Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Is the Liberal plan for an open competition for jet fighters already rigged?

Is the Liberal plan for an open competition for jet fighters to replace the aging CF-18 rigged before it even begins?   I believe that the evidence suggests that it is. Read on.

Some background and much needed clarity:( because some seem to believe that the LPC will NOT be buying jets)  

The Liberal plan is indeed to purchase new fighter jets to replace the CF-18. From Liberal.ca:
A future Liberal government will not proceed with the government acquisition process to purchase untendered F-35 stealth fighters, at a cost of $16 billion.  Instead, Liberals will hold an open competition to replace Canada’s CF-18s based on clear and publicly disclosed foreign and defence policy requirements.

 So in spite of all of the spin heard from the Liberals such as "vets not jets", we choose families, not fighter jets,"family care not fighter jets"  the reality is that the Liberal Party of Canada intend to buy new jet fighters to replace the Cf-18.

So both the current government and the Liberals are planning to replace the Cf-18; the difference comes in that the Liberals are claiming that they would hold an open competition for the replacements and not necessarily go with the F-35. Michael Ignatieff: "a future Liberal government will cancel the F-35 stealth fighter deal and hold an open competition to replace Canada’s CF-18s."

While an open competition may sound like a good idea the current requirements from the Department of National Defence would disqualify every other possible aircraft in a competition other than F-35 because of its stealth abilities. (Kevin Page PBO report link PDF)   "First and foremost, the proposed acquisition must satisfy the DND's Statement of Requirements. The PBO has been provided with and has reviewed the relevant Statement of Requirements. The F-35 is the only strike/fighter jet that can meet the specifications contained in this document as written." Even some Liberals agree that the F-35 is the only fighter for Canada.

But lets put the discussion on the need for a competition aside for a moment and look at what the Liberals claim will be the result of such a competition. They will save us money and they will take that money and apply it to other programs:
If the government were to hold an open competition, they could guarantee the maximum number of jobs in the Canadian aerospace industry while saving limited government funds that would be better spent easing the economic strain on hard-pressed middle-class families.”

Liberals would rather save money by opening the contract to competition, freeing up funds to support hundreds of thousands of Canadian families who are caring for sick or aging loved ones with our $1-billion Family Care Plan,” concluded Mr. LeBlanc.

Interesting. Even before the process is held, the Liberals already know that the competition will save money, but what happens if in that competition the F-35 IS chosen as the best plane for our needs?  A very likely outcome if we want to purchase the best possible aircraft for our military.

At a MINIMUM it would cost us exactly the same amount as the Conservative replacement plan, but could very likely end up costing us much more due to all of the delays and us jumping into a program late into the game. Either way no money could possibly be saved by having a competition.

So I have to ask. How is it possible for the Liberals to be able to claim that they will save money on a replacement fighter jet program, going so far as to have already delegated those 'savings' to pay for other programs in their platform, before any competition has even taken place and of course not knowing which aircraft will be chosen? 

The answer is simple. The competition has already been rigged and the F-35 has lost before the competition has even started.

Related: Here is what one Liberal MP had to say on the F-35. Tell me if you think she sounds the least bit interested in a fair and open competition to find the best plane for our military:

Alexandra Mendes: "Mr. Speaker, I will start by acknowledging that I do not think my hon. colleague is an expert on the matter. I will just say that there are a lot of other planes that our air force could use and should use. We do not need stealth airplanes. Canada is a peaceful country. We certainly do not need those kinds of planes."

Sorry Alexandra but I prefer to let the experts in our military decide what their needs are and not the Liberal Party who are more interested in buying votes with suspect spending schemes than they are in the well being of our military.

What the F-35 brings to the fight.


Michael Harkov said...

In the Liberal platform it states that the Liberals would get rid of the purchase contract of F-35 stealth fighters and get new ones - “when it is necessary to buy new fighters".

"When it is necessary?" Well if it isn't necessary now, especially with the service life of our CF-18s coming to their end, THEN WHY THE F&%$ DID THE LIBERAL PARTY START THE PROCESS YEARS AGO OF GETTING NEW FIGHTERS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?!

What a bunch of boody hypocrites. They just lie and lie and lie.

Anonymous said...

I still can't figure out why the cons won't come clean on the price. Will they look bad? I'm all for getting new jets, the best jets, plus alot more for our military. 64% of the country wants to know the price. they were obligated to tell us, they still refused and were found in contempt by the same 64%. Now we are having an election, thanks Steve. there will be no "open" bidding because there is only one place to get the jets we want. There will be "open" dialogue in the end.

Anonymous said...

The government has told us the price. 9 Billion for the whole program. That's the price. It's pretty simple. The liberal plan is the usual plan: put the troops at risk by playing politics with their lives. It's sick. I flew in a Sea King two weeks before it crashed. I remember the liberal military record well.

