One would think that National Defence Headquarters would pause before making another purchase of "hardly used but, we mothballed it anyway" equipment. The lesson from the Upholder submarine purchase doesn't seem to have settled in all that well.
The Department of National Defence wants to buy 10 used unarmed aerial drones that Denmark found problematic and mothballed last year.This all sounds a little too familiar.
But DND says it has carried out an inspection in Denmark and contracted an Ottawa firm to improve landing accuracy of the drones.That is exactly what was said about the Upholders. In fact, it was that "one-time opportunity", the pre-purchase inspection and the contracting of Canadian companies for improvements that made the submarines so... attractive.
A spokesperson for the department described the opportunity to buy the Danish equipment as an exceptional one-time opportunity.
"We didn't set up the service organization we should have, the firm we bought them from failed to set up the service we needed, and it was hard to get spare parts . . . we didn't want to spend good money after bad," said Anders Paakesen, a Danish military spokesperson.Ah, yes. It isn't the drones themselves; it's the lack of a service organization. Similar to, "Well, yes, we built them, but we're getting out of the conventional submarine business. Really they're perfectly good boats, but we weren't prepared to support them."
Paakesen said the Danes spent about $75 million on the UAVs, but he wouldn't comment on the expected selling price, nor on what Denmark calculated it would have cost to get the drones to run properly.Nobody is talking money. That's bad.
Watch this one closely.