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Canadian Surface Combatant RFQ

Dana381

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  1. Does every ship need to be crewed by full-time crews or can we keep a few (let's say four) to be crewed by a hybrid full-time / part-time crew (Those would be needed only for short periods for training and therefore could be cycled through with the full-time crewed ones for maintenance. As far as I can see we have only one hard full-time commitment (Op Reassurance) and a number of more minor and discretionary ones that seem doable during training exercises or by other vessels than a fully-staffed CSC (such as fisheries, drugs, international exercises/visits, etc). Essentially, if we reduce the number of ships needed to be fully manned and deployed at any given time we reduce crew fatigue, improve cyclical maintenance and reduce large downstream operations costs.; and
  2. If we're having problems manning the ships we have now, maybe we should give point 5 above some really, really serious thought
🍻

FJAG you talk often on here about part time staffing of many parts of the Canadian Forces. I do see your point on using part time positions to save money however I question the long term success of such a strategy.
In any business I have worked in or used the services of part time workers were less efficient and far less motivated to preserve the companies reputation. Part time workers typically have less benefits and feel less secure in their jobs which effects morale and productivity. Part time workers are also quicker to bash their employer even to customers across the counter.
I believe most everyone agrees that full time jobs are better for the economy as a whole. How can governments encourage industry to hire full time workers instead of part time workers when they don't even do it. My mother worked for 10 years at CRA before she got full time. Those 10 years were quite stressful hoping to get a new contract every 3-6 months. If her contracts were below a certain time span (I think 3 months) she didn't even get benefits. Naturally many contracts were issued for 1 day less than the threshold.
I was already out on my own at that time but I can imagine growing up in a house where you were never really sure if your parent would have a job in a couple months. CRA centers are placed in areas with low levels of quality employment to help local economies. Because of this along with the uncertainty of contract work many managers ended up with God complexes and treated subordinates badly. The CRA center had a reputation in the town of having extremely low morale. The phrase heard often was "You can make good money at the tax center if you can handle the bulls$%T".

The Canadian Forces have a huge reputation problem. The media has portrayed them as so under equipped and incompetent that many people won't even consider joining. If the government was to combat this reputation they could boost numbers easily but I don't believe they want to combat it as that will cost money they really don't want to spend. When I was a kid they invested in a series of commercials called vignettes to help raise awareness to various Canadian historical achievements. They could show off our military in a similar way. The footage released of CANSOFCOM was all over Youtube helped a lot but more is needed. The Canadian Forces could partner with Film companies to tell some of the many awesome stories of Canadian war heroes of recent past. Made up stories loosely based on truth can even help a lot. When Top Gun was released in 1986 there was a 500% increase in recruitment of people wanting to be naval aviators.
As well, one doesn’t have to be a fan of Maynard Keynes to appreciate the concept of Expenditure Multiplication, in short, money spent inside an economy will tend to recycle within that economy with a certain loss rate (Keynes used Marginal Propensity to Save, MPS and its inverse Marginal Propensity to Consume, MPC) to explain how an investment by a government into the GDP would have a notably larger effect on GDP than just a unitary augmentation. Depending on MOs (or MPC), the effect could result in many times more benefit to the country’s GDP than the initial/first-order investment. Money spent offshore doesn’t even provide a first-order contribution to a nation’s own GDP.

All to say, this or 40-50B for F-35s for 25-30 years is money I’d be quite happy to have my taxes go towards. In the same period as CSC has been costed, Canada will spend over $1,716B on direct payments to Canadians for EI, CPP and OAS and the like (based on 25-years of DESD expenditures extrapolated from the GoC’s 2020/2021 Main Estimates). Heck, in the same period, we’ll have spent $198.5B on administering the Canadian Revenue Agency...more to bring in taxes than provide the core maritime capability of the nation’s defences.

So I’m happy to have our money stay in Canada and be spent in a manner that ensures the GDP value of recursive cash flow also remains primarily in Canada, and that compare to other Govermnent expenditures over the same period, is actually rather decent value IMO.

