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SAR helicopter upgrade hits snag due to costs

Oldgateboatdriver

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Am I the only one here thinking that if you set aside one billion dollars to refurbish and extend the lives of fourteen 20 years old helicopters by another 20 years and buy two new ones is insufficient by a large margin, then perhaps the economical solution (I Know, that's un-Canadian) is to buy 16 new SAR helicopters further to a quick bidding process.
 

dapaterson

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The Brits are paying $3B USD (call it $3.7B CAD) to update 55 helicopters; doing a linear comparison that would be $940M CAD - but that doesn't procure two new to Canada aircraft. (Britains AW101 Merlin Helicopters: Upgrading the Fleet)

I doubt that a purchase would save any money - once you pay for new infra; new training including simulators; new tooling and sparing; dispose of current holdings; and pay integration costs for the fleet (need to communicate with CCG and RCN vessels, need to be part of the common operating picture for all SAR systems, need to communicate with US SAR partners...) I doubt that a billion would get you anywhere close to what you need.

EDIT to add: Fifteen Chinooks were $1.2B in 2009. Add inflation and that would be over $1.5B today. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/faq-how-canada-procured-new-military-helicopters-1.940250
 

SupersonicMax

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You can’t do a pure airframe comparison, you need to compare the incremental capabilities with costs. Unless we know what the Merlin’s upgrade are and whenthey bring to the Brits in terms of capabilities, along with what the Cormoran upgrades will be and what they mean for the CAF, this isn’t a fair or valid comparison.
 

dapaterson

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The numbers will always differ; my intent was to illustrate that aircraft are expensive to obtain, operate and maintain - and armchair quarterbacks simplistically postulating that "it should be enough money" or "we should just buy new instead" have no context for their claims.
 

Good2Golf

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You can’t do a pure airframe comparison, you need to compare the incremental capabilities with costs. Unless we know what the Merlin’s upgrade are and whenthey bring to the Brits in terms of capabilities, along with what the Cormoran upgrades will be and what they mean for the CAF, this isn’t a fair or valid comparison.
Ours were petty stripped down because someone put a cap on the CSH project…hence why no FLIR, FSim(s), etc., so I’m not surprised the budget for CMLU is notably more than the original acquisition budget. One could look at the increase incrementally as getting capability that should have been provided originally, but wasn’t, because the program was heavily constrained to keep the higher levels of Government from being embarrassed at having to pay at a level that would have been near identical to what the previous government’s plan had been. In the end, the budget stayed below the public survey/poll noise level, so the government of the day was happy with doing the bare minimum (or less, many a SAR practitioner would say).

The irony is that there would have been more money available in the fiscal framework if the current government hadn’t come up with the “Buy used Aussie Hornets” stupid plan to cover for the previous stupid plan to buy Super Hornets to cover for the time prior it would take for the Canadian electorate to forget about the stupid campaign promise to stop another acquisition program that will eventually go ahead, but that created a capability gap of the government’s own doing that they figured the best idea was eventually to buy other, older, less capable aircraft models of the same type that would need to be updated to Canadian standard to provide more aircraft than the significantly undermanned fighter force will be able to resiliently fly until pretty much after we receive the original aircraft that should have been bought by the previous government, but that wasn’t due to a failure to properly assess whether doing so or not, would substantively influence the 2015 election…oh, and we’re broke due to COVID and so the government really just needs an excuse to kick another defence project can down the road…

If you get the sense from all all this is that the government really doesn’t care much about the CAF, other than eventually resolving what the past CDS, the current substantive but on pause CDS and a few other poorly behaved senior officers (and some likely who didn’t do anything, but were set up by some senior unelected mandarins ), did or didn’t do to address inappropriate sexualized conduct in the CAF, then you’re likely not too far off the mark.

Don’t expect refreshed Cormorants with any sensors or flight simulators or additional airframes any time soon. Maybe after the Liberals’ next majority in 2025…
 

MilEME09

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Am I the only one here thinking that if you set aside one billion dollars to refurbish and extend the lives of fourteen 20 years old helicopters by another 20 years and buy two new ones is insufficient by a large margin, then perhaps the economical solution (I Know, that's un-Canadian) is to buy 16 new SAR helicopters further to a quick bidding process.
What would the cost be for the AW139 or 189?
 

