Tow away costs on F35 are escalating.

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thorin_bane
Tow away costs on F35 are escalating.

http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Canada+Engines+included/4629251/story.html

The multi-million dollar F-35 stealth fighter that the Conservatives want to purchase comes with all the accoutrements of a high-tech aircraft — everything, that is, except an engine.

The government will be required to provide engines for the 65 planes to be delivered by U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin, according to newly released Defence Department documents.


___________

U.S. defence specialist Winslow Wheeler, who has also raised concerns about the F-35, has warned that the extra cost of an engine could boost the price of an aircraft for Canada to around $148 million.

“If Canada’s government can get an F-35 for the mid-70 million dollars per airplane, well they should sign a contract right now and get it delivered,” said Wheeler, an analyst with the Center for Defense Information in Washington. “Because I can promise you nobody on this earth will ever get a flying F-35 for $75 million per copy. It’s pure fantasy

Well well isn't that interesting. Thank you access to information. The gift that keeps on giving. This week should be a shit show for the cons. No wonder Pages numbers don't match the conservatives. How the hell do you calculate the cost of a jet when it has no engine and the government doesn't tell you that.

thorin_bane

Um bump or did I miss this in another thread?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The F35s have been discussed in a few threads already, and even your link in the OP has been posted elsewhere. But it's an important topic, and needs to be discussed - still. I expect P&P this week will discuss the lack of engines and weapons in this deal.

thorin_bane

LOL yeah Boom boom, you and I will be watching as Laurie Hawn and Evan try "to be fair" "and for the record" and ignore the fact we have a super hightech stealth paperweight for 75 million(if it comes in on budget).  P&P gets a good amount of my attention monday before the habs hopefully go 3-0 against the bruins.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I like the idea of having unarmed stealth gliders, actually. Laughing

Incorrect

Who are these F-35 fighters supposed to be used against? The underequipped military forces of underdeveloped states who can't even defend against our f18s? If so, why don't we just but more f18s? Or is it perhaps going to go up against the best of advanced military powers such as Russia, China, or even Europe, whom we have extensive economic relationships with and whom we dare not challenge militarily?

Just who are the so called threats that these aircraft are designed to protect us from?

Apparently the main factor in making these aircraft so expensive is the stealth capability. Unfortunately stealth is not impervious to "obsolete" long band radar, as Serbia demonstrated over a decade ago when it successfully tracked and destroyed an f117 stealth fighter using Czech radar built in the 1960s.

So what exactly is the value of these aircraft?

If they really are necessary, why don't we look at the altenatives being offered for export by other states? Apparently Russia produces a superior stealth fighter, and probably at a fraction of the cost. 

Why can't Canada produce it's own aircraft? 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Have you seen the Harper ads - strong military, ready to step up to the plate? He's transforming this country.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@incorrect:

This issue has nothing to do with military role or capability.

It is about votes, and Harper sucking up to the Americans. That is all.

I am an ex military man, and feel pretty confident about my assertions here. Its G-d dam sad!

 

NDPP

Sounds like the F-35 is one of those American 'offers' difficult to refuse.'Interoperability' of the allied fleet and all that...Israel is also a big player in this we don't generally refuse anything to.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/decision-canada/Scrapping+fighters+purc...

Incorrect

If small states like Israel and Sweden can respectively produce their own main battle tanks and advanced fighter aircraft, why can't Canada? We would benefit from the support of an industrial base, and maintain control over our own supply chain, which is an important strategic factor. 

It's discouraging to watch Canada import it's advance military hardware, like some underdevelopped state.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

What is really sad is that there is no justification for the F35 purchase whatsoever. As a sovereign country, all we need to do here is protect our shorelines and have search and rescue capability - twin engine turboprops are probably our best bet, because they can be used anywhere in the country, in the Arctic, and on the coastlines.

melovesproles

Yeah I 100% agree Boom Boom.  These jets are for NATO missios strafing third world countries.

arteest

We could buy the Saab Gripen instead. It's cheaper and it flies great in the Arctic. Besides, it's prettier. :)

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

There are many alternatives. We are rushing into this, and frankly the decision has already been made.