🪙🪙


regards
G2G

G2G I agree completely, The media like to get "Experts" to say we could save so much money buying overseas when we buy at home. Then if we do buy overseas they complain of all the jobs we hurt by not buying at home. Any money we spend here circulates in the economy for a long time. Benefiting many people. Also a percentage comes right back in taxes.

Your comment about how much we spend operating Revenue Canada is on point. I said above that my mother works there but I still believe we have way too many tax laws. I would rather see the tax laws streamlined to be simpler to understand. This would allow CRA to shrink, hopefully they would improve the quality of the jobs across the board.
IMHO Tax deductions are the main cause of administration costs. Deductions only help people who make enough to pay taxes. We should work towards a system where the basic personal exemption is at a level where people can live and no other deductions are available. The tax rate could be lowered drastically as any money made above the BPE would be taxable. This would eliminate the problem of wealthy people paying less tax than poor people.
I realize that this will never happen as those that make the laws are wealthy people and they seem to be perfectly fine reaping government benefits paid for by the poor.

Cheers 🍻
Dana

Edit: I realized after I posted just how off-topic this is. Sorry for that
 

FJAG

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FJAG you talk often on here about part time staffing of many parts of the Canadian Forces. I do see your point on using part time positions to save money however I question the long term success of such a strategy.
In any business I have worked in or used the services of part time workers were less efficient and far less motivated to preserve the companies reputation. Part time workers typically have less benefits and feel less secure in their jobs which effects morale and productivity. Part time workers are also quicker to bash their employer even to customers across the counter.
I believe most everyone agrees that full time jobs are better for the economy as a whole. How can governments encourage industry to hire full time workers instead of part time workers when they don't even do it. My mother worked for 10 years at CRA before she got full time. Those 10 years were quite stressful hoping to get a new contract every 3-6 months. If her contracts were below a certain time span (I think 3 months) she didn't even get benefits. Naturally many contracts were issued for 1 day less than the threshold.
I was already out on my own at that time but I can imagine growing up in a house where you were never really sure if your parent would have a job in a couple months. CRA centers are placed in areas with low levels of quality employment to help local economies. Because of this along with the uncertainty of contract work many managers ended up with God complexes and treated subordinates badly. The CRA center had a reputation in the town of having extremely low morale. The phrase heard often was "You can make good money at the tax center if you can handle the bulls$%T".

The Canadian Forces have a huge reputation problem. The media has portrayed them as so under equipped and incompetent that many people won't even consider joining. If the government was to combat this reputation they could boost numbers easily but I don't believe they want to combat it as that will cost money they really don't want to spend. When I was a kid they invested in a series of commercials called vignettes to help raise awareness to various Canadian historical achievements. They could show off our military in a similar way. The footage released of CANSOFCOM was all over Youtube helped a lot but more is needed. The Canadian Forces could partner with Film companies to tell some of the many awesome stories of Canadian war heroes of recent past. Made up stories loosely based on truth can even help a lot. When Top Gun was released in 1986 there was a 500% increase in recruitment of people wanting to be naval aviators.
You are right that I mention a need for a better "part-time" force frequently because I fervently believe that our current full-time concept is fiscally unsustainable. We spend over half of our budget on salaries and benefits and because of that are deficient in equipment and operations and maintenance. IMHO we will never ever have a government that increases defence spending significantly to cure these deficiencies and because of that we need to look at alternative systems.

Add to that the fact that what you have with the existing regular force in equipment and people is all that you will ever have. Our system is not built to "grow the force" in the event of an emergency. Sure you can do some augmentation via reservists but that's merely filling holes.

Long story short: we've lost the focus on having a force structure that is capable of engaging in major conflict with near peer adversaries (read Russia and China) which, again IMHO, completely ignores the threats identified within Strong, Secure, Engaged.

The only way that we will ever be able to "grow the force" rapidly in an emergency within the rough budget allocations Canada's military gets is if we convert a larger portion of the existing budget to equipping and training a properly structured reserve force. The current allocated numbers are adequate and we even have a number of very good people but the reserve force structure is rotten. Yes, that requires a reduction in full-time personnel and fortunately we do have a lot of slack for that in our heavily overstaffed administrative headquarters (but, paradoxically, not in the logistics or maintenance tail which is under resourced) if we were ever serious about streamlining it. Such a transformation is an extensive one which requires the rethinking on many topics from recruiting to terms of service to employer and family support to the training structure etc etc.

