What’s Canada Buying? December 13, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) First off, PWGSC Info-machine’s news release and links to all the reports, as well as a link here to all the reports in one honkin’ (134 pages total) PDF file in case the other links don’t work.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) “Canada said on Wednesday it would restart its search for new fighter jets and could still choose Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35, which in 2010 Ottawa said it would buy before backtracking as cost estimates soared. Government sources said the main contenders for fighter jets were the F-35s, Boeing Co’s F-18 Super Hornet and the EADS Eurofighter. Officials said Ottawa was considering ways of extending the service life of the existing CF-18 fleet in the mean time.”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) “Key questions remained Wednesday over the Conservative government’s promise to consider all available options to replace Canada’s aging jet fighters after an explosive new report put the full cost of buying, owning, replacing and disposing of 65 F-35 stealth aircraft at almost $46 billion. But it’s not known whether the government is really prepared to walk away from the F-35 if a better alternative is found. Conservative ministers noted the new Department of National Defence report still put the actual purchase price for the F-35s within its $9-billion budget. The remaining $36 billion is for development, maintenance, operating costs and disposal when the aircraft reach the end of their usefulness, expected around 2052. The government also said it is too early to determine whether an open competition between the F-35 and its rivals is a viable way to determine the best fighter for Canada at the best price. The government had initially planned to sole-source the contract. Rather, the government says it has restarted the entire procurement process by ordering the defence department to re-assess what missions Canada’s next aircraft will be required to fly, what threats it will face and what technology and capabilities are available to Canada ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (4) “…. At a press conference Wednesday, Minister of Public Works Rona Ambrose said, “The next step is a full review of options. We have hit the reset button and are taking the time to do a complete assessment of all available options.” A panel of independent reviewers to oversee the evaluation process to replace the older planes was announced Wednesday. Members will include Keith Coulter, Philippe LaGassé of the University of Ottawa, public policy expert James Mitchell and Rod Monette, a former comptroller general of Canada ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (5a) Timeline of a lack-of-information process
- F-35 Tug o’ War (5bx) Another timeline: how many planes were being eyed, by year
- F-35 Tug o’ War (6) Industry OK with latest decision
- F-35 Tug o’ War (7) ceasefire.ca STILL doesn’t want the F-35
- F-35 Tug o’ War (8) Interesting point from this columnist: “…. While the Auditor General was clear that ministers were often kept in the dark by the bureaucrats and uniforms, our Westminster system of government means ministers ultimately bear responsibility. The theory is that if they didn’t know what was going on, they should have. Peter MacKay, the Defence Minister, has said he was not involved in the file after Julian Fantino took over the procurement file after the 2011 election. But fairly or not, he is carrying the can for the whole file. He explained why he became such an advocate of the F-35 at the press conference Wednesday: “I feel passionately about my obligation to ensure the Canadian Forces have the best equipment to ensure mission success – they assume unlimited liability.” This passion seems to have blunted his political antenna about the sharp practice that clearly operated in National Defence. As the government takes on water over this file, as it will do, it is hard to see how Mr. MacKay can continue in his post ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (9) I’ve given you the barest highlights – more on what’s going on here (Google News) or here (European Commission news aggregator)
- Way Up North “…. The purpose of the contract is to develop a remotely controlled, semi-autonomous, maritime surveillance system for employment at a remote site in the Arctic. The produced system will be used by Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC) as a capability demonstration system ….” – also here if link doesn’t work.
- Wanted: Canadian companies aching for government money to do research to help the CF – more here.
- Wanted: someone to freshen up, teach the “SOW Development for the Life Cycle Materiel Managers (LCMMs) and Technical Authorities (TAs) course”
- Wanted: a (new?) rappel tower for Sydney, Nova Scotia for around $176,000