May 30, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
Lee Berthiaume writes this article:
OTTAWA — National Defence is preparing to roll out a new “streamlined” system that it hopes will deal with many of the problems surrounding past efforts to purchase military equipment.
Whether the changes will make any difference, however, remains the question after the military procurement was largely taken out of National Defence’s hands because of the way it handled the F-35 stealth fighter project.
Industry representatives and military officials have long complained about what they say is the inordinate amount of time it takes for the government to buy new vehicles, weapons or other equipment for Canada’s men and women in uniform.
This has become particularly troublesome in the past few years, with some warning that the entire system has become paralyzed, resulting in increased costs to taxpayers and Canadian military personnel using equipment long past its expiry date.
This includes plans to buy new armoured vehicles for the army as well as to replace the navy’s resupply ships, the air force’s maritime helicopters and its search-and-rescue aircraft.
Associate Defence Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay acknowledged those problems during a speech at a major arms-trade show in Ottawa on Wednesday.
“Going forward we do need to do a better job of ensuring the procurement system benefits Canadian taxpayers,” she said. “We need to ensure the impact of their hard-earned dollars isn’t eroded by inflation due to excessive delays. We need to ensure our military capabilities remain robust and effective so we can continue to count on them when they are needed most.”