RCAF wonders if F-35 training budget is enough, is it ever?

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neptune

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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 04:41

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/201204 ... et-120423/

The Canadian Press

Date: Monday Apr. 23, 2012 6:15 PM ET

OTTAWA — The air force has raised questions about whether enough has been budgeted to train pilots for the F-35 stealth fighters.

About $1.3 billion was set aside for training, simulators and other infrastructure under the Harper government's proposed $9-billion capital purchase of the radar-evading jets.

...

That's because it was calculated for the standard Defence Department estimate of 20 years' of flying, rather than the lifetime of the aircraft, which is estimated at 36 years.

The parliamentary budget officer has criticized the government and defence bureaucrats for using the two-decade yardstick to measure F-35 costs when the equipment would remain in service much longer.

.....

"No training option currently affordable," said a July 5, 2010, presentation to the chief of air staff.

...

One of seven scenarios considered assumes all pilot training is conducted at bases in the U.S., with a basic cost of $1.7 billion. Another possibility discussed involved using leased F-35s for training over and above the 65 the air force plans to purchase.

In the end, the military decided to train the initial cadre of pilots at a U.S. Air Force base in Florida, then move training back to Canada within six years, depending on available funding. But the documents noted "there is no (Government of Canada) direction/mandate to maintain a domestic, sovereign pilot conversion and operational training capability."

The Conservatives, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have insisted no more than $9 billion will be spent on the acquisition. The issue arose again in the aftermath of the auditor general's scathing April 3 report on the program, which suggested the government low-balled the estimated cost. The Tories responded by freezing project funding.

"The government has clearly communicated the budget that we have to replace Canada's aging CF-18s, and we will stay within that budget," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in the House of Commons.
.......

Oversight of the program has been handed to a new F-35 secretariat at Public Works, which could be in line for a name change even before its shingle hung up.
......

NDP procurement critic Matthew Kellway said the training documents are another example of where the full life-cycle cost has not been fully disclosed.

"What we've had from DND is inaccurate and incomplete costing of these planes," said Kellway. "This is certainly a concern and speaks to the way this entire project has been managed. Pilots and ground crew need training" over the lifetime of the program.
......

The internal documents, meanwhile, say the air force will need to set aside as many as 17 of its pricey F-35s for training whenever a program is established in Canada.
......

Sorry!, I couldn't resist editing the title. :D
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popcorn

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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 06:26

So oversight of the program is being done by Public Works? Aren't these the guys who oversee roads, bridges, sewer systems and such?LOL
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 12:53

Training is over rated. Just stick em in there and lets see what happens. What could possibly go wrong?
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 13:08

If you think training is expensive, wait until you pay the price for ignorance.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 16:44

popcorn wrote:So oversight of the program is being done by Public Works? Aren't these the guys who oversee roads, bridges, sewer systems and such?LOL


I don't know why the Canadians keep tormenting themselves. I really wish they'd cancel their order so we wouldn't have to listen to any more of their crying.
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m

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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 17:16

1st503rdsgt wrote:
popcorn wrote:So oversight of the program is being done by Public Works? Aren't these the guys who oversee roads, bridges, sewer systems and such?LOL


I don't know why the Canadians keep tormenting themselves. I really wish they'd cancel their order so we wouldn't have to listen to any more of their crying.



Not fair concerning Canada .. there is opposition against the F35 in the US as well
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 23:22

m wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:
popcorn wrote:So oversight of the program is being done by Public Works? Aren't these the guys who oversee roads, bridges, sewer systems and such?LOL


I don't know why the Canadians keep tormenting themselves. I really wish they'd cancel their order so we wouldn't have to listen to any more of their crying.



Not fair concerning Canada .. there is opposition against the F35 in the US as well


There is, and should be. Criticism on technical grounds will force improvement, ultimately delivering a more capable aircraft.

