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F-35s may cost $100 million each

U.S. budget watchdog contradicts Conservative government estimates


 

The sixty-five F-35 joint strike fighters currently being built to replace Canada’s F-18 jets will cost $100 million each, $25 million more than government estimates, according to an official at a U.S. budget watchdog. Mike Sullivan, director of acquisition management at the U.S. General Accountability Office, disputed the Conservative government’s $75 million per plane estimate on CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, saying it lacked a proper methodology. The government has maintained that the total cost would be around $9 billion with training and an additional $200-$300 million a year in maintenance costs. “That is not a number I am familiar with at all,” said Sullivan. Conservative MP Laurie Hawn admitted that the government may have been wrong on the initial cost of the new jets, but that Canada was buying them at the peak of their production curve, making them cheaper than U.S. budget estimates. While Sullivan agreed that buying jets later in the production run makes them relatively cheaper, he noted that Canada is set to have the jets delivered in 2016, which is early.

CBC News


 
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F-35s may cost $100 million each

  1. Seems awful steep. There just isn't anyway to get a realistic appraisal of what these jets will cost. The only thing for sure is that the cost will go up & up. We can purchase a heck of a lot more kit than 65 jet fighters (for those dollars). I know the existing ones need replacing, but this is completely beyond the pale.

  2. Seems awful steep. There just isn't anyway to get a realistic appraisal of what these jets will cost. The only thing for sure is that the cost will go up & up. We can purchase a heck of a lot more kit than 65 jet fighters (for those dollars). I know the existing ones need replacing, but this is completely beyond the pale.

  3. No, Sullivan said he didn't know how the Canadian government got their estimate of 9 billion, not that it was wrong.

    And DND has said that the cost overruns are on the US which is why the extra cost won't be passed on to Canada.

    Still not the best plane for the situation but he didn't contradict anyone.

  4. The government insists that they will pay an initial $9 billion for the planes plus the cost for training and simulators, with the totals costs at $16 billion over 20 years. This is similar to the PBO numbers: $29 billion over 30 yrs (ie $0.8 B/yr versus $0.97B/yr), which may include higher maintenance charges as the planes age.

    Moreover, and admittedly not knowing what training/simulators cost, my simple calculations suggest that these are reasonable numbers.

    Government: $75 million per plane X 65 planes = $4.875 billion
    Sullivan (for F35a conventional take-off and landing): $100 million per plane X 65 planes = $6.5 billion
    Sullivan (for F 35 models with carrier landing or VTOL): $130 per plane X 65 planes = $8.45 billion

    Again, when these costs are amortized over the 40 yr life of the jets, it is a rather minor difference between the government price and Sullivans ($4.875 billion – $6.5 billion = $1.625 billion).

    So why all the fuss over $1.625 billion price estimates for the purchase costs of next generation fighter jets? These costs remain well below what the government has allocated?

  5. Sorry, typo: The government will pay an initial $9 billion for the planes including the cost for training and simulators.

  6. Sorry, typo: The government will pay an initial $9 billion for the planes including the cost for training and simulators.

  7. Anytime and level of Government Office/Person/Department buys something/pays for something, the estimate is almost always at least twice what they tell us. I challenge any sane person to say this is wrong. Who can believe any Government person anymore?
    We're used to them lying and you just can't believe a thing that comes out of their mouths.

  8. Anytime and level of Government Office/Person/Department buys something/pays for something, the estimate is almost always at least twice what they tell us. I challenge any sane person to say this is wrong. Who can believe any Government person anymore?
    We're used to them lying and you just can't believe a thing that comes out of their mouths.

  9. This whole project could eventually turn out to be the Cons' version of the gun registry. Cost over-runs on steroids.

  10. $9 Billion would be better spent on 3 top of the line Virginia class Nuclear Subs, one for each coast, configured for Search & Rescue and Research, and outfitted for sneaking up on and arresting/sinking illegal foreign fishing vessels.

  11. $9 Billion would be better spent on 3 top of the line Virginia class Nuclear Subs, one for each coast, configured for Search & Rescue and Research, and outfitted for sneaking up on and arresting/sinking illegal foreign fishing vessels.

  12. Because nobody ever explains the breakdown and detail of the cost as well as you just did, certainly not the opposition, and sadly not even the government. Instead, the opposition simply screams, "16 Billion on jets, and they didn't even include it in this years budget!!!"

  13. Because nobody ever explains the breakdown and detail of the cost as well as you just did, certainly not the opposition, and sadly not even the government. Instead, the opposition simply screams, "16 Billion on jets, and they didn't even include it in this years budget!!!"

  14. We don't need F35s at any price. There is no military requirement and we should not burden our children and grandchildren by making them pay for this colossal waste!

    If we were going to be bombed it would come with such force involving both bombers and ICBMs that 65 F35s would useless. Further, currently and for the forseeable future only Russia and China might be able to theoretically carry out that insanity. The big question is why would they do that? With such a massive move they would be risking world wide retaliation. They want access to the resources which we consider to be on Canadian soil. To get it they are either buying it up or proceeding with claims in International arenas. Bombing us into oblivion would not accomplish their aims.

