MIL Canada in talks to spend $10B on stealth jets

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Jason H, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Jason H

    Jason H Active Member

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    Canada in talks to spend $10B on stealth jets
    $150M already invested in U.S.-led program to develop next-generation manned fighter

    Published: Friday, February 03, 2006

    Canada is in negotiations that could eventually lead to the multibillion-dollar purchase of the latest stealth fighter being built for the American arsenal.

    Canada and seven other nations involved in the talks will likely be in a position to tell the Americans by the summer how many of the high-tech Joint Strike Fighters they will need and by when, an official with Lockheed Martin, the plane's manufacturer, said yesterday.

    Canadian Defence Department and Lockheed officials stress that no commitment has been made to buy the Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the F-35. But several years ago, the Canadian government invested $150 million U.S. into the aircraft program, one of the first nations to do so.
    :bigthumb:

    Successful completion of the latest round of negotiations, expected by the end of the year, would lay out Canada's involvement with the aircraft over the next 39 years and act as a roadmap for any future purchase. Privately, some aerospace officials acknowledge it is highly unlikely that Canada would not buy the new generation fighter.

    Yesterday, representatives from about 100 Canadian aerospace and defence firms met with Lockheed Martin officials in Ottawa to receive details about the aircraft program and learn about ways they could participate in its production.

    "Right now, the Canadian requirement is about 2017 for first airplane deliveries," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed's general manager for JSF program integration. "Some time in advance of that there will be an individual negotiation with the Canadian government on the purchase of airplanes."

    Any decision to purchase the JSF will be costly. Australia has tentatively earmarked $9 billion U.S. to buy 100 of the planes, but could cut that in half due to rising costs, according to Australian defence officials quoted in a recent issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology, a major U.S. industry publication.

    Documents obtained by the Citizen estimate the cost to replace the existing fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft by 2020 would be $10.5 billion Cdn.

    The current negotiations are aimed at producing a memorandum of understanding covering Canadian participation in the JSF program from 2007 to 2046, the estimated end of the flying life for the plane. The plane is expected to be flying in U.S. operations starting around 2012.

    Michael Slack, the Department of National Defence's director of continental material co-operation, said because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing negotiations, he can't get into details on what the agreement would cost taxpayers.

    Asked whether a successful outcome of the negotiations would move Canada further down the path to purchasing the plane, he said: "Perhaps. But much will be determined in the period from 2007 to 2013 when decisions are going to have to be made about replacement of (our) F-18 aircraft."

    The Canadian military, for instance, will have to decide what type of mix it wants among manned fighter aircraft and remote-control drones, he said.

    Some defence analysts have noted that sophisticated aerial drones, outfitted with various sensors and weapons, could be the future direction of military flight and might eventually replace piloted fighter aircraft.

    Mr. Burbage said there is considerable Canadian content on JSF at this point. That participation by Canadian firms is based on the idea that Canada will eventually buy the plane and would have to be reconsidered if that does not happen.

    Mr. Burbage noted Canada has obtained more than twice the amount of money it invested in JSF through the awarding of industry contracts for work on the plane.

    But defence analyst Steve Staples warns that the push to acquire the JSF for Canada is being driven more by defence industry needs than a requirement for the country's military.

    "It seems like special interests in the arms industry are driving the development of defence policy," said Mr. Staples, who is with the Polaris Institute, a left-leaning think-tank in Ottawa. "By the time we're ready to buy this thing it will be highly questionable whether military aircraft will even need pilots in the cockpit."

    The idea behind JSF is to produce in large quantities a high-tech stealth aircraft that, at a time of soaring costs for military equipment, is relatively affordable. More than 3,000 fighters will be built for the U.S. and Britain, but sales could run as high as $1 trillion when purchases by U.S. allies such as Canada are considered.

    Last year it was revealed that JSF can be used in non-traditional fighter aircraft roles, such as jamming communications or using the energy from its powerful radar as a weapon to fry or disrupt electrical systems on the ground. "It's a major player with an electronic attack capability very unique to the aircraft," U.S. Brig.-Gen. Charles Davis, deputy of the JSF program office, said at one briefing.

    Mr. Slack said the memorandum of understanding will detail Canada's involvement with the aircraft should it be decided to buy the plane. "Think of it as a roadmap," he explained. "If you elect to buy these are the rules you would use," he said.

    © The Ottawa Citizen 2006

    :bowdown:
     
  2. Fearan

    Fearan Guest

    That's hot. :eek3:

    Time to switch to AF? :o

    Too bad I don't have 20/20 vision. :wtc:
     
  3. Jason H

    Jason H Active Member

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    Navy and airforce are doing there shit right now. Army's catching up with bringing in new Arty and what not. Can't wait till we get some sexy shit :eek3:
     
  4. Fearan

    Fearan Guest

    More LAV-IIIs FTW, then we need some combat helos and better transport helos. :x: Hopefully Harper will be the CF Santa Clause
     
  5. insomnia

    insomnia New Member

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    We should sell them our f-117's since we're getting rid of them :o
     
  6. Jason H

    Jason H Active Member

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    CF is already in talks for Attack Helo's and the MGS is coming soon. We've got 700 lav's, ain't that enough?

    Not to mention the CDS has a hard-on for the Chinook so see that back in our inventory again soon :bigthumb:
     
  7. Jason H

    Jason H Active Member

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    Nah, no use for them. We join wars we don't start them. :hs:
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates New Member

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    Aweeeesommeeee.

    North America ruling the world ftw.
     
  9. BiG_aL

    BiG_aL New Member

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    sounds pretty sweet
     

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