How bout them jets?

by Aaron Wherry

The Conservative government has pitched the purchase of 65 new F-35s as a job creation program, as a military recruitment tool, as our best defence against a Russian invasion,  as a necessary escort for planes carrying potentially dangerous cargo and as part of staking our claim to the Arctic. But when Mr. Harper was asked this week by Peter Mansbridge to explain why the country needs these 65 state-of-the-art fighter jets, the Prime Minister responded without invoking any of those reasons.

Will we need them? Look, I know this. We’ve heard these arguments before whenever budgets are tight: “Does the military really need them? We don’t need them today.” Did we know we would be in Afghanistan ten years ago, twelve years ago? Did we know we would be in the Balkans? Did we know we were going to have the Gulf Wars? Did we see the end of the Cold War? We don’t know these things, Peter.

What we do know is that the international situation will evolve. We don’t know what the risks and the threats will be in the future, but we know there will be some. And we know the men and women in the Canadian Forces, air, land and sea, will be called upon to respond. And when they are, we want to make sure they have a range of good, flexible equipment so they can respond safely and do their jobs effectively. And if you look at the level of military spending we’re maintaining in this country, if anything we may remain below where most of our allies are.




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How bout them jets?

  1. so we need them… just in case?

  2. Well, in that case the best thing to do is to ensure that we have the capacity to produce military equipment.

  3. so we need "a range of good, flexible equipment so they can respond safely and do their jobs effectively", agreed. but why do we needthis number of these planes without even looking at the available alternatives?

  4. I agree. And now that we're at it, we should get us a dozen of stealth bombers, a handful of aircraft carriers and a death star.

  5. Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Gulf….were all choices.

    We chose to do them, because we certainly weren't under attack. Couldn't have been in fact.

    Next time someone comes up with a bright idea to attack somebody else….we can choose to say no.

    These little military misadventures only cost us lives and treasure, and do nothing for Canada. We are already in hock up to our eyebrows, and we don't need any more debt to accomplish nothing.

    The only thing Harper is right about is that the Cold War is over.

    So it's time to think in different terms.

  6. How`s things over at LPC headquarters this morning David ?

  7. Harper is correct. We need to have the proper equipment BEFORE hostilities break out.

    The attitude that we don't need certain equipment because we are not at war is the same foolish attitude that found us entering two world wars woefully equipped.

    Clearly, many of the commentators on this site are prepared to fight wars completely unprepared……as long as they aren't the ones in uniform.

    How very Liberal Party of you.

  8. I know Harper doesn't care, but I think we should have a MacKay floor-crossing watch about now.

    I'm not sure where he'd cross to, perhaps the Guergis Party, but as McC has so ably pointed out, Harper's response doesn't actually support the purchase of F35s at all! So, is he changing his mind?

  9. didn't it take like 18 years to build the first one?

  10. No disrespect to Harper or insurance salespeople, but he's using the line that insurance salespeople use to get you to 'insurance up'… that is, 'you just never know.' It's a hard argument to quibble with, because, well, you never know. At the same time, you can only get the coverage you can afford. Can we afford these jets?

  11. The son of a Mulroney bagman always knows which side his bread is buttered on.

    And it doesn't matter what conclusion the PM's statements actually support. All that is important is to fill the space after a question with words. He could recite memorized passages from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the effect would be essentially the same.

  12. Yeah, and then those damn rebels blew it up with just one bullet. The second one too.

  13. A lot of conservatives are also not blindly buying into Harper's spin too, Blue. And Cameron cut back significantly on them in Britain. How's things at the PMO this morning Blue?

  14. Isn`t the " Peter " Harper is addressing above Mansbridge —not MacKay ?

  15. Who's saying that James?

    I think most people concerning themselves with this issue are asking if these are the right plans, if this is the right deal for these planes, if we need this many planes, if we've done enough due diligence on the real costs which seem to keep expanding, if this is the right time to be committing tens of billions of dollars to something with increasing concerns, if we aren't in fact being forced to take these planes in ths deal by the Americans. Those are all legit and practical questions to be asked.

