What’s Canada Buying? September 1, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) Analyst: CDS choice = F-35′s a go “…. Much attention has deservedly focused on Lawson’s support of the expensive and controversial F-35 program. In a somewhat surprising deviation from his normal approach, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has chosen to highlight, rather than hide, this contested program. If this choice signals one thing, it is probably that the government plans to stick with the F-35 program through thick and thin ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Analyst: CDS choice doesn’t necessarily mean F-35′s a go “…. there are good reasons to believe that General Lawson’s support of the F-35 was a secondary consideration at best. Since the tabling of the Auditor General’s report this past spring, the government has been adamant that a replacement for the CF-18s has not yet been chosen. Indeed, Conservative MPs and government officials have gone out of their way to stress this point recently. Of note, they have consistently repeated that the newly established National Fighter Procurement Secretariat (NFPS) will fulfil its mandate before a new fighter aircraft is selected. It is easy to scoff at these talking points and assume that the NFPS is all part of an elaborate ruse. The government’s not-so-gentle massaging of the truth about the F-35 from the summer of 2010 to early 2012 certainly lends credibility to this feeling. However, it could be that the Conservatives have maybe – just maybe – decided to be more cautious. There is a possibility, however implausible to jaded observers, that the government is actually looking at different options ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) “Two days ago, I asked Industry Canada for a year-on-year breakdown of how much Canadian industry had benefited from its involvement in the Joint Strike Fighter program, under which the F-35 fighter is being developed. I got an answer this morning. “There is no year-over-year breakdown available for contracts received by Canadian industry for the period from 1997-2006,” Industry Canada told me in an email. “During that time, there were no formal agreements in place between the F-35 prime contractors and Industry Canada requiring this type of reporting. Contracts are negotiated between the private firms involved and normally there is no requirement to divulge values publicly.” However, the email continued, “in a Department of National Defence press release, upon the signing of the Production Sustainment Follow-on Development Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) in December 2006, the value of contracts with Canadian companies was estimated at CDN$157 million.” ….”
- Big Honkin’ Ships (BHS) Worries about where the BHS’s may come from “Some Canadian shipbuilders are concerned a German design could be the leading contender to replace the navy’s aging sea support ships. Replenishment ships, like the Preserver and the Protecteur, help the Canadian navy stay at sea for long periods of time, but at 40 years old, they’ll soon need replacements. Sources have told the CBC that a German-designed ship called the Berlin class could win the $3-billion contract. Since the Second World War, Canada has designed and built its own warships. However, in recent years, the German industry has lobbied the Canadian government to supply designs for frigates, destroyers and new submarines. Peter Cairns, president of the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, said buying an existing foreign design means the Canadian industry loses out. “You can get vessels off the shelf cheaper,” he said. “[There's] no Canadian input with the exception of the odd piece of pipe.” Cairns said he’s concerned the sea support ship contract could signal the demise of a decades-old Canadian design industry ….”
- Analyst: What Canada SHOULD Be Buying “…. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with armed drones or the idea of Canada equipping its armed forces with such weapons systems. If they are managed wisely — and if the doctrine governing their use includes clear and effective safeguards — drones may be an important addition to Canada’s arsenal, not to mention a means of patrolling our coastlines and coastal seas. Without such safeguards, however, the costs of acquiring armed drones will be much more than financial.”
- Wanted: someone to do even MORE environmental clean-up work at CFB Goose Bay – more on recent contracts being sought to work on Goose Bay here.