September 22, 2015

Trudeau's vow to scrap F-35s will cost jobs, security -- and Liberal votes

Brian LilleyArchive

Justin Trudeau just promised to cancel the F35 fighter plane program if he's elected prime minister.

He insists this cancellation won't cost Canadian jobs or create a huge gap in national security, but he's wrong on both counts.

Even worse, Trudeau doesn't seem to understand that scrapping F35s will actually cost his party jobs in places where they need them most.

It's reminiscent of Chretien's Sea Kings fiasco.

Do we really want to go through that again?


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commented 2015-09-24 06:00:48 -0400
It is possible that there are more Canadian jobs built into the other project being promoted by the Liberals.
commented 2015-09-23 12:25:56 -0400
While I fear the NDP, it is at least lead by and adult. Harper is an adult. But Trudeau is a child. The idea that this child may lead Canada is scary.
commented 2015-09-23 02:12:08 -0400
Is there anything ,any program that Harper has put into effect that Justin has not vowed to DESTROY.
He acts like a little KID and the CANADA is his TOY.
Justin is certifiably off his Rocker.
commented 2015-09-22 23:14:55 -0400
It is absolutely immoral to send men and women into combat with “more affordable” equipment. You give them the best money can buy even if other programs have to be cut-back to make that possible. This “more affordable” idea reminds us of the bargain-basement subs that Chretien bought – subs that not only killed one sailor during the trans-Atlantic crossing but are also still leaky after billion dollar up-grades. It took four years to get them ready for limited duty. It is shocking that some people don’t understand the immorality of asking Canadians to risk their health and/or lives in less than the best.
commented 2015-09-22 22:41:59 -0400
OK I just have to say my favorite Justin Trudeau campaign commercial is where he is on the escalator trying to make a point about the economy being stalled. I would suggest like his policies he appears to be heading the wrong way on the escalator.
commented 2015-09-22 22:11:37 -0400
Just checked out National Post, what a spin they put on this issue:

Spin, spin, spin, all to put Trudeau in a light befitting the “Liberal Savior” of Canada. “Justin Trudeau is running rings just now around both his principal opponents. …” Ugh gag, does the writer, Michael Den Tandt, really believe the pathetic drivel he wrote? If so then what a joke.
commented 2015-09-22 20:23:14 -0400
Gentlemen, Bravo Zulu in particular….I feel priviledged to be on a forum of intelligent and knowledgable input. I first took an interest in this subject back in the 1950’s. I had an uncle I hero worshiped. Wound down his career as a station commander. One of his souvenirs was his flight helmet cracked neatly in two pieces down the middle from parking in a civilian garage when he had a “flame out” in a Sabre jet….caused by carbon and parafin buildup on the automotive spark plug that ignited the kerosene feuled jet….the fix was a rim fire spark plug……..:-)

Aircraft have always been a package of compromises…have always cost far too much to develop..have always had vulnerabilities particularly in combat…..and have always had far too many casualties that were not war related.

I would not give a hoot what Justin Trudeau …or any politician for that matter…would have to say on this subject.

But I am curious sir….in an engagement like the ones we have been sent to lately I think the F35 is our best option for that deuling and brawling that establishes air superiority and ultimately air supremacy.

But I agree with your concerns about reliability for long range patrol and interception over a vast arctic territory.

Which aircraft would you select ….or would it be ….“none of the above” and go back to the drawing board.

