using Canadian militia. Canada was basically used by the British and French to fight us. So hey, we had to go get those hosers.

And they didn't win! It was a stalemate :) Plus we burned Toronto to the ground (battle of York). True they turned around and burned Washington DC (Canadians greatly exaggerate the extent of damage), I consider burning DC was probably a good thing. It could do with another if you catch my drift lol.

Just saying, don't count out the little guys, they can sometimes surprise you and cause allot of damage.

Yup, it was a classic mistake of underestimating the enemy. But that was 1812, after all.

By limitedaccess on 3/14/2012 3:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Things have changed quite a bit since then. Back then the Canadian/British Forces and US Forces had comparable numbers with the Canadian/British Forces being better trained and funded. Compared to now the US has more than 6 times the amount of active and reserve personnel, 9 times as many people fit for military duty, and a budget more than 20 times larger.

Also I think the more important issue is that in order for the US and Canada to come to a military conflict there would need be an extremely massive shift in the current relationship between the two countries.

By wordsworm on 3/14/2012 6:47:53 PM , Rating: 1
No... Canada is largely owned by the US. We're not even allowed to build our own jets. Canada is like an American territory without having the same rights.

By theArchMichael on 3/14/2012 8:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
That's what she said.

By Slappi on 3/14/2012 3:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
Hey check out their Navy before making ridiculous statements like that.

By masamasa on 3/14/2012 3:41:51 PM , Rating: 4
Ya, but we have 1,000,000 of those!!!

By VahnTitrio on 3/14/2012 3:20:39 PM , Rating: 1
I think what the world is realizing is this kind of aircraft is no longer necessary. Realistically it adds no value to anyone in any way.

By chrnochime on 3/14/2012 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Canada is just itching to take over the States /sarcasm

Give me a break. like we would want to take over your debt-ridden screwed up country.

By arazok on 3/14/2012 4:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
<Facepalm> Read that totaly wrong. Thought you were talking about the US taking over Canada.

By pcfxer on 3/15/2012 7:28:50 PM , Rating: 1
What are you retarded?

You are TRILLIONS in debt lol.

By Jeffk464 on 3/14/2012 4:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
I thought he was making a lot of sense.

By dark matter on 3/14/2012 4:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's so awesome at stopping bearded guys with backpacks and chinese kids at a computer no doubt....

By Jeffk464 on 3/14/2012 4:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
The fact is that Canada really doesn't have to spend money on defense thanks to its location next to the most powerful(currently) military in the world.

By Mint on 3/15/2012 8:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't really have much to do with being next to the US. Their military spending is pretty much in line with most European countries.

By vXv on 3/17/2012 5:27:53 PM , Rating: 3
The US isn't spending that much more money on defense ... the offense makes the bigger part of the spending.

By Flunk on 3/14/2012 5:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
We can always buy the Eurofighter Typhoon anyway. We're only buying the F-35 to support our American allies. If you feel that way there are other options.

By tim851 on 3/14/2012 5:37:44 PM , Rating: 3
In most places "we the west" are having military actions, even F-4E Phantom II could still do the job, after some upgrades.

Yes. The B-2 Spirit is probably the most ridiculous example. Built to penetrate the heavily fortified Russian airspace, it will have spent its entire lifetime bombing third world countries, that could probably not mount a coordinated defense against the WWII air forces of any major power. And because it's super-secret, it makes everything more complicated, like not landing anywhere but home.

Traditional war is a concept of the past. The military is just to slow to realize it.

It always bemuses be when people talk about the strategics of an American-Chinese war. That war will never happen. By the time the American aircraft carrier fleets are in fighting range, both countries will be bancrupt and they will drag the world with them.
This is how Einstein's famous quote about World War IV being fought with sticks and stones becomes true: it's not the radiocative fallout that will destroy civilization as we know it, it's economic fallout.

The Middle Ages were not called the Dark Ages for nothing. But the Roman Empire didn't collape in a thermonuclear disaster. It was a lack of economics that brought demise afterwards.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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