Good2Golf

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What would the cost be for the AW139 or 189?
Why chose an aircraft not made/assembled in Canada?

Not that I in any way think getting a new aircraft is the solution, but if I were, I’d put the Airbus H225 on the top of the list, and ensure they were assembled in Fort Erie, ON and that Airbus committed to assembling at least another equal quantity of H225 before disassembling the assembly rigs and sending them back to Marignan, France.
 

CBH99

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Why chose an aircraft not made/assembled in Canada?

Not that I in any way think getting a new aircraft is the solution, but if I were, I’d put the Airbus H225 on the top of the list, and ensure they were assembled in Fort Erie, ON and that Airbus committed to assembling at least another equal quantity of H225 before disassembling the assembly rigs and sending them back to Marignan, France.
Well that entire post just makes sense.

Yeah, we don’t do that here…
 

CBH99

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Ours were petty stripped down because someone put a cap on the CSH project…hence why no FLIR, FSim(s), etc., so I’m not surprised the budget for CMLU is notably more than the original acquisition budget. One could look at the increase incrementally as getting capability that should have been provided originally, but wasn’t, because the program was heavily constrained to keep the higher levels of Government from being embarrassed at having to pay at a level that would have been near identical to what the previous government’s plan had been. In the end, the budget stayed below the public survey/poll noise level, so the government of the day was happy with doing the bare minimum (or less, many a SAR practitioner would say).

The irony is that there would have been more money available in the fiscal framework if the current government hadn’t come up with the “Buy used Aussie Hornets” stupid plan to cover for the previous stupid plan to buy Super Hornets to cover for the time prior it would take for the Canadian electorate to forget about the stupid campaign promise to stop another acquisition program that will eventually go ahead, but that created a capability gap of the government’s own doing that they figured the best idea was eventually to buy other, older, less capable aircraft models of the same type that would need to be updated to Canadian standard to provide more aircraft than the significantly undermanned fighter force will be able to resiliently fly until pretty much after we receive the original aircraft that should have been bought by the previous government, but that wasn’t due to a failure to properly assess whether doing so or not, would substantively influence the 2015 election…oh, and we’re broke due to COVID and so the government really just needs an excuse to kick another defence project can down the road…

If you get the sense from all all this is that the government really doesn’t care much about the CAF, other than eventually resolving what the past CDS, the current substantive but on pause CDS and a few other poorly behaved senior officers (and some likely who didn’t do anything, but were set up by some senior unelected mandarins ), did or didn’t do to address inappropriate sexualized conduct in the CAF, then you’re likely not too far off the mark.

Maybe after the Liberals’ next majority in 2025…
Sorry I started deleting the above & then realized my reply didn’t require it.

The government cares about optics. They still haven’t realized that the CAF really IS their enforcer of foreign policy, and keeping us well equipped is in their best interest. Instead of thinking ‘do we buy the CAF this thing they are asking for?’ - they should be saying ‘does this give us more options or capability as a country, and can we foresee us using it? Yes? Then buy it.’

Once a few SAR calls go badly, or unanswered, the government will change it’s tune. It’s about optics that make them look good.

If a SAR bird goes down? I wouldn’t expect anything to change. The optics don’t effect the PM directly enough.


As for them funding this appropriately if they get a majority? I would have gone with the opposite on that one? If they get a majority, that funding would vanish. (I would think anyway)

0.02
 

Good2Golf

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As for them funding this appropriately if they get a majority? I would have gone with the opposite on that one? If they get a majority, that funding would vanish. (I would think anyway)
CBH, not the upcoming 2021 majority…I agree with you…that one will cause the CMLU can to be kicked further down the road. I was thinking the 2025 Liberal majority because by that point, there may be a smidgen of shame to resolve the situation…maybe…
 

CBH99

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CBH, not the upcoming 2021 majority…I agree with you…that one will cause the CMLU can to be kicked further down the road. I was thinking the 2025 Liberal majority because by that point, there may be a smidgen of shame to resolve the situation…maybe…
Ah. Gotcha.

Can’t Pierre change his mind and run for leader of the Conservatives, and we have a future without this clown circus instead tho? 🙏🏻
 
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