Why should Canada bail out the F-35 Money Pit? Of little use in Canada’s airspace, the F-35 is described by US aerospace analysts as “too big to fail”. In January, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the F-35B “should be cancelled” if the costly delays of the main variant are not corrected within two years. The F-35 is the Lehmann Brothers of the US defense industry.
The F-35A is an F-16 replacement for the single-engine market – not Canada. Barely cheaper than the main variant, the F-35A is an arctic flying coffin for Canadian pilots whose lives it’s Harper supporters see as an acceptable price to pay for continental integration and the US defense industry bailout. It does employ stealth strike technology but Canadians will not be allowed to service it and, like its single-engine design, doesn’t serve Canadian needs. It is not a CF-18 replacement. CF-18s will need to soldier-on if a twin-engine F-35 stable-mate isn’t found. Conceived in the 1980s, the main variant, the F-35B, is an attempt to build an American replacement for the British Harrier. The less capable F-35A appears to be intended to bring down the per unit cost of the F-35B.
Reflecting Pentagon frustration with spiralling F-35 costs, Gates said “The culture of endless money” in the US military-industrial complex “must be replaced by a culture of restraint”. The Cold War ended twenty years ago. The kind of military spending on arms and Afghanistan which brought the Soviets to their knees shouldn’t be allowed to beggar us too.
If only the US had been as supportive of the superior, twin-engine, Canadian Avro Arrow.
Brian Marlatt – White Rock, British Columbia
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)