The point is that transformation is absolutely essential. The math is simple. Either we raise the budget (which as I said won't happen beyond minor tweaking for inflation) or we continue in a death spiral as we try to preserve every full-time position regardless of how little it actually contributes to real defence outputs. We've been on this road now since 1970. As Einstein said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". The time has long passed since we should have tried a different solution.

🍻
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Because words matter:

Most Countries do not buy their own ships domestically. They do; however, build their own domestically.

The reason CSC, HDW, JSS, etc are so expensive is because we as a Nation let an entire industry systematically atrophy over generations.

We also let our Defence Infrastructure degrade significantly over a long period of time.

The consequences of this are that we now have to pay a lot more than we would have had we just funded our National Defence appropriately. It's the classic Canadian mentality of save a few pennies today, spend a dollar tomorrow that has gotten us here.
 

Dana381

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The point is that transformation is absolutely essential. The math is simple. Either we raise the budget (which as I said won't happen beyond minor tweaking for inflation) or we continue in a death spiral as we try to preserve every full-time position regardless of how little it actually contributes to real defence outputs. We've been on this road now since 1970. As Einstein said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". The time has long passed since we should have tried a different solution.
That mentality is dangerous. We can't afford to replace the G-Wagons with proper vehicles so why don't we buy a bunch of CRV's and Rav4's to replace them. After all they are made in Canada have 4 wheel drive and can carry 4 people. What more do we need.
That sounds crazy but it is essentially what you are saying.

I never thought Canada would buy the C-17, Ch-47 again, M777 (which we were first to fire in anger), or brand new Leopards. When the need presented itself we bought them and there was little to know public backlash comparatively to peace time procurements.

I firmly believe the key to future sustainability of our defense forces lies in transformation. However I believe that transformation needs to come in public opinion. Unfortunately I think it will take something extremely drastic to sway that public opinion en masse. If the GOC was to actively try to raise the public perception of the armed forces the way they promote themselves we could begin that transformation.

I believe you when you say our command structure is flawed and it also needs transformation. I have no inside knowledge of this area but it does seem obvious there are issues. Someone put figures on here a little while ago comparing the sizes of our administration to other armies and it was eye opening.

I'll put it another way, I once knew a man that refused to give to charities which raised money to buy the local hospital new equipment. His point was interesting. The provincial government has a obligation to provide medical care, he proposed that every dollar donated was a dollar the government would not have to spend. He even went as far as saying the government waited to see which equipment was purchased by the charity before making their annual budget.

If we don't change the mentality of the politicians/public perception of the military any savings brought on by using a part time force will just be less money the CAF receives each year.

Your quote from Einstein is accurate but remember he was a physicist and the laws of physics do not change. I don't believe it applies to social psychology. No one could have predicted that George Floyd's murder could have catalyzed change like it did. Why him? Why now? The minorities in the U.S. have been fighting for better rights for hundreds of years. If those people believed as you then no change would ever happen. I believe Henry Ford said it better “Whether you think you can, or you think you can'tyou're right,”
I believe Canadian public opinion can and will change I just hope it changes before Mandarin becomes the only official language in Canada.
 

