MP says decision to buy fighter jets disgraceful

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Newfoundland Liberal MP Scott Simms says the federal government's decision to spend $16 billion on a new fleet of F-35 fighter jets is "disgraceful."
In a news release Simms, the Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, pointed to delays in military officials' plans to procure new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, and called on the federal government to admit that search and rescue is "not a government priority."
He said by allowing the acquisition of the 65 jets, National Defence Minister Peter McKay is "sidestepping" the procurement process that McKay has blamed for the delay in obtaining new search and rescue equipment.
"Our airmen and airwomen of Search and Rescue across Canada deserve better. They deserve to be treated as an integral part of our Canadian Forces instead of being placed on the bottom of the priority list."

Organizations: Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, National Defence, Canadian Forces

Geographic location: Canada

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  • Blackmac
    February 09, 2011 - 08:12

    As someone deeply involved with Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Project I can tell you with certainty that either your MP is not well informed or intentionally trying to deceive you because he has his facts wrong. At the moment we are using Hercules C 130s in the FWSAR role. The plan is to buy a smaller aircraft to fill this role (most likely the C 27 Spartan?). The C 27 is not better than the Herc because the Herc is the best FWSAR aircraft in the world. It is just that the C 27, a very capable aircraft is cheaper to operate so delaying this buy does not mean that SAR operations will be in jeopardy. On the other hand delaying the F 35 buy would mean having no fighter aircraft for a few years and losing out on billions in industrial benefits and many thousands of jobs lost.