Fighter jet price confusion

F-35 Pictures, Images and Photos
This coming election has a number of hot button issues that are being debated every day. One of those issues is the Conservative Party’s plan to purchase 65 of the yet to be made F-35 fighter jets. Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet is a 5th generation jet that is going to be among the most advanced fighter jets in the world. For Canada, the plan is to replace the current fleet of the aging CF-18 Hornet fighter jets with the new F-35′s.

Of course this sounds really cool for Canadians and having such military technology is a source of pride for any nation. It is also true that the current fleet of CF-18′s is aging and will need to be replaced at some point. The question with these jets is the price. The government is saying that each jet will cost about $75 million. However, experts in the U.S. are saying that the real cost will be closer to twice that amount. The Liberal Party is saying that this plan should be stopped because the price the Conservatives say it costs is not true and misleading. They also say that there was never a real bidding process for the contract which would have resulted in a better price. The Liberal Party claims may be true. Regarding the price, the Conservatives say that the total is about $9 billion over several years and that the confusion is a result of showing the costs in different ways. This may be true as well.

The reality is that Canadians do not really know what the exact truth or real price of the plan is. Without this information, it is impossible to make the right choice between the parties and candidates. I’m not sure how many people will be basing this election on this issue anyway, although it seems that the Liberals would like us to. My thought on this issue is that as long as the total price does not balloon or grow over that $9 billion we are told and that the government has budgeted for, then it’s not an issue. If the price does start to climb though, then Canada should have the option to trim the plane order or re-negotiate the contract. If this clause is in place then I don’t really see a big problem here.