Ten reasons the F-35 stealth fighter is wrong for Canada

| March 3, 2011
Ten reasons the F-35 stealth fighter is wrong for Canada

Today ceasefire.ca launches a petition against the purchast of F-35 stealth fighters for the Canadian military. Check out the petition by clicking here or use the nifty form below, and read 10 plus one great reasons to sign.

1. The F-35 is for "shock and awe" combat missions

Its stealth capability and weapons are intended for U.S.-style first strike attacks, a role Canada does not need to play.

2. The F-35 is way too expensive

According to National Defence's estimates, the cost of purchasing 65 U.S.-built F-35 stealth fighters is between $16 and $21 billion -- the most expensive military project in Canadian history.

3. The government's finances are in bad shape

The annual federal deficit is expected to reach $56 billion this year, and cuts to social programs are expected.

4. The F-35 is ill suited for the arctic

Its stealth characteristic is not needed, and only one engine instead of two puts pilots at risk of being stranded in the far north by an engine failure.

5. Little, if any, of the $16 billion will stay in Canada

Unlike previous military contracts, in this one the Harper government has not required the U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin to invest "dollar-for-dollar" in Canada.

6. It is costing Canada job opportunities

Buying any other aircraft would allow the government to require "Industrial and Regional Benefits." Instead, the Harper Conservatives just hope we'll get contracts from Lockheed Martin.

7. The F-35 is still a model airplane

The F-35 is still being tested and production is years behind schedule, leaving operating and maintenance costs completely unknown.

8. There was no competition

In a sweetheart deal, the Harper Conservatives committed to Lockheed Martin rather than inviting other firms to put in proposals, increasing the cost by an estimated 20 per cent.

9. There is no hurry to replace our CF-18s

Canada's current fleet of CF-18s just completed a $2.6 billion upgrade, and could easily remain in service until the mid-2020s.

10. There is no Russian arctic threat

NORAD's U.S. commander said he sees no military challengers in the arctic, and he is focused on preventing another 9/11 type of attack.

PLUS There is no contract to break

Despite the government's commitment to Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter, there is no signed contract and therefore no firm price expected until 2013, or even later.

 

Steven Staples is the President of the Rideau Institute, an independent research, advocacy and consulting group in Ottawa. He is also author of Missile Defence: Round One.

 

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Comments

From what I can tell you only have 4 reasons. Let me explain:

1) Valid point

2) Valid point - although too much emphasis is put on "most expensive military project in Canadian history". That first jeep/tank/ship/stapler/whatever puchased right after the forces were created, was "the most expensive military project in military history". There will always be something more expensive than the last.

3) Not a valid point - This has nothing to do with the planned purchase. As you stated that number is for this year and no purchase has been made. Regardless of which jet we purchase, the deficit will be there.

4) Valid point

5) Not a valid point - this point does not make the F-35 wrong for Canada, it's the proposed deal for the F-35 that makes it wrong for us.

6) Not a valid point - related to #5, should not have been it's own point.

7) Valid point

8) Not a valid point - "sweetheart deal" does not make the F-35 wrong for Canada, and the mention of increased cost due to the "deal" relates it to #2.

9) Not a valid point - Good God you couldn't be anymore wrong on this one. You obviously don't work on these jets, nor do you know anyone who does. Also, not a valid point since it has no bearing on whether or not the F-35 is right/wrong for Canada as this "point" could be made regardless of which jet we decided to purchase.

10) Not a valid point - didn't realize people believe that NORAD's U.S. Commander was psychic. Just becuase there is no threat now, or even anything pointing to one in the next 5, 10, 15 years, doesn't mean that it not going to happen. All conspiricy theories aside, who thought 9/11 was going to happen? What about Hitler running amuck in Europe? Or any other war/terrorist act/"police action"?

 

So as you can see, this list, under it's current title of "Ten Reasons the F-35 stealth fighter is wrong for Canada", only has 4 vaild pionts. Now if it was "Ten reasons the F-35 stealth fighter DEAL is wrong for Canada", then you would have a few more.

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