Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On overpayments

The Citizen's report on the U.S.' rethinking its F-35 purchase focuses mostly on the prospect that Canada will be left out in the cold when it comes to industrial benefits. But it's also worth pointing out the per-unit costs which are leading the U.S. to rethink the whole idea - as our neighbours to the south are blanching at numbers which the Harper Cons were entirely happy to sign onto:
(T)he cost of each stealth fighter has jumped from $50 million (U.S.) to at least $92 million, with some U.S. estimates putting that price-tag as high as $135 million. That has sparked a push in the U.S. to cut costs.
Asked what impact the initiatives will have on F-35 contracts now being carried out by Canadian firms, as well as potential future contracts, Adams said "it's too soon to provide a detailed assessment of the implications and potential impacts on our programs and business."

He said, however, that Lockheed Martin is on "the path to achieving an average unit cost of about $60 million" in U.S. dollars for the F-35.
By way of comparison, the Cons' agreement to purchase 65 planes for $9 billion dollars results in a final cost of...$138 million per plane. Which means that thanks to Stephen Harper's desire to throw free money at big military, we're stuck with a bill higher than the U.S.' estimated worst-case scenario as our base price.

Needless to say, with the main purchaser involved already looking to change direction and any supposed bidding opportunities apparently evaporating, there's absolutely no reason why Canada should be the lone country eager to push ahead at a price no other country is irresponsible enough to accept. And the more desperately the Cons try to pretend that we have no choice but to pour billions down the drain in a fighter jet deal, the more clear it should be that the Cons have no clue what they're doing with our public money.

No comments:

Post a Comment