    Further, if an airliner approaching any major airport in the world turns rogue it would be on its intended target before any meaningful action could be taken to stop it. No role for the F35. In this case we must simply be ready to pick up the pieces that such an insane action would cause.

  15. We don't need F35s at any price. There is no military requirement and we should not burden our children and grandchildren by making them pay for this colossal waste!

    If we were going to be bombed it would come with such force involving both bombers and ICBMs that 65 F35s would useless. Further, currently and for the forseeable future only Russia and China might be able to theoretically carry out that insanity. The big question is why would they do that? With such a massive move they would be risking world wide retaliation. They want access to the resources which we consider to be on Canadian soil. To get it they are either buying it up or proceeding with claims in International arenas. Bombing us into oblivion would not accomplish their aims.

    Further, if an airliner approaching any major airport in the world turns rogue it would be on its intended target before any meaningful action could be taken to stop it. No role for the F35. In this case we must simply be ready to pick up the pieces that such an insane action would cause.

  16. More Liberal media bulls##t… yawn. I watched Sullivans appearance on the Liberal party's CBC, and he didn't contradict the Conservative Government at all. Sullivan told the Liberal party host Salomony, or whatever his name is, that he can't speak to the Canadian Government numbers because he's never seen them, so how could he comment on something he doesn't know, and has never seen. The only thing Sullivan said about the Canadian purchase was that Canada was buying the cheapest of the 3 models available. Perhaps if the Liberal party media are going to manufacture a salacious bulls##t story every day they could at least throw in some imaginary "busty hookers" and "bags of cocaine".

  17. More Liberal media bulls##t… yawn. I watched Sullivans appearance on the Liberal party's CBC, and he didn't contradict the Conservative Government at all. Sullivan told the Liberal party host Salomony, or whatever his name is, that he can't speak to the Canadian Government numbers because he's never seen them, so how could he comment on something he doesn't know, and has never seen. The only thing Sullivan said about the Canadian purchase was that Canada was buying the cheapest of the 3 models available. Perhaps if the Liberal party media are going to manufacture a salacious bulls##t story every day they could at least throw in some imaginary "busty hookers" and "bags of cocaine".

  18. I watched that piece on CBC and Hawn is right out to lunch, he's never been in a producton in enviornment. Yes, the more you wash through a fixed overhead the less the unit cost but the size of the wash decides the unit cost, not the time of production. I noted the US expert said the whole project has many flaws and is not yet proven to be production worthy within the parpameters of existing of engineering skills and usggested monies as envisioned 10 years ago when the $75 million estimate was originally conceived. No wonder Harper was dicey on what they had, a finished cost doesn't yet exist.

  19. I watched that piece on CBC and Hawn is right out to lunch, he's never been in a producton in enviornment. Yes, the more you wash through a fixed overhead the less the unit cost but the size of the wash decides the unit cost, not the time of production. I noted the US expert said the whole project has many flaws and is not yet proven to be production worthy within the parpameters of existing of engineering skills and usggested monies as envisioned 10 years ago when the $75 million estimate was originally conceived. No wonder Harper was dicey on what they had, a finished cost doesn't yet exist.

  20. 100 million !?! If any of you saw Sullivan on Power & Politics he clearly stated between 115 & 120 million per jet.

  21. 100 million !?! If any of you saw Sullivan on Power & Politics he clearly stated between 115 & 120 million per jet.

    • You're correct, he put the cheapest jets at about $120 million, early in the production cycle. So, do the math for 65 jets.

      That's still only $7.8 billion for acquisition, not including training or maintenance.

      Since, we currently maintain 60-75 CF-18s, there is no additional cost to flying and maintaining the new planes, over what we (or DoD) pays each year. The main difference will be training and flight simulators, and I have no clue to their costs, but those are unlikely to skyrocket.

      • In fact, the US Navy predicts that operating and maintaining the F-35 will cost 68% MORE than operating and maintaining the current F-18 fleet. The DND numbers strain credulity…

        • Any idea why the new planes would cost more to maintain that 30 yr old ones?

          • a portion of that would because the stealth coatings used on the aircraft weather and are difficult to maintain.

  22. Quotes from @ embassymag.ca on the subject of Harper Conservative F-35 stealth fighter jet proposed purchase:

    – On March 11 In Waterloo, Ont, Mr. Harper told employees of high-tech firm Virtek that cancelling the contract "would be bad for the men and women of Canada's air force."

    – Mr. Harper referred to a contract when there is none.

    – Defence Department officials saying key documents, like a Statement of Operational Requirements, are classified when they shouldn't be.

    – And now even official cost estimates that have no proven credibility. The point is the absence of transparency and accountability in this whole process of replacing the CF-18s.