It's so frustrating watching this. I am inclined towards the Super Hornet, mainly because of the second engine. That by the way is why we bought the F18 in the first place. I can't' understand where the Chief of the Air Staff and his group are on this. It mystifies me. They know the score. Can't understand it.

Incorrect

I think that the F35 might simply be a wedge issue for the Conservatives. They need to appeal to the pro military constituency that represents a significant part of their support base. The Conservatives appeal to their sense of masculinity and need to express and project power. What better way to keep them satiated than with expensive military hardware and missions to use them in?

Harper never talks about the possibility of examining other aircraft options. He frames the selection of the F35 as one of having jets or not having jets, and never discusses the possibility of alternative jets. Thus, he is able to frame his political competitors as those who would 'emasculate' the Canadian military by denying it access to 'necessary' equipment. 

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@incorrect:

I really do respect what you right and I appreciate your insight. But I think you are giving Harper way too much credit. I don't think that reptile brain can think with that much sophistication, lol.

thorin_bane

Not sure what is behind this stupid idea. Wait to see who gets a job at lockheed would be my bet. AC I would say the superhornet is a much better craft and it is interoperable with the US navy...the one we deal with a lot considering we use the navy in these thrid world conflicts. Twin engine 45 million can use the current fleet of in air refueling planes, is in production so costs are fixed. Also has better flight performance than the F35...it makes no sense. We could have 65 F18 SH and still get a flotilla of ships and search and rescue for less than the asking price of the 65 F35's, nicknamed the "Moneypit" or should be.

If we want to be warmaking at all. Where is a damn white paper for going forward? There is little reason to be excited about this purchase. To be honest you would be better off with the real F35, the russian one- Sukhoi Su35. 100 million cheaper and a better craft than anything we produce. Its being sold around the world to all militaries. Its pretty much the AK 47 of the sky.  The T-50 Pak will be even better so we are buying something in the possible future(who knows when it will finally start pass anything) when the F35 is already outgunned, out maneuvered  and out teched by our friends and "enemies" by stuff that is in production right now.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If Harper is returned as PM in yet another minority government, can the Opposition force the government to consider an alternative to the F35? Laurie Hawn seems pretty determined that this is the only aircraft the Cons are interested in. Maybe Laurie Hawn is the problem?

Frmrsldr

If the F-35 is unaffordable for the U.S., can Canada afford it?

AFP wrote:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The cost of building the F-35 fighter jet, set to replace a large part of the US warplane fleet, is "unaffordable in its current version and must be reviewed, the Pentagon's top acquisition official said Thursday.

"Over the lifetime of this program, the decade or so, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft we want has doubled in real terms," said Ashton Carter, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"That's our forecast for how much the aircraft's going to cost.

"Said differently, that's what it's going to cost if we keep doing what we're doing. And that's unacceptable. It's unaffordable at that rate."

The cost of the plane has jumped to $385 billion, about $103 million per plane in constant dollars or $113 million in fiscal year 2011 dollars, said Christine Fox, the Defense Department's director of cost assessment and program evaluation.

Republican Senator John McCain called the figure "truly troubling," considering the original price was $69 million per airplane.

"The facts regarding this program are truly troubling," said McCain. "No program should expect to be continued with that kind of track record, especially in our current climate," said McCain.

"It seems to me we have to start at least considering alternatives"

... An additional appropriation of $4 billion brings the cost of development of the plane to $51 billion,...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110519/pl_afp/usmilitaryaerospacef35

[Bolding added.]

Uncle John

The job of enforcer for the interests of global capital and "democracy" can no longer be borne by the United States alone. Other countries such as Canada, France, and Germany will have to shoulder more of a burden for when it is necessary to take military action against recalcitrant peoples and their "regimes". Canada is now a net investor abroad (i.e. more Canadian money is invested abroad than foreign money is invested here), so Canada now in its own way is an Imperal country.

Therefore it may very well be that Canada will be able to "afford" things the US cannot.

thorin_bane

Well perhaps we should stop being Canada World Police and go back to being that nice country that use to actually help other nations.

notional

Consider Canada's position on water rights, the tarsands, the way Harper fails to address slights and putdowns from the US beyond what is needed to placate outraged Canadians, how much all that has cost our reputation with the UN and the rest of the world, and his alignment with the Republican's. These jets are in keeping with the direction we're going in. I get the idea that Harper's sold our soul to the devil and in typical Harper fashion, has neglected to reveal his agenda to Canadians.

