Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

What’s Canada Buying? January 5, 2013

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  • More on that truck acquisition project you read about here yesterday  “An on-again, off-again program to replace the military’s aging trucks is back on.  A series of meetings are scheduled later this month between government officials and companies vying for a contract for a fleet of new medium-sized logistics trucks for the Canadian Forces.  The meetings are to take place between Jan. 17-22 in the Ottawa area.  “The main objective of the one-on-one meetings is to validate certain aspects of the SMP procurement approach … and to provide an opportunity for industry to meet with government representatives to discuss their views,” says a notice posted on a government contracts website.  “Any solutions, ideas or issues raised during the one-on-one meetings or during any other additional sessions will be analyzed for further consideration by Canada.”  The multimillion-dollar truck program had been in limbo since last summer, when Public Works emailed bidders three minutes before deadline to say the deal was off.  Economic, marketplace and budgetary circumstances have changed since this solicitation process began,” the July 11 email said.  “Therefore, the government of Canada needs to reassess this procurement to ensure that the right equipment is acquired for the army at the best value for Canada, prior to proceeding with a new solicitation.”  The abrupt cancellation left representatives from some of the would-be bidders scratching their heads. But the plan to replace the trucks is now back up and running.  “Engaging industry is part of our smart procurement approach and the new way forward,” Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (1)At least one defence contractor confirms it’s ready to give Lockheed Martin a run for its money in Canada’s search for new fighter jets“Boeing looks forward to participating in the Government of Canada’s competitive process to replace the CF-18,” said Boeing spokesman Philip Carder in an e-mail.  There’s no call for competitive bids, but the feds have backed off support for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter as Canada’s CF-18 replacement.  So, officials have told five defence contractors they want info on other options, including the F-35 and Boeing’s Super Hornet – an updated version of what the air force has used since the A-Team was in its TV heyday.  “The Super Hornet offers unequalled affordability, capability and availability, with a known cost and schedule,” said Carder.  The makers of the Eurofighter Typhoon, the French-built Rafale, and Sweden’s Gripen will also be asked for info ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2)  Liberal Defence critic’s take  “The fiscal incompetence and complete mismanagement of Canada’s largest military procurement since World War II has now been fully exposed.  MP Gary Goodyear and the Conservative Party need to be held accountable for the total mishandling of the F-35.  Two years ago they told Canadians that the government would replace our aging fleet of CF-18s with a sole-sourced contract for F-35s for only $9 billion. Now, thanks to an audit from KPMG, we know the true cost of the F-35s will exceed $46 billion.  The government said the F-35 was the only plane that could meet our needs, but now they admit that other planes could. They always maintained that considering other options was irresponsible and they sole-sourced the contract. Now they are looking at other planes. They said there was a contract. Now they don’t ….”  No mention in the letter, though, of which party started Canada down the Joint Strike Fighter road.
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (3)  One “graduate researcher’s” take  “Much of the recent commentary on the F-35 procurement misses a central point: exorbitant cost is not the only reason to reconsider the aircraft. Defence Minister Peter Mackay’s December 2012 announcement of a “reset” on the F-35 acquisition has spurred plenty of debate on the $46-billion price tag for 65 aircraft over 42 years.  What the conversation is missing, however, is the military-strategic elements.  The F-35 is a militarily superfluous aircraft for Canada’s continental air defence and alliance warfare requirements ….”

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5 January 13 at 13:00

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