FJAG

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That mentality is dangerous. We can't afford to replace the G-Wagons with proper vehicles so why don't we buy a bunch of CRV's and Rav4's to replace them. After all they are made in Canada have 4 wheel drive and can carry 4 people. What more do we need.
That sounds crazy but it is essentially what you are saying.
It's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is study your defence needs and determine which require full-time forces in being (either for quick reaction or constant honing of skills) and which can be properly assigned to a properly structured part-time force that is capable of rapid (if not immediate) mobilization if and when required. You are equating a part-time force to an inadequate, shoddy force. That's essentially what the current defence management has done. It doesn't need to stay that way.
I never thought Canada would buy the C-17, Ch-47 again, M777 (which we were first to fire in anger), or brand new Leopards. When the need presented itself we bought them and there was little to know public backlash comparatively to peace time procurements.
With apologies to all who served there, the deployment to Afghanistan was a relatively leisurely affair and purchasing a handful of equipment took time regardless and was necessitated by taking what were predictable, and IMHO unnecessary, casualties. What's worth the initial divesting of the CH-47 and M109s and almost divesting of Leopards were conscious decisions of our military leadership based on costs and their prediction that we could do without these vital pieces of kit.
I firmly believe the key to future sustainability of our defense forces lies in transformation. However I believe that transformation needs to come in public opinion. Unfortunately I think it will take something extremely drastic to sway that public opinion en masse. If the GOC was to actively try to raise the public perception of the armed forces the way they promote themselves we could begin that transformation.
That will never happen. It needs to come from within. (Which, IMHO, won't happen either.
I believe you when you say our command structure is flawed and it also needs transformation. I have no inside knowledge of this area but it does seem obvious there are issues. Someone put figures on here a little while ago comparing the sizes of our administration to other armies and it was eye opening.
And many of those comparables are, like us, hanging on to bloated Soviet era NATO style headquarters.
If we don't change the mentality of the politicians/public perception of the military any savings brought on by using a part time force will just be less money the CAF receives each year.
Your quote from Einstein is accurate but remember he was a physicist and the laws of physics do not change. I don't believe it applies to social psychology. No one could have predicted that George Floyd's murder could have catalyzed change like it did. Why him? Why now? The minorities in the U.S. have been fighting for better rights for hundreds of years. If those people believed as you then no change would ever happen. I believe Henry Ford said it better “Whether you think you can, or you think you can'tyou're right,”
I believe Canadian public opinion can and will change I just hope it changes before Mandarin becomes the only official language in Canada.
And that too is the job of our senior military leadership. They won't do that because they continue to be entranced by full-time PYs rather than defence outputs.

🍻
 

Underway

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Most G20 nations do not buy their ships domestically, AFAIK, only the UK has a legislated buy in the UK mandate. US recently bought FREMM variant for latest frigates.


Being strategic involves more than inward looking vote-chasing navel gazing.

We haven't bought a ship. We bought a design which we are then modifying. Most nations don't buy ships, they buy designs and build the ships themselves. And you don't buy designs off countries normally, you buy them off companies (or in the case of nationalized shipyards like France you do actually buy them off the country), which have offices in many countries.

Buying a ship means you go to France, say hey that FREEM is nice can you build me one. France does and they deliver it. They do the build irrespective of where it was designed. What you are talking about is designing a ship. Which is a far more complicated situation.

But I'll play. US, UK, France, Germany, Franch, India, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Romania all design and build their own ships. From scratch. All the time. Even China and India who started with Russian designs but have graduated to proper shipbuilding many years ago and have some interesting and in China's case effective domestic builds. Still way more than 50% of the G20 in that list.

As for strategic capability, you can gripe all you want but having a domestic shipbuilding capability is a strategic industry. Anything that lets you build warfighting assets is a strategic industry. Again your definitions are off. Strategic in a military/security sense which is not the same as the random thinking/business definitions. The proper definition is:

Strategy, in warfare, the science or art of employing all the military, economic, political, and other resources of a country to achieve the objects of war.

Shipyards give us an industrial and economic resource in which we can use to achieve the objects of war.
 

Weinie

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We haven't bought a ship. We bought a design which we are then modifying. Most nations don't buy ships, they buy designs and build the ships themselves. And you don't buy designs off countries normally, you buy them off companies (or in the case of nationalized shipyards like France you do actually buy them off the country), which have offices in many countries.

Buying a ship means you go to France, say hey that FREEM is nice can you build me one. France does and they deliver it. They do the build irrespective of where it was designed. What you are talking about is designing a ship. Which is a far more complicated situation.

