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Appropriateness of F35 for Canada questioned as costs projected to be $40B


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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

Cost of buying, servicing F-35 fighter jets soars to $40B


The cost of buying and servicing the F-35 stealth fighter jets that Ottawa has been planning to purchase has skyrocketed to about $40 billion, CTV News has learned, as the Conservative government considers alternative aircraft.

A report commissioned by the government, which will be released next week, will kick off a review of the entire jet fighter procurement process and the need to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 jets.

The report examined the cost of buying, maintaining and operating 65 F-35 jets over a period of 36 years. The soaring price tag has prompted officials to consider purchasing less expensive war aircraft. Options to be examined by an independent panel include the U.S.-made Super Hornet and Swedish-made Gripen, sources say.


The Conservatives’ plan to purchase the F-35 jets has been mired in controversy since a scathing auditor general's report accused both National Defence and Public Works of hiding the true cost of the project.

Ottawa said the program would cost between $14.7 billion and $16 billion, but auditor general Michael Ferguson and Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page disputed those figures.
Ferguson accused the Defence Department of low-balling the estimate by not including operating expenses, and said it would actually cost more than $25 billion, but government officials denied trying to hide anything.

Page had estimated it would cost $29.3 billion to purchase and maintain the jets.
Now, it looks like the cost would exceed both of those estimates.

Alan Williams, a former senior procurement officer with the federal government, said the price of the “complex” jet program has been going up since Ottawa initiated the procurement process.
“We ought to wait until the development is done and the platform is operational,” he told CTV’s Power Play Thursday.

“But we dipped our toes into the water much too early in the program, without knowing the cost or the capability. And that’s why we’re saddled with this situation today.”

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said the government is committed to being transparent on the issue and following the recommendations of the auditor general’s report in April. She said the report on F-35 costs will be made public soon.

“We want to make sure that we get this right and we’re taking it really seriously,” she told Power Play.
However, NDP defence critic Jack Harris said the “sticker shock is going to make people say this is not something that’s affordable.”


http://www.ctvnews.c...8#ixzz2EOtp4lVA








Appropriateness of F-35 for Canada questioned

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OTTAWA – Cost uncertainty is central as questions mount as to whether the Canadian government will move ahead with its plan to purchase a fleet of F-35 jets, but some say this was never the right plane for Canada to begin with.

Steven Staples, president of the Rideau Institute, an Ottawa consultancy dealing in matters of defence and foreign affairs, took to Parliament Hill Friday to say the F-35 is just a “model plane” that is not well suited to Canada’s needs.

“We’ve had a number of concerns about the aircraft on cost and performance going back to 2010, and those concerns have not changed in the last few years,” Staples said. “Largely, what we’re seeing with the F-35 (is) it’s a model airplane. It’s not fully completed yet. They’re still piecing this aircraft together.”

Staples said the process for finding jets to replace the aging fleet of CF-18s should involve a “fly-off with real airplanes” to test the equipment before committing to purchase.

He added that with $2.5 billion worth of upgrades to the CF-18s in recent years, they can still be used for “many years to come,” and there is “no hurry” to find a replacement.

He said several “flaws” have emerged as the F-35s get developed, such as complications in being able to give pilots a 360-degree view, which has been a much-heralded feature of these jets.

What’s more, he said F-35s are not the type of plane best suited to Canada’s needs.

“The (F-35) was designed to meet a number of requirements within the U.S., to be able to deliver ordinance and missiles and bombs in the first few hours of an invasion,” Staples said. “That’s why it has the stealth capability in a type of shock-and-awe-type mission.

“I don’t think this is appropriate for what Canada needs for our own continental security, which should be the main focus of the Air Force and its replacement of the CF-18s, and not a kind of first-wave, attack stealth fighter like the F-35 is being billed to be.”

Looking at the 30-year history of the CF-18s, Staples said most of their usage has been in North America, and overseas deployment “is not a very high demand for our aircraft.”

He added: “What are the legitimate threats to Canada right now? Well, they’re not nuclear-armed Russian bombers flying over the Arctic, like the concern was when we bought the CF-18s originally.

“As we know, terrorists are hijacking planes and flying them into buildings. There’s certainly a threat on that; incidents like we had on 9/11 and future possibilities where we have big events, like the Olympics or something like that.

