• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement)

childs56

Sr. Member
Reaction score
49
Points
280

This article examines the cost of the F35A from Norwegian budget in relation to the ongoing competition in Finland.
One of the things I hate are the hidden and associated costs with an initial purchase
When I buy something I want to know how much is the
1 Object itself. All in what am I paying when I walk out the door hop in the truck and drive away. Does it include the first tank of fuel?
2 Cost of Maintenance, how much does a oil change and parts cost me, what is the projected budget required for the basics. tires, brakes etc
3 Cost of accesories, I want to know what addons do they have, are they available, are they required for the promised performance. Ie need that air deflector installed to reach full mpg.
4 Cost to operate. How much fuel does it burn and how long do the brakes last, how many km before breaks downs, what are the expected breakdowns and what are the expected costs associated.
I want those figures broken down individually.

When I see a all in cost which includes all of the above, it tells me someone is trying to hide something.
Break down the overall cost and compare apples to apples.
Operating cost may make a jet prohibitive with current budgets. We do not want to loose one ability over another.
 

Good2Golf

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
Ironically, the thing that scares many Canadians with the high price tag of these types of capabilities, is that in many cases, the overall cost includes many or all of those factors. Looking at previously released public numbers, for example, ‘each’ CH-147F includes $327M for: acquisition, spare parts, maintenance and logistics support, flight simulators, hangarage and initial several years of O&M funding. That figure looks to be about 7-8 times what some refer to US Army figures for their programs that note a per unit flyaway cost, which means “a single bare aircraft flying away from the OEM factory.” Using ballpark math, I’d estimate a 20-year program of 88 F-35s to be in the order of $49-50B ($80M x 7 multiplication factor of flyaway cost x 88 aircraft = $49.28B). Per year that’s 2.5B/year to acquire, amortize, maintain, support and train. Between RCAF and ADM(Mat), I’d wager that’s actually fairly close, within reasonable error bars, of what DND spends on CF-18 today.

G2G
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,200
Points
1,060
Ironically, the thing that scares many Canadians with the high price tag of these types of capabilities, is that in many cases, the overall cost includes many or all of those factors. Looking at previously released public numbers, for example, ‘each’ CH-147F includes $327M for: acquisition, spare parts, maintenance and logistics support, flight simulators, hangarage and initial several years of O&M funding. That figure looks to be about 7-8 times what some refer to US Army figures for their programs that note a per unit flyaway cost, which means “a single bare aircraft flying away from the OEM factory.” Using ballpark math, I’d estimate a 20-year program of 88 F-35s to be in the order of $49-50B ($80M x 7 multiplication factor of flyaway cost x 88 aircraft = $49.28B). Per year that’s 2.5B/year to acquire, amortize, maintain, support and train. Between RCAF and ADM(Mat), I’d wager that’s actually fairly close, within reasonable error bars, of what DND spends on CF-18 today.

G2G

One thing that continually bothers me is the question of ammunition. I accept that a war-machine is not a war-machine without ammunition but how much ammunition is necessary over the life of the machine? And what happens if it is using ammunition that is common to other machines and is already in stock? How do you predict how many wars will require the expenditure of how much ammunition against how many targets over the life of the machine?

And if ammunition is dependent on the unforeseen then how about fuel? How about hours consumed? How about losses?

It is appropriate to do those cost analyses and determine the costs of employment. But those are not real costs because they are based on assumed reference points.

The real cost is the cost of the machine as it is provided. That has to be the principal metric. The others merely inform the decision and should be accounted for separately. CapEx and OpEx.
 

suffolkowner

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
676
Points
1,060
One of the things I hate are the hidden and associated costs with an initial purchase
When I buy something I want to know how much is the
1 Object itself. All in what am I paying when I walk out the door hop in the truck and drive away. Does it include the first tank of fuel?
2 Cost of Maintenance, how much does a oil change and parts cost me, what is the projected budget required for the basics. tires, brakes etc
3 Cost of accesories, I want to know what addons do they have, are they available, are they required for the promised performance. Ie need that air deflector installed to reach full mpg.
4 Cost to operate. How much fuel does it burn and how long do the brakes last, how many km before breaks downs, what are the expected breakdowns and what are the expected costs associated.
I want those figures broken down individually.

