Saturday, August 09, 2008


Well, suck my ass ... is there someone in the know who can comment on the accuracy of this bit of bad craziness?

Our defence minister, Peter Mackay, slinks home with some 'tails' between his legs

According to a report in Jane's Defence Weekly, the Canadian government has agreed to buy six used Chinooks – 'D models' – from the US Army. The six ex-US Army helicopters in question were selected by the vendor. This is a little like walking into a used car lot and asking the salesman to pick out six 'previously-owned' vehicles for your fleet.

Well, isn't that special? Can it get any more embarrassing? You bet:

In effect, our Minister of National Defence has managed to negotiate an inferior deal for the same model of used CH-47Ds available through the US Army’s CHAPS program ( the Cargo Helicopter Alternate Procurement Strategy). Instead, we are dealing with the US Government.

The US Army is not in a position to provide support services of any kind for this purchase – no training, no maintenance personnel, and, most importantly, no parts supply line. Canada will have to, once again, prevail upon our closest allies – the Netherlands, Australia, and the UK – to help us out with anything that they can spare from their own over-stretched supply lines and spare parts intended for their small fleets of Chinooks in Southern Afghanistan.

Read the whole thing. Now, since I'm such a reasonable man, I'm willing to throw this one out to the readership and ask -- how much of this is accurate? Or worrisome? Or just plain freaking humiliating?

The lines are open, and operators are standing by to call you a "douchebag."


Red Tory said...

A pretty damning assessment, I’d say. I couldn’t helping noting this from the end of the piece:

Instead of the promised "tranparency", this RFP for Chinooks was not publicly released. RFPs are usually publicly available on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (MERX). However, as with the late December 2007 C-130J Hercules ACAN, the government has chosen to conceal the details of their dealings with industry – a retrograde step with no explanations.

But of course, it won’t affect Sandy’s “accomplishment” in any way, shape or form because overall spending has gone up and as for he rest of the details… well, she doesn’t care or understand anything at all about that. They got some helicopters — end of story, as far as she’s concerned.

Renee said...

Nevertheless. You said "ass." Therefore your argument is completely invalidated, sirrah!

CC said...

Indeed, RT ... and, coincidentally, I just received, in the CC HQ mailbox, some official docs to that effect. It's about to get so much better.

liberal supporter said...

It's not difficult to increase military spending if you dispense with all that boring tendering.

Didn't we give Boeing $8 BILLION for aircraft with no bidding process?

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the tendering process for military equipment, the field is so narrow it is not even funny.

In some instances, there is only one vender capable of delivering. Look at the tactical airlift (C130 Hercules). There is only one competitor worth mentioning, and that is Airbus... But the A400M, as far as I know STILL has not had a test flight. They have flown the engine, and tested the airframe in windtunnels, and it looks promising...

But it is still a long way away from delivery... Especially in comparision to a tried and tested airframe like the Herc (not sure about the J series though... But then I am not a pilot, so if the air force types like it, I will too).

The tendering process needs to be fixed. The purchase of the C177 was necessary (ministers really should ask the air force if the airframe is a vailable before commiting it). Are they expensive? Yes, but so was/is renting renting aircraft from private organisations. (I would really really rather not get into a Russian aircraft with a Russian pilot... Half the time I suspect they are drunk.).

As for the fiasco with the Chinook D, if what CC is saying is right, I would be looking for a head on a platter.

(When in KAF, I got a close up look at a Dutch Chinook... It is true, you can still kind of make out the CF rondel under the Dutch painting.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, to add... The tendering process needs to be fixed, in that procurments happen spaced out, so that we are never again hit with such huge expenditures.

It is bloody idiocy of the highest order to allow equipment to simply fall apart before we even begin to look at replacements (Seakings anyone?).

Red Tory said...

Military procurement always seems to turn into a giant money pit.

Noni Mausa said...

Hey! Didn't we go to the same used car lot when we bought submarines?

Dave said...

Did I see someone mention Sea Kings without ever having flown in one?

Do tell.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I dismiss you out of turn Dave. I think you are an idiot, and I shant be engaging you at all beyond this point.

But, I will give you a chance. Please do tell us how this once great airframe is still great now that it has surpassed every benchmark for airframe, is currently older then the pilots flying them, and has serious issues on the maintence:flying hours issues is a great airframe.

