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Stage Set For Vote on $16 Billion, Costly F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets

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Arthur Cramer
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Joined: Nov 30 2010

CDN_FORCES:

Man for non military folk reading these posts, you really laid that out perfectly. I couldn't agree more. Especially refuelling and twin engines. The twin engines by the way for those who don't know, were the deciding factor in the purchase of the F18, and a key reason why the F16 didn't make the final cut.

When I was the Admin O at a fighter squadron in Cold Lake, I had more then 1 pilot tell me how happy the were with the F18 just for that reason. And, fighter pilots like going fast, lol.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Here's an older Rabble article on the topic. Unfortunately, despite the big, unmistakable bullseye painted right on its belly, it really never was an election issue. The NDP could have made much, much more of this and didn't. Why? The BC NDP got kicked out for much, much less than this in 2001.

Escalating F-35 fighter jet price tag + future defence plan costs = election issue

The article also points to what I think is the hidden issue here:

Quote:
A Commons committee has investigated the purchase of the new fighters, including the price tag and whether Canada actually needs these weapons. Eyebrows were quickly raised over the news that there would be no other bids for the contract.

From any perspective one could apply, these planes appear to be the wrong choice for Canada, and the lack of tendering is antithetical to how Harper claims to run this country. The planes also appear to be designed with future problems and their attendant costs built in -- by design. Is this some backroom obligation the Conservatives have bound us into with Lockheed Martin? If so, how and why? And why are so few in Parliament shouting about it?

 


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Answering, in part, my own question:

Quote:

Canada Main article: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Canadian procurement

Canada has been involved in the Joint Strike Fighter Program from its beginning, investing US$10 million to be an "informed partner" during the evaluation process. Once Lockheed Martin was selected as the primary contractor for the JSF program, Canada elected to become a level 3 participant along with Norway, Denmark, Turkey, and Australia on the JSF project. An additional US$100 million from the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) over 10 years and another $50 million from Industry Canada were dedicated in 2002, making them an early participant of the JSF program.[85]

On 16 July 2010, the Canadian government announced that it would buy 65 F-35s to replace the existing 80 CF-18s for $16B (with all ancillary costs included) with deliveries planned for 2016.

The intention to sign a sole-sourced, untendered F-35 contract and the government's refusal to provide detailed costing became one of the major causes of a finding of contempt of Parliament and the subsequent defeat of Stephen Harper's Conservative government through a non-confidence vote on 25 March 2011. This directly lead to the F-35 purchase becoming an issue in the 2011 federal election.[86][87][88][89][90]

Was it really an issue in the election though?


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
jas wrote:

Here's an older Rabble article on the topic. Unfortunately, despite the big, unmistakable bullseye painted right on its belly, it really never was an election issue. The NDP could have made much, much more of this and didn't. Why? The BC NDP got kicked out for much, much less than this in 2001.

Escalating F-35 fighter jet price tag + future defence plan costs = election issue

The article also points to what I think is the hidden issue here:

Quote:
A Commons committee has investigated the purchase of the new fighters, including the price tag and whether Canada actually needs these weapons. Eyebrows were quickly raised over the news that there would be no other bids for the contract.

From any perspective one could apply, these planes appear to be the wrong choice for Canada, and the lack of tendering is antithetical to how Harper claims to run this country. The planes also appear to be designed with future problems and their attendant costs built in -- by design. Is this some backroom obligation the Conservatives have bound us into with Lockheed Martin? If so, how and why? And why are so few in Parliament shouting about it?

 

You don't watch CPAC coverage of Parliament? Or are you waiting for the MSM to follow New Democrats' speeches there?

jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Gaian wrote:
You don't watch CPAC coverage of Parliament?

No, I confess I don't.

Quote:
Or are you waiting for the MSM to follow New Democrats' speeches there?

Yes, I kind of am, rightly or wrongly. Would you say it was a genuine election issue? Was it a major subject in the debates? If so, I stand corrected.


Buddy Kat
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Joined: Sep 21 2006

NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Security Experts Say China Hijacked Stealth F-35 Fighter Jet Plans From BAE Systems

http://www.terminalx.org/2012/03/security-experts-say-china-hacked.html

"The Chinese exploited vulnerabilities in BAE's computer defences to steal vast amounts of data on the $300 Billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.."

and are now shaking their heads and wondering why anyone would put a plug nickel into this outrageous, ill-designed lemon...


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Well, it creates jobs...not a primary consideration these days but still ranked up there politically speaking.  There's market share for innovation, irrespective if its public investment being laundered into capital, with the only return to the public being in the form of jobs for a few, and massive profits extracted by the few.  It could be a widget to work the same way, as it very often is.  Ottawa is chock full of project management offices.


NDPP
Online
Joined: Dec 28 2008

yes, and as always, socialize cost privatize profit..


algomafalcon
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Joined: Oct 14 2011

I'm not sure if the NDP as a party believes in a national defense, aside from being a job creation program. (I'm just judging from the rhetoric I hear from NDP MPs whenever they talk on the subject.)

