Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spending More to Get Less

I have long pondered whether having the very best weapon system made sense if it meant you could only acquire a few.  This was a key problem with the Crusader artillery system.  It is now a problem with all kinds of weapon systems, but the story of the day is the F-35 the next generation (fifth gen for those keeping track) fighter that the US is pushing and the its allies are thinking about.  Canada has already "committed" to spending heaps of bucks for a few (65).  We still don't know the costs, but there is another unknown--how much to keep them flying?  It is always harder to get money for maintenance than for purchasing since buying the planes does benefit corporations and Congressional districts (ridings up here in Canada).  This testimony, even if only half right, is pretty damning as it suggests that the F-35 costs of flying (after buying) will be triple the previous plane.  Not good. 

Something to think about--will Canada have the bucks to pay for upkeeping its new planes?  Perhaps, but only if it wants to have a smaller army and a smaller navy.  Tradeoffs must be faced, one way or another.

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