Canada to talk to allies, competitors in options to replace CF-18s, sources

by Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – The agency overseeing the replacement of the country’s CF-18s intends to talk to the U.S., Australia and Britain as it conducts a full-fledged options analysis into the future of Canada’s fast fighter fleet, say defence sources.

That review, which will also include consultation with competitors to the oft-maligned F-35 stealth fighter, will get underway soon and could last several months.

In the House of Commons this week, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said that the air force’s statement of requirements — the document that set out what the military says it needs for selected pieces of equipment — will be set aside until an options analysis is completed.

“The options’ analysis is a full evaluation of choices, not simply a refresh of the work that was done before,” Ambrose told the House of Commons. “That review of options will not be constrained by the previous statement of requirements.”

The process usually happens in reverse. The military defines what it needs and then, in conjunction with public works, conducts an analysis of what is out there and how the capability can be filled.

National Defence and to a lesser extent Public Works were accused last spring by the auditor general of not doing their homework when it chose to proceed with the multi-billion dollar proposal to buy the F-35 from Lockheed Martin.

Defence officials were also chastised for lobbying for the stealth fighter even before they wrote the formal statement of requirements, which contained 28 necessary capabilities including weapons and censors.

None of the F-35′s rivals were contacted, including Boeing and Eurofighter.

Col. Dave Burt, the officer in charge of the program, has been quoted as saying they “didn’t feel the need” because they had “all the necessary information” and the technology gap between aircraft was too wide.

A Public Works secretariat, set up in the aftermath of the auditor general’s scathing criticism, intends to go beyond what would be a traditional market analysis of which planes can do what and consider how the allies are coping with delays and cost-overruns in the F-35 program.

Of particular interest, according to sources, will be the Australians who recently chose to buy Super Hornets, the updated version of the F-18, in order to close the gap between their aging fighters and the introduction of F-35s after 2020.

Another rapidly evolving sector that may — may not — factor into the review is the whole question of unmanned technology. Some critics have suggested that some of the surveillance missions the air force would like to see its new fighter carry out can be performed by highly sophisticated drones.

In an interview with The Canadian Press last year, former air force chief, retired lt.-gen. Andres Deschamps, said drones are still evolving and still unable to perform intercepts and dogfight with enemy aircraft.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion around what fighters can do,” he said in the interview. “The foremost job of any fighter aircraft … is air control, which is fundamental to any sovereign action; maintaining control of your own air space. Right now, the only tool that’s fully effective right across the spectrum of air control is a fighter — a manned fighter.”

Defence sources said National Defence will have input into the new, expanded options analysis, but “it will not be driving the bus.”




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Canada to talk to allies, competitors in options to replace CF-18s, sources

  1. Please let’s make sure the person responsible for the past purchase of the submarines isn’t in charge of the airplane deal.

  2. If history is any guide this process will be used to justify the previous decision — anything else will involve the government admitting they were wrong — and that’s just inconceivable.

  3. Conservatives should stop spending our hard-earned tax remissions right now!

    Subject – Harper Conservative Majority Government Fraudulent Election

    From Wikipedia:

    “It’s illegal under the Canada Elections Act to impersonate Elections Canada or to interfere with somebody’s right to vote. Under Section 403 of the Criminal Code finds individuals who fraudulently impersonate others…faces up to 10 years in prison.”

    ***
    Issue – The Conservative party DID make fraudulent calls purporting themselves to be calling from Elections Canada to 75.97% of election ridings from coast to coast for 3 full days prior to their majority election.

    Proof – Party actions prove fraudulent election. Harper Conservative majority government election fraud is already proven from scant evidence published at CBC News (“Complaints about Tory calls began 3 days before polls opened,”), such as:

    Excerpts of emails exchanged within Elections Canada for 3 days prior to the election -

    “Elections Canada has had…complaints from people in 234 ridings [75.97% of 308 ridings from coast to coast] about phone calls that allegedly tried to direct voters to the wrong polling station. ”

    “Some [returning officers] reported that the calls are allegedly identifying Elections Canada”

    And after the election, during the investigation, an out-of-control confession:

    **“A spokesman for a call centre that worked for your CONSERVATIVE PARTY said that they DID MAKE CALLS”

    ***
    Don’t let Conservatives spend any more of our hard-earned tax remissions! SAY “NO” TO ELECTION FRAUD!

    The Liberal Party of Canada has uploaded a petition for defrauded electorate to sign:

    “Petition: Say no to electoral fraud”
    It’s time for a Royal Commission on election fraud
    petition.liberal.ca/harper-robocall-election-fraud-canada-vote-royal-commission/

    or an alternate online petition can be found at:
    “Robocall Election Fraud, Leadnow.ca”
    leadnow.ca/robocall-fraud

    • Is it evil of me to wonder how Toews and McKay will enjoy double-bunking with hostile strangers for 10 years in the prison cells they have constructed [snicker, snicker]… or note how well Stockwell Day described “alarming rise in unreported crime” he obviously knew so much about. Was the new call center Harper Conservatives are building right now underway when Day made that statement, I wonder? [snicker, snicker]…

      Remember how Conservative supporters have ha-hawed and blown off our valid electorate concerns [sneer]?

      Should I be ashamed of myself for having had enough of the illegitimate Conservative Party of Canada government? [twitch] The last straw for me was hearing the other day they would not reveal how many warships they are having constructed; we need to hold this illegitimate government accountable [deep, exasperated breath].

      I am tired of this.

      I signed the Liberal Petition for a Royal Commission on Election Fraud immediately so I can make my voice heard by identifying myself as a valid electoral voter in support. I hope you all do, too.

  4. A government that goes out of its way to deceive an entire nation that the F-35 is the only plane our country needs without considering any others and who knowingly and deliberately lied to the nation about the F-35′s rising costs and developmental problems up to and including hiding this info from the nation before the 2011 election, has without question violated the public trust and as far as I’m concerned, IS NO LONGER FIT TO GOVERN CANADA OR ANY OTHER DEMOCRATIC NATION PERIOD!!!!!

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