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nicky10013

$9 Billion No-Bid Contract for 65 F-35s

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Way to keep a balanced budget.

How about we try to balance the budget again before spending money we don't have.

This government just keeps spending like a drunken sailor in a brothel.

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I find the complaints about how this is a "no bid" contract near the start of the thread hilarious. Just how many different companies do you think there are that can provide F-35 Lightning IIs Joint Strike Fighters? There is exactly one supplier, and it is the pretty much the world's most advanced single seat fighter.

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Again not what I am saying. I am saying we need to invest in the right equipment. We don't need be buying things for wars that are being fought 30 years in the past. So in 10 years when we get all these plans they will fighting wars of 40 years ago. Seriously the last time we used fighter plans was in Yugoslavia when we sent 18 plans down. While our boys did a great job that was 12 years ago. We haven't used them in 12 years and have been involved in combat. There has to be a reason for this. Oh yeah war is moving in a different direction.

I don't want to starve our military I think if we are going to have one then the fighting men and women should be supplied however if we are going to have one as a small nation we need to really look at where our combat missions are headed. Is this 9 billion we could spend on the future instead of the past.

I see where you’re coming from, but we cannot forget we do have commitments to NATO/NORAD, whether he have to “use” the planes or not. I believe this is most of the thinking behind it; also these are versatile aircraft meaning that they don’t just get used as fighter jets. The F-18s are getting old and I see the argument of why are we spending on items that may be inadequate in 10 years, but having them around (not saying that $9 billion is a good price here people) isn’t such a bad thing, I mean look what happened with Afghanistan, we got there and went “Oh shit! We need some new gear”. One point I also wanted to add is that Canada has no need to invest in very advanced military technology, I’m talking here more along the lines of missile defense systems and so on, our neighbours to the south, whether you like them or not, HAVE to protect Canada so to speak. Remember Alaska is up top, so the US wouldn’t let Canada be attacked, their missile defense system essentially has to cover our asses because, well were in the middle of them.

These jets can be used for non-war purposes as well.

Nothing like flying in helicopters known as flying coffins eh? Especially when you don't need to fly them. And nothing like buying the replacements 15 years after they're needed. Not to mention the lives lost during the crashes of several of these outdated helicopters. 30 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight? Seriously? And we wanna play the same games as before, this time with jets.

Enough is enough.

I’ve heard many people bring this up and I want to clear something up because this is actually an area that I have knowledge of, the new helicopters Canada is getting, I’m not 100% sure on all the details, although we purchased a set of Sikorsky helicopters and built a massive set of new hangers at Shearwater Base in Nova Scotia.

Secondly Shady, before calling them flying coffins you maybe should have looked a little harder. I personally know a couple Sea King pilots and they all say that they like these helicopters. Some fell out of the sky I’m not disputing that but don’t call something shitty because it breaks every once and a while. I mean if I used your logic I could say all Toyotas are rolling coffins, since the breaks failed on a couple of occasions.

Maybe we should spend $9 billion on helicopters and $4 billion on fighters.

Again we’ve already spent money on some new helicopters.

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I think by now most Canadians will agree that a major investment is required to keep our military relevent in todays world. That investment is coming due now, we've put it off for to long , that investment has already started , and still had a long way to go.

What i find alittle disturbing is how we the voters are pinning this purchase on the governing party of the day. It was after all past governments that made the decision to cut back on the military to pay off some of our debt, and we all knew that this decission had a cost, we would have to defer investing in our military until a later date...I, like the rest of you know that today we are in worse condition than yester year. and it is not the best time to be spending vast amounts of money...

However if we don't invest now, our military will have to shelf some capabilities....which ones...

By know means i'm i an expert on airforce equipment, but during my advanced leadership course we did a paper up on just this topic, and discussed it to great length, all 3 elements of the forces were represented and i was very interesting on the feed back we recieved.

Our current CF-18 were purchased in 1982, and where state of the art when purchased,they have been thru a refit program and will extend them until 2017, which when you take a look at how fast our purchase system works, and how everything fits in that date is right around the corner...

We've already spent 150 mil on the F-35 program, to become a tier i partner, it was a program designed to involve those interested in a new fighter, to invest in the R&D costs to help keep costs down...this investment does not mean we are going to purchase the F-35 but we will have economical benifits via some Canadian companies will be involved in the manufacture of parts and componets, plus have access to some of the tech.