When I see a all in cost which includes all of the above, it tells me someone is trying to hide something.
Break down the overall cost and compare apples to apples.
Operating cost may make a jet prohibitive with current budgets. We do not want to loose one ability over another.
So from the article Norways 52 F35A's are

$10.68B for aircraft and associated equipment/spares(munitions?)
$790M for Orland base infrastructure(main base)
$210M for Evenes base infrastructure (FOB)
$450M for management/implementation/administration

$770M budgeted for blk 4 upgrades
$870M for Joint Strike Missile integration (UK weapons integration is stated as $472M)

The stated operations cost is $19.5M per year per aircraft

An interesting timbit

According to Lieutenant Colonel Per Erik Sørgaard , head of ØRLAND'S F-35 service center , the machine's global maintenance system is costing all users.

- The cost of the system is divided according to how many planes the user has and how many hours they fly. There are some other rules for sharing costs, Sørgaard says.

According to the maintenance manager, the maintenance system gives Norway predictability in costs, but at the same time it reduces the flexibility of use. Due to the system, the Norwegian Air Force's operational F-35 fleets have to plan the use of their aircraft in advance, usually every two years.


- We do not want to order more flight hours than we can use, as this would increase the costs of the system in accordance with the cooperative principle. The plans need to be realistic, Sørgaard says.

 

Good2Golf

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
The real cost is the cost of the machine as it is provided. That has to be the principal metric. The others merely inform the decision and should be accounted for separately. CapEx and OpEx.

Disagree.

That’s precisely what gets people into fiscally-uninformed troubles when they think the only main consideration is the upfront CAPEX cost, and fail to appreciate the impact of all applicable cost factors OPEX/MAINTEX over the period that someone will own a particular possession.

Canadians on the whole like to pretend everything is affordable, or those things they want. Things they dont think they can offorf become something they no longer want, and either postpone, water-down or outright divest capabilities. Look at the complete lack of appreciation that most Canadians have of the future impact of the ballooning debt…

To pretend that only acquisition costs matter is shortsighted and deliberately naive. The follow-on considerations as you state being taken into account elsewhere, would not happen or be pushed off to…Meñana…

$0.02

G2G
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
1,116
Points
1,160
Disagree.

That’s precisely what gets people into fiscally-uninformed troubles when they think the only main consideration is the upfront CAPEX cost, and fail to appreciate the impact of all applicable cost factors OPEX/MAINTEX over the period that someone will own a particular possession.

Canadians on the whole like to pretend everything is affordable, or those things they want. Things they dont think they can offorf become something they no longer want, and either postpone, water-down or outright divest capabilities. Look at the complete lack of appreciation that most Canadians have of the future impact of the ballooning debt…

To pretend that only acquisition costs matter is shortsighted and deliberately naive. The follow-on considerations as you state being taken into account elsewhere, would not happen or be pushed off to…Meñana…

$0.02

G2G
I'm with G2G; life cycle costs have an often deleterious thirty plus year impact on the defence budget. They are, frequently, three or four times the sail-away, drive-away or fly-away costs.
 

suffolkowner

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
676
Points
1,060
obviously the MND/CAF/government need to budget for life cycle costs, but what are they based on and useful (the subject of my post above) The public has a right to know as well but I find that between the public and news media the message seems to get scrambled quite a bit.

Apparently the F35 has won the Finnish competition and is being presented to the government for acceptance at somewhere around the 10B Euros
(Saab was apparently more)

In light of the Norwegian numbers I'm curious as to how they squared the cost circle
 

Attachments

  • f35cost.jpg
    f35cost.jpg
    89.4 KB · Views: 5
  • f35basecosts.jpg
    f35basecosts.jpg
    106.5 KB · Views: 5
  • costofoperations.jpg
    costofoperations.jpg
    159.6 KB · Views: 4
  • norwaycpfh.jpg
    norwaycpfh.jpg
    116.1 KB · Views: 5

Good2Golf

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
obviously the MND/CAF/government need to budget for life cycle costs, but what are they based on and useful (the subject of my post above) The public has a right to know as well but I find that between the public and news media the message seems to get scrambled quite a bit.