Frmrsldr

thorin_bane wrote:

Well perhaps we should stop being Canada World Police and go back to being that nice country that use to actually help other nations.

Being a World Police, superpower and an Empire - the military-industrial complex, the vast size of its military, all the overseas bases, all the wars of Empire the U.S. is fighting, is what has caused/is causing the financial destruction of the U.S. and the end of the American Empire.

Kanada2America

Agreed. The American Empire is dying slowly but don't be too quick to write off the American "Nation". Because those who are tied in extremely closely with the American "Nation" will go down too if the ship of state fails. That means if America goes down, so does Canada.

Too many economic and military ties. Too much crossborder movement and waayyy too much dependence on America in a lot of sectors.

It's nice and quiant to think about Canada as some island of power unto its own, but it ain't so. Washington issues the orders, Ottawa follows them.

Uncle John

And one of those orders is for us to buy the F35s under US command and control.

Kanada2America

I'm not sure that was one of the orders, but how hard could it have been to make a sale with Peter MacKay, Laurie Hahn and Stephen Harper listening to the crocidile tears from these poor generals in the Canadian military crying the blues about being underfunded and overused?

I don't even know why Canada bought F-18's. What the heck have they been used for other than the "ooohhs and ahhhs" at airshows?

Heck the American military will come up here and do that for you anytime.

Frmrsldr

Kanada2America wrote:

Agreed. The American Empire is dying slowly but don't be too quick to write off the American "Nation".

Absolutely.

As far as the American Empire is concerned, "It's later than you think."

After the fall of the American Empire, I see the U.S. republic reverting to a policy of "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none" as the Founders originally envisioned.

Kanada2America

It would be nice to see all that power and all those resources used in a positive way Frmrsldr. Yes it is later than what many think. A debt load like $14 trillion is nothing to sniff at. Unemployment, poverty. It's a sad reflection of the American state. So much waste for such petty greedy reasons.

Kanada2America

And wait for the waffling... cue Laurie Hahn and here it comes, probably on Sun tv:

The costs of the f-35 went up significantly because we decided to upgrade them with engines. You see we didn't know then, what we know now. We thought that other countries would buy them without engines. You see? Now we realize that having engines is an important part of the bidding process.

And besides that, they told us we would get a good trade-in for our old f-18.

Policywonk
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The best thing that indeed could happen is for the entire F35 program to be scrapped, and a realistic procurement program started up - with reasonable alternatives evaluated.

 

ETA: funniest quote I've ever read about the F35:

 

The JSF really is a miracle of modern military contracting - it can maneuver like a F-18, has the range of a F-16, is about as stealthy as a F-15, and costs the same as all three combined.

Papal Bull

Boom Boom, I really like that quote. Who should I cite?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sorry, I didn't save the source of the quote. It was from an online American military procurement magazine. You might put the quote on google and see what comes up.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Maybe after scrapping the F35 "white elephant" the Canadian military can look at cheaper Russian models. They're perfect for the predatory war in Afghanistan - which takes the lion's share of Canadian "defence" spending in any case - and the Americans like them so much that they're buying the Russian copters themselves. lol.

Lefauve

Why the F 35

Simple harper got ties with lockeed martin!

Roscoe

You peaceniks need to stop the linear thinking and start looking at the F35 as more than a simple boondoggle. The reality is that it is a very complicated boondoggle.

Since no contract has been signed, Stone Cold Steve may be playing the old BFF card with the US administration  to garner work for Canadian aerospace concerns while simultaniously waiting for the F35 program to collapse of its own weight. Steve may be many things but he is not stupid.

Even diehard US chickenhawks are concerned with the speed the F35 clowncar is picking up as it hurtles over the budgetary cliff. The biggest problem in Canada is that even if the F35 program dies a well deserved death, the Canadian Forces numpties that manoevre for exotic US toys at the expense of yeoman work kit like the Mil17 Helo will still be with us.

thorin_bane

There are plenty of manufacturers, and it was revealed today that the jets won't be ready till 2020. So what does his Majesty do if CF 18 start falling out of the sky? Sorry all our money is tied up in the F35 gong show, and we have no money for even russian stuff. Oh BTW thanks for baiting, this should get your ass kicked to the curb.

