Transparency, cost and the F-35


Stephen Saideman surveys the F-35 situation.

The Auditor-General’s report has led to a debate about the numbers – what counts as a cost? – but this has been a distraction from a more fundamental issue: We still don’t know what the costs of construction of each plane will be. The savings produced by economies of scale have not materialized. Instead, the plane’s projected costs have steadily increased. While the Canadian government was still estimating $75-million per plane, other countries were realizing that the semi-bargain was disappearing. They started rethinking their plans. Italy, the Netherlands and Japan have cut their planned orders. This reverses the economies of scale, making each plane more expensive.


Transparency, cost and the F-35

  1. The real question that the opposition should be asking in regards to the F-35’s is, Does the package include an Air Miles Reward program?

  2. All “information” about costs is a distraction from the fundamental question, “what does Canada need the replacement jets to do?”

    Embedded in that question, are still more serious questions about what Canada sees as its defence needs, and the role of the military now and in the future, including what role, if any, it will have in foreign policy.

    It’s also pretty clear that there are serious deficiencies in civilian oversight of the Canadian Armed Forces since high ranking personnel in the Department of Defence seem to be driving the decision making about spending priorities.

    If Stephen Harper sees some glorious new royal future for Canada’s military, including a need for first strike capabiliy as a major spending priority, he should stand up in the House of Commons and tell us what that role is, and take responsiblity for the associated spending.

    • Hear, Hear!

  3. But … but … the Decider has decided .. cuz that’s what Deciders do.

  4. That was actually a fair overview by Saideman.  If one were to follow his train of thought, Canada should have ordered 100 F-35s instead of 65 so we could cut back just like all the other ally partners as the price rises.  Problem solved.
    Bit OT, but I read that one of the technology costs is software in the jets computer that links to some sort of GPS like ID tag with individual troops on the ground.  This would prevent ‘friendly’ fire type tragedies.
    This is getting too much press as it has become an EH-101 political football and we all know how that turned out.

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