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

JamesM

TRIBE Member
apparently they can't communicate with the Arctic either. Part of his plan to defend whatever resources might be up there!

Apparently the CF-18's are way more advanced in that capacity, since they're modernized and can communicate with moar satellites? wow. That seems to far-fetched!

whatever. They insist it will be ready for Arctic communication! but at what additional cost!

They can attach a large string with a tin can then.

Didn't anyone do research on this?

Canada's new multibillion-dollar stealth fighters are expected to arrive without the built-in capacity to communicate from the country's most northerly regions — a gap the air force is trying to close.

A series of briefings given to the country's top air force commander last year expressed concern that the F-35's radio and satellite communications gear may not be as capable as that of the current CF-18s, which recently went through an extensive modernization.

The F-35 Lightning will eventually have the ability to communicate with satellites, but the software will not be available in the initial production run, said a senior Lockheed Martin official, who spoke on background.

It is expected to be added to the aircraft when production reaches its fourth phase in 2019, but that is not guaranteed because research is still underway.

“That hasn't all been nailed down yet,” said the official. “As you can imagine there are a lot of science projects going on, exploring what is the best . . . capability, what satellites will be available.”

Additionally, Canada's request to have the upgrade placed in the fourth phase will compete with software changes sought by other countries. Norway, for example, wants to use its own missiles on the F-35 rather than U.S.-made weapons.

Defending the Arctic is one of the Harper government's key justifications for buying the aircraft, which are estimated to cost between $16 and $30 billion, including long-term maintenance.

A Defence Department spokesman denied that the F-35's communications suite will be less effective than that of CF-18s, but acknowledged that so-called beyond-line-of-sight communications is a concern.

“Communications in the Arctic represents a specific challenge to all aircraft due to lack of satellite coverage in the north,” said Evan Koronewski in an email response. “Canada is working closely with the other partner nations to ensure Canadian operational requirements for communications in the Arctic are met.”

Air force planners recognized the problem last year and are “considering a back-up,” said an April 2010 briefing.

A study is looking at whether an external communications pod can be installed on the F-35.

Mr. Koronewski said it is one of “many options” being investigated, but wasn't able to discuss other potential solutions.

The sophisticated pods, which are carried by the CF-18s, were purchased as part of the $2.6-billion fleet upgrade, which began in 2000.

The briefing to the chief of air staff noted that installing such pods could be made more affordable if other countries participated.

The communications problem is just one of several technical issues the air force is working on.

National Defence has asked the U.S. manufacturer whether it's possible to install a different air-to-air refuelling system on Canadian F-35s. Most other air forces in the world have stopped using what's known as a “probe and drogue” connection, opting instead for a plug-in receptacle which connects to a boom on the tanker aircraft.

The request was made because it's unclear when Canada will able to upgrade its air-to-air refuellers with the booms. Lockheed Martin says it can equip the F-35s to use both systems, but a decision on whether to spend money on modification has yet to be made.
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
I'm not mad at the waste as much as I am that this is only getting attention NOW rather than during the election.

FFS Deja Fucking VU.
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
gezuz christ..

bwhahahahah!

you know 10 billion here and there. It's just hard to track! You know..

wonder how many government jobs 10 billion would save.. or seniors pensions. etc, etc.. Nope, the money always had to "be there" for Fighter Jets.

MacKay puts F-35 price gap down to a difference in accounting

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he knew as far back as 2010 that the total cost of buying F-35 fighter-jets was at least $10-billion higher than the price tag repeatedly sold to Canadians.

But Mr. MacKay says the yawning gap between the $25-billion the government now acknowledges the planes will cost and the oft-repeated estimate of $15-billion is simply a matter of “accounting,” rather than an attempt to conceal.

“There’s a different interpretation in the all-up costs at arriving at $25-billion,” Mr. MacKay told CTV’s Question Period, broadcast Sunday. “And that information goes back to the year 2010. Those figures are there for all to see.”

Mr. MacKay promised more transparency and better accountability on the purchase. But he said the government is still committed to going ahead with a purchase, and that backing out now could prove costly.

And yet for the past two years – and right through last spring’s federal election – the Conservative government heaped scorn on critics who claimed the aircraft would cost significantly more.

Last week, federal Auditor-General Michael Ferguson issued a report blaming the government for mismanaging the F-35 program and misinforming Parliament, and Canadians, about the true cost of its largest-ever purchase.

Mr. MacKay said missing from the estimate until now were such costs as pilot salaries, fuel costs and the like – costs not associated with the direct purchase of the planes from Lockheed-Martin.

