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Surprise! F-35 fighters to cost twice as much as Harper Government suggested

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
So now Harper & friends are trying to hide the true cost of both their tough-on-crime superjails and the fighter jets. This will all hopefully blow up in their face just in time for the election.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
now they're saying it will cost even more than the even more 30 billion..

Ottawa’s fighter-jet estimate ‘all hogwash,’ U.S. watchdog warns

The plan to buy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will cost billions more than the $29-billion estimated by Canada’s budget watchdog, a U.S. defence spending analyst says.

“It’s going to be significantly more. It’s not going to be $1-billion more, it’s going to be significantly more,” said Winslow Wheeler, a defence-spending watchdog with the Washington-based Center for Defense Information.

The $29-billion estimate from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page put a startling price tag on the cost of a fleet of 65 stealth jets, though the government insists they will cost about half that amount.

But Mr. Wheeler, a former staffer with the U.S. Government Accounting Office and with both Republican and Democratic senators, said even Mr. Page’s estimate – though reasonable now – doesn’t take into account key elements that will make the costs rise: problems with the complex planes that will be inevitably be discovered during testing and the slashing of the number of planes to be produced by the United States and its allies.

The Liberals say they’ll put the deal on hold, and hold a competition to determine what planes Canada needs. But the Conservatives, and the Defence Department, insist the F-35 is the only “fifth-generation” fighter, complete with stealth technology and next-generation communications available. It will be needed, the government argues, to defend against Russian interlopers and to take on missions like the one the current CF-18 fleet is now doing over Libya.

Ottawa says the planes will cost about $9-billion to buy, and another $6-billion for service over the first 20 years of their life span. That $9-billion cost estimate to buy the fleet includes a package of equipment and modifications to get the planes flying, but pegs the price of each plane at $75-million.

But Mr. Wheeler argues that price tag, once cited as the “non-recurring fly-away” in the United States, has been abandoned by the planes’ proponents. It usually doesn’t include engines and avionics to get the planes flying, and it includes adjustments to 2002 dollars, plus an ample expectation that the cost of each plane will get markedly cheaper as the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, learns how to build them more efficiently.

“To get to that number, they use several crude, disingenuous tricks. And they sprinkle a little fairy dust, in terms of ‘learning curve’ and other magical potions, to pretend it’s got some science behind it,” he said. “It’s all hogwash.”

“Ultimately,” Mr. Wheeler predicted, “the cost of this airplane is going to be about $200-million per airplane.”

In the United States, where the per-unit costs of the F-35 has been cited as $115-million, some defence estimates put it as high as $155-million per plane. But even that doesn’t take into account problems that will see it rise even further.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says Canada is buying the cheapest, “A” version of the plane – but Mr. Wheeler argues that will only save at most 10 per cent. And the cost of supporting the airplane will be more than buying them, and will also rise.

The biggest problems with the cost estimates is that they don’t include allowances for problems looming on the horizon.

The F-35 has only gone through about 10 per cent of developmental tests, so it’s still unclear what problems will have to be fixed even though several have been found so far. And the plane is so complex the costs are likely to baloon. For example, the plane’s older brother, the F-22, is experiencing pricy problems with its stealth coatings.

“The [F-35] is only about 10 per cent through its developmental flight tests. Those are the easy tests. Those are the laboratory tests. Those tests will be finished in 2016,” Mr. Wheeler said. “That’s when the operational tests are [to be done].”

And the number of F-35s that will eventually be built will be far less than current official projections, he argued, further increasing the cost per plane.

Several countries, like Denmark and Norway, are still debating whether to buy the planes. Britain is cutting its planned buy, and Turkey has put its plan to purchase 100 F-35s on hold because of a dispute sparked because the U.S. refuses to allow the sale of the software “source code” that allows buyers to modify the systems.

Washington has cut its own plans to buy 2,700 planes to 2,500, and can be expected to reduce it further, Mr. Wheeler said.. The U.S. Defense Department has put the development of one variant of the planes, the “B” version, on probation and a deficit commission suggested dramatically reducing the purchase of other variants.

No one can know the costs of an airplane that’s still not developed, but Mr. Wheeler argued the best way to buy a fighter is “a competitive fly-off” of real airplanes. “And make a decision based on real evidence rather than paper studies,” he said.
 

Puma

TRIBE Member
I think it is safe to say that the liberals will buy the F-35 if they get elected. First they will cancel the order and will pay a hefty fine for the cancellation. Then they will do a 2 year study at the cost of millions to the tax payer and come to the conclusion that the F-35 is the best option and then they will buy 30 of them at double the cost of what it would cost now.

Lets face it the F-18 are about 30 years old. The maintenance is costing more and more and its getting less and less worth to spend the money on these out date fighters. The liberals will be even more up the ass of the UN and NATO and if they want to be able to gallivant around the world enforcing UN and NATO no fly zones they will need new jets.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
I think it is safe to say that the liberals will buy the F-35 if they get elected. First they will cancel the order and will pay a hefty fine for the cancellation. Then they will do a 2 year study at the cost of millions to the tax payer and come to the conclusion that the F-35 is the best option and then they will buy 30 of them at double the cost of what it would cost now.