    On the other hand, we have Harper saying "we might need them someday so shut up you unpatriotic troop haters".

    And those who agree with him and don't think we should ask questions: how very Conservative Party of you.

  16. But, they WERE very cool, as long as they were around.

    Admit it, if the Conservaties voted to build a Death Star, you'd vote for them. Just admit it.

  17. spoilsport ;-)

  18. Puh-leeeze. Get it right. Luke Skywalker used two proton torpedos, not "just one bullet". His X-wing fired them into a thermal exhaust vent, creating a convenient chain reaction that detonated the reactor core and blew up the Death Star. A pretty serious design flaw, if you ask me.

  19. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

  20. Do we really need to allow for future lanes of traffic when building that highway ?
    Is it a good idea to overbuild infrastructure components to a subdivision in case a city will grow ?
    Should that bridge built in 1930 have projected that trucks will get larger and heavier ?

    It`s not so much insurance as having the foresight to know that times will evolve and attempting to make logical calculations about where we will be in 20, 30, 50, years.

  21. What makes you think we haven't?

  22. Yes, isn't that the reason we have the armed forces?

  23. Think of your loved ones

  24. Maybe we can get our hands on some more of those used submarines instead. The Liberals thought they were a good buy and they seem to be working well for us. Don't we also have a lot of those 1980's Iltis jeeps kicking around. We were able to send our troops into Kandahar with those- who needs armour on their vehicles anyway?

  25. Choices we made in the 1940's when we signed up for the United Nations.

  26. Yes, but it is the MacKay that really wants those planes!

  27. We don't allow for future lanes of traffic when building roads anymore. Now, we designate a road's purpose and conclude that it is a four-lane road, and build it in two phases. If it comes that we need six-lanes, I imagine we'd be just as likely to build a different road.

  28. No, we are not required to go….for either NATO or the UN.

  29. Well no wonder you Conservatives don't want to send this purchase out to tender!

    See, you confine the tenders only to companies willing to provide AIRPLANES. Armoured vehicles or submarines need not apply.

  30. OK… but the question 'can we afford it' still applies. And, I'd imagine we wouldn't be able to do some of those wonderful things you've identified because we spent our money on fighter jets!

    I'm not opposed to keeping our military well-equipped, but I'm still not convinced these 'logical calculations' (on an extremely unpredictable subject I might add) have been made. It's a lot of money, and it's a lot of money we don't have.

  31. It would seem that Harper is a macro-economist. If one interprets that last bit literally it would seem that as long as we spend enough on defense we will be ok, independent of the quality of those choices. (there was a similar theme woven in the economic inaction plan). However, an alternative explanation is that so long as we spend enough we look ok wrt our allies especially if we buy their stuff.

  32. tedbetts….

    I'm just as sure that many of the critics of this purchase, would be fully supportive if it were the LIberals in Government going ahead with the purchase and such questions would never have been asked.

    That's the point.

  33. but think how many X-wings we could get for the same price? Sure, someone will ask "what good are snub fighters going to be against that?", but with their combination of speed, mobility and firepower in a package small enough to slip through the force field, I think the smart money is invested in more of them. (not to mention the spillover benefits from developing software for all of those R2 units)

  34. Jenn noted:
    "We don't allow for future lanes of traffic when building roads anymore. Now, we designate a road's purpose and conclude that it is a four-lane road, and build it in two phases"

    Yes…and that's why we no longer have any traffic jams.

  35. Yes…and those subs have already cost the life of one of our Naval Officers.

    Again…thank you Liberal Party.

  36. gottabesaid,

    did you ask questions of affordability when the Liberals proposed:
    National Childcare (expensive babysitters)
    Home care
    pharmacare
    etc…etc….etc…

    If the difficulty you have is ONLY with costs……..where are your concerns about Liberal social programs?

