Monday, April 9, 2012

Chretien Liberals Military Procurement Process Makes Conservatives Look Like Saints...

it was the Liberals in 2002 who along with our NATO allies who decided to hold a competion for a next-generation plane at the design stage, rather than a model already in production. The Lockheed-Martin F-35 was the result.

If Ignatieff really intends a different plane be picked, Canada will be out-of-step with all its allies, and as several senior military officers and bureucrats have pointed out, holding a bidding competition where the only acceptable winner is already known looks stupid and wastes a lot of money.

Not that that has stopped the Liberals in the past when dealing with the military. While Ignatieff is well read, he clearly hasn't cracked the spines on too many history books. If he had, he'd know full well his party's past experiences with meddling in military purchases haven't gone well.
Being out of the country the in 1990s, he seems unaware of former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien's experience with the EH-101 helicopter — the military's plan for a replacement for its aging Sea Kings and Labradors — both in service since the 1960s.

After a lengthy procurement search the Tory government of the day picked the British-Italian designed aircraft and committed to buyng 50 of them. Chretien said they were too expensive at $3 billion, and made cancelling the purchase a key plank in his 1993 election campaign. He won and the purchase was cancelled — at a penalty cost of $500 million.

The downside was the military had to make do with the its existing helicopters and within five years Chretien found himself okaying the purchase of 15 of the EH-101 search and rescue versions — redesignated the Cormorant from the Chimo in an attempt to hide the fact this was the same aircraft he'd ruled out a few years earlier.

Meanwhile the militry had begun a new search for a military-use helicopter, and when it looked like the EH-101 would win again, Chretien ordered a change in the criteria that excluded the EH-101 from the competition. A totally untried, and unbuilt, aircraft was picked in 2002 — the Sikorsky S-92, named the Cyclone. Today, Canadian Forces are still awaiting delivery. Four years later, and with the price having soared to an estimated $11 billion for 28 of the helicotters, the first operational models still aren't expected to arrive until 2012.

Helicopters aren't the only skeleton in the Liberal history of 'messing with military pourchases'.
There were the submarines. The navy had been arguing strongly it needed new submarines to replace its Oberon class subs, which had been in service since 1964. New submarines, particularily the nuclear ones the navy had been eyeing in the 1980s, were deemed far too expensive, besides the Cold War had ended, said the Liberals.

When the Liberals announced they'd found four used subs in the British navy yards at a bargain basement price — $1 in exchange for jet fighter training time over Canada's wilderness in Labrador — it sounded like a deal too good to be true. It was.

Changing times ended the flight training need, and the Liberals only belatedly acknowledged the subs had actually cost close to $750 million when the deal was inked in 1998. The cost of the Liberal's $1 deal including purchase price and repairs— an estimated $1.5 billion thus far and rising annually.

More troubling has been the subs' mechanical history. Neither the British Navy, nor Canada's has ever been able to keep all four in service at once — only one is operational at present.
And last on the list, but not least if the Liberals are elected, was the cost-saving plan to replace Canada's 1970s era Leapord I of tanks with Stryer gun platforms, beefed up versions of the wheeled LAV III troop carrier with a mounted cannon.

While used by the U.S. military, the Stryker is not a tank, and thankfully the military was able to talk the new Conservative government out of that in 2006 and instead leased 20 of newer Leopard IIs from Germany for use in Afghanistan, while awaiting delivery of 100 real tanks for its amoured units.

p.s. Notice what all those things have in common? None of the prices include the costs of salaries, fuel, etc. Isn't that was this new faux scandal is all about?


Roy Elsworth said...

maybe you should send this to sunnews so they know that then maybe they wont call peter mackay a liar. or incompetent.

Bec said...

NO they don't have the cost procurements attached nor do they have the devastating financial ramifications for the career Soldiers, Colonels etc.etc....who lost their jobs during the Chretien 'frig U'.

You know, it's pretty sickening watching and listening to the unfortunate electorate choices of some regions in this country when we know that many of these same regions are military powerhouses.

I just get the sense that none of these people respect their countries sovereignty, respect those that fought for their freedom to be a-holes and live in a denial bubble.
They are the same people who have no emotion about the towers coming down and can't wait to greet Omar Khadr at Pearson.

It's not that we shouldn't love an opinion but who dropped THESE people on their heads at birth? They are so dysfunctional.

Gabby in QC said...

Forgive me, Paul, but what does Ignatieff have to do with your post? I can understand your referring to Chretien & his party's cancellation of the helicopters but why the reference to Ignatieff? I'm puzzled.
Re: those subs. I seem to be the only one interested in the fact the same procurement expert who thought buying those subs was a good idea is the same expert who Solomon frequently trots out to voice opposition to the F-35 purchase.

In criticizing the F-35 program, Solomon, Williams, and the opposition parties emphasize there was no competitive process to choose that plane. Well, it appears there was no competitive process to purchase the subs either, and Mr. Williams was OK with it at the time.

“Mr. Alan Williams: Typically, competition is our preferred way of doing business, without any question. We like to take the requirements and open them up to the marketplace and have companies go at each other to get us the best price to meet our needs. This case was slightly unique in the sense that the requirements were clear and a unique opportunity presented itself. Clearly, there wasn’t anything else used out there, and there wasn’t anything else in our budget that we could afford. This was it.

Did Mr. Williams make a sound decision on the subs? I doubt it. So why should his opinion on the F-35s be viewed as being so valuable?

oxygentax said...

A couple things just as interesting...

Yes, the PBOs estimates included all sustainment costs, and Yes, the PBO acknowledges that as late as December 2010, no binding contract was signed to purchase the F35s.

Polardiscoball said...

It's not so much that they lied or deceived I'm used to the games leaders use to avoid truly leading it is more about a government that expects its citizens to cut back on healthcare and retirement plans in order to purchase flying death machines.

Really Canada what is the best model flying death machine for the rest of us?

Is there a flying death machine that can shorten the lineups at emerg?

Is there a better flying death machine that will help our farmers increase their yields and profit?

How aboot a terrific big ass flying death machine that looks good at air shows AND helps reduce class sizes in our public schools?