I find myself much more aligned with the Liberals and Conservatives on national defense and foreign affairs issues.

But I think the Conservatives have handled the CF-18 replacement very poorly and the same might be stated about the RCAF.

The government has insisted that it was totally committed to the F-35 because we had to have a "fifth generation fighter". The "fifth generation" means the fighter has "stealth" (low probability of radar intercept). Except the fighters to be stationed for northern defense of Canadian airspace will have parachutes added to permit the fighters to land on short arctic runways, and this capability removes the "stealth" radar avoidance. So this means that "stealth capability" will only be of use in southern areas (US border), or for NATO missions.

Another factor is that the one engine design of the F-35 means there is no backup in the event of engine failure, meaning pilots could be bailing out onto frozen arctic tundra or worse yet, into freezing arctic seas.

The RCAF has insisted that its minimal needs were the 60 fighters, but the conservatives were lately saying that the government had placed a ceiling on the contract which implied that far fewer planes would actually be ordered given the projected price for the jets.

Hopefully the opposition will now convince the government to conduct a full review of its aerial defense requirements and go for a more open tendering process for replacement fighters. The way we are headed right now, the Air Force could end up without any replacement for the CF-18s and Canada will be left without airspace defense capability. 


Boom Boom
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algomafalcon wrote:

Hopefully the opposition will now convince the government to conduct a full review of its aerial defense requirements and go for a more open tendering process for replacement fighters. The way we are headed right now, the Air Force could end up without any replacement for the CF-18s and Canada will be left without airspace defense capability. 

Fighter jets to defend against what, exactly? The F18s were used to bomb countries overseas. 


Buddy Kat
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Joined: Sep 21 2006

They just don't get it and it's another case of conservative incompetance or an outright swindle with Canadian money going to a buddy buddy american contractor....

 

The plane is short range ..Canada is long range ..which means to be of any use whatsoever the planes will need to be refueled in the air by slow flying clumsy tankers that stick out like a sore thumb and make for an easy target...

 

Guess what happens when the short range plane gets no fuel?

They take a nose dive into the ground ...which coincidemtly is where the conservatives are heading ..nose first! But not before they destroy, rape and pillage all they can from this country.

 

New http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zky2bn0Gtyg New

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QvXax88J8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0eQgUpkJ1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8LD5Q8ecc


algomafalcon
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Joined: Oct 14 2011

Boom Boom wrote:

algomafalcon wrote:

Hopefully the opposition will now convince the government to conduct a full review of its aerial defense requirements and go for a more open tendering process for replacement fighters. The way we are headed right now, the Air Force could end up without any replacement for the CF-18s and Canada will be left without airspace defense capability. 

Fighter jets to defend against what, exactly? The F18s were used to bomb countries overseas. 

Well anyone who is intruding into Canadian airspace such as nuclear armed Russian bombers. I'm really not at all interested in having a debate on Libya.

As I said, I disagree with NDP defense policy which often seems to suggest that the only reason for armed forces is for creating jobs.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Fantino said today the gov't hasn't taken out the possibility of backing out of the F35s. They're talking about that on P&P in a minute or two.


algomafalcon
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Joined: Oct 14 2011

Boom Boom wrote:

Fantino said today the gov't hasn't taken out the possibility of backing out of the F35s. They're talking about that on P&P in a minute or two.

 

Yes. Thats the reason I made the post. For months the government & Fantino have been repeating the same old line and it looks like they are finally going to maybe have a look at other options. A good opportunity to press for a fresh assessment of Canada's aerial defense needs before making any further committments.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

But Fantino later said the F35 is still on for Canada. Chris Alexander is saying the F35 contract is still years away.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Headlines should read:  Nervous Harpers Unsure of Themselves; Still Governing Like They Have a Minority with NDP the Government in Waiting


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Bob Rae just called on Harper to resign over the F35 fiasco - on CBC's "Power and Politics".


duncan cameron
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

The CBC has completely fallen for the Auditor-Generals report approach to the F35 fiasco. Another sad day for a poor excuse of the national news gathering organization envisaged by Graham Spry.

We have known for months that the plane cost more than the Cons let on. Many U.S. sources have reported on the cost over-runs. The U.S. Congress is in revolt over the project.

The Libs brought a contempt of parliament motion forward on the F35 issue because the government refused to reveal the costs. When nobody reported what was going on in anything like the depth that should have been done by every news organization, the Libs got toasted at the polls.

The AG misdirected attention to DND as the source of misinformation to the govenment when evern cursory attention to other sources allowed the government to know how wrong its own information was.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/video/video-ignatieff-introduces-non...

So the Con appointed unilingual AG reports that DND mislead the government, when was actually happened was that the Harper government mislead parliament. Mandsbridge, Milewski and the At Issue people (minsus Chantal Hebert) fed the DND diversion.

Apparently Mulcair is going after Defence Minister McKay tommorrow, hoping to split the Cons since Harper can always diffuse the crisis by dumping the minister, a hated rival.

