Canadian Defence Minister's $8B "wish list"

May 30th, 2006  

Topic: Canadian Defence Minister's $8B "wish list"

The federal government will be asked this week to approve a multi-billion-dollar "wish list" of equipment purchases for the Canadian Forces, including new transport aircraft, helicopters, long-overdue trucks for the army and multi-purpose troop transport and supply ships for the navy.

Defence sources say Gordon O'Connor, the Defence Minister, will make a pitch to a Cabinet committee tomorrow for six major projects worth more than $8-billion...

At the top of Mr. O'Connor's list will be four new C-17 Globemaster cargo jets, which the sources said would be bought directly from the U.S. manufacturer, Boeing, in a "sole source" acquisition.

The government will also be asked to approve the purchase of 17 tactical transports -- smaller, propeller-driven aircraft that can land troops or cargo in remote, rough airstrips. The likely winner of that contract will be the C-130J, the latest model of the venerable Hercules now in service with the Canadian air force.

Mr. O'Connor is also proposing to buy as many as 20 new heavy-lift helicopters for the army and a total of 18 new search-and-rescue planes.

The army is to get a replacement for its 24-year-old logistics trucks, while the navy will get approval for its three new joint-support ships [JSS], a combination troopship and resupply vessel due to be built over the next five years, the sources said...
The rest of the article is in the link.

Could be a happy day for the CF if approved.

JSS Project
May 31st, 2006  
Hope that it passes. Canadian Armed Forces have been shortchanged for too many years.
June 2nd, 2006  
Stephen Harper will transform Canada. Liberals were too soft.
June 4th, 2006  
well all i know is that they could definitely use some new equipment
June 4th, 2006  
Published: Saturday, June 03, 2006
As early as Monday, the Harper government will announce details of its multibillion-dollar equipment upgrade for the Canadian Forces, including the purchase of a new fleet of long-range cargo planes and the much-anticipated replacement of its aging Hercules transports.

The upgrades still require a final rubber stamp from cabinet, but it will represent the Conservative government's first response to the wish list presented to cabinet on May 30 by Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor. At that meeting, Mr. O'Connor pitched at least six major capital projects worth more than $8 billion.

Most of those projects, including armoured trucks, ships and other aircraft, have been pushed back to the fall, but two major transport aircraft purchases are ready to launch.

The most controversial of the two will likely be the purchase of four C-17 Globemaster long-range strategic transports at a cost of $1 billion for the planes themselves, plus a 20-year support and maintenance plan that will bring the overall cost to $2.5 billion.

The government is expected to "sole source" the purchase of the four aircraft from the American manufacturer, Boeing, instead of opening up the usual competition for bids for such an expensive purchase. The government is allowed to sole source if it can make the case that no other similar airplane can meet its needs. The only other large, long-range transports available are Russian-built.

The Russian government has attempted to cut into the competition by spearheading its own military trade mission to Ottawa this week, but it appears Canada has decided to buy American. The Forces will likely receive one of the four new C-17s late this year off the Boeing assembly line as part of an order that was already under way for the Australian air force.

Canada doesn't own large transports such as the C-17 and has normally leased such large planes from Russian or Ukrainian companies to carry its heavy equipment on overseas missions.

The Liberals considered a plan to buy large aircraft six years ago, but scrapped the idea. Since then, the deployment of the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team to two major crises -- the Dec. 26, 2004, Asian tsunami and last year's Central Asian earthquake -- has been delayed because transport was not readily available for its personnel and heavy equipment.

Under the government's new accrual accounting methods, the price of the expensive new planes -- among the largest transports in the world and bigger than anything now owned by the air force -- would essentially be spread over the life of the aircraft instead of requiring a lump-sum infusion of defence spending up front.

The Tories will also revive part of a plan announced by the Liberal government shortly before the last federal election to replace the aging fleet of Hercules transports at a cost of $3 billion for up to 16 new planes.

The government is expected to open that project for competitive bidding, but industry insiders say the specifications will likely favour the U.S. firm Lockheed Martin's modern version of the Hercules, the C-130J.

Sources say the Conservatives could not risk sole-sourcing two large airplane purchases, so they expected the statement of requirements for the Hercules replacement will be brief -- as short as one or two pages as opposed to thousands of pages of detailed specifications usually placed before bidders -- and it is expected to call for delivery of the planes by about two years.

That would eliminate the C-130J's main competitor, the Airbus A-400, which is still in the design phase and isn't expected to go into production until 2009.

Many of Canada's shorter-range tactical-lift Hercules date back to the 1960s and it is the workhorse of the current deployment to Afghanistan.

Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of the defence staff, has said that replacing the Hercules was the top equipment priority of the military and that, if the fleet was ever grounded, Canada would be unable to sustain its overseas deployments.

Parliament recently voted to extend the Canadian military mission to Afghanistan to 2009. There are currently 2,300 troops in Afghanistan.

Other major equipment purchases that were part of the Conservatives' ambitious "Canada First" election platform for the military are being pushed back to later in the year. These include armoured trucks and transport helicopters for the army in Afghanistan, fixed-wing search and rescue planes, a joint supply ship, Arctic icebreakers, and unmanned surveillance aircraft, or drones, that could help patrol the Arctic and both coasts.

Gen. Hillier and Mr. O'Connor have clashed on what the military needs most in terms of airlift. Mr. O'Connor wants a large airplane that can transport equipment overseas, such as the C-17, but Gen. Hillier says more Hercules, which can conduct more missions in hostile theatres under gruelling conditions, are needed.

I figured this would happen.
June 22nd, 2006  
New update, the goverment is announcing the following purchases next week.

- 4 C17's (Thursday) for 3B$
- 15 Herc's (Thursday) for 4.6B$
- 3 Joint Strike Ships (Monday) for 2.1B$
- 15 Chinooks (Wednesday) for 4.2B$
- Undetermined Number of Trucks (Tuesday) for 1.1B$

Total: 15B$

Website is in French.

Similar Topics
Canadian Kingston Class Costal Defence Vessel moto's
Suicide attacker injures five Canadian soldiers
Suicide attack on Canadian convoy in Afghanistan
Canadian defence minister visits disputed Arctic island
Canadian Govt pledges 13 billion to the Forces