  37. We're already committed to the Death Star… the troops, the independent contractors, they're all on contract and on-board. This ship has sailed. We need this Death Star. We got on at the ground floor when it was being designed. It's a done deal. We can't back out now.

  38. yup, it's either buy 60-some F-35s for eleventy jillion dollars or turn the CF-18s into this century's Sea Kings. There's no other options folks, it's one or the other.

  39. Mansbridge let PMSH change the channel. Except for those – the NDP and Bloc – that object to military spending on principle, the issue has never been if a CF-18 replacement is required but why the government is planning to sole-source what will amount to a $16+ billion buy.

    I remain puzzled as to why PMSH is willingly taking flack on this issue when simply sticking to (claimed) CPC principles (by applying basic good business practices) would have avoided all substantive objections. In that respect, the F-35 issue is akin to the census decision: illogical on its face.

    Possible explanations: (1) Hubris; (2) some sort of backdoor deal with the Obama administration (e.g., the perimeter and border easing); (3) pure politics (i.e. CPC sees some advantage in picking a fight w/ LPC on this issue).

    Others?

  40. Actually, I did! If we can't afford them, we shouldn't do them. You know, just because somebody criticizes the Conservatives doesn't mean they believe the Liberals are on the right track.

    But, so we're straight, if the question is between helping one of your fellow citizens or having the capability to blow people up from 30,000 feet, blowing people up is a better priority?

  41. That's all emperor talk. We don't even have a written contract for the death star yet. There's no done deal. And the Trade Federation is offering up a better deal and better value.

  42. Luke may have used two proton torpedos, but all he needed was one if he had used the damn Force in the first place. That kid. Always doing things the hard way first, before listening to his elders.

  43. BS. Look at who is criticizing this deal and these fighters. A lot of non-Liberal supporters. I'm sure Gord Cameron would be rejecting them for Britain regardless of what Canada did. I'm sure the conservatives who oppose this sole-sourced deal would be all the more vociferous. Think back to the cancellation of the helicopter deal by Chretien. What newspaper didn't have a column and an editorial or op-ed piece about it?

    So spare me the Conservatives are such victims of the world histrionics. It got old 10 years ago.

  44. No it's quite simple. We operate in military alliances. We buy equipment as part of those alliances. We are interoperable with our main alliance partner the USA (who provides most of the defence force and equipment for its allies). Canada needs to be able to supply 3 or 4 squadrons of alliance-selected jets.

    Buying used diesel submarines has turned out to be useful to the US because they don't have any diesel subs and can use ours as "enemy subs" in exercises. (when we can get them working that is). All this talk about tendering and drawing up lists of "Canadian requirements" is for show.

  45. I think you are right to focus on the affordability of the F-35`s. Harper touched on the spending requirements needed over the next 10 to 20 years for these planes but I don`t think anyone knows for sure yet.

    The one item that I would like to know for sure about is the commitment from the government that these publically-funded planes will provide many years of high-paying jobs here in Canada, both directly and indirectly.

  46. Definitely l and 2 … he is out of his depth.

  47. Emily noted:

    “We chose to do them, because we certainly weren’t under attack. Couldn’t have been in fact”

    Emily, where were you on September 11th, 2001?

    Clearly, you were not one of the Canadians working int he world trade center.

  48. And they could have avoided the attack how ? Just asking!

  49. For the government to make that commitment, it would require commitments from the other stakeholders in the project. From what I can gather, the track record for meeting expectations on this plane through its development has not been good (which, of course, has nothing to do with this government).
    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4463029

  50. We do indeed, and look around NATO and what do you see? NATO allies Hungary and the Czech Republic bought Saab Gripens; NATO allies in Western Europe (Germany, Italy Spain and the UK) have Eurofighter Typhoons, the U.S., of course, will have their super-special F-22s (in addition to the F-35s that Norway, the UK and a few others may also choose to fly) and this diversity of planes will interoperate no matter which brand we choose, so lets choose the one that best meets our needs: how many can we buy, at what price, to fulfill which mission requirements, with reasonable operating costs and safety/reliability expectations.

