The Canadian military’s massive cost overruns, the ongoing debt problems, and the soaring military budget are now making headlines around the world.
And they’re making headlines in Canada.
The military has been under a major budgetary crisis since it was created in 1971, the Canadian Press reports.
It’s currently in the midst of a massive funding deficit, a $8 billion surplus, and an inability to keep up with its own training, procurement and operations, according to the military.
The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already announced $7.3 billion in additional funding for the Canadian Armed Forces, with another $3.8 billion to be announced on Thursday, according the Ottawa Citizen.
The news of the spending cuts comes after the military’s annual budget was slashed by almost $300 million.
“The Canadian Armed Force has made the right decisions,” said Lt.
Gen. Peter Hargreaves, the head of the Canadian Forces’ Operational Services Command, in a statement to the Canadian press.
“We have been able to invest in our personnel and in our equipment, while ensuring the readiness of our soldiers and sailors to carry out our mission.”
But critics say the cuts have already caused many of the services’ soldiers to retire or leave the service altogether.
In April, the Defence Ministry announced that its own research into the cost overrun on the CF-18 Hornets and the CF:16s had concluded that the Canadian forces are not prepared to maintain the force at the current level.
“Our readiness, the ability of our forces to meet our operational demands, our ability to carry on the training, and our ability and readiness of personnel are all at risk,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in April.
The $7 billion figure comes from a new report from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Staff (CAAS), which says the cost of the CF jets and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is likely to exceed $10 billion over the next decade.
The report also said the costs of the new Joint Strike Fighters, the CF Hornets and CF-21s have already increased by $500 million over the previous budget.
According to the CAAS, Canada will need to spend $14 billion on the F/A-18C Super Hornet fighter jet over the course of the next five years, and $14.8 million for the F6/F7/F8 fighters.
The CAAS report also predicts the cost for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s F-18 Super Hornets will increase by an additional $4.3 million per aircraft over the same time period.
And the cost to the CF for the CF/F-18F Super Hornets is expected to increase by $2.6 billion over five years.
Critics of the military have said the CAAs report is the most accurate cost estimates available for the military, and has put forward estimates of what Canada’s military should be spending on weapons systems and other equipment.
A new report released Thursday by the Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives, which is based in Ottawa, found the cost estimate for the costliest weapons systems was between $1.5 and $1,895 per weapon.
“For a new weapon system, that’s a pretty big gap between what the government is asking and what we’re asking for,” said the report’s author and former Liberal MP and now defence critic John McKay.
The cost estimates were based on the costs for the current and future F-22 Raptor fighter jets, which the government has spent more than $100 billion on since 2011.
The current F-117 Raptor has a flight time of five hours and a flight range of about 900 kilometres.
The F-111 Stealth Bomber, a much cheaper replacement for the stealth fighter, is capable of flying up to 3,000 kilometres without refueling.
The costs for all three weapons systems is not necessarily related to each other.
For example, the F9-7 Harrier and the JAS-39 Gripen will cost $1 billion to $1 trillion over the life of the fighter jets.
But for the Gripen, the costs are relatively low because the cost per kilogram of fuel and parts is relatively low, according McKay.
And for the Harrier, the Harriers main advantage is the ability to maintain a large number of weapons.
“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge to maintain all those weapons because of the size of the aircraft, but you can put a lot of ordnance on it,” McKay said.
The new CAAS estimates suggest the Canadian armed forces will have to spend about $1 to $2 trillion on new weapons systems over the coming decades.
“These weapons systems are going to have to be modernized, and modernized very quickly,” McKay told CBC News.
The Liberals’ decision to introduce a new defence spending bill last week has already created an uproar in Canada, with the government claiming it’s necessary to avoid a $9 billion deficit for 2018-19,