Liberals’ fighter plan will compromise national security

There is no urgency to replace the CF-18 and the commander of the RCAF has confirmed that the aircraft will be viable until 2025.

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Why are the Liberals, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, so hell-bent on wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on everything that they touch? Who’s pockets are they trying to fill, besides yours?

The Canadian Values Party will not spend one dime unless they know it is money well spent that will benefit Canadians not just for the short term but for the long haul as well.


 

The Liberals’ fighter plan will compromise national security, seriously hurt our aerospace industry, and betray our allies.

If confirmed, which seems increasingly the case, the government is intentionally creating a false narrative to justify sole-sourcing the Super Hornet, so that the prime minister’s ill-informed election promise to deny the F-35 does not get overtaken by the truth.

There is no urgency to replace the CF-18 and the commander of the RCAF has confirmed that the aircraft will be viable until 2025. That means that we have lots of time to conduct a fair and open competition, which the Liberals howled for in opposition. The capability gap that they are talking about simply does not exist and they are falsely trying to justify a very bad decision.

The Liberals say that this would be an interim solution. They know that’s nonsense. A mixed fleet would bring prohibitive costs for duplicating training, maintenance, infrastructure and other support. After close examination when we bought the CF-18, that was not an option and a smaller fleet would exacerbate that.

To say that the Aussies chose Super Hornet as an interim for F-35 is misleading. The Aussies bought the Super Hornet to replace their aging F-111 aircraft (not their current F-18s), and they maintained their firm commitment to buy F-35. The Aussies will continue to use their Super Hornets in an electronic warfare role, but have admitted that they will not be competitive by the 2030s. We would be stuck with Super Hornet for at least 40 years and for at least the last 20 of those years, we will not be competitive.

The U.S., U.K., Australia, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Israel have all chosen the F-35 after weighing all the alternatives; and Finland is poised to join that group. That is not a coincidence and the Next Generation Fighter Secretariat report clearly points to the F-35 as the preferable option. Why won’t the Liberals release that report? Well, because it will put the question to what they are saying and doing now. And, by the way, the Danes confirmed in their evaluation that the F-35 is, in fact, cheaper than Super Hornet, once all costs are considered.

The Canadian aerospace industry will also be big losers, and that means lost jobs and a weaker economy, not to mention possible costs of legal action. Canadian companies have done every well in winning F-35 contracts because they are very good. So far, more than 200 Canadian companies have landed over $700-million in contracts, a lot of that in Quebec. That will all end if we buy the Super Hornet. Why would Lockheed sign long-term contracts with Canadian companies when we’re not in the game? If we miss the F-35 level of technology, we will surely not be in a position to participate in the next level of technology. We went through this with the cancellation of the Avro Arrow and essentially lost that industry overnight. The Super Hornet is near the tail-end of its lifespan and further development; the F-35 is just starting. And, the more that people operate the hundreds of F-35s already flying, the more it is clear that the airplane is performing as advertised, acknowledging that there have been issues that needed resolving (as there are with every new aircraft, including the CF-18); and they are being resolved.

The statement of requirements (SOR) for the Next Generation Fighter was written in relation to the threat scenarios that are predictable over the next several decades. It appears that the SOR is being re-written to simply exclude the F-35, regardless of the threats that Canada will face at home and abroad. That would raise serious questions of ethics and would certainly compromise our ability to meet our commitments in a dangerous world and give our pilots the best chance for survival. And that would be shameful.

Reference

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