Lets face it the F-18 are about 30 years old. The maintenance is costing more and more and its getting less and less worth to spend the money on these out date fighters. The liberals will be even more up the ass of the UN and NATO and if they want to be able to gallivant around the world enforcing UN and NATO no fly zones they will need new jets.
The US Navy has committed to use F-18 SuperHornets until 2040. Australia just put in an order for them. The Super hornet would be the ideal replacement jet for the Cf-18s we currently have.

To suggest Canada should pay 3 times (likely more) for an untested jet with stealth technology is retarded. We don't need stealth fighters to patrol our airspace.

Plenty of countries in NATO don't have stealth fighters. It's not some prerequisite. It's simply an expensive technology that has limited use and offers little bang for the buck. Canada shouldn't be funding the US military industrial complex.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
Canada’s F-35s: Engines not included

Government will be required to provide powerplant for stealth fighters, documents show

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.

The proposed F-35 purchase, estimated to cost between $14 billion and $29 billion depending on what figures are used, has been controversial. Opposition parties are calling for a review or cancellation of the program, while the Tories have made it a key part of their defence policy.

The DND documents, which outline answers to questions about the F-35, also note that the stealth fighter could be used in a secondary role for search-and-rescue.

The records, obtained through the Access to Information law by peace activist Tamara Lorincz, are from a series of meetings last fall when defence bureaucrats and military officers toured the country to promote the F-35 deal.

“Engines are provided as gov’t furnished equipment,” noted the documents.

The term “government furnished equipment” signifies that the engines are being provided separately by Canada.

It is unclear how much extra the engines will cost or whether there would be additional costs for installing the power plants into the fighters.

In an e-mail late Friday, DND stated that Canada is purchasing the least costly variant of the F-35.

But DND did not provide an explanation about why the government is required to provide the engines.

It also did not provide any details on the price tag of the engines or the cost to install them.

But the e-mail suggested the cost of the engines is included in the overall price.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has labelled the F-35 as a good deal for Canada and notes that the aircraft will cost around $75 million per plane.

The Conservatives say the entire purchase will cost around $14 billion but a report from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page puts the number at $29 billion.

The Government Accountability Office, the U.S government’s equivalent of the auditor general, has also warned about serious ongoing problems with the aircraft and rising costs. Mike Sullivan, a senior official with the Government Accountability Office, estimates that the F-35 model that Canada is buying will cost between $110 to $115 million.

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.”

But former chief of the defence staff, retired Gen. Paul Manson, a strong supporter of the F-35 and a former chairman of Lockheed Martin Canada, has challenged Wheeler’s viewpoints in a letter to the Citizen. According to Manson, the F-35 project is progressing well and the plane is the right one for Canada. He said Wheeler lacks credibility because he is associated with a “left-wing” organization in Washington.

Wheeler, who was asked to testify last year before a Commons committee, has spent the last 30 years working on defence issues for Republican and Democratic politicians. He was an analyst for nine years with the Government Accountability Office, working on studies concerning defence procurement and military aircraft.

The DND records highlight the F-35’s capabilities, pointing out that it will be easy to fly and the purchase will provide contracts for Canadian aerospace companies.

During the tour, the issue of whether the F-35 could contribute to search and rescue (SAR) missions also came up. “Fighter aircraft (are) not a primary SAR asset, but can play a secondary role — and would,” the documents state.

But Steve Staples, a vocal critic of the F-35 purchase, calls that claim ludicrous.

He said the billions of dollars earmarked for the fighter jets have helped delay other more important projects such as the air force’s much-delayed plan to buy fixed wing search and rescue planes.

“The concern here is that the F-35 eats everybody’s else’s lunch and there will be no money left,” said Staples, president of the Rideau Institute. “The search and rescue aircraft are a casualty, so instead we’ll get some supersonic stealth fighter trying to find hikers lost in the woods.”

According to the DND presentations from the documents, the first F-35 will be delivered to Canada in 2016. The final delivery will take place in 2022.
Read more: Canada
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
then why the fuck are our Defense officials saying they are ?
waiting until after the election to drop that bomb on us ?
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
oops. deleted! lol.. yeah.. I don`t know.

It just seems like they will just hide the jet overruns in later budgets at some point..
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
I'm sure if Canada was to buy the f-35 (which would be pure stupidity) we would have the engines included, but that's just a side issue. The real issue is what the cost is going to be, because there's no way in hell it will be $75 million, and the Harper government has to come clean on this before the election. (which of course they won't because Canadians are apathetic, and won't demand it)

“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.
 

Puma

TRIBE Member
one thing that the MSM is not reporting on is that Canada would be getting the jets cheaper then other countries such as Norway for example.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
He just dismisses everything and does it the way he wants. Global warming, muzzling scientists, oil subsidies, suppressing documents, and so on. He gets called on it, he dismisses it as though he's not accountable to anyone. Or he prorogues.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
At this point he is either cruising toward a majority or a minority. Both suck majorly.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
minority is good. likely means rae will take over for iggy, and harper will finally retire after not being able to close the deal given 3 chances.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Last night o the National at issue panel the people were talking about a potential future merger between the Liberals and the NDP... Imagine us witha two party system like the Americans... yikes
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
I don't see that happening in the near future. The At Issue panel has never been more out-to-lunch than during this election.
 
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