  51. Right here in Canada….which wasn't under attack.

    Brits, Koreans, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos etc were all killed that day. They were only in the wrong place at the wrong time….the US was the target.

    Fighterplanes didn't stop it, and haven't accomplished anything in all these years either beyond blowing up a few wedding parties.

    The nature of war has changed. The world has changed. There is no WWII and aerial dogfights.

  52. The problem is that's all they got.. if it's not "But moooommm! They did it first!" it's "But mooommm! The other guys are gonna…"

    It seems personal responsibilty is only palatable to the CPC and its supporters when it doesn't apply to them.

  53. Too bad our gov't/military hasn't figured out that the time of drawn battle lines and centrally gathered forces is a thing of the past. We're acting like the red-coats among the guerrilla fighters.

    Future battles are going to be asymmetric. Why? Because other countries realize they can't win a symmetric battle against the US. This means terrorism, combatants among the civilian population, ied's, urban warfare, etc. Against enemies that are well funded/sophisticated, we'll see the use of information warfare and/or bio-weapons.

    Jets such as these are terribly ineffective against threats like that. Far better to spend the toy money on building a better super-soldier type of outfit.

  54. Well that is a good justification for a country to have military jets.

    Not these jets specifically; but jets in general. I'd say he missed the point of the question, but missing was the point…

  55. How would Canada having fancy stealth places prevent 9-11?

    A Spitfire would have sufficed.

  56. Or sufficient airline security.

  57. That couldn't be more wrong. Why not rely on the States to build stuff like this that we only buy once every I dunno how many years?

  58. I seem to recall a Marvel Comics movie recently where some wiseacre does exactly that…

  59. Maybe the fact that no one's said that we have?

    When I was promised, on numerous occasions, by both Liberal AND Tory Cabinet Ministers that there would be an open, transparent and competitive bidding process for this procurement, I kinda presumed that "open" and "transparent" meant "not secret".

  60. Hey, if they can talk Deathstars above, I can certainly hope for Batman suits.

  61. You're right, we never should have rushed in to that purchase without looking at all of the angles first.

    I wonder if we could apply that lesson in the future somehow?

  62. yeah…! wait a second… how'dyoudothat?

  63. If the choice is between helping a working mom afford daycare, or destroying something that can cause a lot of harm to Canada/Canadians….

    SOrry mom…pay for your own babysitter.

  64. It's simply LdKitchenrsOwn….

    The sailor died because the Liberal party was trying to pay for defence on the cheap. It cost a wife her husband, and some children their father. But hey….at least the LIberals were re-elected after the fact right?

    The lesson for the future is clear.

    Buy new.

    Not new-to-you.

  65. Well, I'm torn here.

    On the one hand, possibly needing the F-35 for currently unforeseen future foreign conflicts where a stealth fighter/bomber might be needed is a heck of a lot closer to being an argument in favour of the JSF over other available options than the government has made so far. The arguments made up to this point have ranged from silly, to LAUGH OUT LOUD silly, so this argument at least has the benefit of not making whatever I'm drinking come out my nose. Frankly, I had kinda presumed that all of their asinine "arguments" in favour of the F-35 up to this point were being trotted out because they were explicitly trying to avoid even mentioning the possibility of future foreign wars in which we might wish to be at the tip of the spear and might therefore "require" a fifth generation fighter with stealth technology and ground attack prowess. So, on the one hand this argument has the benefit of not being completely irrational or self-contradictory, so it's a step in the right direction I suppose.

    On the other hand, this argument says NOTHING about why we have to make this commitment now, for this number of jets, at this price, with no competition or bidding process. It doesn't explain why we're not going to hold a competition but the South Koreans are (nor the fact that LM has apparently promised the South Koreans basically the same price and delivery schedule as us even though they're going to hold a competition and not just commit right now). Nor does it explain, most importantly, why we're not getting an open and transparent competitive bidding process for this procurement despite being PROMISED such a process, on multiple occasions, by both Liberal and Conservative cabinet ministers, including promises made on the floor of the House of Commons as recently as May.