“So we need those kinds of aircrafts that can interdict and protect Canadian cities. You don’t need a stealth fighter to be able to do that. Obviously, you need something that works in the Arctic and the harsh conditions that are there.”

Staples said a clear assessment of Canada’s military needs was a “key step that was missed” in the process that led to the F-35 becoming a favoured aircraft.

Asked by a reporter if there are any other jets that would be more suitable for Canada, Staples did not name any manufacturers or models specifically, but said there are “lots of other planes that other countries are looking at in terms of replacing similar aircrafts to the F-18s. . . . So I think there’s a number of European potential platforms, even American ones, that could offer very competitive proposals to Canada.”

Patrick Gagnon, an Ottawa lobbyist with the Parliamentary Group, who has experience dealing with matters of military procurement, argued that the F-35 isn’t necessarily wrong for Canada, but an open competition – which has not happened – is one way to find out.

“Maybe in the final analysis, if we have a full-blown competition, (the F-35) might come up as the best solution for Canada,” said Gagnon, who added he hasn’t done any work relating to this aircraft.

He noted that Canada is one of a handful of countries that had been working with U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. on the development of F-35s, and all are facing tough choices as expected costs rise on this jet.

Gagnon added that the U.S. is the principle player in this program and its needs are the priority in the F-35’s design.

That said, he added that Canada’s interests are closely aligned with its southern neighbour and it’s a good idea for the two countries to co-operate on a major military purchase like this.

“We’re talking about the whole North American perimeter (as a focus of security) and everything has to work within a Canadian-U.S. context, so obviously any vehicle you choose has to jive with the Americans too,” he said.


http://www.globalnews.ca/f-35s/6442768197/story.html




Tories misled Canadians on F-35, opposition MPs charge

Interim Liberal Leader says Defence Minister Peter MacKay should step down

The government has consistently misled Canadians and is continuing to hide the true cost of the F-35 fighter jets being considered to replace the military's aging CF-18s, opposition MPs charged Friday.

"I don't see how the minister of defence [Peter MacKay] can possibly continue in his job," interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said.

"He's basically been a sales spokesperson for Lockheed Martin, the manufacturers of the F-35 since he took office. He's denigrated and attacked every person in opposition, in the Liberal Party or elsewhere, who has ever raised concerns or questions about this."

The Conservative government says it has not made a decision on the F-35 as a replacement for Canada's CF-18 fighter jets, but it now appears to concede that alternative fighter purchase options will be considered.

The Prime Minister's Office denied a media report Thursday that the F-35 purchase was dead, calling the report "inaccurate on a number of fronts" and promising to update the House of Commons on its seven-point plan to replace the jets before the House rises for the Christmas break at the end of next week.

That plan is now expected to follow through with a real competition and statement of requirements, something that the initial process lacked. Depending on the result of the competition, Canada could follow through with the F-35 purchase, choose another aircraft instead, or buy different planes to suit different needs. A frequently mentioned alternative to the F-35 is the Boeing Super Hornet, a new version of the F-18.

A spokesman for MacKay said he is not resigning and echoed a statement by Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose from the night before.

"Rae's comments are puzzling. Despite speculation the government hasn't announced anything. Our government is continuing to move forward with our seven-point plan. The government will be providing a comprehensive public update before the House rises," Jay Paxton said.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Twitter that MacKay would not be resigning.
"Not going to happen," Andrew MacDougall tweeted to a Liberal staffer. "Full confidence in [Peter MacKay]."
'Completely and totally untrue'

Speaking in Toronto, Rae said all of what the government has said "has been shown to be completely and totally untrue."

"The government has consistently misled Canadians about the true cost of this aircraft. They've misled Canadians about their degree of oversight and their readiness to deal with the situation," he said.

After Auditor General Michael Ferguson questioned the military's figures last April, the Harper government promised to "hit the reset button" on the entire purchase. An "options analysis" would consider the alternative fighter jets that may meet the military's needs.

Part of that process for replacing the aircraft is an audit of the F-35's costs by accounting firm KPMG. The government said Thursday it now has the report and is reviewing it.