Sir I know that in terms of ground attack and “dog fighting” the top of line propeller driven craft of late WW2 could outfly the G-forces men can endure…and the only advantage of modern jets is getting you to the engagement and getting you home faster…and they do tend to perform better way up where the air is thin.
commented 2015-09-22 19:02:36 -0400
Rick Sloan said: “As I have said before, we can sell the CBC and use that 1.1+++ Billion dollars per year to purchase and build state of the art equipment we need to keep us safe … and we would not even have to raise taxes doing it. A win-win.” I like it!
commented 2015-09-22 18:55:28 -0400
The Avro Arrow, despite being fuelish, was considered at the time quite advanced. I would love to see a made in Canada solution to our aging jets. Just thinking out loud…………………..
commented 2015-09-22 18:49:09 -0400
All you Guys who frown on the single engine aspect. I agree and understand what you are saying but would remind you that the Battle of Britain was won with single engines. The Spitfire, the Hurricane and we should not forget the ME 109 an so on. I know, I am just arguing Cup’s and Saucers. Just a thought.
commented 2015-09-22 18:48:44 -0400
Glenn Craig. Thanks for setting Brinkman straight…..even if he’s even willing to acknowledge or accept your facts…………….Somehow I think not!
commented 2015-09-22 18:26:50 -0400
So let’s get this straight. He wants to cancel the stealth fighters to bolster the Navy. So our enemies who have stealth fighters can shoot at our Navy ships and destroy them while they are undetected, and then shoot down our sub-par non-stealth fighters without being detected. Good call Trudeau. Trudeau and Mulcair want us to be in the rear with the gear. I suggest we have Trudeau and Mulcair trained as fighter pilots and ask them to use sub-standard old generation equipment and see how they like it. Its great to be an armchair quarterback when you don’t have to put out.

We cannot play the 12 year old kid in the school yard with the big USA backing us up anymore. We claim the Arctic as ours and yet the Russians have laid claim to it as well. We can’t depend on the USA. They disagree with our claim as well. We are going to need the equipment to stand up to the rest of the world who look at us like Trudeau and Mulcair do.

As I have said before, we can sell the CBC and use that 1.1+++ Billion dollars per year to purchase and build state of the art equipment we need to keep us safe … and we would not even have to raise taxes doing it. A win-win.
commented 2015-09-22 17:58:35 -0400
Bravo Zulu, seems you would be saying “hell yeah” let’s take a look at Gripen E if it can provide a better safety record then what we have. If the Gripen has the best in service safety record flown by the Swedes over the arctic oceans and high arctic built to be tough and super reliable and serviced with nothing more then a tent and a road base and still never have a loss of life then you are a hard man to please. With nearly 300,000 flight hours from the oceans around Thailand to Iceland (two deployments this year) I would expect your experiences to only support such a jet. The F-35 however may prove be a very different story.
commented 2015-09-22 16:41:45 -0400
@ – David Koss

Having personally stood in the hole made by Lief Erickson, the hole made by Opie Corver, and on the deck of the ship that found Hollis Tucker’s jet – but never found the body – and no those were not engine related – I do not give one flying FUCK about engine reliability.

Having personally stored some of Opie Corvers body parts in my refrigerator in my hotel room in Inuvik because they were contaminated and the hospital would NOT take them – again – I do not give a flying FUCK about engine reliability.

Having swallowed a rather large bird about 200 nm north of Inuvik – THAT was an engine matter!

And as you might notice I am quite prepared to say this out loud in the same manner.

When it is YOUR ass in a sling it is far different than when it comes from a stats book. And as I stated – no matter how reliable – when something goes wrong – and it is the other guy – no problem. Right?

Well I am afraid you will never convince me. I wore body armour in A’stan – the vast majority of the time not one of our soldiers needed it. However – when they did? They were glad they were wearing it.

Now please – do not come back and give me crap about war zones – engines do not like various missiles in war zones – they do not like FOD damage on take off – they do not like bird damage on approach – they do not like a lot of things – take one engine out? The other can bring you home. Reliability is schitte – stuff something down the intake and let’s see.

Flag me for bad language – and drop the stats – unless you have been there and if you have you know I am right.

How much is your ass worth?

