Saturday, April 07, 2012

Thundering in on the F-35 Boondoggle - foreword

I've been wading through piles of paper. Some of it is recent correspondence received after the Auditor General's report on the unbelievable mess that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has become. Other material has been out there for a while.

Later on today, (hopefully), we'll examine what the costs were known to be for the F-35 JSF, long before Harper and his minions decided to lie and feed the Canadian public a bill of goods.

First though, lets look at a definition you should have planted in your mind: Life Cycle Cost. (LCC)

The Harperites have been pushing a talking point that the figures they were feeding the Canadian public before, during and after the last election did not include full life cycle costs. From a procurement standpoint, that is simply ludicrous. From my own experience, nobody ever procures capital equipment for the military unless a complete life cycle cost analysis is done and a thorough life cycle cost estimate is produced. The following is from a current publication in use for military project personnel working on LCC for aquisitions:
Life-cycle cost (LCC) can be defined as the total cost to the government of a program over its full life, including costs for research and development; testing; production; facilities; operations; maintenance; personnel; environmental compliance; and disposal.
For a better idea of what all that involves, take a look at this from MTain. (Good idea to read the page on that link. Great comparison on buying a car vs buying a military aircraft)

Now, if you want to look at something even more graphic, educational and understandable, go here.  That is using an iceberg, most of which is underwater, to show that the acquisition cost is much less than the overall life cycle cost. 

The Harper talking points that their figures did not include wages, fuel and training are nothing more than the desperate flinging of poo. An equipment acquisition always includes those estimates in the total life cycle cost. That's how you manage your defence budget over the life of your equipment. (Any good fiscal manager knows that, but hey! We're talking about Harper here.)

With that information, it's now time to head on over to The Gazetteer. RossK has put up this morning's interview on CBC The House with the Auditor General and then the weaselly Chris Alexander, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence.

Listen closely because that is your primer for my next post.



double nickel said...

About 30 seconds into Alexander's blather this morning and I had to turn it off. What a doofus.

Dave said...

Yeah, he made me want to puke too.

LuLu said...

Sweet disco-dancing jeezuz....I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to have my suspicions about LCC not being taken into account confirmed.

After all, this is same the group of role-playing, wannabe fuckwits who put the JSS requirments out to industry comment prior to writing the CDRL's. Upon receiving said industry comment, they then completely fucked up the CDRL's by asking for the moon (4 times over) for half of the estimated cost thus sinking the JSS before it could ever be built.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....

Boris said...

So might Airshow be lying (again) struts up and says ""But the way acquisitions have always been done is to key in on the actual costs of new equipment and that is the way that this number was arrived at," as if LCC is NEVER done?

LuLu said...

Peter McKay is a howling liar....plain and simple. LCC and LCMM are ALWAYS factored into the overall cost of acquisition and maintenance.

I worked on the BAE proposals for the Group I and Group II refits for the CP-140. We had to provide an entire stand-alone volume that addressed the Crown's requirements for both.

And unlike McKay, I know exactly what I'm talking about.