CBC News has learned the KPMG report is based on a longer and more realistic life cycle for the next-generation stealth fighter, which would therefore also arrive with a higher price tag than previously reported. The actual cost could be as high as $40 billion.

The cost of the F-35 project was first pegged at $9 billion for 65 planes when it was announced by the government more than two years ago, but a report by the parliamentary budget officer put it at $29.3 billion over 30 years. The federal auditor general put the total cost to buy and maintain the planes at $25 billion.

Public Works took over the process for procuring a CF-18 replacement earlier this year, extending the original deadlines for its work "to get it right."
Conservative MPs defend MacKay

Opposition MPs devoted much of Friday's question period to questions about the F-35, with the Liberals focusing on whether MacKay will step down.

MacKay was in the House of Commons but didn't stand to take any questions, allowing Government House Leader Peter Van Loan and Ambrose's parliamentary secretary, Jacques Gourde, to respond instead.

MacKay paused briefly on his way out of the House to say there had been a lot of speculation over the past 24 hours.

"What I can tell you is we're following the seven-point plan as we have been now for some months and into next week there will be an open and transparent discussion about the next steps that are going to follow in the CF-18 replacement," MacKay said.

MacKay didn't answer when asked whether the cost would be $40 billion.

NDP defence critic Jack Harris said Prime Minister Stephen Harper should take responsibility for having appointed MacKay as minister and for the process to select new fighter jets.
'Process is in a shambles'

"The whole process is in a shambles, quite frankly," Harris told reporters outside the House.
"This is not good enough. We've got enough misleading information out there in front of the public.... They didn't do their due diligence, they didn't have an open, fair and transparent process.
"They've demonstrated their incompetence in a $40-billion-plus contract."

Harris also pointed to the long-running Conservative attacks on anyone who questioned their cost estimate of the F-35, including that of Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, whose projected cost was confirmed by Ferguson's report.

A statement from Ambrose's office on Thursday said the government will provide "a comprehensive public update" before the House rises.

"We are committed to completing the seven point plan and moving forward with our comprehensive, transparent approach to replacing Canada's aging CF-18 aircraft," the statement said.
The government has long maintained the F-35 was the only plane that met Canada's needs. But last week, Gen. Tom Lawson, chief of the defence staff, told MPs there are other planes with stealth capabilities.

A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin referred questions to the Department of National Defence.
"Lockheed Martin has been a partner with the Canadian Forces for more than 50 years. We continue to look forward to supporting the Canadian government as they work to provide their air force fifth-generation capability for their future security needs," the spokesperson said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/12/06/poli-f35-pmo-government-fighter-jets.html


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#2 inane

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

Total and utter waste of money.
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#3 TOMapleLaughs

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Nevertheless, the CF-18's are falling apart. However we upgrade will be ultra-expensive.

Lying about the cost is the real problem though. (Um, we're going to find out.)
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#4 elvis15

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Another example of overkill and overspending likely initiated by a misguided need to support the US in all things and make lobbyists happy. The Super Hornet is mentioned as a suitable replacement to our own CF-18s and the US has already started to put them in place to take over for their aging F-14s. I even question the need for any significant number of advanced fighters when then money would be better spent for improved search and rescue vehicles or the Coast Guard and of course even outside of the military.
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#5 key2thecup

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:01 PM

Another example of overkill and overspending likely initiated by a misguided need to support the US in all things and make lobbyists happy. The Super Hornet is mentioned as a suitable replacement to our own CF-18s and the US has already started to put them in place to take over for their aging F-14s. I even question the need for any significant number of advanced fighters when then money would be better spent for improved search and rescue vehicles or the Coast Guard and of course even outside of the military.


Exactly, and lets be logical here, if Canada was ever attacked by a foreign nation on our own soil (highly unlikely), the USA would immediately come to our assistance. We share the largest unfortified border on this planet. We are close allies with one of the most (if not most) powerful military force in the world.
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#6 Special Ed

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

How about train Canada geese to fly to targets and strap explosives on them. How much would that cost? :P
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#7 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

IF Canada was going to war...it'll be over the Northwest passage in the Artic region. Don't know if the F-35 are good enough for that though.

