Mark Collins - The State of the World, or, Gamesmanship and The Economist Mark Collins - “Drone Week”
Dec 17

1) Commentary, via SOMNIA:


Opinion — Maclean’s
The virtues of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
John Geddes — Maclean’s
A grim day for Peter MacKay
Tim Harper — The Toronto Star
F-35s mean never having to say you’re sorry
Michael Harris — iPolitics
Why is Peter MacKay still in cabinet?
Michael Den Tandt — National Post
The F-35 program is a start
John Ivison — National Post
There are no cheap alternatives to the F-35
Colin Horgan — iPolitics
F-35: Bureaucratic language
Andrew Coyne — National Post
The Harper Government’s continuing spin on F-35 costs is inexcusable
Paul Wells — Maclean’s
F-35: Hubris is a Greek word that means ‘what just happened’
Brian Lilley — Toronto Sun
Opposition really about clipping air force wings
…[for non-Canadians’ info, the National Post and Toronto Sun are considered small “c”, Maclean’s may trend that way a bit, iPolitics ranges ]

Plus:

F-35: So, what about that 30-year timeframe?

And this lengthy piece by Alec Castonguay in L’actualité.com is excellent–better than anything in the Anglo media, with very good sourcing and analysis. Do read it all:

F-35: les secrets du retour à la case départ

2) Scrubbing:

RIP former National Defence F-35 website
By [pretty good fellow]

…the Department of National Defence has scrubbed one of its old F-35 fact pages from the internet. The old page, titled “Arriving at Canada’s Costs for the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing Variant Joint Strike Fighter”, disappeared sometime since early December. On Thursday, the page showed nothing but a 404 error, stating that the page requested could not be found. Reason given: “Our web site has undergone extensive restructuring.”

Now, it looks like this.

The old page explained how the government arrived at its cost estimate for ownership of 65 F-35 fighter jets, based on the Joint Strike Fighter’s (JSF) Joint Program Office (JPO) estimates. The site said Canada’s cost estimates “take into account actual trends in the labour and supplier base including signed contracts and actual costs.” (Emphasis theirs) Those numbers, it said, also factored in “proven savings associated with the commonality of design in the three JSF variants of aircraft.” (Emphasis theirs)

Canada’s price per plane, it said, “is estimated to be in the mid-$70M due to the delivery times that will be at around the peak of production efficiency [tee hee flipping hee, see here and here].”

It reiterated the $9 billion acquisition cost, but made no mention of operation and sustainment, or those lifecycle costs that have since become such an issue.

“The F-35 program is at an advanced stage,” the site read. “Aircraft are flying, the production line is open and, as a result, detailed cost estimates are now available for Canada to gain the required confidence to stand behind its estimates. Significant flexibility exists within contingency funding to deal with cost variations [ho, ho flipping ho].”

The old site looked like this, and is still available via a Google cached version here

Thank goodness for that Google, er, transparency.

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

2 Responses to “Mark Collins - Canadian F-35 Commentary (as of Dec. 14)–and Scrubbing the Net”

  1. MarkOttawa Says:

    This piece makes good points, have a look:
    http://opencanada.org/features/blogs/roundtable/the-21st-century-conundrum/

    “The 21st-Century Conundrum
    What good is the best fighter jet if you can’t afford to fly it?
    Steve Saideman
    http://opencanada.org/author/ssaideman/

    Mark Collins

  2. MarkOttawa Says:

    The scrubbing appears to have been reversed:
    http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/pri/2/archives-eng.asp?id=15

    Mark Collins

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