Poor Igantieff, he was right all along. Its just that the lapdog press refuses to report the facts. We live under the Harper tyranny. Most observors recognize that nobody in Ottawa can order a coffee without permission from the PMO, why do they pretend otherwise?


writer
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Joined: Apr 11 2002

On the At Issue panel I saw last night, Andrew Coyne was as stark as I've ever seen him about the implications of this. He specifically mentioned contempt of parliament. With a very sober expression, he said, "This is as serious as it gets."

Coyne generally makes me crazy, but I thought he did this debacle justice last night.

At Issue: Accountability for the F-35s


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

And Rae stirred the pot by demanding that Harper resign. Should be a fun Question Period today. Someone mentioned on CBC yesterday that Peter MacKay's face turned red when it was announced that the F35 program was to be taken away from DND and given to Public Works. Laughing


duncan cameron
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

Coyne did say it was serious, and he did refer to the contempt of parliament motion, but he frames the story as government bureaucracy wasting tax payers money. I see it as Cons making Canada subservient to the U.S., buying first strike fighter jets, and then hiding the cost. 

Both Coyne and Anderson admit that the whole world knew the F35 costs were out of control. Then they jump on the Auditor Generals report as if it were news. The real news is that the media are asleep in reporting on how the Cons are wasting money on jets and jails.

Mansbidge ends his show asking will this be news on Thursday? He started it by asing who would walk the plank. He wants a traffic death to report when Canadians need some context for the F35 story to mean anything.


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
dc: "Poor Igantieff, he was right all along. Its just that the lapdog press refuses to report the facts. We live under the Harper tyranny. Most observors recognize that nobody in Ottawa can order a coffee without permission from the PMO, why do they pretend otherwise?" Tom Mulcair spoke of Harper's control yesterday in an interview with Evan Solomon of that lamentably laggard CBC. :) He also noted that the current minister is a figurehead. And Boomer said that someone had talked about Peter MacKay's red face in Parliament. It was Mulcair who noted that, even while he was challenging the government in question period. One can bet that Peter's face will grow far redder today under questioning by Mulcair. I believe I'll forego gardening in that time period.

duncan cameron
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

The A.G.'s report gives Mulcair what he needs to go after McKay for sure. Its a gift really. The larger question is why buy a first strike fighter jet in the first place and what would the NDP do differently.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

duncan cameron wrote:
The real news is that the media are asleep in reporting on how the Cons are wasting money on jets and jails.

Both of these have been weekly debates on "Power and Politics" since the beginning. If Evan Solomon doesn't raise the issue, then the Opposition members on P&P panels raise them.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
duncan cameron wrote:

The A.G.'s report gives Mulcair what he needs to go after McKay for sure. Its a gift really. The larger question is why buy a first strike fighter jet in the first place and what would the NDP do differently.

The LARGER question? Uh huh. I'll bet New Democrats would be quite content to do as thorin bane suggested upthread: "F18 superhornet 100 of them and would only cost 4 billion. They could also start delivery ASAP as they already funstion. They also out perform the F35 on everthing except stealth, and have 2 engines. Pilts are familiar with controls=less training, and they have compatable parts that our techs already know about. The 12 billion saved could be put into anything even more warmaking vessels or transport. It doesn't even make sense from a conservative perspective. The only reason for this is like buying a Harley. Name recognizition even if the Honda is better and cheaper."

Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

duncan cameron wrote:
The A.G.'s report gives Mulcair what he needs to go after McKay for sure. Its a gift really. The larger question is why buy a first strike fighter jet in the first place and what would the NDP do differently.

Buy a less expensive, off the shelf first strike fighter jet?


Buddy Kat
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Joined: Sep 21 2006

I don't think firing McKay is going to deflect from the whole fiasco...The government intentionally lied swayed and is in clear contempt just like the pre election business ..now instead of them fraudulently winning an election via in/out schemes, giving them an unfair advantage in tv advertising ..it's a 200 riding clear fraud fix as a tag along issue ...Either way they are going down.

 

People are quick to say ..."but look they were in contempt before and the people rewarded them with a majority"...got to look out for that and remember they most likely fixed the election so it's not true ....for all we know, and the proof is mounting the PM should of been someone else. This conservative fraud machine didn't just lie about jets , this is way out of control.

 

In the future I would listen to the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page who's analysis on costs of these jets, deficits etc . has been exemplary and right on the mark....the way he has been abused by the conservative party is worth a good checking into.

Funny the cbc will have Page on spouting the truth and as a defence will bring a tory hack and crock to fix it (lie there stinking faces off).....I hope now people and especially Mr. Fairplay on the CBC listen to the budget officer instead of figuring out ways to discredit him.

 

 

 

 

New http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zky2bn0Gtyg New

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QvXax88J8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0eQgUpkJ1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8LD5Q8ecc


Very Far Away
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Joined: Sep 20 2011

I think this is a great opportunity for NDP to to show the incompetency of the conservative government. In a situation like this, if cons were in opposition, we would be watching the horrible attack ads on tv. 


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