Recent announcement of Maritime Helicopter
Replacement Program

Surrey, British Columbia - Monday, December 9, 2002 - by: Jim Grant


Politics at the most visceral level and a degree of collective incompetence unmatched in the history of procurement for Canada's military have marked the Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program.



eight years

Over ten years of dithering over the selection of a manufacturer since the cancellation in 1993 of the EH 101 and another eight years expected before delivery is an unforgivable disservice to the men and women of Canada's armed forces.



$500 million

We paid huge penalty clauses, in the mega millions, out of petty vindictiveness by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.




If private industry proceeded at the pace set by the Department of National Defence and the Federal bureaucrats, there would be no successful growth companies, like West Jet, Pattison, or Magna, and others.




Any one of those company CEOs would make a decision in a matter of days and proceed with their program.



is home

Why do we as a government seem to be so incompetent in initiating successful Defence programs? There are a few key problems. We have delusions of grandeur when it comes to major equipment purchases. We do not have a large enough market to redesign existing equipment. Like it or not we have to accept off the shelf equipment and live with minor short falls. The best places to design total aircraft packages are in the home plant of the manufacturer be it in Europe or the US. We have one successful manufacturer in Canada, and that is Canadair. The Bell Helicopter facility in Montreal is a viable subsidiary of an American company, but they are not in the business of building the large helicopters required for the Maritime role.



Korean war

Where is the C D Howe of our time? At the peak of the Korean war, we purchased a fleet of Sabre (North American F-86) fighter, long range transport aircraft (Yukons) and other equally significant equipments.




Later we purchased a number of Boeing 707s with minimum fanfare and the biggest decision was the design of the paint scheme. Today we agonize for ten years or more on how to reconfigure someone elses equipment. Ridiculous, inefficient and incompetent.



get with it!

Throw the rascals out I say, and get a small group of business oriented imaginative practical entrepreneurs to get on with the job. Give them a package of funds and let them sort out the available off the shelf equipments and place an order. Not that difficult a task.


Jim Grant




Retrun to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004