What’s Canada Buying? October 2, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1a) No change in messaging from the Senate House Leader responding to a question: “…. As I reported before we broke for the summer, funding for the acquisition of the CF-18 replacement has been frozen until this due diligence is complete and conditions have been satisfied. Canada will not sign a contract to purchase new aircraft until all steps of our seven-point action plan are completed and development work is sufficiently advanced. KPMG has been hired to independently verify the cost of the F-35, and that report will be made public ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1b) Staying on message in the House of Commons, too.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) This from Aviation Week & Space Technology (via Mark Collins’ keen eye): “…. The F-35 ‘s problems could provide an opportunity to adjust military plans to the new capabilities and realities that have emerged since 2001. Instead of the smooth transition to the fifth-generation fighter force envisioned then, the turbulent, mixed-fleet 2020s could bring a reason to rethink. Some military leaders already say U.S. relies too much on stealth—a technology China is moving rapidly to match. There is nothing to say the U.S. must wait beyond 2030 for the next fighter , or to introduce competition for the F-35.”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) CBC online survey: “Should Canada drop the plan to buy F-35 jets and start over?”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (4) “A Former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence is weighing in on the latest F-35 controversy. Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn is denying a media report that the fighter jet recommendation was missing key information on competing aircraft. He also took aim at the media for the bones of contention surrounding the plane. “The media’s job, with no disrespect, and the oppositions job is to create controversy and I get that, I understand that,” remarked Hawn. “There has been a lot of misrepresentation…could have been communicated better, there’s no question about that.” Hawn says the F-35 program is still developing and he believes the cost is coming down. “I was part of the F-18 program when we bought that 30 plus years ago. You can take some of the headlines, literally, the headlines from 30 years ago – - you could take out F-18 – - you could plug in F-35 and it’s the same headline. You know there were challenges with the F-18, it was a development aircraft. So is the F-35. We overcame all of the challenges with the F-18; I think we will overcome all of the challenges with the F-35.” Hawn says the federal government won’t have to spend a penny on the “actual acquisition” of new fighter planes to replace the aging CF-18′s for a number of years ….”
- Remember those Radarsat satellites Canada’s so keen on getting into space to keep an eye on the Arctic and the seas? Canadian Space Agency President Steve MacLean on Oct. 1 said the Canadian government is on the verge of contracting with industry for the full-scale development of the three-satellite successor mission to Canada’s Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2 Earth observation spacecraft. At a press briefing (in Naples, Italy) during the 63rd International Astronautical Congress, MacLean said the Canadian government has never wavered from its commitment to the Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM), which was first made in 2005. But given the requirements of Canada’s budgeting process, he said, funding for the satellite-construction phase has not come as quickly as the principal industrial contractors — MDA Corp. of Richmond, British Columbia, and Cambridge, Ontario-based Com Dev — would have liked. Both companies’ stock is publicly traded, and both have been obliged to tell shareholders that if Canadian Space Agency funding for RCM is delayed beyond this fall, they will have to begin transferring staff to other projects, and perhaps to dismiss employees ….”
- Wanted: Someone to help military scientists improve IR detection technology “DRDC Valcartier works since 1998 in the development of new passive infrared sensing detectors or designs to improve the situational awareness of the Canadian Forces (CF), in particular new capabilities for the dismounted soldiers. The objective of this work is to validate the feasibility of new sensing concepts and integrate them into innovative surveillance systems that correspond to specific CF needs not entirely met by the current commercial systems (ex: being able to offer detectors with equivalent or better detection level but at lower fabrication cost, lower power consumption, less bulky, etc) ….” – more details here.