I also want to make a note that the 9 bil includes not just the aircraft but a 20 year maint plan, training and parts...on the other hand this aircraft was touted as only going to cost 52 mil a copy (2003) est, and is now est at well over 140 mil a copy and expected to rise to over 200 mil a plane. So our 9 bil is perhaps a little low and may grow as cost increase...

This 9 bil is going to be a long term savings program, like most of our large purchases, and is not going to come out of the budget in one large chunk. DND has alotted approx 2.5 bil a year for equipment purchases unless more cuts are made.

The airforce have been studing this problem for years, infact it has been looking very close at the UCAV (unmanned fighter) option and what Punk has suggested will come to fruit in the next 10 to 15 years even as we speak the US airforce has developed serveral proto types the X 45, and a newer version just released about a month ago...although the tech is just new it is growing rapidily, but is not at the piont where it can proform as well as a Manned fighter...but like i said it is a rapidly growing field...

This is why the Airforce has decided to purchase another manned fighter, to act as a bridge until the UCAV becomes reality...

Our current F-18 perform dozens of tasks for Canadians every day, some have been already described here, from interception missions not only of Russian aircraft, but any aircraft not auth to be in our airspace, to tracking and intercepting drug and other illigal traffic, to letting the Russians know we can still respond to Cold war threats. and while not deployed in Afghan other nations provide valuable air support...any one on the ground will tell you fast air can sometime mean life and death...a fighter takes off from Kav once every min...NATO has serveral major airbase in Afghan...that is alot of jets...

So to say they are not needed is like saying your car really does not need rubber tires...

But Afghan is not the only mission in town, or the only mission Canadian citizens expect from our forces...The reality is the world is a very unstable place with over 120 conflicts raging world wide, and others just a spark away....This tech equipment takes months to build a single copy, so the next major conflict will be come as you are...that being most of the rougue nations today do have very modern aircraft, thanks to Russia and Chinas liberal military contracts....and our CF-18 while still a good aircraft is behind the tech curve...one would think that if we where going to send our troops into battle we would want to give them every edge we could...All one has to do is look at nations like most of the Middle eastern countries ,India, Pakistan, the Koreas, and what they have in thier inventory....

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Secondly Shady, before calling them flying coffins you maybe should have looked a little harder. I personally know a couple Sea King pilots and they all say that they like these helicopters. Some fell out of the sky I’m not disputing that but don’t call something shitty because it breaks every once and a while. I mean if I used your logic I could say all Toyotas are rolling coffins, since the breaks failed on a couple of occasions.

Again we’ve already spent money on some new helicopters.

You have incredibly minimized the situation with the Sea kings! It reminds me of the old joke about how an ad company can claim that "4 out of 5 doctors prefer Aspirin!" If you have a big enough sample, as long as you can find 4 doctors that support your premise you can just add any one of the MILLIONS that do not prefer Aspirin! Those 4 doctors might be the only ones on the planet who prefer Aspirin but your statement is true and legal, even though viewed in context it is an advertising con.

Here's just one of many links:

http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/H-3_Sea_King/

"The Canadian Navy purchased 41 Sea Kings in 1963. The helicopters at that time were state of the art and served well, being well liked by crews. The Canadian forces developed a technique for landing the huge helicopters on small ship decks, using a 'hauldown' winch, that earned them them nickname of 'Crazy Canucks'.

As the Sea Kings have aged, however, they have become increasingly unreliable and hard to maintain. Twelve have crashed, killing ten people. Each Sea King now requires over 30 manhours of maintenance for every hour flying, a figure described by the Canadian Naval Officers Association as "grossly disproportionate" [1]. They are unavailable for operations 40% of the time. The Sea Kings are now widely perceived as unreliable, outdated and expensive to maintain, both inside and outside the service. In late 2003 the entire fleet was grounded (except for essential operations) for a few weeks after two aircraft lost power within a few days of each other.

Efforts to replace the helicopters have been hampered by political considerations. In 1992 the Tory government announced the purchase of EH-101 helicopters to replace them. However on a change of government in 1993 the incoming Liberals immediately cancelled the order (paying cancellation fees of $500 million Canadian). When it subsequently became clear that new helicopters were still desperately needed, the Liberal government began a procurement process that critics have accused of being deliberately tailored to prevent the EH-101 from being chosen as a candidate. It was only after the retirement of Prime Minister Jean Chretien at the end of 2003 that the competition was finally opened."