I'd be perfectly happy with the Super Hornets to replace the aging CF-18s. But they really need to start replacing the Sea Kings asap.
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#8 Electro Rock

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

*All* of the options are expensive when you consider total lifetime costs.

Consider that the CF-18 program has run us about $20 billion so far, with 7 years left to go, and that's for a fighter fleet that we partially mothballed, cut back on flight hours and didn't upgrade for a long time...

Some of the alternative contending aircraft might come out cheaper on paper, but being less advanced they may well need to replaced with another new design a lot sooner.


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#9 key2thecup

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:48 PM

Don't know if the F-35 are good enough for that though.



F-35s face communication problems in Arctic

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...on-problem.html


Yup they are not proven in the arctic, and would literally not be able to communicate in the Canadian North until estimated 2019 IF the software passes (not certain yet)


F35 is one of the most expensive waste of money in military research history



The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia

The U.S. will ultimately spend $1 trillion for these fighter planes. Where's the outrage over Washington's culture of waste?

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/03/the-f-35-a-weapon-that-costs-more-than-australia/72454/


Edited by key2thecup, 07 December 2012 - 03:53 PM.

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#10 ronthecivil

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

We shall see if it makes it through the US budget talks let alone our own.

It would be nice if Canada could somehow find a nice middle ground between buying outdated falling apart subs and way overpriced not even fully developed concept planes.

I am pretty confident that someone, somewhere is already building brand new high tech subs/planes/you name it and that we could get a much better value product than our crappy track record.
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#11 Electro Rock

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

The CF-18 wasn't full developed when we bought them in 1982, a year before the U.S. put that design into service.

The problem right now is that we're limited to the choice of either buying designs like the "Eurocanards" or Stop-Gap Hornet and having them become outdated in maybe 10 years of service, or buying the F-35 with all its cost and other issues.

There won't be another new Western fighter design available until the mid 2020s at the earliest.
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#12 Coda

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:13 PM

Another example of overkill and overspending likely initiated by a misguided need to support the US in all things and make lobbyists happy. The Super Hornet is mentioned as a suitable replacement to our own CF-18s and the US has already started to put them in place to take over for their aging F-14s. I even question the need for any significant number of advanced fighters when then money would be better spent for improved search and rescue vehicles or the Coast Guard and of course even outside of the military.


That replacement has long been complete: the F-14 was retired by the US Navy in 2006.

The F-35 certainly seems like an albatross and a lemon tossed together. However the alternatives are not very appealing. Purchasing Superhornets now, perhaps fully operational by 2020, would mean that Canada would be introducing a 25 year old improvement on a 42 year old prototype.

That said, it may be the most sensible option.

Edited by Coda, 07 December 2012 - 06:21 PM.

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#13 Coda

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

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#14 Lancaster

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

An updated version of the Avro Arrow now suddenly seems like a viable option, lol.

Exactly, and lets be logical here, if Canada was ever attacked by a foreign nation on our own soil (highly unlikely), the USA would immediately come to our assistance. We share the largest unfortified border on this planet. We are close allies with one of the most (if not most) powerful military force in the world.


It's fine that the Americans will have our backs but you still gotta fight your own fights. Being a sovereign nation requires you to have the ability to protect your own borders (micro-nations excluded). If we want the US to just take over everything, we'd might as well just join the US.



As for the F35's.... suddenly the crazy idea of reintroducing a modern Avro Arrow doesn't seem so crazy now, lol.
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#15 canuckster19

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:41 PM

That replacement has long been complete: the F-14 was retired by the US Navy in 2006.

The F-35 certainly seems like an albatross and a lemon tossed together. However the alternatives are not very appealing. Purchasing Superhornets now, perhaps fully operational by 2020, would mean that Canada would be introducing a 25 year old improvement on a 42 year old prototype.

That said, it may be the most sensible option.


They are the better choice over the Gripen since it has terrible range and is mired in it's own share of controversies in the Swedish government right now

Edited by canuckster19, 07 December 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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#16 Wetcoaster

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:45 PM

The Conservatives are putting together a panel to consider all options for replacing the the aging CF-18 fighter jets. Included on the panel is University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé, an outspoken critic of the F-35 jet procurement process.


Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Ottawa will explain itself next week on what it is doing to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fighters. “There’s been a lot of speculation over the last 24 hours … next week there’ll be an open and transparent discussion about the next steps that are going to follow in the CF-18 replacement,” the Defence Minister told reporters.

Guess we should never have killed off the Avro Arrow, eh?


The Harper government is going shopping for alternatives to the controversial F-35 Lightning fighter jet in the most significant demonstration yet that it is prepared to walk away from its first choice for a new warplane.


In an attempt to head off public skepticism that Ottawa’s “options analysis” is something less than a rigorous rethink of which jet is best, the government is enlisting four independent monitors to vet the process.


They will include retired Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, who led the NATO mission in Libya, and University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé, an outspoken critic of the jet procurement.


The Conservatives, who have been heavily criticized for selecting the F-35 without due regard for price and availability, are launching this effort to repair their credibility as stewards of public money by releasing new estimates that indicate the full lifetime costs of the F-35s have surpassed all previous forecasts and now exceed $40-billion.


The Conservatives announced in July, 2010, they had decided to buy the F-35 without any competition, and for more than a year and a half, described the jet purchase as a $9-billion acquisition. But in April, 2012, Auditor-General John Ferguson revealed it would cost $25-billion for the first 20 years alone.


To demonstrate that they are restarting the procurement process from scratch, Canadian officials will collect information from other plane manufacturers, including U.S.-based Boeing, maker of the Super-Hornet, and the consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon. They may also contact Sweden’s Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen, and France’s Dassault, maker of the Rafale.


Next week, the government will start this process by releasing National Defence’s updated cost estimates for buying 65 F-35 fighters, and an independent review by KPMG of the forecast price for keeping the jets flying for their full lifespan. The planes are expected to last 36 years, and they should be costed as such, the Auditor-General suggested in his April report.


Sources say the full price of ownership for the F-35 would add up to more than $40-billion when all costs, including fuel and upgrades, are included – or more than $1-billion a year over the F-35s’ lifespan.


This price, however, will not include the cost of extra planes to be bought for spare parts. The Auditor-General suggested in April that Canada would need 14 extra F-35s over 36 years, but sources say Ottawa believes it will more likely require only seven to 10 extra planes.


The government aims to complete this reappraisal of what the fighter aircraft market can offer Canada as expeditiously as possible in 2013. The government is requesting answers to questions, including: what kind of plane does Canada need? How long can Ottawa keep its aging CF-18s keep flying? Which jet makers can meet Canada’s budget and requirements in a timely fashion? Do other jets need to be purchased as a stop-gap? Is the best plane still the F-35?


The terms of reference for this options analysis, which will also be released next week, say Ottawa will “review and assess fighter aircraft currently in production and scheduled for production.” This will include the F-35.


The process will be vetted on a regular basis by the panel, which will also include former Communications Security Establishment chief Keith Coulter and former federal comptroller-general Rod Monette.


Government sources say Ottawa has not decided whether to call for competitive bids to supply a plane and will await the results of the options analysis.


It is apparent the Conservatives have little appetite for making a decision on a warplane right now – during a period of restraint when program spending is being cut – and government sources say the Tories could wait until after the next election, expected in 2015, before committing to a jet.


Separately, on Monday night, the Harper government poured cold water on a media report that a cabinet committee has quietly decided against buying the F-35. “Cabinet has not taken a decision on the F-35,” Andrew MacDougall, director of communications for the Prime Minister said. The story is “inaccurate on a number of points,” he said.


Canada has signed no contract to buy F-35s, and while it has signalled to Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, that it wants 65, it has no obligation to buy them. It did sign a memorandum of understanding in 2006 that set the terms by which a country would buy the aircraft and also enabled domestic companies to compete for supply contracts for the plane.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-seek-alternatives-to-f-35-jet-as-cost-soars-to-more-than-40-billion/article6064818/
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#17 key2thecup

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

It's fine that the Americans will have our backs but you still gotta fight your own fights. Being a sovereign nation requires you to have the ability to protect your own borders (micro-nations excluded). If we want the US to just take over everything, we'd might as well just join the US.


I agree we should be able to defend ourselves here and not completely rely on the States. However the Cold War is over and has been for years.

