About that timeline - Macleans.ca

About that timeline


In his interview with CTV, Peter MacKay also noted the “discrepancy” between the 36-year timeline of the Parliamentary Budget Officer and* the Auditor General and the 20-year plan put forward by the Department of National Defence. In his report, the Auditor General stressed that a 36-year timeline was more accurate.

We have a number of observations regarding the life-cycle costing for the F-35. First, costs have not been fully presented in relation to the life of the aircraft. The estimated life expectancy of the F-35 is about 8,000 flying hours, or about 36 years based on predicted usage. National Defence plans to operate the fleet for at least that long. It is able to estimate costs over 36 years. We recognize that long-term estimates are highly sensitive to assumptions about future costs as well as to currency exchange rates. However, in presenting costs to government decision makers and to Parliament, National Defence estimated life-cycle costs over 20 years. This practice understates operating, personnel, and sustainment costs, as well as some capital costs, because the time period is shorter than the aircraft’s estimated life expectancy. The JSF Program Office provided National Defence with projected sustainment costs over 36 years.

*An astute reader points out that the Parliamentary Budget Officer used a 30-year timeline.


About that timeline

  1. In the DND’s defense, considering that the soviets already have a plane up with stealth busting technology (
    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-140909-1.html ), and that the vaunted stealth of the F-35 is completely negated when it has to scout on its own (sending out a radar signal blows your stealth out of the water) or when it has to travel any significant range (as the fuel tanker it relies on does not have stealth capabilities), unless the only mission we send these things on is “Bomb the crap outta brown folks on the ground from a nearby base”, their lifespan is significantly reduced.

  2. Shouldn’t it be considered a better investment to invest in planes that will last longer? It is so short sighted to worry about the headline catching number of costs over 36 years.

    If I was going to buy a car. And one option costs $10,000 and $1,000 to operate for the two years it will last and the other costs $20,000 and $500/year but will last 10 years. Then it is a much better deal to buy the second option which will cost $25,000 over its life than the $12,000 which does not last nearly as long.

    It is a shame that they are not treating the nation to an adult conversation about the costs of this project.

    •  I agree.