The history became so bad that the Canadian PILOTS composed a satirical Sea King theme song, sung to the tune of the old Terry Jacks tune "Seasons in the Sun".

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/11-21-2002-30759.asp

"Sea Kings in the Sun

(Sung to the tune of Seasons in the Sun)

Goodbye papa please pray for me

My helicopter's crashing in the sea

I honestly don't mean to pout,

but my future is in doubt,

My co-pilot just fell out.

Goodbye papa it's hard to fly,

When my airframe’s cracking in the sky,

For every hour in the air,

it takes them 30 to repair,

We fly these things on a dare.

We've had joy, we've had fun,

We've had Sea Kings in the sun,

But the engines are on fire,

and the Sea Kings must retire,

Goodbye Chrétien my stingy one,

You could have bought the EH-101,

Instead you blew 500 mil,

Just to cancel out the bill,

Now I need an airsick pill.

We've had joy, we've had fun,

We've had Sea Kings in the sun

We'll be lucky if we reach,

a crash landing on the beach."

Your post might have been true in 1970, when the Sea Kings were relatively new. It is definitely NOT true today!

"4 out of 5 Canadian Forces pilots like Sea Kings!", indeed!

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You have incredibly minimized the situation with the Sea kings! It reminds me of the old joke about how an ad company can claim that "4 out of 5 doctors prefer Aspirin!" If you have a big enough sample, as long as you can find 4 doctors that support your premise you can just add any one of the MILLIONS that do not prefer Aspirin! Those 4 doctors might be the only ones on the planet who prefer Aspirin but your statement is true and legal, even though viewed in context it is an advertising con.

True, and it's not really a joke. Marketing is deceptive almost by definition, a direct contradiction of Free Market theory. ("Informed consumers making educated choices"; part of the point of advertising is to undermine this principle.)

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Way to keep a balanced budget.

This is already budgeted.

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I think by now most Canadians will agree that a major investment is required to keep our military relevent in todays world.

Prove it. Prove that most Canadians agree we need to be a big player on the world's stage. The point of getting all gussied up and for what is becoming less relevant with things like the cost of the G8 Summit underscoring just how divorced from reality our planet's governing and ruling classes are becoming. As was pointed out $9 billion is very unlikely to be the true cost. Does anyone really believe this won't double or triple or quadruple?

I'd like to see wide ranging public forums on the whole subject of our defense as it relates to world affairs including a thorough review of our military treaties and so-called commitments and exactly why they need to be maintained.

Then we should put the whole issue to a series of referenda.

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Nope that is not what I am asking. I am saying we need to look at our military spending, and the future of weapons and invest in that. I don't want Canada to go out and buy catapults just to say they have more then someone else because that is stupid. If warfare is moving beyond manned fighter plans (which it is) Canada should not be putting long term military money into it

Well, front line fighters are a strong answer to any pereived threat, and while the world, particularly the US is exploring the myriad ways in which unmanned drones can substitute for actual aircraft they are a very long way from being able to replace them. Witness the fact the US will purchase 2500 of these fighters vs the 65 Canada wants.

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The West is one thing, Canada another.

Argus, your argument would have a lot more credibility if the Conservative government had not just spent $1 billion plus on a three day summit. IMV, Stephen Harper's spending judgment is seriously out of whack and so, I have legitimate reason to wonder whether we need $9 billion of fighter jets.

As part of the G8 and G20 we have to take a turn every 8 or 20 years in hosting these things. According to Don Martin today Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer examining the event has not found anything particularly amiss with the costs. I believe the AG has also expressed an interest in looking, so I'm not all that worried. If money is being wasted we'll find out in due course. As to the contract being mentioned, I'm all for anything that helps short circuit the horrifically laborious DND procurement process, which could easily take many years to run its course before deciding - likely - on the same fighter. When the final costs are announced it should not be terribly difficult to judge them according to what others pay for similar aircraft.

Punked's comment above requires a better answer than simply saying "There are bad people in the world and we have to defend ourselves against them."

It works for me. Why doesn't it work for you?

