Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soaring F-35 hysterics

The supposedly skyrocketing cost of the F-35 program has been hyped for weeks and months by the media and opposition parties.  Jerry Agar injects some reality:


Anonymous said...

Sorry but I have zero sympathy for the government on this file. With the ship building contract they showed they could do procurement very well. DND cae up with a list of requirements and specs, the bidding was non-political and arms length. I didn't hear anyone from any party complain about the process or outcome. With the F35 they chose to wrap themslves in the flag and call anyone who questioned the purchase as unpatriotic and failing to support the troops. All and all a very shabby performance. They know how to do the job well and just chose not too.

Alain said...

If one ignores the attempted spin and just plain lies, it is clear that the annual cost amounts to what we give a year to the CBC. There was nothing hidden in the presentation of cost. To include the cost of military salaries, petrol and maintenance as part of the cost is dishonest, since these cost remain the same even without purchasing the new aircraft.

Mark, Ottawa said...

Two posts for a broad perspective, and "Comments", at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute's "3Ds Blog":

"F-35 and New Canadian Government Documents on Fighter Procurement"

"F-35: Meanwhile in the US and Australia"

And the shipbuilding program has all the looks of a disaster, over budget and certainly not on time:

"The Canadian Government’s Ignorance about Shipbuilding, Design, etc."


JR said...

The "soaring cost" line of BS strikes me as media/political hysterics aimed at (1)discrediting Conservatives (2)professional media bloviators filling column inches.

Media pundits are spinning. The opposition is spinning. And surprise, surprise, so, in self defence, is the government.

But the bottom line is: we need new fighters. My gut feel is that no matter which one we pick the cost will be roughly the same.

Acquisition (about $10B for 65ish). Annual cost to the taxpayer ($1B to $1.5B). That should do for budgeting purposes. Calculating total operating costs whether for 20, 30 or 40 years (pick one - who cares) might be interesting to accounting geeks but otherwise not particularly useful (no matter what Andrew Coyne thinks). They are necessarily highly uncertain (who knows what fuel will cost 25 years from now) so it's a waste of time getting excited about these estimates now. But these seem to be the numbers driving the hysterics.