First "Reset" and now "Pause".
Like the Defense Acquisition Guide suggests, it looks like the decision to replace the CF-188 will be put off a little longer. The decision will be put off until at least sometime during the summer, possibly even later.
According to the Globe and Mail:
"Sources say the government feels it’s being rushed and pressured by the Canadian Armed Forces and parts of the civil service to purchase the F-35 without a competition.
“There has been an assumption that the F-35s were selected and that cabinet would just rubber-stamp the decision. That is not the case. They will review all of the options and make a decision.”This is no surprise. It would be political poison to announce the purchase of a highly controversial stealth fighter while it is currently suspended from flight due to an unexplained fire.
So what happens now?
The Members of Parliament will soon return home to their ridings and participate in the summer barbecue circuit. With an election scheduled for Fall of 2015, possibly even earlier, babies will be kissed and hands will be shook. Interactions with voters over the summer will likely shape each party's platform leading into this next election.
For those of you who are concerned about Canada's upcoming fighter jet purchase, that means one thing: NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD.
|Sometimes it only takes 300 or so voices to be heard.|
If you have the chance to meet your MP, take it. Nothing beats looking your government representative in the eye and engaging them in conversation. Respectfully make your opinions known.
If you cannot meet them in person, call their office or write them, either by e-mail or regular mail (no stamp required to mail your MP!). You can find their contact information here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members
Not sure what to say? Here are a few topics:
- Remind them that the F-35 program is over budget, overdue, and far from being finished.
- The F-35 would either need to be "Canadianized" or the RCAF would lose its current capability to perform aerial refueling or operate from rough airstrips. Other options can do this "out of the box".
- The F-35's procurement and sustainment costs are the highest of any possible CF-18 replacement. This leaves less funding available for training and the rest of Canada's military.
- The only other country planning on using the F-35 as its sole front-line fighter is The Netherlands. Other fighters, like the Typhoon, Rafale, and Gripen will be used as front-line fighters throughout the world well into the 2030s and beyond.
- In recent military actions over Libya, the Super Hornet, Typhoon, Rafale, and Gripen all participated as a single coalition without major issue. Yet the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 were both absent.
- Other fighter options continue to receive technological updates, giving them many "5th generation" capabilities at a reduced cost and greater reliability.
- F-35 competitors have all offered guaranteed offset deals, including final assembly and technology transfer. By contrast, the F-35 comes with no guarantees, no technology transfer. We can only bid on making "widgets".
- Non-JSF partner nations, like Japan, Israel, and South Korea have received attractive offset deals, better than most JSF partners, in fact.
- The RCAF deserves the right equipment to protect Canadian taxpayers, not the American Military Industrial Complex.
I'm sure many of you can come up with your own topics. Some of you may even be pro-JSF. That is fine too. Above all let your voice be heard. You might not get a better chance to do it.