    Of course, the government may simply have moved on from explaining their broken promises to formulating their answers to future questions, such as "Why are the F-35s so much more expensive than you said they were going to be?" and "Why don't we have our F-35s yet?" ('cause if you think we're getting 65 F-35s starting in 2016 at the price the government's been quoting, you're dreaming in technicolor).

  66. Actually EMily,

    It was the Muslim hijackers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The people in the building were working.
    I guess in your view of the world….so were the terrorists.

    As for fighter planes not stopping it……true. However, they were very effective at killing thousands who supported such acts….and they weren't all at weddings.

    Emily….go back to typing "Ping" because frankly, it makes about as much sense as your comments.

  67. gottabesaid wrote:
    "Or sufficient airline security. "

    Gottaagree with gottabesaid there.

    However, sufficient airline security means "racial profiling"….and everyone except Israel is too afraid to try that.

  68. I was thinking Iron Man, but either way, the bad guys are left asking "Where do you get these wonderful toys?"

  69. well put.

  70. Because we are an independent country, are we not?

    What if we go to war two years before the States? Maybe this would never happen again, but we were in that situation in the past.

  71. Unfortunately accidents happen. Are you implying there was a long list of known risks in buying those subs – risks the libs knew about?

  72. Branding of the CPC as the party that doesn't dither or waste time humming and hawing when it comes to our troops – it goes right out and picks out the most expensive toy regardless of GBPs.

  73. and the F-35 is the only aircraft on the market capable of "destroying something that can cause a lot of harm to Canada/Canadians" so of course we should order 60-some immediately without seeking a single other quote, even just to bargain with, because they'll see right through that.

  74. Well, I know there are a lot of working moms who could use the help, and will need the help in the future, and that investing in young children pays huge dividends down the line (like keeping them out of jail, helping them get good jobs, etc), whereas I'm less certain that those working moms are being threatened by anything that is alleviated by having 65 (as-yet-non-functioning and overbudget) F35s. For the equivalent amount of money, which is going to do more good?

    Sounds like a great ballot question, actually. If more Canadians want the cool fighter jets, I'll live with their decision.

  75. I see your point James, but really, what politician could ever sign on to the optics [ leave alone the civil rights question] of a queue sign saying:" this way please if you're Muslim." Israel is in a much higher risk category altogether.

  76. It looks like i may be the dissenting lib, but i find his answer pretty reasnable – i just can't imagine why it took him so long to finally settle on it?

  77. The US has 5 of the world's 10 busiest airports, and in 2009 (a down year in the US) they handled:
    ATL 88M PAX
    ORD 64M PAX
    LAX 57M PAX
    DFW 56M PAX
    DEN 50M PAX
    TLV (Ben Gurion) handled 11 million passengers (about 1/3 of 38th-ranked Pearson!) Essentially, US airports handle the same number of people per day as Israel's airports do in a year, so implementing security measures comparable to what's possible in a tiny regional airport in these giant hub airports would be "difficult" to say the least.

  78. Man, can't believe I didn't even see that. (And, now that I think about it, Batman's DC, isn't he? My geek-cred just vanished..) But now that you mention it.. yeah, that'd be even cooler, but I don't think our tech is quite there yet.. Batman we might be able to pull off at about the same cost as the jets. Iron Man? No way.

  79. Meh, unreported crimes, unknowable future wars…same diff.

  80. I agree that it's a reasonable answer as to why the F-35 would likely win the open, transparent and competitive bidding process we were promised on this file, but it doesn't address, at all, why the government is going back on their promise to hold said competition.