Having the US as a solid ally is hardly handing our country over. No country is going to invade here,

We are the world's largest trading partners, share the world's longest border, 90% of our population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border & and we arguably have the closest friendship between two nations on this planet.

If any foreign army,navy,air force sent hostile forces to invade here you better damn well bet the Yankees will be coming on over.

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#18 Pouria

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:53 AM

Why can't Canada just build their own fighter jets. I mean Iran makes cars and jet fighters and they even export their cars to countries like India and Venezuela. Canada should start becoming more self sufficient instead of just relying on US to make them everything.
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#19 Tearloch7

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:59 AM

Why can't Canada just build their own fighter jets. I mean Iran makes cars and jet fighters and they even export their cars to countries like India and Venezuela. Canada should start becoming more self sufficient instead of just relying on US to make them everything.


We don't ever want to appear a threat to them, unless we mean it .. I think that is why ..
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#20 Wetcoaster

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:20 AM

Why can't Canada just build their own fighter jets. I mean Iran makes cars and jet fighters and they even export their cars to countries like India and Venezuela. Canada should start becoming more self sufficient instead of just relying on US to make them everything.

I take it you are not aware of the story of the Avro Arrow and that when that project was shutdown, many of our top engineers and scientists ended up working in the US in the aeronautics and space industry. A blow from which we never recovered.

Canada's greatest aeronautical achievement was the CF-105 jet fighter, and the subsequent cancellation of the project in 1959 still remains a story of political intrigue and controversy.

The CF-105, or Avro Arrow as it was known, was a supersonic jet interceptor developed by A.V. Roe of Canada. Faster and more advanced than any other comparable aircraft, the Arrow was designed to carry air-to-air nuclear-tipped missiles to destroy Soviet bomb attacks over the Canadian North.

But the costs of development kept mounting - the original production estimate of $2 million per aircraft rose to $12 million. At the same time, demand for the interceptors fell as the world entered the age of the long-range missiles.

Prime Minister Diefenbaker was under pressure from the US to join their defence plan by acquiring the American Bomarc missiles. Faced with the skyrocketing costs, and the inability to sell the Arrow to Europe or the US, Diefenbaker cancelled the project on February 20,1959. An angry A.V. Roe immediately fired his 14,000 employees, and the government ordered all plans and prototypes destroyed.

Cancelling the Arrow made good economic sense, but the effects were felt throughout Canada. Most of the scientists and engineers involved in the project moved to the US, and Canadians bemoaned the devastation of the Canadian aircraft industry.

https://www.historica-dominion.ca/content/heritage-minutes/avro-arrow

And they were integral to the US space program.


Canada's biggest pool of engineering talent was assembled at Avro Canada in Malton, Ontario, to build the CF-105 Avro Arrow, then the most advanced supersonic fighter aircraft ever built. The group that designed and built the Arrow was broken up on February 20, 1959, when the government of Canada abruptly cancelled the Arrow project.


A select group of those brilliant engineers went to work for the U.S. space program, where they helped form the core of the brilliant team that took America to the moon. Now for the first time, their story will be told in Arrows to the Moon, which is now being written.


Here is the story of some of the 32 Avro engineers of Canadian and British origin who moved to the United States and went to work for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Jim Chamberlin, who was the chief of technical design for the Arrow, went to NASA where he helped run the Mercury project, which sent the first Americans into space. Chamberlin then designed the Gemini spacecraft, which propelled the U.S. ahead of the Soviet Union in the space race of the 1960s. Chamberlin's bold proposal for Gemini stirred up a fierce technical debate that ended with the crucial decision that paved the way for Apollo's landing on the moon in 1969.


Owen Maynard came from Avro to NASA where he helped design the Lunar Module and later became chief engineer for Apollo. The sequence of missions drawn up by Maynard helped guide Apollo astronauts closer to their goal of a landing on the moon.


John Hodge was one of the original flight directors at Mission Control, along with Chris Kraft and Gene Kranz of Apollo 13 fame. Hodge returned to NASA in the 1980s to launch the Space Station program. Along with other Avro engineers such as Dennis Fielder, Tec Roberts and Fred Matthews, Hodge helped build Mission Control and the network of tracking stations that guided Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.


