Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

What’s Canada Buying? December 15, 2012

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  • F-35 Tug o’ War (1)  While the Minister gets to share good news about a sub, the Parliamentary Secretary gets to clean up straighten out the media  “Some in the media have incorrectly reported on some aspects of the replacement of Canada’s CF-18s. Here are the facts ….” (also here at Google Docs in case the link doesn’t work)
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2)  One academic’s view of what it comes down to  “Trade-offs between quality and quantity are not new at all to those making the decisions about what to buy for their country’s armed forces.  Some militaries focus on numbers, others focus on maximizing the technological advantage.  “Guns versus butter” is the classic depiction of trade-offs in economics, but even within the military budget, it is not just “guns versus boats versus planes” – it is “ more guns versus better guns.”  Most clearly, these days, the trade-off is between having too few F-35s or having more planes that are less advanced technologically ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (3)  Columnist“….  if the Conservatives had “pressed the reset button” 20 months ago instead of today, then real pilots who have to stare down real threats would be 20 months closer to real equipment that might really help. Instead the pilots’ friends at Langevin have done the pilots a real disservice ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (4)  There’s some of the highlights – feel free to let Google News show you some of the rest of the latest.
  • Big Honkin’ Ships  Next thing under the Auditor General’s microscope  “Months after his scathing F-35 report shook the Harper government’s plans to buy the stealth fighter, Auditor General Michael Ferguson has turned his attention to another military procurement project: the Harper government’s $35-billion shipbuilding plan.  Ferguson’s report on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is due in fall 2013 and — depending on what he finds — could be far more explosive than the F-35.  Ferguson’s office isn’t saying much about what exactly the study will look at.  “When determining what to audit, the office focuses on the areas in which federal government organizations face the highest risk,” spokesman Ghislain Desjardins said in an email. “Examples of high-risk areas are those that cost taxpayers significant amounts of money or that could threaten the health and safety of Canadians if something were to go wrong. Acquiring military ships … is one of those areas.” ….”
  • Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)  According to this latest MERX update (via, the government is preparing another draft Request for Proposals by early 2013 for industry to comment on.
  • “The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie) and Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced …. that up to 20 jobs will be sustained in Nova Scotia thanks to the Government’s investment in improved sonobuoy technology for the Canadian Armed ForcesUltra Electronics Maritime Systems of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been awarded a $2.5 million contract for a period of three years to supply sonobuoy technical investigation and engineering support to the Canadian Armed Forces.  …. Sonobuoys are small, deployable, floating sensors that detect, identify, and locate surface vessels and submarines. They do this by either listening for the sounds of propellers and other machinery or by bouncing a sonar “ping” off of the surface of a submarine. This provides the Canadian Armed Forces with critical awareness of the location and identity of vessels within Canada’s maritime exclusive economic zone ….”

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15 December 12 at 13:00

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