Canada Ditches Super Hornet After Threats to Buy F-35 or Lose 10,000 Jobs

It may be seven years late and $160 billion over budget, but the F-35 fighter - the most expensive piece of fighting equipment in history - may finally make its official debut this summer.

 

Lockheed Martin pointed an economic weapon of mass disruption at Ottawa and it appears that Justin Trudeau has blinked caving to the defense contractor’s threats.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose to power last fall on a pledge not to purchase the defective F-35, an aircraft that he has said “does not work,” is too expensive, and is wholly incompatible with Canada’s defense needs pushing his country instead to move towards a deal to acquire Boeing’s Super Hornet – a fighter jet with greater air maneuverability allowing it advanced performance in air-to-air combat.

That promise crashed along the shores of political reality this week as Canada reneged from its earlier proposal to acquire Boeing Super Hornet jets on an interim basis to plug the country’s air defense capability gap after Lockheed Martin threatened to pull all of its operations out of the country which would result in a massive layoff of some 10,000 employees and potentially bankrupt portions of Canada’s defense sector that benefits from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

The Canadian government issued a request for information from aerospace firms about the types of fighter aircraft they could provide this week, marking the pullout from their arrangement with Boeing, with companies expected to provide initial aircraft data by July 29.

The Department of National Defense plans to rewrite its requirements for a new fighter jet, said Harjit Sajjan, the defense minister for the Liberal Party government. However, the existing aircraft requirements left by the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper are designed to favor the F-35 and any attempts to radically alter the criteria will lead to another uproar by Lockheed Martin.

A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin confirmed that the company is responding to the Canadian government’s request for information about the F-35, something that it had been reticent to do prior, which signals that the fix is in and that Canada has capitulated to the defense contractor’s threats and extortion.

Other contenders do exist in the process including Boeing’s Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale, and Saab’s Gripen so Canada may ultimately decide not to purchase the F-35 against their will despite current indications.

The much maligned F-35 has already cost American taxpayers upwards of $2 trillion due to its expensive and unreliable 3D-printed design along with repeated testing delays due to software malfunctions and safety hazards that have set the program back by several years.

A glitch in the fighter jet’s software causes it to spontaneously shutdown mid-flight raising a host of pilot safety concerns. Those issues are exacerbated by the fact that the F-35’s Martin Baker ejection seat has been shown in testing to instantly snap the neck of or decapitate pilots under 135 pounds (61.3kg) while pilots between the weights of 135 and 160 pounds (72.6kg) are believed to also be at an enhanced risk of sudden death upon ejection.
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Canadian Instructors May End Up Training Neo-Nazis in Ukraine – Media

Supporters of the Right Sector radical movement

The Canadian government has committed as many as 200 soldiers to train Ukraine’s military. It says they not be training neo-Nazis and far-right extremists there. Some former Canadian diplomats warn, however, that Canadian instructors may end up training members of Ukraine’s fascist groups that are now being enrolled in Kiev’s regular forces.
 

How Canadian military instructors can avoid training extremist troops was discussed by Canada’s Defense Minister Jason Kenney, who acknowledged it in a briefing Tuesday, the Ottawa Citizen reported.“We’re not going to be in the business of training ad hoc militias,” he explained. “We will only be training units of the Ukrainian National Guard and army recognized by the government of Ukraine.

Some former Canadian diplomats, however, have suggested the government’s position on Ukraine is aimed at winning votes from Ukrainian-Canadians in the upcoming federal election.

“These militias are being merged with Ukraine’s military so we won’t be able to determine who we are training,” said James Bissett, Canada’s former ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. “These are unsavory groups that Canadian soldiers should not be associated with.”

 

Some members of Ukraine’s most effective fighting units have openly acknowledged they are Nazi sympathizers or have expressed anti-Semitic or extreme right wing views.Russia’s Supreme Court ruled to ban the activities of five Ukrainian radical organizations on Russia’s territory, according to a Ministry of Justice published on Friday. Among them are Right Sector, UNA-UNSO, Bratstvo, as well as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera union Tryzub.

In July last year the International Criminal Police Organization put Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh on its wanted list.

Right Sector was formed as a coalition of nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations during the Maidan protests in Kiev at the end of 2013.

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