'Haven't made that choice'

Despite various commitments to and demands for a full 36-year lifecycle cost estimate for the F-35, the Globe reports that the Harper government is still debating whether to provide one.

Auditor-General Michael Ferguson’s April 3 report noted the full life of the planes was actually 36 years and called on Ottawa to be more forthcoming about costs. The Conservatives in turn pledged to be more open but are still debating whether to provide cost estimates for the full 36-year lifespan of the F-35 Lightning II – or stick to 20 years. Government officials “haven’t made that choice,” a source familiar with deliberations said.

As noted previously, the Auditor General hasn’t just recommended that the government provide a 36-year estimate, he’s said it is his understanding “that National Defence does have the numbers for 36 years.”