Friday, April 06, 2012

Ah, so that's what it takes

I have always wondered what it would take to make the Harper government change its mind on one of its "signature" initiatives and now I know.

It takes a political two by four.  I had a feeling.

Canada needs to replace its F-18s.  No industrialized country can do without a fully capable air force.  I have no problem with the government's desire to buy new fighter/strike aircraft.  My problem is we can only do so once every 30 years or so.  As a result, it is imperative that we get it right otherwise we will be stuck with the wrong aircraft for a very long time.  That means the process should be designed to identify the operational needs of the Canadian airforce and then go out and find the aircraft that best meets those needs.

Although it is naive to believe some politics will not seep into such a process a government that lets politics take over the process is doing Canada a great disservice.

Now we get to see how this government reacts to this situation.  Will it react like the Chretien government did or will it do the right thing?

After the Chretien government cancelled the EH-101 contract it did its best to disqualify that helicopter from the running to replace the Sea Kings because they believed they would look like idiots to cancel a signed contract only to sign another one for the same aircraft a few years later.  (They would have been right.)  The only problem was the EH-101 met Canada's needs so they could not really disqualify it without cranking the process, which lead to lawsuits, which lead to so many delays in buying new helicopters we still have not replaced the Sea Kings.

So now we get to see what this government does.

Considering this government has proven it places political considerations above all else I think it is pretty safe to say that we are witnessing the beginning of the 'Sea King' saga all over again and that it will be another decade or so before the Canadian Airforce sees new figher/strike aircraft.

1 Comments:

Blogger Steve W said...

"I have no problem with the government's desire to buy new fighter/strike aircraft."

Oh, bullshit. As a middle power at best all we require for our air force are an appropriate number of high end surveillance aircraft to patrol our vast coastlines and the very best SAR equipment to offer emergency services to our citizens. Troop and equipment transport planes? Another huge waste of money implemented by the Harper regime. Those jumbo things they acquired should never have been purchased. A 'rent as needed' is what should have been implemented in that case. This idea that we need fighter jets is ridiculous. The jet fighter is actually very old technology who's time has long past. These hot-dog aircraft are a waste of time, effort and especially money. Period.

April 06, 2012 12:24 PM  

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