Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

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Canada's swipe at Boeing jets could open way for European rivals

Post by Trooper on Wed 06 Dec 2017, 7:08 pm

David Ljunggren --- Dec 06, 2017

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s decision to shun Boeing Co (BA.N) jets could open the way for European rivals seeking to supply new fighters, assuming the government can sort out major procurement challenges, three sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Canada is scrapping a plan to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornet planes and will instead opt for a second-hand fleet of Australian jets, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Boeing’s future military sales in Canada are in question after the U.S. defense firm launched a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO).

But - in what the sources said was a worst-case scenario - a government angry at Boeing and unconvinced by other U.S. options may end up facing off against a Canadian air force that dislikes the idea of a European jet.

“This is a real mess,” said one person familiar with official procurement policy.

The Super Hornets were supposed to help tide Canada over as it holds a competition for fighters to replace 77 veteran CF-18s.

Canadian defense sources say the air force - seeking to maintain close ties with its U.S. counterpart - has long preferred a U.S. jet, which would narrow the race to the Super Hornet or Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-35 stealth fighter.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not a fan of the F-35 and the Boeing spat means officials are prepared to look at rivals such as the Eurofighter Typhoon (AIR.PA) (BAES.L) (LDOF.MI) and Dassault Aviation SA’s (AVMD.PA) Rafale jet, say the sources, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the situation.

Boeing has declined to comment until the government makes an announcement.

If Canada went for the Typhoon or the Rafale, it would have to decide whether to use U.S. weapons or buy European armaments systems and integrate them with those used by U.S. forces.

An added complication is that the United States and Canada belong to an elite intelligence-sharing network and it is unclear if they would allow Europeans to access sensitive data.

One defense expert noted that Britain, Germany and Italy intend to operate both the F-35 and the Eurofighter, evidence that Canada could buy the European jet and still operate with U.S. air force F-35s.

Although Canada will extend the lifespan of some CF-18s to 2025 to cover the introduction of the new fighters, Canadian Global Affairs Institute defense analyst David Perry on Wednesday predicted Ottawa would keep the old planes in service for longer than planned and drag out the competition.

https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN1E02T0-OCATP
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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Accer on Sun 10 Dec 2017, 2:05 pm

The MP Panel discusses the reported purchase of used fighter jets and the status of the MMIWG inquiry.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1278840
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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Spider on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 3:01 pm

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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Nemo on Wed 13 Dec 2017, 12:07 pm

Waste of money. 30 year old planes. It is a sad sad joke. The state of our military is in a very poor state. And it will never change.

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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Trooper on Wed 13 Dec 2017, 6:35 pm

Nemo wrote:Waste of money. 30 year old planes. It is a sad sad joke.  The state of our military is in a very poor state. And it will never change.

I remember when Trudeau was the opposition and gave flack to the Conservatives for sending Canadian aged CF 18's to the coalition for airstrikes. Things surely change once you become in power.

I agree Nemo, it's a waste of money and is an embarrassment for our Country. If they don't want to spend money on quality for our armed forces, they should do away with the fighters altogether until a government does purchase quality new aircraft. The present Liberal government is useless on both the forces file, and the Veterans file.

Military proclaims move to buy Australian F-18s on Facebook - with photo of wrong jet

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-armed-forces-facebook-image-1.4447461
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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Trooper on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 7:55 am

Jets and vets


Published:
December 31, 2017



A Canadian CF-18 pilot prepares to take off, as a member of the ground crew pedals his bicycle past the jet in Qatar, January 20, 1991 during the Gulf War. The Trudeau government is adding a new requirement to how it picks the winners of major military contracts by assessing a company's overall impact on the Canadian economy.

PETER MACKAY, Special to the Toronto Sun


Over two years ago in the general election, the Trudeau Liberals promised a great deal for Canada’s military and for veterans.

A new era of open, transparent procurement was promised to replace the aging CF-18 fighter jet fleet. That included a solemn vow to not buy the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter, committed to by the previous Conservative government, because said breathlessly by the PM at the time” the plane doesn’t work and won’t work.” Yet, currently six countries have taken delivery of over 300 F-35s and another six have committed to do so.

The previous $9-billion deal for 65 F-35s announced by the Harper Government in 2012 was savaged by opposition, media and ultimately cratered by the auditor general, who used an entirely new metric of life cycle costing over a much extended period of 45 years to inflate the number and spook the public.

Canada would be taking delivery of those aircraft next year had it proceeded.


A Canadian Forces members look at the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter, F-35 Lighting II in a hanger in Ottawa Friday July 16, 2010. The Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence announced that the government of Canada will buy 65 of these Joint Strike fighters and they are expected to be delivered in 2016.

Recently, in a do-over announcement of a process that will add years and involve the outlay of $19-billion (not using life cycle costing) to purchase the permanent replacement for the CF-18 fleet, a new caveat was added.