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So then tell me why we haven't used them in 12 years and why in the last 30 we have used them twice for what amounts to a years worth of use. Seriously this is a good question. There is a reason the US is cutting back on their fighter purchases and it isn't cause they are dialing back spending.

I've been paying my insurance for decades, and yet, I've never used it. What a waste of money! Clearly, insurance is obsolete!

The Americans can afford to cut back We can't - and yet, we are anyway. The last time we bought fighters the order was for something like 89 or 100. Now we're down to a lousy 65. The US is 10 times our size, so a comparable purchase for them would be 650 fighters. Yet they're buying 2500 - or four times as many on a per capita basis.

Yet, these are not even going to be their only fighters. As we hear from Boeing, they will continue to have many more F18 super hornets than these. And we know THOSE aren't their only fighter type either. So the US has, probably, about ten times as many fighters than us even on a per capita basis. Doesn't sound like they're cutting back nearly as much as we are.

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we don't need it and we won't need it in the future...we have no enemies we can't handle with much less sophisticated and less costly options...the only countries capable of threatening our territory all have nukes and unless we have nukes we have no viable defense.

Another military expert from the far Left gives us his expert opinion.

The Russians are on our border. Ask the Georgians what fun that can be if they decide to act up. There are disputes with them about the placement of that border, and the resources under it. It's true we can't stand off the Russians, but we don't need to. Any major military conflict would draw in the US, but we have to be there first. The alternative is to let the US be our front line protectors, do the patrolling of our borders for us, and face down any initial Russian forays into our territory on our behalf. And for that, we have to cede much in the way of choices,options and decision making about such things to the US. I'm not prepared to do that.

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We and the Russian people will be facing a far more real threat from the BP's of the world that are exploiting those resources than we'll ever face fighting over them.

The difference between BP and Gazprom is the latter is owned and operated by the extraordinarily corrupt and unanswerable dictators and murderers of the Russian government.

You think Gazprom will be more environmentally conscious than BP???!!

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Your post might have been true in 1970, when the Sea Kings were relatively new. It is definitely NOT true today!

"4 out of 5 Canadian Forces pilots like Sea Kings!", indeed!

Well I see that you have links...great. I never said THEY ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER, I made it clear in my last post as well I'm not disputing that some have crashed. But as you so clearly showed us they were built in 1963 & as you are right in saying it takes roughly 30 hours mechanical work per 1 hour of flight, so the fact that 12 have (lets assume all were mechanical failure instead of pilot error) crashed should be absolutely no surprise I mean we should have spent the money a lot sooner. What I'd also like to note here is that I believe the last Canadian Sea King crash was in 2003 (going by memory so correct me if I'm wrong), so 7 years without a crash is pretty good if you ask me, considering they are suppose to "fall out of the sky". From what I've been told from people close to the Sea Kings is that they just weren't being taken care of properly so maybe not totally Sirkorsky's faulty design. But my friend you are reading articles, not to go into too much detail but lets just say I have a very very close connection some of these helicopters (Sea Kings as well as the new Sirkorsky helicopters replacing them) so I am speaking from experience through being around these pilots & mechanics on a consistant basis. ALL these pilots say that they LIKE the Sea Kings because of their ease of use, so I'm confident in saying that my post was true in 1970 as well as 2010. I understand some may not like them, but all the pilots I know say they do the job for now (the main downside being the amount of labour required for 1 hour of flight time). But if you want to tell me I'm wrong because you read it somewhere be my guest big guy, theres just some things you can't learn from reading, first hand knowledge for me personally, means a little more.

I'm not saying your wrong in any way, shape or form, I was just trying to point out that you can't call them Flying Coffins. By the way the President of the United States, his helicopter....guess what, its a SEA KING!

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Another military expert from the far Left gives us his expert opinion.

The Russians are on our border. Ask the Georgians what fun that can be if they decide to act up. There are disputes with them about the placement of that border, and the resources under it. It's true we can't stand off the Russians, but we don't need to. Any major military conflict would draw in the US, but we have to be there first. The alternative is to let the US be our front line protectors, do the patrolling of our borders for us, and face down any initial Russian forays into our territory on our behalf. And for that, we have to cede much in the way of choices,options and decision making about such things to the US. I'm not prepared to do that.

To reaffirm Argus's statement here, and to address those saying there are never dogs fights anymore.

