What’s Canada Buying? December 14, 2012
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1a) National Post columnist no longer mentioning Minister of Defence’s stepping down “…. there are no cheap options out there. If we accept we need the capability to police our own half of the continent, and contribute to overseas operations as part of a multi-national military alliance, then we should just suck it up and stop whining about the cost.”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1b) Speaking of costs, Aussie defence blogger Eric Palmer on “Canada still confused about acquisition costs for F-35”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1c) Another take on costs “You are being lied to about the cost of fighter jets, except the lying isn’t being done by the government. If you’ve paid attention to the news at all lately, you’ve heard about the “rising costs” of replacing Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets with the new F-35. Initial government costs to buy the plane came in at $9 billion, but this week headlines screamed about the cost being $46 billion. What a load of garbage. A report from auditing firm KPMG, commissioned by the government, said the full cost of the plane, from development through operating and on to decommissioning, was $45.8 billion. That estimate includes fuel, pilots and maintenance — all things that would need to be paid for regardless of which plane is purchased. It is a strange form of accounting that says we need to account for every shoelace and jug of windshield washer fluid that might come near the planes. Can you imagine what the cost of your car would be if you calculated its cost over decades, including estimates of every brake job, oil change and fill-up? ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) One anti-Harper columnist on why MacKay should be dumped from cabinet “…. The F-35 was an acquisition that broke all the rules of procurement. First, the decision to acquire the jets in 2006 was followed four years later by the Statement of Requirements, a process known in most places as ‘ass-backwards’. Second, by making this a sole-source contract, the government automatically added 20 per cent to the price, as experts like Alan Williams have repeatedly pointed out. Third, the fundamental rule in awarding mega contracts was broken here: never buy developmental aircraft. Put out requirements, get bidders to build prototypes, hold a competition and then, and only then, pick the winner. And never, ever go into production before testing ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (3) “In a short commentary produced by the CDA Institute, co-authors George Petrolekas and David Perry present a comparative analysis between the range of costing figures for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. They investigate the figures presented by the Department of National Defence, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Auditor General, and most recently the Next Generation Fighter Capability Annual Update reviewed by KPMG ….” – here’s their report (7 page PDF)
- F-35 Tug o’ War (4) The Liberals, who kicked off Canada’s involvement in the Joint Strike Fighter program in 1997, are making political hay “It’s not enough for the federal government to simply “reset” the process to find a replacement for Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets. Instead the entire system must be revamped and the government must learn from its mistakes, says Liberal Leader Bob Rae. Rae said a “genuine, open market competition” is the only way to truly ensure the procurement process is transparent and to make certain Canada gets the best deal on any aircraft – in terms of price, maintenance and others fees over the entire lifetime of the project ….” Hello? Does anyone get that the Liberals started this whole mess?
- F-35 Tug o’ War (5a) Meanwhile, one has to wonder how long this’ll continue…. “Magellan Aerospace announced today, it has completed the first F-35A Lightning II horizontal tail assembly at its Winnipeg manufacturing division. This achievement is a product of, and reflects investments made over a five year period, to develop state of the art facilities and processes necessary to perform the work. Magellan is under contract with BAE Systems to produce horizontal tail assemblies for the Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant of F-35 and is expected to produce more than 1,000 sets of the components for the program over a 20-year period ….” – more here and here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (5b) …. or this work? “A Lunenburg airplane parts manufacturer has landed another F-35 contract, a day after Ottawa said it will review the stealth fighter program. Composites Atlantic Ltd. announced a multimillion-dollar deal Thursday with United States defence contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. to fabricate parts for the Lightning II fighter jet. “We are honoured by the confidence that Northrop Grumman is putting into our capabilities and expertise,” Claude Baril, Composite Atlantic’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. No dollar amount was announced and Baril was out of the country. Other company officials couldn’t be reached for comment. The contract was signed Nov. 28 in Lunenburg, the release said. A business expert who follows the troubled F-35 program said it may be a coincidence that the agreement was announced two weeks later. Ottawa’s $9-billion plan to buy 65 new stealth fighters was put on hold Wednesday ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (6) Ceasefire.ca is now asking you to write letters to the editor sharing its messaging points. Wonder if one could write a letter SUPPORTING the F-35 using the ceasefire.ca online interface? Just askin’ ….
- “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced a funding commitment of approximately $2.8 million towards the replacement of the intrusion alarms and monitoring system at 14 Wing Greenwood ….”
- Remember the search for someone to run “(a) training course …. for “Home Made Explosive(s) and Improvised Explosive(s)”“ MERX’ed earlier this week? A new Statement of Work has been issued – you can download it here via Milnet.ca.
- Wanted: ~60,000 tubes of cam face paint – more details here.
- Wanted: Almost 3,000 pairs of “interim mukluks” – a few technical details/specs here.
- Wanted: another rappel tower, this one at Debert Rifle Range, Debert, Nova Scotia for around $154K
- Wanted: rental snowmobiles for Goose Bay
- “…. Defence Research Development Canada Atlantic (DRDC – Atlantic) has a requirement for ruggedized computers and servers (CPU’s) for sea-going systems for acoustic processing research and display. The CPU’s will form a processing and display cluster of computers and must be sized to fit into the expected spaces aboard ship ….”