What’s Canada Buying? September 5, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) No word on whether the letters will be shared, so no word on what else may be in them. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have accepted the auditor general’s scathing criticism of the troubled F-35 program, but newly released documents show National Defence and Public Works had deep disagreements with Michael Ferguson’s findings. The final draft of the bombshell report, which accused the departments of hiding the true cost of the multibillion-dollar project and not doing their homework, was the subject of a flurry of letters and protests behind-the-scenes last winter. As is standard practice, the auditor general’s office shared its report ahead of time with National Defence and Public Works for their review before it was made public. Internal documents show top bureaucrats fired back. They didn’t dispute the facts, but disagreed with the auditor general’s conclusions and asked Ferguson to present a more balanced story ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Another former General pipes in “….I stayed in the Air Force and for 39 years, flew airplanes, had a hand in some aircraft selection, acquisition and management programs and after retirement worked as a marketing executive in the military and foreign military sales aviation business for a further 16 years. In all that time, I had nothing but respect and admiration for the honesty, objectivity and sensitivity to government and national policy preoccupations, which our professional military airmen possessed. Luckily, our military is clearly blessed still with these kinds of Canadians. Neither (the author of a previous letter to the editor) nor I is qualified to judge whether the F-35 is the only airplane on the horizon that will meet our future needs and expectations. The media, the accountants and bureaucrats are not qualified either. Only our professional airmen are, and their pedigrees in war and peace are without question. Clearly they know the decision to buy any aircraft or major program of national scope, depends also on how our national security policies generate the need and how much we are prepared to pay alongside other demands on the public purse. How much really would the F-35 program cost? The simple answer is a fly-away unit cost plus an initial package of spare bits and pieces, and that figure is not yet firm, because “economy of scale” unit costs will reduce as production steps up ….”
- Wanted: someone to develop web-based distance ed material for the Griffon’s avionics package “…. The Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement for the development of additional content to the existing CH146 Avionics Asynchronous Courseware package, an interactive web-based courseware program that was previously developed for the AVS course. Content should allow students to asynchronously develop knowledge and skills on all aspects of the Instruments portions of the CH146 QL5 Avionics Course ….”
- Mark Collins on the latest Big Honkin’ Ship developments: “Heaven help the government if it actually tried to save a bit of money, even though we insist government vessels be built in Canada ….” ….
- …. and on search and rescue not being privatized in Canada
- Remember the call for companies interested in building all sorts of heavy engineering equipment for the CF? The latest bid package update (Google Docs) provides more spec details, and defines exactly how “airmobile” they want the equipment.