I fully agree with you, suffolkowner, the highlighted portion above absolutely is something the citizens paying for the capability must be provided. The communications challenge, and it has certainly not been done well in the past, needs to be properly framed and appropriate detail provided to the public. At best, less citizens hunting the detailed information themselves via ATIP, the comms effort has been to high level. IMO, the government should provide at least a two-level breakout costs for all major capital acquisitions:

Weapon system acquisition:
  • prime systems (aircraft, ships, vehicles, armament, etc.)
  • associated armament as applicable, at baseline assessed levels
  • unique infrastructure or mods to existing infra
  • initial sparing
  • initial statutory O&M allocation (pre-IOC)
  • training systems (simulators, e-learning systems, etc.)
  • statutory

Weapon system support
  • long-term sparing including to tables and exchanges
  • through-life engineering change management
  • configuration/obsolescence management
  • follow-on munitions resupply, both for consumption and life-cycle/expiry replacement

Weapon system operations
  • post-IOC O&M
  • attributable incremental personnel costs

Weapon system disposal (one of the least appreciated life-cycle costs ever!)
  • decommissioning of weapon system and ancillary material and removal from in-service supply/support systems/holdings
  • disposal of assets per applicable control programs/legislation (ITAR/CCGP/etc.)
  • remediation of facilities and any real property not required for other purposes.

In a perfect world, the only unknowns (but assumable) would be FOREX for material procured from non-Canadian sources, some commodity-based O&M unknowns (POL, etc) and volume/qty of consumables (munitions, non-rotable parts). Properly developed, there’s no reason a major capital program couldn’t actually finish its life being within a small fraction of its planned overall costs at the end of the day.

The biggest problem is that such a number is usually a BIG number that scares folks, so many involved in the process either deliberately or subconsciously try to mask the numbers with generalities and kicking of challenge points down the road for someone else to worry about…
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,200
Points
1,060
Disagree.

That’s precisely what gets people into fiscally-uninformed troubles when they think the only main consideration is the upfront CAPEX cost, and fail to appreciate the impact of all applicable cost factors OPEX/MAINTEX over the period that someone will own a particular possession.

Canadians on the whole like to pretend everything is affordable, or those things they want. Things they dont think they can offorf become something they no longer want, and either postpone, water-down or outright divest capabilities. Look at the complete lack of appreciation that most Canadians have of the future impact of the ballooning debt…

To pretend that only acquisition costs matter is shortsighted and deliberately naive. The follow-on considerations as you state being taken into account elsewhere, would not happen or be pushed off to…Meñana…

$0.02

G2G

There is the cost of the service and the cost of the item.

The cost of the service being supplied includes the cost of a functional item. More often than not the cost of the item is minor part of the service.

It is right that the cost of supplying the service be fully understood. For example the cost of supplying an air combat capability to defend Canada is a continuing cost regardless of the cost of the consumable - the fighter. The fighter needs to be renewed on an ongoing basis as it wears out. Canada has met the service requirement, since 1957, with the in-service Canucks and Super Sabres, the Starfighter and the Voodoo and then the Hornet. If we want to get a sense of the service cost then we can look backwards at that history and compare the costs of maintaining those earlier aircraft, and their supply of pilots and maintainers, hangars and fields and plant. But what percentage of the cost of providing that service over the last 64 years has been the cost of replacing those original Canucks and Super Sabres?

If Canadians are to be told the cost of continuing an existing service going forwards with a new fighter then they should be credibly informed of the costs to date of supplying that service with previous resources. Then they can decide whether or not the revised cost of service with a new aircraft is value for money. But to just pile on all the costs of the service and present them as a novel cost dependent on the replacement aircraft is misleading.

It is right to compare the costs of supplying the service with different fighters. But that cost is purely a budgetary exercise. It is a plan against which future operations can be compared and which allows two or more different solutions to be compared. The cost of the fighter will have an impact on the total cost of the service.

On the other hand, it is equally right that the cost of the fighter, the consumable, be available for consideration as a stand-alone item. Exclusive of other costs such as AIR-2 Genies that were never employed.
 