“This is the way that accounting has been always been done for major procurements whether it’s tanks, trucks, ships,” he told CTV in an interview from his riding in New Glasgow, N.S. “We do not calculate as part of the acquisitions costs what we pay military personnel. Or the fuel. Or the cost of keeping that existing equipment running.”

And he said he has no intention of resigning over the controversy, and that no apologies are necessary.

“I don’t agree that there was a manipulation of information,” he insisted.

“I’ve acted in good faith, always with an eye to providing the men and women in uniform with the best equipment that we can possibly get.”

The minister’s explanations didn’t sit well with opposition critics, who accused the government of botching the purchase and misleading Canadians.

“This is not over,” NDP defence critic Jack Harris told CTV. “They can’t paper this over. This is going to haunt them.”

Liberal MP Ralph Goodale said the problem goes well beyond Mr. MacKay and the Defence department. He argued that the ultimate responsibility lies with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“The Prime Minister is going to wear this one,” he said. “It’s gross incompetence and it’s dishonesty.”
 
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Persephone

TRIBE Member
This makes the liberal sponsorship scandal look like peanuts. I wonder how voters who turned vehemently against the liberals feel about this supposed "accounting error"? Are they happy that they've elected a government that thinks it unacceptable to award self promotion projects without proper bidding processes, to the tune of ~$4million, but feels its ok to intentionally lie about the true cost of fighter jets and then pass their lies off as an accounting error?
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
What can anyone do about a government that lies to Parliament, lies to Canadians, and does whatever it wants? Nothing really.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
^^ wake up and make sure they don't get re-eleicted.

if there was mass demonstrations then the government would have to reassess the way they're conducting themselves. but this being Canada that will never happen.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Well you know democracy is working when people are so comfortable they can afford to be apathetic about politics... ch33se
 

Dialog

TRIBE Member
CBC: RCMP conducted 5-month probe into leaked F-35 story

The Harper government called in the RCMP to investigate a politically embarrassing story involving the decision to sole-source the purchase of the F-35 stealth fighter, claiming it was a breach of national security, The Canadian Press has learned.

The Mounties conducted a five-month review into an alleged leak of cabinet documents under the Security of Information Act, recently used to charge a naval intelligence officer in an apparent spy case.

Records obtained under the Access to Information Act show investigators had doubts almost from the outset in July 2010 that any laws were broken in the Globe and Mail story.

The story revealed angst within government about possible alienation from Washington if a competition was held to replace the air force's CF-18s.

Still, the review pressed ahead and drew in one of the RCMP's four Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams, whose job it is to chase terrorism threats.

It was shut down in December 2010 for lack of evidence.

Complaint filed by Harper adviser
The case file shows the complaint was laid by Wayne Wouters, clerk of the Privy Council, the country's highest-ranking civil servant and adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, shortly after the article appeared on June 11, 2010.

The story by reporter Daniel Leblanc ran a month before the Harper government formally announced it had selected the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 in a glitzy photo-op that included a mock-up of the radar-evading jet.

The first RCMP member to review the allegation on July 8 was mystified as to what the issue might be.

"By reading the article, it is unclear how the info, interferes with the development of weapons or jeopardizes the safety of Canada," said the summary file, which rated the preliminary investigation as a medium priority.

"It is an analytical fact that Canada and the USA are allies in several aspects. International competition may hinder Can-US relationships if Canada decides to turn down US offer, and the Globe and Mail article has not shed new lights on these facts or revealed secrets."

Doubts about the substance of the complaint lingered until the file was closed, the records show.

The prime minister's communications director defended the decision to ask for an investigation.

"The RCMP was asked to look into a possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information as has been done from time to time," said Andrew MacDougall in an email.

A spokesman for the RCMP, Cpl. David Falls, said the force has a mandate to "investigate the unauthorized disclosure, mishandling or communication of classified information," but declined to comment on the specifics of the Globe and Mail investigation, referring questions to the Privy Council Office.

Review kept alive
The case file reveals investigators recommended on Sept. 2, 2010, the review be shut down. The complaint could be "concluded as it does not constitute a breach of secret or protected documents."

Yet it was kept alive by senior officers, who insisted National Defence be consulted, especially in light of reports that summer that computers at the 1st Canadian Air Division headquarters had been hacked.

As it turned out, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service was already looking into the issue, but as part of the wider damage assessment of the massive leak of U.S. documents to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

Military police said they had "no way of knowing what cabinet document was released" and later concluded that the Globe and Mail story did not constitute a breach, according to records and defence sources.

The RCMP closed its file in November 2010, but was forced to "re-activate" the case and "investigate further" because it was noted no one had talked to Wouters.

