Dec 122012

The funny thing:   read the headline assigned by the Wall Street Journal.  Then read the article.

Wall Street Journal,  Canada to Restart Fighter Jet Acquisition


(Note:  I didn’t copy the complete article.)

The Canadian government scrapped its plans to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT -2.00% F-35 fighter jets, saying it will launch a new search to find a replacement for its aging military aircraft.

It is the latest in several moves by foreign governments to scale back orders of the F-35, amid the jet’s high costs and budget cuts in many nations that had once embraced the aircraft. The U.K., for instance, whose defense industry had taken part in the project as part of a consortium led by Lockheed, originally indicated interest in 138 jets. It has scaled that down to less than 50.

Canada moved after months of controversy over the costs of the jets and their appropriateness in Canada’s defense mix. Opposition politicians had lambasted the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper over what they said was a lack of transparency over costs. Canadian officials have hinted in the past that they may take a fresh look at their commitment, but Wednesday’s decision to scrap their previous order was a surprise.

Canadian officials made it clear that they could ultimately end up buying the F-35 after all, but would only do so after a new, thorough review process.

. . .

The Canadian government made the announcement after KPMG LLP, the accounting firm, offered a revised estimate on the cost of purchasing the F-35s. The firm said it forecast a total cost of the proposed purchase at some 45.8 billion Canadian dollars ($46.4 billion) for, over a 42-year time frame, or the life span of the planes. Originally, the government said the acquisition of the planes would be C$9 billion, along with another C$16 billion for aircraft maintenance.

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