The new, open and transparent process for selecting the winning replacement jet may not….wait for it… include Boeing this time. Here we go again.

The proposed 88 new jets delivered sometime post-2025, will not be purchased from a company causing “economic harm” to Canada (read: Bombardier) or which can’t be viewed as a “trusted partner.”

Curiously, just a few months ago, Canada had pretty well sealed a deal to purchase 18 “interim” Super Hornet fighter jets from Boeing. That was before the Trudeau government hit the brakes on the purchase because of a trade dispute between Boeing and Bombardier, saying that it wouldn’t go through, as Boeing could no longer be considered a “trusted partner.”


Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence takes part in a press conference to the military and media announcing Canada will be acquiring the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lighting II Friday July 16, 2010 in Ottawa. The government of Canada will buy 65 of these Joint Strike fighters and they are expected to be delivered in 2016.

Bombardier has, in the meantime, inked an agreement with Airbus to build at least part of the C-Series at the Alabama Airbus plant, while the dumping case against Bombardier is proceeding. Not sure, given how much taxpayer money has flowed to Bombardier recently, that we have emerged on the winning side of this transaction, but I digress.

The Federal government will now reverse its announcement of just a few months ago to buy 18 new Super Hornets from Boeing and, instead, buy used Boeing F-18 Hornets from Australia, relying on a made up capability gap, which no one in the Royal Canadian Air Force really believes to be true.

Lt.-Gen. Mike Hood, commander of the RCAF, testified to the fact there was none before a parliamentary committee a year ago. The former Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson, said he would prefer to get on with the process for a permanent replacement now and forego the interim process.


Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence speaks to the military and media as he announces Canada will be acquiring the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lighting II Friday July 16, 2010 in Ottawa. Next to Minister MacKay is Minster Tony Clement. The government of Canada will buy 65 of these Joint Strike fighters and they are expected to be delivered in 2016.

The defence minister, contradicting the general on the gap and himself said recently, that “we don’t need to buy used equipment, we need new aircraft.”

All this clatter provides a convenient out and a solution to a problem created by Liberal double-speak in the last campaign. After two years trying to square the circle of two contradictory promises — an “open” competition and one which excludes the best aircraft, the F-35 stealth fighter, Australia provided an opportune solution to the self-inflicted wound and unnecessary answer to the non-existent capability gap — surplus F-18 fighters that Australia is replacing with the F-35 stealth fighters, the same ones that our PM claims don’t work. All very confusing.

And all very troubling to RCAF pilots, technicians and their families. Which is why so many are leaving the service.

These politically motivated decisions and delays will indeed lead to a capability gap, a real one with souring costs. The Liberal credibility gap between what they say and do leaves the Forces without vital equipment.


A CF-188 Hornet from the Canadian Air Task Force Lithuania perform manoeuvres over Lithuania on September 15, 2014 for the NATO Baltic Air Policing Block 36 during Operation REASSURANCE.

This is all to familiar as it is eerily similar to the political mangling of the EH101 contract by the Chretien Liberals after the 1993 election. No “Cadillac helicopters,” he proclaimed for our brave pilots and crew performing courageous lifesaving acts of rescue over the frigid oceans on our coasts.

That clanger cost taxpayers over half a billion dollars in cancellation fees with the fleet still not fully replaced and ongoing wrangling with the ensuing winner (Sikorski) of the new re-styled contract. And then, there were the used submarines bought in that same era and the saga that followed. There is a troubling pattern of behaviour with Liberals and defence.

A similar sad story line applies to promises made to veterans in relation to abandoning litigation involving disability payments and the reintroduction of lifelong pensions for disabled members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The original change was engineered by the previous Liberal Government in 2005. The return to the old system of lifelong pensions has been delayed again, leaving many veterans skeptical of what is coming — perhaps just adding a few dollars to the lump sum disability payment and then spreading that money out over the rest of the veteran’s life, based on actuarial tables.

A simple cost-effective and timely solution to helping disabled veterans with livable pensions, would be to forego the $500 million plus upgrades about to be forked out to Australia for 18 aging F-18 fighters, and just take the pool of money saved and fund disabled veterans.

Add the fact that, with an immediate fighter replacement competition, the RCAF would have its permanent replacement much sooner than 2025. This would surely receive the support of Canadian taxpayers and be viewed as a far more principled path forward. This entirely unprincipled and politically motivated gong show should be a non-starter.

Hopefully, in the New Year, the House of Commons Defence Committee can examine this mess and explore sensible solutions (i.e. an immediate competition which will very likely be won by the F-35, just as it has won every other competition.)

Then, get on with the actual implementation and fulfil our commitments to our citizens and our allies.

Peter MacKay is a former Conservative national defence minister.

http://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/guest-column-jets-and-vets
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Re: Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Post by Trooper on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 8:33 am

WHY? Canada canceled a fighter jet deal with Boeing, and will buy the former F 18 australia instead

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