    I'd also like to know why we decided on getting 65, and not 50, or 100. I suspect we're downsizing to three squadrons because we're going to invest heavily in unmanned drones in the future, and I actually think that's smart if that's the case. However, after how the government's handled this jet procurement though, I have no idea how they'd get several billion dollars more of spending for air power through public scrutiny. I can pretty much guarantee we're not going to get our F-35s at the price we've been quoted, nor on the delivery schedule that's been presented, so I think drones are going to be a much tougher sell just shortly after the largest procurement in the country's history comes in over budget and late, after not going out to tender at all. At the very least I hope they avoid promising an open, transparent, and competitive bidding process on the drone procurement!

  81. Hey come on! Some of the Conservatives have worn uniforms, like Peter Mackay and others. Not that they actually fought or anything, they just put on uniforms they did not have the legal right to wear for photo ops. But they've worn uniforms!!!

  82. I agree that on paper the Death Star seems to be the best weapons system out there. It's clearly the only fifth generation system available to us. State of the art, and cutting edge. I'm just not sure that it can hold up to a whole FLEET of smaller, less technically capable systems. I mean, it's all brand new technology. Never tested in combat conditions. Plus, even the powerful and advanced Death Star can't destroy a large enough number of X-Wings, and having blown all our dough on the Death Star, we don't have the budget any more to keep enough Tie-Fighters around to fly an effective CAP.

    Mark my words, even with the Death Star in our corner if a large enough rebel fleet shows up one day Lord Vader himself is going to be forced to suit up and go out and fly against them.

  83. It will cost the US and its partners in the neighbourhood of $55 billion dollars for the development of the F-35 (not counting actual production costs). If we tried to do that ourselves each individual plane would cost about a billion dollars. Almost no nation, including the US, can afford to develop and manufacture a new warplane on its own. We produce plenty of other military equipment, which our allies buy from us (such as the Stryker/LAVIII). Suggesting we do everything ourselves is completely impractical.

  84. We're doing this now because, as I rather think you know, the CF-18s cannot be flown beyond 2020. Given the long lead time for the production and introduction of new planes, this is clearly not a premature decision.

  85. You forgot that the U.S. also flies, and will continue to fly, Super-Hornets and Silent Eagles.

    Interoperability among our allies is really only a serious argument against buying Russian, or Indian planes or some such. If the only way to stay interoperable with NATO was to buy the F-35, then more than half of NATO wouldn't be interoperable with itself anymore past around 2018. Hell, huge chunks of the U.S. forces would no longer be interoperable with their own forces!!!

  86. So expensive, never tested in real-world combat conditions equipment is SURE to be entirely safe and effective then right? Because it's "new" and new stuff always works perfectly straight from the factory floor.

  87. How many planes have been flown into buildings since Sept. 11, 2001?

    I think they did beef up their security (without racial profiling) and they have a pretty good track record since then. I'd say the airline security is sufficient…now.

  88. Both you and Ted have been drinking too much leftist Jedi kool-aid. Of course it's a done deal. What, is Palpatine going to lie? And as far as your wee fighters, yeah, I'll take my big, green, planet-blasting laser, thank you very much.

    Stop listening to the Jedi-leaning media and wake up and smell the Bantha fodder.

  89. Is it just me, or do a lot of people (mostly supporters of the F35) loooove uttering the word "Interoperable', but don't really know what it menas?

  90. The Conservatives thought they were buying lightsabres for the G20, but what they got was a bunch of glowsticks.

  91. Just plain old profiling would have been fine with me.

    You or McC_ or TA, please correct me if I'm wrong, but that is basically what the Israeli's are doing, yes?

  92. McC….

    The point is not simply the destruciton of enemy targets. We also want the men and women who fly our planes to get home safe after they have done their mission.

    A "good enough" plane may be fine to our Liberal friends in Toronto, but to the people risking their lives, it would be nice once in a while for a Canadian Government to get the best we can afford. The Conservatives understand that. The Liberals do too….but they choose to ignore that fact because dammit….there are votes to be had!!

