posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 03:38 AM
a reply to: Aloysius the Gaul
No I am sorry Aloysius you have your facts wrong, or more correctly you have been mislead.
It is NOT $950 million US as has been misleadingly put out in the press, rather it is actually $1.4 billion AUD. This is on the public record as
announced by the Australian Minister for Defence when the C-27J selection was declared on 10 May 2012. This cost is also backed up by the Australian
National Audit Office's (ANAO) report into the selection of the C-27J which drew very strong criticism and inquiries for its cost and also from
Airbus who released a very blunt and plainly worded press release condemning the minister for having essentially publicly lied that a competition had
been run between the LM/Alenia C-27J product and Airbus Military's C-295 offering, when no such competition actually took place.
As for your query about the dates of the Australian C-27J buy and the announcement of the US C-27J draw down, negotiations had been going on for quite
some time and long proceeded the US announcement. In fact knowing that the Australian requirement had attempted to be filled with the US surplus
aircraft BEFORE the Australian announcement clearly shows that they did fake the competition and never intended on buying anything else, even at a
vastly inflated price. It is also a matter of record that the head of Alenia warned the US administration that they would refuse to support any of the
USAF ordered aircraft that were on sold to other Air-force's or operators outside the US in a public statement. And one can understand this in part
given that Alenia apparently had stumped up a lot of the cash and manpower to develop the G-222 into the C-27J on the proviso that the USAF order
happened in full Australian defence project announcements (notable exclusion is the F-35, because it comes with such a huge price) generally include
the equipment purchase plus spares, training, specialist tooling etc and some base/facility upgrades. However even if we take the $950 million for the
10 aircraft which is close to triple the price per airframe the US was paying back in the 2010-2011 period of around $31 million, that still leaves us
at least $400 million for the rest which is far above what is really needed or justifiable. Using the source you quoted above, I would be interested
in seeing if the US spec aircraft were similarly fitted out with the same electronic suite and if that also makes up the final "price" of the US
aircraft. Because if it doesn't then that means paying twice the airframe cost for the add-on's, which is both ridiculous and questionable. The
project should probably have cost closer to $500-600 million, all up. Airbus itself stated that it could have delivered a C-295 based solution for
about $400 million. And there is every likelihood that there will be some cost creep above the $1.4 billion as I have just read something from the
Defence Material Organisation (DMO) who are responsible for managing/mismanaging defence purchases that seems to indicate about a $155 million AUD odd
increase if I read correctly. And given the collapse in the $AUD recently it will probably be even worse.
Understand that I have no problem in principle with the C-27J and it will add a useful contribution to battlefield airlift. Although I question
whether simpler solutions were better. I also know that Airbus had an axe to grind and its offering was possibly deficient in certain areas. The issue
lies with the less than clear process that led to it being chosen and the unacceptable cost blowout which is far above what it was projected to be or
should be. Frankly we would have been better off with a re-engined and stretched Caribou force of around 14-20 airframes and some additional
C-130J's, say 6 standard fuselage for this price. This is following a sadly all too familiar course of recent ADF defence purchases which seemingly
are short on fact and justification and long on rhetoric, out of control cost increases and murky selection processes.
And tying it all back, it all seems part of the same vicious circle that led to a bunch of aircraft being ordered at hugely inflated cost for an
Afghan Air force that didn't need, could never pay for by itself, and couldn't operate, all to appease some contractors looking for one last profit
scam and politicians to dumb and desperate to realize it was a bad idea to begin with.