In news reports it's common to see the adjective "troubled" used in conjunction with F-35. It may, by common usage, become that warplane's new name - the "troubled F-35."
The F-35 may fall short on speed, agility, payload, range and just about everything else that marks a great warplane but it's plenty long on troubles - engine troubles, systems troubles, design troubles and, oh yeah, cost troubles.
Now PostMedia has gotten its hands on an internal document generated by bureaucrats showing that the Harper government was kept fully abreast of every step in the "troubled F-35 stealth fighter" progress.
The document, prepared this past spring in advance of a scathing auditor general’s report on the F-35, appears to have been designed to shift responsibility for the stealth fighter program’s mismanagement from the bureaucracy to the Conservatives.
Combined with the Harper government’s admission it knew the jets would cost $10 billion more than Canadians were being told before the election, the document may bolster allegations the Conservatives have kept voters in the dark about the stealth fighter program.
Former defence procurement official and F-35 critic, Alan Williams, thinks the document shows people are beginning to circle their wagons.
“Who do these bureaucrats think they are?” said former National Defence procurement chief Alan Williams, who has been critical of the F-35 program. “What they’ve written is to cover their own butts.”
I don't know who "these bureaucrats think they are" but their leaked documents suggest they know what's coming on the F-35 front and want to distance themselves from it as much as they possibly can. If Harper is going to push this through, it'll be squarely on his head this time. Sounds like nothing but trouble.
Update - In other F-35 news, rumours are spreading that the underperforming, overpriced and overdue light attack bomber may be pushed over America's "fiscal cliff." It is the Pentagon's costliest single procurement item. That makes it an obvious and easy target sitting atop a pile of expensive programmes.
The ripple affect is that should the Americans sour on the F-35, it will directly impact on Canada and other