    – Liberals wanted an independent review of the project's costs because they have argued that the government wasn't giving the full scoop on the F-35s, and they wanted someone to get some real, provable figures.

    – It is becoming increasingly obvious that the government and military have been lying about various aspects of the program since the beginning.

    ***
    Add that information to Globe and Mail articles published today:

    – Tories' bid to win over South Asians opens party to Tamil Tigers' remnant
    – Jason Kenney: Minister of the Crown or party operative?
    – Tories deny Tamil Tigers' remnant group in federal and Ontario parties

    Ever heard the old saying “Where there is smoke, there is usually fire?”

    ***
    Our Opposition parties banded together last week to end Harper Conservative secretiveness, non-disclosure, deception.

    Very important message:

    [X] NO MORE Harper Conservative “Contempt of Parliament"!

  23. Quotes from @ embassymag.ca on the subject of Harper Conservative F-35 stealth fighter jet proposed purchase:

    – On March 11 In Waterloo, Ont, Mr. Harper told employees of high-tech firm Virtek that cancelling the contract "would be bad for the men and women of Canada's air force."

    – Mr. Harper referred to a contract when there is none.

    – Defence Department officials saying key documents, like a Statement of Operational Requirements, are classified when they shouldn't be.

    – And now even official cost estimates that have no proven credibility. The point is the absence of transparency and accountability in this whole process of replacing the CF-18s.

    – Liberals wanted an independent review of the project's costs because they have argued that the government wasn't giving the full scoop on the F-35s, and they wanted someone to get some real, provable figures.

    – It is becoming increasingly obvious that the government and military have been lying about various aspects of the program since the beginning.

    ***
    Add that information to Globe and Mail articles published today:

    – Tories' bid to win over South Asians opens party to Tamil Tigers' remnant
    – Jason Kenney: Minister of the Crown or party operative?
    – Tories deny Tamil Tigers' remnant group in federal and Ontario parties

    Ever heard the old saying “Where there is smoke, there is usually fire?”

    ***
    Our Opposition parties banded together last week to end Harper Conservative secretiveness, non-disclosure, deception.

    Very important message:

    [X] NO MORE Harper Conservative “Contempt of Parliament"!

  24. The latest figure on those jets, I heard last night, supposedly from a U.S. Military source was $151 million per plane.

    And since when has there ever been a government proposal that hasn’t gone way over initial estimates.

    Why? So Harper can play with the big boys killing Muslims in the Middle East with them?

    I’d rather see our Military take on more of a roll with its DART Teams, Saving people around the world, instead of killing people, thus making us a bigger target for extremists.

  25. The latest figure on those jets, I heard last night, supposedly from a U.S. Military source was $151 million per plane.
    And since when has there ever been a government proposal that hasn’t gone way over initial estimates.

    Why? So Harper can play with the big boys killing Muslims in the Middle East with them?

    I’d rather see our Military take on more of a roll with its DART Teams, Saving people around the world, instead of killing people, thus making us a bigger target for extremists.

  26. You're correct, he put the cheapest jets at about $120 million, early in the production cycle. So, do the math for 65 jets.

    That's still only $7.8 billion for acquisition, not including training or maintenance.

    Since, we currently maintain 60-75 CF-18s, there is no additional cost to flying and maintaining the new planes, over what we (or DoD) pays each year. The main difference will be training and flight simulators, and I have no clue to their costs, but those are unlikely to skyrocket.

  27. We are spending billions of dollars of Taxpayer money on the war machine to remain an international cop. The Americans have the warplanes to drop bombs and kill people. Why does Canada need them? Stop playing American war games, Canada.

  28. We are spending billions of dollars of Taxpayer money on the war machine to remain an international cop. The Americans have the warplanes to drop bombs and kill people. Why does Canada need them? Stop playing American war games, Canada.

  29. Harper with his degree in economics cannot do simple math. Perhaps his University should consider revoking his degree.

  30. Harper with his degree in economics cannot do simple math. Perhaps his University should consider revoking his degree.

  31. In fact, the US Navy predicts that operating and maintaining the F-35 will cost 68% MORE than operating and maintaining the current F-18 fleet. The DND numbers strain credulity…

  32. Yeah, cause what's an extra 1.625 billion. I'm sure there isn't any where else that we could spend that money.

  33. Yeah, cause what's an extra 1.625 billion. I'm sure there isn't any where else that we could spend that money.

  34. I’m pretty sure Canada needs modern jets but this is a little annoying since I remember when the F-22’s were expected to cost $65 million.

  35. I’m pretty sure Canada needs modern jets but this is a little annoying since I remember when the F-22’s were expected to cost $65 million.

  36. Any idea why the new planes would cost more to maintain that 30 yr old ones?

  37. Mostly US source I wonder if it is US or Cdn dollars

  38. Mostly US source I wonder if it is US or Cdn dollars

  39. a portion of that would because the stealth coatings used on the aircraft weather and are difficult to maintain.

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