But I'll play. US, UK, France, Germany, Franch, India, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Romania all design and build their own ships. From scratch. All the time. Even China and India who started with Russian designs but have graduated to proper shipbuilding many years ago and have some interesting and in China's case effective domestic builds. Still way more than 50% of the G20 in that list.

As for strategic capability, you can gripe all you want but having a domestic shipbuilding capability is a strategic industry. Anything that lets you build warfighting assets is a strategic industry. Again your definitions are off. Strategic in a military/security sense which is not the same as the random thinking/business definitions. The proper definition is:

Strategy, in warfare, the science or art of employing all the military, economic, political, and other resources of a country to achieve the objects of war.

Shipyards give us an industrial and economic resource in which we can use to achieve the objects of war.
I'll play parse the words with you.

capability
[ˌkāpəˈbilədē]

NOUN
(capability of doing/to do something)
  1. the power or ability to do something.


    By your definition, we lost any strategic domestic shipyard capability we had when the last Halifax class frigate was delivered, and it has not been replicated, as of yet.

    The purchase of the subs from the UK gave us a strategic capability. The purchase of the F-35, if we so choose, will give us a strategic capability. Were we to purchase FREMMS or Arleigh Burkes instead of building in Halifax, we would add strategic capability. None of those require any domestic industry infrastructure, hence, my argument that a domestic shipbuilding industry is not a de facto requirement to have strategic capability, and should not be labelled such..



    You are conflating military strategy with strategic capability. The power to project capability is simply that, it can be added to by a domestic supplier, but is not reliant on it.




 

Navy_Pete

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You are conflating military strategy with strategic capability. The power to project capability is simply that, it can be added to by a domestic supplier, but is not reliant on it.
I don't think they are mutually exclusive concepts; the various weapon systems give us strategic military capabilities, things like shipbuilding have been defined as a strategic industrial capabilities (see the 2011 Jenkins report). Canada has an official policy that shipbuilding is an important domestic industrial capability that we want to sustain, and the whole thing is a deliberate long term program to revitalize it. There are a number of other KICs, but none are getting the same kind of investment.

It's overseen at the Cabinet office level with a 25-30 year lifespan; not sure how that doesn't parse as a strategic level program. Literally can't get any higher level of Government scrutiny, and I'm not aware of another project of similar scope, complexity or timeline in the entire GoC.
 

Weinie

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I don't think they are mutually exclusive concepts; the various weapon systems give us strategic military capabilities, things like shipbuilding have been defined as a strategic industrial capabilities (see the 2011 Jenkins report). Canada has an official policy that shipbuilding is an important domestic industrial capability that we want to sustain, and the whole thing is a deliberate long term program to revitalize it. There are a number of other KICs, but none are getting the same kind of investment.

It's overseen at the Cabinet office level with a 25-30 year lifespan; not sure how that doesn't parse as a strategic level program. Literally can't get any higher level of Government scrutiny, and I'm not aware of another project of similar scope, complexity or timeline in the entire GoC.
If buying a sub offshore gives us strat capability, then it does not matter how many Canadian shipyards, how many bureaucrats, how many politicians, over how many years you throw in the pot. A capability simply is, or is not.
 

FJAG

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If buying a sub offshore gives us strat capability, then it does not matter how many Canadian shipyards, how many bureaucrats, how many politicians, over how many years you throw in the pot. A capability simply is, or is not.
That's a bit apples and oranges. One is the capability to project military power by virtue of having a given ship in service. The other is the capability to design, build, and maintain ships within your national borders. Both are capabilities. Both are the end products of an overarching national strategy.

As an aside my earlier comment about subs is not so much that I'm against subs (although as a non sailor I don't quite see what they do for us, per se). What I am against is the current subs which to my way of thinking are delivering very little capability because of their very extensive, unplanned down time. Every once in a while you have to recognize that you've bought the Navy equivalent of an AMC Gremlin and rethink your new car plans.

As a further aside my earlier comment about keeping some ships "in reserve" with the Reserves is simply to say that if the $240 billion 40 year lifecycle costs are too much for the government to bear mentally then my option is to buy all the ships for their relatively reasonable per ship cost and save on the ongoing downstream operations and maintenance and personnel costs which, calculated over 40 years would produce a rather much greater cost reduction. Not only do you get more ships and help out local industry but you would be able to spin up a larger more capable Navy in an emergency. It's an optics thing AND a capability thing.

