Statement made on 01 February 2012 by Senator Wilfred Moore
Hon. Wilfred P. Moore:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, India announced it has chosen the French-made Rafale fighter as their combat aircraft of the future. They decided to purchase 126 aircraft for $11 billion. There are a couple of interesting things about this purchase. For one, the Indian government did something completely novel and held a competition to determine which plane best fit the country's needs. I quote:
The process was started with the issuing of a global tender in 2007 after which all the six contenders were subjected to extensive field evaluation trails by the Indian Air Force at several locations across the globe.
The Indian government held an open, transparent competition and arrived at the best fighter for their needs.
Further, from a government source:
Eighteen fighter aircraft will be delivered in "fly away" condition within three years and the remaining 108 are to be built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. through technology transfers.
That is to say the remaining 108 remaining aircraft will be built in India and technology transfers will occur. This deal goes beyond reasonable benefits and directly provides jobs to Indians in India, unlike the deal that the Government of Canada has been selling, wherein Lockheed Martin does not provide any technology transfers, there is no guarantee of work in Canada, and frankly, the Rafale actually exists, unlike its F-35 counterpart.
I ask the Leader of the Government whether she sees the wisdom in what the government of India has done. Will she not urge her cabinet colleagues to take a long look at what India has done, thereby possibly saving Canadians billions of dollars and much grief over this F-35 purchase?
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