The difference is that Canada hasn't been criticizing as much as it has been whining. Seriously, if they're that desperate, drop the CF-35 and pick up some Super Bugs, Typhoons, Rafale or something. Just stop the nearly constant whining.
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 00:31

I get the impression that the whining is about saving face, not any kind of policy debate.
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 06:45

Very, very interesting, one might add, that RCAF is apparently contemplating LEASED training F-35 aircraft as part of their forward looking acquisition scenario? Ahem.

But in short, no, $1.3B (training, simulators and other infrastructure) will most likely turn out to be a considerably underestimated cost.
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 06:59

geogen wrote:Very, very interesting, one might add, that RCAF is apparently contemplating LEASED training F-35 aircraft as part of their forward looking acquisition scenario? Ahem.


Again, someone has to actually own the things before they can be leased; there is going to be no rent-a-fighter desk at LM's corporate headquarters.
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Unread post27 Apr 2012, 05:19

Again, Leasing jets is a bit different than Leasing ICBM missiles. The world of aviation business is rapidly changing, and has been, for at least the past 5-10 years. Where there is a will, there is a way.

With respect to the actual programmatic details involved with such an F-35 Lease which Canada was reportedly contemplating, let's just say you and I might agree that those in the actual position to do business... be they DoD, USAF, LM, RCAF, or DND... could in fact make any deal they determined was required to best support the needs of the programme.

An appropriate Lease could easily be accomplished and negotiated if deemed most prudent, with the pertinent 'owner' being whichever 'owner' was best suited to later deal the aircraft to a follow-on acquisition contract. Period.
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Unread post27 Apr 2012, 06:47

Missiles? What?
As for "pertinent owners," that's not good enough. LM is not going to even START building a single F-35 that hasn't already been payed for by someone, Period.
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Unread post27 Apr 2012, 07:33

So Maybe DoD could PAY For it and LEASE it as an LRIP training aircraft for an ally requiring a politically affordable option in order to best continue with the F-35 Program!?! I don't know. Why is it like pulling teeth trying to get a logical discussion on this point?

Try to think outside the box and you'll get better results when times are tough.
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Unread post27 Apr 2012, 12:09

Did you maybe miss the part of this story where the DoD reduced its early orders of F-35s because it wanted to let the design mature?

Try and think out what you are saying.

The DoD is going to buy early F-35s [read expensive and likely to require some retrofit] with money they don't have.

They are then going to lease those to Canada so that the Canadians can delay their purchases until the F-35 is cheaper and more mature, then the Canadians will buy their own F-35s and return the ones they leased.

Sounds like a brilliant plan doesn't it? The US gets more early build F-35s, something it is trying to avoid, only it will get them late... while the Canadians get to buy their F-35s late while getting F-35s early. Why don't we make that same offer to Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Japan, etc etc?
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Unread post27 Apr 2012, 12:57

geogen wrote:Very, very interesting, one might add, that RCAF is apparently contemplating LEASED training F-35 aircraft as part of their forward looking acquisition scenario? Ahem.

But in short, no, $1.3B (training, simulators and other infrastructure) will most likely turn out to be a considerably underestimated cost.


The scenario is not your favourite "some mysterious buyer pays for jets that someone else can get for a lease only."

The Canadians seem to be leaning toward putting their pilots entirely through the American training scheme and leasing access to the American training jets, that have been bought by American authorities to primarily train American pilots.

Once again your great lease plan falls over in reality because NO-ONE not even the US can afford to buy jets they don't intend to use immediately.

The only time this is happening is when there is excess capacity, such as Sweden who bought more Gripens than they could feasibly operate to make them an economically viable fighter program and hoping they could sell already built jets. That even they couldn't is why there's about 80 parked Gripen-A's in Sweden, not being flown.

They did that 10-15 years ago however. WHO is buying new-build "excess capacity" jets in this economic climate?

No-one. Thus the great lease experiments fails.

And leased ICBMS's? Who has ever leased ICBM's?
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