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Weinie

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That's a bit apples and oranges. One is the capability to project military power by virtue of having a given ship in service. The other is the capability to design, build, and maintain ships within your national borders. Both are capabilities. Both may be the underpinnings are the end products of an overarching national strategy.

As an aside my earlier comment about subs is not so much that I'm against subs (although as a non sailor I don't quite see what they do for us, per se). What I am against is the current subs which to my way of thinking are delivering very little capability because of their very extensive, unplanned down time. Every once in a while you have to recognize that you've bought the Navy equivalent of an AMC Gremlin and rethink your new car plans.

As a further aside my earlier comment about keeping some ships "in reserve" with the Reserves is simply to say that if the $240 billion 40 year lifecycle costs are too much for the government to bear mentally then my option is to buy all the ships for their relatively reasonable per ship cost and save on the ongoing downstream operations and maintenance and personnel costs which, calculated over 40 years would produce a rather much greater cost reduction. Not only do you get more ships and help out local industry but you would be able to spin up a larger more capable Navy in an emergency. It's an optics thing AND a capability thing.

🍻
The former is a capability. The latter enables that capability. Apples and oranges is correct. The apple (strat capability from a sub or ship) does not exclusively rely on the domestic orange to become an apple. And Canadian national strategy is (hopefully) predicated on capability
 
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Colin Parkinson

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While a shipyard worker can learn the skills to work on other ships by building subs for us, they likley never get a chance to build subs again. But if they learn to build a ship, they get to repeat that skill many times over and if NSPS works as intended, for the rest of their career. The same goes for the engineers, architects and the secondary industrial support sector. So it makes sense to build the majority of ships here, but to contract out the sub replacement to someone already making subs and preferable making subs for an ally.
 

Weinie

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While a shipyard worker can learn the skills to work on other ships by building subs for us, they likley never get a chance to build subs again. But if they learn to build a ship, they get to repeat that skill many times over and if NSPS works as intended, for the rest of their career. The same goes for the engineers, architects and the secondary industrial support sector. So it makes sense to build the majority of ships here, but to contract out the sub replacement to someone already making subs and preferable making subs for an ally.
ENABLER. Any worker, in any country, can learn to build a ship. Your point is?
 

Colin Parkinson

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The point is that the skills/knowledge they learn building a ship persists and that is the point of the NSPS. Where do you think the knowledge to repair and maintain the ships comes from, not to mention the equipment to do so? In your model we would also have to contract out ship repair.
 

Weinie

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The point is that the skills/knowledge they learn building a ship persists and that is the point of the NSPS. Where do you think the knowledge to repair and maintain the ships comes from, not to mention the equipment to do so? In your model we would also have to contract out ship repair.
I don't give a fat rats butt where repair comes from, and you are dissembling from my point. A strat capability is a capability, not a logistics trail, or a support mechanism, nor all the foofaraa that comes with it. Does Canada have a strat capability or not? How we maintain it is important, but secondary.
 

CBH99

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That mentality is dangerous. We can't afford to replace the G-Wagons with proper vehicles so why don't we buy a bunch of CRV's and Rav4's to replace them. After all they are made in Canada have 4 wheel drive and can carry 4 people. What more do we need.
That sounds crazy but it is essentially what you are saying.

I never thought Canada would buy the C-17, Ch-47 again, M777 (which we were first to fire in anger), or brand new Leopards. When the need presented itself we bought them and there was little to know public backlash comparatively to peace time procurements.

I firmly believe the key to future sustainability of our defense forces lies in transformation. However I believe that transformation needs to come in public opinion. Unfortunately I think it will take something extremely drastic to sway that public opinion en masse. If the GOC was to actively try to raise the public perception of the armed forces the way they promote themselves we could begin that transformation.

I believe you when you say our command structure is flawed and it also needs transformation. I have no inside knowledge of this area but it does seem obvious there are issues. Someone put figures on here a little while ago comparing the sizes of our administration to other armies and it was eye opening.

