Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cons and the F35 Fiasco

Now that it appears the Harper Cons are going to buy more of these F-35 fighters than Britain.

Future prospects for the F-35 joint strike fighter program got a lot murkier Tuesday after British government officials announced plans to delay and dramatically trim their purchases of the warplane from Lockheed Martin.

Even though they are way too expensive, we don't really need them. The only reason the Cons want to spend so much money is so they can pump up the deficit, and use it as an excuse to kill medicare.

And as usual they are lying like thieves.

The 2006 agreement for developing the controversial F-35 stealth fighter jets contains a withdrawal clause that would allow a new government to end Canada's participation with no penalties and appears to contradict the government's claim that Canadian firms involved up to now would suffer.

Maybe it's time to seriously consider other options. And other planes.

The most likely avenue of attack from the air on Canada today is not from a lumbering Bear bomber, but rather a small privately owned commercial aircraft. The American Norad commander, Admiral James Winnefeld, recently called for aircraft that can fly "low and slow" in order to counter this threat; "F-16s don't fly slow very well," he said. The same could be said of the F-35.

A turboprop aircraft like Embraer's "Super Tucano" or Beechcraft's AT-6B (whose engines are manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Canada in Nova Scotia) would easily fit this bill. At roughly $6-million per copy, we could outfit the air force with 10 times the number of airframes.

And if not turboprops, why not drones?

Just months before the Harper government announced it would spend an estimated $16-billion on new fighter jets, a report for the Defence Department recommended using “flocking” pilot-less drones to enforce Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic.

And BTW, if anyone thinks that pilotless aircraft are not the future of military aviation.

They really should take a look at these nifty robots...

I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

Forget those old fashioned F35s. Send the Cons to the cleaners.

And gimme a quadrotor for Christmas...

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