It might have been a UAV, but it was shot down by a Russian MIG over Georgian territory...for me that's reason enough to have a couple jets on hand to be able to scramble in case Russia ever wanted to come into our airspace for any reason.

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I'm not saying your wrong in any way, shape or form, I was just trying to point out that you can't call them Flying Coffins.

That nickname wasn't coined here on this forum.

-k

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Now we're down to a lousy 65. The US is 10 times our size, so a comparable purchase for them would be 650 fighters. Yet they're buying 2500 - or four times as many on a per capita basis.

The US is a rediculous standard to use.

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

•The USA with its massive spending budget, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for just under half of the world total, at 41.5% of the world total;

The USA has about 4% of the worlds population, so they are spending at a rate about 10 x average. If we spend 1% (not 10%) of what they do, then we are a bullseye hit on per capita average.

Edited by Molly

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That nickname wasn't coined here on this forum.

-k

Yeah I know. I was trying to talk about the term in general, I realize Shady didn't come up with the nickname, I was just trying to give Shady a hard time is all, lol.

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The US is a rediculous standard to use.

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

•The USA with its massive spending budget, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for just under half of the world total, at 41.5% of the world total;

The USA has about 4% of the worlds population, so they are spending at a rate about 10 x average. If we spend 1% (not 10%) of what they do, then we are a bullseye hit on per capita average.

Great point. Looking to the world's hyperpower is not exactly a rational standard.

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There is exactly one supplier, and it is the pretty much the world's most advanced single seat fighter.

I think this part is actually where the heart of the debate lies. If we recall, the reason further procurement of the F-22 Raptor was halted by the U.S. was not because fighter aircraft were no longer going to be needed, but because the F-22 was beyond the capabilities of what would be needed.

The question of whether we need fighter aircraft is a red herring. The real question is, " What do we need our fighter aircraft to do? " and the F-35 procurement program should be measured versus that goal, not versus the brute abilities of the F-35 vis-a-vis other aircraft alone.

I guess my opinion as of this moment is that I would like to have a squadron of F-35s as an elite unit, but I have to wonder whether there is a workhorse out there that would be a better value for the rest of the dollars we are spending.

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Jesus Christ he's making the exact argument I dealt with a little while ago. Let's make something clear just because we don't need something now doesn't mean we won't need it. FYI these aren't just fighters they're multirole aircraft.

You're exactly right.

Again, it reminds me of the helicopter debacle from '93. We need new planes. Just like we needed new helicopters. Thankfully we upgraded our helicopters. But not after several Canadian servicemen died. Let's not do the same with our jets. We need them. They're not just for war. they're multipurpose.

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I think this part is actually where the heart of the debate lies. If we recall, the reason further procurement of the F-22 Raptor was halted by the U.S. was not because fighter aircraft were no longer going to be needed, but because the F-22 was beyond the capabilities of what would be needed.

Partially true....the main reason to stop F-22 production after 187 units was budget drag for other higher priority items as seen by Sec'y Gates and mission planners. The original mission of air superiority in any theatre (10 squadrons + trainers) did not go away....it was changed.

The question of whether we need fighter aircraft is a red herring. The real question is, " What do we need our fighter aircraft to do? " and the F-35 procurement program should be measured versus that goal, not versus the brute abilities of the F-35 vis-a-vis other aircraft alone.

There are other elements that also must be upgraded or supported, from interoperability to weapons suites and communications. Canada's CF-188's were sometimes left out of the action because they did not have modern weapons pods (e.f. FLIR) or smart munitions capabilities.

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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The US is a rediculous standard to use.

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

•The USA with its massive spending budget, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for just under half of the world total, at 41.5% of the world total;

The USA has about 4% of the worlds population, so they are spending at a rate about 10 x average. If we spend 1% (not 10%) of what they do, then we are a bullseye hit on per capita average.

Per capita spending is not an appropriate measure of military capabilities. The great majority of the money the US spends on its military - us too - is salaries for the armed forces. The US and Canada pay their privates more money than most countries pay their generals. And most countries have few, if any benefits for their militaries. Likewise when someone like the Chinese produce a fighter plane, it's done on the cheap in large measure because the workers are cheap, and the Chinese government owns the factor, the parts suppliers, and the resources that go into them all.

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