Sunday, April 17, 2011

Batteries not included

Oh the damage control team is in hyper-drive, trying to tamp down the reporting that the F-35 boondoggle of a proposed deal to the tune of somewhere between $16 and $29 billion, depending on who you believe, doesn't include engines! Now they're assuring us that yes, engines are included in the cost: "Engines included in F-35 deal, officials insist."
Documents obtained from the defence department saying the F-35 engines “are provided as gov’t-furnished equipment” prompted questions whether the cost of the engines was included in the $9 billion price tag to buy 65 of the stealth fighters.

But the Conservatives and defence officials moved quickly to quell the questions Sunday, insisting that the purchase price made public all along includes everything needed to operate the aircraft — even the engines.

“The $9 billion overall acquisition cost includes 65 aircraft with engines installed,” the defence department said in a statement.
So there you go. A statement from DND. Aren't you loving the interchangeability between Conservatives and "defence officials" these days? Uh uh. Shouldn't be happening.

The problem from the start with this F-35 proposal, however, is the take our word for it stance when cost overruns and delays and critics have poked holes in the Harper government's claims. Again today, nothing to back up the position. It's another he said, he said. So the issue rolls on as a controversy for the Harper government and voters will be left again with questions.

The F-35 figures prominently in that latest Liberal ad, by the way, not likely an accident.