  93. gottabesaid wrote:
    "Sounds like a great ballot question, actually. If more Canadians want the cool fighter jets, I'll live with their decision"

    Great. If Harper wins the next election, I expect you to be fully supportive of the purchase. Of course, no doubt you will mention that Harper didn't get over 50% of the vote……therefore indicating that most people didn't want fighter jets.

    One last point……..you don't leave decisions about military procurement or requirements to the "people" of Canada, because frankly, they don't understand the issues surrounding this purchase. The Liberals depend on that fact.

  94. McC wrote:

    "I was thinking Iron Man, but either way, the bad guys are left asking "Where do you get these wonderful toys?"

    I agree McC….Iron Man would be perfect.

    Of course, the Liberals would complain the price is too high, and that we don't really need them. They would propose "Vinyl Man"……in the hopes of getting the pacist vote from the NDPand Bloc.

  95. Interoperable

    The ability to operate with our allies. It means we have common parts' requirements, fuel requirements, combat software capabilites, and very similar warfare fighting policies and procedures.

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  96. That's exactly what I am implying.

    Chretian was offered those subs 5 years before he gave the go ahead. That means the subs were in mothballs for 5 years, requiring extensive refit after sitting in salt water for that time, no machinery running or being maintained.

    Try leaving your car out in the open for 5 years without ever starting it or maintaining it. How much do you think it would cost to get it back in running condition? And subs are far more complex than any car.

  97. No LdKitchenersOwn, that not at all what I said.

    ANy new piece of equipment will need to be tested and re-tested. Faults found, problems fixed…etc..etc…

    The point is, the time to get a new piece of gear to the battlefield (or anywhere for that matter) takes a long time. Do you think the Space shuttle was rolled off an assembly line and then loaded with astronauts?

    Give your head a shake.

  98. TImesArrow:

    That's my point. No politician in Canada will.

    As an aside………and what religion is the greatest threat to Israel? (and to the rest of us?)

  99. LD KitchenersOWn:

    "but it doesn't address, at all, why the government is going back on their promise to hold said competition"

    There was a competition Lord. The X-35 won. Soon to be renamed the F-35.

    The LIberals were going to buy it……..but have changed their minds recently.

    Now the Conservatives will start the process.

  100. Emily noted:

    "Brits, Koreans, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos etc were all killed that day. They were only in the wrong place at the wrong time….the US was the target."

    Funny Emily……you don't seem bothered by the collateral damage in this case, includeing the Canadians who were killed.

    I guess it's not an issue for you if the Americans are the target eh?

  101. Is this really what you think he said? OMG, +10!

    What he said is we need them, because we know that the international situation will evolve. We know that there will be risks and threats in the future, and we know that Canada will be called upon to respond.

    That is what he really said, not "just in case". Is it clear yet for you and your 10 supporters?

  102. Wrong, and you know it, as has been pointed out several times in the past.

  103. So, if many of our NATO allies planes are something other then F35's we'd stil have interoperability.

    BTW, I was thinking about one time I saw Gary Goodyear (I think it was) on one of those politcal shows, he was bandying it about as if he expected it to have the same effect as 'Shazam!'

    Remember, Gary Goodyear of the high-heel induced evolution, and 15% increases in engine fuel-efficiency with just a simple tube.

  104. We "inter-operate" with the US in expeditionary roles as well as in domestic security. We train with them in Florida and Cold Lake. We exchange field and classroom trainers. Canadian officers worked intelligence in Iraq in US bases. They work search and rescue with us, they provide us with a militarized coast guard. They spend almost 700 billion, we spend 21. We get our piece of the action. Why would we buy a Swedish jet?

  105. We more than fighter jets BCer…..

    We also have ships, tanks, jeeps, trucks..etc…etc…

    Interoperoperability was your question. Even someone like you must know that having the exact same jet, or almost the exact same jet….is better than not having them.

    Is obtuse your natural mindset?

    Or are you simply embarrassed for not seing the obvious?