I'll put it another way, I once knew a man that refused to give to charities which raised money to buy the local hospital new equipment. His point was interesting. The provincial government has a obligation to provide medical care, he proposed that every dollar donated was a dollar the government would not have to spend. He even went as far as saying the government waited to see which equipment was purchased by the charity before making their annual budget.

If we don't change the mentality of the politicians/public perception of the military any savings brought on by using a part time force will just be less money the CAF receives each year.

Your quote from Einstein is accurate but remember he was a physicist and the laws of physics do not change. I don't believe it applies to social psychology. No one could have predicted that George Floyd's murder could have catalyzed change like it did. Why him? Why now? The minorities in the U.S. have been fighting for better rights for hundreds of years. If those people believed as you then no change would ever happen. I believe Henry Ford said it better “Whether you think you can, or you think you can'tyou're right,”
I believe Canadian public opinion can and will change I just hope it changes before Mandarin becomes the only official language in Canada.
Forgive me, as I'm taking your post here and kind of running on a different track with it. (I agree with your post, btw)

When it comes to the Canadian public & defence matters, we need to remember that:

- The general public thinks about what they are told to think about, and they care about what they think they should. (As this last year of Covid news has bluntly demonstrated.) They will forget and move on to something else the very moment the media tells them to do so.

- Most Canadians want a strong & capable military. For whatever reason, our mainstream media only seems to give airtime to the hippies & social justice warriors. I think most Canadians would be perfectly fine with us buying new kit, and would probably support it if it was reasonable.

- One thing we (DND and GoC) should perhaps look at is the way we sell the public on the projects. We are, as far as I know, one of the only countries that includes 10yr or 20yr service & support contracts with the 'price' of the project.

Without understanding our contracts are usually broken down into a) the purchase of the equipment, and b) a lengthy support contract for that equipment... the projects stand out as really expensive.

I think the public would be a lot more receptive to some of the projects if we just published the cost of acquiring the equipment. (C-17, Chinook, C-295 SAR birds, etc.)

The fact that this equipment needs to be supported once in service is a given - any country that has any military equipment at all spends money maintaining it.



As I mentioned upthread, in regards to the CSC, the media is creating a problem out of nothing. It doesn't matter which ship we end up with, the costs once in service will be pretty close. Ships need crews, crews need food. Crews need paychecks. Ships need fuel, etc.

We don't say "This 2020 Hyundai Elantra is $140,000" (Lifetime maintenance, gas, insurance, etc etc.) Anybody who buys a car knows they need to support the car with those things.



Bah. The solutions always seem to simple :cautious:
 

Fabius

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I do not agree with the assertion that any single platform is a strategic capability. I think that overstates the importance of any single platform or platform type (aka submarine, carrier, bomber). Those platforms all offer potentially significant tactical and operational level capabilities that can integrated into a strategic capability but in and of themselves, I would argue they don't.

Countries can possess extensive tactical and operational military capabilities even to the point of being regional powers but very few countries actually possess true strategic capability. This is where I think most smaller countries find themselves and most of what we can argue are middle power country's also generally fit.

True Strategic capability means being able to indigenously develop and produce ALL elements of the weapons systems you are fielding. This means steel production, ship design, weapons design, sensor design, ship manufacture, weapons manufacture, senor manufacture, systems integration etc. and all in sufficient quantities and with the ability to ramp up production as needed to replace battle losses and to support high munition expenditure rates. Make no doubt this is a vast endeavor and only a free countries attempt to do it all, the US, France, China, Russia, the UK strive to achieve it with mixed successes. Other countries like Israel, Turkey, Japan, South Korea also strive for slightly less ambitious strategic capabilities.

Most NATO countries and even Canada and Australia, depend significantly upon the above friendly countries strategic capabilities to design, develop and produce the senor and weapons suites that make our stuff lethal. Lets face it our SM2s, AMRAAMs, TOW missiles etc are not designed or built in Canada. Same is true of most of our sensor systems. These strategic capabilities are expensive which is why we largely abandoned our own indigenous weapons programs in the 1950s, since then we have either bought largely US systems and integrated them onto our platforms or joined consortiums to develop stuff jointly ( some to great success the the ESSAM and others to a yet to be seen conclusion (JSF/F35 program).