Good2Golf

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
How are you going to present the historical difference between past systems and the increasing proportional cost of progressive technology? Do you think citizens paying $12,000 for a family sedan in the early-90s is going to keep them from paying $40,000 for a similar capability in the 2020s?
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,200
Points
1,060
G2G,

While it appears we are getting closer to violent agreement I take issue with:

"Properly developed, there’s no reason a major capital program couldn’t actually finish its life being within a small fraction of its planned overall costs at the end of the day."

That statement works when the equipment and the service are employed according to the plan. But the whole point of a defence force is that it is there to manage the unplanned event.

If a fighter programme survives its life-cycle within budget then the good news is that the fighters have never been required for their primary purpose.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,200
Points
1,060
How are you going to present the historical difference between past systems and the increasing proportional cost of progressive technology? Do you think citizens paying $12,000 for a family sedan in the early-90s is going to keep them from paying $40,000 for a similar capability in the 2020s?

The same way the average citizen looks at all other costs - how much work does that equal? In 1966 my parents arrived in Canada and bought a brand new 1200 sq ft, 3 bedroom bungalow for $6000. You compare it to average income, GDP or percent of federal budget or defence budget.

The progressive cost of technology is offset by greater ranges, reduced numbers, less maintenance, fewer fields.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
10,597
Points
1,160
I believe they are v.busy closing that capability gap…

I think I saw that movie, which featured F-18s of course ;)

Independence Day Drinking GIF by IFC
 

Good2Golf

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
7,984
Points
1,360
If a fighter programme survives its life-cycle within budget then the good news is that the fighters have never been required for their primary purpose.

Then the project staff failed to account for the reasonably assessable costs of doing business.

You make it seem like such a costing exercise would assume the jets sit the entire 20 years inside the hanger unused.

It seem we do indeed see things differently. No problem, the Earth shall still rotate at 0.000072 rad/s.

Regards
G2G
 

suffolkowner

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
676
Points
1,060
At $19.5 million a year per aircraft operating cost how does that compare to the Hornet?

so we are looking at

$ 7 B = 88 F35A's x $79M
$ 14 B = initial spares, munitions, simulators etc...
$ 1 B = management/admin/implementation
$ 1 B = Bagotville infrastructure
$ 1 B = Cold Lake infrastructure
?????? = infrastructure updates at FOL's and other bases
$ 63B = operating costs 88 x $19.5M x 37 years

total = $87 Billion

interesting that Ellis Don got $12 million for Bagotville and only $9 million for Cold Lake. Is Bagotville bigger?

Close GtoG? dropping it down to 20 years its $53 Billion?

Ironically, the thing that scares many Canadians with the high price tag of these types of capabilities, is that in many cases, the overall cost includes many or all of those factors. Looking at previously released public numbers, for example, ‘each’ CH-147F includes $327M for: acquisition, spare parts, maintenance and logistics support, flight simulators, hangarage and initial several years of O&M funding. That figure looks to be about 7-8 times what some refer to US Army figures for their programs that note a per unit flyaway cost, which means “a single bare aircraft flying away from the OEM factory.” Using ballpark math, I’d estimate a 20-year program of 88 F-35s to be in the order of $49-50B ($80M x 7 multiplication factor of flyaway cost x 88 aircraft = $49.28B). Per year that’s 2.5B/year to acquire, amortize, maintain, support and train. Between RCAF and ADM(Mat), I’d wager that’s actually fairly close, within reasonable error bars, of what DND spends on CF-18 today.

G2G
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,200
Points
1,060
Then the project staff failed to account for the reasonably assessable costs of doing business.

You make it seem like such a costing exercise would assume the jets sit the entire 20 years inside the hanger unused.

It seem we do indeed see things differently. No problem, the Earth shall still rotate at 0.000072 rad/s.

Regards
G2G

Of course we see things differently. That's a given.

And no I don't anticipate that the will spend their life in hangars. Yes they will be used for intercepts, patrols, training and the occasional war. They will be consumed at a planned rate. Unless they are consumed at a catastrophic rate.

The issue is the replacement cost to maintain the service.

And as for .000072 rad/s?

The Earth’s Rotation Is Gradually Slowing Down

Cheers, Sir!
 
Top