Bruce Aikenhead returned to Canada after three years of training astronauts at NASA, and he became one of the pioneers of the Canadian space program. He worked on Gerry Bull¹s controversial cannon launcher, on Canadian satellites, the Canadarm and finally the Canadian Astronaut Program.

http://www.avro-arrow.org/Arrow/employees.html

When your entire industry has been gutted and the key employees leave the country, pretty tough to recover.
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#21 Electro Rock

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Total operational costs are the biggie.

For 65 fighters it'll run us about $1 billion per year, whether its the current CF-18 fleet, the F-35 or any of the other possible contenders aside from the Gripen, which was designed to be cheap to operate.

What I find disingenuous is the attempt to induce sticker shock on the public by quoting 42 year service costs, when there's no way the F-35 or any other current fighter design will be in other than maybe 3rd world service by then.

Expecting a current fighter design to remain useful for as long as the last 2 generations of fightets have is extremely unrealistic, given all the game changing technological advances that are either apon us or just around the corner.

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#22 Electro Rock

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

Total operational costs are the biggie.

For 65 fighters it'll run us about $1 billion per year, whether its the current CF-18 fleet, the F-35 or any of the other possible contenders aside from the Gripen, which was designed to be cheap to operate.

What I find disingenuous is the attempt to induce sticker shock on the public by quoting 42 year service costs, when there's no way the F-35 or any other current fighter design will be in other than maybe 3rd world service by then.

Expecting a current fighter design to remain useful for as long as the last 2 generations of fightets have is extremely unrealistic, given all the game changing technological advances that are either apon us or just around the corner.

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#23 MoneypuckOverlord

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

I am ok with the Canadian goverment, maintaining a modern milatery. That being said, we didn't need to buy that much. Utter waste of money like some of you said. Maybe 20 or 30, but no 90 of em. Way too much. There's more important stuff we could spend that money on.
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#24 Electro Rock

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:26 PM

I am ok with the Canadian goverment, maintaining a modern milatery. That being said, we didn't need to buy that much. Utter waste of money like some of you said. Maybe 20 or 30, but no 90 of em. Way too much. There's more important stuff we could spend that money on.


Its 65, and considering we're the 3rd largest country in the world, and that besides some very limited sea and land forces, we won't have anything else, its not a lot.

As far as money goes, if we didn't have to squander so much on Quebec we could afford a buy like this, upfront in cash *every few years*.

A lot of money is wasted on the Natives too, with no real benefit.
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#25 Pouria

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

Its 65, and considering we're the 3rd largest country in the world, and that besides some very limited sea and land forces, we won't have anything else, its not a lot.

As far as money goes, if we didn't have to squander so much on Quebec we could afford a buy like this, upfront in cash *every few years*.

A lot of money is wasted on the Natives too, with no real benefit.


We took their land so thats the least we could do for them. Instead of wasting billions on Jet fighters, they should be spending it on research and building facilities to make jet fighters and other military weapons. Too bad they spend it on overpriced American toys that boosts the American economy. We should be investing more on our own military R&D.
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#26 Mountain Man

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

We took their land so thats the least we could do for them. Instead of wasting billions on Jet fighters, they should be spending it on research and building facilities to make jet fighters and other military weapons. Too bad they spend it on overpriced American toys that boosts the American economy. We should be investing more on our own military R&D.


Please go on since you are so informed. How many billions would it cost for all of that infrastructure and decades to get something that is than, 20 years behind upgrading? What so many people fail to realize is that military procurement is long term and transitional. Buying something over 10 years for roll out over 15 is hard to fathom this generation. That's why its so critical to be able to manipulate the current equipment for the changing role and technology. Check out what Canada and the USA have done with the Chinook, keep the same mechanical parts and rip out the old equipment and replace(very hard to do in a fighter jet)

That being said, all the money being spent on R&D to come up with the exact same thing that is currently in production with good track records in other NATO countries is counter productive. Most people have no understanding of the role in which the forces uses mid range fighters, they only see the price tag. Yet they have no clue how much is spent every single day on the current CF-18. One Million dollars is spent each day having one in the air(that factors in all ground and air crew, training, and facilities utilized).