Lefauve

Roscoe wrote:

You peaceniks need to stop the linear thinking and start looking at the F35 as more than a simple boondoggle. The reality is that it is a very complicated boondoggle.

Since no contract has been signed, Stone Cold Steve may be playing the old BFF card with the US administration  to garner work for Canadian aerospace concerns while simultaniously waiting for the F35 program to collapse of its own weight. Steve may be many things but he is not stupid.

Even diehard US chickenhawks are concerned with the speed the F35 clowncar is picking up as it hurtles over the budgetary cliff. The biggest problem in Canada is that even if the F35 program dies a well deserved death, the Canadian Forces numpties that manoevre for exotic US toys at the expense of yeoman work kit like the Mil17 Helo will still be with us.

First stay polite! Giving us name won't help you.

And second it look like that tje F35 are going to be an other money pit in canadian pocket. Question this decision is legit. Especially when we got the technology to do better in montreal quebec and giving job to our people.

And finally, we don't need such big military expense, especially when it will be use to keep usa supremacy at our expence
we need to defend the north sovreignty which required plane that can stand the cold unlike the F35!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The Cons faced embarrassing questions today on two issues:

1. The F35s as presently designed can not communicate in Canada's north.

2. The F35s can not land on northern airstrips as what airstrips exist in the north are too short for the F35 - so it has to be equipped with a parachute at the back end that will depolyed every time the F35 lands up north. Plus - the parachute eliminates the 'stealth' feature of this aircraft.

Peter McKay said the planes are five years away and these concerns will be addressed.

And one other concern was raised on P&P tonight: with only one engine, if the F35 encounters problems with that one engine, it can not fly back from whever it has landed. It sounds like a total boondoggle. And the cost keeps going up - one critic said it will be twice the cost the Cons estimated.

algomafalcon

Boom Boom wrote:

The Cons faced embarrassing questions today on two issues:

1. The F35s as presently designed can not communicate in Canada's north.

2. The F35s can not land on northern airstrips as what airstrips exist in the north are too short for the F35 - so it has to be equipped with a parachute at the back end that will depolyed every time the F35 lands up north. Plus - the parachute eliminates the 'stealth' feature of this aircraft.

Peter McKay said the planes are five years away and these concerns will be addressed.

And one other concern was raised on P&P tonight: with only one engine, if the F35 encounters problems with that one engine, it can not fly back from whever it has landed. It sounds like a total boondoggle. And the cost keeps going up - one critic said it will be twice the cost the Cons estimated.

I'm just wondering how many two engined fighters can actually take off with power from one engine? I'd be surprised if the existing CF-18s have that ability.

But I do agree with the other points. I think the primary requirement of fighter jets is defending Canada's territory - intercepting unfriendly aircraft. And I think our primary vulnerability is still the Arctic. So I really am doubtfull that the F-35 is suited to Canada's main aerial defense needs. I would think "compatibility with NATO" would be a secondary requirement.

With the delivery date so far off in the future, and no deal actually signed, I think we would be well advised to go through some sort of neutral non-partisan analysis of requirements for equipping the Air Force, including fighters, refuelling tankers, drones, airbases, etc.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

algomafalcon wrote:
I'm just wondering how many two engined fighters can actually take off with power from one engine? I'd be surprised if the existing CF-18s have that ability.

I asked that question a long time ago - and the answer was "yes - it's called redundancy". The planes can return to base with just one engine, but I doubt they can be otherwise useful in any way with just the one engine. The F35 is just a single engine jet, and for that very reason some are questioning its suitability for protecting Canadian airspace, especially in the frigid north.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

By the way, the Liberals and Conservatives are saying the F18 is coming to the end of its life cycle and that's why it has to be replaced. That's nonsense. These sophisicated aircraft can fly indefinitely - they will be outclassed by newer aircraft, but only from a stealth attack mode. The F18s could be used just to patrol Canadian airspace for at least the next 20 years and probably beyond that. Harper and others want to the F35 because it's a stealth first strike weapon - and it gives bragging rights to any country that orders them - which is probably why the Cons (and some Libs) are salivating at the thought of having this expensive toy.

algomafalcon

Boom Boom wrote:

algomafalcon wrote:
I'm just wondering how many two engined fighters can actually take off with power from one engine? I'd be surprised if the existing CF-18s have that ability.

