Interesting take from the admittedly somewhat biased Billie Flynn. Some good points are made, however:
More F-35s (88 instead of 65), cheaper ($78M instead of $110M), better (Block 4 instead of Block 3), and best ROI (better than 4 to 1) sounds like an incredibly well executed plan. Except it isn't.
Well I think he's wrong on a few points
1. original order book was for 80 not 65, I think it was the Harper gov't that reduced it not Chretien
2. the 88 fighters are derived from the same planning assumptions as the 65 required to meet our NORAD comittments just with an additional 12 fighters to meet concurrent NATO/NORAD duties
3. This statement seems mostly true to me
More (88 instead of 65), cheaper ($78M instead of $110M), better (Block 4 instead of Block 3), and best ROI (better than 4 to 1) sounds like an incredibly well executed plan even more so with the US ‘Build Back Better’ trend to see Canada get a better deal and squeeze everything from those pesky, insular Yankees.
Was it the right behaviour from a ally and partner nation, when all other partner nations ponied up for earlier block versions? No
Are we probably wasting our time, money, and personnel with the competition? Yeah probably
Was buying the Australian F-18's a mistake? Yes
Is it a mistake to proceed with the next F-18 update instead of accelerating a F-35 buy? Yes