The file "should not have been concluded at this time before the complainant was met and had a chance to explain why he thinks there was a leak of 'secret cabinet documents,"' said a Dec. 22, 2010, notation.

The investigator apparently tried to contact Wouters, seeking clarification and was rebuked by the National Security Criminal Operations Branch, which noted the complaint had been filed by letter through the commissioner's office.

It took Mounties in charge of the case two-and-a-half months to get their hands on an actual copy of the letter, which had been "kept at the commissioner's office."

'This has the whiff, well more than a whiff, of a politically inspired move'
—Security expert Wesley Wark
In finally shutting down the probe, the Mounties said "since the information was available on open source, it was decided that no further investigation was needed."

Wesley Wark, an expert in security and intelligence at the University of Ottawa, said he was concerned by the revelations in the file. He described the probe as a misuse of not only the RCMP, but of the security legislation, one of the most serious laws on the book.

"This has the whiff, well more than a whiff, of a politically inspired move," said Wark.

"The complaint was coming from an odd place, an admittedly senior place within the government. The fact the clerk would ask the commissioner to do this is in of itself very unusual."

He said it would not have been so unusual had the request for an investigation come from either the deputy ministers at Defence or Foreign Affairs -- departments that would have had a more direct say whether the story contained classified information.

But even in those cases, Wark said, departments have their own security officers who track media leaks and those rarely amount to criminal investigations.

He said it is also unusual in that the government would have known that media leak provisions of the legislation were struck down a few years ago in the aftermath of the case where Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill's home was raided following stories she wrote about the Maher Arar affair.

"There are a number of things at work here that are troubling, quite apart from what appears to be the silliness of the exercise in the first place and the waste of resources," said Wark.

"Even if they had a strong case, prudence would suggest this is not the kind of thing you would want to pursue. The Security of Information Act doesn't exist to be used for politically inspired chill."
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
F-35 bill just went up (again): Tories spend $600K on KPMG audit of jet program | Canadian Politics | Canada | News | National Post

The Harper government has hired the accounting firm KPMG to crunch the numbers on the controversial F-35 stealth fighter program — at a cost of $643,535 to taxpayers.

The assessment was ordered after a biting report from the auditor general accused the Tories of hiding the real cost of the fighter jets and withholding information. The independent review will inform the National Defence annual update tabled in Parliament.

The government promised last spring the review would be complete and tabled in Parliament by June, but it was forced to re-issue the tender last month after the original contract didn’t allow the accountants enough flexibility to complete the work.

Opposition parties have hammered the Tories, and in particular, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, over the bungled procurement process. MacKay faced repeated calls to resign or be sacked for his role in the controversy and was widely expected to be removed from the defence portfolio in a cabinet shuffle earlier this year.

The government initially projected the acquisition of the jets would cost $16-billion, but auditor general Michael Ferguson and the Parliamentary budget officer later indicated the cost was likely much higher.

Ferguson even accused the Defence Department of low-balling the estimate by not including operating expenses, which could amount to $10 billion over the 30-year life of the aircraft.

KPMG was hired to complete specific tasks. It will review the National Defence “acquisition and sustainment project assumptions and potential costs for the replacement of the CF-18s.”

The firm will also assess the life-cycle cost of the F-35 fighters.
In before bbj's 'but, but, McGuinty...'
 

JamesM

TRIBE Member
that was great. watched it last night. although the dude who was old and back from the past who was the super engineer on the a10 was a lot more on the conspiracy side of things and the f-35 is a shitty piece of old bricks. so I guess they made the best of the tools at hand.

old man yelling at chair. hehe
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
yep was worthwhile - had me harkening back to Janice Stein's The Unexpected War, which revealed the extent to which horse-trading for American favour guides our policy-making... We all know what happened, Americans wanted us to be in so we went in on the F35 to make them and their MIC happy.

I just wish Canadians were a bit more open about how subservient our policy-making can be to American interests - I think here there is a bit of wilful denial and fantasy-making that we are somehow able to chart our own course freely...
 

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
What a cluster @($&*@#)_ Im so glad its has been cancelled, but how much money has been wasted in the meantime on a plane that we dont need? How much time and effort has been spent defending the governments position on this plane?
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
honestly the CF-18 is a terrific platform for our conditions and there's no reason we couldn't just keep on keeping on with them perhaps in a Super Hornet mode. Christ for what they were (almost) willing to spend on the F35 we could buy a bunch of reconditioned CF-18s and keep them going for a decade or more.
 

octo

TRIBE Member
i read somewhere that a proposal was made at some point to redevelop the Avro Arrow

that would be cool
 
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