commented 2015-09-22 16:18:46 -0400
Well said, Brian Kelly.
commented 2015-09-22 16:12:53 -0400
About the F35 i heard that the cost is to high for what is worth seems to be the dream fighter but cannot do anything you dream off . The f15,16 and 18 are proved reliable and build for the task to accomplish . But i am all for improving CAF materials and make it more efficient .
commented 2015-09-22 15:56:05 -0400
How does his Party really feel about putting him in as their Leader? Gerald Butts knows that he can push his own agenda because good old Justie is too stupid to know who is pushing his buttons, he just stammers through everything he is told to say. When you watch him speaking or stammering you can tell that sometimes he is not quite sure of the thing he was told to say but must say it anyway because Butthead told him to and he knows that Butthead is much smarter than he is.
Wonder if deep down he knows that he is a fool and can not possibly be a Prime Minister in any way, shape, or form.
commented 2015-09-22 15:26:01 -0400
He keeps putting his big foot in his big mouth! Keep it up and you will be sent packing from the Liberal party!! I hope he does keep talking like this because as PM Harper said, “now it is this issue that Trudeau talks nonsense about”. He is so immature and “NOT READY.”
commented 2015-09-22 15:16:08 -0400
As a veteran I will let the experts in military procurement decide what we use for equipment and not the general public. The reasons as to why, the military procurement people have all relevant material on hand, some of which is not in the hands of the general public and therefore the military have more information available to come to a conclusion. So information you are giving here are only the general statistics of that plane, the reason, so as not to give our enemy all info on our equipment. Not only that, you can have 10 people in a room and all will have a different opinion, you know who’s opinion matters most? The pilots flying them and not the arm chair critics. I have talked to two pilots and they have agreed that the F-35 is the way to go, sometimes you pay more for a better product, something that has gotten away from us as China floods our country with cheap products. So when some say it is cheaper, the hair on the back of my neck raises because what I hear is give them the cheaper shit as their lives don’t matter. We can spend on needles to junkies, give them places to inject, welfare for corporations, invite refugees by the thousands, all kinds of money for that but when you mention military, the public will decide what equipment you will use to perform your duties, shame. I will always let the military decide what they use because they are the ones on the front lines using it, not the one sitting in the living room bitching about the cost.
commented 2015-09-22 15:09:24 -0400
Bill Collins,
I get livid when people portray us a war mongers. Mulcair would have said “This is not our war” to the first and second world wars. I am extremely proud of Canada’s military. Past and present. To me, calling us war mongers is a direct insult to our Vets and troops. I have one word for them “ASSHOLES
commented 2015-09-22 14:42:37 -0400
Well Alex what we do know is it appears the F-35 was selected and then the statement of requirement was written to accommodate the F-35. If we had considered the flight performance of Rafale and Typhoon at that time the F-35 would not be able to match them and would have been discounted yet it was still believed to have credible stealth which today is quickly looking like defeated technology. Reports showed Canada met with Lockheed Martin more then all the other contractors combined in the early days. My guess is that Canada was convinced there was no other possible option and it was so far ahead of anything else available. But here we are 15 years now on in development of which 8 years of that is behind schedule and not one F-35 has been able to make the flight to Canada. I believe that is a deliberate tactic delay the realizations of the large logistical footprint, high noise levels and unreliability of the jet. I remember kicking the tires of the YF-17 Cobra when it flew up to Canada on a sales tour. A good indicator not all is well with the F-35 is that it has not been able to do the same.
commented 2015-09-22 14:10:58 -0400
Good arguments all, from informed and uninformed alike. However that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, because Cons are going to be portrayed as war mongers, the dippers as peace makers, and the Libs as fuzzy as has happened for all time. The facts don’t matter at all because the MSM will use their usual biases to promote their own agendas.
commented 2015-09-22 14:06:45 -0400
Bravo Zulu, your point of single engine concern has but one big hole. The most reliably and best safety record of any fighter in the world single or twin engine is in fact Saab’s single engine Gripen with a modified F-404 (same as CF-18).
In it’s entire program there has never been a loss of Gripen due to an engine issue of any kind including large seagull ingestions into the engine. That is not an accident as much testing and engineering made that a fact. Last loss of a CF-18 was an engine issue and the last two losses of F-18E at sea were engine issues while the Gripen has now passed 280,000 flight hours and operated by a few nations with very tight air force budgets. Also of note there has never been a structural or fatigue issue or any loss of life associated with the Gripen program. Based on the last several years of operations statistically you would be safer in a Gripen over the Arctic then a CF-18 on two engines. (Gripen flies for 1/4 the cost per hour of F-35)
commented 2015-09-22 13:58:20 -0400
David Koss, Bravo Zulu,
You guys make great clear points. Do the people who make the decisions on the purchase of this plane not know this. Again, I am no expert, but the perils of a single engine plane seem very obvious.
commented 2015-09-22 13:48:13 -0400
I’m wondering if it’s time to go the “independent” route again… Back in Diefenbaker’s day, the Canadian military was asked what was required in a fighter/interceptor that would fulfill Canada’s needs. The result was the Arrow. As with anything brand-brand new, there were unexpected delays, cost overruns, and technological hurdles. It was a political decision to scrap the Arrow.