I asked that question a long time ago - and the answer was "yes - it's called redundancy". The planes can return to base with just one engine, but I doubt they can be otherwise useful in any way with just the one engine. The F35 is just a single engine jet, and for that very reason some are questioning its suitability for protecting Canadian airspace, especially in the frigid north.

Well two engined fighters can all "return to base", if they are already in the air. But it takes substantially more power to take off than to fly, so that was my question. I am just interested if CF-18s can take off with one engine and enough fuel to return to the main base. They most certainly can fly back to base if they lose an engine while in the air.

In any case, I do agree that whether or not a CF-18 can take off with one engine, I think it is better suited to serving Canada's defense needs in the arctic as it can return to base on one engine, if it should lose an engine in the air. This obviously can save the lives of pilots and protects the investment in the plane from a single engine failure.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm sure the F18 can take off with one engine. That's the purpose of 'redundancy'. With the F35, there's no redundancy.

BTW, the DOD just released a statement that the mid-air refueling probe and drag chutes are included in the $9billion cost. However, the communications pod that will allow the F35 to communicate in the High Arctic is an extra cost, no one knows today what those will cost.

 I think the F35 sends out a message from Harper: "don't f*ck with Canada". But, also, this aircraft gives Harper first-strike capability anywhere in the world - that is, until someone figures out how to beat the stealth capability - which will be put into question anyway, with the addition of the drag chutes and communications pod (now inside the aircraft versus outside the aircraft as in the F18).

NDPP

Canadian Defense Official Affirms Commitment to F-35

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/11/08/3510784/canadian-defense-officia...

"Strong, vocal opposition at home will not dissuade the Canadian government from plans to buy the F-35 Joint Strike fighter, a senior government minister told Forst Worth business leaders Tuesday.."

Fantino reveals that ditching the deal will mean upping the ante to something more than just 'strong, vocal opposition at home'...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Mackay today concerned about delivery date on the F35s.

ETA: Commentators on P&P think the gov't will have to refurbish the F18s because it now looks like the full order of F35s won't be delivered until beyond 2020 - at the end of the shelf life for the F18s. Australia is buying a stopgap plane until they get the F35.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

McCain Slams JSF, Calls Program 'Scandal And A Tragedy'

excerpt:

While killing the F-35 program is almost unthinkable to most members of Congress and senior Defense Department officials, it's worth remembering that McCain led an effort this summer that came within a whisker of putting the program on Death Row. The Senate Armed Services Committee nearly voted to approve a measure that could result in the world's largest program being canceled in 18 months should costs keep rising. It didn't, but it was a tie vote in closed session. And now McCain has more information to present to his colleagues.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Peter Julian, the NDP finance critic, led off Question Period Monday referring to the F-35 "boondoggle" and "fiasco" that will be paid for on the backs of Canadian seniors. "It's a question of choices and priorities," he said.

excerpt:

This could be a potent line of attack for the Opposition, if Canadians can be persuaded that a multi-billion-dollar fighter plane that doesn't work is being paid for by cutbacks to pensions that we don't need to make, if the Parliamentary Budget Officer is to be believed.

Mr. Julian continued to link the fighter jets and pension cuts when interviewed outside the House. Public opinion is turning against the government, he said, "because Canadians are reading every day about another country that's stepping back from the F-35s."

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Does anyone know why the Government decided on the F35? I have never understood the "why" on this. Also, I remember when they decided on the F18, the deciding factor was its second engine. Does anyone know anyone actually "close' to the project who could explain why this isn't a factor now? It was the main reason we didn't choose the F16.

ETA: I watched Fantion on P&P yesterday. That guy is in way over his head. How he actaully got elected is beyond me and makes me wonder what the electorate of his riding were thinking in electing that clown.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The F35 program actually started back in 1990, and it was in 1998 I think that the Liberals decided this was the plane to replace the F18s. Big mistake.

ETA: these are the same Liberals that dumped those four useless subs on this country.

janfromthebruce

When the NDP becomes govt, I want a name change of that ministry to include "peace".

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