F-35 project costs rise after U.S. delay


mentalfloss
#1
Harper's fighter-jet project hits pricing turbulence

The financial straits of Canada’s allies have caught up with the next generation fighter bomber that Ottawa plans to buy: Both the United States and the jet maker are now confirming the average cost of the F-35 Lightning will rise after order delays by cash-strapped governments.

It’s further heartburn for the Harper government, with Opposition parties contrasting Conservative plans to delay old-age security benefits in the years ahead with plans to sink upward of $9-billion into 65 stealth jetfighters.

The Pentagon this week confirmed it would postpone orders for 179 F-35s to save $15.1-billion and allow more time for testing. Italy announced Tuesday it would cut its order and Britain has said it will wait until 2015 to decide its purchase.

Acting Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall told reporters on Tuesday that the U.S. decision and any delays in international orders would drive up the average price per unit of the F-35, the Pentagon's costliest weapons program.

Likewise, in Oslo, Lockheed Martin Corp. executive vice-president Tom Burbage told reporters that the U.S. decision to drag out its purchases of the F-35 would increase the price of the plane somewhat.

“It will raise the overall average cost of the total procurement of all the airplanes bought,” Mr. Burbage said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was unmoved by the news, telling the Commons the Conservatives are sticking with the F-35 purchase and it would stay within budget.

A spokesman for Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of Defence, declined to say how allies’ delays would affect Canada’s purchase or how the rising average cost would boost the price paid.

Mr. Fantino gave the impression this week that Canada is now open to changing its order. “We all know that the economic reality of the day is certainly vastly different from when we started back on this project in 1997,” he told CBC-TV Monday. “It would be ludicrous, I believe, for us to say that under no circumstances are we not prepared to discuss, to reconsider or consider.”

Canada has long said the jets would cost $75-million to $80-million each and officials say there is $800-million to $900-million set aside in the $9-billion jet purchase plan to handle rising costs.

Lockheed Martin told Reuters Tuesday it has informed Canadian officials the price of Canada’s planes would rise by a single-digit percentage as a result of the U.S. order slowdown.

Canada had originally planned to begin taking delivery of F-35s in late 2016 or early 2017, timing its order to ensure as many as possible were built in the same years as big orders from other allies. The cost of planes is affected by how many are built in the same year and Canada sought to find what officials call the “sweet spot” for pricing.

Delays by allies have thrown such calculations in disarray and officials say countries are now once again trying to figure out what years would now be least expensive.

Canada has convened an early March meeting with other buyers at its embassy in Washington to discuss the situation. “The entire program has not been without problems both in terms of timeline and cost estimates. And so having these discussions is a normal course,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said.

Harper's fighter-jet project hits pricing turbulence - The Globe and Mail
 
L Gilbert
#2
Canadians can't build planes?
Thanks, Dief & Co.
 
Walter
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Canadians can't build planes?
Thanks, Dief & Co.

Bombardier is very busy building many planes at Downsview.
 
L Gilbert
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Bombardier is very busy building many planes at Downsview.

fighter jets?
 
#juan
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

fighter jets?

A fighter jet is not that much more difficult to build than other jets. The loading and stresses are
different to be sure but once they are taken into consideration, it's not a big problem. Canada
built a couple thousand F-86s and I believe the 104s were also built in Canada.
 
L Gilbert
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

A fighter jet is not that much more difficult to build than other jets. The loading and stresses are
different to be sure but once they are taken into consideration, it's not a big problem. Canada
built a couple thousand F-86s and I believe the 104s were also built in Canada.

Decades ago, yes. Why not build our own these days?
 
taxslave
+1
#7  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Decades ago, yes. Why not build our own these days?

65 jets every 30 years does not warrant setting up an assembly line. Now if we were to build several thousand and sell them.....
 
mentalfloss
#8
Canada not considering alternatives to F-35 fighter jets
 
#juan
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

65 jets every 30 years does not warrant setting up an assembly line. Now if we were to build several thousand and sell them.....

Back in the late fifties/early sixties I was a member of the RCAF. The aircraft I had the most experience with
was the F-86 Sabre. Canadair was a sub-contractor to North American and we built close to 2000 of them.
These aircraft were not supersonic but were occasionally transonic under some circumstances, like full throttle
in a shallow dive. Even modern fighter jets spend little time at supersonic speeds. It just burns too much fuel.
Canadair sold Sabres to the RCAF, Great Britain, West Germany, and I believe we sold some
to the U.S.. Sixty five aircraft is not nearly enough for a country the size of Canada. We should have made a
similar deal for the new fighters but we sat around and talked about it for too long, and I think we picked the
wrong aircraft. The Stealth Eagle would have been a better choice at half the price. It should have been the
obvious choice.
 
DaSleeper
#10
Do they ever ask the opinions of the people that fly them?????
 
mentalfloss
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Do they ever ask the opinions of the people that fly them?????

You're assuming these planes actually work properly.
 
#juan
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

You're assuming these planes actually work properly.

Which aircraft are you talking about?
 
DaSleeper
#13
If I buy a vehicle I don't listen to the salesman, but I do take the advice of the people who drive and/or repair the model/make I intend to buy.
 
mentalfloss
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

If I buy a vehicle I don't listen to the salesman, but I do take the advice of the people who drive and/or repair the model/make I intend to buy.

Well in this case, people are dropping their order because there's been a delay in production.
 
#juan
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

If I buy a vehicle I don't listen to the salesman, but I do take the advice of the people who drive and/or repair the model/make I intend to buy.

I guess you'll have to talk to the USAF because they are the only people flying the F-35 at this time. that I know about.
 
DaSleeper
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

I guess you'll have to talk to the USAF because they are the only people flying the F-35 at this time. that I know about.

That would be it ...and a look at the repair expenses, not the ones directly caused by combat....
 
#juan
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Well in this case, people are dropping their order because there's been a delay in production.

I don't think the delays are nearly as important as the skyrocketing prices. For some the prices have doubled and may get
a lot worse.
 
L Gilbert
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

65 jets every 30 years does not warrant setting up an assembly line. Now if we were to build several thousand and sell them.....

Well, yeah. I thought that'd be the normal procedure.

Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

If I buy a vehicle I don't listen to the salesman, but I do take the advice of the people who drive and/or repair the model/make I intend to buy.

That works fine except on brand new vehicles.

Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Well, yeah. I thought that'd be the normal procedure.

That works fine except on brand new vehicles.

Probably. We do have military mechanics in Canada. lol
 

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