Sunday, 13 July 2014
Pay more tribute?
The Harper goverment saw no defense system it did not want. Canadian jobs were not secondary, they were no wary. The F35, C17 Galaxy, and new trucks were all to be made in the USA, and in the case of the planes the lucrative maintenance would be/is outsourced there as well. The military case for buying these systems critics consider weak to foolish. In diplomatic circles this is called bending over. Caesar called it tribute.
Lockheed Martin would not be the first arms dealer to use a carrot and a stick to close a deal. There is no shortage of plain brown envelopes in the closets of Lockheed Martin or the hands of the Conservative party. And I would be shocked if anyone thought any of this was punishable by law.
Now its suggested France may offer a best practices solution. If adopted by Harper goverment, would that not be a first. The fact that Obama gets along better with Putin than Harper may close the deal for France.Thanks to Keystone the French may have a common sense pipeline to the PMO office. Tough choices ahead, suck up to the American Military Industrial complex with all the benefits for participants that entails, or spite Obama and get the biggest bang for the taxpayers buck!
In a dogfight dictated by kinetic rules the Rafale B would slaughter the F35 like a baby seal. Lockheed Martin is selling the F35 as a plane that defies aerodynamics and mechanical failure with software and stealth. All that aside, Rafale has two engines. Given that the primary role of a fighter plane for Canada is to patrol and defend the Arctic, saying one engine will never fail as Peter Mckay did is stupid. So would be buying a one engine fighter.
Next we have the question of cost and industrial benefits. The F35 cost is unknown but certainly north of $150 million a copy purchase, and due to its stealth skin which can not fly in the rain btw, maintenance ($40,000 per flight hour without rain damage) is at least double the cost of a fourth generation fighter. The F35 purchase is based upon faith, there is no final product to judge. The Rafale is a proven performer. Furthermore its mother the Mirage has a Honda like reputation amongst fighter planes.
The F35 does offer Canadian suppliers of components industrial benefits. Once again the dollars are carried on the backs of Unicorns. The French bid is cold hard cash.
Update the single engine may be a fatal flaw, its to big for its britches.
H/T to Naval Open Intelligence via Oldphartte