What's going on with the F-35? - Macleans.ca

What’s going on with the F-35?


Postmedia now reports that a final decision will be made this morning, but there seems general agreement among everyone’s anonymous sources about what that decision will be.


Faced with the imminent release of an audit by accountants KPMG that will push the total projected life-cycle costs of the aircraft above $30 billion, the Harper Conservatives have decided to scrap the controversial sole-source program and go back to the drawing board, a source familiar with the decision said.


The Conservative government says it has not made a decision on the F-35 as a replacement for Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets, but it now appears to concede that alternative fighter purchase options will be considered.

The Star.

The federal government is going back to the drawing board in its search for a new fighter jet as it prepares to release a dramatically higher cost estimate to purchase and operate the F-35 … A source said that the F-35 is not out of the running and will be a contender as the government considers alternatives.


It seems the government’s plagued plan to buy F-35 fighter jets for the military is dead in the water now that the cost is expected to reach close to $50 billion. Global News has learned that an independent audit, commissioned by the Conservatives, came up with cost estimates so high the government decided to begin considering other options for replacing its aging fleet of CF-18s.


The Harper government is going shopping for alternatives to the controversial F-35 Lightning fighter jet in the most significant demonstration yet that it is prepared to walk away from its first choice for a new warplane … To demonstrate that they are restarting the procurement process from scratch, Canadian officials will collect information from other plane manufacturers, including U.S.-based Boeing, maker of the Super-Hornet, and the consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon. They may also contact Sweden’s Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen, and France’s Dassault, maker of the Rafale.


What’s going on with the F-35?

  1. I wonder if there is an off the rack plane we could buy and wait to see how plane technology develops. Surely drones, or something else, are the future so we don’t actually need bespoke F-35s for next 30 or 40 yrs.

    • The CF-18s we have serve our purposes well, and upgraded versions can be a good interim solution until the F-35s matures. The problem really with going with F-35s now is that they’re untested, first-gen with all the headaches that implies. If we wait a while, buy cheaper and still capable planes for our fleet, we can re-visit F-35s even 5-10 years down the road for far less what it’d cost now.

  2. Clearly, the CPC is with the Taliban…they are not for the armed forces…


  3. Why we are even looking at these expensive planes is a mystery to me….. this government has demonstrated again and again an uncanny gift for flying by the seat of it’s pants . Planes? We don’t need no stinking planes

  4. 1. Some of the missions touted for this aircraft are inappropriate. Drones would work well on patrol missions in the north, and along our borders.

    2. Why are we buying stealth aircraft at a time when sensor technology is improving to the point where F35s may not be so stealthy?

    The entire F35 controversy shows Canadians are not excited about spending taxpayers money so extravagantly and wastefully.

  5. That they’re revisiting it is good. That the reason they’re revisiting it is because of the costs alone.. not so much.

    If the planes cost 40 billion dollars, but were the only one that met the actual requirements for Canadian service for the next 20 years or so, I’d be willing to accept that. Wouldn’t be terribly happy about it, but that’s the way it goes.

    On the other hand, if they only cost a billion dollars but were wildly inappropriate for actually defending Canadian airspace, I wouldn’t be on board with that at all.

    I agree that these planes should be rejected, at least until some sort of process is used to properly define what the role of our air-force is expected to be in the future and whether these are the planes that can meet that, but cost alone isn’t the reason to do it.