EP 51: Committee calls for scraping the purchase of the Super Hornets

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet, 4-Wing, takes off from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada during the second Tiger Meet of the Americas. The Hornet is carrying two types of Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) pods on the wing tips. The Tiger Meet of the Americas, first ever held in Canada, inaugurated in 2001 in the Western Hemisphere to carry on the Tiger tradition of the long-established European original experience; promoting solidarity and operational understanding between NATO members. The Meet attracted 400 participants and over 20 aircraft, with at least 6 fighter jets painted in distinctive "Tiger" schemes. For a squadron to be invited, only one simple criterion required, the unit must have a Tiger or other big cat on their unit's insignia or as a mascot.

In this show, Marcello Sukhdeo talks about the call by the Senate’s defence committee to scrap the purchase of Boeing Super Hornets, also he touches on the grilling of Defence Minister Sajjan and developing the super soldier.

Show Notes:

The Senate’s defence committee is recommending that the Trudeau government forget about buying an interim fleet of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighters and instead look at replacing the entire fleet of CF-18s.

The Senate committee said that the interim Super Hornet purchase would hinder more than help. They are urging the federal government to hold a quick competition to pick a permanent solution for Canada’s next fighter plane and make a decision by end of June 2018.

A few weeks ago, the same committee released another report which reveals that our current defence spending is at an historic low — at around 0.88 per cent of gross domestic product. The committee recommends that the federal government lay out a plan to increase spending to two per cent of GDP over an 11-year period.

This report is not binding on the federal government and in the past, the previous administrations have ignored what Senate committees say. But, given what is going on currently in the political realm, with the Trump administration really pushing allies on defence spending, we can see what the Senate committee is recommending may push the federal government to increase defence spending.

The minister and his fellow Liberal MPs are trying to shift the conversation and by blaming the conservatives of inconsistent investment in defence over the years.

MPs, on the other hand, are trying to make the case that he should no longer serve as Defence Minister. The motion says, “the House has lost confidence in the Minister of National Defence’s ability to carry out his responsibilities on behalf of the Government since on multiple occasions the Minister misrepresented his military service and provided misleading information to the House.”

A vote on the matter is expected anytime soon and it looks like Liberal majority in the Commons will vote for the motion to not pass.

In the battlefield, maintaining a competitive advantage not only requires sound military strategy and weaponry, but also a consistently high degree of performance by soldiers, operating in multi-dimensional roles.

To get to the level of super soldiers, military leaders and defence experts are looking to enhance the critical, social, cultural and ethical skills and knowledge of soldiers to improve overall military performance.

This subject will be addressed at the twelfth annual Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS).

The two-day event has six panels that will delve into overcoming human limitations, emerging technologies to successfully accelerate the physical limits of troops, processing and analyzing information for optimal decision making in operational environments.

The panels on the second day will include increasing social, cultural, and gender-based awareness, the multiple dimensions of resilience and how we should approach military performance enhancement.

This event will take place from June 12 to 14 in Kingston, Ontario. If you would like to know more, please go here.

Thanks for listening.


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