The key point though is that without all the industrial capabilities needed to actually put a fleet to sea and arm it with munitions and fuel etc. and support it to the conclusion of hostilities in your favor, all you have is a very very powerful operational level capability that will require strategic support from someone else. Take the US airlift of munitions and associated items to Israel in 1973 and more recently to Saudi Arabia for their war in Yemen, the NATO operations over Libya in 2011 which needed significant US aerial tanker assets, or the support rendered by the US Navy via their ocean going tugs to HMCS Protecteur in 2014, all examples of operational capabilities that are not resident in most nations militaries and industries but which are needed to actually truly be capable of strategic military operations in my opinion.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I don't give a fat rats butt where repair comes from, and you are dissembling from my point. A strat capability is a capability, not a logistics trail, or a support mechanism, nor all the foofaraa that comes with it. Does Canada have a strat capability or not? How we maintain it is important, but secondary.
You most certainly will care if you don't have the capability to repair the ships that we have and you lose much of your political leverage, if you think support for the military is bad now, wait till Defense just becomes a 1 way money drain. Without the logistical support you have no real capability, much less a strategic one. Right now I feel that our only "Strategic Capability" is our subs, thanks to their ability to create area denial and require significant resources to counter them. The Frigates are important as escort vessels, but if we get the CSC as envisioned, then I think we really do have a Strategic Capability. In which case NSPS becomes an important part of keeping that capability at sea and funded.
 

FJAG

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...

Without understanding our contracts are usually broken down into a) the purchase of the equipment, and b) a lengthy support contract for that equipment... the projects stand out as really expensive.

I think the public would be a lot more receptive to some of the projects if we just published the cost of acquiring the equipment. (C-17, Chinook, C-295 SAR birds, etc.)

The fact that this equipment needs to be supported once in service is a given - any country that has any military equipment at all spends money maintaining it.



As I mentioned upthread, in regards to the CSC, the media is creating a problem out of nothing. It doesn't matter which ship we end up with, the costs once in service will be pretty close. Ships need crews, crews need food. Crews need paychecks. Ships need fuel, etc.

We don't say "This 2020 Hyundai Elantra is $140,000" (Lifetime maintenance, gas, insurance, etc etc.) Anybody who buys a car knows they need to support the car with those things.



Bah. The solutions always seem to simple :cautious:
Just for the fun of it, I'll introduce you to two documents that show you why bureaucracies ensure that life isn't simple. (Be prepared to be massively bored)

The first is a report from Defence Development and Research Canada called Development of Cost Breakdown Structure for Defence Acquisition Projects which discusses the basic Canadian concept to costing military acquisition programs.

The second, MUCH LENGTHIER one comes from NATO's Research and Technology Organization called Methods and Models for Life Cycle Costing which discusses varying methodologies used throughout NATO. I find it quite interesting that at pages xix to xxi, Canada is listed as neither a participant nor an observer to the study.

Personally, as a member of the public, all that I want to see coming out of a program like this is:
  1. how much more on an annual basis will this project end up costing us than the program it augments or replaces; and
  2. how much additional defence capability, if any, will this program produce over what we have at present.
🍻
 

dapaterson

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Different users need different cost information; there is no one size fits all. If you are to have intelligent discussions, you need to know what is and is not included, together with the rationale for those inclusions and exclusions.

The simplest example is the Gillette model: lose money on the razor, make it back on the blades. Some suppliers will do that, offering attractively low acquisition costs but massively inflated lifecycle operating costs to acquire their bespoke parts / consumables / software. Some will transfer cost to DND/CAF - for example, if the mark II Whatchamacallit will take five aviators to operate it, where the mark I I only took one, but only provides 2x the capability, the institutional cost over the lifecycle will have grown.

While simple has a certain appeal, detailed information and analysis is also needed to make intelligent decisions.
 
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