The best thing we can do is open up the contract and see what comes our way, personally I think given the relationship with Lockheed Martin and Canadair for the CF-116(although not the best for for the needs of the time) Canada has strong long term relationships with successful contractors. As was done with the CF-116, Canada should opt to buy the rights to produce the planes in Canada in existing places set up to do just that. Its much more cost effective to buy into a plan like that than waste a decade with multiple governments bureaucracy and red tap stopping it ever happen.

Lastly keep in mind that since Canada is part of NATO, cross training between nations is continuously happening with jets. Buying into a project not used by any of the other NATO nations makes no sense
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#27 key2thecup

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:08 PM

F35 will be the only available 5th gen fighter to us, F22 still can't be sold foreign. If we choose any other fighter available, they would be old 4th gen.

So after sleeping on it a few nights, it is a conundrum, even if we save some $ buying the 4th gen, within a decade we would be spending money upgrading them...

The problem lies with how to squeeze 65 F35's into the military budget.


Sources familiar with the decision say. “Can you imagine now taking an additional $23 billion out of the defence budget over the next 30 years?” asked one. “You would simply have an air force. That would be the Canadian military. You would have nothing else.”

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/07/michael-den-tandt-f-35s-werent-killed-before-now-because-of-u-s-election/


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#28 Lockout Casualty

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

F35 will be the only available 5th gen fighter to us, F22 still can't be sold foreign. If we choose any other fighter available, they would be old 4th gen.

So after sleeping on it a few nights, it is a conundrum, even if we save some $ buying the 4th gen, within a decade we would be spending money upgrading them...

The problem lies with how to squeeze 65 F35's into the military budget.


There is more to it than choosing the latest fighter for the maximum duration. Drone technology is advancing at such a pace that half-way through F-35 lifespan human pilots will be outdated themselves, not to say anything about the over-sized hunks of metal they fly.

Of course, the focus on latest and greatest begs the question why we need it at all. Canada isn't going to engage Russia over the Arctic, as it would be a severely futile engagement. That leaves Canada's F-35s to patrol for invading Norwegian and Danish forces.

Canada is the safest country in the world. We are surrounded by oceans on three sides and the biggest power in the world on the fourth. Why do we need the latest multi-role fighter to patrol our arctic skies?

An interesting watch: http://www.cbc.ca/fi...ay-fighter.html
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#29 key2thecup

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

There is more to it than choosing the latest fighter for the maximum duration. Drone technology is advancing at such a pace that half-way through F-35 lifespan human pilots will be outdated themselves, not to say anything about the over-sized hunks of metal they fly.

Of course, the focus on latest and greatest begs the question why we need it at all. Canada isn't going to engage Russia over the Arctic, as it would be a severely futile engagement. That leaves Canada's F-35s to patrol for invading Norwegian and Danish forces.

Canada is the safest country in the world. We are surrounded by oceans on three sides and the biggest power in the world on the fourth. Why do we need the latest multi-role fighter to patrol our arctic skies?

An interesting watch: http://www.cbc.ca/fi...ay-fighter.html



Yea I said that before too, we are not going to WW3 anytime soon, unless the West decides to start it.

The Russians have been relatively friendly since the '91 collapse of the Soviet Union.
China is shaping into one of our biggest trading partners and immigrant suppliers.
North Korea doesn't have the capacity to feed itself let alone launch a full-scale invasion.

So who is left in the world that is a military threat to us?

& Russia won't be going hostile over the Arctic, everything will be done by the books most likely in the UN.

As for drones, yea they are improving greatly but still can't replace a human controlled fighter/attack jet.

Edited by key2thecup, 09 December 2012 - 12:43 PM.

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#30 Lockout Casualty

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Yea I said that before too, we are not going to WW3 anytime soon, unless the West decides to start it.

The Russians have been relatively friendly since the '91 collapse of the Soviet Union.
China is shaping into one of our biggest trading partners and immigrant suppliers.
North Korea doesn't have the capacity to feed itself let alone launch a full-scale invasion.

So who is left in the world that is a military threat to us?

& Russia won't be going hostile over the Arctic, everything will be done by the books most likely in the UN.

As for drones, yea they are improving greatly but still can't replace a human controlled fighter/attack jet.


Iran? Heh heh

There's a drone already undergoing Carrier evaluations. Maybe they can't replace humans today, but then they've got time to mature.
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