I may not have flown in one, but the CF being what it is, I have wrenchbender friends who have, and have spent their entire careers maintaining them.

Were we to get new Seakings, that would be fantastic. But our current ones, the airframes are so stressed, they are very literally, faling apart.

LuLu said...

Alpha, dear, you've been so good up to now -- don't ruin it by being an arrogant ass. Dave is former Navy and knows a shitload more than the average bear.

That most definitely includes you.

Anonymous said...

Oh I see. So, I will just take the condescension on the chin like a good boy eh? Nope. Not gonna happen.

Just to clarify. Canadian Navy or British?

There would be a world of difference between the two.

CC said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa ... ease up, kids. While Dave is normally the gold standard by which all others are measured (militarily speaking), I think AM has built up at least a little street cred here by now. So let's play nice.

Frank Frink said...

Alpha, re your question 'British or Canadian?'

Answer: Both. Although I will leave it up to Dave, if he so chooses, to give more detail.

No disrespect to you, AM, as you have done a tour in Afghanistan, but bottom line? In terms of service, experience, rank and credibility you're trumped.

Dismissing him out of turn does you no favours. Just saying.

Frank Frink said...

Dismissing him out of turn does you no favours. Just saying.

Ooops... neither does calling him 'an idiot'

LuLu said...

I am playing nice -- expecting Alpha to do the same is hardly too much to ask. From what we've seen from Alpha lately in terms of intelligent and reasoned discourse, calling Dave an "idiot" and refusing to engage him further is unacceptable.

And for your further edification, considering the contracts I've worked on in the last few years and the people I've worked with (former Sea King crews), I probably know a shitload more about the Sea King than the average bear.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, so back to the old games of reading into shit, instead of asking questions. Well good on ya for letting your true colours fly.

Did I ever say the Sea King is a bad aircraft? Nope. I did say that it is old. Ours are very old. That is a fact.

Let me relate it to vehicles I do know an awful lot about. The MLVW. A 30 year old truck. We are having such a difficult time finding parts for it, that when one goes to second line maintenance, it is gone for months... We find parts by canabalizing other vehicles.

In it's day, it was an awsome work horse. (Just as the Sea King was when it was younger). But age causes stress on the frame. Rust, stress fractures... A bunch of things go wrong with older frames that you do not see from the outside.

As for my expeirence, feel free to go by my page... I have related my expereince there. I'm not in the JR's club, haven't been for more then a decade. And to be blunt, don't ask me to sit down and take it on the chin when someone talks down to me. Ain't gonna happen.

LuLu said...

How about this, Alpha -- I listen to what you have to say and you listen to what I have to say. I'm not now, nor have I ever, questioned your experience -- I don't think it's too much to ask that you provide me, or Dave for that matter, with the same level of respect. Does that work for you?

And again for what it's worth, I know all about the problems with the MLVW; I've done a great deal of prep work on the long overdue bid to replace.

Frank Frink said...

And to be blunt, don't ask me to sit down and take it on the chin when someone talks down to me. Ain't gonna happen.

Also to be blunt. That's advice you should take upon yourself when speaking to any one of us.

I don't piously genuflect before anyone just because.. Or
take it on the chin' just because.. that must be earned. So far, you haven't.

I wasn't denigrating or dismissing your experience. Thought I made that clear. Just saying Dave has far more experience in military matters than you do, or likley ever will. And as I said, I'll leave up to him, if he so chooses, to elaborate.

Anonymous said...

The problem is not you, nor even Frank... However Dave, did talk down to me, with his little comment. I am fraid there is no other way to interpret:

Did I see someone mention Sea Kings without ever having flown in one?

Do tell.


As an aside... The MLVW will not be easy to replace. Those things, when in good repair, will go places one would not expect. They are very good vehicles when in good repair.

LuLu said...

The MSVS is, at least, a starting point. Whether or not it's a good one remains to be seen ...

Anonymous said...

As long as it does not go like the LSVW, it will be decent enough... Before I actually get in one, and drive it, I cannot do better then that.

Frank Frink said...

Yeah, well there's a history between you & Dave which happened over at his blog.

As I recall, you were the one talking down to him. And if you only knew....

Again, just saying. You get what you give.

liberal supporter said...

Hey, you can't fight in here!