Chosen plane could take two days to reach the North Pole, vs competitor that could make the trip in one day
Not only is Canada’s military underfunded, but even when the politicians do spend money, it’s often squandered.
That may have been the case for the search and rescue aircraft purchased by the Trudeau government.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the airplane chosen for the $4.7 billion program may be far worse than an alternative plane the government rejected.
The plane that was finally chosen is the Airbus C-295. The C-295 is a slow plane, and when deployed from a base in Winnipeg will take two days & two separate flights to reach the North Pole.
However, Leonardo – the Italian company that manufactures the competitor C-27J plane – says their plane can make it from the base in Winnipeg to a base in the North Pole in one flight – allowing the trip to be made in one day.
Leonardo is now in court, asking for the contract to be overturned.
According to the company, the criteria for the contract was to deliver a plane that could reach the limits of the rescue area no later than 13 flying hours after takeoff. They say their plane meets that target, while the Airbus C-295 does not.
The Defence Department disputes Leonardo’s argument – though not the substance of their claims – saying it doesn’t make a difference if there is a delay. Of course, the Defence Department would be expected to provide political cover for the purchase.
By contrast, retired Lt. General Steve Lucas – a consultant for Leonardo and former head of the Royal Canadian Air Force – says the possible 10 hour delay could be critical to someone needing help.
Unsurprisingly, Airbus says their plane is just fine for the job.
While some of the Leonardo vs Airbus dispute is good old-fashioned corporate competition, the history of Canadian military procurement – particularly under the Liberals – should cause us to consider Leonardo’s claims very carefully.
From the Sea King debacle, to the purchase of 4 terrible diesel subs from the UK, the Liberals have been terrible at procuring what our military needs. That terrible record has to be considered alongside the political aspect of the deal.
Airbus is a massive company centered in the European Union, with a large presence in both Britain and France. Those two countries just happen to be permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – where Trudeau is making a pathetically wasteful bid.
Favouring a British-French plane over an Italian plane could be a way to win favour with those Security Council nations, even if the Italian plane is much better and should have been picked.
When we think of it that way, it’s easy to see how Trudeau and the government could be putting globalist politics ahead of the safety of Canadians.