If there are going to be these same tech probs, delays, and cost overruns (like there already are with the F35), why don’t we go it alone, again? We’ve got the engineering, we’ve got the tech know-how, and this aircraft can be designed to fit Canadian needs.

Unfortunately, it will also require political will from both leadership and Opposition, and will require the commitment and funds to see it through… and it does not appear that we have either…

Can we change that?
commented 2015-09-22 13:44:41 -0400
Exactly Alex – Who would Canada fight without a coalition? Russia, Japan or America … maybe we could take Greenland on … it is just stupid to think Canada could Defend it’s borders alone from any Aggressor on our borders. It also just as stupid to think that “Peace Keepers” who are not allowed to engage attackers could ever be effective when they aren’t even allowed to defend themselves.
commented 2015-09-22 13:35:41 -0400
Keeping politics out of it a few points that should at least be known about the F-35 program whether you support it or are against it.

I wonder how many of you understand the special basing requirements and costs associated with the F-35? And much of it’s support is planned to be done by the contractor and not our military or civilians.
It has poor combat and ferry range far below other options available to Canada. As an air defense interceptor the F-35 flight performance falls well short of Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen E in range and speeds as these jets can perform armed supersonic cruise far better then F-35. Long range ferry flights these jets can still better the F-35 even with non stealth external tanks by over 700km.
The pro F-35 Dutch government officially have estimated their costs on F-35 operations will be $50k per hour in service in their small nation. 2x the hourly flight cost of CF-18.
The F-35 has poor landing performance so bad that Canada is planning 2,000’ extensions of arctic runways and special hangars just for the F-35. To add to this problem the RCAF F-35, like Norway is to have a yet to be tested externally bolted on parachute braking system built by Fokker for arctic operations. Our military will be packing chutes like we did back in the days of the CF-101. No other option for Canada requires such. Australia is already spending $1.5 billion to upgrade it’s currently F-18 base at Williamtown to handle the F-35. Even today not one F-35 can fly within 30 miles of a thunder cloud due to it’s on going issues with it’s fuel static concerns. The best air to air missile in the world is the ramjet Meteor. It is already fully tested and cleared for combat on current Gripen and Typhoon. It will not fit in the weapons bay of F-35 in it’s current form. There are too many issues and unsuitability points for Canada to list but the fact is the F-35 will not ever operate cost effectively and with minimal basing support like it had advertised years ago.

" Data from the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada shows there are more than 700 companies of all sizes from coast to coast, employing of more than 180,000 workers, and with net revenue in 2014 of $27.7 billion.
Based upon current figures, the F-35 represents approximately 2.29 per cent of the industry’s total revenue.
Almost three-quarters of the industry is dedicated to manufacturing, while the rest does repair and overhaul. The majority of the growth in the next six years is expected to be in the commercial aircraft market. "
commented 2015-09-22 13:34:57 -0400
This is in fact one of the few things that I agree with trudope on.

The F35 is a single engine airplane.

Back in the days when I was flying the Hornet I lost an engine far to the north of Inuvik – I flew home on the other.

In the new aircraft I would have been sitting on the ice, swimming in the ocean and perhaps even fed a polar bear or two.

No matter how reliable an engine is – they do fail. And we do fly over some inhospitable terrain at times.

My ugly old ass is – to me – priceless. I think the pilots flying in the north would say the same thing about themselves. They truly do need that second engine.
commented 2015-09-22 13:31:54 -0400
Doug Brinkman.
Please tell me your comments are just jokes. You are kidding, right?