Michael Ferguson repeated the points he made in his report to Parliament on the F-35 boondoggle at the public accounts committee and then added this:
So far, the government has talked about a $25-billion cost over the first 20 years of the program, even though the jets are predicted to last 36 years.What he did make clear, for the record, is that the $25 billion number, the one the Harperistas were not willing to divulge until someone divulged it for them, had made the trip to cabinet. Harper and MacKay were fully aware of it before the last election.
“There were some significant things that were missing from the life-cycle costing in this, for example attrition, for example upgrades, and the fact that these aircraft were going to last for 36 years, not just 20 years,” Mr. Ferguson told MPs.“When we raised the issue of life-cycle costing and the fact that it was not complete, I don’t believe that we were nitpicking in any way. We were saying that there were significant elements that were missing,” he said.
Then there's this little bit of information.
The September, 2011, briefing note was signed by deputy defence minister Robert Fonberg.There was enough concern at DND to shove Fantino down to Fort Worth. That must have been illuminating for them since, before that trip, the F-35 fly-away cost had already ballooned. By March of this year the Harper cost per plane (acquisition only) of $75 million was so obsolete to have become a near joke.
“The purpose of this trip is to demonstrate the government’s commitment to the JSF program, while impressing upon key interlocutors Canadian concerns with cost, production schedules and the need for transparent communication to JSF partner nations,” the note said.