  106. You can point out that 2+2 = 5….. twenty times for all I care…….I still know the asnwer is 4.

  107. THE LIBERALS NEVER HAD PLANS TO BUY IT. Not only that, they said so, on NUMEROUS occasions. Hell, the TORIES were planning on holding an open competition until about 8 months ago. Even Canadian Forces personnel were surprised when the purchase decision was announced for Pete's sake because THEY had been preparing for the competition.

    If the Liberals really had committed to purchasing this plane before the first official test flight of this plane then SHAME ON THEM. Somebody ought to be pursuing some types of charges against some of them or something, because committing to the purchase of a fighter jet that hasn't even flown yet would be the absolute height of irresponsibility. Unless you can point to a single piece of evidence to support this claim you really need to stop arguing that the Liberals committed to purchase F-35s for us years before the first flight of an F-35. It just makes you look either dishonest, or dim.

  108. What if the Swedish jet was cheaper, and more appropriate for the needs of our forces?

    Also, what if our choice wasn't to buy a Swedish jet, but a different American jet?

  109. How much cheaper– a billion, 2 billion? Our integrated military operations with the US gives us more in tangible benefits than any savings we could achieve on this purchase. We don't have to buy all sorts of equipment that the US supplies AWACS, carriers, nuclear subs for the arctic.

    The American JOINT Striker has been selected for use by its 3 services plus its allies so this is the one that they will make most cost effective. Eventually we'll be able to buy upgrades and replacement units off the shelf just like we did on Globemasters.

    (If the Swedish jet was a lot cheaper perhaps we could build it at the closed Volvo plant in Nova Scotia. Our pilots could learn Swedish and conduct joint instruction in Stockholm.)
    I live on the Great Lakes and we depend on the US Coast Guard station- we don't pay them anything but they save drowning Canadians for free! If only 1 life is saved… well you know the rest.

  110. I agree that these are all good questions to give a public airing to in an open competition between various fighters.

    I've said before that I think the F-35 would probably (almost certainly) win any competition to select a replacement fighter, which is why I don't understand why the Tories reversed themselves on that promise. That said, I can potentially see a lot of missions in the future combining F-35s with Silent Eagles and Super Hornets, and I'm at least open to the argument that it doesn't really matter whether the Lightenings are piloted by Canadians and the Hornets and Eagles by Americans, or vice versa.

  111. When was the Canadian competition conducted? What platforms were in the competition? What requirements were the competing patforms required to meet?

  112. We're only talking about the fighter jets, so deflecting to other hardware is meaningless.

    I was merely making an observation about shills using that terminology without any real understanding – not you, I am sure you know – more to those in politics who like to spout the term, thinking it makes them sound like they know something.

    But, insults aside . . .if other countries are using differnt platforms (including the USA), we have interoperability, n'est-ce pas? You really didn't address that from my previous comment.

    Even then, if the F35 has the highest degree of interoperability with our allies for the anticipated mission profiles, what's the cost / benefit? How does that compare to the platform with the next highest 'score'? Do we need that degree of interoperability at any price? That is the point for which a competition based on requirements derived from our defence and foreign policy needs should be conducted, with transparency . . . unlike what was done in the present case (in fact, it seems the government just resorted to RPS Decision Methodology to select the F35).

  113. BCer,

    It will not only be Canada and the USA that has these jets. A number of our allies (NATO) will also be getting the same, or very similar equipment.

    As for your comment about "the next highest score" being a reason to go with a different fighter jet (which would still cost BILLIONS of dollars)…..you only ask that because the bad guys won't be gunning for you.

    I think it's about time our Air Force had some of the BEST equipment money can buy. Not the "next best"

  114. We had the chance to buy a different American jet. It wasn't as good as the American jet we chose.

    Whatever the cheaper Swedish jet could do…..the F-35, will no doubt do it better. That's the entire point.

  115. There was no Canadian competition…..because Canada doesn't build figther jets.

    As for the requirements for competing platforms, you can be sure our Air Force had their say. In fact, I'd say the Liberal Governemnt of the day was in extensive talks with the military about what we should be looking for.

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