Anonymous said...

the cost of the F-35 can be found on the Government of Canada web site with a comparison to PBO Parliament Budget Officer Page
it is perfectly clear and was provided to parliament
in a timely manner the coalition of Quebec Bloc/NDP/Liberal chose to not accept these figures the coalition has chosen an election instead
majority Conservative Government is needed NOW

Anonymous said...

Liberal Red Book - "It's a lot of crap" Paul Martin

Since the Liberals have unveiled their new Red BooK and all the promises, Canadians should be warned what Liberal Leader Prime Minister Paul Martin, said about the first Red Book - but Liberals didn't tell Canadians that it was a con job.

Referring to the Liberal Red Book, Paul Martin said "Screw the Red Book... Don't tell me what's in the Red Book. I wrote the goddamned thing. And I know that it's a lot of crap." (Wilson-Smith, Greenspon, 1996)

There is good reason why Canadians are convinced this one smells the same, because it is being peddled by snake oil salesman Count Iggy, with numbers that he doesn't understand and that don't add up.

Wilson-Smith, Anthony; Greenspon, Edward (1996). Double Vision: The Inside Story of the Liberals in Power. Doubleday Canada

Jen said...

Deni Coderre told the conservatives in the HOC :"Look me in the eyes,says Deni, pointing to his eyes, we will get rid of those planes when we get into government."

And they will, Chretien cancelled Mulroney helicopters for our troops so why not carry on the tradition.
The only troops the Liberals are interested in and have to be are the msm.

Martin said...

In this case, planes when necessary means never ordering them at all. With all the social spending promises, there would be nothing left over for the military.
Another Liberal plank calls for foreign policy closely aligned with the UN. Influence at the UN is directly related to military power. These two Liberal policies are mutually exclusive.

burpnrun said...

Possibly. But that's just the tip of the iceberg in DeathStar 2011 - The Red Book menace:

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative. But I don't buy the spin on buying the F35. You see, I actually bothered to consider the following:
1. Industry has a lot to benefit by confirming the order soon. The multinational buy is weakening, and with it he economy of scale. The Americans are screaming to get some commitment

2. The Intellectual property rights issue has been huge in other NATO countries. Why not here?

3. The defence budget is effectively a fixed percentage of GDP. If we spend too much on air force kit we spend less on ships and body armour. Fact. Anyone who says our soldiers deserve the best is a dick. Our soldiers deserve the best we can afford. If we spend too much on this somebody else will die

4. Fighter pilots like new toys. Do you really think Major Weak-Chin, posted to NDHQ because nobody on the squadron really liked him, is going to let down the jocks and the blades by specifying anything less than the best? He has no incentive to pursue best value for money, merely the best at any cost. Maybe he'll be popular with the frat boys if he pulls this off?

5. The big guns at NDHQ see a huge vat of cash coming their way. F35 will be hopelessly late, so they get to spend that vat of cash on all the other crap they bought 5 years ago and also over-ran and when (if?) the F35 turns up they will go pleading to treasury that the timeline was all messed up and can they have more money please?

6. Too cynical? Wearing a uniform does not mean you are not a politician. Quite the reverse. Get those rose tinted glasses off and consider this...

7. If you're standing QRA at Comox to catch an airliner bent on scrapping a valuable piece of real estate in Vancouver, why do you need stealth? Why do you need a short ranged, slow, single engine jet? Surely you need something that climbs fast, flies fast, turns at high altitude and can get the job done??

8. Equally if we have suddenly decided we need to kick the door in for North Korea, don't we need some amphibious lift? Some serious defence suppression, some MICVs to keep up with our (accidentally bought) tanks? Hell, nearly forgot the lack of mobile artillery. Seems to me the Air Force have sold Ottawa a plan to attack the only nation in the world with 5th gen fighters and, erm, no infantry, artillery, or navy. Now that seems mighty specific to me.....

9. Enough sarcasm. Get over yourselves. Fighter pilots are dicks; everyone wants the best; sometimes you have to make do; or else your buddy misses out and dies.

Anonymous said...

What does the price have to do with anything? I remember when we bought the F18s. They were not cheap and they were not ready out of the box back then. In fact we didn't know the full cost of the purchase either if I am not incorrect? What savings is there in buying 30 year old technology that is tarted up to look fresh, like the Liberals would stick us with, if they even plan to buy any planes in the first place? (real conservative)

Ardvark said...

To put this as simple as possible. If you are in combat and the enemy can see you but you cannot see them, you are probably going to die.

The Liberals can hold any type of competition they like but in the end the above applies and that makes F35 the only choice for the future.